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 :)​

Fotitos‏

 
                                   Elder Conway and I chowing down on Shwarma
 

25 de mayo locro ward party
Food:
 
 
                                     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!‏



video
                                                       love you bro :) Happy birthday

 

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

vids

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

Treating ourselves muyyyy bien :)

We went to the nicest restaurant in Formosa today and ate Crocadile stuffed with Mushrooms. We realized that we had never gone to a NICE restaurant in our whole missions. So we picked the nicest place. So worth it :)

 
 
some of the pension for you momma.

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

FORMOSA HERMOSA

What a great week.
 
I feel like I told you all everything yesterday in the Skype call. THE LAST SKYPE CALL. I cant believe it! It makes me sad to think that my mission only will last a few more short months-- September is going to roll around so quickly. I honestly think that, if the opportunity were to be extended to me, I would accept another year in the mission in a heartbeat. I love it here. I love the changes that are made in the lives of the people.
 
We received permission to play a card/board game called muchkins. So last pday we just played that. It was exciting, and a relaxing change to normal pdays.

We are still working with the Urbina family. We always have our lessons at 9 at night because of Gaston`s work hours, so we always end up having to have short, brief lessons and having to run from one end of our area to the other to arrive to the apartment so that we may enter the pension before the last bell at 10pm. So we always forget to take pictures with them. They are just a golden family. Despite all of the rain, mud, and more mud that just happens to occur Saturday nights, they haven`t missed a day of church in the last month, even though we have been having stake conferenes every other week. Even with the stake building located far away from their home, they faithfully arrive.

Gaston Urbina is doing incredibly with overcoming his cigs addiction. Just as Juan Portillo did, he has been able to overcome his problem with the Book of Mormon. Just a pure and true book! He would frequently take smoking breaks at work before, but he replaced this habit with reading the Book of Mormon. It just amazing the changes that can happen to people in such a short amount of time through the atonement and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this work is the work of the Lord. I know that people from both sides of such a thin veil work in this labor. Miracles still occur on a regular basis. Gaston and his family will be baptized this Saturday. We are just so enthused for their progress.

I loved consejo de lideres on Thursday. I really loved that of edifying and establishing the church here in Formosa. Stake conference was incredible as well. In the adult session, the focus was missionary work. We all just felt too content as Elder Sergio L. Krasnoselsky from the 70 spoke about the importance of the members working shoulder to shoulder with us and ensuring that we are teaching-- NOT finding. I love the members here. Almost all of them are converts to the church, so they have blazing testimonies that THIS is what everyone needs, and that which we need to share with others.

Love you all!

-Elder Tyler Johnson
 
 
​                   President Franco and I just showed up with the same hair cut to leadership counsel

                             Elder Conway and I going out to find some gas to cook.​