YO YO YO!
Hey everyone, I'm glad to hear that things went super well this week in church and in all the rest of the activities that were going on! I'm super happy to hear that everyone had a great birthday....oh and not to mention, STOKED to hear that the tradition of eating a BR mint choc chip ice cream cake still lives on and that everyone had a bite in memory of me! haha. It was really funny because last year, I was in Culiacan for my birthday and guess where we went for my b day? Baskin Robbins! haha. But this year I had to settle for Dairy Queen....just wasn't the same...but oh well, it was still fun and good!
I'm so excited to hear about Sylvania! It's so cool that you guys also have investigators and stuff that are going to church there and you are being able to experience the same things that I am here! That really does make me so happy it's unbelievable! But it's cool to hear that she went again to church, that's a super big sign that she feels the spirit when she is there, and she is opening her heart to those feelings and that's why one goes back! I have actually learned a lot about that in my mission.....what is it that motivates people to do what they do?? DESIRE! What we desire....is what we ultimately will become! "you will find what you seek for." Boyd K. Packer. I love that, because I can wake up every single day and say to myself.....what are my desires this day?....what is it that I want to accomplish? If I'm doing the right things....my desire should be to serve God and others around me and to use my priesthood in a way that will bless the lives of others....then I try and accomplish that desire throughout the whole day! Obviously, I'm not perfect and I do come short sometimes in my desires....but I know where I want to be, and that is where I am headed....and that's a good thing! haha. I hope that Sylviana will continue to progress and that she will have a true conversion to the gospel and be a faithful latter day saint! Keep helping her in all that she needs.....remember that what she needs most is the friendship and support of YOU! You will truly make a huge impact in the lives of many as you do all that is in your power to do the will of God!
This week was actually pretty tough...but at the same time, well rewarding! Being Branch President has resulted in being something quite difficult, but I have never been happier and have never felt like I have grown so much in my entire life. There are a lot of ups and downs....but the ups definitely outweigh the downs! We had a super awesome experience this week. Jose and Sofia right now are not married so it has been something that has been on our minds for quite some time now....so this week we decided that we were going to talk to them about it and try to get them commited to being married. We planned out a solid lesson and went to their house and had a SUPER solid lesson about the nature of marriage and why is it soo important to God. They and we all felt the spirit super strong in the lesson and honestly, we were super direct and clear, and I think that was the best part of it all....they understood, the spirit testified, and they commited themselves to live this commandment! We still haven't put a set date yet, because they wanted to talk about it and schedule it out good with their work and all....so I will keep you posted on when....but in the meantime, they are SUPER stoked and so am I!
Oh, I almost forget to mention! Today are transfers.....and I am no longer with Elder Hernandez......he went to Mazatlan today with a new companion and I recieved a new companion named Elder Molina.....ANOTHER GUATEMALAN!! hahaha. He has the same amount of time in the mission as Elder Hernandez and he looks like a stud! He is way funny and seems like he is super ready to work! I'm excited to be with him.....it just may be my last companion....that's odd!! haha.
The branch is doing well! For the first time in centuries the members are doing their visiting teaching and home teaching! The members are really excited to work and to make this branch grow! So we are excited about that....oh and 4 milpas still hasn't been opened to the misionaries yet...they are going to wait another few weeks to open it, so in the meantime I will still be working there! We are hoping that things will continue progressing and that we can give it our all to try and make a difference in the lives of the people here! I love this work and am grateful for the opportunity I have to participate in it! I love you all so much and am grateful for each of you every day!
Monday, January 28, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
Buenos Tardes a TODOS!HEY HEY HEY! First and foremost......HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS! I'm sorry that I am telling you a day late instead of telling you early, but I'm sure you understand! haha. But know that I love you and that I'm glad to hear that you had a great day yesterday! Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD ON SATURDAY!Thank you so much for the letter this week....I'm pretty sure it was one of the longer letters that I've ever received! haha. But I'm so happy to hear about all the AWESOME things that are happening on the home front....I feel soo blessed with an awesome family you have no idea! Oh and by the way, thank you soo much for all the letters for my b-day, I really do feel the love and support of each one of you and you have no clue how much it truly helps me! But I honestly can't believe that I'm already going to be 21....everyone here in Mexico says that I look like I'm around 16 years old! hahaha. But what can I say....it's true! I'm pretty sure that I'm going to look the exact same as when I left, so don't be looking for any surprises or anything! haha. But I was thinking about the whole clothes thing the other day....the 2 pairs of jeans that I came on the mission with....fit me like girl jeans! haha. They are super tight on my legs....soooo yeah, I think we might have to look for some jeans when I get back! But I did want to know.....has the style of clothes changed a lot there since I've been gone?? Just pure curiosity.Oh and about the flight plans and all that....still don't know too much about all that yet. They called me about a month ago to ask which airport was the closest to my house...but that was about all. But I'll let you know as soon as I know. I'm actually pretty sure that you will know before I know, the missionaries that are in the offices will call you to let you know so that you can make plans with the stake pres for the releasing and all that jazz. But right now, I'm still here and I have waited my whole life for my mission so I'm going to give it my all until that day comes.We had a great week here in Rosales....kinda busy with a lot of stuff to do in the branch, but we try to make the best out of every week! Jose is progressing a ton right now! We are super stoked because he has been reading and praying every day. he has a super big desire to know that it's true because he truly wants to be baptized, but he wants to be sure that it is correct because he always tells us that once he is baptized, he is not just going to be a member, but he is going to serve in the church and be the best that he can be! We were in the Priesthood class and the class, same as yours I'm sure, was on baptism and the Holy Ghost and how faith and repentance are insperable with the principles of Baptism and the Holy Ghost, because we can't just say that we have faith and not act on it....that is what the exterior ordinances are for....it's a demonstration of our faith and our desire to repent and be clean of our sins! He really liked the class and he was participating the whole time....actually more than any other member there! haha. He is also studying on his own the book on Lorenzo Snow and is learning a lot of new things! We are hoping that he will recieve the answer that he is looking for and I know he will if he will open his heart and humble himself before God! I'm telling you that this guy is going to be future leader in this branch and that's why I'm so excited! Nadia and Sofia are also doing SUPER well, they are progressing so much and actually, Sofia commited herself and her family to have Family Home Evening ever single monday! WHOO! I hope that we can continue to find families like this one, because it will help this branch to grow so much and have a solid foundation to work on!Oh and just to let you know, that place called 4 milpas that I was telling you about....in a week or so, will have 2 full time missionaries working just there and it is going to become it's own branch!!!! WHOO. It is growing a ton and we are super excited, because it is going to grow a lot more having missionaries working there full time! STOKED!This whole story about Jose reminded me a lot about your story this week with Sylvania. That's so cool that you are having awesome experiences with missionary work also, it truly does grow our testimony being able to share it with others! We all need to be actively participating in missionary work daily....there is no other greater work! Oh, and just to remind you mom....I want you to teach me a little bit more about our whole family history and teach me a little about how to do it! I remember there was one time where you got super in to it, so I know that you are a pro.....and I want to be a pro! (Nacho Libre accent) haha.I love my family so much! I'm grateful for all your love and support, it truly starts my week off in a great way! You are a HUGE part of the reason why I try to smile in every single moment! I love you all so much! Keep up all the good work and don't forget to smile!Elder Johnson
Monday, January 14, 2013
Hello Family!It sounds like you guys had a pretty crazy week also...with all the sickness going around. The temperatures here are SUPER cold also! I don't know what happened but it is so much colder than I have ever felt here in Sinaloa. That's crazy that the highs there are only 48....that's WAY cold. I'm glad that last year you guys sent me a couple of sweaters....they are definitely helping a ton! haha. Anyway, it's super wierd to hear how many of my friends are finishing their missions...but I'm glad to hear that even though I'm not there, they are still chillin at the house! haha. I, along with Van, think that the first place I'm going to eat is Barros pizza! haha. But tell all of them that I say hi when you see them.That's also way crazy about the whole epidemic thing with the flu in basically the whole country! I hope that it doesn't creep down here to Mexico....that wouldn't be too fun! Sis Cantu is basically calling everyone to tell them that if they don't have a sweater....to buy one and to make sure that we are staying warm...so I think we'll be fine!So this week was basically the craziest of my entire life! We had to change houses because there were some sketchy guys that were checking out our house so we decided that it was best that we leave and find another house that is more safe....so this week we looked for a house and while we couldn't find one, we were living in the place where we have our church meetings! haha. But we found a super sweet house that is way clean and perfect to live in. It took a lot of time to move everything and clean and then get moved into another house, so we didn't have too much time to work normally but it's alright, this week we just have to work a little harder! But we did have a cool experience at the end of the week that made everything better! At the beginning of the week, we had met a couple of Nadia's friends, but we didn't have very much time to talk to them so we never had the opportunity to invite them to listen to the gospel, but my companion and I both felt like we needed to talk to him again, but we had no clue how we were going to be able to find him again....so we prayed and hoped that we would be able to find him again. Then on Saturday night, we went to go visit Nadia, Sofia and Jose...and guess who was there in the house with Nadia.....her friend Brandon! WHOO! We were able to talk to him and get to know him a little better and then we were able to teach him about the Restauration of the Gospel and he was super interested! He was super excited to go to church.....but supposedly got lost on the way there and couldn't find the church....BUMMER! But he is way cool and he is going to go to a Family Home Evening that we have planned tonight with Sofias family! It was way cool to see that the Lord answered our prayer and put us in the right path to be able to find Brandon again.....we are hoping to see some good progression with him!I don't have too much time today to write, but just know that I love you all and I'm so grateful for all of your examples for me! I love you all!Elder Johnson
Monday, January 7, 2013
My Dear Family,HELLO EVERYONE! I'm so sorry that I didn't have an opportunity to write last week, it's just that sometimes we get SUPER busy and have a lot of things to do on pdays and it was a holiday and so everything closes earlier and all that jazz. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that everything is going so well there in Mesa! It's cool to hear all these cool stories from all over the world about how God truly does answer our prayers, and He does it in the whole world! Thats pretty cool.Also, I was soo stoked to be able to talk to you guys on Christmas, you all sound good....different, but good! haha. That's way cool that Court got her own board and Dillon was shreading with his new go pro! DDDDD! Yes, I was kinda jealous to see the pics of you guys tearing up the mountain, but it's ok, I still have work to do here and I'm sooooo happy doing it!! Talking about the work that I am doing here....I have some cool stories for y'all!So now that it's been a couple of weeks since the last time I have talked to you....a lot has changed and a lot has happened! So I'm honestly not sure if I have mentioned Sofia and Jose in one of my emails to you but if I haven't.....they are AWESOME!! Their daughter Nadia just got baptized a few weeks back and we started teaching more to her parents....hence, Sofia and Jose. Anyway, Sofia is an elementary school teacher who is super nice and very receptive....they both have been wanting to know more about how they can help their family be more united and have more peace in their home.......hmmmmmmm, I think there is an answer for that!! haha. It was perfect, they have desires to do good things and become closer to God, and poooof, we arrive! We have been teaching them now for about 3 weeks or so and it has gone super well! 2 Sundays ago, they both went to church and while they were there....Sofia saw that everyone was grabbing tithing slips and filling them out so she decided that she would too! WHAT! Crazy story. But the funniest part of it all.......she told us this last week that she is a member of the church!!!! DOUBLE WHAT!!! She got baptized by the missionaries like 10 years ago and never told us until now! haha. It was super funny cuz Elder Hernandez and I had never taught them about tithing and there's Sofia, paying her tithing.....we thought it was a pure miracle, well it was a miracle that someone that hasn't been to church in 10 years comes and pays tithing the first time, but still, it was a funny experience!! hahaha. But yeah, they are progressing a ton and they are loving the branch and the church! Pray that Jose will continue to progress, he is going to be a future leader here in the branch, I repeat, he WILL be a future leader here in the branch! SO STOKED!This last Sunday was probably one of the best days of my life....we have been working super hard and really trying to help the members be more converted to the Gospel and we saw some AWESOME results this Sunday at church meeting. This Sunday we had 81 people in total go to church!!!!! WHAT!! I literally could not believe it....when I first got here we were having 13 maybe 20 come.... there were around 18 less active members that we have been visiting that went and around 6 investigators that went to church this week....including Sofia and Jose! The members helped out a ton with the less active members and they are all super stoked to start working together to help this branch grow! Even our investigators have assignments that they are going to be doing this week with the members! We are seeing a ton of progression in the branch and I could not be happier!!!! The best part is that it's starting to become a...."hey president we have an idea to do this in the Relief Society and we are going to need this and this and this, what do you think??" "thats perfect!" The members are starting to take the initiative in doing things to help the branch and I think it's great! If we continue to do this, we are going to see a lot more progression, or at least the progression that we are having is going to stay.Basically, I'm super stoked right now and I'm loving every minute that I'm here! I love you all and I'm grateful for your prayers on my behalf and for all the investigators that we have! I couldn't be happier to hear that you are having daily scripture study and prayer! Those 2 components are so critical in our salvation! Keep it up....I love you all so much! Paz Fuera. That's spanglish.Elder Johnson