Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Davi - 3/27 email

Happy Two-Week Anniversary!

FAMILY!!!  Oh how I love you.  Thanks for being the best ever.  Jamie, can you please send me hair tutorials somehow?  I am lost and confused and my hair typically looks accordingly.  Can you tell the people at the temple that I love them?  

The temple is the hugest blessing here.  I didn't realize how much I had going on in my head until I went to the temple and got to just feel pure peace.  The temple is the best.  It was the hugest blessing getting to work there, and is still the hugest blessing getting to attend weekly.  
The Lord takes care of His missionaries.  How do I know?  Listen to this list of one week’s worth of tender mercies:
1.  There is a Sister in my district who gets every single movie quote.  She's hilarious.
2.  When I went to get Goldfish from the vending machine for Saturday snack night, TWO came out.  TWO!!  We feasted.
3.  I wake up at 6:30 every day and haven't murdered anyone.  [For those of you who haven’t seen Davi in the morning, aka “Grumpy Bear,” I can tell you this is a big deal.  –added by Mom]
4.  There's this thing called the free box.  And I found a huge box of chocolates in it last night.  I ended up pounding on the other Hermanas' door, saying, "Hermanas!  This is really important!"  It has become a quote of ours.
5.  I can understand Spanish sometimes!

We watched this devotional that was given at the MTC [Missionary Training Center] on Christmas by Elder Bednar.  It's called the Character of Christ.  And it is straight-up life-changing.  The whole room was in a daze afterward, trying to comprehend everything.  Pretty much it talked about conversion, and how Christ was able to perform the Atonement because of His personal conversion.  He always turned out to others when we would think to turn in.  I have been working on that, and it is making a real difference.  

I love getting to wear this nametag.  It gives me more permission to just talk to everyone.  And smile at the world.  Because Christ would definitely be paying attention to each one of them.
Oh!  I might be in the thing in the middle of conference on Saturday!  Maybe.  Who knows?  Everyone watch Conference anyway, though!  

I love the MTC.  I love getting to be in a place where the Lord's servants are being trained to be the Lord's servants.  We have volunteered, and want to be here, and couldn't be happier about it.  That's how I feel.  Blessed, and loved, and excited.  There is a lot, but so different than I thought.  Because I never realized I would be given so much strength.  The Lord is so aware of me.  I read 1 Nephi 2:1 in class and felt like Heavenly Father was trying to say that to me, what he said to Lehi.  And then I passed it on to this young lady in the TRC [which, I think, stands for Teaching Resource Center] .  And she started crying, and had the same experience I had.  God loves His kids.  All of them.  Personally.  And He  is desperate for them to know that.  That's why I am here :)

Love you all!  The Church is uber true!!
Hermana Davi 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dalton - 3/26/13 email

Spencer’s Engaged?

I'm glad things are going well for y'all up in the snooty northern hemisphere.  And hey, I'm glad that Davi is doing well.  I asked the CCM president (President Cardon) about if Davi was coming a few weeks ago, and he mentioned to me that his niece or something didn't get her visa in time to come down here either.  She's probably in Davi's district.  But whatevs.  Hope you're having fun, Davi!

Spencer's and Rachel's DearElder got here on Thursday, which was just in time for me to lose my awe-inspiring mantle of authority as district leader, which mostly consisted of me choosing hymns and occasionally carrying a binder.  So thanks--I still got them to learn some respect.

Went proselyting on Saturday.  My companion was Elder Duarte, who is from Paraguay and mentioned during the proselyting that Peruvians speak too fast and he can hardly understand them.  I mostly just thought, "That's very observant of you, elder.  I didn't notice until now that these peoples mouths move several times as fast as the speed of sound."  It was cool, though, and I liked him.  A teacher was with us for part of the time, and taught us a good lesson after we taught the restoration to some people.  He said something to the effect of: "You taught the restoration, but you two did not teach those people.  Change your focus."  I don't plan on forgetting that lesson any time soon.

One more thing before I get kicked off:  I now have two companions.  Elder Gray, who is from Australia, was supposed to leave for the field today, but hurt his knee playing soccer and will be here for two more weeks.  I love the kid and feel bad, but at least he doesn't have to go home.  I told him that I'm basically learning two languages now.  Also, I'm pretty sure every female on this continent is desperately in love with him.  Just my estimate.

Love you all!  I love it here and the Spirit  is so strong, but I need to get off exactly now.

Elder Johnson

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Davi's first email (3-20-13)

I'm assuming I didn't get an email this week because I didn't have an email address....

I sure do love you guys!  I am not homesick at all, but like, you can still write me if you want. 

I love it here.  SO much.  The learning that can take place here is better than I could have imagined.  It's like Heavenly Father lets you use more of the percentage of your brain that goes unused or something.  Because I'm soaking in so much more from everything!  I have been writing in my journal nonstop.  My district either thinks I am an overachiever or that I'm just doodling all the time.  Not only are the best teachers in the world at the MTC, and we get General Authorities to listen to all the time, and you are surrounded by people who love the Gospel, but then the Spirit is so intense too.  So as Elder Whiting of the Seventy put it last night, we are in this incubator.  An environment created for optimum learning and growth.  It's so true.  Dad, Elder Whiting said something I think you'd like - "If you are worthily on the errand of the Lord, and you act on a thought, the Lord will consecrate that action for your benefit and the benefit of those around you."  It made me think of my Daddy :)  Also, I have quoted your infamous quote a few times.  But I give you the due credit, not just "some General Authority."  

My district is so great.  There's eight of us--four Hermanas, four Elders--and they are so dear.  We are all going to Peru, and none of us got our visas in time.  My companion is teaching me so much (in the good way, not the "I'm learning how to live with difficult people" way).  She is one of the best scriptorians I've ever met, and she teaches so humbly.  

We have an investigator, who will become our teacher soon.  Maybe we aren't supposed to know that.  Two days in, we had to teach a lesson in Spanish to this person pretending to be a non-member.  He's pretty convincing.  I am learning so much more about how the Spirit works.  And guess what --The Spirit is stronger than my weaknesses.  The Spirit doesn't need perfect Spanish -- it needs a worthy, prayerful, willing, loving, humble heart.  

Heavenly Father is the best.  He loves me.  He adores us each in such a special way.  
I love being here.  I am so glad I get to be here.  It's like, the most natural thing in the world.  Of course I am here!  It's the hugest blessing ever.  

With love for you, for this Gospel, and for the Lord, 
Hermana Johnson

Davi's 2nd letter (also rec'd 3-18)

Ok, to go into more depth:  We are teaching Eduardo en EspaƱol hoy, in the afternoon.  It will be fun… haha. 

My companion really is so sweet, and like as shy/quiet as they come.  She is awesome, though, and is teaching me a ton.  I need to learn how to wait and let someone else do things. 

One of the counselors in the Branch Presidency is Molly Cocanour’s uncle.  Weird.  He is actually way sweet.  And all bubbly.

I LOVE IT HERE!  In all honesty, the first couple days were kinda hard.  But I love it more and more every second.  Like, a lot.  Oh, it is so great.  I’M A MISSIONARY!

I get to be taught by the Spirit all the time!  It’s my full-time job!  It’s so neato!  I am coming to the realization of my role more, and it’s so exciting!  To come to understand the Spirit more is one of the coolest things to learn.  I mean, in ways I didn’t know, or couldn’t have guessed.  And as I admit my issues and faltas, I get the answers.  Being able to give the Spirit opportunities to teach me is so worth the humbling experiences.

I LOVE THE LORD!  AND HIS GOSPEL!  Because it is how to come to Him. 

Thanks for being the best and super supportive!

Love you!
Hermana Johnson

Davi's first letter from the MTC (received 3-18-13)

¡Hola!  ¡Me encarta la CCM!

My companion is so sweet.  She will teach me some great things!  And I have a fantastic teacher.  He is seriously so good and will teach me so much.  This place will teach me so much!  I love seeing so many people.

My roommates are sweet, but crazy.  They have five huge bags of bouncy balls on top of the closet.  My muumuu [Davi bought this old-lady style housecoat for her missionary jammies] has totally come in handy, on the bright side.  It made them love me.

This place—the best thing ever!  Humbling, absolutely—which is one of the reasons it’s the best.  J 

Love you!
Hermana Johnson

Still Here! (3-19-13)

Ok, first things first.  Don´t worry about the diarrhea.  It just comes in waves, that´s all.  You just need to pray for the gift of discernment when passing gas.  At least Elder Moore should have.  Whatever.  Garments are cheaper here.

Ok, second things second.  I got a cheapo (pronounced CHEEP-oh) watch, so I will be fine.

Davi´s gone!  Bout time the little birdie flew away.  If it makes her feel any better, no sisters got their visas in on time in this shipment, so she wouldn´t have had a companion anyway.  Still, though, the poor dear is still in the wrong hemisphere.

What else?  Food is actually really good here, except for the occasional danger of "farping" (copyright Elder Cody).  Also, in more serious news, Elder Nash of the Seventy was here Sunday.  It was good.

Just attached a picture of my district, as far as I know.

I´m glad to know that things are going well.  Things are going great for me.  The Spirit is strong and the language is coming faster than I would believe, even though when a native speaks as fast as they humanly can to me, I still have that drooly face Spencer would accurately accuse me of having when he would catch me on that chair.  Ask him to do it.  [We did ask Spencer, and he showed us a very accurate rendition.]

Love you all!

Elder Johnson (It´s Dalton)

Die-uh-ree-uh! (3-12-13)

This week was awesome.  I think I'm at least mostly adjusted to the different strains of bacteria in the food here.  At least it doesn't feel like my stomach is hosting the Manhattan Project anymore.  In fact, I think it was a blessing anyway, since both my companion and I getting sick turned out to be some of the best bonding time yet with him.  Besides, it's hilarious!

Hey, Camille Mathis is going to Trujillo?  Tell her that I met Hermana Ayer, who apparently sold Camille her contract, and Hermana Childers, who she has not met yet but is also going to Trujillo and probably thinks I am the best district leader she has had yet.

I went for real proselyting on Saturday!  It happens every other Saturday down here, where one Latino kid from the CCM is paired with one drooling white kid and dropped off for a few hours.  It was actually really cool.  Elder Merino will be a great missionary, and I know how to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon.  He's the Robin to my Batman, really.  Seriously though, it was so cool to see how willing these people are to find out the truth.  One discussion with Lucy went especially well.  She prayed at the end and agreed to come to church.  It was interesting to see that I understood enough of the discussions in order to help teach it, but I honestly couldn't understand a single word from that elder's mouth between visits.  At first, I would ask "como?" during the pauses where he asked me to respond, but then I started to answer with "si."  Oh, also, he is from Piura, which he says is called "the city of eternal heat."  I'm sure you'll have a fun time anyway, Davi.

Ok, pouch is just an envelope with a max of two sheets of paper that is sent to Provo, then redirected here.  I don't know for sure after that, but post it on my facebook so that every female I know is aware of it, ok Spencer?  I need to teach my district some humility, which would be taught by me getting more mail.

Anyway, I have three minutes, according to this computer's bomb timer.  I better get off before this room explodes.  I love you guys, but don't think I'm a sweaty trunky mess for a minute.  I love it here, and I'll love it more in the field.  Bye Bye!

Oh yeah, have fun in Provo, Davi!  HAHAHAHAHA
Jk.  Really, have fun
Elder Johnson

Monday, March 11, 2013

Elder Johnson's First Email from the Peru CCM

¡Buenas martes!  (3-5-13)

Hey, to answer your p-day question, it is today.  As an item of ward business, I would like to announce that no packages should ever ever ever be sent to the CCM, as I would then have to be a contestant on ABCs hit show "Wipeout" in order to get it.
I'm hoping everything is going well for y'all, because I am doing just dandy right here.  I love my district.  All three elders in it are from Mesa and are going to Lima West.  Elder Cody is my companion, and the other Mesa kids in our room/district are Elders Arnett and Norton.  Cool kids.  Our two Latino roommates, Elder Rodriguez and Elder Cruz, don't speak a lot of English, but are absolutely hilarious.  I'm also glad now that Spencer expanded my vocabulary at home, because I was able to answer Elder Cruz's question of his soul:  "¿Elder Johnson, como se dice pedo en ingles?"

Teaching is fun, in English, at least.  I'm not too worried about language either, since I've pretty much gotten over the fear of not having any idea of what's being said here.  I'm excited to go on splits.  I hear that happens every other Saturday and we all go with the Lima Central missionaries.

Davi, I don't mean to sound too salty, but get your bottom dollar down here!  You'll love it, and we would actually see each other on a daily basis, since there are only 130 missionaries here, and probably 40 white people.  But, you'll go where you're supposed to go, and the church is true, etc.  Oh, also, there is an Elder Stanley going to Piura.  You will remember this easily, because he looks remarkably like a Yelnats from Holes.

If you send mail to the CCM, only send it via pouch.  I don't remember the address, but you could find it out online.  As for other administrative questions on the subject, I will refer you to my companion, Elder Google.
I'm honestly not homesick a single bit, but it's fine to tell people that I am if it gets more girls to write me.

Seriously, the Spirit is so strong here.  I love it.  I don't get it when people complain about being here.  Love it, love you all, but I hate suits.  If I had the choice of someone putting a gun to my head and a suit jacket to my head, I would take the gun.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Week, Folks - Homegirl's about to pee her excited pants.

My first blogpost.  I can't believe it is time to start a blog, much less does it feel time-appropriate to write a post.  Yes, my fingers are here typing away in a kitchen in Sparks, Nevada, but my heart is elsewhere.  I love the people in Peru.  I love my companions, I love my mission president, I love the people who I will see and smile my goofy, I-don't-know-what-the-heck-you-are-saying-to-me smile at, and I love my brother.  And though I have only actually met one of those individuals (my brother, for those of you having a hard time keeping up), I already feel such a connection to them.  Why am I excited and not even freaking out a little bit you may ask?  It's because of them.  When I think about anything but the people I love and will soon meet, I do kind of panic (I've heard tales of jumping spiders the size of CD's - can you blame me?).  But for these dear people, I will not freak out, because I have been called to serve them.  That means that I will be blessed with the ABILITY to serve them.  Which means, that if I remember my purpose, which is to invite others to come closer to Christ, then I will serve people.  How is that for a promise?  I will be able to serve for eighteen months.  And not just serve in general, but serve specific people every day.  Christ is aching for these people to share in the happiness He can offer them.  And this twenty-one-year old girl gets to extend the invitation.  I can think of nothing better to do with my time.  In fact, at this moment, I am more panicked at the thought of having to come back after eighteen months, than the thought of leaving in a week.  I feel prepared in that I know I am not.  But I do have a testimony of the gospel: I know Christ loves me and loves everyone on this Earth in a real and personal way.  I know He atoned for our sins also in that personal way.  I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.  I know Joseph Smith restored Christ's Church on the Earth, and that there is a Prophet named Thomas S. Monson who leads Christ's Church today.  And I know, that Heavenly Father loves His kids.  He knows us, and cares about us.  He want us to be happy.  This Gospel has made me so happy.  And I am serving a mission so that others may have that opportunity to feel God's love and to understand His truth.
Here goes :)