MI FAMILIA TAN HERMOSA!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I'm so happy to see all the great blessings that you all have received! I can't even tell you how happy I was to see the pic of the baptism that you guys were in and that Chris directed! That's so awesome. And that's awesome that Sylviana was there in the baptism of Gabe and Carlee because that is literally the best place for an investigator to go when they are investigating the church! There is actually a super gnarly statistic that of every 10 people (no miembros) that go to a baptismal service, 8 get baptised also!!! Do you remember that one experience with my investigator that went to a baptism and then after it ended, asked if he could also be baptized?? yeah, it's true! Also, those pics of Hawaii are so awesome, I loved the one of Court and Dillon out on the rocks! hahahaha. Everyone here in the internet cafe were all looking at me super wierd because I was laughing so hard!! haha. But it looks like you guys had a good time there! Also, what's up with the snow in Mesa! That's so wild...maybe there will still be snow on the slopes when I get back???? Positive thinking! haha. I can't believe that Mac is already in the CCM of Gutemala....I just now realized that she is the first girl missionary of our family....that's way cool!! I'm so happy to be part of this family, it is definitely one of the blessings that I will be forever grateful for!
So this week was basically AWESOME! We are seeing so much progression in the branch right now and that's even with some of the strongest members being out of town so I'm soo excited what is going to happen when everyone gets back and we can start to work BIG TIME!! The members are so much more excited to work and to really make a diference in the branch here in Rosales! That, I think might be the best part is that it's not just us working now to try to help, but we are helping the members so that they can help us in return and now we are working like a team.....like it should be!!! WHOO!!! Jose came to church this Sunday and he was way excited.....he didn't last week for some other problems that they had in the family, but we got it all taken care of and now they are all going to church together again! Oh and not to mention, Nadia and Sofia gave there first talks ever in their lives on Sunday!!!! They were super nervous on Saturday so they asked us if we could go over to help them a little with their talks, so we went over and they both had all their books out and the web page of the church open looking for ideas....it was awesome to see that even though it was their first time, they were so willing to do it....and in the end, they did a GREAT job! All the members were congratulating them afterward and they both felt great!
Arturo and Armando couldn't go this week, so we are going to go visit them to see what happened, but they are both reading in the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true so we are super excited for them, but we're going to see what we can do to help them get to church this Sunday. Also, we have a way cool investigator named Horacio that we taught this week and had a way cool experience with him! He was feeling a little down on himself because he really feels like he doesn't have any friends and the ones that he had kind of just let him down so he wasn't feeling too well....so we started to talk to him and he was telling how grateful he was that we had gotten there in the time that we did, because it was in the moment that he most needed it! This work is Gods work!!! Also, Elder Parkinson invited him to be baptized at the end and he accepted! He still hasn't gone to church yet, but we have to go with some members to see if that will help him feel more comfortable going for the first time! Pray for him PORFAAAA!
We had an awesome experience with Leonel this week, the husband of Guadalupe (the one that got baptized about a month ago)! He was also kind of having a tough time because he is from Honduras and hasn't seen nor heard from his family in a really long time. So Elder Parkinson and I were trying to think of how we could help him and we came to the conclusion that only God could help him so we prayed and asked His help to know what to do. When we went with him the next day, he started to tell us about a a really cool experience that he had the day before. He said that one night he was really feeling bad and was really missing his family and felt the "random" desire to go out of his house and pray and ask God for help...he said that it was one of the first times that he really prayed to God and asked his help. Well, the next day his son got home and told him that someone had added him as a friend on facebook that was from Honduras that supposedly had recognized the last name. Well, it turns out that this guy is from his same small town in Honduras and is family!!!! WHAT! Leonel said that he was literally in shock that God had answered that fast his prayer! While we taught Leonel he was way more receptive to the spirit and it seems like his realtionship with God has totally changed! He is progressing a ton now and we are super excited about it! God answers prayers and this is His work!
I love you guys so much and I'm so excited to see you soon! I hope that you have a good week full of blessings....keep looking for them and you will find them!
Monday, February 25, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
HEY FAMILY!So Hawaii this week huh?? That's so gnarly!! I'm excited to hear that Dillon went on his first real dive, I still remember my first real dive.....I was pretty nervous, but STOKED! haha. That's way crazy that you saw a couple of sharks....I still have yet to see a shark while diving! I almost forgot that our family can just fly wherever almost whenever we want....that's a pretty awesome perk! haha. But anyway, I'm glad to hear that everyone had such a good time and that everyone is safe!I can't believe that Mac leaves this week to the MTC in Guatemala! Everything is happening so fast it's unbelievable. I swear, these past couple weeks have felt like just 1 day! Elder Parkinson keeps asking me if the mission really goes as fast as everyone says....and I always tell him thats it's WAY faster than people say! haha. It's so much fun training a new American missionary....honestly, it's WAY different than training a Guatemalan missionary! But I'm enjoying it a ton and I'm excited for the weeks that come! It actually reminds me a lot of when I was starting the mission with Elder Ball and he always had to have so much patience with me.....I didn't realize just how much patience he had to have until I trained an American missionary! hahaha. No, Elder Parkinson is AWESOME, but one really does have to have some patience sometimes, but I'm learing a TON right now! It's really not too easy being BP and training an American at the same time, because there is always some kind of problem in the branch that I have to deal with, but at the same time, I have to make sure that Elder Parkinson is getting enough time to teach investigators and it just gets a little stressful sometimes, but I'm LOVING it!So this week was way cool because we had a super cool experience that really helped to strengthen my testimony of prayer! So we have been teaching Arturo and Armando for about a week now and they are super awesome, they are sons of a sister that has just recently reactivated herself in the church and they are doing really well. Anyway, we have been really wanting to find the dad so we can talk to him also so that we can teach him or at least get permission from him to teach his kids. So we were finishing planning one day and as we kneeled down to pray I said to Elder Parkinson that we were going to say a specific prayer and I asked him what we should ask Father in Heaven for....and we both came to the conclusion that we were going to ask that when we went with Aturo and Armando that we would be able to find the dad and talk to him and get his persmission to teach them.....so that was our prayer, simple, but specific! So we went to the appointment and we taught them the restoration and had an awesome lesson, felt the spirit really strong and then we started to talk about baptism with them and in that very moment.....Arturo, the dad comes through the door! We invited him to talk to us and he told us that he was just going to change from his work clothes and then he came back and sat down with us and began to listen! Then we talked to him about the baptism and his kids and he was actually SUPER stoked that we were teaching them and he said that he was totally in agreeance with the idea of them being baptized and so we put a baptismal date for March 2nd!! We, them, the dad, the mom are all STOKED!!! It was cool seeing that the Lord came through and answered our specific prayer exactly how we asked him too! This is the Lords work and He will always back us up if we are doing the right things and asking for good things that are going to help His work progress! WHOOOO!I love you all, I can't believe that I will only be writing you 5 more times before I will see you all face to face! Time. Goes. Really. Fast!! I love my family!!Elder Johnson
Monday, February 11, 2013
HEY HEY HEY!I would definitely agree with you mom, time is going by sooo fast it's unbelievable! Weeks feel like days now, and months feel like weeks! I can't believe that so many of my friends are coming home right now, and it's even harder to believe that they are hanging out with Courtney!!! haha. No but that's way cool, I'm super stoked to hear all the good news and that everything is going well! It's also really funny to hear about the new missionaries that are in the ward...I try to imagine my mission serving in Mesa or a place like it and I just can't do it, it's so hard for me to imagine something like that! haha. But it's good to hear how many people are going to church and how much missionary work is going on there! Treat them well, and always support the missionaries as much as you can!This week was a good week for us.....and just so you know, I have new and big news!! I have a new companion.....again! haha. Right now I am training a new missionary from Idaho, his name is Elder Parkinson! He is way cool, just got out of the MTC and he is already speaking spanish pretty dang well! I am super excited to be with him and to teach all that I can....he is most likely going to be my last companion in the mission so I am going to try and make the best of it and teach him everything! It's wierd to think that he is the last companion that I will have, I feel like I have had so many and now I'm down to the last one! Time is going super fast.We had some super cool experiences this week that I was way excited about. So we have been looking for some new people to teach, because some of the people that we were teaching, just don't want to progress anymore, so we left them to some future missionaries who are going to baptize them when they are ready to progress and decided that we were going to find people that are ready now! We were having a pretty long day and nobody seemed to be home and we were kind of running out of options, but we didn't give up, we were determined to find new people....and then someone came to my mind, someone that we had tried to find about a month ago, but was on vacation and I had totally forgot about him until that moment his name popped into my mind....so we decided to go and try to find him again! Well, we found him and his name is Horacio Palacios and he is a stud! He is around 22 years old and has been living here in Sinaloa for a while now on his own...his parents are from a state named Chiapas here in Mexico. So we started to talk to him about his beliefs and his basic religious background and he was explaining to us that his dad is way into reading books from different religions and stuff like that, but that he didn't have a super set belief in who is God....and because of that, he wasn't really sure where he was going in life, he just knew that he was studying and wanted to work, but a real perspective about life, he wasn't really sure.....so we shared the scripture in Genesis 1: 26-27 so that he could recieve his own revelation about who God really is, and then he understood, it was super clear to him in that moment that God in real and that He is literally our Father in Heaven....after that small but impacting experience, his perspective changed along with his attitude, he realized that we had an important message to share and that we were literally sent from God to teach him! Well, we taught him a little more about the restoration of the Gospel and he accpeted to be baptized! But I realized after that experience how simple the Gospel is, yet how absolutely important it is in our lives! How does my knowledge of who God really is affect my daily decisions...and how will that continue to affect my actions in the future?? Horacio is way cool and has a ton a potential! We hope that he reads in the Book of Mormon and prays to know if it is true so that he will continue to recieve revelation and continue to progress until his baptism and then to the temple! whooo!The branch is continuing to progress, which I am SUPER happy about! There are a few members that were inactive, that are active now, and quite a few investigators that are progressing a bunch right now! We are hoping that this progress continues and that this branch will be strong and will never have to look back! I'm tired, but I'm soo happy and ready to keep working!I love my family. Thank you for everything you do for me! stay. stoked.Elder Johnsonp.s. I haven't taken pics in a little while, I keep forgetting.....but I'll try to take more to send to you guys. By the way, my memory, which has the pics of most of my mission....has a virus and I cant see my pics!!! I hope that I can recover them....
Monday, February 4, 2013
WAS UP FAM.SALUDOS A TODOS!!! Hey everyone, I'm so excited to hear all the new news! I can't even tell you how happy it makes me to hear about all the missionary work that is being done in the ward! I'm so excited for Sylvania! That was such a cool story about her giving her testimony in sacrament meeting! It's a really good feeling to know that we really can be instruments in the hands of the Lord to bring about His work and help His childen! I'm excited for you guys and for her!So Dillon is doing track now??? And not just track....but high jump!! haha. I remember that when I left he was still struggling to touch that one wall in the old house! I guess his vert must have gotten better! haha. No, but that's way good to hear. also, I'm definitely gonna need to get to the gym when I get home.....I'm kinda losing the form I had before the mission, you know, my stick figure form....I'm kinda missin it! hahaha. Nah, but I'm defintely gonna go to the gym.....save a treadmil for me in Mountainside.....WHAT UP!!!!Paige is pregnant?? That's so awesome! There is gonna be another member of the family! Tell her congratulations! It's almost the same situation that happened to me that is going to happen to Derek! That's alright, time flies and you don't even notice it....but I am SUPER stoked to see my 2 nephews!! Tell me when you know if it's a boy or a girl! Oh and I can't believe that Mckenzie leaves this month, that's way exciting and I'm way stoked for her....tell her that Guatemalans are WAY cool and she is going to love it! I have been with a guatemalan 24 hours a day 7 days a week for about 4 months now and I have loved every minute of it! haha.So for the work here in the mission....we had a great week! We have a few new investigators who are WAY cool named Arturo and Armando, they are sons of a less active sister that we have recently activated and her sons are way stoked also, we still need to work with the Dad, but I'll let you know later on how that goes....and the investigators that we have are progressing a ton! Especially Jose and his family....I can't believe how awesome this family is! I definitely want you guys to be able to meet them! Also, we are working a lot with the members here in the branch....visiting less active families and inviting them to come to church and we have been seeing quite a bit of results! We have activated a few new people and through them have found new investigators....this work is awesome! Oh and right now I am working with a girl in the branch that wants to go on a mission! We have already started her on her papers and everything! I'm hoping that she will stay excited to go....but honestly I never in my whole life thought that in my mission I would be preparing other people to go on THEIR missions!! WHAT! That's so wild!! haha. It's been a really cool experience being here in Rosales and I'm grateful that I have had the opportunity to be here and to work in this part of the mission! Oh by the way.....Jose will be getting baptized on the 16th of February and we are super excited for him and he is also! Pray for him so that everything will go smooth!I love you all, I can't believe how fast time is going by. I'm excited to see you all in 2 months....but in the meantime, I've got work to still do here! Thank you so much for everything that you do for me! I LOVE YOU ALL!Elder Johnson