Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Arrival in Peru!

Hello All,
Today has been a crazy week. We flew into Peru Lima at 10 PM. From there we went to the housing in the grounds on the Lima Temple. The temple is awesome! From there we got up at 3 AM, and went to a meeting with the mission president. His name is Presidente Douglas. He is from Sandy. Ì`m going to like him. He is great.
We then got assigned and my trainer is Elder Paravicini. He is from Bolivia and has been out in the mission field for 6 months. He is awesome! Hopefully, I will be able to learn a lot from him. We had our first district meeting and I could understand quite a bit. I was able to kinda follow everything they were saying. I will need to keep studying and improve everyday.
My first area is Lurìn. It is a pretty poor area. It is amazing to see how lucky we are to live in the U.S. The houses are like shacks, but all of the people are making the best with what they have. There are dogs everywhere! Literally everywhere. Also, they are huge! We can`t touch them because they have fleas, no matter how cute they are :) Also, the food is really good, we were able to have pizza our first night. It was awesome! Also, we had pollo con papas fritas. The french fries here are way better! :) The food is awesome. Our first lessons are tonight. I hope that I will be able to use the spirit and be able to help teach the lesson.
Tell Matt [Hansen] good luck from me. It will be an awesome experience for him. He will learn so much and gain so many things. I am so happy for everyone that is going. It is hard, but just like the MTC it sucks and first, but it will get better.
I`m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to continue in the mission. It has already changed me for the better, and I know that it will change my life.
I will now have P Days on Monday. This week is just different because we had transfers. Dad, I hope that your new position at work is good for you. Tell the dogs I said hi. :) Hopefully it will be a new challenge and will help you grow. Mom, good luck with school.
Hope all is well and you will keep enjoying life! I pray for you guys everyday and I know that the Lord will bless you. Good luck with your 5th Sunday lesson Mom!
Elder Johnson

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Preparing for Peru

Hello All,
I am emailing today because I will not have another P day here at the MTC. This is finally it. We leave on Monday to Peru! I am so excited and ready to move on with my mission. It has been hard work, but I know that it will only get harder haha. I am ready! 
We leave on Monday at 3:00PM, so we will get there at about 9 or so. I don´t know when my p day will be in the field, but my next email to you will be in Lima!
I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord. I have been thinking the last couple weeks about my decision to go on a mission. Sometimes it is hard to be away, but I am so glad that I made the decision to go. Already it has changed me and allowed me to become more like Christ and I´ve only been here for six weeks! Being away from everyone and technology lets you find out who you really are. Even though I had to sacrifice a lot, I have already seen the blessings that have come as a result of the mission.  As a district leader, I have learned the importance of loving everyone. No matter what happens :)
We have talked a lot about why God would allow 18 and 20 year olds to preach HIS gospel to the whole world. If God really wanted to he could do all of this missionary work by himself. The mission is about serving other people, but it also gives us the opportunity to become more like Christ. It allows us to become instruments in his hands.
Sé que esta Iglesia es verdadera. Sé que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios, llamado a restaurar su Evangelio y El Libro de Mormón es las palabras de Dios. No importa que pasa in esta vida, lo importante es que nosotros llegar a ser mejorar. Todos tenemos problemas or desafíos, pero con el Evangelio todas las cosas es posible. Dios nos ama y quiere que nosotros llegar a ser como Jesucristo, y regresar Sirvo un misional porque amo Dios. Cualquiere persona que tiene duda sobre un misional, hay no mejor cosa que hacerlo. Yo comparto estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, nuestro Salvador, Amen.
Elder Johnson
MTC District with Instructor Hugo

MTC District with Instructor Raquisha


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mexico MTC - Week 5

Hello All,
My allergies are doing better. I was looked at by a special eye doctor who said that I had just bad allergies, but also maybe a bacterial infection. They brought me medicine and it has helped so much. Hopefully I will be able to be okay while I´m in Peru.
That´s awesome that you were able to see Landen [Hansen] and Carsen [Tinker] play. Hopefully they´re doing well.
Good luck with your 5th Sunday Lesson. I know that if you have the spirit with you that you will be able to touch the people who you are teaching. It´s amazing the spirit that we are able to have here. I truly know now the real meaning of the ´setting apart´. The spirit is the real teacher and you are just the instrument that God is using to communicate it with others.
It´s crazy to think that school is already starting! 
I leave for Peru on Monday at 3:00PM!! It´s crazy to think that I will be out in the field in a week. I´m scared, but at the same time, I´m so ready to get out of the MTC. haha. I ran into Matt Stringham the first day he got here. He said that it was a hard week, but the first week is always the worst! ha I told him that it gets better and next thing you know you are ready to go out into the field. 
We were able to go the Mexico City Temple today. It was amazing to see just how beautiful it is. The difference between the temple grounds and the rest of the city is so different. The temple almost seems like a completely different place. It was beautiful. In there we talked about how families can be together forever. For a demonstration, me and my companion had to teach the sisters in our district on how families can be together all in Español. It was amazing! I could really feel the spirit helping me and guiding me what to say. I was thinking, I sure miss you guys, but I can´t imagine not knowing that my family could be together forever. Although it is hard to be away, I´m bringing people the message of salvation and nothing is better than that.
I have so many spiritual experiences here it is amazing. I truly know now that there is nothing else that you could do to have the kind of spirit missionaries have. I hope to be able to use that spirit to touch other peoples lives. In a devotional by Jefferey R. Holland, we talked about why we went on missions. He shared the story of Peter and Jesus talking. Jesus asked Peter, ¨Do you love me?¨ twice and he replied yes. On the third time he said yes, Jesus replied by saying ¨Then feed my sheep ¨. If we truly love God and Jesus Christ we will feed his sheep FOREVER. It doesn´t have to end with a mission. I am on a mission because I love God and Jesus. It is as simple as that..
Im running out of time so I will have to go, I love you guys so much! Hopefully you are doing okay without me ;). I pray for you guys everyday and know that God will watch over you while I´m gone :) Best wishes!!
Elder Johnson


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mexico MTC Week 4

Hello All,
[We updated him with player signings and our trip to the last RSL game]. That´s crazy that RSL signed Sebastian. I remember playing against him all the time in indoor and at ODP. It just goes to show that it really is possible to make it to the pros. Hopefully RSL can start to actually win some games instead of tie them all haha. It sounds like they were pretty dominant over DC though. Hopefully they continue to do well.
[Concerning updates of his friends playing college soccer] I have emailed Carsen and he said that they have started to hit conditioning pretty hard right now. He is really enjoying playing college soccer and getting used to the college lifestyle. He said it was definitely and adjustment, but it is getting better. I haven´t been able to talk to Landen or Lucas, but hopefully they are doing well.
That´s awesome that there have been so many farewells. Nate Spencer from ODP left for Lima on Monday and Joe Wheelwright (ODP) came last week. Our districts have been playing each other and it is a blast. Hopefully Matt will get a companion that enjoys playing at gym time. I´m lucky because my whole district goes to the gym for about a half hour and then plays soccer the rest of the time. I feel almost in better shape now then I was in the summer. Tell all the missionaries good luck from me. The first week was pretty bad, but after that time flies!
Hopefully you are still able to do your [Jen's school] classroom without me :) ha ha I´m sure its going great. Its crazy to think that the school year is starting in a couple of weeks. Don´t have to worry about that haha.
For [Jen's] Sunday lesson [that she is preparing for], this Sunday at the CCM we watched a devotional from David A. Bednar. It was one of the best talks that I have ever listened to. I think it is called the ¨Characteristics of Christ¨. He gave it at the Provo MTC on Christmas in some year. In there it focuses on how we can become more like Christ. It also shared that a testimony is not enough. Some returned missionaries have gone inactive after their missions. He explained that it is because they just had a testimony. A testimony is simply not enough. We have to become CONVERTED. Once we are converted, it leads to ACTION. Therefore, you will have the desire to WANT to help others when you are converted. As you are converted you can´t help becoming more like Christ (the best missionary the world has and will ever see.) There is more to the talk, so I really suggest that you look it up.
Here at the MTC, I haven´t really spent any money. They gave us a card with 100 pesos on it every week. So, for the most part I don´t have to use my express card for everything. Here at the Tienda (shop). Everything is pretty cheap. My allergies got a lot better with the pills, but now that I ran out they are starting to return again. I´m probably going to go back to the doctor sometime today to ask what else can be done. It is really hard, but I asked for a blessing a couple weeks ago, and the biggest peace came over me. I knew that no matter what happened, God has my back and he knows what I´m going through. As long as I keep true to him, I will be blessed.
Other than the allergies, it has been an awesome experience. Me, Elder Baum, and Elder Roberts have decided that we are going to get an apartment and go down to BYU Provo when we get back. We have already got a plan and everything haha, It has been a great week with spiritual experiences and funny moments. 
Everything is good here and I can´t wait to start serving. I hope that you guys are all doing well and continue to be blessed.
Much love,
Elder Johnson
For our service projects we pick up dirty laundry. In the picture you can´t see me because I´m covered in sheets in the back haha. The guy that we go with is Big Papi. He is awesome!!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mexico MTC Week 3

Hello all,
That´s awesome that you are able to go to people's farewells. I´m beginning to see more and more people that I know in the MTC every week. Could you send me the picture of me and Parker [you saw on Facebook] because I wasn´t able to see it.

[Talking about an upcoming lesson Jen will teach in Relief Society:]  One thing that could help you in the lesson, is that in the topical guide under prayer, it talks about the whole point of prayer is to align our will with God´s. Hopefully that can help :)
In the CCM, it has been the hardest week so far. My allergies have gotten pretty bad, so right now I´m on steroids haha (a pill called Nosipren). It has helped and I hope that it continues to make it better. It´s crazy to think that we are halfway through our time here at the MTC, but I´m ready to get out into the field and help real investigators. The weather here is crazy, we are in the rainy season and when it rains, it pours! Luckily we have been inside when its raining. 
My companion is Elder Taylor and me and him along with all of the people in our district are starting to get along well. I have became really good friends with Elder Roberts, Taylor, Baum, and Woodlief. We all stick together and have good times together. Since we are pretty much with our district the entire day, we have really gotten close.
The food here is pretty good, but I have been limiting my food so that I don´t gain too much weight haha. I stick to as close to American food as possible. They have a pretty good variety of food, and most of it´s good. I have been eating fruits and vegetables and healthy food, so I haven´t had to use the Pepto quite yet. haha. 
Everything is going good here and we are progressing. It´s amazing how much more Spanish I´ve picked up. It´s nice to have Elder Taylor (who´s also good at Spanish), so that we can carry on conversations pretty well. We are ready to start doing missionary work for real!
Hope everything is going well back home. Hope the dogs are doing well :) I pray for you guys everyday and know that the Lord has blessed me as well as all of you. Hopefully you will continue to enjoy life and have a great time! 
Elder Johnson