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.