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.