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.