Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Hey Everybody! They just told us that we can either call you guys on Christmas Eve like we had planned, or on Christmas Day. Which day would be better? I’m really fine either way, the only difference is that on Christmas Eve it would be in the afternoon and on Christmas day it would be a little earlier like at 11 or 12 or something so that we have time to eat the turkey and shrimp we bought today. Oh ya, today my companion and I bought an 8 kilogram turkey and the other 2 elders that are going to come over for the feast bought 2 kilos of shrimp. It should be pretty cool because we can’t go out in the streets that whole day so we’ll just eat a lot and then who knows what we’ll day the rest of the time. Actually this last Wednesday we couldn’t leave the whole day either because it was the Dia de Guadalupe, and that meant there were lots of fiestas. And a lot of fiestas means a lot of drunk people in the streets. It was pretty fun though we bought pizza with the other missionaries and played my new board game I bought and just chilled in the house. This week we’ve really focused on working with the members, and with doing that we were able to find some people through references and through other less active members. We didn’t baptize anybody this week, but A got confirmed and paid his first tithing yesterday. M couldn’t go to church because their baby girls were both sick and she didn’t sleep until 4 in the morning and our ward starts at 8 in the morning. They are some of the coolest converts I’ve baptized, and A´s dad lives by Cancun so I told him one day we’ll meet up there! There’s a family here that lives in our ward and their son is on a mission right now as well. They remind me a ton of you guys because they just want to do everything for us and love us as if we were their son. I know that for the sacrifices of our parents, (mostly the moms), the Lord blesses both our families and us as missionaries. I’ve seen so many blessings in different ways during my mission. The Lord is always guiding us to exactly where we need to be. I know that He protects us as well, and for as ugly as the environment here is, He always keeps us safe and out of harm’s way. I know that this church is true, and though we as members aren’t perfect, the Doctrine of Christ is and by living it we can really be happy and have joy, no matter what worldly possessions we have or in what circumstances we live. The true definition of joy is being well with God. I love you and can’t wait to talk to you guys this week. ¡Feliz Navidad! Elder Johnson I was washing my clothes so I kept it really classy with the red shiny shorts and white shirt...
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Hey Mommy! Thanks for all the pictures; it looks like quite the adventure you guys had with the Christmas tree! Was it worse than the time we went and walked forever and you cried? Does it look like you’ll be having a white Christmas or is the snow already melting? So this last Thursday we had our zone conference/ Christmas get together. It was with our zone and one other. First we had training from a stake president, President Morales and the assistentes and then we ate. It was one of the first meals I’ve had in 9 months where we didn’t eat tortillas it was a nice change! Also we have a devastating new rule here in our mission; we can no longer eat tacos from the street! It’s really sad I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to handle it, I love tacos al pastor! No but really it’s because a lot of missionaries have been getting sick to their stomachs and appendixes and everything. Well anyways after everybody talked there was a funny talent show and that was pretty much it. I got 2 packages from you guys, and don’t worry I’m saving them till Christmas to open them. My companion and I have been getting in the Christmas spirit; we even bought a mini fake pine tree and Christmas lights to put on it. The only problem is the little tree is too small to hold all the lights so we’re still trying to come up with a better idea to put the lights. A and M got married on Wednesday, and then on Sunday they were able to get baptized. Their baptism was really cool because M’s whole family came and our mission president came as well to our ward yesterday. They’re a golden couple and are going to be great converts. We actually just got done doing a family home evening with them and some other members in the ward. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to teach the rest of the family as well now. They told us we’ll be calling our families on the 24th. I’ll be skyping you guys on Christmas Eve in the afternoon, about what time would be best for you guys? Are you going to go see Jerry that day? I still haven’t bought the turkey yet but I talked to the sister and she supposedly knows how to cook it. They’re excited for the turkey dinner, and one of the less active sisters I invited already invited her non member son to come. Sorry the letter is pretty short today, its because I haven’t had time and the computer I was using earlier wouldn’t let me type very well so I just reported to the mission president and then we had to leave to go the family home evening. Today we had a zone meeting in the morning and then after we went with 2 other missionaries to eat pizza at Domino’s and then we went to Bodega Aurrera, its a big store owned by Wal-Mart, I’m not sure what the difference is or why they have both of the stores here but ya. I bought a board game that’s the Mexican equivalent of Monopoly today because we’re going to have to stay in our house a couple of days this month for the holidays and safety reasons. I love you guys, I’m really going to miss not being with you guys for Christmas, but I know that this area, and exactly this ward is where I need to be. I’ve seen the Lord’s hand in the work we’re doing here and wouldn’t change this blessing for anything. Have a great week and be careful in the snow! The Elder Johnson El misionero mas guapo de la mision Mexico Ciudad de Mexico Sureste...(The cutest missionary in the Southeastern Mexico Mexico City Mission...) I agree!
Monday, December 3, 2012
Hey Mom! I’m glad you guys have had a good and busy week, and it sounds like you guys are going to be busy again this week! How’s the weather in Utah right now? Are you going to have a white Christmas? The mouse story sounds way funny; I can just picture all you guys freaking out ha ha. Everything is going really good here. We went to the temple on Tuesday to accompany the family that got sealed. I got to talk hunting for the first time since I’ve been Mexico because the old man that was working at the front desk lives on the Arizona strip, right by Kanab and told about a huge buck he killed on the Kaibab. Sorry I got a little distracted but anyways the temple is super cool here. First we went with the couple to do a session and take out their endowments and then we went to the sealing room where they were sealed together along with their 2 little kids. It was a super cool experience and the Spirit was so strong there. It was also really neat to go through the temple for the first time in Español. This Wednesday, a couple that we’re teaching is going to get married lawfully so that they can get baptized on Sunday. They have 2 little girls, and it’ll be great for them to get married and then prepare to get sealed with their kids in 1 year. This couple is golden, they actually had gotten to know some missionaries from another mission a while ago, but just barely moved here and saw us in the street the other day and contacted us and told us to come by their house. My companion and I were both amazed when they talked to us, they’re golden! I can see that the Lord is blessing us, although we don’t knock doors anymore or anything, we’ve still always been able to find people in lots of other ways that want to learn about our message. I’ve realized that I’ve really fallen in love with the scriptures. It’s awesome looking for an answer to a question I have and always finding it there. It also helps a ton to really be familiar with the scriptures and to always be able to answer people’s questions with a base rather than just giving them a mediocre answer or using my own opinion. Sometimes people have some pretty interesting questions! Well we have an appointment right now with the couple that’s getting baptized this week so I got to go. Thank you so much for everything. I’m grateful for all the blessings we enjoy as members of the Church. The gospel really does help us in every aspect of our lives when we really live it and apply it. Have a great week, I love you! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Hey mom! Thanksgiving sounds like it was really good, I actually forgot it was even Thanksgiving this week until I looked at my watch on Thursday afternoon and saw the date. I ate Mexican pizza that day if you’re wondering, ya with beans, avocados, chilis and everything like that, you know I definitely would rather have turkey! Where are you guys going to go to cut down the Christmas tree? Yes I still remember when you thought you were going to died and started crying when we went 2 years ago, that was pretty funny. Today we went and played soccer as a zone, and then ate hot dogs and had a class after. There are 24 of us in the zone in total. Transfers are tomorrow, but my companion and I are both staying here en La Perla. We’ve really been able to improve the missionary work here a lot, in August, September, and October there were 0 baptisms here, and in this month we’ve been really blessed to have been able to have 5 baptisms. I know the success isn’t in the numbers, but we’ve really been working hard to help the members of the ward a lot. This week we visited some less active members and they told us they were going to be moving to another apartment so we told them we would help them. We couldn’t find a member with car that could help us, but we found a tricycle and moved everything with that! Can you believe we fit 2 dressers and 2 mattresses on one tricycle? 2 other missionaries came and helped us and it took more than 5 hours to move everything. This is the tricycle that we used to help them move.
Hola everybody! How’s everybody doing? That’s weird that Thanksgiving is this week I had really pretty much forgotten about it, Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here. That’s way cool you’ll be having the missionaries over, I’m sure they’ll really appreciate it. So today I don’t have very much time sorry its because we went to downtown Mexico City today where all the cool stores and everything is. "Buen Fin" started on Friday and lasted until today and it’s the Mexican equivalent of Black Friday in the US so there were lots of good deals in the stores today and I bought a cool suit and like 8 ties. Well first things first; I’ve mastered boiling eggs this week so when I get home if you ever need a boiled egg just tell me. I don’t eat the yolks though just the white part so no need to worry about my cholesterol. Actually maybe you do need to worry about my cholesterol, you see a member in our ward just started his own taco stand and he gives us free tacos whenever we walk by. The taco stand leads to another story, we went to his house the other day and he asked us if we could help him move a little cart down 2 floors on son pretty scary staircases that don’t have a rail. I really wasn’t too worried until we got up onto his roof and it was a giant stainless steel taco stand. Well anyways we moved it down in the first flight of scary stairs ok, but when we got the other scary flight of stairs that was even smaller my rather chubby companion couldn’t fit to help us so it was just the brother and me carrying it. For some reason he dropped the cart and it happened to land right on my big toe. After swearing in my head in Spanish we finished moving it down really fast. It hurt pretty badly at first and they told me to take my shoe off and a grandma rubbed some magic cream on it that was supposed to help. I’m not sure if it was the magic cream or if The Lord blessed me but the next day it didn’t really hurt at all and I’ve been able to walk everywhere just fine. Blessings of being a missionary! A couple weeks ago a 13 year old girl contacted us in the street, and ever since then we’ve been working really hard with their family. This family has hard lots of big problems, but we’ve been really trying to help them and they’ve found comfort in the gospel. The son that would be 20 years old right now just like me was actually kidnapped by a gang about 2 years ago and held for ransom. After doing everything they could, the police called the mom and told her that they had found a body in a canal close by. She went to the scene and after watching the police pull the body out saw that it was her son. I have no idea how somebody could cope with something like that happening. We’ve really been trying to help her a lot and she really changed after we taught her the plan of salvation with the cutouts you sent me. She’s divorced, but her and her oldest daughter got baptized on Saturday, and the other daughter will be turning 8 on December 5th and already wants to get baptized as well. Thanks so much for everything guys, sorry the letter is kind of short this week. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and have a good time with the missionaries and everything. I love you!
Monday, November 12, 2012
Hello Dearest family, That’s crazy you guys got so much snow this week, I’m jealous! I think I’m going to print out a couple of the pics you sent me and show the people here so they’ll stop complaining about the cold! Because it really is not that cold here at all, ha ha. I can’t believe Dane comes home this week, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when we went to Hooters and everything to say goodbye to him. So this week was a little different with the new way we’re working. It’s weird to not be able to knock doors, we passed by lots of members and tried to get references, but this new way is going to be a little slower I think because the members tell us the people that they think of as references but then we have to wait until they go and pass by their people and see if they want to listen to us or not. It will be good though because more of the people that we find will be able to progress because they’ll already have friends or family who are members. We actually have a couple of baptisms planned for this week of people that contacted us in the street a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday we had stake conference here. It was really cool because it was a broadcast of Richard G Scott and a couple other people from the 70 that speak Spanish. I think Elder Scott speaks Spanish the best out of the 12 apostles. It was more of a regional conference because it was broadcast to this whole area, and I think they actually broadcast it from the United States. I really liked what Lynn G Robbins said at the conference that "enduring to the end isn’t being perfect but getting up every time you fall". It made me feel good to think that we don’t have to be exactly perfect, but we need to always be improving and correcting our mistakes. I found out this week that I can sew! One of my pockets ripped and just for fun I was going to see if I could sew it and I actually was able to do it! It was the first time I’ve sewn on my mission, but now I’ve been looking for other things to sew because it was kind of fun and I was really proud of myself. I got your Plan of Salvation cutouts a couple of weeks ago, sorry I thought I told you. They’re perfect; we’ve used them in lessons and everything, thank you! I’ll let you know when I get the Christmas packages. I have no idea how Christmas will be down here or what we do as missionaries. I’m sure I’ll be able to Skype again but I’ll let you know when they give us more info about that. I love you guys, I hope you have a great week and make sure to be safe in the snow! Love Elder Johnson
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
¡Hey Family! I’m glad to hear that there’s been so much going on, don’t feel bad about the letter being long, I like to hear everything. That’s great Presidente Morales wrote you guys for the first time, it’s funny that I’ve been senior companion for a couple months and he just barely wrote to tell you guys about it. Halloween sounds like it was pretty fun. It’s weird to think I’ll be home for Halloween next year. Its crazy it seems like a ton of people are getting married right now! I’ll be sure to pray for Lisa, hopefully she can get better really soon. Today we had a zone meeting in the morning so now the rest of the day is free to do whatever. We went shopping and bought a bunch of stuff that the house really needed, like a toilet seat for example!! There’s not a Wal-Mart here but we went to Comercial Mexicana, it’s a big supermarket chain store but it’s out of our area so we have to ask permission to be able to go. So on Wednesday this week we baptized a sister named M. It was great to finally have a baptism in my new area; in fact it was the first baptism here since July! M also got confirmed yesterday and I’m sure she’s going to be a great convert. We’ve been finding lots of other new people here, and hopefully we should be having more baptisms in the coming weeks. There’s been a big change in the mission here these last couple of weeks, and starting today it is in effect 100%, we can no longer knock doors looking for people to teach. We’re supposed to focus on working only with references from the members, and if we have extra time we can contact inspired people the street. It’ll be interesting to see how it changes the mission, I think about 3/4 of the baptisms I’ve had have been references though so hopefully we can have even more baptisms by focusing on working with the members. On Thursday in the morning my district leader called me excited to tell us that we were all going to the temple! He said he didn’t know why but Presidente wanted everybody at the temple at 2 o clock that same day. We hurried and got ready to go, because it takes a while to get there in the bus and metro. A couple minutes later our district leader called back but this time he wasn’t so excited, we were only going to the temple to get a shot!! My excitement quickly turned to fear because you know how bad I hate needles! I was pretty brave though and we got to go to Burger King in DF after so it was worth it I guess. Every missionary that had been on the mission for at least 1 year had to go and get a flu shot. It turns out the new mission doctor for all of Mexico City is from Gunnison Utah and has a daughter that lives in Spanish Fork in Abbey Court. El Día de Muertos this week was pretty cool, the people put out an offering of a bunch of food and everything on a table and it’s supposedly for their loved ones that have died, so that they can come and eat the feast. Well as you probably thought the dead people don’t really need the food that bad, and 3 days after when the food is still on the table the people have a party and eat it all. It’s a really cool holiday I guess I’m thinking about instituting it in our house when I get back, ha just kidding we have Halloween. I still haven’t boiled the eggs yet, but I’ll let you know when I do because it should be pretty interesting! I got the box today that you sent with Brother Garcia, tell him thank you very much. Thank you guys very much too, I have to say the coolest thing in there is the little Preach My Gospel, you have no idea how much better that is going to feel in my backpack! Well anyways I got to go, just want to tell you that I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that through his Atonement we can all return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. I hope you guys have a great week, I love you! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Greetings from Nezahualcoyotl! See Mom I told you everything would go good with the ward Halloween party and your program! I wish I could’ve have seen the primary program, that’s always one of the funniest Sacrament meetings, and the Spirit is strong too. Are there any big plans for Halloween this week? Con and his date look pretty funny as pirates. Here they don’t really do a whole lot for Halloween; it’s all about the Dia de Muertos here. Tell Mason congrats on his first buck, but it’s not as cool as Goliath! Well it’s kind of weird to think that I’ve been on the mission for a year. I opened the hump day package in the morning and then that night I burnt my shirt as the sacrifice. Looking back on the mission it really has gone by pretty fast, and its crazy to think that in just one more year I’ll be back home hunting again, oh ya and spending time with you guys too ha-ha! My comp has already been wearing the shirt you sent him, thanks a lot for the package it was way cool. We scared the hermana that we live with when we burnt my shirt because we poured alcohol on it and everything and the flames were giant and I think she thought we were going to burn the house down. The work is going pretty good here in La Perla, we found 11 new investigators this week and taught quite a few lessons. We weren’t able to have the baptism because the lady had to leave and take care of her parents who got sick, but she’s getting baptized this Wednesday instead. We also should be having another baptism this week if everything goes well, the only problem we could have with the investigator is that she has to stop smoking and has had problems doing it but we’re going to pass by her tomorrow and talk really well with her and give her a blessing. My companion is pretty cool and we get along great and we’ve been working super hard. Even though I usually don’t realize it, I really have changed a ton this first year on the mission. I’ve been worrying more about other people than myself, and that’s something I didn’t really do at home. Lots of time I wake up the middle of the night worried about different investigators and how we can help them to get baptized and change their lives. I know that is the Lord’s work and there is nothing better that I could be doing with my life right now. Thanks for everything Mom, have a great week with Halloween and everything. Oh and a big question, how do you boil eggs? I’m not dumb; I know you put them in boiling water but for how long? The yolk is where all the cholesterol is so I should eat that right? If you could tell me how to cook those that would be great, I’m sick of greasy everything. Well anyways take care I love you! Elder Johnson
¡Hola Familia! Wow that’s great you got to watch all 4 sections of conference. That’s crazy that Connor can now leave when he’s 18, the first thing I thought was that I might not be seeing him now for almost 4 years! Let me know what he decides with that, and I’ll talk to him more about it too. Mexico was the only country where missionaries could leave at the age of 18 before, so that wasn’t really big news to the people here. With the ages changing to 18 and 19 years old for girls I think there are going to be a lot more missionaries serving everywhere. We watched the conference in the stake center and I was able to watch almost all of it, and in ENGLISH! I can understand it just fine in Español but I like hearing their original voices a lot better. We had our own classroom for all the gringos to watch the conference. Elder Holland’s talk was my favorite I think, when he asked if we really love the Savior. So remember the investigator D? Well we’ve still been working with him a lot still, and he was able leave his addictions and was able to get baptized this week! I baptized my amigo on Friday, and it’s truly amazing to see the changes he’s made in his life. One year ago he was selling illegal drugs in the roughest part of all of Mexico City, (missionaries aren’t even allowed to go into this place for safety reasons), 6 months ago he was in a rehabilitation center for drugs, and then this week he officially left all that behind and made a covenant with the Lord! I love seeing people change and find a happiness in this life that can’t be obtained through other means. So my convert, M that I baptized in April was excited to go to his first General Conference, but about the week before his appendix ruptured and he had surgery. The healthcare isn’t quite the same here as in Dad’s hospital and where they cut him open, opened back up and he had to have another little procedure done to sew it back together on Saturday. We passed by to check on him Sunday morning, and he told us that he was going to go to conference with us. We told him he that he shouldn’t but he insisted that he was going to come so we went together. After the first 2 hours I saw him and he was in a lot of pain. His cut had opened back up and there was blood on his white shirt. Elder F and me grabbed a first aid kit from the office and went into a classroom to see if we could do anything to help him. He took his old bandage off and I almost fainted! I could pretty much see his guts! The Lord gave me strength though, and because Elder F is just like me with blood, I had to clean out his wound first with gauze and medicine, and then patch it back up with more gauze and then we gave him a blessing. I’m getting to be pretty good with the medical stuff now; I’m thinking I might be a doctor now when I get home! The English classes are still going really good. The only thing is that I gave the prayer in English to end our classes the other day, and I’ve realized I’ve completely forgotten how to pray in English. I haven’t said an English prayer out loud or personally since the MTC, it was so weird! My "students" were all laughing after because they recognized a couple of Spanish words mixed in my English prayer. I’m almost sure this is my last week in Texcoco, I’m really going to miss it here. I have no idea where I’ll be going, but I’ll let you guys know as soon as I do. Thanks so much for everything; I’ll let you know when I get the packages. I hope you guys have a great week, and tell dad and Connor to keep sending me hunting pictures, even though they make me jealous. I love you! Elder Johnson
October 22, 2012 Dearest Family, Wow can I just tell you guys that I HATE packing! I was up until 1 in the morning the night before the changes, and then woke up at 5 the next morning to finish everything. I found out that I’ve accumulated quite a bit of things over the last 7 months in Texcoco, and that I’ll need to buy another suitcase sometime soon! I ended up filling my 3 suitcases completely full with everything and then had 2 cardboard boxes full of stuff and 2 other bags as well. Luckily, a sister from the ward took me to Santa Martha, where the whole mission meets for the changes and there everybody leaves all of their luggage outside while we have a meeting with President where we find out the changes that are going to happen in the mission. I am now with Elder R, in the area La Perla and our zone is called La Perla as well. I had never met Elder R before, but he’s a pretty nice guy and has 20 months on the mission. I’m senior companion, but I’ve been following him around all week because I’m not very familiar with the area yet. All the streets look the same, and you know how I am with directions, let’s just say I’m always super lost! Our area here is really small, because we’re in the city of Nezahualcoyotl and its super populated. There are a ton of people that live here so there’s lots of work to do. We can get to every part of my area by walking, which is way different than Texcoco where we always had to spend money on transportation. There hasn’t been a baptism in this area in more than 3 months, but this week we’re going to have a baptism! It’s actually been really cool; a couple of people contacted us in the streets and said they wanted to learn more. That hardly ever happens; usually we’re the ones that contact them! The members here are really good too, and they seem to work with us. Our house is super small here; we don’t even have a kitchen. Actually the little electric grill we have is on top of the fridge that is right next to the table where we study. I honestly think my bedroom at home is bigger than our whole house! To have hot water we have to go up to the roof and turn on the boiler with a lighter every morning and then wait about a half hour. We do live in front of some members though and they let us use their kitchen when we want. Elder S and Elder G that were with me in the MTC are both in my district here, so it’s pretty cool to be able to see them. I got the hump day package on Monday, but I’m waiting until the 26th to open it just like the box says! Jarrett had written me last week and told me was getting married, that’s great for him. Keep me updated on the other weddings too. Good luck with your crazy week, I’m sure your program will be great, don’t worry too much about it! Let me know how it goes and keep me updated on all the news. Oh and tell Brock to give me the updates on the World Series too. I love you! El Elder Johnson
Monday, October 15, 2012
Hey Mommy! What’s everybody been up to? How’s everybody doing? Wow, I can’t believe you guys did that to the car! Ha if I were you I wouldn’t let dad off the hook that easy! But you’re right, stuff happens sometimes. I haven’t gotten the letter with the plan of salvation stuff or the package, but hopefully they’re at the changes tomorrow. Yep, it’s official tomorrow I’m leaving Texcoco, but I have no idea where I’m going or who with. Elder J will be staying here. It’s been hard to say goodbye to everybody, and I’m going to miss them a lot. At the same time though I’m excited to get to know another area and start working there. This week we had another baptism of a teenage girl named M. She had lots of doubts when we were teaching her a couple weeks ago, but we helped her a lot and we committed her on Tuesday to getting baptized on Sunday and she accepted it. She asked me if I would baptize her, and it was great to be able to baptize somebody my last week in Texcoco. The only thing, I don’t know if you remember how I told you the church ran out of gas for the boiler, well anyways there still isn’t any gas and we had to fill the font with really cold water. I was freezing after, and I can only imagine how cold the poor girl was who got baptized! Yesterday at church we had five confirmations from people we had baptized the 2 weeks before, because we couldn’t confirm anybody during conference. Also, 8 of my different converts shared their testimonies in sacrament meeting. It was awesome to see the progress they’ve made from when I first met them. This week I’ve eaten so much, I’m getting so fat, a Gold’s Gym pass is the first thing I’m buying when I get home! Lots of people knew I was leaving and everybody wanted to feed us, and we can’t say no to anybody! Tonight we’re going to go say bye to some more people, and then a hermana from my ward is going to take us to Santa Martha, where everybody meets for the changes. You know how I like to wait until the last minute to do everything, well I still haven’t started to pack, so I might not be sleeping very much tonight. Anyways I gotta run and do a couple things before I leave, sorry I don’t have too much time today. I hope you guys have a great week! I love you! The Elder Johnson
Monday, October 1, 2012
Hey Mom, That’s crazy the Bud’s are already home, the time is going by super fast. Poor Uncle Jerry I feel so bad for him, hopefully he gets better fast. That’s good that he hasn’t been in too much pain though. I’m sorry you have to go to the dentist tomorrow. That does not sound very much fun at all to have a root canal! Good luck! I actually went to the dentist this week too for the first time and Mexico, and let’s just say it’s not quite the same as Dr Francis´ office. I just went to get my teeth whitened though. One of the ladies that works there is a member and they gave us a super good discount. I’m going back on Thursday again to get them whitened and check for cavities. The English classes are actually coming pretty good and I’ve had about 14 different students so far. I’ve realized I know more about Spanish than I thought. This week for conference we’re going to the stake center to watch it with lots of members and all the 22 missionaries from our zone. It’s not on TV here, but the members can watch it on internet if they have a computer. This last Monday I was really worried that we weren’t going to have a baptism this week. On Tuesday we went to eat with E and his family, who are investigators and while we were eating he told us that this Sunday (yesterday) that him, his wife and his granddaughters were going to get baptized. I was super shocked but super excited to be able have 4 baptisms this week. It was truly a miracle from the Lord because 2 days before at church he told us that he would not be getting baptized for a while because he didn’t feel ready and wanted to wait. His service was super special and lots of people were crying because the Spirit was so strong. Everything is going really good, still here in Texcoco. I’ve memorized most of the stray dogs here because I’ve been here so long, but I really like the people here and have had lots of success in this area. Thank you for everything, and I’ll think this week and let you know what I need Brother Garcia to bring me. I love you! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
¡Hola! It sounds like you guys have had a fun week with homecoming and Brock’s first duck hunt and everything. I saw the picture of the duck hunt; tell Brock I’m proud of him ha ha. Sorry but the letter is going to be a little short this week because I don’t have very much time. This week on Tuesday the baptism we were going to have fell through, and I’m still not really sure why. I talked to the girl in the morning and she told me that everything was fine and that we could pass by her house to visit her before her baptism. We passed by her house to take her to the baptismal service and she had completely changed her mind and everything. We tried talking to her but it didn’t help a lot and then had to hurry and tell everybody the baptism was off because we had told the bishop to fill the font and everything. We’ve tried visiting the girl since, but she hasn’t been home. Her school teacher that’s a member told us that she has a new boyfriend and that could be the problem. We did have a baptismal service yesterday though of N, a 9 year old girl whose parents are members. They’re super nice though. This week I saw my first live mariachi, it was pretty funny. It was Jorge’s birthday this week and we helped his wife blow up balloons and everything and then she hired a mariachi that went to his house in the morning and surprised him and we there with their friends and everything, it was really cool. Also the ward party went really well, we had several investigators there and I tried some new foods for the first time. One was cow hoof, and it was really gross, like slimy. I also ate a bowl of cow stomach soup that wasn’t too bad, it was the first time I’ve eaten an entire bowl of it and I can’t really describe the taste. The texture is like the tongue cleaners that are on the back of toothbrushes, if you know what I’m saying? Anyways I got to run shower and everything so we can go to a zone meeting. They aren’t too fun but the leaders usually teach us something. But ya I hope you all have a great week, thanks for the pictures and everything. I love you! Elder Johnson
Monday, September 17, 2012
Hey Mom, It sounds like you guys have had a good week with all the football, the dove-a-que and everything else. The MTC president must have changed recently because when I was there President Brown was the man in charge. I know that because Kalin and I had a meeting with him when we got in trouble one time. Ha, we’ll tell you guys the story when we both get home. So this week was actually a pretty tough one. The 15th and 16th of September is their big fiesta here celebrating their independence. We had to be home early on the 15th for safety because there were tons and tons of drunks in the streets and everything. We still celebrated though with J and G though it was fun, I’ll send you some pics when I can, the adaptor isn’t working right now. We visited the boy that’s on dialysis this week, and his mom told us that they weren’t interested anymore and that they wouldn’t ever get baptized again because they were already baptized when they were babies in the Catholic Church. I felt really bad because I think her son would have been baptized and everything if she would have let him but what can you do? I wanted to talk to them more about the scriptures, but I decided not to and we talked a little bit and then sang a hymn to them and left. The people that first knew of the church 28 years ago are still coming every week and even went and bought their own hymn books and scriptures this week. They don’t have a baptismal date yet because there are some doubts still but we’re working hard with them. Tomorrow we should be having a baptismal service of a teenage girl, and then on Sunday we’ll have another baptism as well. I really hope we can do both of the baptisms this week because it will be the first time I’ve had 2 services in one week. Also there is a fiesta in the ward tomorrow to celebrate the 15th of September, and when I gave my talk yesterday I told the members to all invite investigators to the fiesta. This week I did exchanges a couple days with Elder C, my district leader and it went really good. Everything is still going good with my companion, he’s a little different but I’m more patient than I’ve ever been nowadays. Also this week I’m going to start giving English classes once a week in the church for our ward and the other ward that uses the same building. It’s an idea to be able to find more investigators, but a whole bunch of members are super excited for it. Little do they know that I’ve never taught English before but I’ll let you guys know how it goes! Oh, that will be way cool for the kids for conference, I’m sure they’ll like the candy! When I get back I want to go to a live General Conference session. It’s funny that some people here save up all year to be able to go to Salt Lake for the weekend and see conference when we live 1 hour away and have never gone! My clothes are pretty good, the pits are all stained on my garments, and the necks are stained on my white shirts but they’re fine for now but when I get back we’ll definitely need to go shopping. My feet are fine and I’m pretty good with everything health wise, but my shoulder still does bug me a little bit. We played handball the other day and it really bothered me then and the day after, maybe I’ll have to do more therapy when I get home or something but I still can’t throw really at all but its all good don’t worry about anything, the main sport here is soccer and I don’t have to throw to be able to play that. Thanks for sending me a hump day package, I can’t believe I’m almost half of the way done! As a tradition I think I’ll burn one of my white shirts that day. Everything is going good, even though I’m really missing hunting this time of year but I try not to think about it too much. The language is coming along really good, I even dreamed in Spanish last night, weird huh? I think almost always in Spanish, and I’m forgetting some things in English. Anyways I hope you guys have a great week, thanks so much for your examples and everything.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Hola Mom! I’m glad that everything’s going good for everybody, and your sharing time sounds really cool too. Thanks for sending me those pictures, I’ll let you know when I get them. So my new companion is Elder J from Aguascalientes, Mexico. He’s a really good guy and likes to work and so far we’ve got along really well. He went to the MTC in Mexico the same day I went to the one in Provo, but he got to the mission in November and I got here in March. Elder J looks like he’s about 13 years old though. Yesterday I got to baptize E, it was a really cool experience. He chose me to do it a couple of days before and it was awesome when he decided for sure to get baptized and asked me if I would do it. He’s 18 years old and in the last year of high school, so hopefully he can keep progressing and serve a mission soon. I’ll send you pictures when I can, I don’t have my memory card adapter with me right now. This week a hermana from our ward who is a teacher gave us a reference for one of the students in her school. We went and visited the 16 year old kid, and he’s really sick. His kidney’s don’t work, and he has to do 6 dialysis treatments every day. He still goes to school but has to come straight home and start doing his treatments. His family doesn’t have very much money either, but so far people have donated all of the medical supplies he has needed. We’ve visited him several times since and he’s been reading the Book of Mormon and everything, but the bummer is that they didn’t come to church yesterday. Today we had a zone activity in another church, and we did a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course and played that volleyball water balloon game with the towel. It was pretty fun and every activity was related somehow to missionary work. It’s also Elder H from my district’s birthday so we’re going to go eat cake in just a minute. We’re currently teaching the family that first knew about the church 28 years ago, and their granddaughters should be getting baptized next week. The work is going great here, and we should be having lots of success this transfer. Thanks for everything mom, I can really say that I am happy here in Mexico and am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be here. I hope you guys have a great week, I love you! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Hola Mom, That’s really a cool experience you had about listening to the Spirit, you’re so right we always should be listening to it. I got your letter this week that you sent on Aug 10. As far as D goes it doesn’t seem like he’ll be getting baptized anytime soon he’s gone back to partying again and can’t stop smoking. The week has gone pretty well though, and I found out yesterday that I will be staying in Texcoco again for at least 6 more weeks, but my companion is leaving and I’m now senior companion. Tomorrow I have to go to Santa Marta to drop my companion off and get my new one. I’ll let you know how he is next week. More than anything I’m hoping that he’s clean and organized and likes to work. I’m actually glad that I’ll be staying in Texcoco because there is a lot of potential in this area for the upcoming 6 weeks. We’re going to have a baptismal service this Sunday for E. He’s an 18 year old kid that’s way cool. One of the things we’ve done with him is taking him to the church to play basketball with the other young men, and then we play too. I’m know I’m not super good at basketball but nobody here is very good at all so I like playing and schooling all of them. Yesterday at church we had 7 investigators at church, which made me really happy. M, a guy I baptized in April blessed the sacrament for the first time, and then after that I was sitting by him and made him a deal that if I bore my testimony he would bear his too for the first time. He was super nervous but he did it and it was really cool to see the changes he’s been making in his life. We’re going to go to his 5 year old daughter’s birthday party this week. Also this week an older couple that nobody knew showed up at church. They had talked to the missionaries 28 years ago but were never baptized, but the guy had a dream that he needed to go the Mormon Church in Texcoco and so there they were. We’re going to visit them this week; I’ll let you know how it goes. I ate a goat head taco on Friday. Yea, like the eyes, the cheeks, and the brains. It wasn’t too bad but I got sick after. Anyways, I’ve got to run because my comp has to pack all his stuff and I’m hoping he cleans up some of the huge mess he’s made too. I love you and I hope you have a great week! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
¡Hola Mama! Thanks for all the happy birthday wishes, I had a great day. The members and other missionaries in my district took care of me. It’s weird I’m not a teenager anymore, I feel old now! I opened the cards and presents in the morning, thanks for everything. Some of members here had a fiesta for me last night. It was really cool, they put lots of work into it. They bought me a tres leches cake too and then we’re going to go back on Wednesday to eat the cake you sent me. The people that did the little party are like my mom and dad here in Mexico, he even calls me his adopted son. I think this is going to be last week in Texcoco because we have transfers next Tuesday and I’ve been here for awhile but who knows. We ate hamburgers, they let me choose and I wanted something American. We were actually going to go out to eat at an Italian restaurant but our zone leaders called us in the morning and told us we had a stinkin meeting at 5 that night. We didn’t have zone conference yesterday, just a zone meeting for the goals of September and stuff like that. This week was going really good until Friday and we got disappointing news. D´s aunt told us that he wanted to wait a week to get baptized because he had some problems. We’ve gone to his house a couple times to talk to him but he hasn’t been home so we don’t know exactly what to think. The opposition is always working against us and it seems he works hardest on people right when they’re about to do something really good with their life and he knows that and doesn’t want that to happen. This is definitely not the first time I’ve seen this on the mission. On Saturday we had a really cool activity here in Texcoco. All of the youth from the entire stake of Los Reyes came to Texcoco for an activity where they got the chance to be a missionary for the day. It started with a fireside then we split into groups and every companionship gave an orientation on how to be a missionary and then we left to our own separate areas of Texcoco to visit less active families and then to proselyte and knock doors and everything. It was fun to work with the youth and we received lots of references from everybody. I gave a talk on Sunday about repentance and when I talked about restitution I used the example from when I accidentally stole the Jazz pen from Fanzz and then went back a couple years later to pay them back. I’ve learned that people pay more attention to talks when we tell stories or give examples of things that have happened. As far as the food is going, I’ve really gotten used to all the spicy stuff, and can eat habaneros without crying too much now. Everything is going great, and I love the people here. It will be sad when I have to leave, and I think I might be leaving next week because we have transfers on Tuesday. Thanks so much for everything for my birthday and for the support, I can honestly feel all the prayers from everybody back home. I hope you guys have a great week, I love you! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Hola Mom, That’s crazy that school starts today, are you excited or sad? I got the pictures you sent me, they were fun to see. School started here yesterday. I’m writing you today because we didn’t have very much time yesterday. This week has gone pretty good. We focused on working with the members and received lots of references and found lots of new people that want to learn more. We weren’t able to baptize D because he wanted to wait until this Saturday to do his service because he wants his dad to be there. There are a ton of potential baptisms to be done in the next month or so and I’m scared I might not be here because we have changes in 2 weeks. I’ve already been here in Texcoco for 5 months now, but there are other missionaries that have been in the same area for as long as 9 months too so who knows what will happen. We confirmed A on Sunday, and then his wife was actually called to be the 2nd counselor in the relief society. It was super cool when she was called, a couple of months ago she was inactive and A didn’t want anything to do with the church. Another hermana told me on Sunday that you can tell he just got baptized because he can’t stop smiling, and its so true. Their goal right now is to go to the temple in a year to be sealed with their 2 kids. We did more service this week, one day we went to a farm to do a lesson, and cut some firewood for them too. Two days later we went back and did more service for them. We cut some more wood, picked apples and pomegranates, and then I learned how to use a sickle, at least I think that’s what it called. I sent you a picture so you can see it. It was fun and good to help these people out. I’m glad to hear that everything is going good, and that is definitely true that each companion has their strengths and weaknesses to learn from. I can’t believe I hit day 300 this week too. It’s gone by so fast! The only bummer this week was on Saturday at about noon I looked at my watch and saw the date and realized that it was the first day of the bow hunt back home, that’s more exciting than Christmas for me! But it’s all good; I’ll be bow hunting again in exactly 2 years. I hope you guys have a great week, keep on keeping me updated on what’s happening. I love you! Elder Johnson
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Hey Mom! How’s everything going? Are you ready for school to start? The M&M´s weren’t melted at all, everything got to me perfectly. I’m jealous you guys are going camping again; let me know how it goes. This week we were actually able to work really well, I think my companion got sick of me always dragging him around so he decided to cooperate and work a little harder this week. We found some new investigators that have lots of potential, and we should be baptizing D on Sunday. We also were able to baptize A yesterday, his service was really special. His wife is a member but was less active for lots of years. She showed up in the chapel one Sunday and we talked to her and everything and she told us her husband wasn’t a member but wasn’t interested in talking to us or anything. We told her we’d pass by her house to visit her and see how they were doing anyways. The first day we went there, about a month ago, he was outside and was avoiding us but after a minute he came into the house and started to talk to us and had lots of questions. From then on we kept passing by with him and last week he told us he wants to get baptized so that he can live with his wife and kids for eternity. He asked if I would baptize him and we made his service really special with a program and everything. One day this week, A´s wife asked us if we could cut their "grass" for them. It’s more like the field that’s at the end of scenic drive than an actual yard but anyways ya we showed up and they had a pair of scissors and a scythe, like the one the grim reaper uses to cut the grass. I hadn’t ever seen one of those in real life but it was fun to use and we cut almost all the grass in their yard, we were there for more than 5 hours. It was way cool to learn how to use a scythe!
Hey Mom, It’s still raining quite a bit here, but this week went pretty well. We still haven’t been able to baptize D because he’s been in the District and isn’t coming back until Saturday. We have been working really hard though with another guy, A and he has a baptismal date for this Sunday, so we’re praying that everything goes well with him this week. He’s a police officer and has to work a lot so there are sometimes when he can’t go to church so that has kind of been the challenge with him. He’s had lots of really random questions too about the Catholic Church and everything. I’ve gotten to know the bible pretty well since I’ve been here, and we’ve been able to answer most of his questions that are important, but I still don’t think I’ll really ever understand the whole Virgen de Guadalupe thing. We were in one of the new parts of our area on Wednesday, looking for one of the houses of an investigator from the other missionaries that used to be there. It was pouring rain on us and we were super lost. My companion kept telling me that it was pointless to walk and we should just call somebody or something to find the house. I felt like we should keep walking, but then all of a sudden it started raining even harder so I ran under a tree to take cover for a second and when I looked up, on the wall there was a sign that said ´Tlaxcantitla´, which was exactly what I was looking for, the street that she lived on! It was a super cool experience, and that little miracle made my day. There are always tiny miracles happening like that in our lives, we just have to be alert and recognize them. On Monday I got the package you sent for my birthday only 10 days after you sent it! I still haven’t opened any of the things that were wrapped or the cards that were in it, I’m going to wait till my birthday. I’ll definitely be able to find somebody to bake the cake for me too. I also got another letter from you too that same day. The sister that went to Vegas called me on Saturday and we passed by their ´weekend´ house on Sunday to get my other package, and it was perfect because we were able to put an appointment with them for this next Sunday to teach. Beef jerky doesn’t exist here so shared it with everybody at church and they all loved it and pretty much the whole package was gone before I got home, it was pretty funny. The first counselor in the bishopric hunted me down when he heard I had jerky because he told me he hadn’t had it since he had a gringo companion on his mission 5 years ago. I’m really getting comfortable here in Mexico; I ate a taco with pig intestine in it the other day and actually enjoyed it. I also ate 2 chilis de arbol, the second hottest chili here in Mexico, to show off for a member the other day. Not even the Mexicans that were there ate them. I regretted it a little bit though because I was crying for a long time afterwards and my tongue felt really weird, kind of numb. The language is coming along really well, and now more than anything I’m just trying to get a better Mexican accent. I’m glad to hear that everything is going super good for you guys, tell dad to pull the trigger on a four-wheeler, that would be perfect for me when I get home! I hope you guys have a great week, take care and let me know how your camping trip goes and everything. I love you! Elder Johnson
Monday, July 30, 2012
¡Hola Mom How’s everything going? What are you going to do now that Connor and Brock don’t have baseball for a little while? How were the parade and Fiesta Days? Sounds like you had a busy week traveling. This week has been pretty busy for me too. So with the exchanges they closed an area that was part of the Texcoco ward, because there wasn’t enough support from the leaders there. So now that area, Tepetlaoxtoc is now our responsibility too. Our area was already huge, but now it’s even bigger, the biggest in the mission. There are over 1 million people that live my area alone, 7 municipales(i cant remember how to say that word in English exactly) and 40 pueblos. We went to Tepetlaoxtoc on Thursday to try and talk to some of the members there to tell them we’re the new missionaries, but I got us super lost and we ended up wandering for 3 hours, around fields and cows and everything and ended up just finding a bus and going back to Texcoco. We went back on Saturday though and finally found the members we were looking for. One of the members there drove us to another pueblo, Chiautla where we supposedly ate the biggest tortas in Mexico, it was super good, but I honestly don’t know what was in it. That night we went and helped some of my recent converts, the C family, move all of their things to a new house. I’ve gotten super weak on the mission; a gym pass is definitely one of the first things I’m buying when I get home. Anyways after that the bishop bought us some tacos, and we went and saw the last girl we baptized in the hospital, because she had a baby. That night I got super sick, but I deserved it for eating so much greasy food from the street in one day with the torta and the tacos. I did exchanges in Chapingo another day this week with Elder H. We were walking from one pueblo to the other when a crazy rainstorm came, kind of like a flash flood and drenched us. We would have been drier if we just jumped in a pool or something. Anyways we saved some baby puppies from the rain on our way there, so it was pretty cool. While we were there with one of the families we had to lift a 25 year old guy who just had brain surgery from a car to their house that was like 200 yards away because cars can’t fit on the street they live on. We were both super tired after that. Yesterday morning I was with Elder H again at church because his companion had to go to another appointment and they had a baptismal service to do. Elder H doesn’t really speak Spanish all that great so I directed the program, and then while they were changing clothes I grabbed another kid to run with me to a house to bring an investigator to church because my companion still wasn’t back. We then finished the baptismal service then I ran to our own sacrament meeting. Sundays are super crazy here. D wasn’t able to get baptized because he hasn’t been home all week, but we have an appointment with him tomorrow so hopefully we can have a baptismal service this weekend. Now I’ve got to run to a different city, Chicoloapan to go to a meeting. Thanks for everything. Take care, I hope you have a great week, and keep me updated on everything. I love you, Elder Johnson
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Hey Mom, So I found out last night that I won´t be changing tomorrow, but I´ll be staying in Texcoco with my same companion. I´m actually glad that I´m staying I really like Texcoco, and there’s still lots of work I want to do here. We´ve been working with H´s brother. He´s 19 years old and just got out of drug rehab not too long ago. He was living and selling drugs in Tepito, part of Distrito Federal. Tepito is the scariest part of the city, like Brooklyn or Harlem of New York City but worse. On Saturday he told us he wants to get baptized, so if everything goes as planned he should be able to get baptized on Sunday, I´m pretty excited. We´ve also found a couple other new investigators this week that came to church and are progressing really well. So I was walking underneath a power line the other day and all of a sudden I felt something wet on my neck. At first I thought that somebody had thrown something at me, but I rubbed it and it was freaking bird crap! The streets here are not maintained at all either and I was walking in the road the other day too and stepped in a man hole that wasn’t covered and got my whole leg soaked with muddy water. Today we had to go to the mission office to leave some papers of baptisms and things, and after we went downtown and I bought some cool ties and then we went to McDonald’s. That was definitely the highlight of my day, it was the first time I´ve eaten there since I´ve been in Mexico! I also had a conversation while I was downtown with a Chinese lady, but we both spoke Spanish, now that’s culture!! Thanks for sending me a birthday package, I´ll definitely be able to find somebody to bake the cake for me, I´ve got lots of really good friends here who take care of me. Have you heard anything from Sister K about her sister? When were they coming back to Mexico again? I haven’t heard anything from them but when I do I´ll let you know. That’s crazy Brocks going to jr high and that Connor is gonna be a senior, and I´m also gonna hit my 9 month mark this week, we´re all growing up on you! I hope you have a great week in Park City, let me know how Brockles does. I love you, thanks for everything. Elder Johnson
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
¡Hooola! Happy late 4th of July! So I celebrated my 4th of July in the hospital with my companion. Elder F started feeling sick this last Sunday, but I thought he was just being a baby. On Tuesday morning the hermana that fed us on Friday called us and asked if we were feeling sick because everybody in her house was sick, and had typhoid fever. They had figured out that if was from some guava juice that she had made us. I started to worry a little because I drank the same juice. My companion called the doctor and he told us he had to go to the hospital to get tested. They took some of his blood and they found that he had salmonella. We had to stay in the hospital that night while they gave him an IV with medicine and watched him closely. It was pretty boring for me, I just slept on this little tiny thing they called a bed that they had in the room. We had no idea we were going to stay in the hospital so we didn’t have any extra clothes or anything. We stayed the whole next day too, and they finally released him at about 7 that night. The reason why I didn’t get sick is that I was already taking antibiotics for my foot, and the doctor told me that those pills protected me. I’m super lucky especially because they gave my comp 5 injections that we’ve had to do every night. The doctor explained to me how to give an injection and ya I just learned how to it that night in my companions butt. The bad thing is that he’s as scared of needles as I am. I started to try and give him the shot at 10 the first night and he didn’t let me do it until midnight. I have some videos of me being Doctor Johnson that I wish the email would let me send to you guys. This week I’ve really wanted to work hard to make up for all the lost time we’ve had with our health issues. We found one really good family of 4 that I thought were golden, but they didn’t come to church because they had to work, so we’ll have to see what we can do to help them. I’ve been a little frustrated lately because my companion doesn’t have very much initiative. He’s a really nice guy though and we get along just fine. Yesterday we went and visited the sister of Sister K. When we got there, they actually had their whole family over and were having a party. They treated us just like family and gave us steak and shrimp and everything. They even offered us brandy and cuban cigars too, but we weren’t able to take those. One of the family members owns a training place for moto x, skateboarding, and bmx and they invited us to it and told us we can go for free whenever we want. We went today and jumped into the foam pit and everything, its super cool. Everything is going really good here, my foot is all better, and I’m really thankful that I was taking the medicine that saved me from salmonella. I’m glad to hear that guys are all doing really good and staying super busy with everything. I hope the baby Sadie gets feeling better, tell her I’m sorry for always picking her up. I got a card from you yesterday that you sent on June 1st. Thank you, it’s always really fun to get mail. I hope you guys have a great week. I love you! Elder Johnson