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