Monday, September 18, 2017

Olá!

This week was fantastic! We worked a lot which for me is great because the days go by a lot faster and we are able to help and talk to a lot of people. Wednesday we had a Mission Tour with Elder Basset of the Seventy. It was great. He spoke a lot about our purpose here on the mission. I really enjoyed it. It was with half of the mission one day and then the other half the other day. It is fun to see a lot of the friends you made on the mission.

We also had Stake Conference this week. Since I have already been in this Stake I got to see a lot of people that I met a while ago. It was awesome. The Stake Conference was also great because of the messages. There was a Seventy here who talked about a lot of things. They talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and the importance to read every day. It truly is essential for us to read every day. It will bless our lives in all aspects.

We taught a woman this week who is an amazing investigator. Her name is Nanny. She has so many questions and loves to listen and learn. She even went and watched an entire session of General Conference. She will be baptized in a couple weeks!

The best thing that happened this week is we had a baptism! Nathan was baptized. He is 18 years old. We have been teaching him for a while, but he still had doubts and a little fear to be baptized. I know that the Spirit helped him make the decision to be baptized. I almost didn't believe it when he said he decided to be baptized. Haha. It was a great experience though. He chose me to baptize him which made me extremely happy. He is one of the best friends I have made on the mission and I have already seen a huge difference in his life. I know that baptism is an incredibly important step in our life. It will not only bless him, but it will also bless his family. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and help people learn more about our purpose here and make the decision to follow Christ. Thank you all for your love and support.

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

P.S. I have to give my amazing dad a birthday shoutout. I would say that he is getting old, but I will just say that he is becoming very wise. :) I love you dad!




Monday, September 11, 2017

Olá!

This week went super well! I started training which has been a lot of fun. My new companion is from Brazil. His name is Elder Aguiar. We have been working well together. We had training for the new missionaries and then the next day I had training for new District Leaders. That was a lot of fun. I am enjoying being a trainer and DL.

One fun story from this week is that we went to a park with some members of the ward for an activity. While we were there I played basketball with a couple of guys there in the park. I played for a few minutes which was a lot of fun and then explained to them who I was and if they would be interested in learning about the church, which a few were. It was a lot fun. One guy said that he had never seen someone playing basketball in church clothes. Haha.

We have been working on finding new people. It is amazing how the Lord directs our paths. One night we were just walking and I felt that we should go down a street. We kept walking and found a married couple. We taught them which they liked a lot. It was nice because we were trying all day to teach someone, but no one wanted, but the Lord led us to some people who accpeted. We will keep working hard this week and trust in the Lord. He truly guides this work and he guides all of our lives. I am so grateful for Him and for all these experiences that I am having. I love you all. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson





Monday, September 4, 2017

Olá!

This week went by super fast. It was a whirlwind of a week as my companion had a couple problems with his health and he had to go to the hospital for a consult. He found out that he has to have surgery so he is heading home. It is ironic because he was the companion I was with when I went home. I found out that I will train a new missionary and also I will be the District Leader. I am super excited for the opportunities I have and I know that I will learn and grow with these experiences.

I don't have a lot to say about this week. It was a shorter week with the temple being on Tuesday and then having to resolve all the health problems, but we did have a couple fun times. We had a barbeque in the ward which was a lot of fun. We played some basketball also. We are not allowed to keep score, but if we could, I think I won. Haha.

The last thing I would like to say is to wish a happy birthday to my mom. It was a little while ago, but she is truly an amazing woman and a fantastic mother. She has always taught me to work hard and believe in our dreams. Currently, she is an example to me as she has returned to school to study and follow her dreams. She knows that with the Lord, all things are possible. From the very first breath I took, she has been raising me to be a missionary and father. I am so grateful for her and her love. He has helped me so much in my life. I would not be where I am or who I am without her. I love her so so so much. Happy Birthday, Mom!! I love you all! Thank you for your prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson







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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Olá!

This week I don't have a lot of time because we went to the temple! It was such an amazing experience. I love every opportunity we have to go there. This week we also had two confirmations at church. It was so amazing to see them progress and to be baptized and confirmed. One cool story from this week is that we received a reference from salt lake. The sisters there called us and gave us the address of a lady in our area. She works for Mary Kay and so does one of our recent convert's mom. We asked our recent convert's mom if she knows the woman from the reference we received and she does! It just shows how small a world this is. It is also an amazing opportunity we have now to teach the mom and the reference and for both of them to have the opportunity to accept the church at the same time! We will see how that goes!

We are coming up on the transfer. I don't know exactly what will happen yet, but I am excited to go where the Lord sends me. This week also marks one year on the mission. It goes by so fast. I am excited that it is not over yet, but that I still have the second have to work as hard as I can. I am so excited to keep working. I have felt like I have grown so much already and I can't wait to see what this second year has in store for me. Thank you for all your prayers and support! I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 21, 2017

Olá!

This week flew by, but it was a fantastic week. It has been raining nonstop and cold, but we had another baptism! It was a miracle and it went super well! We were teaching Luan who has been to church a few times and was going to be baptized this week, but we went to his house when we were doing splits and so I was with the district leader and as we were there we asked him if he wanted to do the interview and be baptized this past week and he said yes. He passed the interview and we planned the baptism. It went super well. There was a ward lunch after the baptism so there were a lot of people at the baptism. I gave a short talk which seemed to go well. The water heater in the church was broken so he was baptized in extremely cold water, but he still was so excited and the baptism was a great experience.

We also had a multi-zone conference this week. We learned a lot of things. We focused on improving our teaching. It was kind of a long day, but I really enjoyed it. The training from the leaders was excellent, especially from President Thomas. He is an incredibly great guy.

A couple crazy stories this week. We were walking on the street and we saw a guy laying on the street in pain. A lot of times there are drunks who are like that, but this guy was different. We stopped and tried to see what was wrong. He was in front of a church and so some of the people who worked in the church came out to help us. We called the ambulance (which is free here, by the way) and tried to help calm him down and help him not feel as much pain. The ambulance took him away, and I don't know how he is doing, but I hope he is well. It was also a great experience to talk to some people from another church. We made friendships with them and they are now more open and friendly to us. What we do truly shows an example of who we are. People sometimes don't understand our religion or church. We can show them the truth not only through what we say, but what we do.

One more story. We went into a favela that was extremely poor. It was incredibly humbling. Just seeing this community of people who don't have anything. They just build houses with what they can. Within these communities they have small grocery stores, a barber, and sometimes even a restaraunt. There are so many kids just running around almost wearing nothing because they literally just use what they find. It makes me so sad so see them is such a condition, but I see that there are so many people that are still happy in their circumstance. They are not bitter towards God or anyone else. They just enjoy what they have and are grateful for any blessing. For people who have much more, sometimes we all murmur or complain about what we don't have, or even what we do have that is maybe not the latest and gratest. We can all be grateful in any circumstance. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have here to serve and help people see the light and love of God for them. The hope, joy, and peace that we recieve from God are some of the most amazing blessings that we all can have, regardless of any circumstance. Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson



Monday, August 14, 2017

Olá!

This week went by so fast, but it was a great week! We have been working with a lot of people and they are all doing great. I cooked a lot this week also. I made an American breakfast of some pancakes and eggs. My parents sent me some powdered buttermilk that is magic. The pancakes turned out great. We also made a lot of cookies. People here don't know how to make cookies which is weird, but I have a recipe and I made them in our house one night. After, the seminary teacher in the ward asked me if I could teach the seminary class how to make cookies. So one night I taught them how and then made a bunch of cookies for them. They turned out great. I forgot to take a picture, but I will make some this week and send a picture. The youth in the ward are awesome. I have made a lot of friends here. We sometimes go to seminary with our investigators. They are studying the New Testament which is what I studied when I started so it is super weird as I look back and it has been around 5 years.

This week we worked with the ward as they are preparing to visit every member in the ward. They have a list of around 300 families (only about 100 are active) I helped them do an Excel sheet of everyone, organized by neighborhood. It turned out great and now it is a lot easier for us to find everyone and visit them also. This Sunday we will have a lunch with the ward and everyone will go out to visit.

Yesterday (Sunday) was Father's day here. It is a little later in the year here, but I would just like to thank my Father for everything he does for me. He has always been a mentor and a friend. When I was home, I was working in the office with him and it was so much fun for me, not just working which I love to do, but looking over and being able to be with my dad. He is one of the greatest men I have ever met. He has taught me so much and I am so grateful for him. Thank you dad.

I am excited for another week in the mission field. It is not always easy, but I love it. It goes by so fast and I am grateful that I have this opportunity to serve and to help others. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support. I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson




Monday, August 7, 2017

Olá!

This week went extremely well! I am feeling a lot better physically and we had a baptism! The investigator was being taught by the sisters for a while who were here before and when we got transferred here we just finished it up and helped her be completely prepared for baptism. She is 16 years old. She has been going to seminary and church every week. She basically was prepared already, but it was fun to help her for that last step and get everything prepared. The baptism was awesome. There were a lot of people and support from the entire ward. Her mom is not a member, but she went to the baptism and seemed to really enjoy it. We will start teaching her mom also.

We have been teaching a lot of younger people. It has been great because we bring them to seminary which they have in the church just about every day. It helps us have a great lesson with a bunch of members, also we enjoy participating in seminary also. haha. There were 6 investigators in seminary at one time. This ward is great with the young men and women. They help with missionary work so much. It is awesome to see such an amazing group of young men and women always going to seminary, presenting the church to their friends, and being so close, but also welcoming.

One awesome story from this week. Awhile ago I was in a close-by area and my companion was the district leader. He did an interview here in the area I am in now. I was with him and met the investigator. He passed the interview, but then after backed out of the baptism because of some doubts about not being prepared. When I got here I wanted to see him again, but never saw him. We started going to a list of people who have been taught in the past and when we went to one house, it was his. He recognized me also and we talked to him and his sister. They are awesome and the lesson was great. We went with them to seminary another day and they really enjoyed that also. We will keep working with them.

This week was great and I can't wait to keep working. The Lord truly does strengthen us. I have felt Him giving me strength and energy every day to work. This truly is the work of the Lord and I am grateful He has given me this opportunity to serve and help others. Thank you for your love and prayers!

Elder Johnson


Baptism first week back!

First pizza upon return.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Olá!

I got back to Brazil in one piece! I might be a little shorter as the plane had little to no space and it might have crushed me down an inch or two. I am happy to be back on the mission! It has been a lot of fun out here! I am actually with my same companion but in a new area. It is an area called Novo Osasco. It is a great area with great members. We even had a party with them this week. It was kind of crazy. I helped hang up a bunch of little flags. The party had some games for the kids. The youth did a dance. There were also those little popper things that you throw on the ground, but here they just throw them on the ground inside the church. I guess it is just normal.

Another crazy thing that happened this week is we went to a restaurant this week just to get a quick bite to eat at night. We ordered our food, ate, and then got the bill. It was for about 90 reis. Which is quite a bit for just a dinner here. Turns out that we ordered a plate of bacon fries that cost 30 reis and then also our food was just a little more expensive. It was fine until we went to pay and we found out that we didn't have any money. So we had to wait there until the other missionaries could bring us our wallets so that we could pay. It took them a while though so we just had to sit there in the restaurant. It was not our finest moment.

We are working with quite a few people here! A lot of youth. There is a young woman who will be baptized this Sunday! She is super excited and going to all the activities. There is another young man that will also be baptized in a couple weeks! So we have arrived and already had the blessing of people who are ready to hear the gospel which makes me extremely happy. The days are still a little long and hard. Mission life is not easy. It involves a lot more walking in the sun all day, but I am getting back into the swing of things and am really enjoying being back and know that this truly is the work of the Lord. Thank you all for your love and prayers!!

Elder Johnson


Legroom...or the lack thereof.

View from apartment

Ward party. I hung lots of flags.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Olá!

Well, I have some news. I am needing to come home because of some health problems I have been having. I will see the doctor and get it all sorted out and should be able to return after 6 weeks. It has been a little crazy, but I know that the Lord has a plan for all of us. I trust in Him and know that everything will work out. I will be coming back this next week, but I still have a week to serve which is great!

This week went very well. We are getting Claudia ready for baptism. She is super excited and this Saturday will be her baptism. I am super happy for her and she is truly special. She keeps growing and learning more and more and likes the church more and more. The gospel truly changes people and helps them grow.  Her family is also going to church more and more. We will keep working with them this week. Her family has been our main focus.

I will be able to write more when I return, but I would just like to say for now that I truly know that this is the Lord's work. I have found so much joy and happiness on the mission and have grown so much. With every trial God shapes us to the people we need to be. I know that every step of the way that I have a Savior who knows how I feel and will help me and guide me. I will continue the work as much as I can when I am home and continue growing to be able to finish my mission. I love you all. Thank you for all your love and support!

Elder Johnson

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ola!

These couple of weeks have just flown by. It has been a great two weeks though. We are working with quite a few people, especially with a goal of baptism on June 10th. As a mission we want 70 baptisms that day (one for every companionship). The person we are excited to baptize is Claudia. She told us the other day that she definitely wants to be baptized on June 10th. She works at night, but still without sleeping she is going to church every week with her daughter Ana, her cousin Samantha, and her sister Clarisse. Clarisse is already baptized but Ana and Samantha are starting to feel the desire to be baptized as well. We took them all to a family night at Cristiane’s house. Cristiane is a recent convert who has been helping us a lot. One week we had a family night and watched 17 Miracles and another week we watched Ephraim’s Rescue. It was extremely fun. I think that family nights are extremely powerful to strengthen families as well as help others feel included and feel like they have friends not only on Sunday in the church, but during the week as well.

Last week we also had the opportunity of going to the temple! It was an amazing day. It is just nice to be in the temple at peace when your life is generally pretty crazy and full of things to do. Cristiane also went with us. She wasn’t able to enter yet, but she loved seeing the temple and sitting inside in the waiting room. The temple is truly the house of the Lord. We should always have a current temple recommend and we should always use it as well. Temple blessings are eternal and I am so grateful especially for the promise of an eternal family. Two years is hard enough to be away from those I love. I am glad we can be together forever.

After the temple we went to the mall close by to eat and we walked around for a while, playing in the toy stores and in the bookstore. It was a great day. The rest of the week was pretty normal. We did have a multi zone conference where we got some training about working with the members and ward leadership. It was really good and we are trying hard to implement what we learned. Working with the members is the best and most effective way to truly do missionary work. Like it has been said many times, “every member a missionary”. We all have opportunities to share the gospel. Some people live in areas where you can visit neighbors with the missionaries and some people (like me) live in areas where the missionary work is a little different than just knocking doors because almost everyone is a member. Everyone can be a missionary though. When you strengthen and visit with those who are less active or struggling, you’re a missionary. When you greet a new member, visiting member, or an investigator, you’re a missionary. When you share your testimony or a video in a message on social media, you’re a missionary. There are so many opportunities that we have, especially in this digital age, to be missionaries.

I would invite all of you to share a message or a video of the church that you like on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever social media you use. Include your testimony which could be as brief as just saying you love this message, know that it is true and that God lives. It is in our simple and sincere testimonies that the Holy Ghost can touch people. We don’t have to have fear to share what we believe. The opportunity to share this gospel is one that I am so grateful for. I hope that we all can be missionaries. The work is truly of the Lord and He will bless and strengthen each one of us. Thank you for your love and support!

Tchau!
Elder Johnson

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ola!

These past couple of weeks have passed so fast I honestly was so busy that last week that I didn’t really have time to write up a letter. It has been a crazy couple of weeks so I will try to write up a few things now.

We have been teaching Joco a lot. He is the guy that owns a couple of stores. He is super interested and loves seeing everything about the church. We show him the temples, family history work, videos, and music and he loves it all. We usually teach him in his store so we also sometimes help out in the store. It is fun. I even ran the cash register one time. We have also started talking to his employees there, so it has opened up a lot of opportunities to teach.

One fun thing about two weeks ago. On Star Wars Day (May the 4th) we bought a pizza. One of the traditions on the mission is that with any special days (birthdays, exciting experiences, or anything really) we buy a pizza. One tradition of this area is that we also draw something on the pizza box about our day and put it on the wall. We have about 1000 of pizza on our wall. Star Wars Day was especially fun as we drew some awesome Star War designs. It was an awesome day.

The other family we are teaching is Clarisse’s family. Clarisse is the less active member we found. She is now going to church every week and is bringing her whole family to church now. We started teaching Clarisse’s sister (Claudia) and she is extremely interested. We had a chance to help her feel more peace also as one of her friends passed away. We taught about the plan of salvation and went to the funeral with her. After she said she felt at peace. It is amazing that the knowledge we have of our eternal potential and destiny.

One other fun day these past couple of weeks was the p-day we had. We went to the center of Sao Paulo. We left our apartment and took a bus until the metro station. From there we took two above ground trains and then descended into the depths of the earth to take an underground subway until the paulista, which is basically the center and largest road in Sao Paulo. The area is a lot like New York. There are a lot of huge buildings. There is a really cool art museum. A lot of cars and a lot of people. All the trains and subways were packed. We walked a little while on the paulista until we entered a little park which is like Sao Paulo’s version of Central Park in New York. It is a lot more closed though. Central Park has open fields and a zoo and is pretty large. This park has a lot more trees, just paths to walk around, a few playgrounds and a whole lot of spiders. So it is more like if the Forbidden Forest from Harry Potter was in the center of New York. After we walked through the park we went to a street where we heard that there are a lot of cars. We heard correctly. This road had so many car dealerships. From Ferrari to Lamborghini to Audi to BMW to Jaguar and so much more. One even had a bunch of American imported cars including the new Mustang, Corvette, and Camaro. It was awesome. We then went to eat lunch and we found one of the best places to eat. Taco Bell! Taco Bell is extremely new here and me and another American elder were super excited to try it. It was basically the same, which means it was extremely good. Their nachos were the only disappointing thing as it was just tortilla chips sprinkled with Dorito dust. But overall it was great. As we were leaving we saw a band playing on the street. I told them I played the drums and they said I could play with them. It was a lot of fun. I just played one song with them, but they seemed to like it and it was a super cool experience to have. After we made the reverse journey back home. It was an extremely fun and memorable p-day.

This past week we just kept working hard. We are working with a lot of people and as a mission we have a goal of baptizing 70 people on the 10th of June. We are praying and working hard for that day and I think it will be an extremely special day.

This week I also had the opportunity to speak with my family which was so much fun. It was so good to see them all and hear their voices. I am so grateful for all of them, and I love them all so much. This Mother’s Day I was especially grateful for my magnificent mother. She is such an example of strength and faith to me. She has taught me so well and I am where I am because of her. On the mission you begin to realize all the things your mom did for you that you didn’t even notice. I love you Mom. Thank you for everything you have ever done for me and everything you still do for me. Happy Mother’s Day to all other mothers as well. You all are amazing. I hope you all had an amazing day also.

I love you all. Thank you for your love and support. Tchau!

Elder Johnson










Monday, May 1, 2017

Ola!

First off, this week we had transfers, but I will be staying here in this area with my same companion. It will be good as we are working with some great people and I also really like the ward here.

This week I had to get two ingrown toenails removed. Both of my big toes were having problems so I went to a member who is a foot doctor and she cut the nail out. It was a little painful as she really had to cut in and dig out some pieces of toenail in my feet, but after I have been feeling a lot better. The days after I got them cut, I really wasn’t able to do much. She wrapped up my toes and I had to keep the wrap on for three days and I couldn’t let it get wet. To take showers I put grocery bags on my feet. The days were also very rainy, so I wasn’t able to walk a lot as it was pouring and water could enter my shoes and ruin the bandages. We still were able to visit some people and after the bandages were removed everything went back to normal.

One cool experience this week happened on Sunday. We were walking down the street and saw a girl and guy carrying some large pieces of wood. We offered to help and we carried these planks of wood a few streets to their house. The girl is about 23 and the guy also. They are dating and were carrying the wood to help her fix her house. She was extremely talkative, opening up about her humble circumstance, family, life, and even dreams she has. She lives with about 12 other people and many dogs in a small house. She doesn’t have a job yet and her boyfriend doesn’t make that much, but still helps her a lot. When we got to her house we talked to her more and she showed what she wanted to use the wood for. She was going to fix the door into the house and build a little area for the dogs as well. We offered our help and will go back next week to help them with the building. We were also able to teach a little bit which they received well. It just shows how the Lord directs our paths and how through simple service we can make new friends, help them and their families, and share our testimonies.

Another thing we have been doing a lot is family history. We had been helping someone with family history as he was planning to give a presentation at a ward family night activity. I showed some of my family tree and some of the cool memories and records that are stored on Family Search. One of the coolest things I found was an autobiography my grandpa wrote. I had read parts of it before, but not the whole thing. He let me print it out so now I have a copy that I have read and re-read. I love seeing all the similarities between me and him and learning new things about him that I never knew. I never had the opportunity to meet him here on this earth, but I know one day I will see him and that for now, through family history, I can feel him close and get to know him a little better. The tools we have nowadays are amazing. I wish I had more time to research and learn more about my ancestors, as well as finding names to take to the temple which is an incredibly important part of family history. One thing that the member said at the family history activity I really liked. He was saying that even if we don’t have a huge amount of records of the past, we can make our family history now. We should all write journals, take pictures, and save stories so that in the future our descendants can see who we are and what we did. Family history is amazing. Malachi’s promise of the turning the hearts of the children to their fathers is truly coming to pass. President Eyring had a fantastic talk this last Conference about family history which I really enjoyed. All of us can do family history. There is an amazing spirit as we research and find out more about loved ones in the past, and even a greater spirit as we take their names to the temple to truly give them a chance at eternal life with their families.

Thank you all for your love and support!

Tchao!
Elder Johnson

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ola!

This week flew by so fast. I feel like last p-day was yesterday. Time flies when you have things to do. Sometimes on the mission it feels like you have nothing to do. No appointments, no investigators, no one on the streets. The time passes very slowly when you have not as many things planned. This week was not like that. We had too many things to do and not enough time. We were able to find a lot of new people to teach this week. We just would knock on doors that we felt like we should, or if there was someone outside their house we would start talking with them and then ask if we could leave a message with them. Just about everyone invited us in and we were able to teach a lot.

I will talk about a few of our new investigators. The first one is Daphne. She is 29 years old and lives with her parents who we teach as well. She is extremely interested in the church. She goes to institute, reads the scriptures, and her and her mom went to church this past Sunday. She has been to church a few times and is ready for baptism. The only complicated thing is that she might be moving a little far away. She is deciding if she wants to take a job or not. She does 3D design and art which she is extremely good at. She will decide and then we will figure out the last details about when the baptism will be.

Our other main investigator is Joco. He will be a bishop one day. Haha. He is the owner of a couple local businesses and is extremely interested in the church. He actually went to church when he was very young, but never was baptized and lost contact with the church. He approached us wanting to learn more and we have been teaching him a lot. He has a wife who is pregnant and we hope to teach her as well. He is super busy and almost never in his house which makes it a little complicated, but I feel like this week will be a great week with him.

We are working with a lot of other people, but those two seem like currently they have the most potential and drive to learn more. It is really cool when you teach someone who is truly interested, asking questions, reading the scriptures, going to church, etc. The field is white and ready to harvest. I am grateful for the opportunity to help find the lost sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Thank you all for your love and support.

Tchao!

Elder Johnson


Monday, April 17, 2017

Ola!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. It was an amazing time to be sharing the hope-filled message about Jesus Christ, especially focusing on the atonement and the resurrection. We had a great week full of miracles and a lot of walking.

Firstly, I will focus on the miracles. On Tuesday we were walking to an appointment with someone but had a little bit of time so we went down a street to knock on some doors. As we were walking we both felt impressed to knock on one door. (In reality, you actually clap your hands and yell the name of the person.) We clapped our hands and an elderly woman came to the door. She said we could enter and talk with her. We talked with her for a little while. She has a huge family, around 30 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. We taught her about the restoration which she received well and then invited us to talk to some more family members. One of her granddaughters has some struggles in life as her husband left and she feels alone. She had talked with missionaries in the past and was even baptised but hasn’t been active and we haven’t even seen her name or address anywhere. It was amazing that we could find her and help her. She went to church with us and seems to be improving every day. We are also working with her family (specifically her sister) and inviting them all to church together.

We have been helping another family return to church also. The father has had a lot of challenges in life. He opened up and shared a lot of parts of his life. It is very humbling and shocking some of the stories I have heard here. Not just with him, but with many people. The stories of their lives are very different and make you think about how blessed you are and how Jesus Christ truly changes people and brings peace and happiness into everyone’s life.

This week we had interviews with President Thomas. They went well. It is a lot of fun to just talk with him. We talked about everything from the gospel to golf. It is just nice to have a leader that truly cares about you and that you can talk to openly and have a good time with. We also had a conference of a couple zones in the mission. It was great. It was focused on how we can find people to teach. Some of the parts I liked most were when Sister Thomas talked about finding joy in the work which is extremely important. We shouldn’t just endure to the end, whether it be to the end of a trial or end of the mission or even the end of our mortal life here. We should enjoy all moments of our lives not endure. It can be hard at times, but if we put our trust in God, act on our faith, and truly try to be happy, the hardest, as well as the easiest times in life, can be full of joy. We also talked about how we should try to make friends, not just contacts. We always talk to people on the street, but at times we become robots saying the same things over and over again. We are trying to focus more on actually interacting with people. Becoming friends with them is much more effective than just trying to get a phone number and address. And if a person is not interested, we at least have made a new friend and showed the church and missionary work in a good light, not as just people looking to convert without thought of who the other person is. I am still trying to get better at not being so robotic. It happens especially as you feel uncomfortable speaking a different language sometimes. Starting right after the conference I started trying more and it was great. One of the bus rides home I sat next to a guy and for a few minutes, I didn’t say anything. I was trying to get myself to say something. To start is always the hardest part. After a few minutes of psyching myself up, I started a conversation with him. We just talked about simple things like where he works, where he was going, family, etc. He enjoyed talking and we just were able to have a conversation and get to know each other. It is easy and natural to talk about how you are a missionary so the message of Jesus Christ just comes up naturally in the conversation. He was interested in learning more. I got his address, gave him a pass-along card, and gave him our phone number. Don’t know exactly if he will continue talking to other missionaries as he lives in a different area than where I am, but it was just nice to make a friend and share my testimony. I am gonna keep working on truly engaging with people and making a lot of friends.

As for the walking this week, we have been walking a lot. I have a little pedometer that says we walked 13.1 miles on Saturday. It gets tiring, but I truly feel strength and support to always keep going.

That is about it for this week. It was a fantastic week that strengthened my testimony and helped me become a better missionary and a better man. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have and I know that this is truly the work of the Lord. Thank you all for your support.

Amo voces

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

A Mighty Pancake


Monday, April 10, 2017

Ola!


This week was very interesting and exciting. The first part of the week was pretty normal. We were able to find some great new investigators. One man we met on the road and he told us to go to his house the next day. When we went he was so grateful and invited us in. We had a great lesson with him. Some other investigators we found when we went with Everton and Jose (two of our investigators who are 15 years old) to some of their friend’s houses. They helped us teach and it was really great. Everton still doesn’t feel quite ready for baptism, but we are working with him. Jose is really wanting to go to church and be baptized, but his dad still won’t let him. Jose is still following everything we teach him and studying the scriptures. He won’t even date a girl because she isn’t 16 years old, so that just shows how dedicated he is to what we have taught.  


This week was going normally until we received a call on Friday morning. President Thomas called because there was an emergency transfer happening and I was going to be transferred to another area. I still don’t exactly know why some elders needed to be moved around, but I told him I would go. Now I am in an area called Campo Limpo. I came here on Saturday night. It was a fast transition and was a little crazy to get packed up and leave. I was able to say goodbye to a lot of people which was nice. I also got to teach Emerson’s family one last time. I hope that they can continue growing in their faith and receive all the blessings God has for them.


I know that this is the work of the Lord. We are just His hands here on the earth to help others as He would. Of course being transferred so quickly is hard. When you grow to love the Ward and the people, it is always hard and sad to leave. I have faith in the Lord that He guides this work. The Mission President receives revelation to guide the missionaries and we should follow willingly and with faith like Nephi always did in the Book of Mormon. I liked Elder Bednar’s talk during the Priesthood Session this last General Conference. He talked about the difference of being called and designated. On our mission call we are called to serve and then designated to an area. The distinction may seem very small but there is a difference that makes a big deal when changes happen (as they do happen.)

Sometimes we think that it isn’t right because we were called to serve in a certain place, but in all reality, we are just designated there to fulfil our true calling which is to serve. No matter where we are designated our calling remains the same. We can always serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength. In all callings in our life, we should have faith in the Lord and know that He has a plan for us. We should receive any change with gratitude and respond as the hymn states, “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord.” When we always live with thankfulness and willingness in our hearts, we will have more faith and be happier. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. Wherever it may be, I will try to help people all that I can. I love this work and I love you all!


Tchau!

Elder Johnson












Monday, April 3, 2017

Ola!

This week was fantastic. I hope you all had an amazing General Conference experience as I did. I loved hearing all the inspired talks of guidance, love, hope, faith and all Godly things centralized of course on our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I felt the spirit so strongly and am excited to review the notes I took and truly apply what I learned from the teaching and from the Spirit. We truly need to now apply what we learned this Conference weekend. We need to push on in faith, relying on Jesus Christ, trying to become more like Him through listening to the Holy Ghost and daily prayer and scripture study, especially study of the Book of Mormon as our prophet so inspiredly talked about. The Book of Mormon truly does have power and if the prophet of the Lord only has a few short minutes to talk, what he says is truly important. Let us all (myself included) study the Book of Mormon everyday starting with today. If we promise to read today, and we keep our promise today, we can keep our promise two days, like the Primary president talked about. What matters most is to start today and to examine what we need to do better. Make goals and plans to achieve this and then rely on the Lord to help us through. I truly did love conference and can’t wait to study and ponder on the talks over and over again.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We are working with Emerson’s family a lot. I thought I would explain a little bit about each of them. The main people we are working with are Emerson who is 18 years old and his nephew Everton who is 14 years old. They both like the church and have been a few times on Sunday. Everton is also studying in Seminary every morning. Their friend Jose is 16 years old and wants to be baptized and go to church but his dad won’t let him. He has a strong testimony though and will continue to build it until he is allowed to frequent church and be baptized. Emerson has five sisters who all like when we teach them, but I think the most interested is Eliana. She always loves our messages and wants us to come over to teach. She has a boyfriend who also really likes us. He has a lot of questions and doubts but is truly interested in learning more. They have one little girl who is one year old and they are more like husband and wife, just not legally, which is a huge problem here in Brazil. Emerson’s other sisters are interested in the church and love our lessons, but feel like they haven’t yet received an answer if this truly is the church of Jesus Christ. We will keep working with all of them as they truly are a special family.

We are teaching another family now also. They were at a Family Night we had with someone and now we are beginning to teach them. They are married and have two little boys. The dad’s name is De and the mom’s name is Joelma. The two kids are Mateus, who is eight and Gabrielle, who is two. They are a sweet family. The two little kids are cute and have a special spirit about them. We left a Book of Mormon with them and they have all started reading. Their only problem is that they work a lot, but they should be able to go to church and hopefully will fill the spirit in their lives and see that this is the true church of Jesus Christ.

We keep looking for more and more people to teach and help. I love seeing the light of the gospel illuminate the lives of many who choose to accept and seek for the truth. Conference gave me yet another testimony that this is truly the Lord’s church and that he has called prophets and apostles who speak for him. Let us continue to review the words which have been spoken and I know that we will all be blessed. I love you all!

Elder Johnson


Trying my hand at drawing!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ola!

This week passed by extremely fast. I don’t have a whole lot to write as not a whole lot happened. I spent most of the week resting as I have had a few health problems. It is nothing too serious and I am beginning to feel better. I went to the doctor and he gave me some medicine that seems to be helping. I do not like sitting on the bench. I would much rather be playing in the game. I am hoping this week will be better and that I can be out there working more.

We still were able to visit and teach some people. Emerson, Everton and their family are all doing well. They still don’t feel quite ready for baptism, but they are progressing and hopefully will receive the desire to be baptized. The lessons with them are really great and spiritual. We are always so welcome in their house and we will keep working with them.

I did have a lot of time this week and study the scriptures. That part was really nice this week. I love the scriptures and always want more time to read. It is crazy because before the mission one hour of scripture study seemed like a lot but the one hour we have here on the mission seems like so little. I just want more time to study. It’s amazing how much we can learn through study and prayer. Even just a few minutes can strengthen us and give us answers to all our questions. Take a few minutes or a few hours a day, study, and ponder the scriptures. You will feel a true difference in your life.

Another thing I am extremely excited for this week is General Conference! This will be my first General Conference in the field as I spent the last one in the MTC. I love Conference. In my house it is one of the biggest holidays of the year. As we are filled with the sweet words of the prophet, we are also filled with sweet candy in my family. More than just the candy and food of Conference, there is truly nothing more satisfying than hearing the words of God through his chosen servants. They are inspired and have the authority to literally speak for God to the whole earth. They are more than just good speakers or leaders of a church. They are literal representation of Jesus Christ speaking not just to his church, but to the world, leading and guiding us through the tribulations of our days while also lifting and inspiring us to have more hope and faith in a world so full of doubt and unbelief.

Conference is a time to literally raise ourselves up and be edified and filled with the most precious truths the gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer. We must do all we can to prepare ourselves for this opportunity we have. We must pitch our tents as in the time of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. When King Benjamin gave their version of General Conference everyone pitched their tents with the opening towards the prophet. In my family we literally would make tents and stay in them to watch Conference, but more than literal tents that we sometime build, we need to make sure that our spiritual and mental tents are ready. Our minds need to be ready to hear and understand the words and our hearts need to be opened to feel the promptings of the Spirit as he will testify of the truthfulness of all that is spoken and will place in our hearts and minds all that we must do. This week in preparation, read the scriptures, pray to our Heavenly Father and think about questions that you have. Write the questions down and I promise that if you’ve pitched your tents and are open and ready the words of God, you will receive answers through their words and through the Holy Ghost.

I hope you all have an amazing week. I love you all!

Tchau
Elder Johnson.