Monday, August 29, 2011

Elder in Ecuador (Literally)

Family, I am here (in Ecuador). I made it safe and sound with all my things, almost. I just had to leave behind my shaving cream and shampoo and a deodorant, also that old backpack. Sorry. But Mami, I love, love that little sidebag you got me. It fits the Spanish scriptures perfectly, haha, I think it was made for them. Also my new companion just gave me a backpack type bag to have because he has something he likes better. His name is Elder AlveƱo from Guatemala, but more on that later.

My last week in the CCM was very incredible. Basically everything that had happened that wasn't very positive got cleared up and the Spirit was very strong during that last week. It was really kind of sad leaving everyone, even more sad when we finally got to Ecuador and separated. Guys I've been with since day one. But the plane ride was pretty cool. I had my blue LdM out and I heard a flight attendant make a comment about it to another flight attendant while 10 missionaries boarded. She sat right behind me and was chatting with the other attendant (a guy), so I got the guts and started talking to them. I asked her if she had read it or seen it. She said "yes, a little" and that it was the same stuff she believed and that she was Christian. This was all in Spanish by the way. She is from Quito, Ecuador. I explained what it was and let it be. I sat back down but I knew what I had done. She then asked me what was the difference was between what we believe in and what she does. Perfect, haha. I went on and did a 3 minute Restoration lesson right there on the plane. She was really interested and thanked me and said if I needed anything to just ask. I got extra cookies, haha. At the end I handed her my blue one out of the case with a folleto and told her she could know for herself (if the Book is true) and she said thank you!

We arrived well, met the APs and went to the temple. It's beautiful. We met our companions, dropped our stuff off in the temple hotel, and had dinner there. Then interviews with the president of the mission and a session that night. I really like President Montalti. He sends his regards. In our interview he said I look like a missionary so that made me happy. It was a long night and early morning with another temple session. It gave us all a strong spirit to go out into the field. I'll tell you more about President Montalti later but he is so funny and a family man, he has kids here going to school. He's from Venesula.

I found out I would be going to Amazonas 2 which is here in Guayaquil. I love it here. Driving to the area was cool. There are parts here that look exactly like the Hollwood/Burbank hills. So that felt almost like coming home, it was reallly nice. I honestly have to say that I am sooooo blessed I can't stop giving thanks. I have the best companion. He only has one transfer left so I "kill" my first companion, haha (Elder Alveno will go home after he leaves his companionship with Jacob). And I'm his first "son" (Jacob is the first missionary that Elder Alveno has trained). That's funny, huh? Our area is awesome, one of the safest :) I really feel honored to be here. Since Elder Alveno leaves in 5 weeks I will have to know the whole area and everyone and where they live by then. I love what the Lord will trust us with.

Things I wanted to share:
  • Ways scouting has helped: I know how to live on little water to do things like brush teeth, shave, wash dishes etc. We can't use the running water but it's so nice don't even worry.
  • My setting apart is very special to me. I have felt the gift of tongues and feel it every day. I swear I hear English sometimes, but I think it's to remind me that it is the gift of tongues. Everyone thinks I'm fluent at first. I'm really good at greetings, haha.
  • I cherish my last two shopping days with mom and dad, separately, each of you.
  • The Lord knows me personally, I know it.
  • I baptized someone this last Saturday!
Cool miracle happened last night. There's like a party going on all night, every night. The music outside our apartment was especially loud. In my prayer I felt like God was listening so strongly. It was so nice. So I asked that the music would get turned off so we could sleep. When I said "Amen." it got really silent for 5 seconds, then got loud again. I started laughing a little and went to sleep. Within 5 minutes the music outside our place went off!God hears us and knows us.

Love you all! Elder Johnson

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