Monday, June 24, 2013

Davi - 6/24/13 email

Hogwarts Express

Charlie made it to Church this week!!!  He finally got work off.  So he can keep his date of July 13th now! Your prayers worked, so more would be awesome!

So we had hour-long church yesterday, which got people to it!  We advertised it like crazy.  Don't know if that's bad or not....  But it was so awesome!

This ward is the best ward in the northern hemisphere.  And they all love and trust us now, and we had over fifteen people yesterday ask us when they can come out with us.  This ward is getting the whole missionary work thing, and it's awesome!  I love that I have been able to serve and grow so close with people who live so close to Reno and Provo, that I will be able to see again after.  Like seeing Theran go through the temple :)

I know I talk about Theran a lot, but like, I can't help it!  He is so great!  And he has the priesthood now, and is going to the temple for baptisms soon, and is a ward missionary.  We gave him an assignment to share a missionary experience in Institute, and he was like, "Yea, I will go out with the missionaries twice this week and have something."  And we said, "We think you can do something on your own too."  And he said, "But I don't really know people." And we said, "But you can get to know people."  And he said, "Yes I can.  And I need to get over my fear of talking to people.  So I will pray about it and figure out what I can do."  Isn't he the best?  We then talked about how missionary work is fighting Satan, and that the power Satan works by is fear.  So, by definition, missionary work is fighting fear.  

Didn't everyone feel PUMPED after that broadcast though?  Man, the work is moving!!  This is a fast train, and it's a super fun one.  I LOVE it.  Everyone just hop on it.  The jump on is initially scary, but then you get in there, and it's like the Hogwarts Express!  You get to talk to a bunch of people and make tons of friends, your destination is a magical wonderful place of learning/castle (temple/Celestial Kingdom), you get fed, etc.  Seriously, team, it's the best.  This is totally the life.

We started teaching Ed and Skyler and Josh, all of whom are AMAZING!  They are so ready, it's crazy. The Lord is so wonderful to bless us with the chance to be a part of this.  He loves His kids, and wants them to hear His truth, so all we have to do is trust in that, and be willing to love Him enough to do what He asks.  It's really the best thing ever.  

Ok, so I noticed something this week: The ideas that people our age have of who God is comes straight from their own dads.  If their dad is harsh and difficult to please, then they feel like whatever they do, it's not enough for God.  If their dad is distant and uninvolved, they feel like God is too.  I am here to tell you that God just loves you.  He is so happy to have you, He loves you, His heart breaks when yours does, and His heart is overjoyed when you try to come closer to Him.  And He is so close to you, you wouldn't even believe it.  

The challenge today is this:  Girls, don't you dare marry someone who won't be able to show your children adequately how God feels about His children—and then support the man you do marry so your kids trust him.  And guys, become this man.  It's time.  My mom and dad have done this for me, and it has made all the difference.  Please, follow their example, and start now to please your future family.  

Ok, love you so much.  Like, a lot.
Sister Johnson

Dalton - 6/24/13 email

My Transfer with Elder Bean

Ok, first off, why was Rachel the only one to tell me that one of the rappers from the classic group Kris Kross passed away?  I must say, that's wiggidywiggidywiggidywiggidy wack.  Someone may have to verify if I used the right number of wiggidies.  I'm sorry, it's just that I’ve been waiting all week to write that.

Anyway, New transfer!  My new companion is Elder Bulacio, from Argentina.  He is one of my heroes.  He was a member only a year and a half before leaving on his mission.  He cancelled a trip when he was an investigator to not miss an appointment with the missionaries.  He'll have to start his schooling over again once he gets back from his mission.  And what have I done with my life?  Seriously, he's a great missionary that knows exactly why he's here.  What's more, he kind of looks like Rowan Atkinson, in a good way.   [Hence the Elder “Bean” reference, everyone.]  (I'll send a picture soon.)  Oh, and he's fluent in English.  Don't worry—we don't speak English until we finish planning at night.

Our progressing investigators are all relatives of converts/investigators.  We're especially excited for Jhostin (Justin), a teenager who will be able to be baptized by his older brother Anthony.  (Anthony has been a member for less than two months, and he always asks us when he can accompany us to appointments.)  Good boys.

We're also really excited to try something new this transfer.  For the next two transfers, we set an almost outrageous goal for people in the ward reactivated.  I won't say what goal we set specifically, but we'll need to get to know the whole ward.  We think that baptisms won't be a problem in the process.  It's almost strange how excited we are for this goal, and we are seeing some real potential already.

Also, thanks a lot for talking about how great that first half hour of that fireside was.  Our stake got the projector to work about halfway through Elder Perry's talk.  On the upside, I finally know how to slowly kill a group of excited missionaries.

Really, though, great fireside.  A lot to learn about how to work with members.  Also, there was a segment that showed a father looking at his old missionary plaque, and that had a great impact on me.  It made me realize, in that moment, that I would be perfectly happy doing this until the day I die.

Les amo! Cuidense!

Elder Johnson

Monday, June 17, 2013

Davi - 6/17/13 email

Missionary Work is the Best!

Happy Father's Day!!!!  I love my daddy so much.  The whole world knows that, but it just can't be said enough.  And what I love even more is that I know that doing the work of my Heavenly Father is what my earthly father wants me to be doing too.  

So, I love being a missionary so much.  

Where to even start?  There's like too much to say!

Ok, Charlie.  He is so incredible!!!!  Oh my word.  But he can't get work off for church, and that is literally the only thing keeping him from being baptized.  He even asked if he could switch to the graveyard position so he could come.  Can you believe that?  But we are starting to bring him to lessons because he has such a powerful understanding and testimony.  And he has already starting sharing it!  We are going to meet with his friend tonight and hopefully his sister soon.  Please pray for him.

We met with Rachel and Melissa this week.  They are the sisters of a less active in the ward who has started coming back.  They are so cool.  They are so sincere, and so easy to talk to, and so willing to learn.  It's cool too how the family thing works, because we tried to teach them both at separate times, but it went so much better when we got to teach them together with their brother there too.

Ed!!!  Oh man, Ed!  He's is so awesome.  We got to meet with him for the first time yesterday, and it was incredible!  He knows so much!  It's really neat how the Lord just prepares people, you know?
Theran gave me his bracelet this week.  The one that he put on his wrist when he was 14 to remind him to always search for the truth.  He promised he wouldn’t take it off until he found it.  So when we met with him this week, he took it off and gave it to me.  I cried :)

My companion!!  She is so cool, team.  Her name is Sister Arnold.  I feel sooooo blessed.  She reminds me a ton of Tam.  In fact, I'm pretty sure if Tam were a missionary from Alabama, then they would have the same DNA.  Anyway, it is so fun.  We are both pumped about the work, and ready to roll.  And I have no idea how to train, but I am trying really hard, and I know that's what the Lord expects of me.  Thank heavens he gave me such an awesome comp.  

We had a great day together on Saturday.  None of our appointments happened, but we just followed the Spirit all day, and things just magically happened!  We taught a full-blown 45-minute lesson in the middle of a park—we found these people who are so ready, and found these potentials we have been searching for for forever.  (For for forever?  That can't possibly be correct.)  Anyway, I actually think that was able to happen because we were trying to be positive all day.  The Lord works through goodness and happiness, so being positive allows the Spirit to work in you, because that is how the Spirit works.  Plus (1 Nephi 8), life is so much happier that way!  I mean, we could focus on the scary mucky river, or the people making fun of us in the huge building, or we could look at the big ol’ tree with really yummy fruit that makes you happier than happy!  And that fruit is what really matters, you know?  It is all about that love.  Yea, we aren't doing everything perfect, but hey, who cares?  Because that love is available to all who desire and work for it.  And we have a commission to help people do those things.  THIS GOSPEL IS THE BEST!!!!

Challenge:  If you didn't understand the tree analogy, go to, ask for a Book of Mormon, and read about it.  If you did understand that analogy, also go to and get a Book of Mormon and give it to someone.  Because they deserve it too! 

I love this ward so much.  Have I mentioned that before?  So much.

Anyway, be good, love you big time, big time big time.  Pray, then you will feel it even more!!  

I'm such a missionary right now, huh?  It's great, isn't it? :)

Love you.
Sister Johnson

Dalton - 6/17/13 email

P-Day Started a Little Early

I doubt that my attempt to explain this week will really work out, but here we go.

In this mission, President Dorius gives "dying" missionaries something that I like to call "trunky week" or, in Spanglish, "trunkazo week."  A dying missionary gets a few days to be with another dying missionary to go around the mission and say bye to converts.  That being said, my dying missionary left, and I was a temporary in a different area.  At the end of the week, one dying missionary needed a companion, so my job was to follow him around.  I just wanted to explain why I might not have many stories in my area to write for now.  I'm really antsy to get back to work in a permanent area.

My temporary area this week is essentially a different mission than what I know.  Just a normal, big city in this zone.  Had a McDonald's cone in the middle of the day.  I could almost hear Cindy Lou Who singing a beautiful rendition of "Where are you, Lima?"  But, one awesome thing to see this week was, ok, I forgot his name, but he was inactive as of two months ago, not wanting to hear anything about the church.  This week, we accompanied him to the church for his interview to start his mission papers.  It´s really something else to see those kinds of changes.

One other kind of funny story, but kind of sad, was with my dying companion.  He went to visit one of his favorite convert families, but when we got there, the house was not there.  I don’t mean the family, I mean the house lot itself was gone.  Just one house…  nothing…  another house.  We went to visit a member family that knew the converts, and their house had also disappeared.  Elder Savage apparently managed to translate part of the branch!

In other news, Peru is going to have 100 stakes by the end of the month.  It will be the 4th country in the world to have 100, and it is definitely the smallest country to have it.  (Mexico, Brazil, and the USA each have around 200-300 million people, whereas Peru only has 30 million people.)  No big deal.

Well, transfers are tomorrow, so you'll find out what's what next week.  Love you all.

Elder Johnson

Another (very short) email 15 minutes later:

Ok, I just heard the transfers.  I’m staying in Prolima with Elder Bulacio.  I hear that he's really good, so there it is.

Davi - 6/10/13 email


I got to see Theran get baptized and confirmed!!! 

Guess what else I got?!  I got an assignment to train!  

You thought I was going to say I got my visa, huh?  Well, the joke is on you.  Or me, depending on how you look at it.  

Ok, but I really do love it here.  Mostly, I just love being a missionary.  I have been learning about how giving my will to the Lord is where it’s at.  Seriously, this is the life.  It's kind of hard to do, but it's so much happier.  Every step I take toward giving my will over makes my life so much better.  We don't give Heavenly Father enough credit.  He doesn't ask us to give our will for His sake—He asks for our sakes.  

And that is why I am ok with training one transfer in.  Because I know that this is what God wants, no matter how inadequate I am.  Therefore, it will be the very best thing ever.  And how could I complain about that?  I am super stoked :)  And when I get terrified, I remember that I have the best ward members ever here who will train this poor girl.  

And more on the baptism of the coolest kid ever.  I don't know what else to say, besides it was the coolest.  He is going places in the Gospel.  And is set on serving a mission.  And remaining faithful forever.  I wish we could have taken a picture of his face coming out of the font.  He was so happy.  This gospel makes people happy!  

Even my first comically bad day was awesome.  I came home stoked.  Because joy comes from serving, not from benefitting.  So I was like, "Let's go clean more hoarders’ homes!!!"  Not really, but almost!  Ha, I really was stoked, that wasn't a lie.  

Sometimes I think I am not realizing how amazingly lucky I am to be here and seeing so many wonderful changes.  I am so lucky.  

I pray for you all the time and I love you soooo much.  Thank you so much for being the best.

Sistah Dav

Dalton - 6/10/13 email

Another Email, by Popular Demand

Ok, buckle up, because I know that this is the moment you have been waiting for this whole week.
I never know where to start.

Ok, I'll explain something about some of the recent converts.  Margarita Ramirez got baptized last week, along with her daughter Lucero.  The husband is going to church, but hasn’t taken the lessons yet because he's recuperating from a medical problem.  It's a miracle that I ever figured out what was going on when it was explained in Spanish, because it's hard to explain even in English.  He is improving, but is not ready for the lessons.  Anyway, this weekend, she went to the temple with the Relief Society, and she expressed in Gospel Principles class on Sunday that she will do anything to get her family sealed.  I realized, after she said it, that a certain weight was just taken off my shoulders.  I didn't even completely feel that at their baptism, because even though the baptism itself is a great experience, you're still holding your breath to a certain point.  But now, I know she's here to stay, that she and Teo will strive for the temple, and that Felipe and Julianop will get baptized in due time.

Also, Anthony Cabello is one of my heroes.  Because of weird transfer schedules, he's officially a baptism of other missionaries, even though I was there to initiate teaching and I'm here now.  He's been sharing the gospel with more enthusiasm than I've seen from any priest.  His brother finally came to church, and I think that Anthony will be able to baptize him.  He's also invited many other friends to church and works with us multiple times every week.  He's only 16, but he's becoming the center of strength in the ward.

Oh, Matt Kelly's father-in-law just got called as Elder's Quorum President.  That is just so strange that Puente Piedra has a tie to home.

One more thing.  I've been lazy with pictures partly because my trainer is going home next week and has pictures of this transfer.   There will be pictures soon enough.

Ok, I won't write too much more, because I need to save my energy in convincing my zone that going to Domino's with our coupons is a better idea than playing soccer.  In response, they will likely say, "Oh yeah.  Soccer for a little bit, then lunch."  Which essentially means soccer.  I'm getting better at soccer, though, believe it or not.  Not to say that I'm good.

Anyway, love you all.  Have fun, stay in school, and make good choices.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Davi - 6/3/13 email

More To Come

Dalton and I had our first baptisms on the same day?  Of course we did.  He is so sweet to wait for me like that just like he always does.  Nowadays, instead of daydreaming about boys, I daydream about stuff like finding new investigators and getting referrals and miracle singles ward activities.  But I also daydream about the fateful reunion of me and Dalton in Lima when I get off the airplane.  I have come up with so many scenarios, it's incredible.

Am I going to see pics of the wedding or what?  Come on!

Jamie!!  A secret? [She didn’t tell us beforehand about her guitar-riff singing solof.]  Who are you? Definitely not a Johnson.  That's super weird.  But I'm extremely impressed.  I bet that was soooo fun having a bunch of cousins come to that.  If we are being honest, last email about how all the cousins were there was the first one where I was like, dang it!  Shows how much I love cousins.  

Ha actually, President Foote [who is originally from Reno and knows our family and is now a counselor to Davi’s mission president in Las Vegas] said that he was talking to my mission president about me, and said, "So is there any way we can lose all of her visa paperwork?"  And that he said he was sure he could work something out. And I was like, "Haha....." *scared eyes* 

Theran.  Oh my gosh, Theran.  Do you wanna know what?  HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!  I'm serious.  And he is so out-of-his-mind excited.  After his interview he asked if he could move it up to that afternoon.  It's darling.  But ready for this?  This last Saturday, we met with him, and he told us he had had a revelation.  He said, "I know this might be weird, because I'm not even baptized yet.... But I think I am going to put off going into the military so I can serve a mission."  Ahhh!!  I started crying.  Obviously.  And then he proceeded to bear his testimony about how life-changing this gospel is.  About how this last month has been the best month of his life. That he feels like he is getting to know himself.  That he has never felt so much hope before.  And that he wants everyone to have this.  It was so cool!  He is truly being converted to the Lord, and it is incredible to watch.  He is a completely different person than when we first started teaching him, and he knows that, and knows that it is the Atonement of Christ that makes that all possible.

Charlie!  Oh my word, he is incredible.  I love this guy so much.  He is getting baptized on the 29th of this month, and is like crazy ready for it.  Will is also getting baptized on that day.  The Lord is amazing, isn't He? :)  More to come on these two.  

We just started teaching Sunny.  Gave him a BOM on Sunday, and when we came back on Tuesday, he had read into Helaman!!  But then he had a dream where his grandpa said he wasn't ready...  We will see about that :)  Great kid though.

Juan and Rachel are awesome too.  I want to tell you about all of everyone!!

I would like to hereby apologize to everyone I have ever lived with.  Because I have my own bathroom right now, and the amount of hair on the floor is about as much as when I live with three other girls.  Also, I am starting to think that I am a natural-born spoon loser, because even here, our spoons are disappearing, and there are no trouble-making boys (or gremlins) to blame it on.  So, sorry about that. 

So wanna hear the sweetest thing ever?  On Thursday, we were at a new missionary training and President Foote was there.  During his talk (which was amazing) he talked about my daddy.  He said "This last weekend I was up at a wedding in Reno, and I saw Sister Johnson's dad, because his son/her brother was getting married that day, too.  He treated me very nicely as always, but he completely lit up when I told him that I had seen his daughter bearing her testimony in the singles ward.  He started asking all about her, and was so anxious to know how she was doing.  He had a boy getting married that day, but he stopped everything out of this beautiful love of his daughter.  He wanted any and all news of her. He didn't just drop her off at the MTC and forget about her.  He is ALWAYS anxiously thinking about her. This is how Heavenly Father is with us.  He didn't just drop us off and forget about us.  He would stop anything to hear about us.  He is so concerned about us, and wants to hear from us and about us so desperately."  That was a poor paraphrase, but you get the idea.  I was bawling.  President Foote was bawling.  And every single sister was crying too.  I compare my daddy to my Heavenly Dad all the time, but it was so nice to hear someone else do it, and see how many people it touched.  

Prayer really is so hugely crucial.  I have been learning a lot about that.  I have started praying in the middle of street contacts.  Alma 37:36 and 37 really leads to the daily miracles in verse 40.  That's my challenge this week:  Pray a little more, and a little more like you are talking to a dad like mine, who is so desperate to hear from you, who lights up when He does hear from you, and will stop everything for you.I  I know that is true.  And that joy comes in doing what the Lord wants, because He wants our joy.  Joining our will with His is the best thing we can possibly do for our happiness, because that means we will start wanting happiness for ourselves.  

Anyway, I pray for you all all the time.  And I fasted for you yesterday.  And I love you like mad crazy.

Being a missionary is the best.  Seriously.  But even better than that is the Lord :)  He loves you so much. Please don't let yourselves forget.

Love you all!
Sister Johnson

Dalton - 6/3/13 email

Funny Thing About the Pictures...

I'm flattered that you all think I'm not the forgetful little boy that you all know and love, but I still am. Definitely forgot to bring my camera to my first baptisms on my mission.  Thanks for rubbing salt into that wound, my dear family.  No, it's really not a big deal, because I can get Elder Paredes to email a photo or two in a couple of weeks when he's home doing nothing with life.  JK,  Elder Paredes!  I tell him that "todo esta trunkilo" with him, but he's actually doing great.  Nothing trunky about him.  [Spencer explained that Dalton cleverly changed the common saying “Todo esta tranquilo,” which means “Everything’s tranquil” or “Everything’s okay” to “Todo esta trunkilo” for “Everything’s trunky.”]

I'm sure Jamie killed that guitar solo [she sang a guitar riff from Bohemian Rhapsody at a choir concert recently].  That riff  is going to be stuck in my head all day, but that's ok.  That doesn’t have a huge effect on P-day.

Our area right now is, honestly, overwhelmingly massive.  The area we are covering right now is usually two areas, and will probably be three areas before long.  Almost every day we find ourselves saying, "Wait, this is part of our area, too?"  As a result, much of our planning involves looking at our planners and drooling, figuring out how we can best walk from one place to the next without killing too much time. The drooling part, of course, I mastered long before my mission.

I forgot to bring my planner here, so this name might be horrifically off, but we met a man named Afortunato (plus or minus 6 wrong letters).  He lives in the top of a poorer and huge hill.  It’s called "Vista Hermosa" because, from the top, you get a great view of Thailand. His daughter is a member, and the whole family knows people in the ward.  He mentioned such a strong desire to change his life.  He will face challenges in marital changes, which is a more faith-trying process here than in the states, but he really is just gold.

Also—and this is only difficult because he only has time on the weekends—we are also teaching Martin Pillaca, the father-in-law to the stake president.  In reality, he's more ready for baptism than anyone in the world, but he's still a bit afraid.  We shared with him the Tree of Life story, telling him that he's obeying the commandments and is thus at the tree, but he needs to be baptized to eat the fruit.  Don’t be afraid to eat the fruit!  Yeah, we're going to go to town this Saturday to get a date for baptism, because he's been consistently coming to church for a year.

I'm sorry if I haven't been writing enough, but Davi sure is picking up the slack.  JAJAJAJAJAJAJA!  [I believe that is HAHAHAHAHA.] Just kidding, Davi.  You are awesome.  This was a long email, too.

Love you all!  Doing great—don’t worry!

Elder Johnson