So the biggest news I can think of is that the Peterson Lane Ward which I am serving in is having a big change with the missionaries. Up to tomorrow the ward had two areas and 4 elders in it. Tomorrow all of the guys here except me are getting transferred. So it will only be me with another new guy. The whole ward will have only two elders... which means I have to take over the entire ward with my new companion who doesn't know the area and who has only been out on his mission for about 4 months. When our zone leaders found out they were doing that they were like.... "ummm but Elder Janson has only been out for like 6 weeks!" But apparently that don't matter!
Needless to say it will be an interesting next transfer. I'm going to miss these 3 elders, Elder Sutterfield, Elder Wilkes, and Elder Roper my first trainer, or "dad." My new companion will my follow-up trainer aka "mom." His name is Elder Reider (I think that's how you spell it). haha He is also from Idaho, as Elder Roper was. I got to keep dealing with these Idahoans!
So things have been going pretty well, except for finding out I will have to live in a duo apartment, which seems like it will be super boring! But we did set up a date for our investigator Andrea to be baptized! It's on December 5th, which is funny because we were supposed to say December 6th, but elder Roper just forgot and said the 5th. We always make fun of him for forgetting everything. He really does, I have to remember all the addresses, names, etc. It's pretty hilarious. Anyways, Andrea is an older lady who they taught before, but couldn't continue because of back surgery and recovery. She should be able to make that date though which is awesome.
We also are talking to this guy Eduardo who seems kind of weird, but we just threw in an invitation for baptism, and he says. "well not this week!" haha He came to church twice now though, despite saying we sound like we are brainwashed. A lot of people see faith as brainwashing, i am learning. I've already heard that many times, and it seems dumb to me. If you put it that way, everything is brainwashing you! And believing in God sure ain't a bad brainwash to have. haha I'll stop complaining now.
We had another lesson with Pam, who is a less active who literally called us asking for the lessons again. That in and of itself is a little miracle. but she feels like she doesn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, as well as her husband Jeff. But he's not super involved in changing that. He grew up in the church and she is a convert. Yesterday we were able to meet with her again, and brought a different member than usual, Bro Harlin. He also is a convert, at 17 years old. It surely helped to have him there for the lesson. He was able to relate to her concerns better than we ever could.
He told His conversion story and everything, and it was so powerful and I could tell that she felt of his conviction, as we did. He spoke of a time when he doubted himself on his mission and his testimony. When he was teaching an investigator, he felt prompted to have them sing a hymn, "Joseph Smith's first vision," before it. When they did, he was in tears as well as the investigator, who didn't understand why. But he said the spirit was so strong in reaffirming to him his testimony of Joseph Smith that the entire room could feel its influence.What was amazing was how he said the Spirit spoke to him. He said he heard a voice saying, "you already know it is true." When he said that, I was blown away. I had an experience just like that while reading the book of mormon, and the spirit had used those same exact words for me. I was amazed at how similar it sounded to how I had felt. He even said to Pam. "I think you already have a testimony of Joseph Smith. I think you already have a testimony of the Book of Mormon." The spirit testified right then and there he was right.
I just want to bear testimony that many of us doubt the very foundation of our testimony, but when we feel that the lord has abandoned us, or we wonder why we can't feel the spirit when we think we should, he will show us when we least expect it. The holy ghost will tell you "in your mind and in your heart," and you will know. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ that this is true, and I need to declare that to everyone!
I still have a lot to learn, but I've learned so much already, and thank you all for caring and praying for me. You guys make all the difference! Have a great week.
Elder Joseph Janson
A sweet Lotus me and Roper found!
My zone! (Which is changing tomorrow)
Me and Elder Roper Twining
What used to be a Dodge Durango
I was exhausted after service apparently