Monday, December 29, 2014

Dec 29 - Villa el Salvador

Hello All,

This week was awesome! I am so glad that I was able to skype with you guys and let you know how the missh is going :). This Christmas was a little weird having the sun out and no snow, but it was awesome! Us 5 missionaries of the ward went out and sang songs to a bunch of people in the morning. We the ate lunch and had a regular day of preaching. It was a lot different, but at the same time it was soo cool. It is such a blessing to be able to give to others during the time of Christmas.

We also ended the week with a baptism of such a nice lady named Sabina. She had so many difficulties to be baptized and was struggling a lot. However, thanks to her testimony and determination she was able to make this covenant with God. She is so amazing and has such a strong testimony. I know that she will endure to the end and we are looking forward to going to the temple with her to do baptisms for her deceased family members. So excited!

This week was also the week of transfers. I have a new companion named Elder Rosado, who is from Colombia. He is awesome and we are looking forward to working hard in the Ward El Sol. Also, my trainer is my district leader and is now in the same ward as me! So weird, but he is awesome and Im looking forward to it. This is going to be a great transfer!

Mom to help you with your spanish: haha

Estoy muy agradecido por la oportunidad a hablar con ustedes en la Navidad. Tambien, a ver John y Cynthia y Jack y Connor. Ellos son lo maximo y aparece muy bien. Yo espero que ustedes tuvieron un gran tiempo jugando baquet y otras juegos en la capilla. Les amo mucho y no puedo esperar hasta el dia de madre para skype con ustedes otra vez.

I love you guys so much and continue to pray for you everyday. It was so nice to see all of your faces and to talk to you guys. I truly miss you guys so much and cant wait to be able to be together and enjoy eachothers company.

Love you all soooo much,

Elder Johnson

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dec 25 - Merry Christmas!

We received a nice Christmas email from President and Sister Douglas this morning with a picture taken at their recent Christmas conference.  They also extended an invitation to watch this video which focuses on the birth of our Savior, He is the Gift.

Merry Christmas from Peru!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dec 22 - Villa el Salvador

Merry Christmas!!

I got your package!! Thanks for the goodies, they were awesome. It just went to show me how much I miss all of the good stuff from the US haha. As you can see from the pictures we don't have an oven so me and Elder Wright cooked them [cookie mixes] over the stove top haha. It was interesting but SOO good! :)

The skype call is going to be on Christmas at 2:00 PM (12:00 noon in Utah). I hope to see all of your faces then and be able to tell you all of the experiences in the mission haha.

Granny said that same thing about Elder Wright and it turns out that he is the one! He totally knows David and Megan and their whole family. He told me that David helped him write his farewell talk and they are really tight together. What are the odds! hahah Awesome! He has become a real friend and I can totally see us hanging out after the mission. He plans on going to BYU so possibly we could room together down there! Well, I got 18 months to think about it so.. haha. So crazy that the mission is already a fourth of the way over. CRAZY!

I love you guys soo much and cant wait to see your faces on Christmas. I will also be calling you today as well! I cant wait!!

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dec 15 - Villa el Salvador

Hello All,

This week has been crazy!

So, Friday in the morning at 9, we were starting to get ready for weekly planning. We started and one minute into it we got a call from one of the AP´s. He informed us that my companion Elder Izquierdo had an emergency transfer to Ica and our area would be closed. He had to be in the office at 2 pm to leave, so the rest of the day we spent it packing and getting everything ready. The day before we had just moved into our new apartment and so now we will have to move again! UGH! I will still be in the same zone and same ward, but different area. My new companions are Elder Wright (CA) and Elder Paucar (Piura, Peru). I already knew them because they were in my district and so it was an easy transition. It is definitely a little different in a trio but it has been good so far.

We were able to attend the wedding of Gerson and Katy. They are both members and now after being married in civil will continue to prepare to get married in the temple a year from now. They are awesome and I can tell that they are going to be powerful members of the church.

My zone leaders informed me that the package is here!!! So I will be able to recieve it tomorrow at our district meeting. I cant wait! Christmas is in only 10 days!! what! It is the weirdest thing to get sunburned in December! but it is awesome!

I love you guys and cant wait to be able to talk to ya face to face. We will see how my english is haha from this message you can probably tell it is slowly but surely failing haha.

I love and pray for you guys everyday. Keep doing well and let everyone know I love them.

Much Love,

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dec 8 - Villa el Salvador

Hello All,

I hope you guys are enjoying the week of Jen! haha Happy Birthday Mom!! I hope you guys are doing well and enjoying this Christmas season.

Everything is going well here in Peru. I seriously cant wait until Christmas. I just keep telling myself to get through Christmas. It will be so weird to see your faces again ahah I cant Wait!

That`s awesome that Miles and Andrew got their mission calls! Japan and New Hampshire! It will be such a great adventure for them and a life changing experience.

I have been studying a lot about the Atonement and the enabling power that it has. It is not just for our sins, but allows us to change and become more like Jesus Christ. During this time of Christmas I want to focus on becoming more like Jesus. Through my mission experience I have already changed so  much and I thank the enabling power of the atonement to allow me to do so. I remember me and mom were driving to pick up something and I told her that I wasnt liking the new ward and didnt want to go to church anymore. And now Im in the mission teaching people the gospel and allowing them to recieve the fulness of salvation. Wow! I am amazed again and again with this gospel. I now have my priorities straight that there is nothing more important than the gospel and family. I guess soccer will have to take a back seat ;) haha. 

So the deal with Christmas is that I will be able to call you guys on the 22nd for 5 minutes to coordinate exactly the skype call. Then on the 22nd, 24th, or 25th I will have a 40 min skype call with you guys. Let me know what time and day would be best for you because my schedule is flexible :)

I love you guys so much and seriosly cant wait until the opportunity to see all of your faces! Aww! Until then keep doing well and staying strong. I will continue to pray for you guys everyday. Love you soo soo much.

P.S. Mom it is maƱana haha. and see you on monday is hasta lunes (until monday). Keep it coming with the questions so that you can become fluent. :)

Much Love, 

Elder Johnson

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dec 1 - Villa el Salvador

Hello All,

[We emailed a picture of a gingerbread house we made at Thanksgiving] That gingerbread house is truly a piece of art :)

This week has been awesome! I´m starting to get used to the area and the new ward. It was hard at first, but it is definitely getting better.

The church has launched a new program called el es la dadiva (he is the gift). Im sure you know about it. It is expressing the importance on how Christ is the gift of christmas and we need to remember the real meaning of christmas. On December 7th the church has purchased the front page on YouTube! In the mission we have recieved cards to pass about specifically about this. It is truly inspired. The first time we used the video was with some members. They were crying after and gave us referrals. I could feel the spirit so strongly. AMAZING!

It is crazy to think that I have officially been in the mission for 5 months! Elder Baum (from the MTC) said how we are about 1/4 done with our missions! Time has really passed sooo fast.

[Dad shared some of our Gospel Doctrine lesson on the Atonement] The Atonement truly is amazing. We teach it so much, but it is so extensive that I dont have a full understanding of it yet. Exactly like you said it is not just our sins, but also our pains and sufferings. He did it to know how to help us. He truly has experienced everything and therefore knows how to overcome them. A big part of the atonement for me is also the ability to change. One purpose of this life is to become like Christ, and this is only possible through repentance thanks to the Atonement. I am so grateful, for the grace of God and how he gave us his only begotten son so we can repent and return to his presence.

I love you guys soo much! I miss you soo much, but if time keeps flying like it has I will be back home in no time haha.

Much Love,

Elder Johnson

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nov 24 - Villa el Salvador

Hello All,

That`s awesome to hear about all the things that have changed. I don't have a lot of time this week so I will just give you a little update on whats happening.

This week was my first week in the new area. The area that I'm in was opened up the transfer before me so we don't have a lot of investigators and people to teach. I have already learned so much and the necessity to work a little harder. In my other area it was easy to get complacent because there was already a lot of people there to work with, but now I will have to work for every single thing that we have. I'm grateful for this opportunity to grow and become better.

I love you guys soo sooo much. It is crazy to have updates about how different things are. Everything has changed haha. I cant wait to be able to see your faces on Christmas! Keep doing well and being HAPPY!

Love you all soooooo much,

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nov 18 - Villa el Salvador

Hello All,

This week has been crazy CAMBIOS [Dad translation: changes, I think?]!

I have been transferred to Villa El Salvador (like 20 minutes away from Lurin). My new companion is Elder Izquierdo from Lima Peru. He told me that his house is like an hour away! crazy! He is awesome and I can`t wait to share the gospel with everyone here.

This past week me and Elder Paravicini were able to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead with our recent converts. It was such an amazing experience. I can truly see the difference in them. That is the one thing that has been truly awesome here is the light of the gospel in these peoples lives. I love it!

Saying goodbye to the people in Lurin was soo hard. I was literally holding back tears.. The people here are soo awesome! I am so glad for the opportunity to serve the Lord here in Peru. The gospel is growing soo much and the work is definitely being hastened. I will never forget the people in Lurin and how special they are.

I know that this church is true, and is the true church of God here on the earth that was restored by Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and contains the fullness of the gospel. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true and living prophet to direct us on the straight path in these latter days. There is a scripture in Corinthians that is now my favorite. I can`t remember the reference specifically, (i think 1 Cor 15)[v. 8-10] but it goes something like this, (Apostle Paul)

´The Lord then appeared to me last. I was the least among them to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, I am what I am. And the grace of God will not be wasted on me. I have worked harder then them all, but not me, but the grace of God which is in me. And so I preach..´

I want to be able to say that the grace of God was not wasted on me. I have made so many mistakes and sins, but by the grace of God, I am what I am, not because of me, but by the grace of God which is in me.

I love you guys soo much and there is not a day that goes by that I don`t pray for you all. CHRISTMAS! I cant wait to be able to have a skype call with you all. I am so grateful for all of the examples that you have given me and for all the blessings and help that you have given.

Much Love,

Elder Johnson

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov 10 - Lurin

Hello All,

I hope things are going well for you guys back in the US. Things are going great here. Its weird to think that next week I will be done with my training. They say that the mission changes really fast once you get your second companion, I guess we will see.

This week was awesome! We had another wedding and two more baptisms. It is crazy how many weddings we have here. When we are in the lessons and ask them if they are living together or married, and they say married me and my companion just look at each other like ahh. haha. We have another wedding coming up in December and probably more to come. I will keep you posted.

One thing that I have been focusing on this week is to try and thank the Lord in when anything good happens. We were in a training with the Mission President and one missionary asked how can we stay humble and still have confidence in ourselves. President thought for a minute and responded thank him for every single thing that happens. If anything makes God mad it is when we dont thank him for the things he gives us. This past week whenever anything happens, I thank Him for allowing me to be an instrument in his hands. This has been a great experience and I would recommend it to everyone!

Dad, to answer your question about the church here in Lurin. There is no official ward building in Lurin. (Interesting Fact, the house that we live in is located in Puente, Lurin and it is in the house of members. The father used to live in Lyman [Wyoming]. Small world haha.) We meet in a casa capilla (house chapel) in KM 40, which is next to Lurin. Our area covers all of the Lurin and it is huge! Lima is soo big. Another interesting thing is that our ward has about 500 inactive members! Wow. It is hard because a lot of people have to travel an hour to get to church every week. Also in our ward, we have us and another companionship. It is a little weird to literally be in a house but it is an awesome experience.

Mom, I have had pasta with green sauce haha. The food here is awesome and I can feel my self getting more and more out of shape haha. Typically cereal in the morning, rice with chicken in the afternoon, and crackers and bread for dinner. haha. Chicken Feet in our soup and who knows what else haha. Not exactly El Rocoto every day.

I love you guys so much and pray for you everyday. I hope that you will be able to continue to enjoy life and everything that it has to offer. Tell everyone I love them!

Much Love,
Elder Johnson

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nov 3 - Lurin

Hello All,

This week has been fantastic, we had baptisms and weddings and this coming week we again have another! Weddings are a lot of work, but to see a family be closer together makes it all worth it.

From the baptisms we had last week we have John and Patty and their son Cristopher. John, a convert of one week was called as the 2nd Counselor in the Young Mens Presidency and his wife Patty called as Second Counselor in the Relief Society! One week! haha it is so awesome. In ward council every week we work with the informe de progeso (progress form) and it was weird to have them be on the paper and also lideres [leaders]. haha Lo Maximo! (Awesome) :)

I have been thinking a lot about college and have been actually thinking about U of U. I could do the UofU and play for the PDL Real Team maybe. I have also thought about getting more than just a bachelors degree. I was looking at the bios of the apostles and a lot of them have gone to bigger universities to get more degrees. I think I will make it a goal that if it is possible get a bachelors from the U in Business Administration and then get an MBA from Harvard School of Business. I want to accomplish this goal because out here in the mission I have realized the importance of education. We are so lucky to have all of the schools we have. I plan on making the most of the opportunities that I have. :)

I am so glad that you guys are doing well! Keep enjoying life and living the gospel. I know that if you do you will find joy in everything you do, spiritual and temporal.

Much Love,

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 27 - Lurin

Hello All,

This week was awesome we had a wedding and also 4 baptisms. The spirit that I felt was honestly so amazing. We baptized Jhon (33), Patricia (27) y their son Cristopher (8), and another lady Rosa (59). I had the chance to baptize Patricia. I got all the words right on the first try! haha. I was nervous, but I could definitely feel the presence of the spirit. Awesome! We visited them the day after and I could tell a difference in their spirits. I can honestly tell the difference in people after they have accepted and are living the gospel. I love it!

Nov. 7, 8th we have another marriage and baptism. (Most if not all of our investigators live together but never get married). It is a lot of extra work, but hey its worth it haha.

I am so glad that everyone back home is doing awesome. I will be sure to send pictures of the wedding!

Love you guys soo much!
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oct 20 - Lurin

Hello All,

[We related that Sister Cowan returned from Brazil and had some trouble with some English words since she had been speaking Portuguese for 18 months]  That is funny that Becca Cowan had trouble with the language. Even when i pray out loud in English it is rough. haha. I have gotten so used to Spanish my english is pretty bad now too!  :)

[Our letter said Sara plans to complete an associates degree in the next few semesters] That´s awesome that Sara is getting an associates degree. One thing I have learned from being out here is that we need to take advantage of every educational opportunity that we have. I have a lot of investigators that are in their 30´s and 40´s and have trouble reading. Being in the United States where we have so many opportunities we really need to take advantage of them.

Our baptisms are this coming week! We have a marriage on Friday, 4 baptisms on Saturday. I can´t wait to have my first baptism. It will be awesome to bring more people to Christ. Next week I will let you know how everything goes!

[Hearing that Dad taught Gospel Doctrine on Isaiah this week]  That´s awesome that your lesson went well. Isaiah, though hard to understand, is awesome! I think it is the most quoted book from the Bible. It is truly prophetic. Haha I´m just waiting to get the email next week that you have been called as the new teacher :)

[Hearing that we dropped cable TV since people aren't home to watch it that much] Finally dropped Comcast! haha It will be weird to come back home with everything different.

This week was awesome! One experience that we had was with one of our families. We were talking about the temple and family history work. They told us that we were truly angels sent from heaven. This was so amazing to me. It testified that God really does prepare people to receive the gospel. As missionaries we are just instruments in his hands. We all have weaknesses, but if we are humble and obedient we will be able to bless so many peoples lives.

I love you guys so much and pray for you everyday. Keep doing well and enjoying life!!

Much Love,
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oct 13 - Lurin

Hello All,

[We told Mike about the Meet the Mormons film] Meet the Mormons haha hopefully it was better than [LDS comedy film] Inspired Guns :) haha

Dad, that´s awesome that Mike Packer is finally out in the mission field. Also, for Matt too. I haven´t had the time to email him so I will have to do that this week.

Conference this past week was awesome! Back at home I never really appreciated the opportunity that we have to listen to the words of the prophets. But here I loved every minute of it. My favorite talk was Thomas S. Monson in the Sunday AM Session. He talked about how one of the purposes of being here is to become more like Christ. What matter of men shall we become.. even as I am. He explained how walking in his steps doesn't mean literally walking where he walked. We don´t need to walk by the Sea of Gallilee to walk in his footsteps. We need to walk AS he walked, not necessarily WHERE he walked. In other words, we need to follow his example.

His life he went through disappointment, temptation of every kind, and pain to name a few. Therefore in order to become like Christ don´t we need to experience these things too? Now, our trials in life will never even compare to what he went through, but through our challenges we can grow and become more like Christ. With prayer, scripture study and being obedient, we can always overcome any challenge in our path. This was my favorite, but I loved them all!

I love you all and hope that you guys continue to do well. Remember the importance of daily scripture study and prayer. With this we can continually have the guidance of the Spirit. With this spirit you will be able to enjoy life!

Much Love,
Elder Johnson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oct 7 - Lurin


[In response to a soccer update of player movement in various leagues] That update was awesome! I can´t believe that Luis Suarez is on Barcelona!! crazy

Dad, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope that you had an awesome week of Dennis! :)

That´s awesome that you were able to go to dinner with the Tinkers. I miss going over to their house and hanging out. Tell them hello for me!

Tell Mike Packer hi as well. That´s awesome that he has decided to go out in to the mission. I know that he will be an awesome missionary!

The way conference works here is that on the day Oct 5 there are elections. There is a law here that prohibits the gathering of organized groups, so we didn´t have church or watch conference. We tracted the entire day! it was awesome! We will be able to watch conference this coming sunday and we get to watch all of the sessions! Back home I never appreciated conference, but here in the mission field I cant wait!

Here in Peru it has been awesome. I love to see the testimonies of people and the change in their hearts. One thing that was interesting this week was I was reading in Jesus the Christ about the Great Apostasy. It was talking about how the journey of Cristofer Colombus was prophesied in the Book of Mormon. In Nefi 13:10-13, it talks about a gentile being directed to a promised land with the inhabitants of the brother of Nefi (Lamanites or the native american indians). Haha It is crazy to think about the deep profound doctrine. During the mission I have been really interested in history and family history as well. It is awesome!

I hope you guys back home continue to do well and enjoy life! I know that if you continue to live the gospel and enjoy yourself you will be blessed. I love you guys sooo much and cant wait to skype on Christmas! :)

Much Love,
Elder Johnson

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sep 29 - Lurin

Hello All,

This week has been hard work, but it is so worth it.  That´s awesome that you guys got to all eat at Grannys. I was telling Granny that I miss those Sundays. It will be so awesome to do it again in two years. :)

[Hearing we may be sending a holiday package] A package! haha awesome! I cant think of anything specific, so surprise me! :)

Dad, good luck with busy season [at work]. I always remember that during this time of year you usually work late everyday and have to cover the other people. Hopefully you will be able to do well and also have time to relax. Also, good luck with your Gospel Doctrine Class. You will be great.

RSL can do it! Im sure that they will make the playoffs. That´s too bad about Will Johnson, it seems like too many people are getting injured these days. That´s awesome for Lucas WAC player of the week. Hopefully he continues to do well and play to the best of his abilities.

This week I saw a poster of Real Madrid and all of the players were different haha. If it is not too much, could you send me an update of all the major changes that have happened since I have been gone? If you could that would be awesome! I miss soccer soo much and need your updates haha :)

That´s awesome about Jack and Connor getting bigger and bigger. It will be crazy to see them when I get back how much they have grown. That´s an awesome story haha. I love it. Tell them I love him (even though I ate all of the cake :))

About Carsen, ya I think he is going a little crazy so that would be nice to visit him. He is into everything so I think any snack would really help him out.

This week we had a person continually push his baptism back. We made the decision that we had to leave him. It was hard, but we have a paper that says that we are here to teach people who WANT to progress. If they don´t have the desire, we should focus our time elsewhere. It is hard but necessary. Our other people are progressing great. This week at church we had 15 investigators present. Wow! It was truly amazing! Our three couples are also preparing to get married. The date has been pushed back to October 25th. It is pretty much for sure that they will all be ready. At least 8 or 9 baptisms that day. Cant´t wait!

My allergies have started to get bad again and I got checked out by a doctor. He gave me medications, but they are pretty much the same ones that I already have. Here in Peru, there is so much pollen and dust that it drives my eyes crazy. Whatever happens, I will continue to try and bring people to christ and recieve the gospel. I love the mission! :)

I love you all so much and hope that you continue to enjoy yourselves. Enjoy everything and tell everyone back home that I love them.

Much Love,
Elder Johnson