Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Family and Friends - December 16, 2013
So glad to hear you are all doing well, minus what happened in the basement.  That is pretty unfortunate news, but I hope that all clears up soon.  Sorry I wasn´t there to spend time with Mark, Darren and Nana but hope they are all well and didn´t mind the cold too much.  Though I would give anything for snow.  I did finally open that package and mom´s sign ¨let it snow¨ is sitting on my desk.  Our house is so, so darling right now all decorated for Christmas.  Thank you so, so, so much!  I have the greatest family in the whole world who send me homemade Christmas goodies and decorations and everything anyone could possibly want for the holidays.  I really will never know what it is like to go without.  I feel so spoiled.  But everything was fabulous!  I loved the toffee, the fudge, cinnamon caramels.... yum yum!  Way more than enough to keep me happy for Christmas.  And please say thanks to Uncle Dave for all the treats he sent me.  Love all those things!  Thanks to Tara for the medicine.  I believe that shall come in handy, though really I have been fine health wise.  Not like poor Sister Gardner who got bit by a giant dog this week and is stuck in the house sick.  The whole back of her leg was purple with these 2 big fang marks.  Strangely enough the same dog bit her companion the week before and her companion was also sick for a few days.  Sister Gardner is actually in a trio now, so there´s only 5 sister missionaries in Campana now instead of 6, because we only had 1 new sister arrive in all of December.  Thanks also to Aunt Leah for the treats she sent, though most of it was wrapped so I won´t be able to thank her until I open it on Christmas.  But thanks for all the love and support you have sent me.  I really have the greatest, most caring family.  I shall send you lots of Christmas pics soon.
As for my new companion... she is fabulous!  I love my new companion.  She is probably my favorite of all my Christmas surprises.  Her name is Sister Reyes, and she is from the Dominican Republic.  She is so funny and so darn sassy.  She is from the wealthier touristy part of the country so she is a little more high maintenance like people would expect from an American Sister.  Like today we went to get her eyebrows done and she always has her nails painted and everything.  But I just love it.  Sister missionaries should take care of themselves, right?  We are able to work really well together as she is very hardworking.  She likes the house clean, and we get to cook together and wow, it is a dream.  We have already found a ton of new investigators just this week.  As we went looking for opportunities to serve people we helped this cute lady do her laundry as we just happened to pass by as she was out back, and we helped her and she invited us into her house to meet her family.  Her two daughters who are 20 and 22 I believe will be coming to the ward activity this Wednesday.  Hermana Reyes is super driven and she likes to have lots of activities with the ward, so this week is a movie night to meet new investigators and be more united as a ward.  I think together we will have a lot of success and we get the 8 week transfer thank heavens so even better!  
The best experience yet was one day we were walking to a visit when Hermana Nina in our ward passed us and started talking to us.  She told us she had just come from visiting her daughter who lives and works really close to her house.  She says her daughter isn´t a member and doesn´t want anything to do with the church.  That she´s sent tons of missionaries to talk with her and they´ve all been turned away.  But her daughter´s work is sewing and she has a salon too, so the sneaky little spitfire Hermana Reyes just happened to have a dress that needed mending.  So we went up to the house and yelled Buenas, cuz that´s what you do here, and the daughter sent her own daughter to send us away.  But we said we were there for matters of business not to preach, and she let us in.  We just asked about the dress and then got to talking about whatever for a couple minutes and headed out.  And from this small visit, Hermana Nina came up to us at church so excited and was like, my daughter called and said how great you girls are.  And we were like Score!  The first missionaries her daughter has ever had a nice word to say about, so when we have matters of business that we need, we now try to find investigadors or potential investigators.  Even if they don´t accept the gospel they have a good experience with the missionaries and maybe spark an interest.  As we don´t go to preach but to serve and help out.  Service is the answer to everything.  Really it was the greatest week I´ve had in the field.    
Jennifer said she read the chapter we left in the Book of Mormon and that she feels like it is the word of God.  But she still feels like all churches are a good thing that there´s no such thing as a bad or wrong church, all are equal, so we need to review with her the restoration a bit for her to realize how there is just one true church.  I hope we can help her with that.  
I am really happy.  Sure I still have much to improve in terms of my Spanish and being a better teacher, but I know if we are obedient and working our hardest God will put people in our pathway as has happened countless times just this week.
I love you all so much and wish you a very happy holiday!  
Love Hermana Johnson     

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