Apr 1, 2014

03-31-14 MADE IN THE USA!

Another good week, Kampoy and I have had some cool adventures. I’m glad you liked the comic I sent home and the pictures! Hopefully everyone is feeling a little better at the house. Adam sounds like a really cool guy, maybe I can go with him rock climbing when I get home. 

We taught Regine and Beldin again this week, but this time about missionary work! To make it interesting I let them wear my name badge, which they absolutely loved, and they role-played inviting me to church. Pretty good missionaries I'd say. 

Sadly the work in the sector has slowed down a lot. Investigators have either gone missing or stopped progressing. Turns out most investigators still have some problems that old missionaries never fixed so now their baptisms are pushed back significantly. Not surprisingly I've found that the Book of Mormon is the one thing that helps no matter what. After wrestling with people over word of wisdom and obedience, or church attendance - the silver bullet is always when they read the Book of Mormon. In fact, when people have problems the first question we ask is, "How is the reading of the Book of Mormon going?" Almost always, the response is - "Well, you see Elders, I haven’t read in a long time, I’m just so busy." That is the spiritual advice I will send home today - if you are going through difficult times, ask yourself that question, "How is the reading of the Book of Mormon going?", and maybe you'll find a solution. (I know I’ve been doing that recently and it seems to help). 

So - stories from the week…..After teaching a lesson with Kampoy, we decided that we wanted to stop at the American Embassy to check it out. We were in the area, we had time, and well why not? On the same road as the American Embassy there is the Saudi Arabian embassy. We turned onto the road and I thought. "Hey that’s a cool photo, the American flag and Saudi Arabian flag side by side." Remember, we were a distance from the American embassy, and the building itself was hidden from view at this point. So I pull out a camera and snap! Continuing down the road I felt pretty sly, like a secret agent. Now in front of America's embassy, a Cameroonian police officer stops me and asks, "Do you have a camera?" The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Yeah"
Officer: "Did you take a photo of the embassy?"
Me: "NO! I’m not stupid I know it’s forbidden, I took
         a photo of the Saudi Arabian Embassy." 
Officer: "Well I was told from security inside that
              you took a photo so I need to get your

Luckily, I had a copy of my passport and visa with me otherwise I would be sending this email from the jail cel in the American embassy. haha.  The funniest part of all this is literally the night before all the missionaries were joking about how no missionary ever gets checked on passports. That’s what I call Johnson luck! After 30 minutes my information was taken and 3 guards were questioning me (mostly just repeating each other in their questions because they thought I didn’t know French). I was tempted to ask if I could hold the guards FAL (gun) but decided against it - also not being sarcastic in saying I was a terrorist wanting to destroy the Embassy. Figured I was already causing problems. In the end I got a mug shot (more like my costco card smile) pinned up somewhere in the anti-terrorist section of the embassy. haha. 

The next day Kampoy and I were walking on a road that was being closed off for the entourage of the President’s wife. Soldiers were everywhere, and strangely, African women singing and dancing. But again a soldier stops ME!  Asking what’s in my bag. Now experienced in this area, I respond in my harshest voice, "Books, just books".  Again I refrained from asking to handle his G-36. But maybe next time I'll get the chance. These stories inspired my title, Stopped twice by police and each time I proudly showed my American passport, proving that I'm, MADE IN THE USA! :)

On another note, Kampoy is teaching my Swahili! It’s actually pretty similar to French so it’s coming fast! Tri-lingual here I come! 

Mission President is coming tomorrow and Wednesday, so wish me best of luck. I've honestly enjoyed these past two weeks but anything can happen. Also this week, but of lesser note, taught a lesson where a man wanted "some substance" that would enlighten and open his eyes. Wrong church  dude. And we attended a talent show with hilarious African skits that only make sense after living here. That was the week in a recap. 

General Conference is this weekend! I encourage all of you to watch it in its fullness and let me know what are the best talks. I remember clearly going to stake centers as a family and although we trashed the relief society room it always was worth the time. So thanks mom for dragging us along and going to Priesthood sessions with us as young men when we didn’t have anyone else to take us - I love conference, and that love started way back when in a stake center with a bingo board and M&Ms. : ) Happy Conference! 

Mi na kupenda! (I love you in Swahili)

Elder Johnson