Sunday, November 19, 2017

Olá!

This week went extremely well. We had our first baptism in our new area! Thayná was baptized yesterday. We are super happy because of that. It truly was a miracle. I am so grateful that the Lord put her in our path and that she was so willing to read, pray and listen. We went there on Wednesday to see how she was feeling in regards to the baptism. We were talking with her and she said that she went to institute the night before and received an answer that she should be baptized. The members helped so much. They invited her to all the activities and made her feel welcome.

This week I was also able to go on splits in an area close to the MTC! I saw one of the instructors that I met in the MTC. It was awesome to have lunch with them and it was a different experience to work more in the city of São Paulo, not just the outskirts. I really enjoyed that opportunity I had this week.

We went on splits one other time and I was able to be with my second companion (Elder Orr) that I was with when I was in Cotia! It was a lot of fun to be with him and see how much we have grown and learned on the mission.

The rest of this week was pretty normal. We are teaching quite a few people. I really enjoy meeting so many people and being able to help them. I am so grateful for the Lord for all the opportunities that He is giving me. I am learning so much with His help. I am excited to keep working this week. Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson





Monday, November 6, 2017

Olá!

This week was a little crazy. A lot of stories. I will start out with the family trip. On Wednesday we had interviews in one of the zones here. President wanted to do splits with me so that we could go and help him at the interviews. He came and picked me up at our house and so I went with just him and Sister Thomas. It felt just like a little family trip. I was talking to them about life, family, scouting, golfing and all sorts of other things. It was super fun. At the interviews, I helped President organize his phone and his iPad so it seems like I am back to doing tech support. So again, it felt like I was back in my family. haha. I also went to lunch with them. We ate Yakisoba that was described more accurately by President Thomas when he said that it was just, "Japanese spaghetti". The sushi was pretty good though. It was better than Sister Thomas' food which President described as "rabbit food and wall paste"(salad and mashed potatoes) It is a lot of fun to be with President and Sister Thomas they are so funny and truly care about everyone in the mission. We will actually do a few more splits with them for the rest of the interviews this transfer.

The second story is about sand. A lot of sand. Two truck-fulls of sand. Two monstrous piles of sand that were almost taller than me. We were told that we would have a simple service project of a little bit of sand. When we arrived it was a lot larger task. We had a couple of wheelbarrows and we went to work. There were us four missionaries and also 5 members. We worked in the morning but barely made a dent. We realized that it would take a lot longer to finish than we thought. After lunch, we spent the rest of the day moving the sand. It actually was more like dirt which is even worse, but we were able to finish finally after about 11 hours of work. Everyone was completely dead after the day. I will get some pictures from the people there and will send them next week. The next day everyone woke up with sore backs and legs, which then leads us to the story of the rats.

The day after the service project we got a call as we were returning to our house. The other elders said that when they got home they saw a rat in our house. By the time we got home they were already tearing apart the house trying to expulse the rat from whence it came. We all grabbed brooms and other pieces of wood and we were ready. My companion went a little bit crazy. He ended up breaking a few things. Nothing too expensive. Just a drawer and a broom. Through much screaming and prayers, the rat finally left. The problem is that we didn't know if he was the only one. It was getting late, but we decided not to sleep in the rat-infested house. Call me a coward, but I don't like sleeping on the floor with the rats(I sleep on the floor because I have already broken three beds. The floor didn't seem too bad until I thought about those beady eyes and sharp teeth). We bought rat venom and it seems like the problem will go away, but we will see.

I remembered one more thing about the week. We went to a market. Every Friday there is one close to our house. It was a lot of fun. I was able to barter with a few people. haha. It was super cheap to buy a lot of fruit. I especially enjoyed the pineapple that I bought. I was also called Donald Trump and was told that the United States does not have bananas. Many interesting experiences came from the morning of the market.

In regards to the work, it is going great! We have been teaching a lot of people. The best investigator we have is Thayná. She is 23 years old. She went to stake conference and then church yesterday. She said that she received an answer that The Book of Mormon is true and also the church. She said that since we have been teaching her and she has been reading she has felt a lot more peace in her life. She will probably be baptized this week! We are super excited for her. We also are working with Rogerio who has gone to church three times now. He is still wanting to wait to be baptized, but I think he will be soon also. He has to use crutches because he was in a car accident. He was on a motorcycle and he was hit by a car going around 60 miles per hour. It is a miracle that he is alive. He is awesome. He even invited us to a barbeque he was having. His friend bought us soda and picanha (a delicious type of meat).

So this week was full of adventures and stories. I am really enjoying all these opportunities I am having. I know that the Lord is blessing us and I am so grateful for Him. I also thank you all for your love and support. I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson





Monday, October 30, 2017

Olá!

There isn't really Halloween here, but Happy Halloween to all of you! I have seen a few people in costumes here going to a few Halloween parties because some people like to follow some American traditions, but it is not a big holiday here like it is in the states. This week has gone by fast. I am really enjoying where I am now. The new ward that we are in is great. It has been very busy lately, but it has been fun. I have been learning a lot. My companion is great and we get along great together. I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the language. The Lord has definitely helped me with that.

I really like the bishop in this ward. We had lunch with him and his family. He told some stories when he visited the United States and Orem so it was fun to hear about that. We also ate barbeque that day which was awesome. After, he also showed me the collection of books he has. There was a lot of classics that he reads in English because he is an English teacher here. There were also a lot of children's books. He has a huge collection of Dr. Seuss books which was so much fun to see. It reminded me a lot of my Grandma as I remember the collection of books she had and how she always read Dr. Seuss books to us. It was special for me to remember her and those memories that I have.

We had stake conference this week. It was crazy because all the ward boundaries changed. I knew that it was going to happen, but it was definitely a very different stake conference as they explained that all and also a lot of the talks were focused on change and being obedient. The talks were fantastic. Sometimes we have to be obedient, even if we do not know all the reasons. I know that if we are obedient, the Lord will bless us. It also showed me that we should be happy through the changes that happen in our life. I also loved the choir in this stake. The pianist was incredible. The choirs here are usually good, but this one was fantastic. We also all stood and sung "I'll go where you want me to go" and it was amazing and I felt the spirit so strongly.

We have been focussing a lot on talking with everyone. Every person on the street. The goal is to at least talk to 10 people per day. We are able to talk to a lot more, but it is not always easy. Every so often there are people who are a little crazy, or don't like us, or even completely ignore us. I have seen though that God puts people in our paths if we are trying our hardest. Two people that went to church this past week are because of contacts we did on the street and the doors we knocked on. I know that it is not mere coincidence that they were on the street or that we knocked on their door, this is truly God's work and he directs our paths. Thank you all for your support and prayers. I love you all!

Elder Johnson




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Olá!

We had another crazy week here. We had quite a few meetings. Yesterday and today we had 2 multi-zone conferences. They went extremely well. It is just extremely tiring to make sure that it all goes smoothly. I like being part of behind the scenes. It is a different type of challenge. That was most of our life this week. We were able to find some new people though. Also, one of our new investigators went to church on Sunday. He really enjoyed it and will hopefully be baptized here in a few weeks.

It was my companions birthday this week so we had a few birthday celebrations. On Monday we had a family home evening with a member who surprised him with a birthday cake! The birthday traditions here are very similar, just that the music is different. It is a lot more energetic. It was fun to have a cake or two this week.

I am really enjoying the new area that we are in. The members have recieved us extremely well. I remembered another story of this week. On Sunday we went to lunch. It was in a nice appartment with a member. we all sat down and then the member brought out the lunch. It was a massive turkey leg. Like the ones from Disneyland. They might have said that it was actually and ostrich leg, but I am not 100% sure about that. It was extremely good though. I was stuffed after.

I am truly seeing so many miracles as the Lord is helping me grow and learn. I am trying to completely trust in Him. There are many challenges, but I feel like the Lord is helping me have more faith and less fear. I am so greatful for that. I am learning so much and I know that He is always with us. He never leaves us. We just have to reach out. He will lift us out of any stormy sea that we are in. Thank you all for your love, support, and emails. I love you all so much!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Olá!

This week has been absolutely crazy for me. We have had a lot of meetings this week because we had the transfer and so right after we begin with many different trainings. We had a meeting with the new missionaries on Tuesday and then Wednesday we had a leadership meeting with the leaders on the mission. Tomorrow we will have one more and then next week just a couple more. Then it will be a lot less crazy here. Haha. We also moved areas this week. We are now in a ward called Campo Limpo. It seems to be a great ward. The bishop is super supportive and the members as well. The new house is good, but it is super hot right now. During the day it is scorching hot, and it doesn't really cool down during the night so it is a little bit hard to sleep, but I am kind of getting used to the heat.

One cool story is that yesterday we were walking on the street, doing some contacting with people on the street. Since we are completely new in the area we are just trying to find new people to teach. We felt like we should knock on a door and the person who answered received us extremely well. She was extremely kind and loved the message we left with her. It was so nice and showed me that God truly is leading and guiding us. It was not the first door that we knocked on, but because we tried to do our part and were on the street walking and trying our best, God inspired us to be in the right place at the right time. God truly is blessing me every day. I feel that so much. I know that God truly does turn our weaknesses into strengths. He qualifies who He calls and I am so grateful for that. Thank you all for your love and support!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Friday, October 13, 2017

Olá!

So this week was a little bit crazy for me. It started off normal the first couple of days. Then, I got a call from the secretary of the mission who said that president wanted to talk to me. I went there that day and he said I would be transferred out of Novo Osasco and he gave me the call to be one of the assistants of the mission! So it has been a pretty big transition for me. It was extremely sad leaving behind my companion. I really enjoyed the time I had with him. Now I am in a trio with the two assistants to train a little this week and then next week one of them will go home and I will be taking over more. I am excited to be able to have this opportunity to serve, but also a little bit nervous which is normal.

So after Thursday, I knew that I would be moving areas so we worked the next couple of days, but I also had the opportunity to say goodbye to the friends I made there in Novo Osasco. It was super sad, but at least I had that time with them. On our last Sunday in the ward, the youth called us to one of the rooms after church. They sang to us and all told us tthank you. It was so sweet of them. They also gave me a notebook and they all wrote inside. It was so amazing to be able to meet all of them. I had the opportunity of teaching their seminary class a few times and it is just so good to see so many youth who are firm in the church and following the Savior's path.

I am so grateful for Heavenly Father teaching me so many things, especially on the mission. President Thomas told me that the opportunity to be a leader is the opportunity to 'wash the disciples feet" as Christ did. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have now to serve. It does not matter what calling we have in the church, what matters is our attitude and willingness to follow the Lord. There are always people who need our help. I have seen that especially here on the mission. I hope to be able to trust in the Lord and I know that He strengthens us and guides us. Thank you all for your love and support. I love you all so much.

Tchau!

Elder Johnson






Monday, October 2, 2017

Olá!

I hope you all had a great conference. It was so amazing for me. I felt the spirit strongly and felt how I can change and become better, especially as a missionary. We watch conference here live, but the time zone is 3 hours ahead. We watch it in the stake center. I talked to them and they set up a tv in another room with Conference in English for all the American missionaries, and my companion who speaks English. haha. It was a lot of fun to be together and to be able to just enjoy Conference. We all shared candy and treats so it felt like I was back at home. It was a crazy weekend as between sessions we tried to run around inviting everyone to watch conference. It was fun. I even ran into a few people that I taught while in a previous area! So it was an amazing weekend.

The rest of the week went well. Not a whole lot happened. It was the same old same old of walking, walking, and more walking. It has been raining a lot here which has been a nice change. Today we went to the center of São Paulo. We saw a bunch of car dealerships and were even able to sit in a few cars. I will send some more pictures next week of that when we have more time. We also saw a protest going on today which was kind of cool. Haha. It had just started and they were just marching down the street. It was kind of crazy to see a protest like that in real life. There wasn't any fighting or vandalizing going on which is good. We took the subway back to our area which was fun. It is fun traveling around new cities here. Sometimes a little scary because you don't know where you will end up, but it is a fun adventure.

I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I would just like to say that I am so grateful for the living Prophets we have today. It is refreshing to hear their words of hope in a world that is sometimes full of despair. The guidance they give to us should be followed so that we are not lost, but so that we can find our way through life and make it back to our Father in Heaven. Through prayer, scripture study, the sabbath day, and the temple I know we can be oriented and not only help ourselves but those around us as well. I will probably share some more thoughts about conference next week because it was so amazing, but my time is just about up here. Thank you all for your love and support! I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson