Elder Brad Johnson is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the ALASKA ANCHORAGE MISSION. This blog will include many of the e-mails Elder Johnson sends to his family each week. It will extend from October 6, 2010 to October, 2012.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Elder Johnson's E-mail - March 7, 2011

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the funny letter. The screen door stories were funny.*
Speaking of baptisms: we do have a baptism--two actually--this weekend. Lisa Lehrman-Bon and Michael, the son are getting baptized. It was funny how it worked out.  Two weeks ago, I extended an invitation for Lisa to be baptized--we call it a conditional baptismal invitation: "Lisa, as you come to know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, will you be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?"
It's a reasonable question, so most answer in the affirmative, as did Lisa at that time. Then after she said yes so willingly, I thought it appropriate to extend a specific date. I said: "Lisa, we will be holding a baptismal service on March 12, will you prepare yourself for baptism on that date?"
She said no, no I'm not ready for a specific date. Sorry, she said, don't mean to shut you down, but I don't like dates.
Usually, we would then pry a little and try to find her concern--why she feels she's not ready to accept a specific date--and then resolve it. But I felt prompted to not do that. So I just said, "Okay, no problem. This is a big decision; baptism is a serious step of faith, and we want you to feel comfortable--we want to go at your own pace." And then we left it at that.
The next week, we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with her and her family. Afterwards she said: Okay, I'm ready to be baptized and so is Michael--how soon can we do it?
Lisa's pretty cool. She's a very smart lady. Got her master's degree in some ancient historical study. She's studied many different religions. Was formerly Lutheran but left because she was unsatisfied with their doctrine. But she's 100% pleased with the Book of Mormon, says it totally makes sense. We still have to teach her the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Tithing, so we'll see how she responds. But I feel good about it. If God wills it, her and Michael's baptism will take place this weekend at 5:30 PM.
I don't really care about P-days. It's the worst day of the week. It's long and boring, no teaching, nothing, so I usually just do whatever my companion wants to do.  Elder Bird likes to be around other missionaries, so we usually play sports. And now its getting to be lighter outside, usually light from 7 AM to 6:30/7 PM. It's extremely noticable, compared to what it was. And it's changed quickly. Each day we gain about 5 minutes of daylight. It hasn't been too cold lately, but the wind has been killer. 30+ MPH for 7 days straight--today's the first day without much. Makes it tough to do missionary work, though. At least the finding aspect. People don't want to talk on their doorstep when the wind's kicking, so they tell you to come back later, or simply just go away, preferrably somewhere inside.

Here's an e-mail that President Dance sent me. He doesn't usually respond to weeklies, so I thought it was pretty cool.

Dear Elder Johnson,
Exceptional letter as always - exceptional missionary.  We are so blessed to have you!!
I loved your comments about  You have really amplified its early use in your area and we will all learn from your good example.
There must be a baptism around the corner in Colony.  I can feel it!
Much love,
Pres. Dance

My watch sucks. Sucks majorly. It hasn't worked since I got to the MTC. I haven't mentioned it, because I've too busy to think about it. But I'm fed up. I wear it every day, only for looks, because it can't keep time to save my life. I have to reset it every hour if I wanted it to stay on time. Will you please send me another watch? I don't care what kind, as long as it has a leather band and can keep time. Or you can send me money sufficient to buy a decent watch up here, which is $50. But I think it'd be cheaper if you sent me one. If you want to take a look at the one I have, take it back or whatever, then I'll be happy to send it home.
Let me know what you want to do.
Elder Johnson 

*(from my letter to Brad) So, yesterday, Dad is walking though the kitchen and he grabbed a bag of trash and BOOM walked right through the screen door!  Pulled it off its tracks and everything.  We had to take the handle off to get it back into the track and get it pulling open and closed again.  If it had to happen, I'm glad it happened to Dad first.  That way, he can't be mad at us if we do it!  Wow.  But it is great to have a screen door open and no bugs coming in.  Oh yea, Sugar ran into the door too, but she just bounced off of it.  Then she wouldn't go out when I tried to show her that it was ok.  Poor Suggie.

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