Monday, September 17, 2012

17 September 2012 Final Missionary Letter

Dear Family,

I just realized that this is my last letter.. That's interesting... Unfortunately I just spent about 30 minutes emailing the mission presidente and looking at key indicatores and all sorts of things that aren't so important or urgent (Elder Jones groups all the things he does on two axis: Urgentness and Importantness. It's helpful.. I think we never get to the things that are not urgent or important, but I suppose that's the point).

So well, I feel like this letter should be the BEST...

Soo.. first off, we had the baptism of three of our beloved sisters. Paola RaĆ” was Friday, and it was a very, very well done service with lots of help. Turned out great. She was really, really well prepared. In the pictures, the better picture comes with the back of the head of Aldo Lopez. So I'm thinking that's a photoshop job since the first doesn't have everyone in it. She was so so happy to be baptized.

We also had the opportunity to have the baptismal service of Ysabel y Alessandra Ramos Saturday!!! It was great! They were also so delighted. Alessandra said Sunday that she had felt as if she had been a feather after her baptism. The ward always shows up in force to help us out. It's quite an amazing thing to see how much the ward is helping us. The bishop also is just a rock of a man. In a great way. He reminded me of Dad when he told of a problem he had with his work. He switched banks [jobs] to be able to give more time to his family and the church, but turned out that it didn't work out and he had less. So he was about to quit, and the Lord gave him a blessing to be able to have the time he wanted for his work in the home and the church. The other saints seem to be so excited. It's just a great ward to be in. I think a lot has to do with attitude of the observer too, but the attitude makes differences in everything.

Saturday we also were called to go to the Hospital to give a blessing to the mother of a ward member. She told us after the blessing that she is going to be baptized Monday. We've got to call her to see how her operation went. I think her appendix burst. She has 83 years.

Really Elder Jones and I are just so happy. Missionary work is the best. I'm excited to get into family search and family search indexing. I made some goals for that last Monday for my first month back and also for a bunch of other subjects. Yesterday, we had 42 people in the new members class! Converts, less actives being activated, and members acompaƱando sus amigos [members coming with their friends]! This week we have quite a few people who could be baptized. One that is more sure than my own attendance in the sacrament meeting next week. The ward is also going to have the baptism of a child of 8 years who went up to the Executive Secretary and said: "Hey, I'm eight. I want to get baptized." Haha.

I'm writing all the people I've been able to see baptized, a couple have moved and I'm a little worried about losing contact when I leave! I'm gunna call them the first possible.

All the members keep asking me how much time I have left...It doesn't feel like the full time mission is close to ending. The whole ward are our friends.

Well.... finishing up. I love missionary work. I love the time that He has given me to work here in Peru to learn how to work for the rest of my life. I'm so grateful for all the wonderful experiences that I've been able to have in all 110 weeks of the mission the Lord has given me (were they 110?) and more than anything, my heart is consumed of thankfulness for the gift to the atonement which makes it possible that when I repent, my soul may be comforted and forgiven. God is my Father, Christ is my Lord, The Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God and This is His church, and Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet of God today. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 September 2012


How great will be this week. We are working with some people who are amazingly good. Manyan Liendo Li got permission to be baptized next Saturday (we are almost sure about his permission) He was in Mosiah 15 the last time we taught him Friday.

A reference from the young single adults, Paola, has decided to be baptized Friday. She got to go to the Youth transmission Sunday by Elder Holland and we finished up everything basically. They are both very very special. 

My companion Elder Jones is the best... I don't know if I've written that before, but he is so patient. I'm trying to be more and more docile, haha I'm a little overly fast sometimes, but his tremendous humility is very impressionist. I have been trying to act in every single moment of the day every day just like Christ would. Its quite hard. But I like it, Elder Jones helps me to be better, and I think if we work so that every person around us could say that of us, then we will be doing what Christ said when he said let your light shine forth. And in Doctrine and Covenants, Levantaos y Brillad. One of my friends at church: Osman Salagury, shared a quote in Elders Quorum: Let not your faith be difficult to detect.

Our good bishop said in his talk something very true to all the members who had difficulties: Being a member of the Church should make us successful men, and successful women. I liked those two quotes from church.

Getting to church we had a spiritual experience: Called a family last Saturday who gave us the news that Sister Sanchez finally got out of the hospital. She has 83 years and wants to be born again and be baptized, but hasn't been able to. She also was completely unable to walk after such a long time laying down in the hospital. They took her in ambulance to her house Friday. She made a heroic effort to sit up and get dressed when we visited Saturday. We invited her to come to church and promised we would help her get there. At 8:30 we got there and she wasn't quite ready, so we went to make some calls for 10 minutes, and then came back. At 8:45 we started, with the taxi driver we helped her to stand up! we spent about 10 minutes walking the 4 meters from her bed to the taxi. That was an Olympic effort. She was going an almost constant 7 millimeters per second haha. But there, she felt great, she felt new strength, and getting back home she had strength to lift her legs out of the taxi all by herself and sit down in her bed all by herself! Amazing.

Love Elder Johnson

Monday, September 3, 2012

3 September 2012


Querido phamily,

This has been really really fun. As a note, Paul sent me a picture of our new front lawn. It's pretty! Tons of trees and green and stuff. Looks pretty weird. Haha just kidding.

This SUNDAY WAS AWESOME! the whole ward, well half the active body almost, went to the temple last week. And they came back Sooo happy. It lined up with a testimony meeting too which made for a really powerful meeting. There were a bunch of future saints in the meeting too who were impacted by the testimonies, especially the testimonies of the youth who went. Almost all the youth who went bore testimony of their experiences.

Apart from that, about.. let's see... one friend of a saint came to church and felt really strongly the spirit. She had a few questions like why don't you have pictures in the chapel. Until someone had asked me that a month ago, I hadn't even realized that the churches, especially the catholic, always have pictures in their chapels. That's interesting. Also, there was a young man who has 15 years who was happy to be there and there was another lady with her two kids who we actually didn't get to meet! Mom dad, friends, when you see someone new, always talk with them, make them feel your genuine love, and get them to know the missionaries, another who is an older man who sells stuff here in Tacna and also lives in the jungle of Lima, our gospel principles class teacher who is always on the ball asked him a little about his situation to find out who he was, where from etc, and straightly asked him if he was planning on being baptized here or in Lima. Yesterday was the first time we've seen him so that was just the directness that he needed to know how to do this thing he wants of coming to Christ. She invited him to a family home evening Tuesday with a recent convert Sandra Astete and a few others from her class. 

Apart from those, sister Chita came with two of her kids and she came fasting for her husband who is still not embracing the gospel with all his heart like she is. Her daughter went to Arequipa to see if she could get into a university there, and we were hoping she wouldn't so that when her dad is ready they can all get baptized as a family, and she didn't get in. When they told us we reacted like this YES! oh um... also sad but mostly YES!

In the afternoon we started splits with some members and I went with Osman and we contacted some references of his family. He has been back from the mission for 2 years now, and has been married for 1.5 years. Apart from getting married quickly, he gives a constant example in everything he does. I asked his cousins who he presented to me if they believed that The Lord helps him and they said YES faster than a speeding bullet. Osman was baptized something like 6 years ago, and his strong example helps others to be prepared. We invited them to be baptized with an uncle of theirs and they accepted.

We also went Saturday with Aldo Lopez, a friend of ours, to a friend of his. She is really really awesome. She felt the spirit very strongly and could just tell during the lesson that all we were saying was true. Also accepted a baptismal goal. 

What Roland sent me in a Dear Elder has been excellent. We invite everyone we get to know to be baptized at once. That helps a lot. Not just to let them know how to come unto Christ with clarity, but it helps us to be of purer heart I think. I really like it because you can start in any way. Talk about Christ for 5 seconds, or just say: Hello, we are mormon elders. We have the authority to baptize. Would you like to be baptized? And if its said with a pure heart and the eye single to the glory of God, almost everyone says yes haha. Most will express some reserves after, but its just a great thing to do. It makes me happy for some reason.

I like what Manyan Liendo said: A communist is communist until he becomes a millionaire, and an atheist is an atheist until the plane goes down. That kid is pretty amazing. He is now finishing Jacob and launching into Enos. Enos is the best! We gave him an assignment to look for all the places in the Book of Mormon where it testifies of Christ today. We've just got to find his elusive mother so he can have permission to be baptized.

We asked the landlord of our room to take some names to the temple, and something marvelous happened. of the four we sent, two finally told us that the reason they haven't been baptized yet is not just because her mother has been opposed (even though she has 24 years) but that she has felt addicted to coffee. Also, her mom this week decided to support her in her decision to be baptized out of nowhere.. that was special.
No me alcanca el tiempo por los otros, Chao! [I don't have any more time for the rest, Goodbye!)

Love Elder Johnson