Sunday, November 19, 2017

Olá!

This week went extremely well. We had our first baptism in our new area! Thayná was baptized yesterday. We are super happy because of that. It truly was a miracle. I am so grateful that the Lord put her in our path and that she was so willing to read, pray and listen. We went there on Wednesday to see how she was feeling in regards to the baptism. We were talking with her and she said that she went to institute the night before and received an answer that she should be baptized. The members helped so much. They invited her to all the activities and made her feel welcome.

This week I was also able to go on splits in an area close to the MTC! I saw one of the instructors that I met in the MTC. It was awesome to have lunch with them and it was a different experience to work more in the city of São Paulo, not just the outskirts. I really enjoyed that opportunity I had this week.

We went on splits one other time and I was able to be with my second companion (Elder Orr) that I was with when I was in Cotia! It was a lot of fun to be with him and see how much we have grown and learned on the mission.

The rest of this week was pretty normal. We are teaching quite a few people. I really enjoy meeting so many people and being able to help them. I am so grateful for the Lord for all the opportunities that He is giving me. I am learning so much with His help. I am excited to keep working this week. Thank you all for your love and prayers!

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson





Monday, November 6, 2017

Olá!

This week was a little crazy. A lot of stories. I will start out with the family trip. On Wednesday we had interviews in one of the zones here. President wanted to do splits with me so that we could go and help him at the interviews. He came and picked me up at our house and so I went with just him and Sister Thomas. It felt just like a little family trip. I was talking to them about life, family, scouting, golfing and all sorts of other things. It was super fun. At the interviews, I helped President organize his phone and his iPad so it seems like I am back to doing tech support. So again, it felt like I was back in my family. haha. I also went to lunch with them. We ate Yakisoba that was described more accurately by President Thomas when he said that it was just, "Japanese spaghetti". The sushi was pretty good though. It was better than Sister Thomas' food which President described as "rabbit food and wall paste"(salad and mashed potatoes) It is a lot of fun to be with President and Sister Thomas they are so funny and truly care about everyone in the mission. We will actually do a few more splits with them for the rest of the interviews this transfer.

The second story is about sand. A lot of sand. Two truck-fulls of sand. Two monstrous piles of sand that were almost taller than me. We were told that we would have a simple service project of a little bit of sand. When we arrived it was a lot larger task. We had a couple of wheelbarrows and we went to work. There were us four missionaries and also 5 members. We worked in the morning but barely made a dent. We realized that it would take a lot longer to finish than we thought. After lunch, we spent the rest of the day moving the sand. It actually was more like dirt which is even worse, but we were able to finish finally after about 11 hours of work. Everyone was completely dead after the day. I will get some pictures from the people there and will send them next week. The next day everyone woke up with sore backs and legs, which then leads us to the story of the rats.

The day after the service project we got a call as we were returning to our house. The other elders said that when they got home they saw a rat in our house. By the time we got home they were already tearing apart the house trying to expulse the rat from whence it came. We all grabbed brooms and other pieces of wood and we were ready. My companion went a little bit crazy. He ended up breaking a few things. Nothing too expensive. Just a drawer and a broom. Through much screaming and prayers, the rat finally left. The problem is that we didn't know if he was the only one. It was getting late, but we decided not to sleep in the rat-infested house. Call me a coward, but I don't like sleeping on the floor with the rats(I sleep on the floor because I have already broken three beds. The floor didn't seem too bad until I thought about those beady eyes and sharp teeth). We bought rat venom and it seems like the problem will go away, but we will see.

I remembered one more thing about the week. We went to a market. Every Friday there is one close to our house. It was a lot of fun. I was able to barter with a few people. haha. It was super cheap to buy a lot of fruit. I especially enjoyed the pineapple that I bought. I was also called Donald Trump and was told that the United States does not have bananas. Many interesting experiences came from the morning of the market.

In regards to the work, it is going great! We have been teaching a lot of people. The best investigator we have is Thayná. She is 23 years old. She went to stake conference and then church yesterday. She said that she received an answer that The Book of Mormon is true and also the church. She said that since we have been teaching her and she has been reading she has felt a lot more peace in her life. She will probably be baptized this week! We are super excited for her. We also are working with Rogerio who has gone to church three times now. He is still wanting to wait to be baptized, but I think he will be soon also. He has to use crutches because he was in a car accident. He was on a motorcycle and he was hit by a car going around 60 miles per hour. It is a miracle that he is alive. He is awesome. He even invited us to a barbeque he was having. His friend bought us soda and picanha (a delicious type of meat).

So this week was full of adventures and stories. I am really enjoying all these opportunities I am having. I know that the Lord is blessing us and I am so grateful for Him. I also thank you all for your love and support. I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson





Monday, October 30, 2017

Olá!

There isn't really Halloween here, but Happy Halloween to all of you! I have seen a few people in costumes here going to a few Halloween parties because some people like to follow some American traditions, but it is not a big holiday here like it is in the states. This week has gone by fast. I am really enjoying where I am now. The new ward that we are in is great. It has been very busy lately, but it has been fun. I have been learning a lot. My companion is great and we get along great together. I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the language. The Lord has definitely helped me with that.

I really like the bishop in this ward. We had lunch with him and his family. He told some stories when he visited the United States and Orem so it was fun to hear about that. We also ate barbeque that day which was awesome. After, he also showed me the collection of books he has. There was a lot of classics that he reads in English because he is an English teacher here. There were also a lot of children's books. He has a huge collection of Dr. Seuss books which was so much fun to see. It reminded me a lot of my Grandma as I remember the collection of books she had and how she always read Dr. Seuss books to us. It was special for me to remember her and those memories that I have.

We had stake conference this week. It was crazy because all the ward boundaries changed. I knew that it was going to happen, but it was definitely a very different stake conference as they explained that all and also a lot of the talks were focused on change and being obedient. The talks were fantastic. Sometimes we have to be obedient, even if we do not know all the reasons. I know that if we are obedient, the Lord will bless us. It also showed me that we should be happy through the changes that happen in our life. I also loved the choir in this stake. The pianist was incredible. The choirs here are usually good, but this one was fantastic. We also all stood and sung "I'll go where you want me to go" and it was amazing and I felt the spirit so strongly.

We have been focussing a lot on talking with everyone. Every person on the street. The goal is to at least talk to 10 people per day. We are able to talk to a lot more, but it is not always easy. Every so often there are people who are a little crazy, or don't like us, or even completely ignore us. I have seen though that God puts people in our paths if we are trying our hardest. Two people that went to church this past week are because of contacts we did on the street and the doors we knocked on. I know that it is not mere coincidence that they were on the street or that we knocked on their door, this is truly God's work and he directs our paths. Thank you all for your support and prayers. I love you all!

Elder Johnson




Sunday, October 29, 2017

Olá!

We had another crazy week here. We had quite a few meetings. Yesterday and today we had 2 multi-zone conferences. They went extremely well. It is just extremely tiring to make sure that it all goes smoothly. I like being part of behind the scenes. It is a different type of challenge. That was most of our life this week. We were able to find some new people though. Also, one of our new investigators went to church on Sunday. He really enjoyed it and will hopefully be baptized here in a few weeks.

It was my companions birthday this week so we had a few birthday celebrations. On Monday we had a family home evening with a member who surprised him with a birthday cake! The birthday traditions here are very similar, just that the music is different. It is a lot more energetic. It was fun to have a cake or two this week.

I am really enjoying the new area that we are in. The members have recieved us extremely well. I remembered another story of this week. On Sunday we went to lunch. It was in a nice appartment with a member. we all sat down and then the member brought out the lunch. It was a massive turkey leg. Like the ones from Disneyland. They might have said that it was actually and ostrich leg, but I am not 100% sure about that. It was extremely good though. I was stuffed after.

I am truly seeing so many miracles as the Lord is helping me grow and learn. I am trying to completely trust in Him. There are many challenges, but I feel like the Lord is helping me have more faith and less fear. I am so greatful for that. I am learning so much and I know that He is always with us. He never leaves us. We just have to reach out. He will lift us out of any stormy sea that we are in. Thank you all for your love, support, and emails. I love you all so much!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Olá!

This week has been absolutely crazy for me. We have had a lot of meetings this week because we had the transfer and so right after we begin with many different trainings. We had a meeting with the new missionaries on Tuesday and then Wednesday we had a leadership meeting with the leaders on the mission. Tomorrow we will have one more and then next week just a couple more. Then it will be a lot less crazy here. Haha. We also moved areas this week. We are now in a ward called Campo Limpo. It seems to be a great ward. The bishop is super supportive and the members as well. The new house is good, but it is super hot right now. During the day it is scorching hot, and it doesn't really cool down during the night so it is a little bit hard to sleep, but I am kind of getting used to the heat.

One cool story is that yesterday we were walking on the street, doing some contacting with people on the street. Since we are completely new in the area we are just trying to find new people to teach. We felt like we should knock on a door and the person who answered received us extremely well. She was extremely kind and loved the message we left with her. It was so nice and showed me that God truly is leading and guiding us. It was not the first door that we knocked on, but because we tried to do our part and were on the street walking and trying our best, God inspired us to be in the right place at the right time. God truly is blessing me every day. I feel that so much. I know that God truly does turn our weaknesses into strengths. He qualifies who He calls and I am so grateful for that. Thank you all for your love and support!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Friday, October 13, 2017

Olá!

So this week was a little bit crazy for me. It started off normal the first couple of days. Then, I got a call from the secretary of the mission who said that president wanted to talk to me. I went there that day and he said I would be transferred out of Novo Osasco and he gave me the call to be one of the assistants of the mission! So it has been a pretty big transition for me. It was extremely sad leaving behind my companion. I really enjoyed the time I had with him. Now I am in a trio with the two assistants to train a little this week and then next week one of them will go home and I will be taking over more. I am excited to be able to have this opportunity to serve, but also a little bit nervous which is normal.

So after Thursday, I knew that I would be moving areas so we worked the next couple of days, but I also had the opportunity to say goodbye to the friends I made there in Novo Osasco. It was super sad, but at least I had that time with them. On our last Sunday in the ward, the youth called us to one of the rooms after church. They sang to us and all told us tthank you. It was so sweet of them. They also gave me a notebook and they all wrote inside. It was so amazing to be able to meet all of them. I had the opportunity of teaching their seminary class a few times and it is just so good to see so many youth who are firm in the church and following the Savior's path.

I am so grateful for Heavenly Father teaching me so many things, especially on the mission. President Thomas told me that the opportunity to be a leader is the opportunity to 'wash the disciples feet" as Christ did. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have now to serve. It does not matter what calling we have in the church, what matters is our attitude and willingness to follow the Lord. There are always people who need our help. I have seen that especially here on the mission. I hope to be able to trust in the Lord and I know that He strengthens us and guides us. Thank you all for your love and support. I love you all so much.

Tchau!

Elder Johnson






Monday, October 2, 2017

Olá!

I hope you all had a great conference. It was so amazing for me. I felt the spirit strongly and felt how I can change and become better, especially as a missionary. We watch conference here live, but the time zone is 3 hours ahead. We watch it in the stake center. I talked to them and they set up a tv in another room with Conference in English for all the American missionaries, and my companion who speaks English. haha. It was a lot of fun to be together and to be able to just enjoy Conference. We all shared candy and treats so it felt like I was back at home. It was a crazy weekend as between sessions we tried to run around inviting everyone to watch conference. It was fun. I even ran into a few people that I taught while in a previous area! So it was an amazing weekend.

The rest of the week went well. Not a whole lot happened. It was the same old same old of walking, walking, and more walking. It has been raining a lot here which has been a nice change. Today we went to the center of São Paulo. We saw a bunch of car dealerships and were even able to sit in a few cars. I will send some more pictures next week of that when we have more time. We also saw a protest going on today which was kind of cool. Haha. It had just started and they were just marching down the street. It was kind of crazy to see a protest like that in real life. There wasn't any fighting or vandalizing going on which is good. We took the subway back to our area which was fun. It is fun traveling around new cities here. Sometimes a little scary because you don't know where you will end up, but it is a fun adventure.

I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I would just like to say that I am so grateful for the living Prophets we have today. It is refreshing to hear their words of hope in a world that is sometimes full of despair. The guidance they give to us should be followed so that we are not lost, but so that we can find our way through life and make it back to our Father in Heaven. Through prayer, scripture study, the sabbath day, and the temple I know we can be oriented and not only help ourselves but those around us as well. I will probably share some more thoughts about conference next week because it was so amazing, but my time is just about up here. Thank you all for your love and support! I love you all!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 25, 2017

Olá!

This week was great. Nathan was confirmed in church yesterday. He has progressed so much and it was amazing to teach him and see him be baptized and recieve the Holy Ghost. The gospel truly does change people. We have been working on finding new people. That includes a lot of walking. Haha. We talk with a lot of people on the streets and then go and knock on doors. Sometimes we teach families of less active members. We taught one family like that. The less active member has been coming back and her parents seem very interested also.

We have been taking some cold showers here. Extremely cold showers. The electric shower head broke. I am not too suprised as the idea is to use electricity to heat up water. It is no wonder that the shower head then burns out. It wakes us up pretty quickly to take a nice cold shower. It is just not fun at 5 in the morning sometimes.

Not a whole lot happened this week, but it was super good. I am tired with everything we are doing, but I am also extremely happy. That is the missionary life. Tired, but happy. I am super excited for general conference this week. I have always loved Conference and especially on the mission it is nice to be able to sit and listed for a few hours. We should all pray and be open to recieve revelation during conference. I know that it will be an amazing experience. Thank you all for your support and prayers!

Tchau!

Elder Johnson

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







Add caption

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