Monday, December 26, 2016


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I was able to talk to my family on Skype which was an amazing experience. It was so much fun to see all of them. This Christmas was amazing for me because it wasn't about the presents or food (which are great), but it was so focused on the Savior and on people. We had opportunities to teach so many people the past couple of days. Everyone was so welcoming and it was an amazing weekend. It has started heating up more and more this week going into summer here. It was extremely hot and we had barbecue and fireworks, so it felt more like Independence Day than Christmas. Haha. We had dinner on Christmas Eve and on Christmas with a family of investigators that are super excited about joining the Church. We also watched some Christmas videos with them. They just love the messages that we bring. It is fun to teach people that not only accept the message but rejoice in it.

We had a Christmas reunion/party with all of the mission. It was a lot of fun to see other missionaries and have a fun night of singing, activities, and dinner. It was pretty far away so we spent the night in the mission home, which was also very different, but a lot of fun.

Other than Christmas things this week was pretty normal. Lots of lessons which is a lot better than just walking all day. The hills are extremely hard now because of the heat. We go through so much water every day, but it has been fun because I am enjoying being able to speak and interact with people more. The days go a lot faster when you can understand what is going on and you are actually talking with people, not just being talked at. haha.

It is crazy that we are already heading into a new year. It feels just like yesterday that 2016 started. I am excited for the opportunity to think about ways I can improve this year and be more like the Savior. I love the chapter in Preach my Gospel that talks about the attributes of Christ. It is important for all of us to always be striving to become more like Him. This new year is a great opportunity we have to think about ways we can improve, and then act on them every single day. It will be weird being away from home all of 2017, but I am excited for more opportunities to serve and teach new people. This truly is the Lord's work and I am so happy and grateful to be a part of it.

Amo Vocês!

Elder Johnson

Monday, December 19, 2016

Feliz Natal!!!!

This week went by so fast. It has been super hot here so it doesn't really feel like Christmas. We did have a ward Christmas party that was super fun! All of Raulino's family went with us! And his little daughter sang with the Primary! They are doing super well. His ex-wife is in the hospital now with health problems, so it has been hard for them, but they are still strong and we meet with them a lot. The older daughter needs to be married to her boyfriend before they can get baptized so we are working on them with that, but the younger daughter should be getting baptized very soon!!

We met some great new investigators this week! One lives next to us. Her name is Selma. She works in a hospital so it is hard for us to meet with her, but the first lesson with her was awesome. She understood The Restoration and The Priesthood and just about everything we talked with her about. She loved to talk about all aspects of the Gospel and is super welcoming and excited to learn more.

Welsey (our investigator who speaks 4 languages) is good but is having a hard time with work and with his girlfriend. We are going to keep working with him, but it has been a little hard this week. He did introduce us to a new family to teach, though! The girl that he works with that he tried to set me up with last week talked to us and said that she talked to her mom about us and that they were interested in learning more about The Church! Her name is Sabrina and her mom's name is Leide. We went by there and taught them about The Restoration! They are super excited about learning more. Sabrina is reading The Book of Mormon and is super interested and asks a lot of questions about it. We will keep working with them. They even invited us over for Christmas!

Another exciting thing this week is that I went to the Hospital! I am doing fine, I just had a fever and a few spots on my skin and we just wanted to make sure that everything was fine. The doctor said that I shouldn't worry. Just to make sure to use a lot of sunscreen and drink a lot of water. I think I am just a little dehydrated and it has been super hot and sunny. If it gets any worse on my skin I will be sure to go and see a dermatologist, but I am feeling a lot better. The hospital was interesting. It does not look super pretty... more like an abandoned building. The doctor was super nice. He spoke English. It was a little funny because the things he was interested in was the difference between American and Brazilian barbecue. And about Trump. Everyone always wants to talk about Trump. Haha. After he explained that everything was fine he said that I should follow him and not be scared. I was a little scared. Haha. It was all good, though. I got a little bit of medication and some fluids that seem to have helped and I am working and feeling great.

This week was my sister Shay's birthday!! On the same day as her birthday, she also gave birth to my new niece. She looks absolutely beautiful and I am super excited to see her this week as we have the opportunity to Skype home on Christmas! I am so grateful for my family and especially for Shay as it was her birthday. She has always been such an amazing example to me. She is such a wonderful mother. In this Christmas season, I miss my family a lot, but I am so grateful that I can preach the gospel to families here and bring the light and truth to people's lives. I love the scripture John 3:16 that states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Jesus Christ truly is the present of Christmas. The peace and warmth He brings are better than anything we can give or receive. I love this Christmas season and I love Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Remember this Christmas that He was born for us, and that He lives for us now. Merry Christmas to you all! I love you all so much!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, December 12, 2016


This week went by super fast. We went to a chapel next to the São Paulo Temple where a Seventy spoke to us and give us tips on how we can improve. It was really good and I learned a lot. It is a little difficult getting there as it usually includes standing up on a crowded bus (that is the same height or shorter than me) for one hour. It is kind of exciting though as the bus weaves in and out of traffic and you try not to fall over. Haha. When we were by the temple we saw a group of missionaries from the MTC. With them was Collin Peterson who went to Orem High School also! It was fun to see him and a bunch of other Americans. Helped show me how much Portuguese I have learned. Haha. Trying to speak English with them was difficult. I kind of switch back and forth between English and Portuguese when I try to speak English with people. It is a weird feeling. After the meeting with the Seventy, I had to go and get an ingrown toenail removed. With all the walking up and down hills, they are pretty common here. My toe is feeling a lot better now.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. It is usually super hot in the morning and then pours rain the afternoon and evening. I like the rain more than the heat. Our investigators are progressing well. All of Raulino's family came to church this week which was awesome! Church was fantastic because it was a country-wide stake conference broadcast from Salt Lake! 3 Seventies spoke and one of the Councilors in the Primary Presidency and Elder Holland! Two of the Seventies  and the Councilor in the Primary Presidency spoke Portuguese! Also, Elder Holland spoke a little bit in Portuguese! It was kind of crazy hearing an Apostle speaking another language. He spoke a little bit in the beginning and then switched to English, acknowledging how bad his Portuguese was (It wasn't super terrible. Haha). And then he bore his testimony in the end in Portuguese. It was a super cool experience and a really great church meeting.

Our other main investigator, Wesley, still hasn't been able to come to church because of work. We are helping him with that because he really wants to come, but is trying to support his daughter who lives in the United States. One funny thing about him is that he tried to set me up with a girl that he works with. He said she wants to live in the United States and find an American to marry. He then turned to her and said that I am American. I quickly changed the conversation. Haha

One other person we are teaching a lot is Dona Malva. She is super sweet, but can't read and has a hard time learning things. So our lessons with her are super simple. I love the simple lessons that truly rely on the Spirit to teach and testify.

We are continuing to work with a lot of people. I am loving that I can communicate with people more and more. I am feeling like I am actually connecting with people now. I absolutely love the people of Brasil and this opportunity to serve. I am super excited for Christmas and sharing Christmas messages is so much fun to do right now because people here are excited too and it is a great time to remember Jesus Christ. I love this true Christmas spirit I am feeling. I am not worried about what I am going to receive, and the only thing I can give is the simple, but powerful message of Jesus Christ. That He was born for us, He died for us, and that He continues to live and perform miracles for us today. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and everything He has done for me and continues to do for me every day on the mission.

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson

Elder Collin Peterson from Orem

There it is. Dante's Gate.

Toe Decor

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


This week we had the opportunity to go to the temple! My P-day got pushed back one day, but it was such an amazing experience. I love that we have a temple here. I felt the Spirit so strongly and a sense of peace when sometimes the mission is crazy and busy, which this week it was. Haha

It started when we tried to get money from the bank. I was able to get my money, but when my companion tried to get his, the ATM machine broke and not only didn't give him his money but zeroed his account. We have been working with the bank, but he hasn't had any money this week and we have spent hours in the bank with them because even they don't know what happened. This week was also crazy when one of our investigators called us in the morning saying that he didn't feel good and asking us for a blessing and to go to the hospital with him. It was good that we are here for him because he lives alone and doesn't have anyone else. The blessing helped him a lot and he is doing much better now. He still has problems with work and his boss, so getting him to church has been hard, but we are working with him every day and I have truly seen a change in his life.

Our other main investigators are in one family. We had a couple family nights with them and together they are starting to grow and change. The little 8 year old will hopefully be baptized soon. The other daughter needs to be officially married to her boyfriend before they can be married. A lot of people here don't worry about getting married but live together so we talk with a lot of people about that.

We are also working with a couple of youth. One is 15 and the other is 13. They both are great and are reading the Book of Mormon, but it has been hard to find times to teach them because they both are studying a lot. Most of our other time is spent on finding more investigators because we teach a lot of new investigators, but haven't had a lot of commitment or second or third lessons. We have also been working with a lot of less active members who are starting to return which is great.

I heard that Brother Means (A seminary teacher at Orem High) passed away. He was such an example to me. We talked about everything from the gospel to movies. He always lived in an attitude of gratitude, fully enjoying every moment of life, whether it was good or bad. He inspired so many people. He could make anyone's day better, even when he was going through the hardest times of his life. I am so grateful for Brother Means and everything he taught me. He was such a great friend and teacher to me. I know that I will see him again because of the amazing plan of our Father in Heaven. I am so grateful I am able to teach here in Brasil what he taught me. That we have a loving Father in Heaven and a Savior who prepared a path back to them. This message brings light and happiness into everyone's life. Thank you all for your love and support for me. Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson

At the Sao Paulo Temple

Nativity scene at the Sao Paulo Temple

Sao Paulo Temple

No Civil War there! Christmas cheer and tape fixes that.

Monday, November 28, 2016


This week marks 3 months that I have been on my mission! It has been a great 3 months that has flown by. I am loving Brasil and this opportunity I have to serve the people here. This week went so fast. Last P-Day after emailing we got a new microwave and we had popcorn. So I watched the movie, "The Restoration" and ate popcorn :) After, we had a lesson with Wesley (our investigator who speaks 4 languages) We talked about the Word of Wisdom and Chastity. He likes to speak English sometimes, so he will ask me a question in English, I respond, then we speak Portuguese, and then English again. haha. We switch back and forth so many times. The lesson went super well. We poured all his beer down the sink, threw away his coffee, and destroyed all his cigarettes. I then gave him a blessing in English. And then he gave the closing prayer in French, which is his first language. So our lessons are in many languages. It is a lot of fun. He has been pretty strong in following the commandments, still is struggling, but is doing a lot better now. He is still trying to find a better job so that he can come to Church, but he is trying and we are working with him every day.

The other people we are working a lot with is a family who lives in an apartment right next to us. Raulino (the father) hasn't gone to church in 16 years but he is starting to go frequently now! He has two daughters who also are starting to go!  We had family night with them on Thanksgiving and did an activity where we say what we are grateful for, but we can't repeat what another person said. It was so much fun. The hardest part for me was thinking of new words in Portuguese. Haha. On another night, we watched a Mormon Message with them, and every single person in the family started crying. I felt the spirit so strongly and am so happy for them.

We have also been working with Raulino's brother since the time that I have gotten here and this week he went to church for the first time in 16 years! He was the biggest surprise. We talk with him so many times and invite him to church every week, but he never goes and always says he will go the next week. We fasted fo the entire family, and it was such a miracle that they all went. When I saw them at the church I wanted to jump and dance around for joy!

Thanksgiving was very different this year. It is not a holiday here so it was just another normal day. We did have churrasco for lunch so I was extremely happy with my Thanksgiving feast.

Saturday was one of the longest days in the field I have had. We didn't have any plans, so we contacted and knocked doors which walking up and down hills all day. It is also starting to heat up, so it was a long, hot day. It was good though because of the night with Raulino and his family. It is weird with all the heat here, but also with Christmas decorations starting to come up also. Somedays after walking up and down hills I am soaked with sweat. Só bençãos (Only blessings) haha. we say that phrase a lot.

Sunday night it rained so much. More than I have ever seen in my life. We were waiting for Raulino and his family and we heard what sounded like a bucket being poured on the roof of the school across the street from us. We realized that the rain was coming, but couldn't open our umbrellas fast enough, so in an instant, we were completely soaked. It was absolutely crazy. It was a lot of fun, though. And after we had a great family home evening with Raulino and his family :)

One last thing, we are pushing the Church's Christmas initiative right now a lot. They have an amazing video that shows the program on, and every day they have ways that we can "Light the World". Go look up the video and share it with everyone you know. We truly can light the world with the love and spirit of Christ. I am so grateful for these experiences I am having here and for this opportunity I have to share my testimony with so many people. Eu amo vocês!

Elder Johnson

More critter hunting.

And there it is.

Popcorn and a show!
Our newest investigator.

Monday, November 21, 2016


So this week went by super fast. It started really well when last P-Day we went to a Churrascaria, which is basically like Tucanos in Provo, but for 6 dollars. It was so amazing. The food here is incredible. We also had Churrasco there another day and for a ward activity, so I ate really well this week. Haha. We met our newest investigator in the Churrascaria. He works there and he speaks 5 languages! (Portuguese, English, Spanish, Creole and French). He started speaking to me in English and asking me questions about missionaries and we have now gone and visited him every single day at his house which is very close by. His name is Wesley. He is so nice and hardworking. He has so many trials in his life and it is hard sometimes to see him going through so much, from financial problems to family problems. He has a lot of faith though and it continues to grow. He wasn't able to get off work this Sunday to come to church, but he is trying to change his schedule so that he will be there this week. He is also planning on being baptized!

We had divisions this week which was fun. I went to a new area for two days! The first day was with a Brazilian and it was pretty normal. A lot of walking and teaching. Haha. I also tried a new drink called "Guaraná Jesus". It is basically like drinking liquid cotton candy. Haha. The second day was with an American elder and it was so much fun! He hasn't been here much longer than me, so our Portuguese is not amazing, but it was so different and so much fun. We were able to teach a lot and make a lot of contacts! Definitely, one of the best days here as it truly was just a baptism by fire for two new American missionaries.

We also had interviews with the President this week! It was a lot of fun. As Sister Thomas doesn't speak much Portuguese, I got to translate for her! It was so different and a lot of fun! Also, she was writing all of the conversion stories of everyone in the mission, so I got to translate all of the stories that the Brazilian's told into English!

On Sunday, the ward had the Primary Program. It was so much fun to hear all the songs I grew up with in Portuguese. It was also super weird, but I felt the spirit so strongly as I heard the simple truths that the kids sang, told, and, at times, screamed. Haha. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to serve. We have transfers tomorrow and I will stay here with my trainer for another 6 weeks, but it shows me how fast the time is going. I am trying to make every day count.

It has been raining a lot. Every day it usually is super hot, and then rains, and then is a little bit cold. Perfect temperature for me at night, but the Brazilians are always freezing. Haha. We have been working with a lot of less active members and actually have a few of them starting to return after a lot of years. Sometimes we focus on baptism, which is good, but enduring to the end is also an important step of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been amazing for me to talk with people every day and see the light of the gospel enter their life for the first time, or return to their life. You can see such a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them. One transfer down. I am excited for the rest of my mission! There is no Thanksgiving here, but I have been thinking about it and I am truly grateful for all the people in my life who have helped me get here and who continue to strengthen me through prayers, emails, and guidance.  Thank you all for everything you do!

Elder Johnson

A carnivorous Tucana. Huh? I thought they only ate Froot Loops.
Elder's Quorum Churrasco. Nice activity!
Our amazing chapel.

Large and in charge in Brazil!

Like drinking Cotton Candy. 

Monday, November 14, 2016


We had a general authority in our mission this week! Elder Nielsen of the Seventy! He is in charge of missionary work and it was so amazing to have him come and speak to us! He spoke about missionary work and the growth of the church. He showed us a video about the growth of the church that you can only see in one other place in the world (Fayette, New York). It was so amazing to see. Also, the Mission President's wife spoke. She can't speak Portuguese. She is trying to learn, but it is super hard for her. She always has a translator, but during the devotional, she bore her testimony completely in Portuguese! It was so amazing. I felt the spirit so strongly as she tried with all her might to bear the feelings of her heart. I can totally relate to her as the language is hard sometimes, but I could totally feel the Spirit and the Spirit speaks past language barriers and talks directly to the heart.

This week went really well overall! The language is getting better every day. To a point where sometimes if I try to speak to someone in English it is super hard. I was at a Brazilian Barbeque just a little bit ago (Super good by the way) and a guy was talking to me about why I am here. I was trying to bear my testimony in English and it was extremely hard. It actually takes a lot more to speak in English right now. Especially for church things because the past 2 and a half months has been completely in Portuguese. Such a blessing that I can have the gift of tounges. It is not completely easy at times, but the spirit helps me every single day. I am so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost in my life.

Church was a little hard and sad because we didn't have any of our investigators there. It has been hard to keep inviting people, but they still don't follow everything. One of the families has started reading the Book of Mormon which is amazing! This week was hard to get a hold of a lot of other investigators. We keep trying every day, though. Also, one less active member we teach didn't come to church even though he has been usually. We talked to him later and he talked about another church that he also likes going to. I was so sad, but as we explained about why the Church is true, you could tell that he understood that he has the fullness of the gospel. We talked about Lehi's dream and how there is no other source of eternal life, except through the straight and narrow path, holding onto the rod of iron. It was actually one of the most spiritual lessons that I taught. I am glad the Spirit bore the truth of all of it also. He understands why the Church is important and has a stronger testimony now.

The biggest lesson I have learned this week is that sometimes we are asked to climb mountains. The path of the Lord is the correct path, but at times it doesn't seem like the easiest path. Sometimes we will have trials, sorrow, and pain, but always remember that the Lord is always with us. Through Him, we will grow stronger and when we endure and climb with all of our might up the mountains we have, he will strengthen us and we will have happiness, peace, blessings, and eternal life with our families. I love you all!

Elder Johnson

Sunset over Brazil

Monday, November 7, 2016


This week went by so fast! It has been absolutely crazy here. I had my first divisions. I went into another area and it was so different. We taught 5 lessons standing up. I literally never sat down the entire day. There were a lot more favelas there also. It was a lot of fun and was a great experience. At night we walked through this crazy area. It kind of felt like Switzerland at times and then like a jungle at another point. We saw fireflies which was so cool!

The traffic here is crazy also. There basically are no rules. All the cars are manual and everyone just drives wherever. The busses will take shortcuts, going in and off the freeway and then stopping randomly for people to jump on and off. There are speed bumps on a lot of roads which is good, because, without them, people do not slow down and just go as fast as they can. Also, there are a ton of motorcycles. And they just fly around the city. It is pretty awesome. Haha.

It has been hard with investigators. Most of the Baptismal dates have not worked out. It is hard to see someone fall away and not want the gospel. We are still working hard, though. We have one little girl who will be baptized this Sunday!!! She is the daughter of a member who hasn't been to church in 16 years, but he is starting to come also! So with all the difficulties with other people, I am super excited for this little 8-year-old and her dad. I already see a difference in his life. The gospel just brings a light to people that is totally noticeable.

One little miracle just happened here as I was emailing. I prayed earlier for all the technology to work because last week the internet and computer kept shutting down, and the power went out in the building, but my computer stayed on. It is something so small, but the Lord is always looking out for us in all things, big or small because He loves us. I feel His love here and know that He loves every single person in the world so much. I am so grateful for this opportunity I am having to share the gospel and His love with the people here in Brasil. Thank you all! I love you guys!

Elder Johnson

8-Legged Hunt in Progress

Not for another 22 months, Elder.

Amazing Pizza Claim looks to be true.

First "Squad Tie" Sunday in the mission field.

Monday, October 31, 2016


This week went by so fast! It is crazy how fast the weeks go, but how slow the days feel sometimes. We walk a lot. Up hills and down hills and around hills. Haha. It is extremely tiring, but it strengthens me physically and spiritually because of the strength of the Lord I feel at all times here.

We have been working with a lot of different people. We make contacts on the street and then try to go back and teach them. We have to do it that way because there are a lot of apartment buildings here. It is fun and interesting to make a lot of contacts. On the street, you meet a lot of different people. One person kept trying to ask us weird questions. He asked us "Who we are", "What we eat", and "Where we live" Haha. Every time we tried to respond he would stop us and ask us the same questions over and over again. Haha. But I feel a love for all the people here. I know that they all of sons and daughters of God and that the love and atonement of Christ are for every single person on the planet.

We have a lot of different investigators. It is somewhat easy to start to teach someone, but for them to continue progressing is really hard. I am starting to be able to teach more and actually have conversations with people. It is hard when someone asks you a question and you have no idea what they said, or you know what they said but you have no idea how to respond in Portuguese. I have learned to have so much faith. Whenever I feel like I need to speak, the Spirit always helps me. And it is not a grand explanation of deep doctrine, but it is the simple testimony that the Spirit helps me with. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I am having to strengthen my testimony here, and for the opportunities, I have to serve and to teach. I love you all. Thank you for all for everything you have done for me!

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 24, 2016


I made it to the second P-Day in the field! It has been crazy! So much happens that it is hard to remember it all! I am loving Brasil and the people here! The language barrier is hard, but I can still feel love towards every person here. The members have so much love for the church and want to hear all about Utah and the Conference Center and how it is there. It is super hard to explain in Portuguese, but I think they somewhat understand me. Haha.

One crazy thing that happened this week is that we were walking around at night, getting contacts and a somewhat crazy looking guy came up to us and was saying that he needed a scripture read. He was yelling that we were messengers from God and that he wanted us to read a scripture right then. He kept yelling "LEIA! LEIA!" which means "READ! READ!". We read him the scripture and then tried to get away without anything more crazy happening. Haha

The food this week was good. We tried McDonalds. It was...interesting. Haha. It was just a little different. The Big Mac was smaller and not as good. Everyone says that Burger King is better here, so we will try that. Haha. My companion likes learning English and likes Burger King and Pizza. The pizza here is amazing. They put chocolate in the crust which is actually amazing. So it is like a 3 meat pizza, with a chocolate crust. It sounds weird, but it is so so so good. :)

The weather has been weird. It goes from super hot, to stormy, to super hot, to freezing cold in one day. The storms here are intense. They took out the power on our street and I don't know if I have ever heard louder thunder. It was a little scary as it was almost shaking the apartment.

We had stake conference this week. It was really good. The mission president was there and a couple of our investigators were there also! One of them is making great progress. When I contacted her on the street and gave here a picture of Christ, she started crying because her husband died a couple months ago. We have shared with her the Plan of Salvation and she is making great progress! Her baptism is planned for the 13th of November!

I have seen so many blessings from the Lord. It was a hard week, but the Lord truly has been there to lift me up and to bless me. I love this gospel and the light that it brings into people's lives. Thank you all for the prayers, emails, letters, and love. I love you all!

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ola everyone,

I have survived one week in the field! It has been difficult and trying, but it has also been amazing. I have already learned so much and continue to learn more every single day. The language here is incredibly difficult for me. People speak so so fast and I only pick up a few words. It makes it hard to communicate and I might have said some false doctrine. Haha. Someone asked me if I am liking Brasil and I said no on accident. Haha. I am learning more every single day and the Lord is helping me through everything.

I am in a city to the west of São Paulo. Still in the state of São Paulo, but a different city. It is different. Roads are just built randomly and there are a lot of hills. I am so tired of walking up hills. Haha, We go to a lot of apartment buildings, but also other houses. It is crazy. I taught a lesson in a tiny room with a family and it was raining and the rain was coming in through the roof, but I still felt the Spirit so strongly. People here live in modest circumstances, but they love so much and they always are so giving. I also see some crazy things. One time I saw a guy walk by who was just singing at the top of his lungs and then a car went by with a sound system so big that it was sticking out of the back of the car(People here have decent cars, but great sound systems Haha) And then a guy went by on a horse. It was a pretty hot day so maybe I was just seeing things. Haha.

The weather here is pretty crazy. It goes from super hot to pouring rain and back in one day. I like the rain more. Walking up hills in the sun makes for long days. People love to see pictures and hear about the United States. One person was asking about conference and I said I sung in it last year, so he looked up the video and we watched it. It was fun and kind of weird. I had longer hair then. Haha

The food here is really good. Usually, rice with beans and meat. Sometimes pasta. And the juice is super good. We eat lunch with a member every single day and share a message with them. It is a lot of fun, but difficult when they talk so fast and then ask me a question and I have no idea what to say. Haha, They also love always calling on me for prayer. Haha. Every time they want the American to say it. I also help teach people English which is fun. I actually know what is going on . Haha. People also love how tall I am. People take pictures with me all the time. Haha

I am loving the opportunity to be able to serve the people here in Brasil. I know that through the Lord that I have been strengthened and continue to be strengthened every day. I love the simplicity and the beauty of the gospel. It blesses lives. The main thing that keeps me going every day is "Posso fazer todas as coises com Cristo" which in English means "I can do all things with Christ" His strength, love, Atonement, and mercy can bring light into the darkest places, it can heal any wound, and through it I know that I can accomplish my mission here and that I can live with my family and with God forever. I love you all. Thank you for your prayers, support, and love!

Elder Johnson

Friday, October 7, 2016


This week was awesome! General conference was amazing. We watched it all together with the Brazilians and so I had to wear a headset the entire time, but it was still such an amazing experience. I probably could have picked up a good amount of Portuguese, but I wanted to make sure to understand all of the messages. It is very different when you are listening to conference on a mission. The messages seem a little different. There was so much emphasis on the Plan of Salvation and Jesus Christ. The doctrine of Christ is so simple and so I am glad that it was the simple, powerful truths that were taught during conference. It is the same amazing truths. that I am learning and teaching here in Brasil. I can't teach anything complex because, firstly, I don't know how to say anything complex in Portuguese, and, secondly, it is the simple truths that people feel and are drawn to. So I loved conference. I love having prophets on the earth that we can learn from. We all need to continue studying their teachings. Instead of reading texts, tweets, or posts, just take a couple minutes to read a conference talk. It will bless your life.

Another thing that happened this week is that I went Proselyting again. It was again very different. It was colder and I got rejected quite a bit. Many people didn't seem to want to talk to a tall, skinny, curly hair kid from Utah who speaks grammatically incorrect, broken Portuguese. Haha. But there were a few people who stopped (or who I tracked down eventually) and in those moments I knew it wasn't me that was speaking. It was the Spirit. It is such a blessing to have the Spirit. That is truly what gets through to people. And so through the rejection, I still feel really good that I was able to hand out a few Book of Mormons. Nothing too crazy happened in proselyting this time, or maybe I am just getting used to it. Haha.

I got a haircut this week, which was an experience... The barber doesn't look at your hair when he cuts it. He just starts buzzing the sides and then he did a scissor cut on top, but he seemed to be very distracted and missed a few parts, so I had hair that was longer on the back and in a couple different places. My roommate fixed it, but it was pretty bad. haha. I took a few pictures before it was fixed and will send those when I get out of the CTM.

It was truly a great experience here in the CTM. I leave to the field on Tuesday. The CTM is in my mission area, so I am basically just going right outside, but it is going to be totally different and I am excited and also nervous. I feel like it is the last practice before game day and I know that I need to get ready and be prepared. I want to leave it all out there and have no regrets. I know that with the Lord's help, then I will be able to make it through and enjoy this opportunity to serve. I know that this work is so important and I absolutely love it. Thank you for all your love and support!


Elder Johnson

This is the Museum of Art in Sao Paulo, an area that Noah has been streeting within. He says that it is very impressive and interesting.

An aerial view of the MTC in Sao Paulo

Friday, September 30, 2016

Hello family and friends,

This week was great. It felt really short, but also really long. The days kind of mesh together. It is a weird feeling. Lots of studying and teaching. And a lot of Portuguese. By the end of the day, I am exhausted. haha

I forgot to say a few things about proselyting. There were some teenagers that had painted themselves silver and were juggling fire between cars when traffic was stopped and then people would pay them. Also, there are always people walking through traffic trying to sell things or wash your windows. Haha. There was this guy playing saxophone where we were proselyting. Everything from Christmas music to "Forever Young" He was super good, so it actually was nice to listen to. Haha. I am going again tomorrow so I am excited for what else I will see!

My district is a lot of fun. I am district leader. I basically just make sure everyone is on task and lead discussions and some studying, but that's about it. It is not too difficult. I also try to share thoughts with them every night from the scriptures. My district has 5 elders from Utah, one from Missouri, and one from Idaho. The ones from Idaho and Missouri are my companions. The one from Missouri is a little crazy. He definitely makes things interesting with random impressions and jokes and stuff. Haha. He says he might want to be an actor, and he would be pretty good at it. My other companion is cool. He likes grammar and chips, so every night he eats chips and reads his grammar book in bed. Haha. The rest of the district and the Brazilians and other people down here are awesome. They are so welcoming and I have made a lot of good friends.

As for the language, it is coming. A normal greeting is "Tudo bem" it is asked like a question and then responded just normally. It directly means "All is well". Other things are "Bom dia", "Boa tarde", and "Boa noite" which are good morning, afternoon, and night. To say goodbye is just "Tchau" or "Até mais" which means see you later kind of. Haha. We do language fasts where we just speak Portuguese which is exhausting, but effective.

I am really starting to love the culture, language, and people down here. It is such an amazing experience to be able to serve the Lord all day. It brings the Spirit and so much love into my life. I know that this work is so important and that The Church is true. It brings so much peace and happiness into my life and the message that we teach is simple but powerful. That through Christ, we can repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and live with our families together. That message has blessed my life, and it can bless every single person's life because through it we find happiness and joy. I love all the support I get from back home. Thank you all for everything you do for me and my family.


Elder Johnson

Friday, September 23, 2016


The CTM is awesome! It has been such a different experience, but I am loving it. The schedule most days are very similar so it is hard to talk a lot about specifics of what is going on, because it is pretty repetitive and most days feel exactly the same. Haha. 

Last Saturday we did proselyting on the streets of São Paulo. It was crazy, hard, and fun! They put us on a bus, took us to the center of the city, gave us three copies of O Livro de Mórmon and told us to go and place them. Completely baptism by fire and I absolutely loved it. It was a little weird going up to people at first after only having three weeks of Portuguese practice, but the spirit guided me and helped me. It was easily the best part of being down here. We will be able to do it one more time while we are here!

Every day the Portuguese gets a little easier. Talking to Brasillians helps a lot. We sometimes teach 4 lessons in one day! Two to "investigators", one to a "member"(who is someone who works here at the CTM), and one with a Brasillian companion. I am exausted after every single day. 

The worst part about the CTM is when they try to do american food. They make hot dogs and they are almost impossible to eat. They are covered in a weird sauce and it is extremely hard to muscle them down, but other than that I am loving it here. It is basically a fortress. No one in or out which is nice, but you kind of feel a little trapped. Kind of like a zoo animal. Haha. 

This morning I got to help in the Baptistry in the temple and actually do the baptisms in portuguese. It was a really cool experience! I absolutely love the Temple and the peace it brings!

The Lord has blessed me so much this week and I am so grateful for this gospel and the joy it brings. I am so excited to keep working. Just passed the halfway mark so that is exciting, but I am definitely going to need the next three weeks of preperation before the field! I love you all and know that I love the Lord. He is always there for us and is always helping us. Look for His hand in your life every day and I know that you will see countless blessings that he has given you and continues to give you. Love you all!!

Elder Johnson

Friday, September 16, 2016

Hello, friends and family!

So this week I wrote a lot more about the CTM (What the MTC is called here). The beds are pretty small. My head is against the wall and my feet are still hanging off the bed on the other side. I am still surprisingly able to sleep, though. Haha. The showers seem to have two settings, the fire of Mount Doom or the Ice of Hoth. Every few seconds I can get somewhere in between. haha. The food here is a ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast and rice, beans, and meat for lunch and dinner. There is always fruit that is really good. The drinks are really good also. Juice and Guarana (Brazilian soda)

The entire CTM is part of the choir. So we practice before the devotionals and then just sing to ourselves. Haha. It is fun and hard to sing in Portuguese. We sang the Brasilian national anthem when Elder Anderson came because it was the same day as Brasil's independence day.

The stairs here are killer. I walk up and down 6 floors just to get to my room. And I thought the stairs at Orem High were bad. haha

My shoes killed my feet the first couple of days, but they have broken in and feel so good now. P-day is super cool. We go to the temple and take a lot of pictures. Then, we write emails and go out into the city. I bought cookies, candy (which is different, but really good), and some food. When we have more time I will probably get a cheeseburger (which they spell as x-burger)

I am really loving being here. My scriptures are getting marked up. I like teaching and I am getting better at it. The language is super hard and a huge barrier, but with the Lord's help, it is getting much better.

I miss the mountains. There was a video of the Temples in Utah playing in the lobby of the CTM and seeing Timp made me a little homesick, but other than that I am holding up super well. The Lord truly does strengthen those he calls. We have three Brazilians in our dorm room. The one speaks really good English, but the other two barely speak. They are funny, though. It definitely does help with the Portuguese having actual Brazilians to talk to all the time. The one Brazilian that speaks good English always makes our beds and says it was the Holy Ghost. Haha.

We did splits with Brazilians this week, so we had to plan and teach a lesson with someone who doesn't speak any English. It is really good practice, but super hard. Every lesson I get better, though. Every day feels like a week, but every week feels like a day.

The Lord truly strengthened and blessed me this week. I feel the spirit so strongly and without it, there is no way I could learn the language this quickly. It is extremely challenging every day, but it is also super rewarding. I feel so much love for everyone and the tender mercies of The Lord are abundant. I can't wait for another week of learning, teaching, being humbled, and growing closer to The Lord.

One last thing, I want to say Happy Birthday to my dad! It is today (September 16) and he is one of the best examples, mentors, and friends in my life. I am so grateful for everything he has done for me and I love him so much.


Elder Johnson

Any return emails or just emails, in general, can come straight to me at instead of going through my dad who is sending these out. Thank you for all your love and support!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hello Everyone!!

The MTC down here in Brazil is crazy. It is a lot of fun, but it is also very difficult. From the moment that you get down here, everyone is speaking Portuguese to you. It is very much baptism by fire. The first week was completely daunting and super hard. I had no idea what was going on. The language is starting to come, though. Definitely, have needed The Lords help this week. The food down here is definitely different and some of it is interesting, but there are a lot of good things to eat. They prepare meat and bread super well, but they need some help with the veggies. More butter and salt would be great on those. I have two companions. They are both awesome. My district is great. I am district leader. We have barely any time to email so I am trying to say as much as I can. It is super stressful. Haha. If any of you email me and I don't email back for a little bit, know that I am trying, but I just have to take pictures of a lot of them and then read them throughout the week. I can't send pictures from here, but I will send a lot once I get out into the field.

Teaching people in Portuguese is extremely difficult. I know what I want to say, I just don't know how to say it. It drives me crazy. Haha. The MTC isn't easy. Mission work isn't easy, but I know that the Lord strengthens those who follow Him. And I have felt his strength in lessons and just in everything that I do.

Elder Anderson came and spoke to us this week. Everyone got to shake his hand because there are only about 300 missionaries or less. It makes it so that you know everyone and it is a lot of fun because you make a lot of friendships. Every day is just a lot of study and eating and a little bit of basketball (but no jumping which drives me crazy). The Lord has shown His hand so much this week and I am grateful for the strengthening power that He brings me. The Gift of Tounges is so real. I have felt it help me throughout this week and I am going to need to continue to have it in order to teach the people of Brazil. We went to the São Paulo Temple this morning which was an amazing blessing. The temple is such a source of strength and inspiration. I am loving working for The Lord. Thank you all for your love and support!!

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Dear Parents,

Sister Grahl and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us! We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                  
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.

The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the MTC food is plentiful, healthy and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.

Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.

We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.

Pres. Paulo R. Grahl and Sister Zuleika M. Grahl


This email is just for you guys and the family. They just wanted us to check in with the little time that we have. The next email I send will be a week from Friday on my first P-Day and you can send that one out to the list. We just made it down here and I am in the MTC now! It is a little crazy. My shoes are finally feeling broken in and a lot better. I am loving the district I am in. We all became good friends at the airport and the way over. The exit row was fantastic. I could stretch my legs out completely so I slept pretty well. The food was pretty good on the plane. We drove through the city and it is pretty run down, but I am pretty excited. The MTC(Which I think is called CTM down here) is nice. All the water is filtered and I am excited to try the food. People just speak to you in Portuguese so it is baptism by fire. Today is mainly just settling in, but we are gonna be in full swing tomorrow it looks like. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and write a lot of stories. I love you! Tell the rest of the family that I love them and miss them, but I am excited to be here serving The Lord.