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

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