Monday, May 6, 2013

Howdy from OHIO!

I love this place more and more everyday. It's odd to think that someday I'll be in a totally different mission where people won't understand me. Something that really does amaze me is that there's a reason I'm here, and all of the Sisters know it and use the visa waiters to their advantage. Everywhere I go we try to find opportunities for me to introduce the gospel to our Hispanic brothers and sisters. I was on exchanges yesterday with West Chardon (sisters Jones and Smith) and we ran into a couple that spoke no English, and so I gave it a shot! Those are moments when I know the Lord loves me and puts words in my mouth to help me express the love that he has for them. And they are all so patient with me! They really appreciate it when someone with no Hispanic background is trying hard to talk to them in their native language so that they can understand. I cannot say the smallest part of which I feel! (Alma 26:16) It's SO COOL!

My trainers have instilled in me a desire to talk to everyone! There will be someone walking by on our way to an appointment, while we're at the door, or while we're trying to fit our studies into our crazy day. I'll grab a pass along card, make the jump and go talk to them. Boy have I gained a testimony of pass along cards! Haha I love them. When I was on exchanges with Sisters Popleton and Oliver I grabbed a stack of cards and made a goal to give all of that stack out. I soon discovered that that stack was a small stack for me . . . . it was gone within the hour at most. 

We have two new investigators! :D They're both very sweet and dear ladies, both married and have fantastic relationships with their husbands! I love it!! Peggy is one of them :) when we came in for our appointment she was saying bye to her husband, the said "I love you, be safe" at the door and my heart melted! I haven't heard that since I left for the MTC form my own parents, it was like my favorite piece of home was in the home of our investigator. Peggy's very good with knowing the importance of a relationship with our Father in Heaven, and of prayer. She has a strong idea of how the spirit feels and she's looking for a "home church." We all kinda smiled at each other when she said that :) We're so excited for her! I almost had to miss teaching her the restoration due to exchanges, but turns out we're going over that next time, I'm so excited!!

Next is a lady by the name of Jennifer. She is the mother of 11 kids!! :D And she's known her husband since she was 14. They were married right out of high school :) she's a great lady and wants her children to have a faith in Christ and a strong life. She knows that to instill that in the hearts of her children that she must lead by example. Her faith is very strong, and she knows the power of prayer and that when you pray there is work to be done on your part. We asked her why she invited us back and she said that she really didn't know, just that we were sweet girls with honest faces, and she liked to talk to us, we explained what the Holy Ghost was and she said that it made sense! I cannot wait to see where things go with her :) She has such hope!

When I was with Poppleton and Oliver we were tracting after a canceled appointment and there was a family out in their yard. It looked like a happy family reunion and so I suggested going over to talk to them. I couldn't have been more wrong . . . they were together after a funeral, they father had just passed away. We were stopped by a friend who simply didn't understand what we were there for. She asked us what we wanted and I told her that we wanted to share a message of how families can be together for ever, and she thought that we had heard about the death, I informed her otherwise. I asked her to give the family our condolences when she asked us to leave. I have never felt such sorrow in my life! I couldn't help but to cry while walking away, they were some hard tears to swallow. All I could picture was the father standing there begging for them to let us in and share that we knew that he was alright, and that there is such truth and hope of what we had to say, and the sorrow on his face as she turned us away knowing that we were so close yet so far. 

Oh buddy if I could tell you of all the people I meet this letter would be forever long. I love it in Ohio. I'm doing my best to keep a good journal, I need to play some catch up today and fill more of it in. Half an hour every night to record all that happens really is a small amount of time.

I got the letters!! :D Thank you for sending them! The picture of Zora is the best! Thank you for the picture and the note Laura and Jason. Riley and Jude, I love how you folded your letters to me, so creative :) and Michelle I love your picture. Oh! and Marci, The stickers are brilliant! I have so much fun giving stickers with pictures of Christ to little kids (with their parent's permission) and asking them if they know who it is on their sticker. Most of the kids ask me to put the sticker over their heart, which means more to me than I think they'll ever realize. 

Korri! Dearest sweetheart :) I'm so proud of you and the choice you made to be baptized. I know that Heavenly Father is so happy that you chose to follow Jesus Christ's example. I know they love you. Let the Holy Ghost be your best friend, he will tell you everything you need to know. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are my very best friends, they help me everyday, and I know that they will be there for you always. Love you, hun :) Olivia, Allie, Jessica and Randy, I love you too. :) I still have those pictures you sent me.

We have the coolest members I'll have to tell you more about Marryanna, Joe, and Fiona and the others some other time. They're great.

Mom and Dad :) Thanks for the letter, I love the handwritten letters, and read them as often as the work permits. Sabrina, thanks for the 6 PAGE letter :D Send more I love your stories, tell the kids "hi" for me, it was good to hear from them through you. Steven, I hope all is going well for you, things are going well here, I'm being well looked after in regards to Spanish. Our DL, Elder Mesa is very good to all of us visa waiters and has given us tips on how to learn a second language, conference talks printed and recorded in Spanish. Kevin, I'm glad you had a great birthday!

I love you all! Remember to keep both eyes open for opportunities for your testimony to grow.

Hermana Johansen

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