Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

¡Hola Mom! Wow I can’t believe it is still freezing and snowing in Utah! I definitely prefer the weather here! I got the Christmas card last Monday night with the memory card in it, and I watched the videos last night. It was great to see everybody and my companion and I laughed a bunch at all of Dad’s sarcastic remarks. This week was really good. We had the movie night and quite a few investigators came and we watched the other side of heaven on the church’s projector. The members and investigators really liked it. The ward here is awesome and helps us out a lot here. That’s why there are 6 missionaries in our ward! On Saturday Concepcion and her daughter Elva got baptized. Concepcion is blind and can’t walk due to complications with diabetes. Her family told her that it wasn’t a good idea for her to get baptized because its hard for her to even leave the house, let alone get in water, but she told them that she would do whatever the Lord wanted her to do and had received an answer that this was what she needed to do. My companion and I wanted the members of the ward to baptize our investigators to get them excited for missionary work. The bishop baptized Concepcion and Elva, but we realized that it was really hard to get Concepcion into the baptismal font so my companion and I took our shoes off and rolled up our pants so that we could help carry Concepcion into the water. The Spirit was so strong there and their baptismal service was really special for them and their family. Yesterday Inès and her daughter Natalia got baptized as well. Our ward mission leader baptized them and we had their baptismal service with 2 other people that got baptized by another companionship in our ward. There were lots of people there and the service was really neat as well. The only problem was that Natalia is super scared of water and thought she was going to drown in the font, so we had to coax her and help her a ton so she would finally let the brother baptize her. Poor girl, it’s because there aren’t swimming pools or lakes here and we aren’t close to the coast or anything like that so the people are totally unfamiliar with water. I gave her one of the HLJ (CTR) rings after for being so brave. Today we haven’t really done anything at all. We got up this morning and cleaned the house and studied and then after that we took a nap because we’ve been so incredibly tired this whole week. We’ve been working harder and being more obedient than we’ve ever been and we’ve been seeing the fruits of our labors. I know that Heavenly Father always blesses us according to our desires and that if we do our part, He always does His. I’m jealous you guys got to go to George Strait this week, I miss country music a ton! Let me know who wins the super bowl this week, know that I’ll be rooting for the 49ers. Remember when I blessed the super bowl in church? Ha ha I hope you have a great week in the freezing cold! It’s about 70 in Mexico today! Thanks for everything I love you! Elder Johnson A white weekend in Xochitenco!!
Baptism of Ines & her daughter Natalia
Baptism of Concepcion and her daughter Elva

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

Hey mom! Everything is well in Xochitenco! The ward here is really good, and the Bishop and the other leaders support and help us a lot with lots of references and activities. This week we’re actually going to do a movie night in the church and invite lots of investigators. My companion is way cool and we get along and work really well together. He’s been on the mission 6 weeks longer than me, he goes home in September. His dad loves to hunt and asked him today about going deer or elk hunting in Utah ha. They don’t really duck hunt just big game and turkey. My comps the only member in his family, he has a really cool conversion story I’ll tell you when I have more time. The sister with the health problems and her daughter will be getting baptized on Saturday and then on Sunday another family is getting baptized! The area here isn’t really pretty, but our area is pretty big and I like it here. Our new house is a lot nicer than my last one, and we even cleaned it super good this morning you would be so proud! We don’t live with members or anything, it’s an apartment. I never got the memory card; I’ll let you know when I do. Thanks for the Valentines Day package; I’ll let you know when I get it. Thanks for all the pictures this week; it looks like everything is going great. Wow that’s crazy you’re making bread, what kind are you making?! Today we just cleaned the house and everything and then went and ate with a less active member. Our p days end at 5 pm now, it kind of stinks that they took an hour away from us but it’s all good. Today at 5 o’clock we have a class and then we’re going to do two family home evenings with the two families that are getting baptized this week. I will for sure send pics. Sorry I’m so rushed its, cuz we don’t have very much time and we’re trying to be 100 percent obedient! The bishop here is way cool; it’s a way better environment for the missionaries, that’s why there are 6 of us here! I’m really loving my time here right now we’re working super hard, being obedient and having fun while we’re doing it. I love you! Elder Johnson

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2103

Hey Mommy, Wow the pictures of all the snow are crazy, it looks and sounds freezing there! I'm glad that dad is finally starting to feel better, i hope you and Connor get feeling better now too. Tell Con to definitely go to the mission prep class, I should have done a lot more preparation with things like that before I went to the MTC. I'm now in the area Xochitenco 2, in the city of Chimalhuacan. I'm with my first American companion I've had in Mexico and he's way cool. Elder Benfit is from Oregon and likes to go hunting and loves fly fishing. He's the only member from his family and has only been a member for 2 and a half years. He's got a great testimony and we've been working super hard together. In our ward there are 3 sets of missionaries, and we're still in the same stake/ward so I've been able to see lots of the missionaries that I've been with. The members and bishop here in this ward are really good and its been fun working with them. We've been teaching lots of people this week and working really well together. We're teaching a lady that's blind and really sick in a wheel chair right now. She and her daughter came to church yesterday and liked it. I love being able to give people hope through the Atonement and Gospel of Christ. I still haven't gotten a Christmas letter from the Bishop, I'll let you know when I do. I got a card from the Craig and Janet Lewis and the young women this week as well as an invitation to Tye`s wedding. Sorry I don't have much time this week, so the letter's going to be short again. I'll send pics the next week when i have more time. Tell Connor and Brock to write me. I love you and hope you have a great week, thanks so much for everything. Elder Johnson

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January 8, 2013

Hey everybody! So today sorry I don’t have very much time, it’s because I just got a phone call telling me that I have changes tomorrow and that I’ll be moving to a new area with a new companion. I wasn’t ready for this at all because I thought was going to be staying here and training a new missionary, but now they’re actually going to put this area as part of another one. You got to be ready for anything in Mexico! The changes aren’t till tomorrow, but they just called me with breaking news, they’re going to close my area and my companion and I both have changes. I have no idea where they’re going to send me; it’s crazy I’m really shocked right now. I’m not going to be training because the new missionaries didn’t get here; I think it’s because of the visas. This week went really well for us in the work. We’ve been focusing on working with less active members and we’ve been able to find several investigators through them. We painted the window frames of one less active sister, and yesterday her and husband went to church for the first time in 5 years. There were other several less active members that went to church yesterday and they even brought family members with them who aren’t members yet! Yesterday was el dia de reyes, which means like king’s day. The tradition here is that every January 6 the 3 magic kings come and bring presents to the kids. The kings are bigger here than Santa Claus and that’s when the kids usually get most of their gifts. The kings who bring the presents are supposedly the 3 kings that brought the gifts to Jesus when he was born. The other part of the tradition is to eat rosca de reyes which is like a giant loaf of broad in the shape of a circle and inside are dolls and if you get a piece of bread with a doll inside of it then you have to buy tamales for everybody next month. We ate rosca twice yesterday, its super good. I’m really sad to be leaving but there’s nothing we can do now. We’re leaving tomorrow morning at 11 so we hardly have anytime at all to do anything because we still have to pack and everything. It’s really weird I still don’t know what to think. I let you know everything about the changes next week. Sorry I got to run but keep me updated and tell Connor to write me, I haven’t heard from him in a while. Keep me updated on what he’s thinking about the mission. We’ll be careful tonight and stay safe. I’ll let you know how everything goes this week with the new area and companion, sorry for a short letter this week, I just got to get back and start packing though! I love you, take care and have a great week! Elder Johnson I love you!

Christmas in Mexico!!

Ward Party
Elder Johnson in his Christmas p.j.'s, just like the ones his family was wearing at home.
Lighting the boiler on the roof to warm the water for a shower!
Elder Johnson and his companion with their Christmas nerf guns.

January 1, 2013

¡Hola Mom! It was great to see you guys Christmas morning, it’s still weird to me to think that next year I’ll be home! The turkey dinner that we did that night was a success. The turkey was super good and moist with the wine we injected into it and there was a ton of food for everybody. The other 2 elders came: the family that we live with and a couple of other members. They asked me to carve the turkey, it made me feel old I thought that the dad of the family always did it! Nobody else knew how to do it so I just pretended that I did and kind of learned as I went. On the mission you have to be ready for anything! The day after Christmas the family that we live with asked us if we could give a blessing to their grandpa who lives there as well. He’s 83 years old and has smoked for his whole life and because of that has had lots of problems with his lungs. He’s not a member but has always been really nice to us. When I gave him the blessing I had a feeling that I couldn’t heal him and that we wasn’t going to be living much longer. I actually said in the blessing that his Heavenly Father was waiting for him. Unfortunately the feeling I had was right and he passed away yesterday morning. The family has been really sad but they also understand that they’ll see him again because they know of the plan of salvation. They were also really grateful to us because we did the Christmas dinner for them and that was the last really big meal that their grandpa had with them. It’s also hard to lose a loved one but I know that their is a plan for every one of us and that if we live the gospel we’ll be able to live in the Celestial kingdom as a family FOREVER. I had training meeting this week with Presidente Morales and he told us that as trainers we have to work especially hard to do even the littlest things right, because we want the new missionaries to learn right off the bat that that’s how we should be as missionaries. It’ll be a fun experience to train somebody new and I’m looking forward to it. We talked in church on Sunday and I talked about setting goals for the new year and that we should always be trying to be better and improve our weaknesses (Ether 12: 27). In Luke 2:52 it talks about how Jesus crew in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and men. We can apply that to us, wisdom is like the mental and educational side; stature is like physically, favor with God is spiritual, and favor with men is like the social aspect of our lives. Everything has gone really well for us this new years, last night we ate dinner with a family and celebrated New Years with them. A tradition here is that at midnight everybody eats 12 grapes and they represent 12 desires that you want to accomplish that year. Well I hope you guys had a great new year and a grand 2013. I love you, thanks so much for everything! Elder Johnson
Preparing the turkey!
Cutting and eating the turkey!
The dinner was a success!