Wednesday, July 31, 2013


This week went super fast. I can hardly believe that I'm here at the computer once again. But here I am!

This week was a really good week of learning for me. I am still not completely adjusted to the work, but I took some major steps this week. One of the things that I did that really helped me progress is that I translated again yesterday for a full talk and about half of the next. That is definitely a test of understanding the language. I have no idea what it would be like to translate from english to spanish though. Eventually I'll get there, but maybe give me a few weeks or more haha.

We had the opportunity to teach some really great lessons this week. One of them was with Gloria. Gloria is really prepared for baptism. She has a great knowledge of the doctrine, and is working hard to stop drinking coffee. Our goal with her is stop drinking by this saturday, and baptism on the 17th of August! She is timid about the baptismal date, but we gave her a blessing to help her quit drinking coffee, and to help her reach the 17th. So if all goes as planned, we should have a baptism on the 17th and the 24th with Ellie! We also have another super great investigator named Judit who is ready for baptism. It has been a really hard struggle though for her to get work off on sundays. She is a super humble woman and deals with really hard circumstances, and really wants to be baptized. I think we made a breakthrough this week by teaching her with sister Foster. She is such an enthusiastic member missionary! I love it! She is going to be a big help to Judit to get her out of her job.

The great thing about missionary work is that you are never alone. You always have the support of your companion. You always have the support and love of the members. You always have the support and excitement of other missionaries, district leaders, zone leaders, and your president. We live out here alone, but we are never alone. Most of all we always have the support of our heavenly father. He loves the missionaries, and he loves the members, and especially loves each non-member as well. It is through each other that we are fortified and strengthened.

One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot since getting out is a phrase, that I can't even remember. But it talks about how without momentum, we aren't being effective enough. So we can do all the right things and be a good person, but without momentum in the work, and really without momentum in our lives, we don't reach our potential. So my challenge for me first of all, and to all reading this letter, is to create momentum. Start rolling the snow ball down the hill. Don't let it stop. Take care of anything that would inhibit your desire to serve the lord and to continue on.

I know that the Lord is with us. I know that he knows us personally. His love for us is infinite and pure.
I love you all so much and hope you all have a really great week!

Open your mouth! :)

Elder Johnson

1st week!!!

Holy cow!! It feels so weird to call this my first week! I definitely don't feel like a veteran missionary, but it feels like this has been my life for a long time, and that this is the purpose of my life. I am sooo happy to be here in North Carolina! My first area is the Cary 3rd ward, well the spanish branch in our stake. It's pretty small, but they're a lively bunch! There are some families here who are so into missionary work! I love them so much! We have also been fed every night that I have been here except for one. Pretty cool. The bad news about that is that since June 5th, it seems that I have gained almost 10 lbs. I've got to be careful... But the food here is amazing! Well really it's all hispanic food, so it doesn't matter where you are, it's amazing.

This week I have been learning so much. There is so much to learn in the mission field. One of the biggest ones I'm finding is to put yourself out there. When I was really comfortable with all of my friends and family that wasn't very hard. It's different now haha. I have to trust that whatever spanish comes out of my mouth is going to make sense. But once I forget about the spanish and just start talking to someone, all the spanish I need comes, and it goes great! But even with english contacts that we make, it is all about forgetting yourself and just talking. Just ask them some questions and get to know them. It is hard, but so worth it.

One of the hardest things I have had to do so far is make phone calls in spanish. Wow. If it's hard to communicate in person, how much harder it is to understand and communicate over the phone. They have no idea that I'm not as good as my companion! But oh well. As well as with everything else, I can only do it by trying. I have seen miracles with my ability to communicate as I have just tried.

So, my companion. He is amazing! Everyone in our area lets me know that I am with one of the greatest spanish speakers and the greatest teachers. It is so true. He is very fun, and very diligent. He has been awesome to work with, and has helped me to reach my potential every day. We have a really good time together.

Investigators and Miracles. Wow. We don't have too many investigators, but we have quite a few. Only two of them have a baptismal date, but hopefully that changes. So really, all of that is a miracle. We have investigators with baptismal dates! One of them is super solid. Her name is Elidad. We just barely put her down for the 24th of August, and I got to invite her...with a little help from Elder Sullivan. After inviting her there was a really long silence. Oh how the spirit was working on her the whole lesson! Her husband Dean is a less active returning member. He was pro as Elder Sullivan called him. He was so helpful to help Ellie make a decision to go for the 24th. Another investigator is Gloria. Soon she'll have a date too. She is from el salvador, and pretty hard to understand. But we had a lesson with her yesterday. She just needs to give up that last cup of coffee every day and come to church. Other than that she is pretty ready.

The hispanic people are so nice. I love it! I pray that this week we'll be able to find some new investigators to continue a good teaching pool. We always need to be finding.

I love it here! I definitely sweat, but I have loved the climate so much and all the green trees! It definitely isn't Utah, but I don't mind being surrounded by trees at all. It is wonderful.

I am so grateful to be a missionary. It has changed my life, because I am learning what to be for the rest of my life. I know that this gospel is true. Like you said Marci, doubts come, but there is no doubt that can't be immediately cast out by the love of God and the truths of the gospel. I love this gospel and the love that God our Father has for each and every one of us.

Have a great week! And don't forget to share the gospel! Get some cards and share! Get out of your comfort zone and be willing to talk to someone. No one will be offended that you are interested in who they are and what they stand for. Everyone can be our friend!

Les Quiero mucho!
Elder Johnson

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

First pictures from the mission field

We just received these pictures from the mission field today.

Elder Johnson (right) with his new companion, Elders Sullivan
Serving in Apex, NC

Elder Adam Hall and Elder Johnson - back door neighbors now serving in the same mission

Sunday, July 14, 2013

El campo blanco está ya para la siega!

Well, I am headed off for the field this Monday!! My flight is at 7:30 in the morning and I have to report to the travel office at the MTC at 3:30 in the morning! I am so excited to go! We have 14 missionaries leaving this Monday from our zone! It is such an exciting time! I am so excited to get out into the field and to start the 12 week training program and to learn from my trainer. We have learned AWESOME stuff here at the MTC, but it is definitely time to leave! I am so excited to go speak with the natives who live in North Carolina. Elder Padilla and I jump at any chance we get to speak with natives here at the MTC. It is so much fun!

This morning our district had the chance to clean the temple. That was pretty cool. We were able to clean half of the endowment rooms and then take a simple tour of the temple. We got to go to the bridal room, and it was gorgeous! Definitely worth spending our P-Day cleaning in the temple. The funny thing was on the way back, at the intersection outside of the MTC, there were some protesters. It was dang funny! And it was so sad! They were saying such true words, but they lacked some very key parts of the gospel! They don't understand the Atonement! I pray that I will be able to help the people in North Carolina to understand what the Atonement is, and how amazing it is, and HOW we can use it.

This week was a great week. Probably one of the greatest highlights for me was seeing Dallin Hatch at the piano playing his own hymn medley in front of the whole MTC. That song truly is a beautiful song. It makes me so happy to be here with him and sharing the gospel along side members of our own ward.

Another random highlight is that I found out that Elder Padilla and I are related!!!! It's not very close...but who cares! And it's through the Hatches line! So yeah, go back six generations to Hezekiah Hatch and that's our great....grandpa! We're through different wives, but same Hezekiah.

Another random thing...We had a devotional with L. Lionel Kendrick which was awesome! He so happens to be the father of President Kendrick in Carlsbad! :D He spoke with such power, and was an answer to my prayers, and to several in our district.

I don't know quite what else to say, but to bear my testimony and to share advice from the few experiences I have had here in the MTC.
Don't ever doubt what you know. Don't ever doubt something you believe. Don't ever doubt that you can some day believe. I know that this gospel is true. It truly brings such pure joy into our lives. I am so thankful for the time that I have had here in the MTC to prepare myself to help others know these same truths. I am so thankful that I have been able to take the time here to ponder my testimony and what I know and believe. I have been molded already by the will of the lord. Though, he needs a different sculpture every day from us, even if it's a sculpture of a missionary every time. It is our job to let him change us. So I'm not done being molded, at all. My time here at the MTC has been completely different than what I thought it would be like. The difficulties completely different than I ever imagined possible. But they are exactly what my companion and I have needed.
I love this gospel and I love the Lord. Make it a goal to spend time to specifically think about Jesus every day. I promise that everything in your day will make sense, and your days will go so much better.

Next time I write you all I will be in the field! Thanks so much for all the support you give me!

Les quiero mucho!
Elder Johnson

- - -
Mass exodus from the Marriot. You'll never see so many missionaries. Looks exactly like the exodus from Egypt.

My flower in the window from mom! I love it!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Real Missionary!

Well another really really fast week has gone by! It is so hard to believe that I am only going to be here for 11 more days! It is amazing to look back on this week and see where I was, and where I am right now. It is a big difference. My companion and I have come leaps and bounds this past week. We would never have been able to make this jump without the first three weeks as well, but something just clicked this week for us. And there is so much more to learn. I am so excited to jump right into the 12 week training program in the field. The spanish is coming along really well. I study about 70% of my personal study in spanish now, and as a district we are speaking a lot more every day. Really the hardest part is just to keep speaking it. But our district made a goal to speak it all the time, unless we couldn't say it in spanish, but we can say about 80% of the day in spanish, so we do now! When you have a goal that you are trying to reach, and you believe you can do it, it is so much fun to try for it! This week I have really been growing in my testimony of the power of a plan and goals. They make every single day so much more effective and every single activity you do more effective. You can show immense faith through your planning. And you will receive inspiration as you take the time to plan and set goals.

One of my favorite things here at the MTC is the tuesday devotional. This week we were able to listen to a talk by brother Matthew O. Richardson. He gave such an amazing talk. He talked about his desires as a young missionary as written in his journal, and being eager in his soul. He talked about being pointed out by a small 6 year old girl asking, "Grandma, is that a real missionary??" I have been thinking a lot about that phrase, and what does it mean to be a real missionary. He talked a lot about that, and how we can always ask ourselves, what would a real missionary do? What would a real husband do? What would a real Father do? What would a real member do? That is definitely going to stay with me.

I am so excited that I have been called as a real missionary! I have been called to be the hero of some six year old girl. And more importantly, I have been called to be a representative of Christ, and to show the world, how real he is, because I am a real missionary. I am so excited to leave in 11 days to go serve the people of NC as a real representative of Christ.

Real quickly I want to share a fourth of July scripture.

Alma 48:11(11-13)

Y era Moroni un hombre fuerte y poderoso, un hombre
de un entendimiento perfecto; sí, un hombre que no se deleitaba
en derramar sangre; un hombre cuya alma se regocijaba en
la libertad e independencia de su país, y en que sus hermanos se libraran
de la servidumbre y la esclavitud;

I love this gospel and I love the light that he grants us in our life. He is always there. His light will fill the entire world. That is going to be such a glorious day. Thank you for your support! I love you all!

Elder Johnson