Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012

Letter to Dad:
Sadly the video didnt work. It is 16 minutes long or something. I could probably make it work if i was at home but I cant do all the things on the computer that I used to. What was it of? Ugh, the keyboard I am using is sticking so bad... public computers, blech.

New companion Elder Palma
Haha my letter was good last week? If you thought that was good, just wait to read the one this week. Miracles are happening in my area. I have a new companion named Elder Palma from Mexico. In the last 4 days, his first 4 days, we found 11 new investigators and our investigator, Jose, who is closest to baptism finally came to church again and Elder Foster of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 was there! And so was our misssion president. They both gave talks along with an area 70 from Argentina. They all 3 talked and said exactly what José needed to hear. We should have a baptism saturday. But President told me after sacrament meeting that he wants to come with us to a lesson with José! So crazy. Then after church we found a family of 6 that totally accepted and understood the lesson of the restoration. So cool! Then an invesitigator thought we looked hungry so she asked us to eat lunch with her! And it was asado! So cool.

Benitez Family
Thats pretty cool about ward conference. Before my mission I never would have looked forward to something like that but now that sounds like something really interesting and that I would like to go to. I use that scripture Alma 37:6 and 7 a lot with investigators. I like it alot, but in spanish its better. ;)

I am glad you had a good week, my week was awesome too. Mom asked me to send my emails earlier in the day so that is why I am emailing earlier now. and my new companion likes to go in the morning and I could really care less. But I dont have an email from mom today. But I will send a general email anyways.

Working that hard?  Or poorly made shoes?  Just kidding.
The pictures I attached are of me and my new comp Elder Palma, my shoes (I am going to talk to mom about those), my egg and pizza that elder nielsen didnt believe me that it was good and does now, and me and the Benitez family. The older guy in the soccer jersey sitting down is the stake president. Coolest guy I have met in Paraguay so far. He came with us to a lesson with our investigator and basically sealed the deal. And he took us to his house in his truck so that was awesome.



Letter to Mom:

Gracias por tu ayuda. Sorry for being a pill, it never was my intention. (Stacy says: He and I had a disagreement about what was going onto his blog, but we resolved it.)

So this week was really a week of miracles. I´ll go through my days for you.

Pizza with an egg on top.  Johnson family favorite.
Monday: Bueno, monday really wasnt that great. Pday is fun but we dont really do much missionary work. We had a family home evening with a recent convert and she had invited people to come over at 8 but no one came until about 8:55 and we have to be home at 9. So that didnt work. I heard that people came and it was a good night after we left.

Tuesday: We woke up, studied as usual and then went to district meeting. We recieved the changes and elder Nielsen was going to another area called Ita and I was staying. And I was getting a companion named Elder Palma. He was in an area 6 hours away. So after district meeting we went back home and had a last lunch with the other Elders (Avendaño and May) and then we left to "work." We just visited investigators that Elder Nielsen wanted to say bye to. So we did that until the day was through. Elder Nielsen stayed up till 1am packing his things and I went to sleep at 11 or so.

Wednesday: We go to the bus terminal to get our new companions and drop Elder Nielsen off. I pick up Elder Palma and we take off back to Lucerito. We arrive back home at about 9 am. We didnt have any food so we went to the super and bought some food for the week and then came back home and started working after lunch.We visited some members to introduce Elder Palma and then had a couple lessons with new investigators. Good day.

Johnson, Palma, ?, Nielsen
Thursday: We visited a couple investigators and had 2 lessons that day. It wasnt an awesome day but it wasnt too hot so it didnt suck. We set up an appointment with a family we found for sunday. and we also met with the stake president who heard about one of our investigators who was having a hard time making the decision to get baptized. President Benitez wanted to come with us to a lesson.

Friday: We started off the day working in an area where we had a couple set appointments but that fell. So we were just trying to talk to people outside and found two guys resting from work who let us teach them and they both turned into new investigators! Then we had lunch and went back out to work. At around 6 we had a lesson with a guy named Noel. We passed by a members house named Mario who was going to come with us. So we got him and then started walking towards our appointment which was kinda far from his house. So we get finally all the way over there and the dude wasnt there! So we tried clapping a couple houses and nothing worked. So we decided to just head back the other way because we had a lesson with José and the Stake President. It all the sudden started to rain really really hard. We ran as fast as we could to an over hang on the side of someones house and waited for a minute but the rain wasnt stopping. So we called the stake president and asked him if he could come pick us up but we didnt know exactly how to explain where we were because we were really far. and the only way I could explain it wouldnt work because it was a dirt road and surely was a river of mud and water by now. So we told him to meet us at a members house which we thought was close and started running. We were soaking wet in the matter of minutes and still had a long way to go. The roads were rivers and we were running through knee deep water. We finally get to a bus stop that had a roof and we called the stake president that was waiting for us in his truck at this members house and told him where we were and he came and got us. He picked us up and we left to our lesson with José. The lesson with José was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever been in. José wanted to get baptized but couldnt just make the decision to just do it! President Benitez knew exactly what to say to him and it was amazing. So that finished that really fun and amazing day.

Saturday: We had another day of 4 lessons not counting the lesson we had with a member family who is going to have family home evening in their house on saturday and invite some friends. It was a good day but nothing huge. Still was really cloudy and not hot so the day couldnt have been bad.

Sunday (Crazy day): We wake up at 6:30 like normal and before 7 we got a call from our district leader that said President Callan was coming to our sacrament meeting and that two general authorities were coming! Whoa! Luckily we were going to have José in sacrament meeting with us. So we got to church early, and were waiting outside shaking everyones hands when President Monson showed up!!! hahahaha just kidding. But President Callan did with his wife and soon thereafter Elder Foster of the 2nd quorum of the 70 (his picture is in the liahona) and an area 70 named Elder Giovanni from Argentina. So sacrament meeting was at 10 and at 9:30 José still wasnt there. So we left to go pick him up and when we got to his house he was getting ready like he woke up late. He was taking forever and finally came out and said that his wife was really mad that he was leaving with us and started crying (his wife doesnt really like us) so he said he had to calm her down before he left. So we left to the church on the way stopped on the side of the road and said a prayer that he would be able to say something to his wife to calm her down. During the sacrament he showed up! So Cool! Then the talks by President Callan, Elder Giovanni and Elder Foster were exactly what José needed to hear. What a miracle. José is going to pick a date to be baptized this week. We are visiting him tonight. Then later in the day me and my companion found a family of 6 that accepted our message and understood it and everything! Then we went to visit another investigator family and they were busy because they had family over or something and didnt have time to let us in and share a little bit but asked us if we wanted to come in and eat lunch with them! Hahahaha so cool! and it was asado! Then we went to a family home evening where a recent convert invited her friend from work and he doesnt live in our area but we passed his reference to the missionaries where he lives. Ahh, what a day!

This week seriously has been the best week of my mission so far and I am living with someone who doesnt speak english. And I am getting your package tomorrow, possibly today. I am in Ñemby again so we might pass by the Hermana´s house to pick up the package.

El Señor estaba guiandonos esta semana. Yo sé que esta obra es la obra del Señor. No puedo explicar el gozo que viene cuando las personas aceptan el evangelio. Yo amo mi vida ahora. No quiero parar. ¡Voy a seguir adelante y bautizar a full!

Les Quiero,


Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012

Happy Valentines day to you! haha my comp uses hankerchiefs as well not always a paper towel. But the hankercheifs get dirty and he uses paper towels when his hankerchiefs are getting washed. I dont have to use any of those because I dont seem to sweat as much as everyone else. It is so hot here though. I cant believe it. Last wednesday it was 110 degrees with 100% humidity and we left the house to work at 1pm. Its crazy. We freeze our water bottles and they are warm within less than a half hour. 

Oh grocery shopping, I remember the times. When we go grocery shopping here it takes like 30 minutes max and then I remember shopping for hours on end in wal mart. hahaha. (Stacy says:  I was telling him about getting groceries one day and it took over two hours)

So this week in Lucerito we had a really tough time getting lessons. We felt like we had been working as hard as we could and we went all week with only 6 lessons. We put one new investigator with a baptismal date in the first lesson and he said for sure he was going to come to church and he didnt come. and it turned out that he gave us a fake phone number and so we went to his house, some lady inside just started yelling at us and said that he is on vacations and he is traveling right now and she doesnt know when he will be back. Kinda disappointing. Its hard not to be disappointed when you have no numerical success. But we did have a good lesson with one of our investigators named Jose. We have been teaching him for basically the whole time I have been here but his wife wont let him get baptized. So we have been trying to think of a way to get on the good side of his wife and finally we thought of something. We had a lesson there at his house one day and we saw something that looked like a calzone so my comp started talking to him about it and we got on the subject of food and Jose started telling us that his wife loves to cook. So we decided to set up a lesson where we could make some american food for them and share something spiritual as well. So we made a peach cobbler and took it to their house and finally the wife came out and talked to us! It was only for about 5 minutes but it was the most we had ever talked to her. And she invited us back over on tuesday and we are going to eat some more food and we are going to watch the restoration movie. Hopefully everything goes well. 

The last two days (sunday, monday) i have been pretty sick. I had a fever of 101 on Sunday and today I felt just as bad so i asked for a blessing from my comp and my district leader. I still dont feel totally better but a lot better than Sunday. Hopefully I feel 100% tomorrow. 

I still have not recieved the package but tomorrow at district meeting I might get something that notifies me that it is in paraguay but then I have to pay for a company to bring it to my house. So the earliest I could get it is the 21st of February. Mail is slow. Have you gotten the letters I sent home?

The church is true.



Monday, February 6, 2012

February 6, 2012

I can believe its February haha. This is the hottest month of the year so i have heard and the last week or so has sure shown it. I have been sweating so much in the last couple days. Its nuts. Its just so humid that its impossible not to sweat. But luckily I dont sweat as much as my poor companion. He carries around a paper towel all day long and is always wiping off his face. A crazy paraguayan told us that if we drank lemon juice we wouldn't sweat as much. Its a myth. I still sweat and I drink straight up lemon juice every morning. Just a capful because I cant stomach much more.

I did take out some money from my account a while ago but I don't remember exactly how much was in there. I was sure that there was enough though. I thought I had enough. Sorry about that. I dont think
Inside of scripture case
I will need to take out any more personal money for a while. I bought a missionary tag in Guarani, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in guarani is "Hesu Kristo marangatukuera arapahapegua" and some scripture cases. Both of which havent been delivered to me yet. (Stacy says:  He got his scripture case delivered so I'm inserting the pictures here)

Yeah, Dad told me that you guys watched a dog for a little while and I could not believe that you let a dog in our house! But thats cool. I have decided that I never ever want a dog now though. I didnt really
want one before but after being here in Paraguay and seeing like 2,304,972,342 stray dogs a day and all of them just barking your ear off when you are trying to do a contact is just so frustrating. I hate all
the dogs here. But its kinda funny because the paraguayans hate them too. So they throw rocks at them and so if you want a dog to get away from you all you have to do is pretend to pick up a rock and it will run away really fast.

Thats cool that Drew had a good season. He told me he was going to write me a letter on Christmas and I still havent received it...

Thats crazy that Marly already got asked to Prom! But that is pretty cool the way that dude did it. Have I met the guy?

Inside of scripture case
Dad and Sky went camping just the two of them? Thats cool. I want to go camping. Thats crazy about the cluff girls! I remember in 7th grade we needed our ID card to buy lunch and so on the days that I forgot my
ID card I would go to the lunch line where Allie worked and should would let me buy lunch with just my number. hahaha. that was a long time ago. But David Barushok (?) let me do that too. They both worked
in the cafeteria at smith.

Thats cool that you and dad ran so far! I miss running so much. My companion doesnt like to run and so we only do enough running everyday to wake us up. Like 5 minutes at the most. And I think I am getting
fat so I need to do more. We have a rope in the house so I think after we run i am going to jump rope a lot.

This week in my studies I studied patience. Patience is what I needed to have to endure this week. Our week was really slow with not many lessons. We recieved a lot of references (over 70 in the last two
weeks) from people but only had 8 lessons. So I studied the patience and have learned a lot. I wish I had my study journal with me right now so I could put down some key scriptures that I found but I dont. I read the talk "Waiting upon the Lord: Thy will be done" from Conference and learned a lot too.

So like I said, the week was really slow. Nothing too grand happened. I did receive letters from Josh and Sister Burley and will be sending those out as soon as possible. I have zone conference tomorrow and
tuesday is usually when I send out letters so I dont know if I will be able to send them tomorrow. And I have not received any packages thus far but I am going to the office tomorrow so I might get it tomorrow.
I am not totally sure that they will actually give it to me tomorrow because we usually have to pay to recieve packages but I will know for sure that I got it tomorrow I think. Then I will pay for it tomorrow and get it next tuesday.
Les Quiero!!!

Elder Johnson

January 30, 2012

Me and my ZL Elder P.
So this last week was super quick! I had a 48 hour division with one of my zone leaders and the week just flew by! So Tuesday I left to Ñemby (pronounced Nyemboo) and started my first division with an elder that only speaks Spanish. It wasnt as hard as I thought! We didnt talk that much the first day mostly because we have nothing in common. He is from Honduras and his lifestyle is totally different. But then after that it got a little easier and we started talking. I learned a lot about how to ask questions better in lessons to help the investigator teach himself and how to ask for referalls better. Referalls make this work so much easier. When we actually have a house to go to instead of clapping every single house on a street, the success rate goes way up. If you know someone in your neighborhood who isnt a member, tell the missionaries. They wont even use your name if you dont want them to and they will love you forever. 

My crepes that I made this morning.  Sooooooo good.
My comp Elder N. and his crepes
So after the division was over I came back to my area and my house with air conditioning (the zone leaders dont want to pay to have their unit installed so they dont have AC) my comp and the other zone leader had recieved 33 referalls in two days! So we had some work to do and thursday flew by! We contacted so many of them. Sadly no one wanted to sit down with us except for a crazy catholic dude who told us that he was a prophet. He was crazy. But this crazy guy gave us a reference and we contacted the house on Friday and before we could even finish introducing ourselves they guy invited us in and we taught and now that guy has a baptismal date! Then on Saturday we got another referral from someone that didnt want to listen to us and we taught this girl and now she has a baptismal date too! and she even said that she wants to come to church! And she speaks english! hahah miracles this week! Good stuff. Sadly we had to drop one of our investigator familes who we thought were golden because they were so nice to us. We taught them lesson 1 a couple weeks ago and invited them to be baptized. They said that they were already baptized in the catholic church which means that they obviously didnt understand the part where we said that through a prophet all the authority of god was restored. So we went back and explained lesson 1 again and invited them to be baptized again and they said again that they were already baptized. They are the nicest people ever but we just cant go visit people all the time that will never progress. but the daughter said that she would still come to our weekly english class. So thats good, that they dont hate us. 

So that is basically what happened this week. Hopefully our investigators can come to church next week!

I got bored this morning before studies and did a shake face.
Marly isnt running track!? Lame! Track is the best sport on the planet and it isnt going to hurt her cheerleading! if it does anything it will help it. Drew can do whatever he wants. He is the first person in this family to play JV anything as a freshmen. He shouldnt play football either if he wants to play basketball then. ;) I wish I could record what we do every day but it would be really hard to do and its against the rules to use the video function on our cameras anyways. (I still do sometimes if it is really cool and we are in the house) I made crepes this morning! And i basically have decided that I want to go to BYU after 1 more year at MCC. My comp went there for a little over a year before his mission and he convinced me that I want to go. But I still want to run too. Oh yeah and I passed the 4 month mark this week! So mom, if you and dad want to come pick me up in Paraguay you need to decided within the next 14 months. The mission needs to know 6 months in advance. 
A list of things I want in life. 

January 23, 2011

Mom - You just barely made it in time! Hahaha I laughed when I opened the email and it said that you had written in 28 minutes ago. Close call. Sorry about the pictures this week, nothing that cool happened so there arent any pictures with me in them. I have another one from McDonalds but it is just about the same as the last one.

DEREK HAD A SEIZURE! Crazy! I am glad to hear he is doing ok. That is so scary. I totally forgot that right about now is Super Bowl time. No one talks about it here and it so freakin hot that i forgot that it was football season. Marly changed her hair color? El Sueño de Lehi is one of my favorite stories from the Book of Mormon. I love how it can basically be "likened" (1 ne 19:23) to any part of life. There is a really cool picture of Lehis dream in the October ensign that is all about the Book of Mormon. Is Drew going to run track? He should, and he should run the 3200. He would win.

So this week was kind of uneventful. Me and my comp walked a lot. We only have about two investigators that are progressing and so we dont have a lot of set lessons. And one of our progressing investigators only wants to meet with us on Saturday nights. Our other Investigator is named Jose Avila and he is 42 years old but he looks like he is 25. He is super cool, he plays soccer for 2 hours a day with his 19 year old son! We are teaching him and he had fecha for the 28th of January to be baptized but he didnt come to church this sunday and you need 3 times in the church before we can baptize them. So his fecha got moved to the 4th of February. We talked to him and he knows he should have came but said he had a problem that he couldnt avoid. We have a lesson with him tonight. We taught him Law of Chastity last time we taught him and it was a relief to find out that he is actually married to the woman that he has lived with for the last 20 years. Sometimes we meet people who have families and have been together forever it seems and just never got married. It sucks because they dont see a reason to get married so that is something that stops people from getting baptized. Two of our investigators told us to stop coming this week too. So sad. One of them said that the lady that he is living with and has two kids with but not his wife doesnt want us in her house. Which is super gay. He called her his Dueño (landlord kinda feel). Super wierd guy. He avoided us like 3 times before he got the courage to sheepishly ask us not to come back. 

I had my first interview with Presidente Callan on Wednesday. That was interesting. It was like 10 minutes and we didnt talk about much. He asked me how I can improve my work ethic because we can always be better and how sacrifice is the key to exaltation. It was interesting. I couldnt tell if he was trying to tell me something like that I needed to sacrifice more or just telling me to tell me. I will study sacrifice more I guess. 

Josh Burley wrote me an email (that i am not allowed to write back to) and said that he hadnt forgotten about me but that he gave you pictures and letters to send me like a month and a half ago and that you waited to send them to me in the package. Is this true?

If Tobie Rash and Carly Blair are reading this I got your letter(s) and I am going to send you both a letter back tomorrow (1/24/12) and so you can expect that around st patricks day. Asi es la vida en Paraguay.

Cool thing that happened this week is I found a place to buy a huge Ice cream cone with three scoops for only 2 mil! and 2 mil guarani is like less than 50 cents. and this place has kiwi ice cream! KIWI! And waffle cones. So good.

Anyways, I think that is it for this week!

Les Quiero,


P.S.  Oh yeah, I already have some guarani words ingrained in my vocab that will be really hard to get out. First, every time that I would normally say "Dang!" or "Dang it!" I now say "Deda, Chori She'ra!" Which is basically the equivelant in guarani. But I have heard that that saying is really bad if you say it just a little differently. The word "cori" is really bad in Guarani I guess. I have only heard it once and the dude was really angry with us. But I hear Chori like every day.

Oh yeah and its really funny the way paraguayans talk. They add the words "un poco" after a lot of sayings and it doesnt even really make sense. Por ejemplo yesterday me and my comp clapped a house and no one came out but the windows were open and everything and the next door neighbor was sitting in front of her house so I asked her "hola hermana, ¿usted sabe si alguien esta aqui? (do you know if anyone is home here?) and she said "no se un poco" which literally means "I dont know a little". hahahaha oh paraguayans. And they put the words no mas after every single sentence it seems.

Eso no mas :) 
Dad - I am glad you like the pics, I am going to try and include some pics in every email. But this week this pictures are kinda lame. Nothing really cool happened. That is so scary that Derek had a seizure.

Thats cool that you are enjoying your runs. I miss running so much. My comp doesnt like to run so we sometimes get up and go run but when we do it is only for like 2 minutes around a park one lap. Just enough to wake us up. I wish we had more time for stuff like that. But it is super uncomfortable for me to work out in Garments so one lap is ok for now. Sometimes I do ab workouts but I am getting lazy too.

That is crazy that Drew yelled at his coach. I can see it though, it doesnt surprise me too much. I remember wanting to yell at coaches before for making decisions that I didnt think were right. That all changed pretty much when I started running because i pretty much only focused on me. haha that sounds pretty selfish but that is one of the things i liked a lot about track and cross country. I only had to worry about myself and my workouts. 

That would be sweet to go back to Reavis Ranch! I was just talking to my companion about Reavis the other day. We talk about so much random stuff. We arent getting a lot of lessons right now so we walk and talk a lot. Just about everything. I think I know my comp better than a lot of my good friends just because we talk about anything and everything. It has been pretty boring this week. 

It is so nice not to be one of the newest missionaries in Paraguay anymore. We have two missionaries in my district right now that are newer than me and it is pretty cool to know how to be a missionary and speak the language better than them. That might sound mean but i am trying to help them. 

One thing, My comp and the other Elders in my ward are basically always with us and they take a lot of photos and I have really no way of getting photos from them. Do you think you could buy me a jump drive and send it to me like in a padded envelope or something. My comp is leaving this area in about 4 weeks ( we are guessing, he has been is this area for over 6 months now) and I would really like to have his pictures. And another elder in my ward has a bunch of mission appropriate music that I would love to have too. He just barely got to this area so he wont be leaving soon but I would really like to have his music. And then there are music players for cheap here that you can plug your jump drive into and play music in your apartment. Maybe just an 8gb or a 16? That would be so cool. I wish I would have remembered to ask for it before mom sent the package.