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 130:20-21So 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 JohnsonPICS 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 26, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
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 Johnsonp.s. pics coming soon...sorry for not having sent them earlier...
Monday, November 12, 2012
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org! 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