Monday, July 20, 2015

Week for Growing

This was a week for growing. Sometimes those are the hardest, but the best and most memorable weeks in the mission though. I have always felt a little bad when I have felt the lacking feeling, or the need to improve so much. But this morning I was studying in PME chapter 6 a little bit about WHY we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ. I loved 3 Nefi 12:48. He asks us that we be PERFECT. Its a pretty big order, but it comes so lovingly, and Christ has fought our battle so that we might acheive this victory through the atonement! This morning, I also studied in Juan 13:1-16 when Jesus washes the feet of the 12 apostles. What a beautiful account of our Savior. He shows that humility, love and service aren´t signs of weakness, nor are they losses of power. He shows that we must be like him and do that which we have seen him do. Growing weeks aren´t that bad :)
We had interviews this week. I love President Franco.
This week was interesting. Elder Conway was sick for a good 24 hours, we spend a day in Resistencia for my medical exams, so we lost a day doing that as well. We spent 3 mornings getting the food ready for the interviews of the Ibarreta, Corinda, Formosa II and Formosa I zones, and we are still working on closing down the other apartments that are unocupied by missionaries, so it has been a busy week.
Yesterday we organized some divisions to go visit our investigators and some inactive Elders of the church. I went out with Hermano Saul Roa, the president of the Elders quorum and Sandro, a member that came back to church yesterday for the first time in 4 years. Elder Conway went out with Gaston Urbina, our convert. On my side, we visited a new family we have been teaching this week, the Dasso family. They are just great. We started teaching them with the Flores family-- a family of teenage members and their mom who would LOVE to be baptized, but, because of the dad of the kids, who she lives with and doesnt want anything to do with the missionaries nor marriage, she can´t. That´s kind of frequent here. We are trying to reactivate Luis, the 17 year old of the Flores family while we teach their friends, the Dasso family with the support of the Flores family. Yesterday, when we passed by, between the two families, we were teaching more than a dozen people, including a new friend from the Flores family! There is NOTHING better than that! This is how the work of the Lord should be. Bringing people back to the fold. Helping people come unto Christ for the first time. And helping people repent, and come unto Christ through baptism.
This work is great. This is my last week before I start my last transfer in the mission! Boy has time flown.
-Elder Tyler Johnson
We ordered Lomo Pizza while we were on divisions with the assistants and while Elder Ortega was visiting Formosa before he went home for his knee problem... Well. The Lomo pizza got there SUPER late (two hours and 10 minutes... and they still charged us full price and an overly expensive delivery) they dont have the pizza hut 30 minute guarantee here), and, to be obedient, we needed to already be in bed sleeping by the time the pizza arrived!​ So, I slept in the hammock above one of the mattresses below me again, and we had to eat pizza in bed to follow the rules. Ohhhh the mission :)

                 Elder Conway and I heading to Resistencia for some med exams for me.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Into the double digits of days remaining...


In attempt of helping the zone so that everyone could feel more excitement for the work, more urgency in helping people come unto Christ, and have more success as they develop more and more diligence, we carried out divisions 3 times this week. It was SO exhausting, but the Lord´s hand was definitely so evident in the divisions that Elder Conway and I carried out-- especially in that of giving us strength to just GO AND DO. It was great to learn from the other missionaries, and to try to help the missionaries so that they might just have SUCCESS. We are in such a special place of the world at such a special time. The work is amazing. I love it.

We have been working with a couple less active families-- The Garcete fajmily who is mostly all active besides the dad and the older son of 18 years (Juan). Also, we started working with Pablo Galarza. He is just great. A recent convert of two years who is just wanting to change his life back to how it should be and used to be when he was baptized. Juan hasnt come to church for a while because he has a hearing impediment, and that has made him reluctant to arrive. They both attended church yesterday, and it was just great to see the progress that they are making. 

Alexia, Yesica Ubinas sister,  will be getting baptized this upcoming weekend. WOW. She has made some CHANGES in her life.  I think it is a little tough for her to be accepted amongst church members-- but she is doing great and has completely changed her life. Change is SO ACHIEVABLE through the atonement of Christ.

The sun is finally out! I washed some clothes last week and it took 4 days for them to dry because of the humidity. But now that the sun is out and its weather for sweaters, we will be having a great week.

Today we are having zone pday. Big balloons filled with water volleyball with towels, normal volleyball and ASADO! It will be a good day.

Oh, we are also in a trio now. Elder Walker, who was the assistant training two others in the office, came out here to be companions with us for the last two weeks of his mission! So our tiny pension just got SMALLER! But we will have a great time together.

Love you all!
-Elder Tyler Johnson

​A crazy start/ending division meeting... It was just CONVENIENT that we met up in Grido for a little bit of ice cream :) 

The Urbina family-- they made us hot chocolate. Alexia (the blonde girl). Will be baptized this upcoming Saturday!
Some CARNE for the zone asado today :)

                                           A little bit of Formosa la Hermosa
                                            some more of formosa la hermosa

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I hit the big 20 month mark yesterday...‏

Una semana fachera

The week started out a little hectic. In the beginning of the week we had 6 missionaries living in our tiny little apartment that is barely big enough for Elder Conway and I. There was a sister missionary that was ill that had to come down to formosa capital to go to urgent care. So between that all happening in the middle of the night as well as missionaries from our zone heading to Corrientes to do legalization paperwork at 5 in the morning, I felt that I was on the phone more than sleeping.
Elder Gregorio Vasco and I (we were on divisions) entered into Urgent Care to offer a blessing of health to the sister missionary. I have never seen anyone so happy to see missionaries. She just has a solid testimony of the priesthood.
The assistants came to carry out divisions with us as well. We werent able to carry them out just because we had to attend to the sister missionary and set up everything for the Multizone conference that we would be realizing the next day.
Thursday was amazing. Elder Conway and I decided to go a different route in the Multizone conference. Instead of Pizza and empanadas and an alfajor for a dessert, we bought shwarmas and ice cream :) Everyone was happy. I loved being instructed about being a fully dedicated missionary. I feel that I can never learn too much about those principles. One thing I realized while sitting in the conference was how much I LOVE the mission and this work. It might be crazy as a 21 year old kid, but I just LOVE doing this! I especially realized it while I watched the mission video of all the baptisms and just fun things. Those baptism pictures are just sacred moments for the missionaries and the converts that they will remember for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES! There is nothing more beautiful than that! I hit 20 months yesterday... I dont feel ready or willing to go home in a little more than 3 months... This is such a wonderful work.

Sunday was great. There was a lot of rain and mud, so there werent many members that could arrive to church. The Urbina family didnt arrive as well. I had no clue why! I was honestly so sad in the beginning of the meeting. As the sacrament proceeded, I started praying and just asked that they could arrive, even if hey arrive late. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, they did. I love that family, and I just know that Heavenly Father honors our sincere requests.

Oh! So two Fridays ago I finished the Book of Mormon again in Spanish. I read it just focusing on humility. I feel that I lack so much, but I was able to learn a great deal. That book is so true, and I just feel God´s love so plainly through the teachings in it.

Alexia Morel, the sister of Yesica, is progressing amazingly towards baptism. She stopped going to night clubs, drinking and smoking all by herself. We are so proud of her.

I love this work!
-Elder Tyler Johnson

All of the Elders from the Ibarreta zona buzzed their heads right after their mothers day skype after seeing my hair... Oops.

The Garcete Family-- we are working on reactivating the father and son. The mom made us Pasta Frola and Hot Chocolate after the noche de hogar :)​


                                   Elder Conway and I chowing down on Shwarma

25 de mayo locro ward party
                                     We found out that frying is actually not hard!

                                   The king kong burger-- a famous formosa classic

Monday, May 18, 2015

Milagros-- suficiente dicho :)‏

This week has truly been incredible. I honestly dont know how it could have been better! We had lessons almost every night with the Urbina family to prepare them and help them stay strong for their baptism this last Saturday. They were to be baptized the 9th, but they asked for one more week so that they could be sure about the fact that they had fully overcome cigarrettes. They were stellar the whole week. It was amazing to see the progress in their lives.

Tuesday we taught Tamara Ramos—her husband wasnt too interested, so we will be seeing how that all Works out. But about ten years ago, she was about to be baptized. The missionaries were changed, and the missionaries that replaced them didnt comply with that which she thought a missionary should do or how he should act. So she distanced herself from the church. She stopped the other Elders on the street and asked them that missionaries passed by again. We are hoping to see progress in that family.

Miercoles we headed out to Laishi and San Antonio for to help the group out there and to look for investigators. We havent seen too much success in the growth of the church out there yet—but we sure have seen, Little by Little, the faith of the members build and their personal testimonies increase. We will be praying to know what is it that the Lord wants us to do about the colony. I love working with the members and the investigators out there. The culture is so incredibly different from that which we practice, but they have a pure faith in God and a love for everyone that is just undeniable.

Thursday we carried out divisions so that Elder Rhys Anakin Enright could carry out the baptismal interview with the Urbina family. Geez, they are so great. Elder Tracy and I headed out to his area and fought with the mud. Elder Tracy has just the purest intentions and I see so much potential in him as a missionary and servant of the Lord. I love new missionaries—sometimes I forget that I have been out here so long. We focused on diligence and the importance of using time diligently, putting all the effort you can in the work and especially enjoying your time on the misión.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday it rained. Friday night we had one last lesson in the church with Gaston only because his wife had to stay home with the children because of the rain. It was short and sweet—basically to excite him a Little more and to hand him the new baptismal clothing. He was just so enthused. I dont ALWAYS feel that I am doing EXACTLY what the Lord is wanting me to do—usually I am praying and just trustig that the soft promptings of the Spirit will guide us; there are very few times in my life in which I have felt that I was EXACTLY where I was needed to be. But in that moment, with my companion and Gaston, for whom we have prayed day and night constantly, I felt close to heaven, and I KNEW that the Lord was pleased with the changes happening in the life of Gaston. This is such a great work.

Saturday rolled around and we spent all day getting things ready for the baptism service. It was to start at 8:30 pm because of the work Schedule of Gaston. After a Little bit of stress caused by not being able to open the baptismal Font, not being able to turn on the wáter heater, and a few other things, just as we hoped it wouldnt, it started raining. Now the cultura here, which is totally understandable with all of the muddy roads and use of motorcycles, is that when rain starts, events are cancelled, stores are closed, and the world shuts down. We didnt want all of the members and investigators to think that the service had been cancelled, especially after the countless hours we had dedicated by inviting literally EVERYONE we knew to the service, including people we DIDNT know that we had in the contacts of our cell phone. After a short prayer, we headed to the service after grabbing some last things from the pension.

When we arrived, the people didnt stop entering the church! It was amazing!!!! Gaston had invited ALL of his family, and after the service, we were able to give out all the Books of Mormon and folletos that we had brought to his family members. There were about 15 new investigators there, the investigators of the sister missionaries, and they had all felt the Spirit so strongly! It was just amazing. The members were so excited—they had all brought cakes and drinks to share, and the family felt so welcomed into the Ward. Despite the rain, and all the trials that had passed to the Urbina family throughout the week, by the hand of the Lord, the family was able to have a wonderful service. I think the best baptismal service I have been to in my life!
As Elder Conway and I walked home in the rain together, full of joy, we conversed and asked ourselves, `how on the world did we do that?!´. Well, we didnt. We didnt convert the Urbina family-- The Spirit did. We didnt find them-- We were guided. We didnt make all of those investigators show up to the service—it was by the testimonies gained by the Urbina family. We didnt prepare the family—the Lord did. I remember back in the last transfer when Elder Conway and I started praying to find a family of 5 to teach that would be prepared. We received that for which we asked. A father and mother that were previously married. Two Little children. And Yesica`s sister Alexia who is preparing to be baptized on the 6th of June. This is the work of MIRACLES.

The temple dedication of Cordoba was amazing. Our Bishop tried to le tus in without showing our temple recommendations, but I si o si whipped it out to show it to him. I wanted tos ay that I used my temple recommend at least ONCE in the misión! I just thought of the sacrifices of thousands of missionaries, local church leaders, general authorities, and humble Argentines that were put into play over the last many decades so that this holy edifice could be constructed. I love temples.
I love this work!

-Elder Tyler Johnson
​The baptism of Gaston Urbina, Yesica Pelozo and Emiliano Urbina. Just a wonderful family.​

For Michael!‏

                                                       love you bro :) Happy birthday


Thanks for all the letters and ties mom and family!
                                   The terminal crew hanging out on the costanera


                                                          Cake bosses
                                             Baptismal font cleaner champs
            Starting off comp study with the Pday spirit (In english, and christmas music)