Monday, July 19, 2010

7/12 & 7/19


Hey fam! How's it goin? Well..i hope y'all like to read because this letter is gonna be pretty long! haha..but it's worth reading, i promise! =) God has blessed us a lot this week!
So do y'all remember Shirley? The extremely nice lady that we baptized last week? Well she also lives in her trailer with her daughter Yvonne, and Yvonne's 3 children. Yvonne and the kids have had a really tough life. She used to be married and had a job working for Doctor Bloomfield, (who..turns actually a very active member in our ward!) But as time passed, her husband got worse and worse. He would come home drunk and would abuse the family, and it got pretty bad, so Yvonne and her family were forced to move out and start living with Shirley, however, because of the father, it caused a lot of pain in that family and a lot of sorrow. The kids were never the same, especially the oldest named Josh. He built up a lot of anger and would lock himself up in his room, yell at everyone including his grandma and mother, and completely lost his faith in God. Things for this family only got worse as last October, Yvonne got in a major car accident and suffered some horrible injuries as a result. The most devestating injury was the damage done to the nerves in her head, and she now suffers from memory loss. Because of her brain injury, she had to be let go as a nurse, so she lost her job. Slowly this family was falling apart, understandably because of the trials they were facing. When i first met Yvonne, it was in the hospital because she still suffers from neck pains from the accident. Shirley had asked us to go to the hospital to give her a blessing, and even then, Yvonne's faith in God was weak. The next Monday, we had a lesson with Shirley, and because of how greatful Yvonne was, she came in and listened to us! She seemed to really enjoy the lesson because she accepted a return appointment for us to come back and teach her! The next time we came back to teach her, she expressed to us her concerns about life and trials and was really depressed from them. At the end of the lesson, she requested another blessing, and so while we blessed her, Heavenly Father promised that if she would keep the commitments that we give her and come to church, than she would be the example for her children and that her children would receive the gospel as well. Knowing the condition of her children, especially her oldest, Josh, who is 16..this seemed like it would take a miracle. Everytime we would be over there, Josh would be locked up in his room and would never come out, and never really wanted to talk to anyone. Well the next day, Yvonne had to go to court to face some things that she had been charged of from her accident back in October. While there, Yvonne had a tremendous experience that boosted her faith in God! She said right before the hearing, she had prayed that God would help her through this trial. Then at the end of the trial, all of the charges were dropped and she was free to go! =) She then accepted a baptismal date for the 24th! Well, that Saturday was Shirley's baptism, and Yvonne ended up coming to that, and then to church the next day! Then we went back on Tuesday to teach her and a miracle happened! We were able to invite Britney, her 12 year old daughter, to listen to the message! At the end of the message, she told us that she really really liked the story of Joseph Smith and that she felt really good while we shared that message with her! She then accepted the 24th as a baptismal date, to be baptized with her mom! =) Well..then on Friday, Shirley called us up and asked us to come over because Yvonne just found out that her friend had died. So we rushed over there and tried our best to comfort her in anyway that we could, but i feel that the most comfort came from the Holy Ghost as we shared true doctrine with her. Her countenance took a dramatic change from the beginning of that lesson, to the end of that lesson, and i feel that she has grown closer to God most from that lesson, out of any of the other ones! Then on Saturday, we came over for our appointment with Yvonne and Britney and taught them both the plan of salvation, which went really, really well! However, we had promised them some pictures from Shirley's baptism, but we forgot them at home, so we told them that we would bring them over later on that day. So later on in the afternoon, we swing by to drop them off, and while we were sitting down, out of nowhere, Yvonne's son Jake comes in and sits down and starts talking to us. (Jake is 14) We were able to teach him with Shirley and Britney there, then towards the end of the lesson, Yvonne comes in after waking up from her nap and is really excited to see Jake listening to us! Jake, too, felt really good as we explained the message and said that he beleived it all! We were able to set a date with him as well, to be baptized with both his sister Britney, and his mom, Yvonne. When Jake accepted that date, Shirley began to cry and was so happy to see her family coming together again! She said that "now there's only one more..Josh is a great kid, but i really worry about him. He's got so much anger built up and he said he didn't want to listen to y'all, but i just know he'll come around." About 30 seconds later, Josh walks out of that room and sits down on the couch next to his mom and his brother, and tells us that he's been listening to us. In fact, everytime we came over, he turned off the TV in his room so that he could hear us, and he really liked what we said. He expressed to us that he was tired of being angry all the time. He really didn't want to yell at his mom. He recognized that he was angry with his Dad, and that he had just been taking his anger out on his mom because that was the only way he could take it out, but he's ready to let go. He then told us, with a big smile on his face, that he wanted to be baptized with his brother and his family on the 24th. =) After we shared the message of the restoration with him, we invited him to pray. He said that he didn't know how to pray, so we taught him and he was willing to do it. I don't think i have ever felt a more sincere prayer in my life. It brought almost everysingle one of us in that room to tears, including Josh. Then i looked over at Shirley, and she looked happier than she did at her own baptism! With tears in her eyes, she expressed how happy she was that her family had all come together like this! She never thought it would be possible! The Spirit was so strong in that room. The next day, all of them came to church and really enjoyed it! i'm looking forward to the best Pioneer day ever! =) I am truly grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. I know the Lord fulfills all of His promises and i know that miracles DO happen! I am humbled by the opporotunity that i had to be a part of this great miracle! Well..we are also having a baptism this Saturday with Tim Libby. Tim is 19 years old and he's the son of a recent convert in our ward. Missionaries have worked with him for a long time, and now he's decided that he wants to get baptized, so we're pretty excited for it!
Well..i'm truly grateful for the love and support that y'all send me! =) I love/miss y'all and hope y'all are doin well!
Elder Johnson


Hey everyone! This week went pretty well. We had a few dissappointments, a few missed appointments, but a few miracles as well, so it works out alright i guess! Morehead City is great! Tim's baptism went really well and it was very exciting to be there and feel the Spirit! His mother is a recent convert, and she was very excited to watch Tim get baptized! I'm also really excited for the baptisms this Saturday! However, we went over for our lesson on Friday and they 14 year old boy expressed to us that he did not want to get baptized yet, because he felt like he wasn't ready and that he would be getting baptized for the wrong reasons, so that broke my heart pretty bad..but, if God be willing, Yvonne, Brittany, and Josh will still be getting baptized this Saturday right before Pioneer we're very excited about that! Hopefully we'll be able to work with Jake more, and i know that as he continues to feel the Spirit and watch the change that takes place in his family, he'll have a desire again to be baptized! Brittany also brought 2 of her cousins to church yesterday, and they seemed to really enjoy it! So we're way excited for that as well!
We had the chance to go down to an old Civil War fort this past P-Day and take some pretty cool was so much fun! There is a lot of rich history here in North Carolina and it's really fun to learn about it all!
Last night, we were able to attend a really great fireside! There was a missionary that served in this ward about 12 years ago, named Elder Johnson! (his initials are JJJ, as well which is really cool!) Well he's at the head of an organization called the "More Good Foundation" and pretty much all he does is try to drown out all of the anti websites out there with postives concerning the church! Well he came and spoke to the members of the ward here and talk all about sharing the gospel by using the internet! He used the scriptures that talk about how in the last days, the gospel shall be "taught from the rooftops", then he pointed out that we've got satelite dishes on top of our roofs that can bring us General Conference, as well as internet access! This organization has been able to do a lot of good! Look at YouTube..4 years ago, when you typed in "mormon", 80% of the results were anti. Now when you perform the same search, almost 90% is positive!! pretty cool! but yeah..y'all should check out the organization's website and learn a little bit more about it..i think its like or something like that..but yeah..i'm sure y'all can find it!
Well..all is going well here! I love/miss y'all! Take care!
Elder Johnson

1. Tim's Baptism
2. Fort Macon
3. Overview of Fort Macon4. Texas will rise again!
5. Cannon w/Battle ship in the background
6. More of Fort Macon

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