Monday, January 30, 2017


Today marks 5 months that I have been here in Brasil. Honestly, it feels like I have lived here all my life, but it also feels like I just got here yesterday. Time is a strange feeling on the mission. This week was good. Not a whole lot happened. The biggest thing was that there are a few changes in our daily schedule and in how we report numbers.

We had a meeting in São Paulo which was a recording from Salt Lake with Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, and a few others. They gave us some great guidance and also explained the changes that will happen. The daily plan is now made by the President of the Mission. It is more based on the area that you are in. The change for us won't happen for a little bit of time, but I am excited to see what our president decides. Maybe a little bit more sleep. Haha. There are also some changes in regard to numbers. We don't have a huge list of the number of lessons we taught or other things now. It is more focused on the number of baptisms, investigators with a date for baptism, investigators going to church, and new investigators. It gives more freedom for the missionaries to decide how to teach and what to do to help the people. I think that the change will help missionaries now and in the future after the mission as we have to be dependent and make decisions after also. I think it will also help everyone we teach. I feel strongly that it truly is an inspired change.

This week we were focussing on finding new people still. We are working in new areas that are a little further away, but we found some great new people that seem to be excited to hear the message. It kind of makes for long days when you are just trying to find new people to teach or talking to people on the street, but I am starting to like it more. As I can speak a little better, I like meeting new people on the street. Some want to pass by really quickly, but others stop and talk and I have met some really cool people. The biggest problem now with the street is the sun. It has been incredibly hot every day. I have been so tired of standing out in the sun.

We worked with Sabrina a lot this week to get her ready for her baptism which will be this Saturday. She is super excited and it will be a great day for her. Raulino's family is good, but the mom has still been having problems with health. We are trying to help them as much as we can. I truly believe that although we have trials, if we have faith and push through we can learn and grow from them. I have already seen them grow so much and I don't know exactly what will happen, I know that the Lord is watching out for them.

I have felt this way a lot lately. I don't really know exactly what will happen on my mission or after, but I just have faith that everything will work out. The world sometimes looks dark and broken, but I see the light of Christ here. There truly are people here who don't have material possessions, but who have love and charity and happiness. There are definitely things in the world that are difficult, but there is also so much good. When we look to the good, we will see it, because Christ will give us light, life, and love. He will give us the warmth of the knowledge that he knows us and that he cares for us. Every person can be filled with the Spirit and receive every blessing that our Heavenly Father has in store for us. That is the promise of the Gospel and that is the hope that each and every one of us can have. I love you all. Thank you so much for everything!

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 23, 2017


A lot happened this week. I will get right into it talking about my birthday last week. After I had email time I and my companion bought ice cream and soda and we made some root beer floats, but with Guaraná which is a different soda that they have here. We also played some chess and had a nice relaxing day. After, we went out to work. We had a little bit of time until our investigator so we walked around to contact people on the street. We passed by the restaurant where our investigator Sabrina works. Her boss was out front which gave us a great opportunity to talk to him. We offered our help as he was loading stuff into his car and as we were talking to him a drunk guy came up to us wanting to talk about the word of God. It gave us a great opportunity to talk about why were are here as missionaries and what we believe. We were able to talk about all of this in front of Sabrina's boss. The drunk guy also said that he loves our work and that we are great young men who are trying to help others. After, the boss seemed to change a little bit. The next couple of days he was a lot more friendly with us and also with Sabrina. He also is allowing her to have one Sunday off every month, so she is going to be able to be baptized! We are working with her on finding a new job to be able to go every week, but it truly is a miracle that he changed slightly and is allowing her to have a little bit of time. With faith, I know that we will find a new job for her, or maybe he will be softened even more and allow her to go to church every week.

After we talked with the drunk guy and Sabrina's boss we went to Sabrina's house where her family surprised me with a birthday cake! It was a fun night and a great birthday. The next couple of days were pretty normal. We had divisions which were good. It was the first division I had where I stayed in my área. The next day we had interviews with the mission president. They were great. I love talking to him. He is a great man who truly is called of God. I am glad that I have such a great mission president. That night we went to our apartment and discovered that we didn't have our keys. We called who we had visited, but no one had the keys and it was super late so we had to hurry over to the apartment of other missionaries to spend the night. We had15 minutes until we needed to be in their house. It is almost impossible to get there in 15 minutes, but there is a member who lives close by and we stopped by and luckily he was there and drove us to the other house, or else we would have been running to catch a bus at night to get there in time. I am very grateful for members here. haha. We spent the night with the other missionaries and in the morning called someone to open our apartment and make new keys. Definitely a crazy night, but it all ended well.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We are still working on finding new people a lot, but the work is speeding up. I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It truly is a miracle how we can change ourselves and become more like Christ. He knows exactly what we are going through, and while things are not always easy, they are always possible with His help. He can heal any wound and change any heart. He didn't come to cure the healthy and I am not here to teach the wise. We look for the humble, the sick, and the wounded. They are the ones who will truly change and feel the true power of Christ in their lives. We all have things we can change and I know that we can when we accept and choose to follow our Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Him in my life.

I love you all! Thank you for everything!

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 16, 2017


Today is an exciting P-Day for me as it is my birthday. It is fun having it on a P-day as I have a little more freedom about what I want to do. In all reality, all I want to do is eat churrasco and sleep, so that is probably exactly what I will do. I am extremely tired after a long week, but I am also excited for a new week. There still haven't been many huge things that have happened, but we have been working hard every day and I have seen small, but significant miracles in my life.

Every day we have been looking for new people to teach which means walking and a lot of it. We have lists of people we have contacted in the past, but those are a little hit and miss. The best thing to do is find someone out front of their house and ask for water. Everyone will give water especially when it is super hot. Then we talk with them for a little while and sometimes leave a message. That way we get some refreshing water and sometimes a new investigator! This week we also have been working with family members of less active members. It is good as they have already heard about the church and we have a member there always. The boyfriend of a less active member received the lessons very well and went to church this week with her!

Sabrina wasn't able to be baptized this week as she is still working, but we are working hard and I know that with faith miracles will happen. She is working with the program at the church to find a job, and is also going around looking at different restaurants to see if anyone needs more help. We will keep working and praying that she will find a new job and will be baptized!!

One crazy thing that happened this week... I was sleeping one night. It was nice and peaceful. I was dreaming of snow and no hills (two things we don't have here). Then in one instant my bed broke underneath me. The wood on the side of the bed broke so I was basically just laying on the ground. I was super tired so I kind of just shifted and went back to bed for the rest of the night. My fix, for now, is that I just put a bunch of Liahona magazines under the bed. Works perfectly. The word of God definitely holds us up.

The biggest miracles are just that I feel super good after a long day. Tired, but excited to keep working. I have a lot of faith that everything will work out. I know that when we show that we are willing to work hard and do our part, that God will do His part and with Him, we can do all things. I feel the strength as we climb hills and I feel the strength as we teach lessons in a different language. The Spirit helps us in all aspects of our life. It is important for us to always live worthily to receive all the gifts and blessing that God has for us. Thank you all for your prayers and support and Birthday wishes. I love you all!

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 9, 2017


I got a new companion this week. His name is Elder Orr. He is American also. It has been a lot different with two Americans. Haha. He went to High School in Utah, but before he lived in Colorado and then in Washington. His family moved to Texas after he came to the mission so he is kind of from 4 different states. Haha. He has about 3 months more than me so we can speak decently well with people, but it is a lot different than having a fluent Portuguese speaker. There are different challenges, but it was a good week. It is hard to talk about what happened because I feel like nothing happened. Haha. We have just been looking for new people to teach. We walk almost all day, but a lot of people are not interested or traveling right now. The days have been extremely long.

To explain a little bit about what the days are like here. We get up in the morning at 6:30, exercise, get ready for the day, and then have an hour of personal study, and hour of companion study, and an hour of language study. After we usually contact on the street for an hour until lunch. Sometimes we have lunch with a member, or they give us money and we go to a restaurant nearby. After lunch, we usually use the contacts that we have to find new people to teach. We plan out all of the streets and then go to every house we have. Here, you usually clap and yell their name because most places don't have doors or doorbells. I don't like trying to find new people. It is long and hard. I really enjoy when we find someone, though! They usually invite us in and give us water and then we talk and teach for a while. The time passes a lot faster when we are teaching. It is nice when we have more appointments with people. Usually, at night we have more appointments which is nice that we don't have to walk through new places at night. It makes it a lot safer. We work all the way until 9 and then go back to our apartment, plan, and go to bed. The night usually passes super fast and we are back at it again. Haha.

Our investigators have been doing well. A little hard to teach them because everyone travels this time of year, but we have some great people that we are teaching. Sabrina is super excited for her baptism. We are planning on the baptism this week if we can find a new job for her. She works on Sundays but really wants to be able to go to Church and be baptized so that is our goal this week. Raulino's family was traveling and then his daughter was sick on Sunday so they weren't able to come, but they are doing super well also. We found a new young married couple who are super excited but were traveling last week. We will teach them more this week. Those are the main people we are working with. There are others that are great also, and we are working on finding more!

This week is my best friend Jasen Snyder's birthday (January 13). I don't know where to begin talking about him. He literally is a brother to me. I could always trust him and count on him for anything. I miss our all night movie marathons and our classic rock car rides. He is only 3 days older than me, but he is such a great example to me of a hard worker and a great missionary. I want to thank him for everything he has done for me. I can't wait to see him again and have many more legendary adventures together.

I love you all. As always, I want to thank you for your love and support!

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 2, 2017


This week is transfers here. I will be staying here in Cotia with a new companion. I haven't met him yet. We will be going to São Paulo to switch companions tomorrow. All I know about him is that he is American. So now there will be 2 Americans in Cotia! It will be different. I am super excited, but also a little nervous for the change.

This week went by super fast. We worked and walked a lot. One day we were supposed to go about 2 kilometers away from our house for lunch. The bus didn't stop though and we ended up another 3 kilometers from the other direction. So we ended up walking 3 kilometers to lunch, then another 2 back to our house and then another couple to the other side of our area where we had a lesson set up with someone. This was all in the burning hot sun. Another day we walked quite a bit also, so this week was pretty exhausting. It was crazy one day as we were in a car with a member going to lunch and as he stopped for a pedestrian a motorcycle slammed into the back of us. He was fine, and their car wasn't too damaged, but it was a little bit of a jolt. With how fast and crazy people drive here I am surprised I haven't seen or been in more accidents.

It is hard right now because no one is working, but everyone is partying or traveling. So there are barely any members and trying to find new people to teach is very hard. From Christmas until Festival (the end of February) everyone here parties. It is crazy. There are so many fireworks and motorcycles. We also saw people buying so much beer. I saw one person with four shopping carts full of beer. Haha. On New Year's eve we went home at the normal time, but when midnight hit, it woke us up with all the fireworks. Our house is at the top of a hill and so we looked out over all the fireworks going off. It was pretty cool. A little scary when there were some going off right outside our window, though.

We had Church at 5 on New Year's Day. We combined with another ward, but there was still not that many people there. I led the music during Sacrament Meeting and other Elders helped pass the sacrament. We also brought one investigator (Sabrina) and her sister. The class was a little interesting as there was only about 5 or 6 members, 8 missionaries, and the teacher. It was basically a big lesson for our investigator. She was asked a lot of questions but was able to answer all of them. She has been reading The Book of Mormon a lot and we are getting her ready for her baptism.

We keep working with Raulino's family. They are always so welcoming. With the holiday's it has been hard for them to come to church, but they love the gospel and us. Wesley said that he is going to be marrying his girlfriend and that they bought a house not too far away, but not in our area. It is a little sad we won't be teaching him, but it is awesome that he is starting to change his life more and more. We also met a new young couple. They probably only have 18-20 years, but they are married and have a kid. They were super welcoming and receptive to the message.

Everyone here feels like family. It will definitely be hard to leave. It is hard for my companion right now as he is leaving, so I definitely will try to make the most out of the next 6 weeks I have. It is crazy to think that I am entering my third transfer in the field. I think I have just about 14 left. Time is so much different on the mission. I want to use every opportunity I have to serve. This is the only year in my life that I get to serve every single month. 2016 was 4 months and 2018 will be 8 months, but 2017 will be every single month, week, and day. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to serve. In 4 short months, I have changed so much and I am excited to see how much more I will change and become more like the Savior. It really is all about Him. His Atonement is sufficient for every person. It can soften any heart and change any life.

Amo vocês!

Elder Johnson

An investigator family.

Learning the good stuff in life.

Recent convert family we spend Christmas with.