Friday, April 1, 2016
Weeks 82, 83, 84, and 85 - March 6, 2016
(On February 11, 2016, Elder Johnson's brother was married in the Salt Lake Temple. This is his entire family now with his new sister-in-law, Kate.)
(However, since Elder Johnson wasn't able to attend, his family made a giant cut-out of him to be in some of the pictures!)
(Elder Johnson with his parents.)
(Elder Johnson's sister, Izzie, and his brothers, Tyler and Luke at Tyler's wedding.)
This week has been so good.
I think I have learned more about myself and my mission experience this last week than any other week on my mission. I feel that I have received much inspiration and guidance to thoughts and prayers throughout this week. I feel blessed and supported in all ways by so many amazing people.
This week I want to share two quick experiences:
The first happened about 2 weeks ago.
We had just finished eating lunch and were out on the street talking to people and we had about an hour and a half before our next appointment.
We wanted to try to set another appointment up before the other one but couldn't find anyone to meet. We had been out on the street talking to people and met a few good people but no one that would listen to our message right then, (which is usually the case.) My companion and I were standing at the bus stop with many people surrounding (even the Jehovah Witness missionaries) hah! and many other people telling about their church. We decided to sit down on the bench real quick and offer a pray to ask the Lord where it was that we needed to go. We decided to leave the area we were at and walk to an area we weren't very familiar with. As we went to this area, there was nothing there. We came back into the area we were in before (with lots of people), but this time we came back a different way. (It was like we made a big circle.) We came in the back way and started talking to a guy that was working parking lot duty who had seen missionaries before. As we were talking to this guy, I looked right and saw someone pass that I thought I had seen before. I had the feeling we needed to quickly leave and follow him. We hurried and ended a conversation with this other man and I looked at my comp and told him I saw someone pass that I felt we needed to talk to. As we hurried down the street, about 300 ft down we were now walking next to this kid that passed us. We said Hello and we quickly realized that we had met last week outside of the subway station, and he asked us if we had time to meet right then! He didn't have any plans and was just walking around, so he asked if he could learn a little bit about our church. It was great! We were able to meet with him for about 45 minutes until our next appointment and teach him about the messages we are sharing. It was a great experience. We gave him a soft baptismal invitation and he told us he wanted to learn more.
I don't have much time but the second experience was similar to the first. My companion and I were exhausted because we had a lot of appointments through out the day. It was about 7:45 pm and we had about an hour and 15 minutes until we had to return. We decided to pray and ask the Lord to lead us. After many thoughts and many suggestions, we just decided to move! We went to a place we had gone to before but the person there rejected us, (but the timing on this experience was just perfect! That guy rejected us for the perfect amount of timing). As we kept walking down the street, we came to a 4-way road. (This road was leading to a bigger road.) Anyway, right when we got to the middle of the end of the road that was connected with the 4-way intersection, we crossed paths with a man who was smoking a cigarette. We said hello to him and started talking... He started listening... He told us that we needed to go to his house to talk about this. We immediately went to his house and he told us on the way that his father had passed a way a while back and he has been thinking about how he can see him again. He had a lot of great questions and we were able to teach him. He is now an investigator and is a super great man! He is from China but grew up speaking Korean. He is 28, lives alone, and is working here! He is a great guy.
I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I know and am sure that, that man from China we met was one of the only ones who would have met us on the street that night and taken us straight to his house to hear our message. I know the Lord leads us to him and is leading us through the Holy Spirit every day.
We set two baptismal dates for March 20th. They were huge miracles! And we invited one more of our investigators to be baptized. He accepted, but hasn't accepted the date yet. One of the investigators with a baptismal date is the other Chinese guy that I have talked about a few times.. We have been meeting for a long time and the other is the kid I sent a picture home with last week that came to church.
All is well and the Lord is pouring blessings down.
Have a great week. Be safe. LOVE YOU.
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson