Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 25, 2013

A nice pig head that was for sale at the grocery store,
Today is the 15th of September, Mexico’s Independence Day. We didn’t really get to celebrate because we’ve been here in the offices all night.
For Mexican Independence Day, it’s a lot like the 4th of July, fireworks and lots of food and get togethers and stuff like that. Here in the Center, they do a concert and then the President of Mexico comes out and they all do a big yell saying “Viva Mexico!” and stuff like that.
Hey Mom! This has been a pretty hectic weekend. On Sunday we went to church and were planning to have a baptism in our church, but there was no gas for the water heater so we had to go to the Stake Center and we had the baptism after church. After the baptism we got all of our stuff ready and went to the offices to start receiving reports. After we got to the offices we realized we had forgotten the papers in our houses that had all the changes on them, and so in order to finish doing everything for all the changes and in order to be able to advise those that had changes we had to go all the way back to our house again. After receiving all the reports we made a summary for President and then reported the numbers to Salt Lake on the computer. Later we called all the zone leaders to tell them who in their zones had changes, but that’s all we tell them and they don’t know where theyƬre going until the meeting on Tuesday. Anyways then we went on to make a list of all the changes, by area and what missionaries were going to be there. We ended up going to bed at about 1:00 am that night. The next morning President picked us up at 5:50 am to go to the new MTC here and pick up the new Latino misioneros. There were 5 elders and 3 sisters. We got back to the offices and ate a little breakfast and then started training them on everything about the mission. We finished training them at about 2 and then we ate carne asadas here in the offices, they were way good. After that all the Americans got here, there 19 of them in total! They ate first and then started their training. And they didn’t know hardly know any Spanish at all so after President talked to them a little bit with the English he knows and then he just told me to train them alone on everything! President started to interview them one by one and my comp doesn’t really know any English so he left to do something else and I was there alone. We ended at 9:00pm. By the end of the day I was so sick of hearing my own voice! On Tuesday morning we got up at about 6am to be all ready to go with all the new missionaries at 7: 30. A bus came and picked them and all their luggage up. My comp went in the bus with them and I went alone with President to the Stake Center where the changes meeting was. We split up again, my comp with the Latinos and me with the gringos and we talked about the plan of salvation and how to teach it. At noon the changes started and all the misioneros that had changes were there. After the changes meeting we went to office with president and all the elders that were going home the next day (today). When President had interviewed them all we went to his house where his wife had made dinner for everybody. We all ate dinner and then came back to the offices and slept, and then the next morning my companion and I took them to the airport where us and President said bye to them and that was it. We got back to our house that afternoon and took a little nap and then went out and worked like a normal. We did divisions for one day, and the week went by super-fast because I was in my own area for so little time. We just got back from Wal-Mart. I drove the mission car. I hate driving in Mexico City, the traffic is worse than New York. We had one zone conference today with 2 zones and we have one tomorrow and then one more on Friday. Sorry for not writing you guys until today, it’s been a crazy week as you can see, but I love you mom and am so thankful for all you do for me! Love Elder Johnson
So as you know when you train an elder, they’re considered your "son" in the mission. Here’s a shot with all my offspring. Elder Rivera-my firstborn son, Elder Torres my son, Elder Lowell my grandson, Elder Manzanares my grandson, and Elder Sandstrom my great grandson.

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13, 2013

Hey Mom! That is so awesome Jayce got baptized, I got the pictures and everything. Tell him congrats for me, I’ll be sure to talk to him myself when I get home. I told President Morales my cousin got baptized and he was really happy for him as well. So sorry for not writing very much last week and for writing late this week as well. We´ve been super busy lately with the transfers coming up next week, the leadership council last Friday, and our area flooded, and we baptized a brother on Sunday as well! So on Friday we had the leadership council. It was really good I learned a lot, my comp and I gave a training about the plan of salvation and it went really well too. It was in another stake about 20 minutes from our area. We grabbed a taxi to go home and the taxi couldn’t get to the colony where we live, he left us about a mile from our house because the traffic was absolutely ridiculous. Anyways, we went walking and noticed there was quite a bit of water on the streets but the sidewalks were still dry, and because we were in our suits we didn’t want to get wet so we were being really careful. After walking about a block, we realized that everything was flooded towards our house, and there was no way we were going to be able to get home dry. We started walking in the water and a little while later the water was up past my knees. I felt like I was duck hunting, wading in water, except the water here is uglier! It was really dirty black water that smelled terrible. We passed by a couple members on the way home and saw that the water was flooding pretty much all of the houses. We hurried and went home and left our backpacks and put on some old clothes to go and help everybody. We were carrying sand bags, blocking off doors, taking water out of the houses with buckets and everything like that until 1 in the morning! I was walking in the street and saw an 8 year old girl walking in the middle of the street, the water up to past her waist all alone. She was barefoot too so I picked her up and carried her to her house, helped her dry off and then gave her a blanket to get warm. It was sad, her parents weren’t negligent, just too busy trying to save the stuff in their house, and I felt bad for them too. Their fridge broke and the all the girls school books and their dressers and everything got wet. It was a really sad scene everywhere in our colony, a guy died really close in a spot where we had been like 30 minutes before because a power line fell and electrocuted him. We were busy cleaning and helping people here from Friday until Sunday, the majority is all cleaned up now though and things are getting back to normal. On Sunday, we just had a 1 hour sacrament meeting and then after all the members went to serve those who had been affected by the floods, it was really cool and ended up being a missionary activity because we got several references from serving people who weren’t members. After all this we still had a baptism on Sunday night. Mariano got baptized in the stake center, and another recent convert actually baptized him. I joked with him before and asked him if he wanted to just get baptized in the street instead of having to all the way to the church. We´ve been helping him and his family a lot since the flood and have really gained their confidence and now we´re teaching his sister and brother in law. Mariano has changed a ton and has been an example to his family as well and his baptism was really special, after getting baptized he came back and hugged his sister for long time and they cried together. They had had lots of family problems but both have felt the peace that comes from the Holy Ghost in the last couple of weeks. Well I got to run, thanks so much mom, can’t believe that in only 7 weeks we´ll be seeing each other! It’s freaking me out I don’t want to stop being a missionary, but it´ll be great to get home and apply everything I’ve learned and I can’t wait to see my family either. I love you mom have a great week!!!!! Love Elder Johnson
The leadership council on Friday, the zone leaders in the back and the sisters and APs in front with President & Sister Morales.
To try to keep dry we put bags on our feet but ya well it didn’t work that good. I called them "poor man’s waders".
These pics are from yesterday (Sunday) we only had 1 hour of church and then went to give service to members and non-members. In one of the pics I’m with a guy from the government, he thought I was the leader of everybody because I was wearing the Mormon helping hands vest and when he found out I’m from the US he wanted to talk to me and asked to take a picture with me!
So the flood happened while we were in another stake center and when we got home the whole colony where we live was flooded and the taxi couldn’t even make it to our house so we got out and had to walk. It stunk because I was in my suit and nice shoes.
These pics are from my cell phone. There were helicopters with spotlights flying around. A guy died 2 blocks from where we were, a power cable fell on him. Pretty ugly stuff...
This is the morning after the big flood.
Our baptism this week, Mariano got baptized. We all did the marshmallow face to be funny.