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 27, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
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
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!
.......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!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
Monday, August 6, 2012
HELLO EVERYONE!! Happy Birthday to Asher!! WHOOO! It looks like everyone had a super good time at the bday party....but maybe Asher had a little too much fun with his cake! haha. I can't believe that he was born a year ago....it seems like it was yesterday, but now when I see him in the pics he looks like he is growing a lot!I I'm super stoked to really meet the little fart! ha.
School is already almost back in sesh?? WHAT! I feel like summer was a lot longer when I was in high school, or maybe the time just goes by faster when your here on a mission. But honestly, I feel like it was only 2 or 3 letters ago that you told me that they were doing summer school and all that stuff! CUUHRAZZY! Anyway, I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as they could have, because now starts the work again! I read Courtney´s schedule for this year and I felt so bad for her......haha. but I know that you can do it Court, just give it your best and don't lose focus of what's most important! Dillon should play soccer....I've realized that it's one of the coolest and funnest sports to play! I feel like he'd be a good goaly...real scrappy! haha. It's wierd to think that everyone on this side of the family is in or already out of high school.....how fast the time goes by.
Anyway, this week has also been an interesting one....I was a little bit sick for the first part of the week and had to rest, but I've already gone to the doctor and I'm ALL GOOD now! So we got to work toward the end of the week which was good and we tried to make the most of our time while we had it! Also, the meeting with all the zone leaders was this week so I got see some of my buds from the mish that I don't get to see too often, so that's always nice! In the meeting with zone leaders we learned a lot of good stuff, mainly we learned about how we need to be more focused on the people we are teaching instead of the lessons that we are teaching the people....interesting thought! But I loved it, I learned a lot, and we were able to put it into practice toward the end of the week with a couple of our investigators! But the experience that I would like to share with all of you is one that was super special for me, because it was with a family that we had found a little while ago, the moms name is Lidia....don't know if you remember her?? And her husband´s name is Jose....they have 2 little girls, one who was just barely born. Anyway, this family is super cool....but a few weeks ago, we had recieved a message from Lidia saying that she didn't want us to come by anymore, and we were SUPER bummed because she was progressing so well! Anyway, this week I felt like we needed to go to her house and visit her, even though she had told us not too....rebels! haha. So we went the other day and her door was open, I got a little nervous as we were walking toward the door not knowing what she was going to say when she sees us, but then we saw her husband and he told us to come on in! HUH?? ok! So we went in and starting talking and it felt like we had picked up where we had left off....just normal! We started to talk with Jose about what is it that he believes and why he goes to church and everything, basically just getting to know him, because we had never had the oportunity to teach him in the past. Then we started to teach him, but it was so much different than any other lesson I've ever taught, I wasn't worried about what we were going to teach but I was more worried about what does he need! We could tell that he was a little resistant at first, but as we asked him questions and really helped him express his feelings and feel the spirit....the Holy Spirit touched his heart and he opened up to us....almost couldn't believe it. We are hoping to see a lot more progression with Jose and Lidia in the near future! Straight to the temple.
So basically that was my week, super solid and I'm super content! I love all of you and am grateful for your weekly letters! love love love my fam.
p.s. we went to the zoo. good times! haha.
-dont know if you can see it very well, but the do on this goat totally looked like Elvis Presley! haha.
-the monkey's trying to get my pen through the cage....super funny.