Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Patriots Day April 19, 2011

OH man, so much to say and so little time.  Sorry about not writing first off.  Monday(yesterday) was Patriots Day, only celebrated in Massachusetts.  It is in memory of the start of the Revolutionary war.  But i will get to that in a bit.
So last monday night we did meet with a one of Paul Gooch's friend.  He is awesome.  I don't have time to tell about his history but he was a huge part in getting the cambodian mission started here in Lowell with Brother Gooch.  You can read more about him on LDS.org in the June 1989 Ensign or new era titled Never Too Young. And you should read it cuz It is an amazing story.  Sadly, he has been innactive for awhile. But anyways we met him and his wife and they were so very nice.  His wife doesn't speak as much english so the whole time we were switching between english and Khmae.  We had such a good visit and me and him made such a connection between each other because i know the Goochs.  He just an awesome guy.  We had him tell us the whole story of how he met Paul and all of his experiences and he told us some cool stories.  He showed us a picture of him and Paul and Chantra's wedding when he was like 12. haha that was cool.  He has been to St George alot and loves it there so that was another thing to talk about.  We stayed for 2 hours! A bit long but it wasn't our fault, he wanted to keep talking.  His wife was very nice and liked talking to us in Khmae.   They have cute kids too. We shared a spiritual thought and he shared his favorite scripture with us.  And the best part was that he insisted on having us over for dinner on friday and of course we accepted. 
Friday at dinner with them, we sat on the ground like traditional Cambodians do it and it was the first time for me doing it cuz most cambodians are more Americanized and just use chairs and a table.  So that was cool, and painful for my legs ha. I was sore after.  Our hosts made fun of me for being in so much pain sitting with my legs crossed ha.  We ate soooooo much food!  It was great.  We also talked alot about different things and shared a spiritual message about familes and the importance of the gospel.  We are planning on teaching them some more the lessons.  it was another 2 hour visit but so fun and worthwhile.  we got another return appointment with them so that is good.  I love that family so much already and i just want them to have the blessings of the gospel in their lives soooo bad.  They are such good people.
Back to Tuesday, we had a zone meeting plus interviews with President Evans and it was great.  My zone is way cool and our leaders are awesome.  Oh and Elder M. from Snow Canyon basketball team is in my zone.  Which reminds me, Elder P in my district is from Delta and played soccer and he remembers our match last year haha.  Small world.  He was on the all state team with me i think.  Cool kid even if he is from Delta ha. President Evans is a good guy.  Love him already.  We had a good talk and I got some good guidance from him.  His job is stressful at the moment tho cuz in July we are absorbing the Connecticut mission.  So that will be huge.
M is not progressing but he still likes to meet with us and tells us he will come to church but then he doesn't show.  kinda frustrating.
I had my first run in with some real verbal opposition this week.  we met a man sitting on his porch and he started telling us to get out of our "parallel christian religion, throw away our books and find a real church and that Jesus was speaking through him warning us to repent and find a real church!" What a sad old man.  We were very polite to him but said you are very confused and good luck.  I felt so bad for him after we left. 
Yes mom i got your packages and they were fantastic! Thanks a bunch! i love you and so do my companions.  My goal now(especially cuz of all the food) is to get to 200 lbs and then i'll work it off haha.  ok so not really, but if i get to 200lbs it will be kinda cool. 
Oh ya something crazy happened!  We pulled into a street that we were gonna tract and we see two companionships of Jehovah's witnesses!  ya we were out numbered 4 - 3.  We almost decided to call in back-up from Team Portugal (the portugese/spanish elders) but then decided that it would probably be best to just find a different street.  we watched them for a bit and they can't get inside doors either ha.  That was pretty exciting haha
ok so Now to monday/Patriots day.  the whole mission got permission to take part in the events which for us included: waking up at 3:30 to drive to Lexington to watch a reinactment of the battle of Lexington where the first shot of the Revolutionary war aka "the shot heard around the world" took place.  There were tons of people surrounding a small grass field at 6:00am when Paul Revere came riding in on a horse and American soldiers in their blue coats were waiting for the "lobster backs" to come.  Great Britain came in huge numbers and then one shot was fired and the Revolutionary war began.  The americans got worked and had to retreat so that was a bummer but it was way cool seeing the guns and people dressed up and what not.  afterwards we and about 20missionaries had breakfast at a members house in Lexington and then went to the Boston Temple.  I LOVE THE TEMPLE! We got to do a session and it was so nice.  Next we drove to Boston, cuz the temple is in nearby Belmont.... and me and my companions played some soccer at a park with the ball that mom sent and then went down town via subway and got to watch the Boston Marathon!  We were right by the finish line and got to be there cheering and watching people complete an amazing feat.  I loved the atmosphere there at the finish line.  It was awe-inspiring.  A couple of elders got in and ran the last mile of the race and no one noticed haha.  We also walked around the wonderful city of Boston for a while.  I don't know what it is but i love that city.  It is just a great place.  Its just so beautiful and just has a good feel to it.  Now i understand Butch when he told me about Boston and just said it is just awesome.  It really is.
Quite exciting huh?  I sure thought so but was so tired by the end of the day.  We came back and did some major cleaning cuz we are getting our appartment inspected this week and it was a mess to say the least.  The last 4 weeks i have been cleaning a little bit at a time cuz i just couldn't stand how dirty everything was.  So yup im known as the clean one here.  But im ok with that and enjoy a nice clean place to live. Mom you should be proud :)
So besides those few but wonderful moments, last week was rough and not too successful but Some good always is found.  That is such a wonderful blessing from the Lord is continually providing just enough hope.  He really is always there.  the Khmae learning is going slow and is hard.  but i can feel myself improving just a tiny bit every week.  
Dad, way to go with all the mission efforts!  that is so cool that you are having mission experiences back home.  Keep telling me about them and share advice when you see something work really well. Keep up the good work!
Ok i got to go.  Dhills soccer keep tearing it up!  Brock score a goal :) 
Well i love you all so much!  Thanks for all your incredible examples!  Blake, congrats with graduating!   remember that you are always missionaries.  All of you are.  Don't be afraid to share the gospel.  And help the full time missionaries with referrals please!  That is one thing that members here are terrible at.  We get zero referrals most weeks.  ok bye!
ps. mom can you buy a book and send it to me please? its for learing cambodian and it is called "Cambodian System of Writing and Beginning Reading" by Franklin E. Huffman.  Thanks a bunch! 

     Elder Brady Johnson

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