Friday, October 25, 2013

Papa Bear!
So good to hear from you! And so glad to hear that you liked the burn the boats thing too. I love that we have that connection of having both listened to it and both being inspired by it. Kind of like the connection I felt during conference! :)

The W family is doing pretty good. We had an interesting lesson with them Saturday evening (we taught about prophets by using pictures and telling bible stories - these girls have never heard of Moses or Daniel or Joseph) and we have the girls' primary teacher and her 11-year-old daughter come too. And at the end of the lesson, we said, "so, what do you understand about prophets?" and they both looked at us with this confused look on their faces and said they were confused. Oh man, talk about crazhing and burning! I think they were shy because we brought new people, so we will adjust and do better next time. D and the girls came to church on Sunday! Woohoo! M couldn't come because he was working, but he sat in again on our prophets lesson so that was cool. Slowly but surely we will get him to accept the gospel! The girls loved church and I think D was taking it all in. Honestly, I think whether or not the girls join the church will depend on D - I think she is scared about getting back into the church because of what a big commitment it seems to be, and she already feels overwhelmed by her mixed family, working full time 6 days a week, and now we are asking her to live up to covenants that she made when life wasn't so insane. I'm hoping that she will start to feel the spirit again and see how the gospel changes the lives of her daughters and realize that the gospel is worth the effort no matter how stressed or exhausted you are. One more awesome thing - we gave each girl a copy of the illustrated new testament stories and they are reading it! They are both on about chapter 10! Woop woop! Next up - the restoration and the book of mormon!

Thank you for sharing your testimony with me. Hearing your words of encouragement and faith really helps me to keep going. I'm so grateful to have such a supportive family - I don't know where I'd be without you!
Thanks for all your support!
Love - Johanna

PS: Here's some stuff from my president's letter. Please pray for C and T. T is the new investigator and C is the girl whose friends invited her into their home to meet with us. We haven't counted her as an investigator yet because we aren't sure if she wants to continue learning yet. We are kind of just planting seeds and nourishing them with her right now. So exciting!

PPS: We went on exchanges this week with the Sister Training Leader (it was soooo nice to not be the leader - and actually, Sister Tiller asked me a lot of questions about my experience as a leader and through the Spirit I was able to encourage her to continue on in her duties. It was awesome). We double worked our area and it was so awesome! These sisters were the breath of fresh air that we needed! And I'm pretty sure me and Sister Tiller were best friends in the pre-mortal world and we will be best friends after the mission for sure. She is too awesome!

"While Sister Tiller and I were together, we went to try this potential investigator who we've never been able to get ahold of. And guess what, she was home! And she let us in and we had a brief visit and did How To Begin Teaching, setting expectations, and learning about her religious background. And two wonderful things came from this - 1.) We have a new investigator, woo hoo! she said she was willing to learn more about the gospel, not that she's looking to join another church just yet but she is open to learning. Hooray! and 2.) Me and Sister Tiller taught in unity! It was amazing, and it felt so good and so lead by the spirit. My companion and I have struggled to teach in unity because of the language thing and my lack of trust the my companion while explain clearly and simply what needs to be taught. And Sister Tiller, without directly addressing my problem, reminded me how to teach in unity and what it feels like. It means taking turns, sharing, using short, simple explanations and yielding to your companion. It means being brave and opening your mouth. Teaching with her awoke in me a desire to do better, to share teaching time more, and to have more faith in my companion. And when I was talking to Ssiter Tiller about it a while later, she gave me a great tip - let Sister Alvine start the lesson. Earth shattering, I know, but it's something I've never done the whole time we've been together. I'm sorry, president, I know that's really lame and selfish of me. I just love teaching and I've been a teaching hog, dang it, and I just realized it this past week. So then, yesterday, when we taught a potential investigator, beforehand I asked Sister Alvine if she would start the message, and she said she would, and guess what - it was the most spiritual, powerful, unified lesson that we've ever taught together. We simply and clearly taught the message of the Restoration, and we didn't have any cool object lesson or visual aid or anything, we just taught using our testimonies, the scriptures, and the Spirit. And it was awesome. We committed this girl to start reading the Book of Mormon, and the member neighbor family whose house we taught in we invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon again, and they said they would. The Spirit was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife, it was so amazing. I hope we get to teach this girl again. I know she felt something. And I know it's because I finally got out of the way and let the Spirit and my companion teach and testify."

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