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



Monday, December 18, 2017

Olá!

This week flew by super fast. The biggest news is that we had a baptism yesterday! We were hoping to have one, but it looked like it fell through. We were then talking with Roberta (who was baptized), our bishop and Thayná on Saturday. With the help of our bishop and Thayná, Roberta felt like she was ready to be baptized. We called our District Leader and he went and interviewed her. She passed and said she wanted to be baptized on Sunday. It was awesome. She has a lot of questions but said that she received all the answers in the Church. It strengthens my testimony of the gospel and especially of The Book of Mormon. I am grateful that we had the chance to teach her and help her take this huge step in her life.

The rest of the week was great. On Wednesday we had a mission Christmas party. It is the only day of the year that we can really do something like that. We played volleyball which was fun. I also just talked with a lot of the missionaries which was extremely fun as well just to laugh and joke around.

We are working with a lot of great people and I can't wait to keep working here. The ward is great and the area is fantastic. It is super hot here, but there has to be opposition in all things. I am super excited for Christmas. There is not a lot of celebration here. Just a lot of alcohol. Haha. But it will still be great with the members and in the office, we will probably celebrate.

It was my sister Shaylia's birthday this week and also her daughter Claire's as well. I am also so happy that my other niece was born. I am so grateful for them. I love my family so much and they bring me so much happiness especially with their support and love while I am here on the mission.

I am so grateful for the message of Christmas. I know that Christ was born. His birth, life, and death all bring hope and peace to all of us. We can all know that we have a Savior and Redeemer who gave everything so that we live with Him, our Father in Heaven and our families forever. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas!!!

Elder Johnson





Monday, December 11, 2017

Olá!

This week flew by fast. we didn't have nearly as many meetings this week. I went on an exchange to Novo Osasco, one of my old areas! That was a lot of fun, but a little weird. It kind of felt like I was on an exchange here in my current area and I went back there to stay there. It was fun to see Elder Aguiar as well. Exchanges are extremely tiring. With the traveling and then the full days it kind of wears you out, but I enjoy it a lot. I learned a lot this last week and am excited for this week.

Vinicius was baptized on Saturday! That was a great experience. His friend's dad baptized him and all of the youth were there so it was a very special experience for him. I hope that he continues strong and I bet he will be an amazing member of the church, always helping others and even could become a missionary in the future.

This last week we also had a meeting with President Thomas. It was a fantastic day. President Thomas spoke on obedience and hard work. He also showed a really cool video of the testimonies of people who were found by the missionaries. It showed me how important our work truly is and how even though it is hard sometimes, we should work our hardest so that we can help find those who are reaching out for help.

I don't have a whole lot more to say this week. We are going to have our mission Christmas party which I am excited for. Other than that, this week will be pretty normal also. I am so grateful for this Christmas season and for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. Thank you all for your love and support.

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Olá!

This week went by super fast. The first week of the transfer always does. Last week we had three meetings. On Tuesday we had a meeting with the new missionaries. It was good. The new group of missionaries was super excited and they look like they will do great things here on the mission. On Wednesday we had a meeting with all of the leader in the mission. So with all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders. It went really well, but it was an exhausting day. I was also not feeling super well. I am so grateful that the Lord helped me so that I could still make it through the meeting and give the training. I think that it was a great day for all the missionaries. The last meeting of the week was on Friday. We had a meeting with the new District Leaders. The new leaders are great. I love seeing the progress of all the missionaries, myself included. The meetings were a little tiring and being sick was no fun, but the week still went great.

This week we started teaching a young man who was being taught by the other missionaries in our ward, but they were transferred and so now we are teaching him. He is awesome. He was the one who started talking to the missionaries. They were walking on the street and the young man went up and talked to them and then the next Sunday went to church. That was two weeks ago. That was two weeks ago. His name is Vinicus. We went and taught him this week. We talked to him about baptism and marked a day for his baptism. He said that he would think about it. When he went to church on Sunday he came up to me super excited. He said that when we were talking to him he felt a strong desire to be baptized and especially after he kept feeling the desire to be baptized. He already has a strong testimony and will be baptized this Saturday! The only thing that was keeping him from being baptized was his mom, but this morning he called and said that his mom signed the baptismal form and said that he could be baptized! So many miracles have been happening. We are super excited for his baptism.

One other investigator has been progressing a lot. A woman named Roberta. I talked with her on the road a couple weeks ago. We went and taught her. She had so many questions and seemed super interested. She hadn't gone to church that week though and she started working so we couldn't go back to teach her. As we were walking to go and wake everyone up to go to church we saw her going to the church! It was a miracle. We went with her to the church. She had a lot of questions at church but seemed to enjoy it a lot. She will be baptized in a couple of weeks.

One crazy story from this week is that yesterday we came to the office at night on the bus. At the same time one of the soccer teams was playing. A lot of people were there because it was the last game of the season and each ticket was 1 real (about 30 cents). They finished the game right as we were going on the bus and the stadium is on the same street that we go on. There were people flooding into the bus. It is like if everyone after a BYU football game tried to take the bus. It was crazy. I was glad it was almost our stop and we got off. They didn't win, but if they did it would have been even crazier.

I am loving this Christmas season. I don't know if you have seen the Christmas initiative that the church does called Light the World, but if you have not seen the video, go to mormon.org and watch it. It is amazing. Every day also has a new video and all of them are fantastic as well. I am loving the opportunity we have to share the videos and even just talk with people on the street or on the bus about it. President Thomas said something interesting this week. He said that we ARE the light of the world, whether it be a good light, or a bad light, so no matter what we are doing, we are showing it to the entire world. We need to be a good light to everyone, guiding them to Christ. I know that we can truly light the world and help everyone know that Christ lives and loves all of us. Thank you all for your love and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson


Monday, November 27, 2017

Olá!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, but we had a little bit of a celebration this week. On Thursday I was with President and Sister Thomas for interviews in Osasco. We went there in the morning and for lunch, we went to the mall. One missionary who is leaving this week wanted to go to Outback so we all went there to eat so my Thanksgiving meal turned out to be ribs and fries. It was a fantastic Thanksgiving meal. It is basically Outback from the United States just that everyone was speaking Portuguese. Haha. I really enjoyed the lunch.

The rest of the interviews took a while so I had to go with President and Sister to another appointment that night. We went to a ward activity at the church right next to the MTC. It was fun to pass by there again. We saw a couple missionaries close to the MTC and we also saw a couple of people that work at the MTC that I met when I was there. The activity was good, but a little different than we thought it would be. We thought it would be a Hawaiian luau, but they started it out pretending that we were on a plane going to Hawaii but that we all died. They then did a presentation of the three kingdoms of glory. It was fun but just completely different than what we thought it would be. We then returned home. I got home very late that night. It was definitely one of the most interesting Thanksgivings I have ever had.

The rest of this week was a lot of fun, but super tiring. It is getting super hot here which makes the days super long. We were able to teach a lot of people though and I am seeing that the Lord is guiding our paths to teach His children that are needing the message that we have.

The best part is that Thayná was confirmed on Sunday. It was great. Also, in the morning we went to all of our investigator's houses to see if they would go to church or not. Everyone said no. It was super sad so we were praying for a miracle. Church was just about to start and one of our investigators showed up at the church. It was so great to see him there. He really enjoyed it and said that he will definitely go again.

This weekend was super busy. We have transfers tomorrow and so we had to help President with that. On Sunday night we have to call everyone to let them know where they will go. I think I was on the phone for 4 hours. haha. We also had to get all the trainings ready for this week. The first week we have quite a few meetings. We were able to get them all planned and I am hoping that they all go well. I am so grateful for all of you. I am grateful for my family who has taught me so much. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for Him and that He sacrificed himself for us. I am so grateful for all these many blessings that I have. Thank you all for your love and support.

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson


Monday, November 20, 2017

Olá!

This week was great. We had splits for two days. Wednesday and Thursday I was with Elder Magno. He is a newer missionary. It was good. The days were completely full and extremely tiring. I really enjoy splits, but they kind of drain your energy. Our days consisted of a lot of knocking on doors. It is actually more like clapping your hands and yelling. I am feeling a lot more comfortable just talking with random people on the street. We have a goal of talking with at least 10 people per day. It used to be hard in the past, but it is a lot easier now. We are able to do a lot more than just 10 contacts per day now.

Rogerio went to church this week which was great. He wasn't able to go last week, but this week he went and he really enjoyed it. It was the primary program so obviously, everyone enjoyed it. Haha. The primary kids were so cute and funny. I really enjoyed the program. I hope that Rogerio is baptized soon. He is so close. He just needs to change a few things in his life, but he is already so different than when we met him. I hope he takes the next couple of steps he needs. I know that if he does, it will change his life completely. 

Thayná was not able to be confirmed this week. She had to travel on Saturday night because her uncle got super sick. She is super firm in the church though. Today we had a ward barbeque. She was there and has a lot of friendships in the church now which makes it a lot easier to stay firm. It is amazing the difference it makes when you have someone to help you the little bit that you need at the beginning when you start going to church.

There was one night here that it started pouring rain. It was a ridiculous amount of rain. This season is the rainy season, but also it is super hot sometimes. I prefer the pouring rain except when you try to get investigators to go to church. It makes it a lot harder.  I am really enjoying all of the experiences I am having here on the mission. I know that this is the best place to be. I see my self-changing and improving every day. I am so grateful that through Jesus Christ and because of His Atonement we can make changes in our lives. We can not only just repent and start doing what's right, but we can keep making daily changes in our lives that make us more like Him. Thank you all for your love and support!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson