Monday, May 29, 2017


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!

Elder Johnson

Monday, May 15, 2017


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


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!

Elder Johnson