Monday, February 19, 2018

Olá!

This week went by extremely fast. I feel like I always say that, but it is always true. Yet again we were in exchanges with other missionaries this week. This week was a lot of divisions with other Americans which was different and fun. The first division of the week was with Elder Bartschi which is the Elder that I saw as I was returning to the mission. I don't know if I told this story, but as I was returning to the mission I was in the airport. There I saw another missionary who was coming down to our same mission. We even sat next to each other on the plane which was awesome! It was cool to spend a couple days with him.

The second exchange was with Elder Jones who is our district leader. That division was a lot of fun as well. He did a baptismal interview with one of our investigators who was baptized on Sunday. The rest of the time was really enjoyable with him as we were able to teach quite a few people. We taught one woman who even went to church this week! Exchanges are awesome!

Felipe, who is a member's brother, was baptized this week. His mom didn't allow him to be for a while, but she finally let him this week. I think she finally let him be baptized after we went there because she was sick. Her daughter who is also a member asked her if she wanted a blessing and she said yes. After the blessing, we talked to her and while she said that she still didn't want to be baptized, she said that Felipe could be if he wanted to. He wanted to be baptized and so on Sunday we had his baptism! It was a fantastic day for him and his family.

We were hoping to have two other baptisms this week, but they fell through. They will be baptized here in a couple weeks but didn't feel ready yet. We are working with them and I know that they will make the decision to be baptized soon. They are reading The Book of Mormon and going to church and I have seen that whenever people do that, they will always stay firmly on the path. We are talking a lot about The Book of Mormon here in the mission. An Apostle talked about the scripture that talks about the harvest and how we need to "thrust in the sickle with all our might". He said that the sickle is The Book of Mormon. I know that we need to always use The Book of Mormon in our lives. It doesn't matter where we are on the path. Whether we have a small testimony or a large one, The Book of Mormon will always help us grow our testimony to be stronger and stronger. It is the "iron rod" as Lehi stated. I know that we should all read The Book of Mormon every day. Doing so will help us stay on the path and be more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the things I am learning here.

Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson




Monday, February 12, 2018

Olá!

This week went by super fast. I was again on exchanges in another area. I was there from Tuesday until Friday. It was a lot of fun. We were able to learn a lot of things together and I really enjoyed the other area. That is one of the best parts about all these exchanges is that I get to know a lot of different people and areas. The other area did not have as many hills as the week before, but it did have a lot of huge staircases. I don't know if I have ever explained the stairs here, but because lots of the cities are built on hills, they build stairs in between the houses going from one street to another. Sometimes there are even doors for more houses on the stairs. I don't know if I prefer stairs or hills. Haha.

The rest of the week was super normal. On Saturday we went to a lot of different people just to invite them to go to church because as a mission we had a goal to take a lot of people to sacrament meeting. We also ate pizza with Mateus on Saturday. He is an investigator who is awesome. He is the one who went to the church site and asked for the missionaries to go there. We had a small family night with him and his mom. She goes to another church but really likes that we are teaching him.

Sunday we had a meeting in the afternoon with President Thomas. We have been planning things for the next transfer as we have a lot of meetings with each new transfer. I think it will be great. We are super excited for what we are planning and I can't wait to keep working in this marvelous work. We are hoping to have three baptisms this week so we are extremely excited and will be very busy. God truly prepares people and changes their lives. I am so grateful for all the miracles that happen here. Thank you all for your love and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson

Monday, February 5, 2018

Olá!

This week went extremely well! I am super tired as we have spent the last 4 days in an exchange with other missionaries. It was a lot of fun to be able to experience a new area and new companion for a little bit longer time than just a normal exchange. The biggest problem with the other area is that there are a lot of hills. A lot and a lot of hills. The area is also a lot bigger than ours so we spent a lot of time walking. It was tiring, but still really enjoyed it. We were able to teach a lot of people and will continue doing longer exchanges so I will be able to meet a lot of new people and have a lot of new experiences.

As I was not in my area a lot I do not have a whole lot of information about our investigators, but the biggest news from the week is that Juciano was baptized!!! I am so happy for him. I was not at the baptism, but it went well. His cousin who we also baptized was able to baptize him. It is awesome to see that his family is starting to enter the church. We are now working with his parents as well. It was really amazing as well when Juciano said that he would leave his job to be able to go to church on Sundays and keep the Sabbath day holy. He had just gotten a new job, but after the confirmation, he said that he will talk to his boss or leave. He said that he has faith that God will provide a way for him to work. It shows that he truly was converted and I am so happy for him.

We continue to work with a lot of other people. I am excited for all these opportunities that I have to meet people, teach them and help them be baptized. I see that it truly does make a huge difference in their lives. I am so grateful for the mission. With each experience I have I see myself grow and become a new person. I know that it is because of Jesus Christ that these changes happen. Without Him, life would be more difficult and change would be impossible. Thank you all for your love and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson

The Christmas package finally arrives! 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Olá!

This week went very well! I am feeling a lot better. I have had a little bit of a cough which is not fun when you are teaching, but have been feeling a lot better. I spent two days with President as we went to interviews in a couple of the zones here. It was really enjoyable to be with him and just have time to talk about the mission and other things. He is truly inspired and I am grateful for his guidance in our mission. I love that the Church is so organized and that everything is done through revelation. The mission has strengthened my testimony of that.

We have been able to teach a lot of people recently. I think I forgot last week, but we received a referral from the Sisters in Salt Lake! Someone sent them a message on mormon.org saying that he wanted to learn more. His name is Mateus. He is 19 years old and is awesome! He understands everything we teach him and has already been to church twice. He is super shy but has been opening up a lot and we have gotten to be great friends. It has been fun to teach him the past couple of weeks. He would have been baptized last week but had to do a surgery. We will see when he will be able to enter water again and when he can he will definitely be baptized.

Another person we taught this week is named Stella. We first talked to her a while ago when we were knocking on doors, but after we could never find her again. We finally were able to find her at her house and she is awesome also. She has already been to a lot of churches in the past, but never truly felt like they were true. She loves to talk and tell stories. It is hilarious to teach there. She didn't go to church yet because her dad does not like us very much because in their church they had a meeting about "the Mormons" Haha. It happens a lot here. We are going to try to talk to him this week so I hope that it all goes well.

I am loving the work that we are doing here. I feel like the time is flying by which scares me a lot because I don't want it to end. I have been seeing so many changes, both in my life and the lives of the people we teach. It is incredible to see how much the gospel can truly shape and mold us. Some family members of an investigator we are teaching were shocked when they found out that he was going to church. They thought that he never would, but when we ask for Christ's help, His grace is sufficient to change our hearts and minds. I am so grateful for the changes He has done in my life. Thank you all for your prayers and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson



Monday, January 22, 2018

Olá!

This week flew by super fast. It was a fantastic week. Tuesday we had a multizone conference and it was also my birthday so that was a lot of fun. We were also able to watch the announcement of the new Prophet. It was fun to see a lot of friends on that day and then at night we went out to dinner with President and Sister Thomas. It turned out to be a great birthday on the mission.

The next day I woke up and was not feeling that great. There were a couple elders in the office that were sick and I think I picked up what they had. It was a little rough the next couple of days, but I felt that the Lord helped so that we were still able to visit a lot of people and I also recovered super fast and was ready to go on Friday.

The last couple of days of the week were awesome. Friday and Saturday we were able to teach a lot of people and invite them all to church. On Sunday we had a lot of investigators at church which was a blessing because it has been a little hard the past couple of weeks. I know that God blessed us and also those people for going to church. It was a great meeting and many of the people said that they would return next week. I am so grateful that the Lord is always helping us in the work that we do here on the mission. It felt like this week and transfer would be an extremely difficult one and I felt like we were failing a little bit because we were not finding a lot of people who were wanting to progress, but after this week my testimony has been strengthened that if we do our best, the Lord blesses us and miracles will happen. I know that He guides us in all that we do. Thank you for all your love and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson


Monday, January 15, 2018

Olá!

This week flew by and today went by so fast that I do not have a whole lot of time to write about what has happened. Our week was full of a lot of meetings. At the start of transfer it is always like that. We have to help organize everything. This time all the meetings went very well. I think it was our best time. Some of the trainings that we give are the same every time, but sometimes we switch them up and have to prepare. We had a few late nights of planning. It is ironic because our main training was about planning and we spent so much time planning. It went extremely well though. The new missionaries who got here also are awesome. I think we have a great future for the mission. It is crazy how it feels like I just got here and was receiving these trainings and now I have to give the trainings. I am really enjoying it though. It might be extremely tiring, but the Lord always helps and qualifies us in our weaknesses.

I have time to share a little story. On Sunday night we had a miracle. We were on the road trying to invite people to go to a ward activity. It started raining and little bit and then it started pouring. We almost turned around and ran to the church, but we kept going and decided to go a little early to a recent convert who we were planning on visiting, but just a little bit later. As we approached his house, we saw that his neighbor was watching us. He gestured to us and we entered into his house. We started talking to him and found out that he had already gone to the church and also has read part of The Book of Mormon. A week ago he wanted to turn around his life. He stopped drinking and wanted to go to a church. He then went out to watch the rain on Sunday and he saw us. He believes that it was an answer from God.

It was amazing that we were in the right place at the right time. President Thomas always tells us about that. He says that we need to talk to everyone and work as much as we can because so many times there are people who are praying and needing help and that we need to find these people. We can truly be the answer to another person's prayer. This experience strengthened my testimony. I am so grateful that the Lord guides us in this work. Thank you all for your love and support.

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson






Monday, January 1, 2018

Olá!

This week went by super fast. Christmas was fantastic. I loved being able to see my family. The time went by so fast, but it was great to see everyone and be able to talk. Technology is amazing. The rest of Christmas we spent relaxing. We also went caroling to a couple people in the apartment where we're at. We went with a couple of members and their kids. It was a lot of fun. There are some Christmas traditions here that are the same. There were a lot of Christmas trees and until today there are even Christmas lights in some areas! It still doesn't feel like that time of year, but it is nice to see some of the traditions.

The rest of the week flew by. On Tuesday we planned some trainings that we will give this next transfer. On Wednesday and Thursday, we went on an exchange. I stayed in my area with Elder Keller who was my companion in the MTC! It was a lot of fun to be with him again. We have changed quite a bit, but it also just feels like yesterday that we were together in the MTC. Those couple of days went really well. It is usually slower because a lot of people were traveling, but we were still able to teach a lot of people which makes the days go a lot faster and it is also just a lot more fun to talk with people and teach them rather than stop them on the street to try to talk to them and mark a day to go to their house.

I did one more exchange on Friday. I was with another American who is pretty new on the mission. It was a really fun day. It is a very different area because there are a lot of apartment buildings. That makes it harder to teach people unless you receive a referral. There was one part of the area that is a little poorer which made it easier to work there. We found a family with a young man that is 18. He seemed extremely interested in the message. I hope that he prays and progresses in the gospel. The rest of his family seemed interested also, so I hope all of them accept as well.

There weren't as many things to do the rest of the week. On Sunday it was hard because everyone was drinking and having a party. We came to the office to sleep. At midnight there were a bunch of fireworks. It was fun to see. It is crazy how the time has flown by. I was able to give a talk on Sunday. The bishop called me a few minutes before church and asked if I could. I hope that it went well and everyone understood me. I talked about the goals we make especially with New Years. I talked about how we can use the Atonement of Jesus Christ not only to cleanse us from our sins but also help us make any change in our lives and improve in any aspect that we want to. I know that He has the power to help us become the best that we can be and even more than we can ever imagine. He sees our potential. We should always trust in His plan and do all that we can to do our part. I am excited for this new year and for all the opportunities it brings. Thank you all for your love and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson