Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MAKING MIRACLES HAPPEN


Family dearest,
 
WOW!  Lake Powell looked like it was a TON of fun!  Everyone is getting soo good at wakeboarding, I'm gonna have to step it up big time when I get home or Dillon is gonna pass me up pretty quick.....or maybe even COURT!  I still dont know if I can believe that that is Courtney in the air on a wakeboard, or if you just photoshoped her face in there! haha.  And mom surfing?? WHATS UPP!!  And I'm diggin' the shockers mom (hang loose)!! haha.  Anyway, I'm glad that you all had a ton of fun! Jess and Cam couldnt go??
By the way, sorry for writing again on Tuesday.....there was a HUGE storm here yesterday and there was absolutely no intenet, so we couldn't write.

So this week was a very intersting one!  We are working super hard right now to find new people and it has been a fight but we are doing basically everything we can to do it!  This week was another seminary week, but for the elders that didn't get to go to the last seminary...and so 2 elders slept in our house again and we were able to work with them almost the whole week, just like last time with Elder Blood.  But this time I was working with an elder named Elder Oliver he's from Roy Utah and is a CHAMP!  He is sort of new in the mission, so he is still learning spanish, but I couldn't believe how well and how fast he is improving!  Basically he's just a stud.  Anyway, when I was working with Elder Oliver I really wanted to have a cool spiritual experience with him to be able to build his testimony and help him be an awesome missionary, so we left the house looking for an experience.  We went to go look for all the people that we had planned to see.....and nobody was in their house.  We went to about 20 houses and not one was there.......uhhhhhh. WHAT NOW??  I want him to have a spiritual experience and nothing is hapenning....WHAT DO I DO??  Well, it was time to take him back to seminary and we hadn't been able to talk to hardly anyone, I felt super bad....but I was thinking of some way that we could have a cool experience.  We got on the bus to go over to the other side of Culiacan and a thought came to me......I leaned to Elder Oliver and asked him if he wants to contact the bus.....he looked at me and his face just went white!  Then he said yes!  haha.  So I told him, if we can't have a spiritual experience....we are going to make one happen!!  I gave him a few pamphlets and a Book of Mormon and told him that it was all his.  He was super nervous, but super determined.  After a little while of building up the courage he stood up, went to the front of the bus (which was full of people by the way) and starts to talk about the restoration of the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith and gave his testimony and then I stood up and bore my testimony and started to explain the Book of Mormon and everything, then we handed out a few pamphlets to peope that were interested in what we were saying!  Basically, the coolest part about all of this was that a new missionary, who is still learning spanish, was brave enough to get up in front of everyone and preach the true Gospel to a whole bus of people!  I couldn't believe he actually had done it.  He told me afterward that that experience helped him a lot to get rid of his fear of talking with people about the gospel and that his faith had increased!  I felt good knowing that even though we weren't given a spiritual experience....we made a miracle happen!  I think that's sometimes how it is, we wait and wait for the blessings or miracles to fall from the sky, and sometimes they don't.....we need to go look for them, we need to fight for them....and that's what Elder Oliver did on that bus that day, he found his Miracle!  cool kid.
 
I hope that this week we will be able to find a lot more people to teach.....teach the people that we find.....and baptize the people that we teach! We're looking for miracles, and we're gonna fight to find them!
 
I love you family, you will never know how much you have helped me grow while here in the mission and I'm so grateful for every one of you!
 
Elder Johnson
 
p.s. sorry I haven't sent pics in a while.....next week i promise I'll send some.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

VAMANOS!


Dearest friends and FAMILY!
 
WHAT'S UP!  Sorry for the delay on writing you.....we were a little busy yesterday and couldn't write, so we had to write today....so don't worry. ha. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying Powell!  Why does something always go wrong when you're at Powell, but it's always the time of your life?? Funny how that happens! haha.

Soo, I don't have a whole lot of time right now so this letter may be a little shorter than the others...just an fyi.  But anyway, this week was one of those tougher ones where you try and try and try but nothing seems to go super well, but it's ok, because those weeks always have to come and that's normally when we learn the most!  We had a few super cool investigators who were progressing a TON....actually, one day we were going to visit one of the families that we are teaching and when we got there we see part of the family reading in the Book of Mormon together.....WHAT! that was super cool.....but then in the same week, we went back to visit them and they told us that they didn't want us to visit them anymore....NOOOO!  I honestly couldn't believe it.  It was a little hard to hear that, but I know that we need to continue looking for the people who are ready to accept the gospel in their lives and to live it!
 
I've learned something through all these experiences.....that every single one of us is going to be put up against the wall of faith and then when we are there, make our decision. Pres Ezra Taft Benson gave a talk about that and until being here on the mission and really living it, I never really realized how true it is!  We are all going to have things happen in our lives to really see if we believe what we say we believe!  I was thinking about how after my mission, I'm going to have to face real life and when that day comes, put in practice everything that I have learned here in the mission out there in the real world.  So I have come to the conclusion that Heavenly Father loves us enough to gives us these "tests" of faith, so that we can grow.....even though it hurts Him to see us suffer, He knows the final result if we endure it well!  So thats what we are going to do here, is endure, keep fighting and keep looking for those special people who are waiting for us!  love it.
 
I love you all....go have fun at the lake!
 
Elder Johnson
 

Monday, July 16, 2012

YES.....WE ARE GETTING RAINED OUT!


FAM FAM FAMILY.
 
WHAT'S UP EVERYONE!' Just thought I'd let you know that my f├╣tbol (soccer) skills are improving very much....haha.  We played today in the morning and it was super fun, we had a few locals show up who were unbelievable and so I learned a few things from them....it was GNAR LEE
haha.  Also, we are getting a TON of rain right now.....yesterday we were walking back from the lunch that we had, which by the way was super far away from the house, and it started to POUR rain!  The streets were completely flooded within about 3 minutes and so when we got to the house....we were literally drenched with water!  It was way fun though. ha.
 
So now I suppose I should fill you in on how the actual missionary work is going! haha.  This week went well for us....we had plans that we were going to find a lot of people this week and we went out with our goals in mind and we found quite a few people actually!  But the bad news is, is not one of the people we are teaching came to church......BUMMER!  That was a little disappointing, but there is no need to get down on ourselves, we just got  to keep working and help these people feel the spirit enough in their hearts to have the desire to go to church to really know if what we are teaching is true!  So that is what we are going to focus on this week, is helping people come to church so that they can progress in the gospel and change their lives!
 
So I don't know if you remember me talking a little bit about the specific prayers and specific plans and everything like that....well if you do, we had a super cool experience with that this week!  We had made super super specific plans the night before of what we were going to do the next day...when we were going to leave the house, we said a specific prayer that we would be able to find a family of 4 that day that would accept to listen to us, so we left with all the faith in the world, and we followed the plans that we had put.  We arrived at one house and a little girl, about 12 years old answers and says...."my mom left to go the super market"....while she said that, we heard a voice in the back of the house...and we asked...."could we talk with your mom?" and she got all red and said...."I'll talk to her to see....." hahaha.  Anyway, that's not the important part.  We started to talk with the mom and she let us into her house, we started to talk with her and as we were talking, her cousin walked into the house, sat down and started to listen to us!  Then a couple minutes later, one of her uncles walks in, sits down and starts to listen to us!  WHAT! There were 4 people in the house listening to the message of the restoration, and they were all super interested, asking a bunch of super solid questions and at the end we challenged everyone to be baptized and everyone accepted!  Cooool cool cool. haha.  Our prayer was answered and we left the house super stoked!  The only bad part is....they all went to Mazatlan this weekend to visit family, so they couldn't go to church. Oh well, we'll just have to help them this week go to church.  So yeah, that was the cool experience of the week, hope you all liked it!  Remember to always pray, because Heavenly Father does listen and does answer!
 
I love you all, I hope you all have a TON of fun at Lake Powell!  I actually had a dream about Lake Powell this week, so that was cool....I'm there without really being there....believe that being there is WAY better than just dreaming your there!  haha.  Love you all.
 
Elder Johnson
 
p.s. this is after playing soccer in the morning! the one in the orange shirt is my companion and the other 2 are the assistants right now! tons tons tons of fun.



Monday, July 9, 2012

RoLLer COAstER RiDe


FAMILY.
 
Hello everyone, just thought I'd let you know that I enjoyed my 4th of July very much and felt very American....the reason why is because....without even knowing, the family that we ate with that day made the BEST HOT DOGS EVER and I ate about 6!  Who would have thought that I would be eating hot dogs in Mexico on the 4th of July!  Good stuff. haha. Still missed the fireworks, but I'll settle for hot dogs.
 
Thank you thank you thank you for the package!  My companions and I destroyed the candy super fast and I am enjoying a nice, clean and convenient shave each and every morning! haha.
 
So I'm guessing your wondering why I put as a title to this letter....RoLLer COAstER RiDe....well the reason is because this week was full of ups and downs...high points and low points!  First of all, I'm not sure if I have told you about Lidia, but if I haven't, she is one of the coolest and best investigators that we have right now...she has been reading in the Book of Mormon and has prayed to know it's true and she told us this week that she felt and knows that it is true!  Well, that was the up....now for the down. about 2 days ago there was a baptism in the ward so we had invited her to come and she was super excited to go, and the day of the baptism we received a message from her....but it wasn't the message we were really hoping for. she said that she did not want us to come back to her house anymore and that she will not be going to church, and said that we should spare her the embarrassment of not opening the door when we come again........uhhhhhhhhh....NOOOO!!!  I really couldn't believe it, we had felt the spirit super strong with her and she had just received her testimony that it was all true, and now this....NO WAY!  I felt super bummed at first, but then I remembered that we had done everything what we could to help her come to Christ, but in the end, she has her agency to choose.  I felt comfort in knowing that she now knows EXACTLY where to go if she wants to have an eternal family and it's cool that we could provide that knowledge for her...I hope that she will realize that in the future and have a desire to follow the promptings of the spirit!  We just gotta keep looking for the people that are willing to act upon the promptings that they feel and never get down on ourselves!  I just think about what it says in D&C 4....."with an eye single to the glory of God"....we can't lose our vision nor forget our purpose of why we are here!  Love love lovin it.
 
Gibran, his mom Lourdes and sister Marisol are progressing really well right now, we are working with them to be baptized this coming Saturday......they actually went to see the baptism in the ward this last week and really liked it, so pray for them a lot POR FAVOR!
 
I love you all sort of a lot!  Keep looking for ways to progress, and always look for ways to help those around you!!
 
Elder Johnson



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The mission is the BEST thing in the whole world!


HEY FAMILY!
 
What's up everyone!  For everyone that reads these letters that I send out....know that the mission is the BEST thing in the whole world and if you have a son on a mission....BE PROUD OF HIM!  If you have a son that is going on a mission, help him prepare to be the best missionary that he can possibly be!  And to my mom, THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME BECOME WHO I AM TODAY!  I love you so much for that!  It's pretty cool being on a mission.
 
Anyway, I can't believe that it's already July!  Time goes by super quick and it has gotten way too hot way too fast! haha.  But it's good to hear that everyone is enjoying summer vacations.  I have news.......we had changes today!!  I am now with an elder who's name is Elder Perez, he is from Texas but lived for a little while in a state called Hidalgo here in Mexico.  He is super cool and I'm super excited to work with him and see miracles!
 
Ok....something crazier than any other thing that has happened in this whole past change happened this week....and that's kind of hard to believe, but it's true!  So we were teaching someone named Paola and Israel a little while ago, like when I first got here in this area about a month and a half ago....but they weren't progressing a whole lot so we had to stop visiting them.  This week we heard about them again. Supposedly, Israel (the husband) died in another freak accident......WHAT!  AGAIN??  But something really cool happened.....Paola, the wife of Israel, had remembered what we had taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she said to one of her best friends, who is a member of the church, that she felt like she needed to go back to church!  Well, this week....she showed up to church with all of her kids and a couple of her friends.  When she walked into the church, she had a big grin on her face and she was so happy to be in the church, and she leans to us and says...."I'm glad that I came today".  It was so cool to see that the spirit could give her the comfort that she was looking for!  "Seek and ye shall find".....I learned a cool lesson that day, that if we are truly looking for peace and comfort and we show our effort to God and put our trust in Him....He will make everything alright!  We may still have the same problem, but as it says in Mosiah 24....the Lord will make our burdens seem light!  I really love that scripture, because I think a lot of times, we want the Lord to take the trial completely away....but where is the learning in that??  When the Lord told Nephi to build a boat, Nephi simply asked....where can I find the right tools?  And when the brother of Jared had the problem with the light in the boats....he prayed and the Lord responded...what would you like me to do?  It required a little faith to think about how to do, present his plans to the Lord, and then the Lord finally provided the miracle!  It's just like Paola....she was looking for comfort, and she remembered where she could find it, so she acted and the Lord provided the miracle!  We are hoping that we will see some good progression with Paola in this upcoming week!
 
I'm happy right now, and I love my family!  Your letters always lift me up a ton and I'm grateful for every single one of them!  Love you all!
 
Elder Johnson
One of Tyler's old Companion's Elder Larkin


Elder Johnson goin' bowlin!!


Zone Conference with Pres and Hmna Cantu