Monday, December 28, 2015

Dec 28 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

It was so fantastic to talk to you guys this past week. Our Christmas was great here in Ayacucho. We were able to visit some members and eat with them. It was great to see your faces, Granny said that everyone is growing up and changing and it was crazy to see how much things have changed.

This week we had christmas dinner with a sister and her family. We ate turkey and salad!! Sooo good! We were only able to stay until 10, but it was great! It is funny because the tradition here is that they start the party and opening presents at midnight. They go until like 5 in the morning and then they pretty much sleep the whole day on Christmas. A little different, but it is interesting. Also, they do fireworks for like 10 minutes straight starting at midnight.

We finally put a baptism date with Jose Carlos. We are going to work with him to be baptized on the 23rd of January. We will do our best to help him progress and become converted to the gospel!

I love you guys sooo much and alot!!

Elder Johnson

Friday, December 25, 2015

Dec 21 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

[Jen mentioned that she might have told a friend's daughter all about him and that she might have agreed to meet him after he gets home.] Haha thanks mom, I really owe ya one for all the hard work that you have been doing ;)

This week I am so excited to talk with you guys. I am going to be calling you today to set up a specific time on the 25th. Really for us whatever time works just fine, and so probably in the evening at like 5 or 6, whatever time everyone is there!

This year it is weird because Christmas has sneaked up on me. It really doesn't feel like christmas, also because it is rainy here in Ayacucho. I am here in the time of rain. From December to March, it rains almost everyday here. I thank you dad for buying the coat at Mr. Mac. I remember saying, nooo I am going to be in Lima and I won't need it. haha Now I have eaten my words haha :)

Good luck in your surgery dad [I had nasal surgery this week], I am sure that you will sound fine. haha. I hope that I can talk as well haha a lot of times now in English, I forget words. For example, the other day i was talking to elder Utai (an elder from Farmington), and he said that he was really disenfocused (spanish = disenfocado, english = unfocused) haha that is just a sample of how butched our English ends up :)

I love you guys soo much and can't wait to talk to you guys today!

Elder Johnson _Baby

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dec 14 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been great! Last night we had a family home evening with a family that we are teaching. His name is Daniel who is an investigator and his girlfriend is a member. They are planning on getting married in February and then Daniel can get baptized. He is awesome! He accompanys us even more than the members do haha. He goes out to visit with us every Saturday in the morning. He knows all of the lessons and I can't wait until he gets married and baptized.

Tomorrow we are going to go to Lima to have a Christmas Party with President. We are going to have a white elephant exchange as well as watch a movie together as zones. It is the 6 zones in Lima and us Ayacucho. I can't wait!

The other day we found another scorpion in our room! Ahh, Spiders are bad but scorpions scare me. I have heard that if we get pinched then it is a serious medical condition. Pray for me that I won't die here in Ayacucho hahah. Just a joke mom don't worry :)

All is good down here in Ayacucho. Next Monday we are going to call home to coordinate the skype call. We will do the call on the 24,25, or 26. We as missionaries are good with whatever, and so whatever day is the best for you guys! I can't wait!! :)

I love you guys sooo much and a lot!!

Elder Johnson Baby

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dec 7 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

HAPPY WEEK OF JEN!!! (from your favorite child) haha I hope that your birthday was great! :)

That's great that you were able to have Sara, Vanessa, Lauri and Donny all over for your birthday. I wish I could've been there, but at least we will be able to talk during Christmas. I'm excited to be able to see your faces again and see how you are all doing.

This past week we went to the Zoo! haha the zoo in Peru is just a little different than in the states. The highlight was that in the middle of our visit there a monkey got loose and began to run around the park! It was awesome!

We are still working with Juan and Jose Carlos (sons of Susana). They are both great we have really established a good relationship with them. We are praying to be able to extend them a baptism date this week so that they can be with their mom, enjoying the blessings of baptism. Pray for them that they may be able to open their hearts and have the desire to follow Jesus Christ.

I love you guys soo much and a lot!!

Elder Johnson Baby

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dec 1 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week I didn't have any transfers and it looks like I'm going to be here in Ayacucho for 6 months! The area is beautiful but at the same time it is really hard because there are many catholic traditions and people are willing to listen to us, but don't have the desire to change, despite the fact that they understand the restoration. It is really frustrating, but being able to work with such humble people sure is a blessing.

That is great that you were able to get together with Grandma and Grandpa. Send my love to them and I hope that they are continually doing good and enjoying the company of all the family. It is crazy to see how the cousins are growing up and changing. It will be weird to return back and everyone is preparing to go on missions and college and everything. Thanksgiving here is.... nothing. haha. I actually forgot that Thursday was thanksgiving until my companion said something about it. I didn't even get turkey or a chance to beat my record on rolls! haha. I guess we will just have to wait until next year :)

We are now working with Juan and Jose now. (the children of Susana who got baptized two weeks ago). They have a lot of potential and we hope that they will be able to progress towards a baptism. They don't have a date yet, but I will let you know when they come around!

My new companion is named Elder Chira. He is from Piura which is in the north part of Peru. He is awesome and we are excited to work together to see miracles in our area.

I love you guys sooo much and hope that everything is good.

Love you guys!

Elder Johnson

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nov 23 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

The baptism of Sister Susana was great! It was interesting because all three of us participated. My companion supported her neck and head, I held her legs down, and our mission leader baptized her. We put a chair in the font and sitting down, we sumerged her in the water and right back up. It was an interesting experience and definitely something that I will never forget!

Her faith that she has is soo amazing! After her baptism she bore her testimony and I could feel the spirit so strongly. We are now working on her son who is 15. He is a little tough to work with but little by little he is coming along. Susana will be a convert that I will never forget. Now in total I have had 20 baptisms in the mission!

I hope that you guys have a great thanksgiving! Here it doesn't exist, it is just another day of preaching the gospel haha. I'm looking forward to Christmas so that I can talk to you guys again. Until then, I send lots of love!

I love you soo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson Baby

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nov 16 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week we have the baptism of Sister Susana!! We are planning me carrying her down into the font and my companion saying the baptism prayer or vice versa. It will be interesting to see how it goes, but we have faith that everything will be great!

Her faith is amazing! She has two kids who are both a little difficult to deal with. They are not willing to bring her all of the way down to church and so she does it herself. She tells us that her son helps her out of the house and she does the rest. She wheels herself to the street, takes a taxi, and then we help her get out of the church. It is so humbling the faith of the people down here. I will definitely apply all that I have learned when I get back to become more faithful and humble in everything I do.

We also found a new investigator named Ruth Mendoza. She is great as well. She doesn't have any religious background and so she is willing to accept new ideas such as the restoration. We were teaching her and then all of the sudden she said she wants to be baptized. It is so uplifting to find people like that. When I put myself in their shoes I don't think I would accept the message. If two young adults came to our house and tried to preach to us, I think that I wouldn't accept it. What a blessing that we have to be in the church!

Send greetings to everyone. I love you all sooo much! and a lot!!

Elder Johnson Baby

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nov 9 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been great! We have the baptism of Susana all planned out for the 21st of November. She has been such a testimony builder for me to see her faith building. This week we walked in as her 14 year old son took her purse and some money and then left. She has two kids that are both rebels and don't obey her. Despite all of the trials that she is facing, she always reads her Book of Mormon and goes to church every Sunday. We will see how we can do her baptism, it will probably take 3 or 4 of us but we are excited for it! [She is in a wheelchair]

[We mentioned some of the summer youth activities like trek and asked if such things happen in Peru]
Here in Peru there is no thing such as trek, but they do FSY (EFY-Especially For Youth program). It is also interesting the focus on family history. The family history consultants of the ward are kids. This is because they know how to use the technology better than the adults. It is awesome to see the excitement of all the youth as they hasten the work of the temple!

I hope that all is going well for you guys! The time really is going by soo fast and next thing we know we will be watching replays of all the Survivor that I have missed haha! Until then, I love you soooo much and a lot!!

Elder Johnson Baby

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nov 2 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been awesome!

Yesterday we found a new investigator. His name is Edy and he is the brother of our mission leader. He talked with missionaries before but never progressed because he was into parties and alcohol. All of the sudden, he came to church and contacted us telling us that he wanted to change his life. We asked what was the motive behind this change and he told us that it was his mother. He wanted to change so that his mother would feel more secure. It just goes to show the influence that parents have on the life of kids. He is now working towards stopping drinking and has the goal to be baptized! What a blessing to be able to teach him.

Susana is also working well towards her baptism on the 21st of this month. It is amazing because she is in a wheelchair due to paralysis, but takes a taxi to get to church every Sunday. She sacrifices soo much to be able to keep the commandments of God. It just humbles me that before the mission I didn't have the desire to go and the church was 5 minutes away walking. The people here are so humble and truly disciples of christ. Such an amazing experience to be able to here with these people teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you guys are all doing well. It is crazy to hear all of the people that are going on missions [we mentioned that Mickel Wall just got her mission call]. It seems like the people who are leaving, last time I checked, were in young mens like 16 years old. It is also starting to dawn on me that I am going to be coming home very soon. The mission has passed by so fast and I have had such a great experience.

I love you guys sooo much and a lot.

Elder Johnson Baby

[I asked about whether or not he gets snow in his area since they are in the mountains]

I don't get any snow here haha. In the mountains we can see it but down in the valley where we are there is no snow. Christmas here is like 80 degrees and sunny haha just a bit ironic.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Oct 26 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

We are still working hard here in Ayacucho. It looks like I'm going to be here until January.. Climbing hills every single day it looks like I will be in shape for when soccer starts again haha. The rain here is really strong and unpredictable. It begins to pour and then it stops 5 minutes later. Really weird but I love it! It's awesome

This week has been a little tough! Being sick is hard enough, but when you are walking and visiting it is really hard. I don't what I ate but something didn't get along with my stomach haha. We were in an appointment and all of the sudden my stomach began to hurt. I couldn't focus at all and at the end of the lesson I told my companion that we had to return to our house because I didn't feel good. Not 5 minutes into the trip, I stopped and puked in the street! It was horrible! My shoes and pants were covered in throw up. Haha the sad thing is that it is the second time that it has happened in the mission haha. With the food here, one can't control yourself. The best part is all of the cars and people passing by looking shocked haha. At least now I am starting to feel a little better and recovering.

We found a new investigator this week named Susana. She uses a wheelchair and was taught by the missionaries a long time ago but never got baptized. We are going to try and help her take the steps to be baptized and make more covenants with God. She doesn't understand that much but she has all the desire to come to church and obey the commandments. It just goes to show that just because we are intelligent doesn't mean that we will be saved, All of Jesus apostles in the earth were recent converts haha. They didn't understand half of the things Jesus said but they were obedient and became great apostles. We all need to apply principles of God, not just talk about them.

I love you guys sooo much and a lot!!

Elder Johnson Baby

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Oct 20 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week was transfers! Me and my companion are staying in the area for one more transfer. This will be our 3rd transfer in the area together and we are excited to do some work! He is great and we get along well and so it will all be good.

This week Maria (our investigator) came to church and is really progressing. She has told us that she is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and really starting to feel the difference in her life. She is preparing herself to be baptized on the 14th of November. This week she has been going through many challenges and trials but is keeping strong and keeping her commitments. It is so amazing to see the difference in people when they are reading everyday, as they have the spirit constantly and have a happier life. What a blessing to be able to help these people come to Christ and receive the fullest of his gospel.

I love you soo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson Baby

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct 12 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been great! I received the photos of a family that I was teaching in Villa el Salvador about 6 months ago that got married. They got married by law and then another got sealed in the temple. What a blessing!

This week we are working with a family of three. A single mom, Maria, and her two children Mijael and Juliana. Mijael suffers from esquizofrenia (schizophrenia in English) and so he has special needs. His mom and his sister have baptism dates and so we are focusing on how we can help them come to church all three together to progress towards baptism. Me and my companion spent the whole 3 hours trying to entertain and distract him to get him to stay. haha. It was definitely an adventure but we were successful and got him to stay the three hours in the church. What a miracle! haha

This next week is transfers and so we will see what will happen. It is pretty probable that I will stay in the area and receive a new companion. After this transfer I only have 5 left! It is really starting to dawn on me that the mission is coming to a close. I am going to do all I can to continue preaching and helping the people here with the gospel.

Ashley [Bayles--Mike's cousin] sent me a letter that I received recently that was great! Such a blessing to have such a supportive family. Tell them all that I love them!

I love you guys sooo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oct 5 - Ayacucho

Hello All,


This week has been awesome!

I love general conference. Every single talk was inspired and I learned from everyone of them. I think I am going to start Ponderizing as well haha. That was from Devin G. Durrant, the 1st counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency. Interesting fact is that he played in the NBA for a little while.

One of my favorite talks was from Elder Christofferson about the importance of the Church. When I was like 16 I thought that I didn't need to go to church, but possessing the priesthood I could bless the sacrament and water while in my pajamas in my bed. Looking back... What a stupid concept! haha I have learned so much from my mission and will never think like that again. Really like he said, we can't be saved in isolation and part of obeying the commandments is helping strengthen others physically and spiritually. Great Talk!

This week we are working with a lot of investigators. We had 7 come to conference and we will try and put baptism dates with these sons and daughters of God. Our area has a lot of potential now!!

I love you guys so much and recover from all these medical stories [quite a few family members have had medical issues lately] haha. My prayers will be for everyone of you as you keep pressing forward. Tell everyone I love them.

Love you all,

Elder Johnson Baby!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sep 28 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week was fantastic!! We had three baptisms of Noemi, Paul, and Miriam. Paul walked into the sacrament meeting with a full suit and the others were with dresses. Wow! It was so amazing to see them so ready for the sacrament meeting. I know that they are real converts and will be active for the rest of their lives. We are now working with the brother and sister in law of Miriam, the uncle of Paul, and some cousins of Noemi. I love the focus on the family!

This transfer has gone by sooo fast and it is so amazing to see the development in our area. Ayacucho is really hard because there is such a strong catholic tradition, but at the same time they are really humble and have such a strong desire to follow God and Jesus Christ.

We found out about Elder Scott about two days ago. It is crazy that our Mission President said that this will be the first time that three have been announced in the conference for more than 100 years! It will be interesting to see who will be called up. I'm so excited for Conference! I love it in the mission because we get to see it in English. It makes me miss being able to be in the pajamas and eating while watching conference haha.

I love you guys soo much and I will continue to make you guys proud!

PS The Newsletter is awesome!! [the family newsletter Granny Buchanan put together]

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sep 21 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been hard! We had ten lessons the whole week, which means a little more than one a day... We walked soo much and I can feel myself losing weight haha. This area in Ayacucho is awesome!, but there is a lot of Catholic influence that the people follow. Despite the struggles, we are pushing forward!

We have two baptisms this week! Paul and Noemi are going to be baptized on the 26th! They are both so amazing and ready to make this covenant with God. It is such a blessing to see how much they have progressed in the gospel. So excited!

We got lucky that Pres McGinn was here in Ayacucho so that he could interview [for Mike's ecclesiastical endorsement for BYU]. It is a little tricky because here in Ayacucho we are 12 hours away from the mission home and offices (Utah to California!). They came here and spoke in Stake Conference and interviewed us all as well. He gave us training that we need to teach with more enthusiasm. We have to allow our investigators to see that the gospel really does bless us and makes us happy. I am excited to start applying everything that I have learned!

I love you sooo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson Baby

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sep 14 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

[We sent some pictures of the remodeling we did in the kitchen] The kitchen looks awesome!! I can't wait to be able to come home and enjoy it! It was a little crazy because I looked on our ward on and after Jeppe Albertson, I am the next missionary to come home... Time really does fly!!

This week we are going to have the baptism interviews of our three investigators that will be baptized on the 26th of this month. They are soo ready and we have been able to see a change in them. That is the best thing about the mission is seeing the changes in peoples lives and them receiving the blessings of the atonement. We are also going to have a wedding in October! A convert of about 3 years is going to get married with one of our investigators who then will be baptized. So all in all everything is great here in Ayacucho!!

I will finish the forms and essays for BYU and I have been thinking on that lately and I hope that I will be accepted, room with a bunch of people from the mission, and play for the soccer team. Fingers crossed!!

I love you guys soo much and thank you for helping me and supporting me to go on the mission. It really is the best two years that one could have and I am so glad that I made the decision to go. Keep pressing forward and enjoying life!

Much Love,

Elder JohnsonBaby

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sep 8 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been great! TRANSFERS! I am staying here in Ayacucho in the same area with my companion Elder Alvarado. He is awesome and so I am glad that we will be able to be together again!

We have currently 5 investigators with a baptism date. They are all progressing a lot and it is so amazing to see how they are doing. We have an investigator who always insists that we teach him english! We start the lesson and then he says Whats Obama up to.. hahahaha so frustrating, but now we have gotten it down that we will teach 30 min of english and then 30 min of a lesson! If he progresses its all good with me! haha

I will get in contact with Pres McGinn to verify the [ecclesiastical] endorsement [for his BYU application]. Sorry it took so long to get the form in but my camera is going wack and I cant connect into the computer. So frustrating! But anyway everything is all good.

Another interesting fact is that here in Ayacucho they speak another language that is called Quechua. You should look up some words haha its crazy! how are you is Imanayam cacc canqui. So hard!! We have to have someone who speaks Quechua in our lesson sometimes to translate. Its awesome!

I love you guys soo much and a lot!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 31, 2015

Aug 31 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week has been aweseome! We were able to go to Lima and hear Elder Bednar talk to us with his wife! They were awesome and we learned soo much. It was such a testimony builder that in these days we truly have prophets seers and revelators. Elder Bednar talked a lot about agency and the importance of it. He said that when we allow our people to use their agency the spirit is there with them. If we call on them and force them to answer a question they will not feel the spirit. I learned soo much and hope that I will be able to apply it now in our lessons.

At church this Sunday we had two investigators with a baptism date come to church. Sister Mirian and Noemi. They are both soo awesome and progressing a lot. It is such a blessing to be able to present them with this message and allow them to be able to act for themselves.

I hope that all is good at home and that you guys are enjoying your callings and everything in Church. I can't wait for the day when I will be able to attend church and just relax. I would kill to take a nap after church hahaa. I love you guys soo much and pray for you every day.

Much Love,

Johnson Baby

Monday, August 24, 2015

Aug 24 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

I hope that everything is good. It is sad to hear about Great Grandma [she passed away this week], but I know that she is in a better place and enjoying the company of Great Grandpa. Tell everyone I love them and give them my support.

This week will be awesome! We are going to travel to Lima to receive training from Elder Bednar!! I can't wait to be able to receive the revelation that he has for us. We have been preparing for a couple weeks now and the day is finally here. It will be with our mission, Lima East, Central and the MTC of Peru. What a great opportunity to have an apostle come to Peru. I can't wait and next week will tell you all that happens!!

It is crazy to think that at the end of this transfer I will have 15 months in the mission. I only have 6 transfers left! The time has literally passed by soo fast and I am enjoying every minute of it. It really has been the best two years of my life and I cant wait to come home and apply all of the things that I have learned here.

I love you guys soo much and a lott!!!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 17, 2015

Aug 17 - Ayacucho

Dear All,

[We brought Mike up to speed on the health challenges of several extended family members] What an eventful week for all of you guys. I will definitely be praying for the whole family and tell everyone that I love them and miss them.

This week we found two new investigators that now have baptism dates. They are so prepared to receive the gospel and accepted baptism dates for the 19th of September. Their names are Isabel and Mirian. With Isabel, the lesson was so powerful. The spirit was so awesome. We asked her if she believed that this message could help her family, and she started crying. We then taught her the Restauracion of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She has such a desire to be baptized and I hope that we can do our part to help her in this journey.

This week we also ate fried guinea pig! hahaha Soo weird but actually wasnt that bad. I wrote Granny, that the whole time I was eating it i was thinking of paulie [our pet guinea pig from several few years ago] hahahah. Tastes like chicken :) but their is just a little meat! We will have to see what other interesting food I will eat in these coming weeks.

I love you guys soo much and especially this week my prayers will be with Bryan, Great Grandma, Dad, and Allie. As long as we are close the gospel whatever happens we will have the comfort that it is all in God's plan. What a blessing to have the knowledge that we have, that death is just a step in the process.

Love you guys sooo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson Baby

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aug 10 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

I hope that it is all doing good! This week has been awesome! I am getting used to climbing hills all day and the altitude. It has definitely been an adjustment but it is awesome!

We have a baptism planned for the 22nd of August of brother Daniel. The hard thing is that we have to help him get married in order to be baptized because he is living with his girlfriend who is a member. It is interesting that the majority if not all aren't married here in Peru. It means more work but it is worth it. It is so great to be able to unite families and bring them to the temple. I have 3 or 4 families that I will be able to go with them to be sealed in the temple.

I can't wait to come home and see everything that has changed. Tell everyone that I love them and miss them. I will keep working hard to make you guys proud of me!

I will fill out the form and then get it to you next week. I have plans to go to BYU now with a group of us here in the mission. There are like 5 or 6 of us and I can't wait! It will be awesome!

I love you guys soo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 3, 2015

Aug 3 - Ayacucho

Hello All,

This week was great! We had the baptism of Helen, a girl who is 12 years old. She is awesome and it is such a testimony builder to teach her and see her progress. She has a testimony of Joseph Smith and everything. I can see her being a missionary and changing the lives of tons of people. Such a blessing to be able to help others come unto Christ.

Joey, Grace, and Emily, I hope that you guys are doing well. The mission is awesome! I love it and I know that you guys will have the opportunity also to serve the Lord and invite others to come unto Christ. I love you guys so much and hope that all is good. Keep reading your scriptures everyday and it will bless and change your life forever. Love you soooo much!!!

I am starting to get used to Ayacucho.. It is really different but the culture here is amazing! The people are so humble and willing to sacrifice everything for God. What a blessing to be able to be in this area. I hope that I will be an effective tool in the hands of God and be able to work hard in this area.

Tell everyone that I love them and give them my love. The time is going by sooo fast and next thing we know we will all be hanging out at Grannys house watching a movie and going to bear lake playing golf!

I love you sooo much and a lot!

Elder Johnson Baby