Monday, July 25, 2016

I Hit the Year Mark!

Pretty good week. I got my new visa so I won't be shipped out! So that's good.

Tuesday was an average day. We walked around and found a couple people who accepted us and we had a lesson or two. Nothing to fantastic.

Wednesday was a long day of traveling. Around 4pm we headed out to go to Chalco because the next day I would be going the big city of Mexico to renew my visa so I wouldn't be one of Mexico’s most wanted! We got there at 7:30ish and went on splits with the assistants. We spent the night at their house, bought some tacos and hunkered down for the night!!

Thursday, I was up, out, and at the mission office at 8:00. The coolest part was that I was with my man Elder Searle!!! We pretty much took Mexico City by storm!!! They were all like, "whoa. Those 2 white guys are speaking Spanish." And we were all like, "yeah, we're 2 white guys speaking Spanish."  We gave the lady behind the counter our info and finger prints, signed a couple papers and walked out of there with nothing but swag! After which we had the chance to swing by Costco. Side note: A wise person once said, “They got a heck of a  dog at 'Costco'." So, what'd we do? We head on over to hork down a big Costco pizza. Waiting for it to cook, we went around checking out the stores. Then, there it was. The most beautiful Def Leppard shirt I have ever seen in my life!!! So naturally, I ask the man behind the counter, "How much is that Def Leppard shirt in the window?" As he told me the price, I fought to hold back tears seeing that I was $50 pesos short. And as Cutting Crew once said, "oh! I just died in your arms tonight... I should have walked away." Well, I did walk away. Every step hurt. And now I know some of you are probably thinking, "this nut job! It’s just a shirt." Well, to that I have no comment. I guess it's just true love. Leaving to go back to Chalco, I grabbed a box of Costco cookies to numb the pain and off we went.

Friday!! Can you say, "one year mark!!!" We woke up at 5am to leave for Cuautla and arrived at 8ish. A little later we get a call from a  ->Joven<- that he had an idea and needed our help. So we went over and when we got there, he WHIPS out a poster with my face on it and says, "I think we can get a lot of investigadores with this idea". I told him, "listen! You got my face on a poster! I’m ready to help with whatever!!!" (His Instagram name is hyrum_adame and he's got the poster up there if you want to see it) His idea is to make a documentary of missionaries and what we do!! So he's been following us around taking videos! Next week I'll have the link to share if want to check the video out!!!

Saturday was a good day until we contacted the churro guy... We've bought churros from this fella before, but this was the first time we contacted him. He was drunk and began to tell us his problems when BAM! He flips the subject to how the white man demands money... He was pointing his finger in my face most of the time he talked. I tried not to, but I finally snapped and went off on him letting him know, in a raised voice, if he didn't get his finger out of my face and quit talking trash, that I was going to hurt him. He shut up and calmed down and started talking about church. (I’m still amped at this point) But he went off again and said that if we had the truth that we would cast out the demon he had inside him. We let him know we do have the truth, but that he didn't truly have a demon inside him. Off he went again saying how he didn't believe us and how we couldn't take his demon away and... I lost it again. I just gave him a pretty good idea of where he'd be going after this life if he didn’t change and told him that the only demon inside him was alcohol and to have a good life and finished by saying, "Good day, Sir!!!" As we headed home my comp tells me, "Well, you handled that pretty well, haha". Maybe it wasn't the best missionary approach to things, but I didn't care at that point.

Overall a good week. Spanish documentary, fights with drunks, all good things!!! As Always
Stay Classy,

Elder Johns

The Documentary Poster

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Thought It Was a Joke...

Well, I'm sure some of you have been scared until you sweat. Others frightened until you vomited. But this is the first week I've been shocked to the point where I forgot what happened the day before... The "event" happened on Wednesday. I didn't remember Tuesday... So I had my comp tell me what happened. But we'll get to that in just a second.

Tuesday was great! We headed on over to a new part of the area called 10 de Abril to check 'er out. We looked for a family that had been listening to the missionaries before to see if they were still interested in listening. We finally got there and the wife told us one second so she could go ask her husband when we could pass by. As she left I peeked inside the door and saw that our area rumors were true!! There in front of me, behind their cage glass, were 3 pythons. Aka, big FLIPPING snakes!!! 2 of them were smaller, but one was a 10 footer!!! Naturally, when she got back we asked to hold one. She took a small one out and, without letting us know it had just urinated all over itself, let us mess around with it. Needless to say, the rest of the day we smelt like snake pee. #totallyworthit Later, Maria, one of our investigadores had her baptism interview and nailed it! I'm going to add a side note about Maria. She has a lot of problems with her husband and kids and her new born baby has health problems. And as we sat with her in her house one day, she got a call and burst into tears that she had been holding back, telling her friend on the other line everything she was going through. And in one part of the call, through her very many tears, asked her friend if she had read the Book of Mormon Maria had given to her. And as she received the answer, she began testifying with power about this church. She's not even a member yet!!! If you could send a prayer her way, I'm sure she would appreciate it. And after seeing that, I now realize that there is NEVER a reason not to share this gospel. I invite you all to find someone, even if it's the last person you think of, that you can share the gospel with THIS week!!! Everyone deserves this happiness.
But wait there's more!! The last lesson of the night we had with a sister who introduced us to another family who was interested in our message. Now, we are very grateful that this sister showed us this family. But, the whole lesson, she tried teaching for us, or talking over us, completely ruining everything. I would’ve liked to rip her windpipe out... But, by some beautiful miracle of mercy, they accepted everything!!! Even baptism!!! Woot woot!!! Amazing day!

Wednesday is when things got a little nutty. So there we were studying in the morning, as one does in the mish. And my comp gets a phone call. It's the president. Now, when you get a call from the president, that conversation could go anywhere. You always got to be on your toes. So the conversation began.
Presidente: Hey Elders, how are you?
Elder Varela: Good President. What can we do for you?
President: Elder, how's your companion?
Elder Varela: (looks at me) He's uh... He’s fine, why?
President: It's because his... Well, actually can I talk to him?
Elder Johns: Hey President! What's up?
President: Elder, your uncle is here.
Elder Johns: ...uh... my uncle is here...?
President: yeah. He's in Mexico for work and wanted to see you and I told him he could. So he'll call you later, ok?
Elder Johns: my uncle is here...?
President: Ok, sounds good. We'll talk to you later Elder!
So, as you guessed, I was on edge the rest of the day waiting for this call. It finally came around 6:30ish. And it was true! My uncle Shane was on the other line talking with me!!! After I got my grip, we got everything planned out for the next day. Crazy!!! So crazy in fact that I forgot what happened the day before... No worries, my comp reminded me.

Thursday was awesome! Around 10am my comp and I went over to a place in the center of Cuautla called SeƱor del Pueblo to meet my uncle. At 10:30ish we finally met up there and I got to tell you, it was so weird seeing a family member in the mission. But so awesome at the same time!!! Because, other than pictures, someone was able to see a little bit of Cuautla!! So we cruized around the center looking at the shops and such. After which, we went to grab my favorite food here in Mexico called a Doblada. Then later, we went on over to see Sarah and Hassan!! They're still strong in the church and the older son is listening to the missionaries! Both him and Hassan are thinking about serving a mission!!!  At 3 o'clock my uncle had to leave and we had to go eat with a member. But that was an experience that not too many missionaries get, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have had it! Our last lesson was with the family we met on Tuesday with the lovely sister who took us to them. They are the Reyes Cruz family and accepted a baptism date for the 20th of August!!! Send a prayer their way por favor!

Friday was a pretty normal day. We spent most of the day wandering around. Later in the day we had one or two lessons, but nothing too spectacular.

Saturday, we got face to face with the Devil over our baptism. So close in fact that I could smell his bad breath. First, the alarm didn't go off so we woke up late. Then we started calling our mission leader to have him fill up the baptism font for Maria's baptism. He didn't answer... He's a chump. So we head on over to the house of the man who's in charge of the ward (seeing as we don't have a bishop) to get his keys so we can fill the font. He's not home and "who knows when he'll be back" his wife told us. We headed back to the house to make some calls and get our minds straight. My comps phone dies... And I ran out of minutes... So we decide to put my comps chip in my phone so we can still make calls. My phone didn't accept his chip, and as I put my chip back in, it no longer recognizes my chip... Oh yeah, and no one answered the calls we were able to make. After that we went back over to the guy’s house to see if he returned and we could use his keys. He wasn’t there, but his son was and he has a stake calling and was able to tell us that our building wouldn't have water for a baptism until Monday... It's 12:00 at this time and the baptism is at 6:00. Using his phone, we call other elders close to us to see if we can use their font. They said yes but not until 7:00 because they have a baptism too. Great! We'll deal with it!!! So, we go make a baptism program and then off to eat! We finished eating and as we left my comp casually said, "Hey you ate a cockroach leg. I didn't want to tell you until we finished so you could eat in peace"... I didn't care. I was already ticked and just didn't care. From this point on until the baptism however, things went smooth-ish. We got to the church and it was so awesome getting to see Maria baptized. I had the opportunity to baptize her, which was a true blessing!

We started home around 9:00 when a drunk nut job stopped us and asked how he could become an English teacher... We got that taken care of and just when we thought nothing else bad would happen, BAM!!! The rain of Noah’s ark came down upon us!!! Long story short, we got home at 9:30 soaked from head to toe... I dried off and went to bed an unhappy camper.

Overall it was a good week! Ups and downs, and I'm sure there's an 80s song that talks about that. I just can't think of one right now! As Always

Stay Classy,

Elder Johns

Monday, July 11, 2016

What happens in Jonacatapec...

Tuesday was a long day. We had interviews with the president from 10 ‘til 4 with half of the zone. Afterwards, president took us to get tacos! ChaChing! We got back in our area with enough time to contact a little and then back to the house.

Wednesday was almost the same. 10 ‘til 3 we had interviews and then headed back to the area!! At around 7ish we had a good lesson with Gabby! (she's an investigator if I haven't mentioned her before).

Thursday was a pretty fun day! We headed on over to one of the areas in the zone called Jonacatapec to do special divisions because the Elders had double lessons. So we split up and off we went to the first lesson they had. It started off good, but half way through I realized that the lady was NUTS!!! She just wanted to hash out the neighbor's life, and how she loves God, and that I was white. She even asked if I had any American dollars on me that I'd be willing to give away... I said, listen lady, I've been in Mexico for almost a year, alright! Why on earth would I be huffing around cash money from America in the middle of Mexico here in the town of Jonacatapec...? So that was a little "loco” as one would say here. And as we got up to leave, she called her children out yelling, "Hey kids! Come get a picture with the white guy!!" So after the photo shoot, we finished the day and had to spend the night there. Now when you get 4 elders in one house, it's all over but the shouting. I'll leave it at we got to bed at 1:00am #rebels

Friday morning, 5:00 o'clock. We were up and moving! Getting’ er done! Barely able to keep our eyes open...but ready none the less for a meeting that we had in Ameca. The trip there, then the meeting, then the trip back took all day! So another day of not much.

Saturday was a pretty good day. We had several lessons and the last one was with the Blanco Garcia family! It went great!!! But when we finished, it was bitter sweet. They told us that they didn’t think they’d be able to go to church. BUT, they said, "you guys can haul our kids over there if you want." BOOYAH!!! It starts with the kids then it’s all over for the parents. There’s no getting out now!! *evil laugh* not a lot because of all the meetings, but not a bad week! As Always!

Stay Classy,

Elder Johns