Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hey Mom, This week has been another solid week. We've got another couple, Fredrico and Maria that said they are going to get baptized; they just have to pick a date. They're going to go to Oregon to get married so that they can get baptized. Jorge is doing really well too. He came to stake conference this week and everything. He's pretty much a dry Mormon (he goes to church and all the activities he just hasn't been baptized yet). On Saturday morning we went and did service for some people, and my companion Elder Ocaranza was feeling really sick. We went back to the house after and he puked. We had some appointments set clear out in Emmett, so we had another missionary come babysit him while Elder Padgett and I went out and worked. It was good to teach with just one missionary because I had to talk a lot more so it helped me with my teaching skills and everything. We were coming home that night, and I was feeling pretty sick. As soon as pulled in our driveway I jumped out of the car and puked everywhere. It was disgusting. I felt pretty sick that night and the next day, I'm sure it was the flu. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss my Mommy when I was sick, but I'm all better now. Today our whole zone went out to Melba, Idaho to the Leavitt's who have a really big house where we played sports and stuff and then they fed us steak. They're really closely related to Dixie Leavitt too, I told them that was my dad's mission president. I sent Dad the coordinates of my GPS. His new cheese snack actually sounds kind of good to me. Thanks for sending all the pictures of everybody and Sadie, keep doing that I really like to see pictures of what's going on! It's fun to show my companions too. Thanks for keeping me updated on everybody else too, I love hearing what everybody else is up too. I still haven’t heard anything on the Visa. I've made tons of friends here, and it'll be way hard to leave everybody, but I still really want to go to Mexico. I hope I find something out soon about it. I've got to go, hasta luego! Te amo! Love Elder Johnson

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hey Mom, Thanks for the cookies, everybody has loved them. It was way cool to see all the Ballantyne’s yesterday. It's crazy; it's been so long since I've seen them! Marnae was really nice and texted pictures to my companion's moms too. My companions are both really cool. Elder Ocaranza, my new companion is awesome. He was born in Chile but has lived in Bountiful for 13 years so he's more American than anything and speaks English better than Spanish. He's really clean too and tidy too, so we get along really well. Elder Padgett is still training me. He's really cool too; we've been together for like 7 weeks now. Let me know how TJ's farewell is, and get his missionary email too for me please. I'm glad you Brock and Grandma got to go out to eat while Dad and Connor were in Mesquite. I remember when we would always live it up whenever Dad and Connor were gone for baseball! This week was really good for our investigators. We had 3 investigators at church this week. One of my favorite investigators is Jorge. He's 17 and straight from Venezuela, and has only lived here for a couple of weeks. He knows no English, but he was a baseball player in Venezuela and just a total stud. He's progressing really well and we're trying to set a baptismal date with him. Sorry I'm out of time for today, but I have a bunch of pictures I'll email you next week. Elder Johnson Letter to Brock: Hey Buddy! I'm sorry you've been sick this week but that’s good you're feeling better. That’s so cool you hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer! How many more games do you have left? When does baseball start? We played basketball for a little bit today too. Its one of my companions, Elder Ocaranza's birthday this week so I think we are going to Texas Roadhouse in Boise to celebrate. Today was kind of a lame P day all we've done is play a little basketball, help a lady clean her garage, and go to Wal-Mart, and then I'm getting a haircut from a lady in our branch tonight. Anyways I gotta run, but take care buddy! I love you! E-Johnson


When Tyler was a baby I worked full time and was in need of a baby sitter. My friend Marnae Ballantyne introduced me to her amazing sister in law Brandi Ballantyne. Brandi began tending Tyler when he was just a few months old; then Connor came along and the two of them were tended by the wonderful Ballantyne family. The Ballantyne’s had 2 little boys of their own so Ty and Con spent a lot of time with Christopher and Cameron Ballantyne. Those 4 little boys were great friends and Brandi and her husband Paul were always so good to Tyler and Connor. After our boys had spent several years in the Ballantyne home, the Ballantyne’s moved to American Fork, then on to Meridian Idaho which is right next to Boise. Fast forward about 12 years….those little boys grew up!! The oldest Ballantyne son (Chris) just returned this week from serving a mission in California. Since Tyler is still in Boise waiting on his visa to come thru, he was able to attend Chris’s homecoming and become re-acquainted with this fabulous family. Marnae had traveled to Idaho for Chris’s homecoming and was able to take some treats from home to Tyler and to give him a hug from his momma!! The Ballantyne’s invited Tyler and his companions over to their home for brunch and made them feel right at home. It was a GREAT day for Tyler!! Here are some pictures that Marnae sent to me of these darling past, present and future missionaries.
Elder Christopher Ballantyne-Returned Missionary, Elder Johnson-Current Missionary, Cameron Ballantyne-Future Missionary
Tyler with Brandi Ballantyne (his other mother for many years!)
Tyler with Marnae Ballantyne
Tyler with his companions, Elder Ocaranza and Elder Padgett

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hey Everybody!

So this was the first week of my 2nd transfer here in Meridian. I can't believe that I've already been here that long; it has gone by so fast! My new companion, Elder Ocaranza is way cool. I've made lots of friends here now, and it's going to be kind of hard to leave here when I get my Visa.

On Saturday, our whole mission gathered, and Elder M Russell Ballard paid us a visit. He gave an amazing talk, and then let a couple missionaries ask him questions. We all got to shake his hand after, and my companions and I were some of the last people to shake his hand, and instead of shaking hands we gave him a hug instead! I can now say that I've hugged an apostle!

Elder M Russell Ballard

This was not a very good week for investigators. We thought we were going to have 5 investigators at church, and we only had 1 show up. However, I did something that I never thought I was going to have to do as a missionary. We visited Mr. Eduardo, who is an older man from El Salvador that lives alone and he was sick so he asked if anybody knew how to take blood pressure. I kind of remembered how to do it from Mr. Staheli's class so I did it and it was kind of funny but way cool to be able to help him.

The people here are still taking way good care of us; I even got a Tucano’s meal for free this week! I'm getting to be good friends with lots of the members here now too. Anyways I've got to run to the store, keep me updated on everything!

Con Amor
Elder Johnson

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hey Mom!
Sorry I wasn't able to email you yesterday, I didn't have very much time because we had to do transfers and everything. Anyways this has probably been my best week out in the field so far. My companions and I are way good friends, and I'm really tight with lots of the other elders here too. The work here is starting to progress a lot too. I committed our first person in this area to a baptismal date this week too which was super cool.

This week I have been really grateful for a lot of things. We have been without a car this week because it was in the shop getting fixed, and so it was hard to get to all of our appointments by walking because we cover an area that is like the size of Spanish Fork, Mapleton, and Salem combined. We were really blessed to find lots of people to help us get where we needed to go. Hermano Gomez, who lives in the house above us, gave us rides almost everyday this week and was a great help in our lessons too. Also one day we were walking in the rain, and still had like 3 miles to get to our dinner appointment when a guy pulled up to us and handed us $50 and gave us a ride in his truck to the house. Another day, one of our dinner appointments cancelled and so brother Gomez took us back to his house and to eat, and a member of the stake presidency saw us so he stopped by and took us 3 missionaries, and the Gomez family out to eat to Saccano, it's a Japanese restaurant exactly like Tepanyaki back home. He bought us steak and shrimp and everything. Also, when I went to the doctor on Friday, I talked to him a little bit and found out he served a mission in Brazil. He was pretty nice, but only had a little time to talk. Anyways when I went
to check out at the front desk the lady told me that I didn’t need to worry about paying anything, that he didn’t charge me for my visit.

We had transfers yesterday, and my companion from Peru was replaced
with Elder Ocaranza who is from Chile, but his lived in Utah for 13 years. I still have Elder Padgett as my trainer/dad. We still have the elder from Alberta living with us, and he got a new companion from Richfield, Utah, Elder Jones, who is a bow hunter too! You'll have to ask Kev if he knows any Jones from Richfield.

We went to the Idaho capitol in Boise yesterday, I'll send you some pics from the governor’s office and stuff like that in just a minute.

Things just keep getting better; there is no better work than bringing
souls to Christ! I hope everybody's doing great at home. Thanks for

El Elder Johnson

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hey Mom,

This week has been great. My Spanish is getting better everyday, I can
understand a lot of what people say, it's still hard for me to speak it
very well though. For some reason it’s easier to understand men more than women, and it's kind of hard when lots of the people we talk to are from different Spanish countries because they all have unique accents. I gave my first blessing in Spanish on Saturday night to an older guy from El Salvador. My Spanish was really bad in it, but the spirit was strong and that's the important thing.

I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. I got to choose the
topic and was asked to speak for 12 minutes. I chose the Doctrine of
Christ, because that's one of the few things that I can talk about in
Spanish, and ended up talking for 15 minutes!

This week we've had some interesting lessons. While we were tracting this week we came across a Pentecostal lady. At first she told us that she wasn’t interested, but after talking to her for a minute she asked us if we could come back. We went back the next day and were with her for 3 hours! She had some pretty different beliefs, but when we left she promised she would read part of the Book of Mormon. We both shared lots of scriptures and everything it was pretty intense. She could speak Spanish and English too so it made it easier for me to understand everything. We also talked to a guy who is a 7th Day Adventist, but used to be a Mormon. His beliefs are even crazier than the other ladies, and my companion and he got into almost an argument because he was telling us how he used to be just like us, even though he didn’t serve a mission or have a testimony or anything. Anyways I'm just glad to know that our Church is true and that we really have the true Gospel of Christ.

I got your package and letter from Brock on Wednesday I think. I got them a week after you sent them. The mission office forwarded them to our house. I can get packages, it just takes a little longer than I thought because they had to forward it but it’s all good. It's still best to send stuff to the mission office because I think they can forward it to Mexico if I leave too. Thanks for the treats!

Thanks for keeping me updated, I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Johnson