Monday, September 18, 2017

Olá!

This week was fantastic! We worked a lot which for me is great because the days go by a lot faster and we are able to help and talk to a lot of people. Wednesday we had a Mission Tour with Elder Basset of the Seventy. It was great. He spoke a lot about our purpose here on the mission. I really enjoyed it. It was with half of the mission one day and then the other half the other day. It is fun to see a lot of the friends you made on the mission.

We also had Stake Conference this week. Since I have already been in this Stake I got to see a lot of people that I met a while ago. It was awesome. The Stake Conference was also great because of the messages. There was a Seventy here who talked about a lot of things. They talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and the importance to read every day. It truly is essential for us to read every day. It will bless our lives in all aspects.

We taught a woman this week who is an amazing investigator. Her name is Nanny. She has so many questions and loves to listen and learn. She even went and watched an entire session of General Conference. She will be baptized in a couple weeks!

The best thing that happened this week is we had a baptism! Nathan was baptized. He is 18 years old. We have been teaching him for a while, but he still had doubts and a little fear to be baptized. I know that the Spirit helped him make the decision to be baptized. I almost didn't believe it when he said he decided to be baptized. Haha. It was a great experience though. He chose me to baptize him which made me extremely happy. He is one of the best friends I have made on the mission and I have already seen a huge difference in his life. I know that baptism is an incredibly important step in our life. It will not only bless him, but it will also bless his family. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and help people learn more about our purpose here and make the decision to follow Christ. Thank you all for your love and support.

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

P.S. I have to give my amazing dad a birthday shoutout. I would say that he is getting old, but I will just say that he is becoming very wise. :) I love you dad!




Monday, September 11, 2017

Olá!

This week went super well! I started training which has been a lot of fun. My new companion is from Brazil. His name is Elder Aguiar. We have been working well together. We had training for the new missionaries and then the next day I had training for new District Leaders. That was a lot of fun. I am enjoying being a trainer and DL.

One fun story from this week is that we went to a park with some members of the ward for an activity. While we were there I played basketball with a couple of guys there in the park. I played for a few minutes which was a lot of fun and then explained to them who I was and if they would be interested in learning about the church, which a few were. It was a lot fun. One guy said that he had never seen someone playing basketball in church clothes. Haha.

We have been working on finding new people. It is amazing how the Lord directs our paths. One night we were just walking and I felt that we should go down a street. We kept walking and found a married couple. We taught them which they liked a lot. It was nice because we were trying all day to teach someone, but no one wanted, but the Lord led us to some people who accpeted. We will keep working hard this week and trust in the Lord. He truly guides this work and he guides all of our lives. I am so grateful for Him and for all these experiences that I am having. I love you all. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson





Monday, September 4, 2017

Olá!

This week went by super fast. It was a whirlwind of a week as my companion had a couple problems with his health and he had to go to the hospital for a consult. He found out that he has to have surgery so he is heading home. It is ironic because he was the companion I was with when I went home. I found out that I will train a new missionary and also I will be the District Leader. I am super excited for the opportunities I have and I know that I will learn and grow with these experiences.

I don't have a lot to say about this week. It was a shorter week with the temple being on Tuesday and then having to resolve all the health problems, but we did have a couple fun times. We had a barbeque in the ward which was a lot of fun. We played some basketball also. We are not allowed to keep score, but if we could, I think I won. Haha.

The last thing I would like to say is to wish a happy birthday to my mom. It was a little while ago, but she is truly an amazing woman and a fantastic mother. She has always taught me to work hard and believe in our dreams. Currently, she is an example to me as she has returned to school to study and follow her dreams. She knows that with the Lord, all things are possible. From the very first breath I took, she has been raising me to be a missionary and father. I am so grateful for her and her love. He has helped me so much in my life. I would not be where I am or who I am without her. I love her so so so much. Happy Birthday, Mom!! I love you all! Thank you for your prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson







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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Olá!

This week I don't have a lot of time because we went to the temple! It was such an amazing experience. I love every opportunity we have to go there. This week we also had two confirmations at church. It was so amazing to see them progress and to be baptized and confirmed. One cool story from this week is that we received a reference from salt lake. The sisters there called us and gave us the address of a lady in our area. She works for Mary Kay and so does one of our recent convert's mom. We asked our recent convert's mom if she knows the woman from the reference we received and she does! It just shows how small a world this is. It is also an amazing opportunity we have now to teach the mom and the reference and for both of them to have the opportunity to accept the church at the same time! We will see how that goes!

We are coming up on the transfer. I don't know exactly what will happen yet, but I am excited to go where the Lord sends me. This week also marks one year on the mission. It goes by so fast. I am excited that it is not over yet, but that I still have the second have to work as hard as I can. I am so excited to keep working. I have felt like I have grown so much already and I can't wait to see what this second year has in store for me. Thank you for all your prayers and support! I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 21, 2017

Olá!

This week flew by, but it was a fantastic week. It has been raining nonstop and cold, but we had another baptism! It was a miracle and it went super well! We were teaching Luan who has been to church a few times and was going to be baptized this week, but we went to his house when we were doing splits and so I was with the district leader and as we were there we asked him if he wanted to do the interview and be baptized this past week and he said yes. He passed the interview and we planned the baptism. It went super well. There was a ward lunch after the baptism so there were a lot of people at the baptism. I gave a short talk which seemed to go well. The water heater in the church was broken so he was baptized in extremely cold water, but he still was so excited and the baptism was a great experience.

We also had a multi-zone conference this week. We learned a lot of things. We focused on improving our teaching. It was kind of a long day, but I really enjoyed it. The training from the leaders was excellent, especially from President Thomas. He is an incredibly great guy.

A couple crazy stories this week. We were walking on the street and we saw a guy laying on the street in pain. A lot of times there are drunks who are like that, but this guy was different. We stopped and tried to see what was wrong. He was in front of a church and so some of the people who worked in the church came out to help us. We called the ambulance (which is free here, by the way) and tried to help calm him down and help him not feel as much pain. The ambulance took him away, and I don't know how he is doing, but I hope he is well. It was also a great experience to talk to some people from another church. We made friendships with them and they are now more open and friendly to us. What we do truly shows an example of who we are. People sometimes don't understand our religion or church. We can show them the truth not only through what we say, but what we do.

One more story. We went into a favela that was extremely poor. It was incredibly humbling. Just seeing this community of people who don't have anything. They just build houses with what they can. Within these communities they have small grocery stores, a barber, and sometimes even a restaraunt. There are so many kids just running around almost wearing nothing because they literally just use what they find. It makes me so sad so see them is such a condition, but I see that there are so many people that are still happy in their circumstance. They are not bitter towards God or anyone else. They just enjoy what they have and are grateful for any blessing. For people who have much more, sometimes we all murmur or complain about what we don't have, or even what we do have that is maybe not the latest and gratest. We can all be grateful in any circumstance. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have here to serve and help people see the light and love of God for them. The hope, joy, and peace that we recieve from God are some of the most amazing blessings that we all can have, regardless of any circumstance. Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson



Monday, August 14, 2017

Olá!

This week went by so fast, but it was a great week! We have been working with a lot of people and they are all doing great. I cooked a lot this week also. I made an American breakfast of some pancakes and eggs. My parents sent me some powdered buttermilk that is magic. The pancakes turned out great. We also made a lot of cookies. People here don't know how to make cookies which is weird, but I have a recipe and I made them in our house one night. After, the seminary teacher in the ward asked me if I could teach the seminary class how to make cookies. So one night I taught them how and then made a bunch of cookies for them. They turned out great. I forgot to take a picture, but I will make some this week and send a picture. The youth in the ward are awesome. I have made a lot of friends here. We sometimes go to seminary with our investigators. They are studying the New Testament which is what I studied when I started so it is super weird as I look back and it has been around 5 years.

This week we worked with the ward as they are preparing to visit every member in the ward. They have a list of around 300 families (only about 100 are active) I helped them do an Excel sheet of everyone, organized by neighborhood. It turned out great and now it is a lot easier for us to find everyone and visit them also. This Sunday we will have a lunch with the ward and everyone will go out to visit.

Yesterday (Sunday) was Father's day here. It is a little later in the year here, but I would just like to thank my Father for everything he does for me. He has always been a mentor and a friend. When I was home, I was working in the office with him and it was so much fun for me, not just working which I love to do, but looking over and being able to be with my dad. He is one of the greatest men I have ever met. He has taught me so much and I am so grateful for him. Thank you dad.

I am excited for another week in the mission field. It is not always easy, but I love it. It goes by so fast and I am grateful that I have this opportunity to serve and to help others. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support. I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson




Monday, August 7, 2017

Olá!

This week went extremely well! I am feeling a lot better physically and we had a baptism! The investigator was being taught by the sisters for a while who were here before and when we got transferred here we just finished it up and helped her be completely prepared for baptism. She is 16 years old. She has been going to seminary and church every week. She basically was prepared already, but it was fun to help her for that last step and get everything prepared. The baptism was awesome. There were a lot of people and support from the entire ward. Her mom is not a member, but she went to the baptism and seemed to really enjoy it. We will start teaching her mom also.

We have been teaching a lot of younger people. It has been great because we bring them to seminary which they have in the church just about every day. It helps us have a great lesson with a bunch of members, also we enjoy participating in seminary also. haha. There were 6 investigators in seminary at one time. This ward is great with the young men and women. They help with missionary work so much. It is awesome to see such an amazing group of young men and women always going to seminary, presenting the church to their friends, and being so close, but also welcoming.

One awesome story from this week. Awhile ago I was in a close-by area and my companion was the district leader. He did an interview here in the area I am in now. I was with him and met the investigator. He passed the interview, but then after backed out of the baptism because of some doubts about not being prepared. When I got here I wanted to see him again, but never saw him. We started going to a list of people who have been taught in the past and when we went to one house, it was his. He recognized me also and we talked to him and his sister. They are awesome and the lesson was great. We went with them to seminary another day and they really enjoyed that also. We will keep working with them.

This week was great and I can't wait to keep working. The Lord truly does strengthen us. I have felt Him giving me strength and energy every day to work. This truly is the work of the Lord and I am grateful He has given me this opportunity to serve and help others. Thank you for your love and prayers!

Elder Johnson


Baptism first week back!

First pizza upon return.