Monday, December 24, 2012

WHITE CHRISTMAS!

FAM'LY!

Hey everyone, I'm not sure how long this one is going to be because I guess I am just a little more focused on the phone call! haha.  But I'm soo glad to see that everyone is doing well. Also, I was soo stoked to see the pics of Dallin with the whole family!  By the way, I'm pretty sure that Dallin was wearing boots?  If he was, you totally stoll my idea man!  I guess thats what happens when your such good friends for so long! haha.  But I was soo excited to see those pics it was unbelievable!  Also, I forgot to mention in my last metter that I think that its so cool that your are now in the church choir!!  I'm excited to see you singing when I get back! haha.  Thats also way cool that quite a few people went....I miss having a choir in the ward, I never realized how awesome of a blessing it really is to have a choir that sings so well and can bring the spirit so strong to the meeting!  Anyway, I hope that everyone is ready for Christmas because I'm pretty stoked!  We aren't really going to be doing anything very special....obviously except for the phone call....but other than that it should be a pretty normal day! haha.  That's the life of a missionary I guess!  Maybe we will be able to go around and do some Christmas carroling (sp?) just my companion and I!  That would be fun...but I'm hoping that we can teach a few people about why we really celebrate Christmas and help them to feel the spirit of Christ!

Soo, this week we literally had a "WHITE" Christmas!  Guadalupe got baptized on friday!!!! WHOOOO!  It was such an awesome baptismal service....even though it was super to get everything ready, because we baptized in one of those bag things again and so the water as you can imagine was SUPER cold!  haha.  So we had to do everything we could to heat up the water as much as we could, but in the end...everything went really well and Guadalupe was super happy!  She has been waiting for this day for a quite a long time and it finally came....on the day that the "end of the world" was supposed to be!  haha.  Good stuff.  What happened with that anyway??  We don't hear or see much about what is really happening....was it somewhat crazy there or not really?  Because here, it was basically just like any other day...I honestly thought that more people would be talking about it...but who knows! 

Also, we had our Christmas activity in the branch and it was.......ok. haha.  Honestly there was hardly anyone there, but we made the best of it and tried to have some fun!  We are planning to have another one in a different place of the branch....so we'll see what happens with that!  But basically that was our week, we are really hoping to continue to see some progression in the branch!  Just got to keep working hard! 

Well, I'm SUPER STOKED to get to talk to you all tomorrow!  Come with a bunch of questions!  I'll try to talk the best I can in english but we'll see how it goes....it's been a little while since I talked a lot in english so we'll see!  haha.  Pues les hablo maƱana a las 4 de la tarde, no puedo esperar!!  LES AMO MUCHISIMO!! 

Elder Johnson



 Guadalupe get's married!

 and then.....baptized!




Monday, December 17, 2012

THAT WAS.........PERFECT!


hheeeLLOOO FAMILY!

Hey everyone, thank you so much for the letter...it's good to hear that the ward there is doing so many activities for the temple and really taking advantage of it!  I have really realized how much of a blessing it is to have a temple so close to where we live...here, the closest temple is a 7 hour bus ride away and they only can go every 6 months...and that's if they have enough money to go.  That's why I love to hear that the people that can go, are going!  I miss the temple....it's a cool place.  Anyway, IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!  I have been listening to christmas music for like 2 months now....I'm pretty sure Elder Larson would be happy to hear that.....SHOUT OUT! haha.  I am super excited to talk to all of you, it's gonna be the last phone call.....da da da....WIERD!   By the way, I will be calling on Christmas day at 4:00 p.m.....tell me if there is any problem with that or if we need to change it.  But that would be the best time for our schedule here in me-he-co.  SO STOKED! 

Also, I'm pretty sure that was the wierdest thing to see a pic of my friends that have already returned from their missions....I was SUPER stoked to see them, but it did kind of make everything a little more real!  haha.  It's super crazy that our generation is already returning from the mish and on to the other part of life!  CUHRAZY! 

This week was super cool!  We have an investigator right now named Guadalupe...she has been wanting to get baptized for a while now, but she isn't married and doesn't have the money to get married, so she hasn't been able to.....but the other week, as a branch, we decided that we were going to do an activity to raise money to help her out so that she could get married to her "future husband" and then be baptized!  So on Saturday, we made a BUNCH of tamales and sold them to members, non-members, strangers, workers, neighbours, or whoever else was craving tamales and it went PERFECTLY!  I was really happy to see the branch really come together to help someone in need....including Guadalupe, which was one of the coolest parts....we all worked together and it really united the members and helped Guadalupe feel like she was loved!  It honestly turned out perfect and I was super happy.  Also, we had the Primary Program.....talk about STRESS!!!  haha.  It was seriously one of the craziest things I've ever done and I'm not even the primary president! haha.  Now I know how you felt all those times when you had the primary program mom!  haha.  But that also went SUPER WELL!  There were around 15 kids that showed up for the presentation and it was super awesome to see them bear their testimonies and sing the classic primary songs.  We could really feel the spirit and I think we all learned something new! 

We also had a SUPER cool experience this week with someone that we just found named Angel!  We were going to go visit a recent convert at her house, but when we got there, she wasn't there.....but there was Angel, sitting outside of the house also waiting for the family to get home, so we ask him if he knew when they were going to get home and he said that in just a little longer, but that we could come in and wait if we wanted....so we went and started to talk with him and he had a bunch of questions about what we do, who we are and what not, so we start talking about the church a little and then all of a sudden were teaching a lesson and we could really feel the spirit!  Then all of a sudden, Nadia (the recent convert) gets home and sits down with us and starts to teach with us and gave a SUPER powerful testimony of the restoration!  We all felt the spirit and we felt like we should invite him to be baptized and so we did and he accepted to be baptized in the month of January!  WHOO!  We were super excited and he was also.  We are hoping to see good progress with him...which we think we will because Nadia is his cousin that lives super close to him so she is going to be able to help out with reading and what not!  STOKED!  We are seeing good progress and we are hoping that we can continue to work efficiently and continue finding new people who are ready to hear the gospel!

You all really do help me every single week to be better and to strive to work my hardest and for that, I am grateful!  I truly do love each and every one of you more than you know!  Keep doing the small and simple things and you will always have a sure foundation.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Elder Johnson

Monday, December 10, 2012

IT'S REAL...He Answers!


FAMILY! 

Hello everyone, thank you soo much for this last email that you sent!  I am so amazed at how awesome my family is and how much the Lord has blessed us in these past couple of years!  I always knew that the mission would bring a lot of great experiences, but I would have never imagined the change that it has made in my personal life and in the lives of those whom I most love!!  I LOVE THIS WORK!  Thank you for everything that you have done for me and all the inspiring words that you have wrote to me to lift me up and make me better...I appreciate it more than you know!! 

Time is going by soo fast it's unbelievable!  With so many things to do, we truly almost don't have time to sleep or eat or anything and it makes the time fly!  This 5-6 weeks have been some of the best weeks of my whole mission, I am learning so much and having the time of my life while doing it!  Sure, I'm stressed like all the time, but I have learned pretty well how to deal with it and to put a smile on and just get to work and enjoy what I am doing!  Also, my companion Elder Hernandez is progressing a TON!  He is so happy all the time..and not to mention tired also...but we are really loving serving together and it has been a really great experience to be together!  He is also helping me a ton in the branch so thats also been really helpful! 

 PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!! 

There is an experience that I want to share with you,  we are seeing so many awesome miracles happen in this branch and it has been amazing to have these experiences that I'm sure will stay with me for the rest of my life!  One of the experiences we had was with one of our investigators David...don't remember if I told you about him, but he is around 30 years old and his wifes name is Maribel...they have 2 young kids and are just trying to get by right now in life.  They have been struggling these past few months with finding work and everything but somehow, David still seems to be so happy.  Anyway, we found him about a month ago and have taught him just a couple of times, but always saw a great potential in him.  These past couple weeks we have been super busy and he has also, so we hadn't seen each other in about 2 weeks, so we have really been asking our Father in Heaven that when we can't work in the area and when we can't visit with our investigators, that he would take care of them and make sure that they didn't fall off the map.  So this week we finally had time to go visit with David and his family and when we got there he was SUPER stoked to see us!  We sit down and start talking and he goes on to tell us that during this time that we hadn't seen him that he had been doing some reading (we had left the pamphlet of the restoration and the plan of salvation with him).  Then he goes on to basically teach us the restoration and the WHOLE plan of salvation (without peeking at the pamphlets...haha)!  He also said that a couple days before we had got there, he felt the necessity to pray to our Heavenly Father and really make a promise with him that he was going to change his life around and that he was going to do it for his family and for love of God!  WHAT!!!!  I seriously could not believe what I was hearing, I was sooo happy to see that God really did respond to our specific prayer and that he had been helping David this whole time that we hadn't seen him!  IT'S REAL!!

Also, about a week ago, we had a family home evening in the house of some members and we had invited some investigators to come (Lluvia and Martha) and they went and we gave them a Book of Mormon and explained to them a little bit about what it was and why it was soo important...then invited them to read it.  We went back to their house this last week and Martha told us that she hasn't been able to read in the Book of Mormon because Lluvia wouldn't let it out of her hands!!!!!!  hahaha.  Martha had the BIGGEST desire to read in the Book of Mormon it was unbelieveable so we asked her if she would like a copy of her own to read and she could hardly believe that she could have her own....she took that Book of Mormon in her hands with so much carefulness and with so much respect it was awesome!!!  I'm POSITIVE that she is going to read and that she is going to feel the spirit SUPER strong when she does!  We are super stoked for the both of them and for their families!i  Don't have time right now....REMIND ME IN THE PHONE CALL!

Basically, I am loving this time of my mission and I am progressing a ton!  I love being here on the mission and love learning so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Also, I love my family sooo much, I am grateful every single moment for each and every one of you!  Keep being awesome and never forget to do the simple things....those are what matter most!  I love you all so much!

Oh and about the call, the reason I want to call instead of skype is because I want to be able to call my dad also and I want to have a little more time with the both!  I'll let you know more details later on.

Elder Johnson

p.s. I LOVE YOU!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

PICS!!




4 packages...all on the same day!


Feliz Navidad!



BUSY, BUSY, BUSY...HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!


FAM!
 
Hello to everyone!  I'm soooo stoked to hear that you are officially the new ward missionaries!  When I was in the ward with Hno. Camacho we worked a TON with the ward missionaries and it was GREAT to have their support!  And it was also great because in the short time that I was there, I saw the testimonies of every member that was a ward missionary grow SOO much!  It is such a great experience to be able to preach the gospel and help people to strengthen theirs...and in the process, ours is strengthened beyond belief!  I can't wait to get back and just totally change places! You guys are going to be the missionaries and I'll be the normal member!  haha.  I'm glad to hear that you got to know the neighbors a little better...just remember that by small and simple things the great things are brought to pass!  I'm sorry to hear about Gma and Gpa Peralta...but I know that they are strong and they will get through and be right back up on their feet doing their Gma and Gpa Peralta thing!   Also, I was super stoked to see that Kyla is out hunting with Nate!  That's so GNARLY!!  CONGRATS KYLA!!  Also, thanks for the pics...I love to see how much everyone is changing and how grown up everyone is....now I'm starting to sound like a little old GMA....I guess I know a little more of where they're coming from now!  hahaha.  Anyway, I'm glad to hear that everything is going well!
 
This week for us has super wild!  We are having quite a bit of problems with the CPU that we have in the "chapel" (I say chapel, because it is literally just a little house...but it's great! haha)...it hasn't been functioning and we have been needing it BIG time with the end of the year coming up...we have to do things like tithing settlement and fill out information and good stuff like that, but we haven't had a CPU, so we have been trying to get that all fixed while trying to mantain the investigators that we have and help the members out with what they need....so yeah, it has been a busy week!  But I'm learning a little better of how to plan my time more to be more efficient in what we need to get done.  I think I mentioned this in the beginning of my mission but it has come to my mind again and it is: before my mission I didn't have very much to do...or maybe I just didn't make myself do very much ha, but the point is, I always thought that there was SOO much time in the day and it felt soo long....but now here in the mission, there is not enough time in the day to get all that we need to do done!!  haha.  But it has been great, I feel a lot more respect for all the bishops that I have had or that are bishops right now....because I'm just taking care of a little branch, but they have a huge ward to take care of!!  LOVE YOUR BISHOPS AND PLEASE SUSTAIN THEM!  They do all they can and have quite a bit of work to do, it's amazing the work that gets done in this church!  Honestly I feel like we work as if we were getting payed for what we do in our callings and in our normal work, we work as if they weren't paying us....funny how that works out!  But right now, we are continuing to see progression in the branch...the members are supporting big time and we are seeing that the conversion of the members is accelerating a TON right now!  We are actually going to be having a primary program this month on the 16th so we are SUPER stoked about that and so are all the primary kids!  I remember when I was teaching primary before my mission, I loved being with those kids and hearing their testimonies...so I'm super excited for this primary program that we are going to have.  Also, we are going to be doing a pretty cool activity with the branch to support some of our investigators that are wanting to get married but are struggling with getting the money together to do it.  We are going to make empanadas and some tamales to sell so that we can raise money to help them get married!  The members are really excited about it and I can really see it bringing the branch together to all work as one to help the people that we love!  SUPER STOKED!
 
I'm learning soo much being in this position and I am loving it soo much!  I hope that I can continue to progress and help the branch to be what God wants it to be!  The work is accelerating and we also need to!  The church is true and I love to be a part of it!  I love you all, keep being gnarly!
 
Elder Johnson


I almost forgot to thank you SOOOOOO much for the christmas packages!!!  I totally opened them before and I'm sorry for that.....but I didn't have very much food at the end of the week and I knew that I was going to find food in the packages...so yeahhhhh, that's how that happened!  but I defintiely enjoyed them a TON!!  thank you!!
 
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

IT'S BEEN A GOOD WEEK IN "ME-HE-CO"!


FAMILY!

I would like to start off letting you know how much I loved this last email that you just sent me....I printed it, read it, read it again and have read it a couple times after....and planning to continue reading it!! haha.  Thank you so much for your love, support and all that you do for me!  Pretty sure I have the coolest fam in the world.  But for real, I can't even tell you how excited I am about all the things that are going on and how many blessings are being poured out upon everyone for being obendient to the Gospel!  I love it!!  I feel like the mission just gets better and better the more time I have here! 

I can't believe that Robert is engaged!  That's so cool and I'm so stoked for him and Jessica...by the way, I have heard of her...I think she was a friend of Dallas Clark or something, not sure, that was a while ago!  haha.  But anyway, I'm super happy for them.  Also, Emily Holicky got baptized!!!!!!!!!  WHAT!!  I'M SO STOKED RIGHT NOW!!!!  Please talk to Jenna and get her email, I really want to congratulate her!  I'm so excited for her!  I can't believe how many cool things happened this week!  Good stuff....MIRACLES ARE REAL!  D&C 130:20-21

So this week was also super good for us here in "me-he-co" like court says!  haha.  I liked that one by the way.  We found quite a few people this week, actually quite a few families that we are teaching!  They are all super interested in the gospel and we are hoping to see some solid progress with them in these upcoming weeks!  Also, the part of our branch that is called 4 milpas is going to be an official branch of its own at the beginning of the year!!  So we are super excited about how much progress we are seeing there!  Pray that they will continue to progress and see miracles in the near future!  We are still working with a couple brethren (is that correct? haha) to prepare them to be the next branch president so it's pretty exciting right now everything that is happenning here.....we are SUPER busy, but that's better than not knowing what to do I guess!  haha.  It is definitely making the time go by SOOOO fast!  Sometimes a good thing, but it kinda freaks me out a little!  haha.  But fo real, we're progressing and I'm STUHOKED!! 

One of the families I mentioned is super super cool and we are really excited that we found them! Their names are Justino (dad) Senaida (mom) Lluvia (daughter) Heisul...pronounced Hazul (like the eyes) and Martha (daughter in law) Jesus (oldest son) and a pair of twins that are like 12 years old but I don't remember their names....oops!  haha.  But they are a way cool family and we are hoping that we will recieve some serious miracles with Justino and Jesus that could help the branch and be future leaders!  PRAY FOR THIS FAMILY!  We need to see progression here and I think this may be what we are looking for!  WHOOO!  We are STOKED for sure.

I'm loving being the branch president here.  I'm learning soooo much and I feel my love for this work  growing more and more every single day!!!  I LOVE IT!  I thought I loved this work before but it's cool to see how we can just keep progressing daily!  I can't even imagine how God himself feels about the work...that's what motivates me, I try to think about Him and think about everything He does for us so that we can progress and be our best selves...then I think about how I can be more like Him and do everything I can to help these people know Him and have every opportunity to have the blessings of the Gospel in their lives as I have had or have in my own life!  I LOVE THIS WORK SO MUCH! 

HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!

Elder Johnson

PICS PICS PICS...theres not many because we are so busy that I usually don't have time to think about pics, but I took these ones just for you.   We are in 4 milpas (it is super super small! haha)




Monday, November 19, 2012

STRESSED...YET HAPPIER THAN EVER!


HEY HEY FAM! 

SUP.   I still can hardly believe that you were chillin with bro Camacho.  It really hit me that he was there with you when I saw the pic...I can't tell you how much that made me laugh to see him with you all!  Oh, good stuff! but I'm glad to hear that everything went well this week!   It seems like everyone is super happy and just movin right along!  I was super excited to hear about all the new mission calls...and speaking of that....Mackenzie is gonna be in the mission of my companion! hahaha.  That's super cool!  If she goes to a city named Zarahemla she will probably get to know the family of my companion...that would be pretty funny!  haha.  And we definitely need to plan a dinner with our family and Jackson Larkin's family....that would be super cool to get to know all of his family.  Lots and lots of plans!  But I'm glad to hear that the week went well for everyone!

We also had a pretty good week....busy and stressful, but good week!  Right now, I'm in a branch called Rosales...but there is an extension group that lives in a place called 4 milpas (SUPER SMALL PLACE), but it is part of the branch.  But guess what??  It is growing so much right now that we are making plans (officially) to make 4 milpas its own branch!!!  WHOO!  We are super excited and so are all the members out there!  They have been super faithful and they are working hard...so they deserve it!  Also, we are looking for a house to be able to meet in out there...so basically, there is just a TON of work to do....but it's exciting work, the kind that makes you want to work even more!!  It's stressful, but it is soo satisfying! 

We are seeing a TON of progression right now out there...we have a couple of families that are going to be baptized in the next week or so and they are super excited about the gospel and we have had some super spiritual lessons with them!  There have been so many moments where we have all just been amazed about how AWESOME the gospel really is and how great of a blessing it is to have it in our lives...or to be just realizing it for the first time!  There is one family in particular that is just on fire right now...their names are Maria Antonia (mom), Alonso (oldest son), Geovani and Alan (cousin) oh and the grandma Irene!  They are all going to church and they are all planning on being baptized this week or the next!  The whole family is reading in the Book of Mormon and praying to know if its true and we have seen them progress so much in their personal lives and their relationship as a family...but the best part is, THEY ARE RECOGNIZING IT TOO!  They are seeing the fruits of the Gospel in their lives and they just can't get enough of it!  We are super excited for them, but the only thing missing is the dad...we are going to be working with him, it's just that right now, he's got some big time addictions and he's having a hard time accepting to quit them....but once he does, the whole family will be united in the Gospel and be happier than ever!  Pray for them porfaaaa! 

Well family, the branch is doing well...my comp is stoked...and the gospel is spreading faster and faster to the whole world....life is good and we have many reasons to smile and be happy!  I love you all and I'm thankful for every one of you. GO BE HAPPY! 

Elder Johnson

p.s. pics coming soon...sorry for not having sent them earlier...

Monday, November 12, 2012

DINNER WITH THE CAMACHO'S!


FAMILY HI!

I'm so excited to hear that you got to meet the CAMACHOS!  Don't tell Hno Camacho this, but that's one of my favorite families I've met in my mission...Hno Camacho taught me a lot about the organization of the church and how things run in the church...I learned a lot from that guy and I'm super grateful for everything that he taught me because now, I have to put it all into practice!  haha. But that's way cool that you got to meet them and that you are going to have dinner with them tonight!  Tell them I say hi.  Anyway, I'm glad to know that my suitcase got there safe and sound with all my stuff in it....I kind of sent a lot of stuff home just because I didn't need a lot of it and it was just extra weight.  Oh and about the shoes...I think the ones I have will last for another 4 months or so, I'll be fine with the ones I have.  But thanks for thinking about it. 

So this week was basically the craziest week of my entire life!  I was trying to get to know the area again and meeting the members and just getting myself situated!  But the craziest was definitely on SUNDAY!   I directed/presided my first meeting EVER...so that was pretty cool!  And the wierdest thing of all was when they were passing the sacrament...they came to me first!  hahaha.  That's when it really hit me, I felt so wierd in that moment I can't even begin to describe it!  Also, I did my first interview ever so that was pretty exciting too, but I was super nervous before!  haha.  The members are getting ready to go to the temple this 7th of December so I'm hoping to have more interviews in the near future that way everyone possible in the branch can go to the temple!  But basically things are just way different as branch president...there is a lot more responsibilty and I never realized how much everyone really does look to you for basically whatever decision is being made!  A couple of the member call me "pres" which is pretty funny...at least I find it entertaning! haha.  But yeah, I'm learning a ton about leadership and how perfect the church REALLY is!  I always knew that it was or is, but it never really occured to me that much until now that I have to know how to do everything as well as I can, and really help this branch grow....the church provides the perfect training in every aspect of the work, and if we just put it into practice...it turns out so perfectly!  I have learned most of all to not be so worried in the administrative part but the ministrative part!  We are literally representing Jesus Christ and His church and we need to focus on the people (members) and their personal lives and how we can help them, instead of just worrying so much about all the calendaring and all that good stuff that comes along with it!  haha.  But I'm hoping that I can train the leaders in this branch well enough about how to do just that, so that we can really start to help this branch see some real growth in not just numbers but in our testomonies as well!  That's real growth!  I will be letting you guys know how everything is going here in the branch.   Just know that I'm SUPER stoked to be here right now! 

Anyway, you all really are the best and I'm grateful for you every day of my life!  Thank you for your prayers and all your support...oh, and the packages that you send (I love those)! haha.  The work is progressing, the church is progressing and we need to progress with it!  We need to really be converted to this gospel and really start to work so it can "sound in every ear"!  Be cool, stay cool.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BIG NEWS!!


FAMILY!!  I love you!

Hey what's up everyone....it's me again, your son, you know....the one that is in Mexico!  So I've got quite the bit of news today to tell you....to start off, I am no longer in Costa Rica....there were changes yesterday and so that's why I didn't get to write yesterday, sorry for that by the way, I know you get all freaked out when I don't write on Mondays, but everything is good, I am just in another area now!  Ok...so do you remember when I was in the offices and they were sending me kind of all over the place?  And I got sent to an area named Rosales/Constancia??  Well, I'm in that area as we speak!  WHAT!!  I couldn't believe that I got sent back to the same place that I was in!  I'm super excited!  But there is a MAJOR change this time.....................I'M THE BRANCH PRESIDENT!!!  WHHHAAATTTT!!!  hahahaha.  I almost pooped in my shorts when they told me that I was going to be the branch president here...no joke, I'm super nervous, but I'm SOOOOO excited you have no idea!  I really still don't know what to think about all of this but all I know is that I'm going to work as hard as I can and be the best BP that I can be!  Oh and if that's not enough, I'M TRAINING A MISSIONARY FROM GUATEMALA!!  WHATTTT!!!  This is surreal!!!!  I honestly was not expecting any of this and it all just came at once!  haha.  I'm really happy/nervous/scared/feeling inadequate/unbelievably STOKED all at the same time!  So yeah, that's the BIG NEWS that I had to share with you all!  By the way, my new companions name is Elder Hernandez...he's a short little dude, but he's way cool and doesn't say much yet, but I'm definitely gonna have him up and going big time by the time I'm done with him!  SO EXCITED!  If there is anyone that is just dying to give me some advice...don't hesitate in writing...my email is tyler.johnson1@myldsmail.net!  haha.  But seriously, don't hesitate! 

Anyway, I thought I'd let you guys know that we had a really cool experience right when I was about to leave Costa Rica....we had a special activity for Dia de Muertos (tradition here in Mexico Nov 1,2) it's where everyone goes to the cemetery to clean and decorate the head stone of there loved ones that have passed away and they remember them and all that good stuff....so we went and contacted there and talked to a bunch of people and also set up a table with a HUGE poster of the PoS and pedigree charts and pamphlets, BOM and just a bunch of other stuff....but anyway, it was actually really successful!  We had a ton of people come up to us and ask us what we were doing or who we were or what religion do we represent. I remember that the night before I had asked specifically in my prayer that there would be a special light around the table and that one could feel the spirit as they walked past so that it would grab their attention....then when we were there in the cemetery we went off to go teach a family at the grave sight of their mom, we came back and as were walking up to the table I looked at it and it just seemed to have a glow to it, the whole feeling just totally changed as we approached the table and I knew in that moment that God had answered our prayers and that He wanted us to be successful that day and find His children that were waiting for us!  At the end of the day, we had contacted about 120 people and gotten a whole bunch of references that are totally going to get baptized!  SICK!  Also, I totally taught some lady right there standing at the table about the BOM and she was so excited to read that I challenged her to be baptized in that very moment and SHE ACCEPTED!!!  SO STOKED!  I was really happy about the day we had there...I hope the elders there continue to work hard so that they can have a lot of success!  In the mean time, I'll be working hard over here in Rosales!  WHOOO! 

Anyway, I love you all and I'm so grateful for your support!  You really don't know how much I will forever appreciate it!  By the way, there will be a member that is going to Mesa on March 7th and he has one of my suitcases with a bunch of stuff that I left in it.  It's that one guy that I was telling you about with the daughter that went to MVT!  I'll let you know more about it when I call on Christmas, but just so you know, he is going to be dropping that off at the house and I totally want to make him and his family a super solid American meal!!  haha. 

Thank you, and I love you all! 

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 29, 2012

GOOD NEWS!!



HOLLAAA! 

Hy everyone, thank you so much for the letter this week...they always help me to be better!  Fo reals.  So I thought I'd start out by telling you all some news that we just received here in the mission.....my release date got bumped back to April 1st instead of when I was originally going to be going home (March 11th)...it's around 3 weeks more!  Some pretty big news, and I was thinking about it and thought about Jess's new baby...will I still be there? if not...I'll just have 2 secret nephews that I don't know, that will be kinda wierd!  haha.  But I'm SUPER STOKED to find out that she is having another boy!  That will be so cool! Next week I want to hear some names that your thinking about!  But yeah, that was the big news that we received this week.

Anyway, I can't believe that Dillon has his permit!!  That is...if he passed the test?? haha.  And I can't believe how tall he is getting, it's going to be so wierd getting home and seeing everyone just totally different.  ha.  But I'm always blown away at how fast time goes by...everyone is growing up super fast....now I just feel like a grandma that says that every time they see their grand children! haha. 

My companion was super jealous when he saw the pic of you in front of the San Diego temple, because that's the temple he would go to every week before his mission! haha.  He was actually a temple worker before his mission, the first called missionary in the history of the San Diego temple to do that....kind of a cool fact about my companion!  haha.  But I'm glad to hear that you had such a good time in San Diego...now it's back to work time! ha. 

We also had a pretty good week here in Costa Rica...we're starting to see a lot of progress with the branch here which is super good!  We actually have a new system where we are officially not allowed to knock doors!  WHATT!  Kinda wierd...honestly, I've never been one to knock a lot of random doors all day, but it was a big shock for a lot of the missionaries!  We are hoping to see some good progression with working with the members here and really start to see some solid progress in missionary work in general!  STOKED!  I wouldn't be surprised to see this go world wide sometime...so get ready and start talking to some neighbors so you can pass some solid references to the missionaries....the work will EXPLODE if members really start to work like that!  WHOOOO!!!  Good stuff is ahead.  We are finding some super awesome people here that are super ready to hear the gospel, so we are super excited about that!  One in particular was Griselda!  She is the step daughter of one of the members here in the branch who supposedly had talked with the missionaries a couple of years ago but never had gotten baptized.  We have actually been teaching her mom for a couple of weeks now, but she is showing too much interest and never wants to go to church and we were thinking about dropping her as an investigator, but one of the members made an appointment for us to go back...so we decided that we were going to go and teach one more time and really see if she wants to keep listening or not...so we went and lo and behold, Griselda shows up.  We introduced ourselves and started to talk a little bit getting to know her and everything....and we started to see that she was super interested in what we do and what we teach...she started to ask us a few questions...and then BOOM we were teaching her and it went SUPER well!  She accepted the Book of Mormon and said that she really wants to know if it's true, so we invited her to read and pray and she was so stoked to know that she could get an answer from God!!  She is really excited and we are very excited for her!  Although, we are not going to have too much time to be in our area this week because of meetings and stuff in Culiacan, we are going to talk with the members so that they go over and see how she's doing and answer any questions she might have and to invite her to church this week!  We are hoping to see that work and that she will continue to progress!  WHOO!  But we are super excited right now, hoping to see a lot of progress and good things ahead!  Pray for the missionaries! 

I love my fam, you guys are the best and I can't believe how much I have seen you progress in this past 20 months or so!!  I love to see you all happy and living life to the fullest, and the way it's supposed to be lived!  Keep it up. "...be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  John 16:33.  BE OF GOOD CHEER!  Love you all.

Elder Johnson



Monday, October 22, 2012

DILIGENCE!


Greetings loved ones! 

Hey everyone!  I wish I could say different....but the snake, was not alive....DANG! haha.  We found it on the side of the road and couldn't resist taking a pic with it....those are just the kind of things you find when your in a little ranch town here in Mexico. haha.  But anyway, looks like you guys had a good time at the Schnepf farms this last week, that was pretty crazy to see Karissa again haha...kinda random, but that's cool for her and Chase.  It's one of the wierdest things to see friends getting married, friends coming home from missions, friends getting ready to go on missions....all while I'm in the mission! haha.  Life just keeps going and the world just keeps turning...cool stuff!  While thinking about that, it always reminds me of the quote..."your future is as bright as your faith is."   We just need to have faith that all will be fine and good if we just simply trust in God and do His will. 

I'm excited to meet everyone in the ward, especially the Bishop.  It's honestly gonna be a little wierd coming home to a totally diffrent ward, but then I think about it a little bit and say...there's nothing wierd about that, I have done it quite a few times here in the mission so I don't think it will be too much different....I think?? haha.  I just know that we are placed where we are placed for a reason and no matter where we are, we can always contribute with something to help the work of the Lord move forward...just have FAITH!  But honestly, I'm glad to hear that everyone is liking the new ward and that everyone is learning and progressing....after all, that's the reason for everything we do!  Just remember to always sustain the Bishop not only by the raising of the hand, but help him and really sustain him by what you DO! 

This week has been a good one...we have a few people that could be baptized this week so we are excited about that and we are continuing to find new people to teach. This week was supposed to be the week of the baptism of Lorenzo and his family, but it fell through because he went to sign the papers to finalize the divorce, but supposedly there was something wrong with the witnesses he took...so he is going to have to wait another month!!  AHHHH!!  noooo.  But he took it really well, he was humble and accepted the will of God and didn't get down on the situation!  I learned a great lesson from him through all of this...that we need to be patient and accept the Lords timetable and not our own...and to be DILIGENT in all that we do!  So we are still working with that, but he needs some prayers for him and his family so that they can finally have the blessings of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! 

Oh and also, we found a way cool family this week that just moved here from Sacramento Cal....2 of them are members named Angel and Yolanda, they are an older couple that are super awesome...Yolanda reminds me SOO much of Grandma Netty it's unbelievable!  haha.  She is just super nice and wants to help everyone in every moment!  But it's kinda funny because the mom of Yolanda (94 year old woman) wanted us to teach her...and not to mention, wants to be baptized! haha.  I can honestly say that I have never thought that I would be teaching someone so old and let alone, baptizing someone so old!  haha.  I just don't know how were gonna get her under the water...gonna have to use the good ole chair sitting down techique! haha.  I don't have pics of the family this week, but I'll try to send some next week!  But she is way cool and really nice, she is not like any other super old person that usually just have no clue whats goin on, she is actually responsive and knows her stuff...she responds to all of our questions and even comments on how she feels....we sang her a hymn and we felt the spirit way strong and she told us afterward how good she  felt inside! Good stuff...teaching the seniors! haha.

Thank you so much for all your support that you all give me...I can't tell you how much it really means to me to know that I have a family back home who loves me and supports me every step of the way!  "Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, DILIGENCE." D&C 4:6.  I think it's significant that diligence comes last in this great list of attributes because in the end, what we need to do is be diligent in exercising all these attributes till the end of our lives here on earth...and if we do that...we will receive eternal life!  Be diligent in all that you do...ex. scripture study, prayer, service etc.  I love you all so much.

Elder Johnson


Elder Johnson and his companion, Elder Crisp

Monday, October 15, 2012

This week was AMAZING!


familia.

I can't believe how eventful your week was!! haha.  Sounds like things are going great on the homefront!  I was so STOKED to see the pics of the wedding!!!  That's so crazy, my best friend is officially married...and she said she was never gonna get married within 2 years! haha.  I'm really happy for them!   Also, I was so glad to hear about the Glausers...Dan wrote me and I was super stoked to hear that they are doing well!  Tell them that I love them to death!  haha.  Also, I'm glad to hear that you could get a temple trip in this week...I can't wait to go to the temple again!  Oh and well done on the spanish.  There were a couple parts that didn't translate too well, but I got it figured out!  haha. 

This week was AMAZING!  We were super determined to find new people this week and we were excited to do it!  A few weeks ago, we were thinking about what we can do to find new investigators and I remember that we prayed to be able to receive revelation about what we needed to do and a member family popped into my mind and I thought to myself that we needed to go ask them for references, so we went with them and they actually had quite a few references waiting for us...but one in particular that she really wanted us to visit....her name is Julie.  So this week we went with the member to go contact her and it went a lot better than we had ever expected!  We got there and Julie, her sister Rosy and Rosy`s daughter were sitting out front and they welcomed us in.  So we started talking a little about who we are and what we do and they started to become very interested in the work we do and everything that we have left behind to do it!  We got to know them and soon it seemed obvious that they were very interested in the gospel that we preach.  So we started to teach them and the whole time we were teaching they were so focused on what we were saying and they were asking us a bunch of questions and answering the questions that we asked them...then during the lesson, more and more people started to show up, including the other daughter of Rosy, without saying anything, they just came and sat and started to listen attentively!  By the end of the lesson we could all feel the spirit very strong!  Something super cool actually happened, Rosy noticed that her daughters were listening very closely and she said that she was SUPER surprised that they hadn't gone off and gotten on facebook like they normally do...they preffered listening to us than anything else at that moment!  She asked them why....and they both said, we feel good and I really like what they are telling us!  WHAT!!  So cool.  It honestly wasn't anything spectacular that we did, we just taught the true gospel and the spirit testified to them that it was true...but when that happens, there is no other place in the whole world that anyone would rather be at that moment!  We all left there very uplifted and gratified.  We hope to see some super good progression with them in the near future!!  Pray for them! 

I'm trying to be better every day, I know that I'm not the best that I can be but I try, at the end of day, to be able to say that I became a better person than who I was yesterday!  This gospel is true and I'm eternally grateful for it, now we just have to make sure that we are living it daily! 

I love each and every one of you and I'm grateful for all you do....STAY STOKED! 

Elder Johnson


Monday, October 8, 2012

THE LORD COMES THROUGH.......


Family!!

I'm glad to hear that everyone loved conference!  I only got to see the Sunday session, but I was blown away at how good it was!  Oh and mom, about your goals....read Mosiah 4:27 I think that may be able to help you not feel so stressed about all the goals you have....just make sure you don't do everything all at once super fast, because we usually do things really good (for a couple days maybe weeks) and then end up forgetting all about our goals....we need to be wise, have order, and most important BE DILIGENT!!!  I have learned and am still in the process of learning that important principle, but I can tell you that it has blessed my life very much here in the mission and has changed my habits.  But anyway, I feel really bad for that missionary that went to eat dinner at the house...because if he keeps up that attitude, he will be miserable his whole mission...but on the other hand, if he changes his attitude, his whole mission will be fantastic!  They talked a lot about our attitude in Conference and it really is sooooo important!  I love the verse in Proverbs 13:13, 15 and would invite you all to read it and to put it into practice!!!  Also, I had no clue about the change of age for missionaries until you told me!  haha.  But I think that's soooo great and is going to help this work progress SOO much!  Everyone that is able to go and is at the age of 18....DON'T WAIT!!!!!  I loved the talk of Elder Richard G Scott about vicarious work when he said...don't waste your time on things that have no importance, do something that is going to have an eternal impact!  Although he was talking about vicarious work for the dead, I think we can apply it to this situation also!  I can't believe that I only have 5 months left to enjoy being a full time missionary, but I am trying always to keep my attitude just as happy as I was when I entered the MTC or received my call! 

So this week was way good!  There was a cool surprise that happened to us this week, but was definitely not coincidence!  Our invesitgator Lorenzo has been wanting to get baptized for a while now but has not been able to, due to the fact that he is not divorced from his previous wife and now lives with another woman and obviously they are not legally married....so we have been working with him and helping him to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!  For a really long time he has just been waiting to see what happens, but wasn't really doing anything to help it move forward.  So we went and I told him that if he really has a true desire to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized, then he has to show God that this is what he really wants.  Well, he took our advice and went into Culiacan to see what was up with his divorce papers and they told him that if he had come in a few months ago, he would be divorced by now....figure that!  haha.  Anyway, they gave him an appointment to go back and check them again and so he went and he will be officially divorced by the 19th of this month!! WHOO!  We are very excited for him and his disposition to go and MAKE IT HAPPEN!  By the way, he fasted on his own the day before and asked Heavenly Father to give him this blessing and He did!  The faith of Lorenzo just shot through the roof!  We are working also with his wife and his daughter to be baptized this month, so pray that they can enter into the waters of baptism as a family and receive the joy that comes from the Gospel! 

I love my family and I'm so grateful for you all!  Keep being awesome and FOLLOW THE COUNSEL GIVEN IN GENERAL CONFERENCE!  We are blessed to have a prophet who leads us and guides to the straight and narrow path and we need to remember to invite others to know of all the blessings that God invites us to have!  I love you, keep being cool.

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 1, 2012

THINGS IS A GOIN' GOOD


Hello family.

So it seems as if you all have quite a few questions for me!  haha.  To start, I am still zone leader just a different zone....the zone is called El Dorado and it's AWESOME!  But in this zone, it's really spread out everywhere....if you look on a map of Sinaloa and see Costa Rica, it will be the first town south of Culiacan in our zone and that's where I am....then if you go down a little farther and a little closer to the beach, you will find El Dorado....then a little farther and you will run into La Cruz....that's our whole zone and there are missionaries in those 3 towns...that's why we travel so much!  haha.  But for us in our area, we stay here in Costa Rica and our area is just normal size, but we do have a chapel here in Costa Rica which is super nice!  Also, our house is pretty nice actually...we have AC!!!!!! WHOOO!  I haven't had to suffer too much through the heat...besides during the day, but it's not that big of a deal....the pioneers went through WAY more so I'm grateful for them!  We have a washing machine here which is great and very convenient and when I eat on my own we normally eat tacos made with dog meat.....................................just kidding, I've never seen that here!  hahaha.  We eat almost always with members and they feed us good.....but I haven't grown for a while now, I was hoping to grow more but I guess it's just not happening for me!  haha.  But that's all the exciting stuff about good ol Costa Rica. 

So about the package, I would like a new towel, more face wash (starting to run low on that....but it works GREAT), some of those CTR rings would actually be pretty cool and I think that's about all!  Oh wait.....SOUR PATCH KIDS!  haha. 

I'm happy to hear that everyone is doing well and it's really crazy to me to see how much everyone is changing....I feel like every week that you send pics....everyone looks different!  haha.  It will be cool to see everyone when I get home....I hope that I recognize all the cousins still!!  ha.  But right now, were doing good here...Elder Crisp is a good missionary who motivates me to be better every day!  Right now we are trying to work a lot more with the members and it is going well!  We are receiving references and this week I'm really excited to contact all of them and then teach them with the members present....that's always the best way!  Almost all the converts I have had have been references from the members who help us teach their friends or family or neighbors!  it's the way missionary work should be and we are excited to see that it is progressing here in Costa Rica.  By the way, Alexis just recieved the priesthood and by next week he should be passing the sacrament so I'm really excited about that and his mom just got called to be the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society!  WHOO!  Good stuff.  I'm excited for conference this week and I hope that all of you are preparing to hear the words of the prophet! 

I love you all, have a great conference weekend and make sure to always smile! 

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 24, 2012

CAMBIOS!!


Fuhamily!

Hello everyone.  Have I ever mentioned that I love your letters to me??  They always stoke me up and get me ready for the week ahead!  I love my family.  So I thought I'd inform you all that there were changes today and I am now with a new companion....his name is Elder Crisp!  He's a super rad missionary and he seems like he's gonna be an awesome companion and I'm super super excited to work with him!  Elder Aylesworth got changed to Los Cabos so he was pretty stoked about that, but I will miss the guy.  Anyway, that's the crazy news of the week here in Costa Rica. 

I'm glad to hear that everything went well there with the primary program and all....I actually almost forgot that those existed!  haha.  I'm honestly not sure if they just don't do it here or if it just doesn't exist...who knows, but I'm excited to see another one when I get back!  haha.  It's also really good to hear that the work is going so well there in the home ward and that everyone is super stoked to help the converts out....PLEASE KEEP THAT UP!  Oh and I would more than happy to be able to speak in the Kensington ward when I get back...that would be way cool!! 

So I'm pretty excited about the week that we had here....we needed to find a lot of new people to teach so we decided that we were just going to open our mouths and talk with EVERYONE!  So that's basically what we did, we just talked to a lot of people on the street and we ended up finding a lot of cool people!  There was actually one time when we were walking down the street and then suddenly a lady yells out to us "MISSIONARIES!"  So we turned to see who it was and neither I nor Elder Aylesworth recognized her...but come to find out, she was a less active member of the church who told us that she had just left the house like 10 minutes before we arrived because she was kinda frustrated and needed to think of or find something that would help her and her family.....then we come walking along and that's why she frantically yelled "MISSIONARIES!"  We started talking with her and she had comemented to us that she had been talking with her husband just a few days ago and that he had commented to her that he wanted to go to church....and she surprisingly says to him..."wait, mine or yours?"  haha.  He had told her that he wanted to visit our church because he knew or felt that we could really help him and their family  with struggles that they were having.  Anyway, she asked us if we could come by sometime to teach her and her family....and of course we said YES!!  haha.  So this week we were able to meet Pablo and the rest of his family!  As we were talking with him he was telling us that he had actually talked to the missionaries before and was going to church and actually was going to be baptized....but at that time, he couldnt stop drinking...so he was never baptized and the missionaries never went back. but then he went on to tell us that just about a month or two ago.....HE QUIT DRINKING!   Supposedly, his drinking problem was causing a lot of family problems and not to mention the economic ones and that his wife had told him that he should pray daily for the strength to quit....so he started to really pray day and night and just out of nowhere he stopped drinking and doesn't have a desire to drink again!  And that's when he remembered about the church and hence the comment to his wife about his desire to visit the church again!  We are hoping to see good progression with Pablo and his family, pray that he will have the strength to not go back to alcohol and that he and his family will be able to go to church!   I learned a lesson that God truly does "go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."   God goes before us, he prepares His children to hear and accept this Gospel!   Always remember that....when you feel the impression to talk to someone, DO IT!   God is on your right hand and on your left and His angels are literally round about you....DONT FEAR!!!   I love this work, I learn new lessons every day and God helps me to strengthen my testimony as I am able to strengthen the lives of others and I share this wonderful Gospel with them! 

I love you all, keep up everything thing that you are doing and do as your Stake President says...."Stand up for JESUS CHRIST!!!!"   Loved that by the way.

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 17, 2012

NO.............WAY!


FAMslizzy.

WAS UP.  I can't believe that Luke is already 8 and got baptized!  Time seems to go faster and faster every single day!  It's true what they say about the mission being even faster the last year....it's really fast.  haha.  Anyway, Elder Hair.....is MY TWIN!  No joke....he is me in Utah form!  I've never met anyone in my life that is so similiar to myself it's really crazy.  He actually has a photo album just like the one that I have....and every pic is almost the exact same....hahaha!  It's pretty funny.  Anyway, I'm glad to hear that people are taking the challenge to read the Book of Mormon!!!!  That makes me really happy!  Also, that's super cool about Bishop Larsen....I miss that guy quite a lot actually, he always has a smile on his face, he's gonna kill it as bishop!  Tell him if you could that I said congrats and thanks for everything he taught me.  Thanks. 

Sooo, this week was pretty darn hectic!  haha.  We did A LOT of traveling this week....but it was alright, we still got to work a little and see miracles...so it's all good!  We actually had a pretty wild experience.....this week was the week of Marianas baptism, so we were getting everything ready on Saturday...we had actually cleaned out the baptismal font on Friday and decided to fill it on Saturday so we went to fill it up and everything was going just fine...it was almost filled but we needed to go to the house to get the baptismal clothes of Elder Aylesworth....so one of the sisters in the branch told us that we should go and that she would take care of the baptismal font.....so we left, went to the house and received a call about 10 minutes later from the Branch President telling us that the baptismal font was emptying and emptying quick!  UH OH!  We ran to the church (by the way, this is at 3 and the baptism is at 4) and looked inside, and the font was totally empty!!!!!!!!!!  NOOOO!  What were we going to do??  We dropped to our knees and pleaded with the Lord to help to us get this font full so that she could be baptized today!  Supposedly, the sister that was going to help us....didn't really know all that much about how to help us so she accidentally flipped the switch that empties the font..............haha.  So we start frantically looking for anything to help....oh and by the way, we went to go turn the water on to fill the font again.....and a little tiny streem was coming out and little by little less and less until no water was coming out.  WHAT!!!!  We looked for a hose, found one, hooked it up outside and put it into the font, but it was very little and was filling very slow!  We looked for buckets and started to fill small buckets with water and carrying it all the way to the font and pouring it in.....then I look at my watch and it's 4 o'clock and Mariana gets there with her whole family, including her 2 daughters who aren't members!  The font was about 4 inches high when she got there...........OH NO!  To make a long story short.....we spent around 2 1/2 hours filling the font with buckets and it was a little more than knee high....Mariana was baptized after a few attempts of trying to get everything under water...but she was baptized and everything was alright!  haha.  We found out that the miracle we were asking for was that her and her family would have enough patience to wait for us to fill the whole thing up with buckets!!!  hahaha.  It was probably one of the craziest days of my life and a baptism that I will never forget!  ha. 

That was definitely the highlight of my week!  I love you all, have a great week! 

Elder Johnson


Mariana's baptism

Elder Johnson's new neighborhood friend!

Monday, September 10, 2012

WOW...NEVER HAD THAT HAPPEN TO ME BEFORE!


FAM......ly.

HEY EVERYONE!  Just got to start by saying that that pic of Asher in the goat cart is so dang thug! haha.  Anyway, I'm super stoked to hear all the good news from the homefront in Mesa AZ....sounds like things are going really well!  Also, I'm loving the idea of having everyone read the BoM before I get home....I would love to come back and talk to everyone about the awesome experiences they had as they did it....SO DO IT!! haha.  Also, lovin to hear that my room will be disoccupied when I arrive, I was worried I'd be sleeping on the couch for a while! haha.  Just kidding, I would love to sleep on the couch...............................haha.  But for real, that's cool that they found a house they like....just one question....where is the house at? Mesa? out of Mesa? 

So just so you know, I'm way way super stoked right now!  We have seen so many miracles this week and I'm just blown away at how much the Lord is blessing the people here in Costa Rica, Culiacan, SInaloa, Mexico (what a name! haha).  But I'm happy to say that we had a good week this week.  At the top of everything....Alexis and Laura got baptized on Friday!!  WHOO!  It was so awesome and there will be pics!  We actually showed up to do the interview with the both of them and they told us that they were kind of having last second doubts and all, but we talked and they had their interviews and everything went well and they were both very excited for their baptisms after that!  Then the best part was that on Sunday (day of their confirmation)....the dad of Alexis came to church to support his son!  Basically the whole family is now baptized except one of the daughters and the dad....but this Sunday....the whole family was in church!  It was a great blessing from the Lord and a great experience for Alexis and all of his family. 

Also, crazy story......I don't think I ever mentioned one of the people we started teaching when I first got here named Mariana....she is the wife of a member that had gone to the church a few times in the past, but stopped going a little while ago.  Well, she came to our mind while planning so we decided to visit her and see what happens.  We taught a couple times, but there wasn't too much progression.....she actually came to church with her husband, but there was still something there that was not letting her progress very much....we had felt the spirit in the lessons very strong and she had great experiences in the church...but something was holding her back.  Anyway, we stopped teaching her for a few weeks, and she hadn't  come to church for a few weeks also.....but to our surprise, she was in church this week sitting right next to her husband with a big smile on her face!  We didn't have much time to talk with her during church because of the classes and all, but after church we asked her why she was so happy.....she looks at my companion and says....."when can I be baptized??".......I'm sorry...WHAT!!  haha.  Obviously, Elder Aylesworth said, this Saturday!  She accepted and went on to tell us that she was thinking a lot about what we had taught her and that one night that past week, she had a dream that the church was true!!  Didn't get too many details about the dream, but I could tell by the smile on her face that she knew that the church was true and this was a response from God that she had received!   I couldn't believe it.....I was so happy after that and I knew that God truly does work side by side with us in this work!  I'm happy to know that this work is real and that it truly is His work...."a marvelous work and a wonder"! 

The Lord is blessing His children here in Costa Rica and I'm grateful to be a witness of it!  I love my family so much and I'm grateful for you guys every single day!  Now, after your done looking at the pics....get off the computer and go read the Book of Mormon!! 

love you,

Elder Johnson






Monday, September 3, 2012

REMEMBER THEM, SUPPORT THEM AND SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR THEM WITH LETTERS!


Family Unit.

I would like to start this email off by saying how much I appreciate your letters to me!!!  I really can't describe how much it helps a missionary to be able to hear a solid uplifiting letter from their parents and siblings each week!  I feel that I have been taking it for granted a little bit and had not realized how much of a blessing it is to recieve those letters every week!  The reason I am writing this is because I have been talking with some missionaries who have told me that they hadn't gotten a letter from their family for MONTHS.......I think I would die.  But I honestly could not believe that that actually happens....so I would like to write to all the families that have missionaries out in the field.....remember them, support them and show your love for them by sending them a solid weekly letter....you have no clue the impact that it has when they receive or don't receive a letter, I'm positive that they will appreciate it! 

It makes me happy that you are all happy.  I love hearing about all the things that you all are doing and the righteous goals being set to read the Book of Mormon together!  I have realized the importance of setting goals and really focusing ourselves to complete what we have proposed to do....the Lord will bless you in your efforts!  So keep it up. 

We had a good week here.  We are working right now with a family of a mom and her daughters (there is no dad in the home)...and they are super cool!  We have been visiting them for a couple of weeks now and they hadn't come to church for a couple Sundays in a row so we knew that we had to focus on that this week with them.  We went to their house and talked to them about what was holding them back from going to church...we helped solve a few of their doubts and questions and really commited them to go to church.  So, Sunday rolls along and they showed up at church with a member and a big smile on their faces!  Although, it was fast sunday and some of the members that got up to bear their testimonies were saying a lot of things that were just a little APOSTASY!  hahaha.  But it was ok, we talked to her afterward and helped her understand! haha.  It was way funny.  But now they are progressing a lot more and they are really starting to feel the spirit in their lives, so we're really happy for them! 

Also, we are working with a kid named Alexis....he is 16 years old and is way stoked about the gospel!  His mom got baptized not too long ago along with his younger brother.  We have been visiting with him for a while now and he always had postponed his baptismal date till "later".  So we went with him this week determined to help him act upon the answer he has received!  We talked to him about WHY he didn't want to be baptized and he had commented that he thought he was going to have to leave all of his friends behind and basically just close himself in his house all day....so we helped him with that and then afterward, he told us that he wanted to be baptized this Friday!!  WHOOOO!  We are super excited for him that he finally made the decision to ACT!! 

I love you family,

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 27, 2012

THEY CAME!!


fam fam fam ily.

First of all, I cannot believe that my friends are starting or going to start coming home already.....the time has gone by so fast and it feels like we were just going to all the farewell talks and all the farewell parties, and now the homecoming talks and the homecoming parties start!  WEIRD! haha.  I'm just super stoked for the generation of Derek to start going out, I think we figured out that about 3 months after I get home, Derek will go out...that's crazy!  But that's the cycle of life....oh well.

I totally forgot to congratulate all the BIRTHDAYS!!  WHOOOO!  Little miss Madison and Courtney!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS MONTH!  I'm so sorry that I forgot, but time just becomes something totally abstract here in the mission and it just gets away from you!  Sometimes I don't even know if it's supposed to be hot or cold outside!  haha.  But anyway, happy birthday...I love you both! 

Just so you know, I'm loving it here in this area of Costa Rica!  My companion and I are way good friends and it's super fun being able to work with him....but we also are cracking down big time right now and really seeing how we can improve our area and improve the zone and the elders in it!  We have an awesome zone with a ton of awesome elders and I know that we can see so many miracles...we just have to BELIEVE that we can do it!  So this week we went out with that mentality....that we were going to see miracles every single day of the week!  Right now we have a bunch of people who are so close to baptism it's unreal, they all have testimonies that the church is true....they just have fear to take the step of baptism.  We have been really working with them a lot and really trying to get them to come to church and feel the spirit!  So this week we prepared everything so that when Sunday rolled around, we were gonna have everyone in sacrament meeting.  Then when Sunday rolled along, we showed up to the church and almost every single one of our investigators were in church!  WHOO!  We were super happy and we really wanted them to have a spiritual experience. we taught the gospel principles class and it went SUPER well!!  Everyone was participating and we were all learning together...it was way cool and we could feel the spirit way strong!  When we left the class, a few of our investigators told us that they were feeling the spirit and that there was nothing that was going to stop them from coming every week!  We were super STOKED!! There are 2 people who are going to be baptized this week and we are really happy for them! 

Goods things is a happening here in Costa Rica and we are really excited and happy to be here right now!  I love this work and I'm grateful to be a part of it!  I love all of you, and I hope that everything continues to go well!  Sorry I haven't sent any pics lately....I just forget to take them sometimes....but it doesn't mean that I don't love you all....cause I do!  ha.


Elder Johnson

Monday, August 20, 2012

WORKIN' HARD.


Family.

I really enjoyed your last letter, I was laughing through almost the whole thing!  Sounds like things are getting pretty hectic over there in Mesa AZ!  haha.  But it's good to hear that everyone is doing well and that school is starting off well for everyone....even though it might be hard.  Oh and I read Dallin's letter that had the part about Chris in it....that was super cool to see that Chris really had that much of an impact on him and was such a great example to him, it's cool to see how by "small and simple things are great things brought to pass".  I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to live with Chris almost my whole life and have that example almost 24/7....it has helped me so much to be the person I am now, and I'm sure that that has helped a lot of the people that I have come in contact with here on the mission!  Cool stuff. 

Anyway, this week was way cool. I'm loving working with my new companion Elder Aylesworth...he is a stud and we have a lot of fun together while we are working! ha.  Sometimes we as missionaries make the work so boring by just doing the same things over and over again and just being bummed the whole day, but we try to make it super fun and just have a good attitude the whole day and it helps a ton!  The people really do see the smile on our faces and it makes them want to know....why are they so happy if they are walking in the sun all day??  It changes the heart of the people and helps a lot in the work. 

We met a way cool family this week...it's just a daughter and her mom, but they are way cool.  Their names are Bertha Alicia and Lupita. they are references from a recent convert who just barely got baptized a couple weeks ago.  So we went to see if they were home and it just so happens that we arrived at the perfect moment.  Supposedly the grandma had just passed a few months ago and it was super hard for the mom...and also they have a few other problems right now in their lives and don't know where to find comfort.  So we started to talk with her just get to know her, get to know her situation and everything....then taught her the true principles of the gospel to her.  As we were teaching she looked like she was really quiet but looked really calm....we asked what she was feeling...she was silent for about a minute, then looks up at us and says....I feel comforted!  She said she had been looking for a feeling like that for so long, but until that moment had never been able to find it.  The spirit was very strong and I felt really good that we were able to bring the gospel into their lives and help them recognize the love that God has for each and every one of us! 


Love you all, hope that everyone keeps working hard and remembers to always say their prayers! 

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 13, 2012

COSTA RICA......


Family.

HELLO everyone! So it was kind of weird when I was reading your email and you were talking about Oceanside....because this week I was talking to my companion about how we always go to Oceanside Beach as a family every year and I was telling him everything that we do there, but I had totally forgot that it was in this week that we always go! haha.  But it seems as if everyone had a ton of fun!  By the way, the pic with grandma and grandpa and the cousins......I don't recognize a couple of people......I feel so bad, but everyone has changed A TON!!!  Maggie is SUPER tall and everyone else has changed a bunch! haha.  I can't wait to be able to see everyone in person again, that will be exciting. 

So by the way, I have news......I'm in a new area!  WHOOO!  Right now I'm here sitting next to Elder Larkin because I am going to be in the area that he was just in....it's called Costa Rica!  My new companion is Elder Aylesworth, he is from Chandler Arizona and is an awesome missionary so I'm super excited to work with him!  I was kind of sad to have to leave all of my investigators that I came to love so much in my old ward, but I know that I'm supposed to be here for a reason...so we're gonna work work work and see miracles!  I know that Elder Perez will take good care of all the people that I left behind, so I'm not too worried! ha. 

JESSICA IS PREGNANT AGAIN???? WHAT!!! that's so awesome, I'm so excited....the baby will be born right when I'm getting home!  That's so cool. CONGRATULATIONS JESS AND CAM! 

(((((((From Shawna...so, when I saw this on Tyler's email today I figured that Jess had written to him to tell him.  Wasn't sure if I should edit this out, but when I asked Jessica about it, she said this is how she wants to announce her wonderful news!!  This way Tyler can be a part of it : ) )))))))))


So I thought I'd fill you in a little bit on how my week went....we had a great week! ha.  We actually had an awesome experience with one of our investigators Monserrat.  She has been an investigator for a while now in that area and we had actually stopped teaching her for a little while, but somehow we found ourselves in her path again. Right now, she has A LOT of problems going on in her life and she was almost to the point where she couldn't handle it any more......scary.  But anyway, we have been visiting her and trying to help her out, and it has been going well! She actually has a few friends that are members of the ward, so they have been visiting her also, which is super good!  But the coolest part is that right now she is out of work and her son is in dental school and it's super hard for her to help her son get through school and feed the family at the same time....so we promised her blessings that if she went to church with us and started to read and pray, that she will be blessed to find work and be able to be calm in all of her challenges.  At the end of the lesson, she said the prayer and she was crying super hard during the prayer and just asking Father in Heaven to help her find work and to bless her family....the spirit was super strong and it was really special to see her say a real sincere prayer to our Father in Heaven!  Well guess what, she came to church. and guess what, she went to the center of employees, the program that the church has, and now she has 3 or 4 appoinments with different places that would love to hire her!  And guess what, a family in the ward had just recently moved to live in the house of one of their moms in the ward, and told her that she could live in their previous house...(she has been praying to find a house for about a year now)!  And guess what......SHE IS HAPPY!!  WHOOO!  It was really special to see her prayers be answered and see her faith grow.  She is happy even though the problems are still there, she knows that she can trust in God, and everything will be OK!   Miracles are real, we just need to look for them! 

I love my family quite a lot.  I'm happy here in the mission, and I'm grateful for all the support that you are for me.  stay fly.

Elder Johnson
.......I got this pic of Elder Johnson from his former companion (Elder Larkin's) mom.  He told her they took it on a day that it was 125 degrees!!  Notice him holding tight to his camelbak!