I’m Trying to Loosen my Tongue to Pronounce Tongan Names!

(Dec. 6, 2010) Sounds like everybody had a great and eventful week. Thanks so much mom for that last letter from you and filling me in on the events that took place this past week in Utah with the funeral of your father. Sounds like it was a very nice and well planned day. That is fantastic that the family was involved and I wish I could have been there to give my respects as well. Thank you so much dad for taking care of my registration stuff, I guess we will just have to wait and see what is in store for me. Keep me updated with what is going on with the coach and the video situation for me.

Things are going great for me. It has been 5 weeks that I have been here in Oakland and I love it. I’m still learning it and all the people. Mostly I’m learning the tricks of how to loosen my tongue so I can pronounce even people’s names. It is crazy! I  am doing all right though with it all. I will admit it gets frustrating at times and I wish that I could just apply all the things I know to help these investigators and people we have but I just can’t…. so it is very trying because I feel like just finally when I think I got the hang of all this missionary stuff, I get thrown in the Tongan program and start out new. haha it is crazy so every day it feels like it is my first couple of weeks in the field and I’m filled with a  desire to work hard but I just physically don’t have the skills to do it. I’m sure Kelsey can relate in the Philippines and the language barriers! I have learned a lot of language but as far as to the point of teaching, I’m not even close! hahahah. but we do have some great people we are working with and one of them we are teaching in English so it is my favorite to get to be at those lessons!!!! His name is Paula and he is just taking off with all of it and we have committed him to baptism but he needs to move out with his fiance before he can get married. Tonight we plan on helping him recognize why he needs to as we teach the plan of salvation and the law of chastity. He really really wants to be baptized and his desire is so strong but he thinks he can just wait until February when he gets married to get baptized after the wedding. (doctrine of the devil) so that is what I’ll be doing tonight as we teach him. We also have another investigator named Nafe and it is all in Tongan but the other night the spirit was so strong and I still had no idea what was going on but I knew I was feeling it and then I looked at him and he was crying. Really amazing lesson for me….. but then Sunday he didn’t come to church and when we stopped by his house last night there were 5 cops at his home and as we walked up to him he was absolutely wasted (very drunk) and out of it, and we were planning on teaching him the word of wisdom that night. He has a baptismal date for the 26th of this month and in order for him to get baptized we have to teach him the word of wisdom and he has to live it for 3 weeks to get baptized so that is also what I am going to be doing tonight since it is exactly 3 weeks until he gets baptized… these are only two of the situations that we are blessed to work with and with all these things and people to teach it teaches me so much about the plan of salvation and just how much the Lord loves us. Especially about how real Satan is and how he is ready to capture any of us as soon as we slip just a bit.

Oakland is awesome. We were talking to these guys and they were telling us about their gang and they were amazed at how I’m from Colorado and how brave I am to be just walking the streets here in a white shirt and tie. I know the Lord protects us all the time and is guiding us. So don’t worry mom. This next week we get transfer calls and we will see what is in store for me. I’m thinking I’ll get released as zone leader because I’m the oldest one currently as zone leader in the mission and that I’ll train another missionary!!! I want to train again so bad. I love you all and I hope you all have a good week. You’re always in my prayers. Stay safe.

Elder J






~ by Susan Johnson on December 13, 2010.

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