Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pics!


The "Office" Elders

Feliz Ano Nuevo!


WHAT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fam illl eee!!
 
I can't believe I was just talking to all of you like a week ago! That was so awesome! I really can't believe how bad my english is! I was so nervous to talk to you, because I knew I was gonna slip up on a ton of words....but I did better than I thought! haha. Anyway, it was super awesome to be able to hear all of your voices and how well everyone is doing! By the way....that pic is off the chain! I feel like I'm in the pic...but it's like a cyber me.....in the phone.....kinda weird, but cool! hahahaha.
 
Sooooo.......BAPTISM!!! whooo hooooo! Victoria got baptized today!! It was the coolest thing in the whole world! This whole week we have been working with her super hard and just getting her super super stoked for her baptism! It worked out perfect too because her mom came to visit her this week and we had a lesson with her and she felt the spirit super strong and gave us the permission for her daughter to be baptized! also.....their dad hasn't been too supportive this whole last week, but Elder Larkin and I were praying super super hard that the Lord would soften his heart and support them in their decision to be baptized, and........HE TOTALLY CHANGED! We showed up.....Friday? not sure, but we came to visit them one day and he was just supporting a ton and he was so excited to see how happy his daughters were about their baptism! (by the way, tell Elder Larkin´s mom that her son is such a freakin stud missionary) haha. But anyway, he gave them permission to be baptized and it was such a miracle! The only downer is that Lupita didn't feel too good and she was a little bit nervous so she didn't get baptized this week....but we talked to her during the baptism of Victoria and she said the she for sure wants to get baptized this next week!!! They both are so awesome! Also, Victoria gave the closing prayer at her own baptism!!! It was so so awesome! Then we were talking with her afterward and we asked her how she felt and she just got the biggest smile on her face and she said that she felt like a completely different person and felt so clean!!!!!!! WHAAAAAAA!!! I was so happy when she said that! I can't wait till she recieves the Holy Ghost because I know she is just going to be filled with so much JOY!! Victoria's dad also came to her baptism and he had his hair all slicked back and nice and he was almost crying the whole time! I can't even tell you how awesome this baptism was!! I'm soo happy right now it's unreal! haha. I really do love these girls, they are so awesome and I really have learned soo much from them it's unbelievable! I'm soo happy that they are starting their journey right on the eternal life with their Heavenly Father! whooo hooooo! This work is awesome!
 
So about your question if I'm ever in the the office.................................EVERYDAY!!! hahaha. In fact, I'm in here right now writing to you.....I was in the office when I talked to you on christmas! haha. Basically, we're always in here! hahaha. That was really weird seeing a picture of it just because we're here all the time!
 
So basically I love you all! We have a few more potential baptisms for this month of Januray so we're really stoked and we're working hard!! I just pray that we can have the spirit with us enough that these people can feel the importance of the gospel in their lives! Being converted to this gospel is soo important...perhaps the most important! Just love God with all your hearts and I know that you will feel His love and see all the blessings He has prepared for you!
 
les amo a cada uno de ustedes y sé que el Señor les ama con un amor infinitiva!
 
Elder Johnson



Victoria's Baptism


Sunday, December 25, 2011

i. am. happier. than. ive. ever. been.


(this letter got lost in cyberspace, I'm guessing because of the pictures attached.  So happy to get it today on Christmas!!)



HELLO EVERYONE...................HELLO!!
 
 
Sooo this change is literally the craziest time of my life! No joke, Elder Larkin and I are just LOVIN it! haha. But we have had some of the craziest experiences ever.....we've got some pretty wild investigators and we always run into people who are just off the chain crazy! haha. We're lovin it though!
 
Right now we have some way cool investigators that really are just so stoked to hear about the gospel! Can I just say that it's the coolest thing in the world when someone just realizes how AWESOME this gospel is! Anyway, this gospel is awesome and it changes lives and makes good lives better, until we become perfect like Christ! Basically, this gospel is PERFECT! haha.
 
So we had a really cool activity just yesterday....we gathered all the missionaries that are here in Culiacan and we went to one of the most famous parks here in Culiacan and WE SANG CHRISTMAS HYMNS!!! It was seriously super cool! We started out with basically nobody in the park listening to us but we started singing and little by little people started to come until we basically had a whole amphitheater filled with people listening to us...the spirit was super strong while we were singing and it really was super cool! We are going to be doing the same thing tomorrow and we are hoping to have more people come and feel the spirit! I feel like we're going to see MIRACLES tomorrow! We already have....we recieved two referrals in our area last night of people that came and listened to us...I'm positive they're going to be baptized! haha.
 
 
Anyway......WHOS STOKED FOR NAVIDAD!!!!!!                                 I AM!!!! hahaha. We might actually have a baptism tomorrow! We have two girls named Victoria and Lupita and they want to get baptized but their dad like freaked out on us one day and told us not to come back.....but we saw them again the other day in one of the Christmas activities we had and they said that they still want to be baptized! they come to church every single Sunday and go to all the activities....basically they are awesome! We are hoping they will be baptized tomorrow! Baptism on Christmas....nothing better! haha.
 
I hope I attatched enough photos this time! haha. There is a couple of the Christmas activity we had as a mission and just a few more....haha. hope you like them!
 
Well, I hope everyone has an AWESOME Christmas! I love you all!
 
Talk to you TOMORROW!! WHATTT!!!
 
Elder Johnson






Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pics!!!


 DINERO!
Somebody's eating just fine!!
Waiting for......dinner?

Just.......................HAPPY!


HOLA HOLA HOLA!!!
 
So whatt upppp famzily! Just thought I'd let you know that.........I'M SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!! haha
 
first of all, I'm a missionary in the best work EVER!
second, I have the BEST family in the world!
third, I LOVE MY FAMILY!! haha
 
 
 So the work as financial secreatary is UNREAL!!!  I've never had to think of so many things all at the same time all day long!! haha. First, we have a TON of work here in the offices and then we leave at 2 o'clock to go work in the field as normal missionaries....which includes worrying about your investigators and thinking about what they need and also about finding new people and how we are going to find them, and on top of everything we just have to constantly be in tune with the spirit!! WHATT!!! I really have never felt like I've been so lead by the spirit, than in this time I have being a Financial Secretary! That's so crazy to me!  It has been the coolest experience being here in the offices and learning so much! Also, I'm going to be the financial secretary for a minimum of 4 changes, which is 6 months! Its so weird to think that when I leave here I will have more than a year in the mission! cuhhhhrazzyyyy! haha. But yeah, a lot of people think that we don't do a lot of misisonary work while in the offices, but that's definitely not true! We have had the craziest week ever of missionay work!  We have some AWESOME investigators, including 2 who we are hoping are going to get baptized on the 24th!! But it has been a rollercoaster week....honestly, I've never had a crazier week in my life than this one!
 
So first of all, there is this one member who is an x-missionary that has a daughter who is 10 years old, and he hasn't let her be baptized for 2 years because he wants her to make the decision for herself...even though she has told her dad that she wants to be baptized...super wierd. But we were in the church last week and he asked us when we were going to come over and teach his daughter and we were just super shocked!! But we are teaching her right now and she is just AWESOME!! She is one of my favorite little girls EVER!  She is actually half american and half mexican so she speaks both languages, so she likes to learn in english so she can practice....so we have been teaching her in ALL ENGLISH!! Its actually super hard to teach in english! haha. I have honestly forgotten a little bit of english and sometimes I talk super bad....gramatically wise! haha. So if I talk super weird on Christmas.....don't make fun of me! haha. But we are hoping she is going to be baptized super soon...I think she is actually going out of town today or tomorrow so we'll see...but she is honestly AWESOME! haha.
 
Also, we have an investigator who is in the drug business stuff, and wants to leave and give a better life to her son! Yes, I did say her....she is a 20 year old girl, who is just super GNARLY!  Like, Angelina Jolie crazy movie stuff!! haha. But for real, its pretty nuts because its like super hard to leave from that kind of stuff! She wants to so bad, but its super hard for her because she has been doing this kind of stuff since she was 14 years old! cuuuhhhhrrazzzyyyy!!!  I never really thought this kind of stuff happened in real life....but this is definitely REAL!!! haha. She has felt the spirit so many times and is progressing a ton. we meet with her in the chapel instead of her house for safety, and she has showed up almost everytime so thats way cool!  We are hoping and praying so much to help her progress!
 
Anyway, I really have never felt so much love for this people....I just want to help them accept this gospel and find the most happiness EVER!!!! haha. But I'm super happy right now!!!
 
So about the call............................oooooohhhhhh! We are going to be calling at 2 in the afternoon on Christmas day! So right after sacrament meeting just hurry home and be ready! We can talk for 2 hours, so I'm gonna call you for around the first half and then my dad the second!! SO STOKED!! That will be fine for Chris right?? We're still finding out if we can skype or not....we dont have a yes or a no yet...so we'll see! haha.
 
But in the meantime....I LOVE YOU ALL tons tons tons!
 
Love Elder Johnson.
 
 
 
p.s. pics coming soon....promise!! haha

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm Elder Johnson, your financial secretary...how may I help you?


WHOA!!
 
Im loving it here in the offices! There is a ton of work that we are constantly doing...a different kind of work, but work that is still super important! I've never had to learn so many things so quickly! haha. This week was unbelievable, we were so busy with so many things! because Monday, we had changes and so a bunch of misionaries are here in Cuilacan and so we have to pick them up and drive them to a bunch of places....and then Tuesday we had missionaries leaving and so we were super busy with all of that....Thursday, we had the CHRISTMAS PARTY!! So all week we were getting ready for that, and then that day was just super super wild! haha. And then yesterday, there was a meeting of Zone Leaders in the mission and so we had to get everything ready for that and it was just super crazy! and then now we have our PDAY!! REST....I'm super exhausted...no joke! but I'm loving the hard work. yeah...BIG CHANGE! haha
 
Anyway, I was just reading the letter that you sent to Elder Larkins mom! haha. It's super funny to see how many missionaries moms really do communicate! ha. It makes us laugh a little! but yeah, Elder Larkin is a freakin STUD! I absolutely love this guy, I've only been with him for a week and I've already learned a ton from him! I'm super excited to be his companion for this change. We have a ton of fun together and we actually have a lot in common so we never run out of things to talk about! haha. Anyway, I'm love love lovin it here in the offices and I'm excited to continue learning all about what goes on here and what all my responsiblities are!
 
So we had the CHRISTMAS PARTY on Thursday and it was OFF THE CHAIN! haha. We played a TON of dodgeball with all of the missionaries! We made 13 teams of about 12 people on each team and we had a super big tournament! my team didnt win, but thats ok...we played our hearts out! haha. But the best part of everything was that after the tournament, we had a HUGE game Mexicans vs. Americans! haha. It was pretty intense.....and I'm sure you know who won.......GRINGOS!! haha. The best part of it all, is that before the game started, we both sang our national anthem!! haha. It was soo much fun!
 
So about the questions the missionaries had.......1. I promise that you dont need boots! haha. 2. my Hush Puppies are GNARS BARS! they are holding up super well, and they are super comfortable. 3. I've got a good number of shirts...the only thing i would recommend is to bring a light sweater to put over your shirt in the winter. I dont have one, and I get cold sometimes and wish I had one! 4. it does rain a lot in the summer, but an umbrella is not necessary...the rain coat I have is perfect! just get a rain coat big enough so that you can put your packpack underneath so it doesnt get wet! 5. I would just say that you dont need as much stuff as you think you need....haha. we live super simple, and you dont need too much! 6. I'm lovin my camelback, I dont use the water thing too often, but I do love the backpack a ton! the last thing I would recommend bringing....is the spirit! thats gonna be your best friend out here and that is the one thing that is absolutely necessary that we have as missionaries! also, a desire to work....this mission works hard, and we GET IT DONE! Tell all those missionaries to be super excited because we have SOO many awesome elders in this mission and they are going to love it! other than that, I cant think of anything else! ha.
 
So thats all I have in my mind to tell you this week! oooohhhhh, about the christmas call thing!!!! you are going to call me, and you can call on the 24th or 25th, we just to set a time of when you are going to call so that I can be here! SO STOKED!! no joke. I think what we can do is that I'm gonna call you, but hang up real quick and then you just call that number right back! So we just have to put a time of when we will talk!
 
anyway, I love you all a lot!
 
i. will. catch. you. on. the. flip. side. l8. r.
 
Elder Johnson

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BIG CHANGE!


What up fam.......ill........e.
 
Sooooooo.....CHANGES!! haha.  I am companions with Elder Larkin, and we are in................................THE OFFICES OF THE MISSION!!!! woohoooo, big change....no joke! haha. I'm honestly loving it so far, it is way different, but I love it!  When we recieved changes, the offices was literally the last place I thought I was going to be going, but now I'm here! ha.  Anyway, my pday is going to be changed to Saturday....so I'll be writing then instead of Monday!  But yeah, here in the offices...I am the Financial Secretary (in training right now...haha) basically we´re just in charge of all the money of the mission...no big deal ha. But thats the big news of the week!  Hi I am e. Vazquez¡¡¡  That was Elder Vazquez...he's here in the offices with me! ha.  We have a lot fun here.  Anyway, I do know Elder Beau Stapley...not too well, but I do know of him. I am going to train him on a few things of the mission when he gets here, so I'll let you know when he arrives!
 
So, I don't have too much time  to write....we are super super busy right now....because we are going to be celebrating Christmas as a mission on Thursday!! So we are getting everything ready for the PARTY! haha. soooo.............................................................peace out!
 
i love you all.....mucho.
 
Elder Johnson

Monday, November 28, 2011

WHAT UP! WHAT UP!


suppy yo.......yo.  BGL.
 
Sooo THANKSGIVING!!.................we did nothing....hahaha. I honestly didn't even realize that it was Thanksgiving! haha. Anyway, that's not important. The work is going super duper well right now! I'm honestly loving this work more than anything! But we did have a little bit of a downer this week....we were going to baptize yesterday (Sunday), and we had everything ready...the baptismal font was all filled (by the way, we have another one of those bag things as a font haha) and we were also all dressed in white...basically everything! And then the dad of YAHIR called from the United States and said that he didn't want his son to be baptized.........BLUHH. super bummed for sure...but it's ok because I'm absolutely POSITIVE that Yahir and his whole family are going to be baptized in the future, and just go right on to eternal life!! love love love it. Anyway, all of our other investigators are doing super well right now! We found a new family this week that is super ESCOGIDISIMA! That means that they were just a gift from God! haha. The son in the family named Hector is 15 years old and he is a freakin STUD! Honestly, he has so much potential to be a SICK missionary! He's responsible, doesn't drink (almost all the teenagers drink here...), and he listens super well in the lessons! The only bummer is that the only day he works......SUNDAY! nooooooooooooooo. But thats ok, I'm postive that God will make it happen somehow, because I'm telling you....this kid is gonna be the modern day AMMON! haha. But honestly, I'm happier than I've ever been in my whole life and I love love love these people here! haha.
 
But about you all.....every single letter I get, I cant believe how much progress I've seen in my family and how much everyone is just KILLING IT in everything you are doing! haha. Oh and shout out to my main man DALLAS!  I'm so stoked that he's gonna be leaving soon! He's honestly gonna kill it in his mission! Also, what is going on with all my girls back home??? they're dropping like flies....I was wondering why I was recieving less and less mail! haha. No, honestly I'm super stoked to hear that everyone is just super happy back home and that so many people are just lovin life!
 
THIS IS GODS WORK! THIS LIFE IS GREAT, ENJOY EVERY SECOND OF IT!!
 
I....love....you....all...............................a lot.
 
Elder Johnson

Monday, November 21, 2011

FELIZ DIA DE GRACIAS!


HOLA HOLA

Feliz dia de gracias! haha. I'm actually pretty sure that they celebrate something the 24th, but I think it's something different but similar....either way, we won't be doing too much celebrating....haha. Anyway, things are going super well here. Remember how we had to drop all of our investigators and start over new? Well....it worked out really well! We have a bunch of new investigators who want to get baptized! Obviously, there are still a couple doubts and things like that that we have to take out and help them with, but a lot of them are progressing closer to baptism!  We are working super hard right now, and we have a few families who are all really special!  I'm so grateful to the Lord for blessing us this week with so many people to teach because honestly, I was a little scared to drop all of our investigators and start new because I thought we were going to have a super tough week, but it turned out to be the best week of the change so far! We have a ton of references that we still haven't had time to contact, so we're going to see what happens with them...supposedly, a few of them have talked with missionaries before and have said to some of the members that all of a sudden, they want to be baptized! WHATT! The blessings of the Lord sometimes are just COUNTLESS! haha.


So yesterday in  church was one of my favorite Sundays of my whole mission....actually my favorite Sunday of my whole mission!  First off, we got to the church in the morning in Angostura and I dont know why but I walked into church and I just had an overwhelming feeling of joy!  I couldn't stop smiling all 3 hours of church...we had around 60 people in church yesterday and everyone just seemed so much happier than normal! I was thinking about all the prayers that have been said for this branch, and I just knew that the Lord was answering our prayers in that moment! I can really start to see something different in this branch right now, and I feel like we are growing closer and closer to having our CHAPEL!!  Whatt upp!! haha. And then, in the afternoon we went to the meeting under the good ole famous tree! haha. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but in our english classes we have been learning "I am a child of God" in english! And yesterday, we all sang in the sacrament meeting! There were about 10 kids singing....and on the second verse, we sang in spanish and everyone that was at the meeting sang the second verse with us! It was honestly super special and we all felt the spirit super strong!! SO STOKED! haha.

Anyway, I'm loving the work!  I've never felt more joy in my life than when I am preaching this gospel to all that  I can!  I really have come to love this people SO much, and I know that I'm here in Mexico for a reason! There are people waiting for us, and I pray that we will be guided by the spirit to find them! I love you all so much, for real....I love you all A LOT! haha. I was so excited to see the pic of you all at the temple....a little jealous too! haha. Keep up the progress, spread the gospel, and love EVERYONE! haha. 

love you all.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

COULDN'T BE HAPPIER!


HOLA HOLA!

So I'm lovin the google translator! haha. Anyway, it is starting to get a little colder here....it's super nice in the night, because now we don't even have to turn on the air conditioning and we save a whole lot of money! haha. But all other things are going well here....we had a pretty tough week with finding people to teach. We had to drop almost all of our investigators that we had because they all just stopped progressing at the same time...big bummer, but its ok, because there are people that are waiting for this gospel, and although I may not know where they are right now....THE LORD DOES!!  It's so cool that we have the knowledge that our Heavely Father knows each one of us personally and he knows exactly what we are going through! He also is constantly preparing the hearts of the people to accept this gospel and the message that we have! And we as missionaries have the ability to receive direct revelation to know where these people are at, we just need to be worthy and plead with the Lord to know where to go!

Oh also, sorry I didn't write yesterday...we were super busy and did not have any time to write the fam! But yesterday, we had a Family Home Evening with a member family in one of the ranchos where we work, because it was the birthday of one of the members (less active) in the family! So we went to celebrate his birthday and also to share something short and sweet....we watched "the Testaments" with the WHOLE family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, brothers, sisters....basically the whole rancho! haha. We had a TON of people and it was SUPER good! there were a lot of family members there that arent members of the church and they all felt the spirit super strong!  I honestly could not stop smiling the whole night, it was a way cool experience and I know the Lord brought every single one of those people to that family home evening for a reason....and I hope that we will be able to see some "fruits" from the activity!

Anyway, my card expires in February....comin up soon! haha. I'm glad you reminded me of that....haha. Also, I'm super stuHOKED to hear that there is another package heading my way! haha. I really really like sour patch kids for some reason....the only conclusion I can think of,  is that you must have eaten sour patch kids when I was in your tummy and made me addicted to them before I even had a chance to choose! haha.

So 250 huh?? that's super wild!  The time is going soo fast here in the mission....sometimes I think about how all my life has been looking forward to my mission and now I'm already 8 months into it! WHAT!! super cuhRAZY.  Anyway, I'm honestly loving it here and I'm learning a lot about myself and about this gospel that is perfect in every way!  I love to know that this work is eternal...without end...we will literally be working and continually progressing for eternity! Gods plan is perfect, Christ is the center of all we do, and I couldn't be more happy to be a part of this great work that He has set forth before me! I love you all, I love my Nephew (that looks EXACTLY like Jessica by the way!! haha). well I'm gonna get to work right now....peace. out.

con amor,

Elder Johnson


p.s. hope you are liking the piccccs! I'll send more soon.  l8r sk8rs.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lovin' Dis Work!





hola hola hola!

So I'm basically super super stoked to hear that things are going so well back at home! I really can see the progression in each and every one of you...including me!! haha. Really, I can't even tell you how happy I am right now! Anyway, things are going SUPER good right now! Every week I'm here, I progress more and more....not just as a missionary, but as an overall person or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints! We really are starting to see a lot of progression right now in this area...the other day, we were working in the afternoon and we had a few appointments with people that still hadn't had a baptismal date so we were super determined to put a batismal date for these people! I was feeling really good and I knew that we had the spirit with us, and when we were teaching, the spirit was super strong! Then at the end we challenged them to be baptized and every single person accepted!!! We actually had one appointment with someone that had already had a baptismal date and her daughter, who is about 30 yrs old showed up right before we were going to teach....we had planned to teach about keeping the sabbath day holy, so we started to teach and they both understood super well and at the end of the lesson, I felt that we should challenge the daughter to be baptized....keep in mind that this is the first time this girl has ever listened to missionaries in her life so I was a little bit nervous or timid at first to challenge her to baptism, but I knew that I had recieved that prompting from the spirit, so I grabbed the Book of Mormon and I started to explain a little bit about what it was and explained that if she reads it and asks God to know if it is true she will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that if he was a prophet, the church of Jesus Christ is on the earth today....and it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints! We challenged her to be baptized, and she accepted!! WHATT!  I honestly could hardly believe that we challenged someone to be baptized after teaching about the Sabbath day, and they accepted!  I learned that if we truly have the Spirit with us, and that same spirit touches their hearts....THEY WILL ACCEPT!  So that afternoon we had 3 people who all accepted baptism on November 19th! We are super stoked right now, and I know that we are going to start to see many more miracles here in Angostura!

This branch is continuing to progress....we have at least 55 people every week in sacrament meeting, and we are hoping that we can increase in the weeks to come! We actually had a few members who have been inactive for a while come this week so I was SUPER happy about that! The branch is working a lot harder now and I know the Lord sees our hard work, and is blessing us right now! The Lord truly wants this branch to grow, and we are doing everything we can to help him!

So the hand continues to bother a bit....but right now it is not preventing me from working, but I do need to take better care of it! haha. Oh and by the way, the package arrived last week but I forgot to tell you....whoops! but yeah, I'm loving every bit of my package right now....the only sad part is that I tend to just tear open the sour patch kids and finish them super quick! haha. lovin dem sour patch kids!

Anyway, all is well here. We are going to continue to work super hard here and I know we are going to see many miracles! The Lord truly has a great work in store for me here...and thats exactly what we are going to be doing....WORK!

Speaking of work....gotta go! Lots of people to baptize.

love you all, Elder Johnson
 
 

Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO!!!


Happy Halloween family!

So this week has been good....kinda crazy and all over the place but good nonetheless. We didn't have a whole lot of time to work this week, due to a lot of traveling and unexpected things that came up that we had to leave our area to go help someone else, but thats alright! So it's a lot different having a "gringo" companion! I didnt think it was going to be a lot different, but it is. But it's really good, we don't hardly ever speak to eachother in English which is really good....we actually have a goal to not let oursleves fall into the trap of speaking English to eachother, because if we do....were gonna forget how to speak Spanish real quick, and that would be a problem...considering were in Mexico and all! haha.

Anyway, we had a really good zone conference this week in Los Mochis! It was unexpected and super random, but it was super good! President Cantu had just gotten back from a 5 day training thing in Mexico City, where he learned a bunch of stuff, and then he came back and taught it all to us! I learned a ton in this zone conference and we are really trying to put it into practice! We have a lot of people that we are working with right now, and I know that if we work hard and are diligent, we are going to see baptisms real soon! I'm super excited to be working here in this area right now, the members are helping a lot and we are closer and closer every week to having a chapel here in Angostura! We just need to make that extra effort and show the Lord that we are willing to sacrifice and work to have the blessing that he has prepared for us here in Angostura! I know that the members will be blessed so much to have a chapel here, and also the people that are not members here will recieve great blessings! The Lord wants so much for this Branch to grow, we just have to show him the effort!

I'm so thankful for each and every day I am here on my mission! Sometimes it's difficult to take new chances and try new things, because sometimes it doesn't work the way you planned....but that is how we learn! I have learned to accept that as missionaries....we are not perfect, we make mistakes....but we continue working with all our heart, might, mind and strength....and the Lord takes care of the rest! I really love this work, and it is WORK! haha. Also, tell Bishop Andrews that I really enjoyed getting his letter, the home ward sounds like it is doing great and you are all taking advantage of the many blessings that you have recieved!

I love you all so much, and I'm so happy to hear that all is well! By the way, that picture of Asher is hilarious!! haha. Keep working hard, love the Lord with all of your heart , and remember that I love you all!!

con mucho amor,  Elder Johnson 

Angostura, Mexico  
Sacrament Mtg. under a Tree  
2 Plates of Sushi? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trust in the Whisperings of the Spirit


Bad news...................i brought my camera cable and i was just about to put the photos on....and then my camera died...............hahahaha. sorry, no photos once again! 

Anyway.....haha. The work is going super well here! I just recieved a new companion named Elder Talbot....he's from Utah Spanish Fork and he has about 10 months or so in the mission. He's a really good guy and likes to joke around a lot! haha. Should be a pretty fun change! Honestly, I'm super stoked to be here right now! I feel like I have prorgressed more in my mission in this past month than in any other time in my mission! I really have learned to trust in the whisperings of the spirit, all my life I have always had this wierd fear of following the whisperings of the Spirit, because I always just thought it was MY thoughts or something...I'm sure I'm not the only one! haha.  But we had divisions this week with another area and an elder named Elder Marquez came and we worked SUPER hard!  He taught me a lot of things that I needed to hear and I'm super grateful to the Lord for answering my prayers!  We have a few new investigators that we are working with. one of them is the husband of a recent convert in the branch here in Angostura! His family is Jehovas Witness and he has grown up in that religion, but just recently he was talking with his wife saying that he has just about everything he has ever wanted in this life....a nice house, a wife, kids, a car etc. but then said that there is something missing.......something bigger than things of this world that have to do with money! He still is warming up to us a little bit, but he's honestly a great guy, and I can see the Spirit working in him! We're super stoked for him! haha.

Anyway, the branch is doing super well! the Branch President is super stoked!!! He's starting to plan activities for the branch to go visit less active members...which I'm honstly super stoked about!  He is just talking a lot about how we need to unite the branch and see more excitement and work together!  I honstly feel like we are going to have a chapel here in Angostura super soon!  Please pray for the members here!!!  It was actually a really cool experience, because this whole past change I felt like I needed to stay here and help the members and this branch more and I was praying that I would be able to stay here and help the memebers here more....I really feel like there is something bigger that I need to do here....and then the changes arrived and I have the opportunity to stay here and I'm going to work every moment I can to take advantage of it!

I love you all so much and I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well!  Keep studying those scriptures and stay close to the Lord!  Hay que ser constantes en todo que hacemos!!

Love you,

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Would Give Up Everything to Receive a Remission of My Sins!


ho la!

This week has been a good one! haha. Although the baptism of Guadalupe fell through (sort of kind of a big bummer), we are still working hard with her and with all the other people we are teaching. We actually found a new little rancho where not too many missionaries have worked before....but the whole rancho is family (literally every single person is related)! And not only family , but family of one of the strongest members in the branch! haha. We went to visit some people that live there the other day and we took the member with us (Hna. Julieta) and it went super well!  I really think that we're going to see a lot of success there, and the good thing is...it is super close to Angostura so its not too difficult for the people to go to church on Sunday! Good things good things.  Also, we are teaching the son of Hna. Julieta who never was baptized and he's prgressing really well!  We read with him the other day in the Book of Mormon Alma 22 and we talked about how the king was willing to give up everything to follow Jesus Christ and recieve a remission of his sins and Alvaro felt the spirit super strong!  Then during the next week he was talking with his mom about everything and he told her that he wants to be baptized and he said that when he does, he wants to give up everything bad in his life and just go all out following Jesus Christ (JUST LIKE THE KING!!!). It was super cool to see the words of the Book of Mormon have that much of an impact on someones life!  We are really excited for Alvaro and I know that he is going to be baptized and be a super strong member in the church!

The English classes are still going well and also we had a service project in the church this week to try to unite the members more and it went really well also! We had a few members come out and we all worked super hard...we actually cut down this big lime tree that was just in the way of everything and super ugly! We cut the whole thing down with pure machette (spelling?) haha. It honsetly wasn't easy but we got it done! haha. anyway, the goal of the project was just to unite the members and get everyone working in the branch, and this Sunday we had about 60 people in church which is really great! We have everything we need for a chapel...we only need more faithful tithe payers! We are SOO close its unreal! I'm not kidding when I tell you that there are almost enough members here in Angostura to have a small stake! haha. About half of this pueblo is baptized and are members, but all of them are inactive! We are trying to start to involve the members more in visiting the less active members of the branch....I hope it goes well!

Anyway, that's basically the work here in Angostura! We are just fighting every single day to find more people, activate the inactive and animate those who are active! AMAR, BAUTIZAR, RETENER! That's our motto of the mission. Also, changes are this Saturday and I think that Elder Fernandez might be leaving...so I might be having a new companion this next week! We'll see what happens.

but yeah, thats my life.....what up!

Elder Johnson



p.s. pics coming soon (I'm always forgetting the cable for my camera....sorry!)

just send me a text to remind me.................................................:)                                              
 

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm Teaching English!


Hello my family,

So everything is going super well here!  We are progressing so much every week here in Angostura...especially this week!  We..or I, am teaching english classes like 4 times a week!! It's super fun and we are seeing a lot of good things come from it!  We just started it pretty recently, but we have a bunch of members come and a few have brought their friends! we are hoping to have more and more people each week... actually we are going to make little invitations so that the members can remember and they can give them to their friends and all that "jazz"...I think we are going to see a lot of success come from it! Also, the sacrament meeting under the tree is going super well also...we have about 25 people that are coming regularly and there are a ton more inactive members that live out there that we are going to work with...we NEED A CHAPEL really soon! between the 2 parts of the branch we have around 65 people coming to church each week, and the requirement for a chapel is 50 with 20 full time tithe payers!  We are super super close!  Pray for the members here and just for the area in general, we are seeing a lot of progression and we can't go back, we need to keep moving forward! I'm honestly so happy to be here right now and be a part of this great work and see the Lords kingdom being built up here in a little pueblo in Mexico!

Also, I think I forgot to tell you that Elder Fernandez Paz is back here woring with me...he is feeling much better and we are working super hard!  We have made some goals to "Abrir la Boca" (open your mouth)! haha. We are constantly with people every single day and at times we have a little bit of fear to talk about the gospel with some people because sometimes the situation just seems wierd...but thats only because Satan puts something small in our path to make it seem like we cant share the gospel at this time, but when we do, the Spirit is able to testify to their hearts at thet very moment that what we are saying is true! We have seen A LOT of success by doing this and we actually have a lot of new investigators that we are working with!  We actually have a baptism planned for this Saturday!! She is an investigator named Guadalupe, she lives in a family with a bunch of members so we decided to invite her to listen to our message and so we taught here and challenged her to be baptised and she accepted!  She watched conference and absolutely loved it, she was actually tell us which of the talks she liked and explained what they said! Also, she is reading the Book of Mormon every day!  She is super special and I'm really excited for her! pray that everything goes well this week so that nothing gets in the way of her baptism!

Anyway, we are super excited right now and I cant wait to get back out and work!  I'm actaully on divisions right now with my zone leader Elder Torales in his area so we are going to be working here tonight and tomorrow all day. I really enjoy divisions because I learn a lot from other missionaries, just being able to see how they work and try to put it into practice in my area that I'm in...its a good way to learn and to progress as missionaries!

So about the package..........hmmmmm....I really dont know what I need, sometimes I feel like I have way too much! haha.  As missionaries we really do live the most simple life possible...haha.  a washer for my clothes would be awesome...but I'm not sure if you could fit one into a package?? haha.  The shoes are holding up super well, I don't think I'm going to have too much of a problem with that here.  oh cologne, I need more cologne! Also, a few copies of the Book of Mormon in english would be awesome...just the simple blue ones with either the hard cover or soft!  And ties, ties, ties! but no skinny ties...I have grown to not like skinny ties, kinda wierd how that happens! haha. anyway, I can't think of anything else...but I'm positive that I will love anything that is in it!  Its super wierd that I'm not gonna be there for Christmas, its gonna be much different but I'm excited to see what Christmas is like in the mission! haha.

Oh also, I had to go back to the doctor for my hand because it had liquid inside of it and we weren't sure if it was infected or not, but right now I have medications to help it and has gotten much better so no worries there!

Anyway, thats all the news for right now! Espero que ustedes sigan adelante firme en las palabras de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. ¡Hay que ser muy firme y tener un testimonio muy fuerte en un mundo  muy cambiante! Se que ustedes puedan hacerlo, hay milagros y muchas bendiciones que les estan esperando, solo hay que ser diligente y obediente en todas las cosas! les amo muchisimo, y espero que todo este bien!

I love you all,

Elder Johnson


from Shawna:  I google translated the last part.  Here is it is English.:  I hope you keep going strong in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Be very firm and have a very strong testimony in a rapidly changing world! I know you can do this, there are miracles and many blessings that are waiting, just have to be diligent and obedient in all things! I love you a lot, and I hope everything is okay!

Monday, October 3, 2011


Fam Fam Family!

WHATTT!! so many good things are hapenning its unreal! ha. Tell Taylor that I'm super stoked for him on his call to the Philippines!  It really gets me stoked to hear about all the calls and new missionaries that are going to come into the work....we need ALOT more!! Also, I found it super funny that basically everyone that wrote me this week commented on how their favorite talk was Elder Yamashito...because that was my favorite too! haha. Besides the talk in Priesthood by Elder Holland.....simply unreal. ha.

So this week was SUPER good! We are progressing so much right now, we have a few baptismal dates for this month and they are all super excited about the gospel!  Also, we got a ride from this guy named Jose yesterday night and he was one of the coolest guys I've met so far on my mission! We just started talking immediately and he was way friendly....I told him that I was from Arizona and he told me that the D-BACKS are almost in the World Series!!! whatttt!!! first of all.....is that true...???? haha. anyway, that doesnt matter right now...ha.  Then we started to talk a little bit about the gospel and he said he had never talked with the missionaries before, but that he wanted us to come to his house and teach him about what we believe! We told him that we might be able to fit him into our schedule......he's just one of our first priorites right now, thats all! haha. He's super cool, and I felt the spirit immediately with him, he's about 23-25 and has a girlfriend, but they don't live together!!! What a miracle!!! I'm hoping that we can also meet his girlfriend and teach them both so that they can get married in the temple and have kids that are going to go on missions and bless the lives of thousands! thats the plan anyway. ha.

So this was my first General Conference in spanish....much different. but it was super good! Its still super wierd to me that I'm able to watch General Conference...or anything for that matter in spanish! haha. It was different solely because I'm used to hearing the voices of the prophet and the apostles, but it was just some random translators voice...it makes a little bit of a difference honestly, but it was great. I love having the opportunity to recieve the counsel from our modern day leaders of the church, but it makes all the difference when we put into PRACTICE what we learned! We will receive so much of a greater testimony of the things that were said when we see it blessing our everyday lives! love it. Don't have fear to DO the things that Heavenly Father is asking us to do....if he gives us a commandment, there will ALWAYS be a way to accomplish it!

I love my family...a lot. Also, the talk by Elder Packer for the youth...follow the counsel given!

love, Elder Johnson

Monday, September 26, 2011

Finding JOY in the Little Things


Hello my dearest family!
So I think I'll start this letter off by saying that this week was not easy...but I've never learned so much in my life! We really tried to focus on receiving references this week from the members to find new people to teach....but we went to visit the members and a lot of them weren't there or just couldn't think of anyone! haha. So that wasn't too successful...and so we went to go contact....that didn't go too well either! We would start to contact someone and I would look over at my companion and he was staring up at the sky or a tree....errrrr, sort of frustrating! But I had to be patient with him because he had no clue what he was doing! haha. We didn't see too much success in the numbers this week but I learned a lot and I feel like I have progressed as a missionary and as a person! Also, we had a zone conference this past Saturday, and I felt like you did Mom, when you said that you felt like every word was directed specifically for you, that's exactly how I felt in this conference! Any time we have an opportunity to listen to our leaders in the church...whether it be in General Conference or in a zone conference....the heavens truly open and we have an AWESOME opportunity to receive direct revelation for our own lives and the lives of the people that we are responsible for (family, investogators, etc.)! I was able to learn a lot and I know that as I put into practice the things I learned, that I will receive a greater conviction and testimony of those things and I will be blessed for doing so!  Same goes for you all, as we really try to put into practice the things that we learn, we will begin to see a great change in our hearts and our desires to serve the Lord will grow tremendously!
Right now we don't have too many investigators, but we have plans to find MUCHOS this week!  It's gonna be another week of perserverance, but I know we will begin to see great miracles and have awesome and very spiritual experiences!
I'm truly so thankful for your letters and all the love that I feel as I read them!  It keeps me motivated and lets me know that whatever barrier or trial lies ahead that all will be fine if we truly are doing the Lords work the way He wants us to do it!  I know the baptisms aren't coming right now, but that doesn't mean that we are not seeing great and marvelous miracles here in the mission field!  I have truly found great joy and satisfaction through the little everyday things!  At first I was just waiting for the great and marvelous miracles that often times happen in the mission, that I was missing out on all the small things that bring us great joy and will be memories forever!
Tell everyone that I say hi. Also, tell Derek that first of all he's the man, second that he needs to write me, and third that the volleyball player for Dear Valley that was SICK is in my mission, his name is Elder Livingston, I met him at the conference....haha. he wanted to say whatt upp.
Also, tell that best friend of mine Jenna to write me...I miss that girl and want to hear from her! haha.

Anyway, I love you all and hope all is well at home!

Love, Elder Johnson

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gonna be a week of WORK, WORK, WORK!





WHOAAAA!!! there is so much news I can hardly handle it! haha.

First of all, that is not my sister in that picture!!!!! Where in the world is the time going....it is seriously going so fast its unbelievable!

and WHAT UP TATE!!! that's so exciting that he is going to Manchester England! I'm super stoked to hear that all these people are getting ready to come out and be a part of this AWESOME WORK!!

Also, give my cuz a shoutout!!! WHAT UP DEREK!!  I'm super stoked to hear that you were killin it on the DANCE FLOOR!!!! haha. I really cant even tell you how stoked I am to hear that!

So about Angostura, it's still super super hot here and it is a little bit more desert...there aren't very mountains here and in Rosario there were a bunch, so thats different. And we are pretty close to the ocean, we have a Rancho that is super close and there are a bunch of members that live there! Also, we hitch hike everywhere we go here!! haha. We get a ride from some random person at least 5 times a day...no joke! This area is super huge, and some places we ride our bikes, but not too often because it is too far! And we wash out clothes by hand here! fun fun. And we eat with a different member every day...and we eat a TON here in Angostura! haha. we have air conditioning in the house here!!!!! such a blessing! Also, other news....my companion got super sick and got sent to Culiacan to rest and I have a new companion for a week....he is a "misionero de verano" a summer missionary which means that he is only here for 1 change (6 weeks).  His name is Elder Arias, he is a convert of only 2 MONTHS!!! He is super cool and he wants to work, so right now for a week I'm senior companion...and Elder Arias doesnt know too much of the lessons which means that I'm basically going to be doing everything for the next week in an area that I still don't know very well....errrr, I'm super nervous but I'm excited at the same time because I know that I'm going to learn a ton in this week! Also, we dont have too many investigators which means that we have to find new people! Gonna be a week of WORK WORK WORK!! Pray for me...haha. and about the sacrament meeting under a tree....it's the same branch as the one that meets here in angostura but its so far away and alot of the people dont have cars so we have another sacrament meeting out there! Yesterday we used tortillas for the sacrament bread...that was new! haha. but it was so special to be able to feel the spirit with such a simple sacrament meeting, and I felt so blessed that even in such a small place in the middle of Mexico, he have the Priesthood and we were able to bless and pass the sacrament to each one of the few members that live here! super cool.

Also, send JENNA a birthday shoutout!!! I forgot to put it in my email a little while ago, but it's here now! haha. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNA! love yaaaa!

I truly feel like I'm progressing every single day, not only as a missionary but as a person! It so cool to see how much the Lord is shaping me here and to see the person that I'm becoming! This work truly is difficult at times, and not difficult as in manual labor, its all mental!  It's just a mental battle sometimes to get out and get to work, but when we do and when we do it with a willing heart and a desire to serve the Lord, He blesses us with the some of the greatest joy we can possibly feel in this life! It truly is an eternal joy, something that is undeniable and contagious! love it. My love for this work and my love for the Savior has grown so much and continues to grow every time we have the opportunity to teach one of Gods children the truly and ever lasting Gospel and watch it bless their lives! It truly is my love for God and his Son Jesus Christ that gets me up every day and gives me a desire to work, and that love for God should guide us to put our lives more in harmony with His teachings and to live the way that He desires!

I love you all so much and I'm thankful for each and every one of you!

love, Elder Johnson

p.s. a couple pics from Rosario...



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TRANSFERRED TO A NEW AREA...ANGOSTURA


Hello my dearest family that I love so dearly!

So first of all....WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT PICTURE????? I was laughing so hard when I saw that! haha.  (I sent him an old funny picture from when he was about 11 or 12 years old)

NEWSSS.....I got changed to a different area today! I just arrived here in a little RANCHITO neamed Angostura.....it is super close to the city Guasave! It's more in the north of Sinaloa...I have been traveling ALL day! haha. But this area seems super sweet...I have a new companion named Elder Fernandez, he is from Uraguay and he's a champ, I'm super excited to work with him! We have 2 little branches in this area so we are going to be going to 2 different sacrament meetings....but check this out....one of the sacrament meetings....is beneath a GIANT TREE!! There is just a little table for the sacrament and a small podium for the speaker!! I'm so stoked to see how it is...that is seriously like my dream, is to have a sacrament meeting like that! haha.

Anyway, cool story that happened yesterday in my last Sunday in Rosario.....so we were in the "chapel" getting ready for church and a guy walks in that nobody knows and asks if this was the Mormon church and we said yes....then he continued to tell us that he Apostolica and that his church was closed so he decided to come to ours...kinda random. But he sat in on our sacrament meeting...which was super spiritual for some reason, and he felt the spirit super strong! We finished the first meeting and we were about to seperate for other classes but he asked us if he could share something....SUPER random! haha. So we let him share what he wanted to say and he gets up and starts to tell us how in his church he would tell all the people that he hates the Mormons and that basically he wanted us all dead.....but then he started to cry and said that he felt something different being in our church and he apologized a ton to all of the members! He went on to say how he feels that this is the true church and that he is going to continue coming here!!! WHATTTT???? All the members afterward were super friendly to him and we felt the spirit SO strong in the church that day! This experience honestly was UNREAL!  I really think he could be our next branch president...but we'll see!

So about this Quinn Shuler situation...I knew him, that's super wild and super sad. It just makes me so grateful that our loving Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us basic instrucctions on how to find happiness and stay away from the evil things of this world that bring nothing but sadness...my prayers will include that family.

We are going to see miracles this change...I can feel it!!  With diligence comes blessings.

love love love you all,
Elder Johnson

Monday, September 5, 2011

DESIRE LEADS TO ACTION!


Suppy yo yo fam!
 
Soo things are going just swell here! We are in Mazatlan right now, because we completed our goal for baptisms as a zone, so we are here in Mazatlan celebrating!!  We played FUTBOL in the morning and right now we are about to go BOWLING!!  Whatt uppp!  So stoked!  We have a bunch of lanes rented out for 4 hours and we can just keeping playing for however long we want!  This is a day well needed...haha!
 
Anyway, my new comp Elder Lopez just recieved word not too long ago that his girlyfriend back home isn't feeling it anymore....errr.  He's super sad all the time and it is all he thinks and talks about!  It is super hard for him right now, but I'm trying to animate him and get him excited to be here...because it's affecting the work right now....pray for him, pray for Rosario! WE NEED A MIRACLE!!  And I know they are waiting (the miracles),  I can feel it!  All we need to do is get out there and work and really search for the "chosen ones" haha.  I have learned the importance of a willing heart and mind these past few weeks...it really does affect a lot of what we do and HOW we do it!  There are missionaries that work just to be able to say that they left the house and did something...but then there are missionaries who leave the house with an attitude of really wanting to find the people that are waiting and ultimately build the kingdom of God here on the earth!  This desire to find people and help them enter into their path to eternal life is my true desire, and I am going to do ALL that I can to make sure that my desire leads me to action!!  Super stoked right now to get out and work!!
 
The hand is doing well, there is still a little bit of swelling where they stitched underneath but it is doing fine!  It is not affecting my ability to work, so thats all that matters! And also, our converts have not come to church since Elder Ball left.....we visit them all the time and get them excited to come to church, and then they don't come....pretty disappointing and very sad, but we are doing all we can to help them!
 
I'm super excited to hear that everyone is doing super well at home....especially Court and Dillon in school! Keep up the hard work in school you two!! There really is no greater satisfaction than working hard and seeing the results of your hard work later, and you WILL SEE RESULTS!  Keep up with the FHE, I know sometimes the schedule gets pretty crazy, but if we can really focus our priorities on what the Lord wants for our family...there will be a way!! Do all you can to strengthen the fam spiritually and help eachother to grow in unity, there's  nothing more important you can do!
 
I love you all more than you know, and I pray that the Lord blesses each and every one of you on your journey to becoming more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
 
con mas amor que pueden imaginar,
 
Elder Johnson

Monday, August 29, 2011

FACE THE FUTURE WITH FAITH


FAMILY!!!!
 
Hey everyone, so I'll start out by saying that I'm super DUPER happy right now for some odd reason!  I think just hearing how much the Lord is blessing my family and how happy everyone is in my home town just lifts my spirits and puts a smile on my face! haha.
 
So, it turns out that my companion was texting one of the members in the ward during the night and then erasing the messages so I didn't see them...but we found out about it and he got taken out of the area...everything was super quick and crazy, but I have a new companion right now, Elder Lopez!  He is also from Mexico...Hidalgo, and he was just a zone leader pretty recently so he's a hard worker...it feels so good to have a companion who is willing to work and who wants to help the Lord fulfill His purposes and promises here upon the earth! 'Super stoked! haha.  Anyway, that's what happened with my comp...pretty wild week.
 
Anyway, Rosario is moving a little slow right now...while we are walking very fast trying to help the people here make the committment to be baptized and receive all the blessings that the Lord has prepared for them!  We really are..."expanding our horizons"....trying to look for new ways to help this area to progress!  Some of the activities that we had went well for one week and then after that, the members stopped coming and everything we had going just fell from under us...there truly is opposition in ALL things! haha. It is truly a battle field out here with Satan and his followers, but we know that when we keep our eye single to the glory of God...we will NEVER lose in the end!  I receive a lot of comfort in that, because sometimes it seems like no matter what we do...nothing works! haha.  But.....by small and simple things! I know we will see the fruits of our labors soon!  I'm glad that I started out my mission in the one of the hardest area of the mission that we have....don't know if you knew that, but this area is known for being pretty tough....because I am learing EVERYTHING here!  I will be able to leave this area with all the knowledge of how to deal with every single situation that comes to me...obviously other areas have other challenges, but I know that I will be prepared!  The Lord is shaping me in so many ways right now that sometimes it's hard to keep up with myself! haha.
 
We are going to continue to work hard here in good ole´ Rosario and pray that we can see Miracles here and continue to progress!  I am absolutely loving my mission and I'm so excited for what the future holds in store for me!  Remember to always face the future with Faith and with a perfect hope in Jesus Christ and His atonement!  We recive all blessings through His grace...and it is when we are doing what He asks us to do that His grace is sufficient for us!
 
I love you all!
 
Love Elder Johnson

Monday, August 22, 2011

PATIENCE MY SON...PATIENCE



family family famzzily,
 
Sooo, things are going well here....my companion is "dying" a little bit right now because he only has 20 days left in the mission...it's honestly been pretty tough this week! We are still working, but the work is just SLOW!  A lot of times, he makes up some weird random excuse of why we need to stop and rest...and sometimes I get super angry inside but I have to remember that I need to have patience and that the Lord wants me to learn something from every experiece we have! Don't get me wrong...I'm LOVING the work more than anything, but I know that we can make that extra effort, make that extra sacrifice and just have that extra bit of Faith!  The Lord blesses us so much when we are willing to sacrifice everything we have to build His kingdom here upon the earth!  I was actually reading "Our Heritage" these past couple weeks and really pondering on the Pioneers and the sacrifices that they made and the unbelievable faith that they had in the Lord!  They went through more than I can imagine and were time and time again blessed with the greatest outpourings of the Spirit and some of the most miraculous manifestations of the Reality of our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ and the infinite love that they have for us!  I feel like the Lord is asking us to make the same kinds of sacrifices, but in a modern form...something maybe as simple as sacrificing "worldly activities" on the Sabbath Day or talking with the people that we associate with every single day about the true and everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Whatever the sacrifice may be...it will be well worth it!  I love one part in Our Heritage when it talks about a man, who had crossed the plains with his family by handcart and was sitting in on a conversation in which people were persecuting the Church Leaders for letting people travel that far with the little provisions that they had....this man tried to hold back his anger but finally it just came out and he stood up and with great power and conviction tells how much he had gone through and that to this very day he does not regret one bit of it...the reason being because through the hardships that he had to face and the struggles that they went through brought them to know their One and True God and that no sacrifice was too great to compare with the opportunity that he had to recieve the manifestation and conviction that he had to know the God lives and loves us!!  It's a whole lot better in the book and I would recommend that you read it, because it helped me so much to understand what God asks of us and what He will put us through to become the person He wants us to be!!  Anyway, this week has been a week of PATIENCE and my patience just about ran out...haha.  But I really have learned a lot and I am continuing to learn!  I pray that I will be humble enough to submit myself to any chastening that the Lord sees fit to inflict upon me!  We live, we learn, and we progress until we are made perfect beings in the eyes of the Lord...I love this work and I love the Lord more than anything!  That is what keeps me going, that is what gives me the desire to obedient, that is what gives me the willingness and humility to repent...is the Love that I have for my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ!!  I love you all and I am soo glad to hear that all is well in the life of my FAMILY!!  Party of the year....WHAATTT????? haha
 
loves, hugs, and kisses from Mexico!! <3 haha
 
Elder Johnson
 
p.s.  there are a few photos....hope you get them! and the hand is all clean and doing well!  I'm back up and working hard!


 



Monday, August 15, 2011

NO QUITA LA VISTA!


Querido familia!
 
Soo...sorry for not writing this past week! I feel super bad that we havent had ANY time to write! I'm not kidding when I say that sometimes our Pdays are more hectic that the normal days...we are moving from one place to another constantly and almost never have time to rest! haha. but no worries...everything is good here in Rosario! So I'm not sure if I told you exactly where Rosario is....its just below Mazatlan...we are basically the farthest south you can go in the mission!  Let me know if that helps you find me...haha. also, the package arrived last week! We had a zone conference so the zone leaders were able to bring my "bundle of love" to me with the oh so sweet.....SOUR PATCH KIDS! So stoked on that, I knew you wouldnt forget! haha. I'm not kidding when I say that I have the coolest Mom in the whole world....I was listening to the recordings of everyone and I remember when you said "now we're back to the original grind" LOVE IT!! haha. But from the voice recordings, it sounds like everyone is doing great and love love lovin life! and if I didnt mention, I love the package! haha.
 
I have news.......................that I dont think you are going to like.....................I had a pretty bad accident with my hand! We were cleaning the church on Saturday before Sunday so that it looked all spifffy and nice and I was grabbing some things that we store up on a shelf...and I had to stand on a chair to grab them, and there was a fan right above that I didnt see.....and I fell off the chair and my hand flew up into the fan and cut me up pretty bad!! and if you didnt know, the fans here are metal.....ouch! haha. One of the cuts I have went all the way to bone and damaged a ligament....I lost quite a bit of blood and while we were trying to wash it up and get it wrapped up I almost passed out on the floor but my companion caught me and they gave me a priesthood blessing right there and I felt SOO much better! It was actually a really cool experience and my faith was strengthened in the priesthood power that we hold every single day and can use in whatever moment IF we are living worthy to use our power that God has given us! But dont worry...everything is fine now! all I'm gonna have is some sweet scars to always remind me of my mission! haha. Gotta be positive!
 
I CANT BELIVE I'M AN UNCLE!!! I'm so excited its unreal! I loved the pictures, he looks like a healthy little boy! I cant wait to meet him! Its hard not to think too much about that day because I really cant wait! haha. Keep sending sweet pics of the little stud!
 
So about the work...I was reading the part of Andrews letter that you sent to me and it sounds like we are having very similair experiences with our investigators! We are still struggling with getting our investigators to church....but I am trying hard to not let it get me down too much, I am always finding reasons to absolutely LOVE my mission and all the blessings that Lord has given me! I really do LOVE my mission and am forever grateful that the Lord has made it possible that I be here in this moment serving Him through serving His children!! I have really learned to realize how to use the specific gifts that God has blessed me with to help this work move forward in the way the Lord would have it move forward! I have learned a lot about myself and I have seen my talents surface as I labor in this marvelous and wonderous work! right now, we are focusing a lot on the members and building a strong foundation in the branch here, and we have seen a a lot of success! By small and simple things are great things brought to pass...I love that counsel and I have seen the truthfulness of it over and over again while working in this branch! My comp is struggling pretty bad right now to finish his mission strong and every day I try to help him and excite him but a lot of the time, he refuses counsel from anyone....its been pretty tough, but I need to keep my desire to work and my desire to be obedient and I know the Lord will continue to bless me and continue to help my companion! NO QUITA LA VISTA!!!! (dont lose the vision!) I cant lose my vision of what I know the Lord wants me to become and what He wants this mission to accomplish! I love what Andrew said about how he is glad it is not easy....it takes a lot of humility to fully submit our will to the Lords and accept the "hard times"....but the "hard times" are also the most opportune momentes the Lord has given us to LEARN and to GROW!! We need to bear our trials with a spirit of gratitude and humility, and look for what the Lord is wanting us to learn through the experiences that we are given! the Lord knows what He wants us to become and He is going to provide every opportunity for us to become the person that He would have us be...we just need to accept His will!
 
I love love love the work and I love love love you all! remember...NO QUITA LA VISTA!
 
con amor,
 
Elder Johnson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SOBRINITO!!

hey hey hey fam,
 
First of all, sorry i didnt get to write yesterday...we were super busy ALL day! im still in Rosario with the same companion, Elder Mendez...but we got a new elder here and he got here super late and it was just crazy for a while! but anyway...thats why i didnt write.
 
second, IM GONNA HAVE A SOBRINO TODAY!!!!! im so excited its unbelievable!!! and by the way Jess...love the bib! haha. i cant wait to see pictures of the little guy...or "not so little guy" as it sounds! haha. GOOD LUCK JESS, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! and Cam...FELICIDADES!! love you man.
 
 also, thats soo cool that you got to talk to Elder Ball!! hes the man, i really love him so much! im definitely gonna have to go see him after the mission and i cant wait! if you get a chance to talk to him again...just let him know that im grateful for everything that he taught me and that i love him! haha.
 
so about the work here in Rosario...it is definitely work! haha. we have a lot of investigators that we are teaching right now, but none of them are completing with their committments...its super hard when they say they feel that its true, but just dont do anything about it...we are going to continue to help them but at the same time, we need to find new people to teach so we are going to be working a lot in that also! i know the Lord has chosen people for us in each of our areas, its just a matter of being in tune with the Spirit enough and really give your will to the Lord, and then He guides us to the people that we need to find! i have been praying super hard that we will find new investigators who are ready to hear that Gospel and that really want to follow Jesus Christ and his example for all of us! we need to have a deep and unwavering love for God and His Son Jesus Christ and a true desire to live all of the commandments that He has given us and "then is His grace sufficient for you" Moroni 7:48. I have studied that verse a lot and what "his grace" truly is and how we can achieve it in our lives! i wont write everything i have learned...solely due to the time i have on this wonderful computer device in which i write this email to you all....but i will invite you to read and to study about this, because it truly has changed my outlook on not only this work, but on life in general!! Grace for Grace...Grace to Grace...Love it! haha.
 
anyway, the Branch here is growing a lot and making steps to becoming a strong branch and we hope eventually a WARD!! we are working with the members a lot here and really trying to build a strong base in which we can then build off of! we have a really awesome activity planned for this Saturday in which we are going to all meet in the church on saturday (members and missionaries) and we are going to train the members on how to contact someone or on just how to talk to someone about the Gospel...then we're going to go with the members to visit less active members or investigators that live withing the area of this branch and try to animate them to come to church with us! it may seem like something small but we are really trying to help the members become involved in this branch and in the missionary work here in Rosario...because right now, we dont have too much support from the members here! haha. we are hoping that we will be able to strengthen the testimony of the members and help animate others at the same time! we truly find the greatest joy when we are in the service of our one and only true God! by small and simple things are great things brought to pass...and by very small means, the Lord bringeth to pass the salvation of MANY souls!! we are relying on that promise!
 
 i love this work so much and i love you all more than you know! im sooooo excited to see pics of my little nephew!! Love you Jess! please stay strong as a family and help eachother through any hard thing that comes with the struggles of life...just remember that a home build upon the principles of the Gospel and obedience to those principles is a home of happiness and peace!! stay close to the Lord!
 
i love you all so much!
 
Elder Johnson

Monday, July 25, 2011

We Are The HOPE OF ISRAEL!

BUENO!
 
Hola buenos tardes mi familia! solo quiero decirles que les amo mucho y les extraño! espero que todos esten felices!
 
ENTONCES......this week, i got sick for a couple days and had to stay in the house...big bummer! no joke, i was so mad that i couldnt go out and work...but i feel a lot better right now and im gonna work twice...no three times as hard to make up for the lost time! so to answer the big Q...we havent been able to baptize this transfer so far, sort of a bummer but its not anything to get dissappointed or discouraged about...just keeping working hard and the blessings will come, its a promise from the Lord! but we have had the opportunity to teach a lot of great people and even a couple families that are super awesome! we are truly working super hard to help these people in every way we can and i know they have become closer to their Heavenly Father! Sometimes its sort of a bummer when you are trying to do everything you can to help these people accept the most important message they will ever hear in their entire lives, but they just dont really want to help themsleves! agency....its all part of the plan!! jaja. we truly live in a world that is getting farther and farther away from the teachings and example of the Savior...a world in trouble....and we are the ones that God has trusted to put on this earth at this specific time who have the true gospel and he expects us to truly be an example and live our lives in harmony with what the Savior taught when He was here on the earth! Quite a bit of trust!! I love my Heavenly Father for giving the ability and opportunity to have a testimony that He and His Son LIVE!!
 
14 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so stoked its unreal!! love you Jess!
 
its already back to school time??? that was super fast! i bet Court and Dillon are way excited/nervous for MVT! haha. thats still so wierd to me that they are going to have the 9th graders also! but thats wasy cool for them!
 
aaannnywayyy....the work moves forward! the end of this change is this upcoming Sunday and i believe that i will be getting changed...but were gonna find out on Saturday!! so on Monday, ill give you the update! its wierd to think that i could be in a totally different place this next Monday....haha.
 
I love it here and i love this work, it truly is the work of the Lord and we are the HOPE OF ISRAEL!!
 
my family is the coolest EVAA...and i love them so much!!!
 
lova ya fam!
 
Elder Johnson
 
p.s. ill put more photos next week...im  just thinking of the best way to do it because i dont want the same thing to happen that happened the last time....(did that sentece make sense?) i feel like my english is terrible now....haha

Monday, July 18, 2011

MIRACLES ARE REAL!

My Family,
 
So I thought I would start by commenting on how much I love the letters that you send...they really do help me and animate me to work harder! L-L-Love you!
 
Soooooooooooo, thats super funny to hear that my mom (shawna baker) was watching soccer! jaja. I dont know why that made me laugh so much but just the thought of my mom actually sitting down and watching a soccer game is just funny....and new! jaja (by the way...jaja is the haha here...mexico is so original!) ohhh, and ROBERT! thats so sweet that he is home and doing super well! I was super excited to get that picture and see all my PRIMOS (cousins)! jaja. I'm way excited for him....its super weird cuz I remember talking with him about how he was getting home right after I leave and how we werent going to see each other for 4 years...and that feels like yesterday! Tell him I'm not jealous that he´s home though! jaja. I am a little jealous of the lake powell part!
 
Also, I'm way way stoked for this package that is en route! and yes, I got the email of all the stuffzz that is comin my way! way excited! I'm just excited to be able to talk about all my cool experiences and stuff and then you all can have them to hear about whats the happs here in Mexico! OH, and 21 DAYS!!!!!! WHAATTTT!  I'm soo excited to get pictures of my little SOBRINO! jaja.  I will continue to pray for you Jess and I really hope that all goes well! love you by the way!
 
Tell Court....well I guess your gonna be reading this Court so I'll just tell you myself...that I really love your letters a ton! I want you to know that I'm super proud of everything that your doing right now! I was so excited to hear that you made varsity cheer, I remember in the MTC...when mom sent me the email that you were probably gonna make varsity I was bragging about you to all the elders about how my 15 year old sister was probably going to make a nationally ranked cheer team! jaja. anyway, I'm way proud of you. and Dillon...stay away from those cheese puffs! jajajaja. nahh, I love you little bro!
 
I'm super glad to hear that you are reading conference! I really have seen so many blessings from following the counsel, council (honstly can't remember the spelling of that word...jaja) of our MODERN DAY PROPHETS! I took that for granted before my mission...the reality that we actually do have a living prophet on the earth today that literally speaks for God for all the world! I really have been thinking a lot lately about the reality of this and how great of an opportunity it is to be born in a time when we are guided by a prophet of God! I hope that you can take a little bit of time and ponder on the significance of that and really make an effort to follow the councils given!
 
Anyway......we had a district conference this past sunday (its like a stake conference, just with branches instead of wards) and President Cantu and his counselors came and spoke to us! President Cantu is the man! he speaks with so much power and authority in his voice and in his heart! He spoke about how MIRACLES ARE REAL!  Miracles really still happen in the world and they are not just something we hear about and think is cool...we can actually experience miracles in our own lives every single day...the problem is, we too often cut off our connection that we have with the powers of Heaven through our disobedience and often times, our lack of faith that these miracles can happen through US!  He bore a super powerful testimony of the truthfulness of this church and that we truly are in the ONLY path that leads back to our Heavenly Father! I truly felt the spirit super strong in this meeting and it helped me a lot to grow my faith in the reality and DIVINITY of my calling as a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ and this very sacred opportunity that I have to represent the Son of God! I'm so excited to be here right now serving and being able to align my will to God´s to literally help people change their lives and come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ!  This truly is the ONLY path that leads to eternal life...and we are on it, and we NEED TO STAY ON IT!!!!!
 
I am learning so much every single day its unreal! And I'm learning it all in Spanish...even more unreal!! jaja. I'm really glad to hear all is well at home and I hope and pray that it continues to be that way! pray, study, reflect, obey!!
 
I LOVE YOU ALL!
 
con amor sinceramente,
 
Elder Johnson
 
 
 
p.s. thank you for the contact! ill send pics next week