Monday, April 10, 2017

Hi everybody!!  One more week past and gone here in Campo Largo, Brazil!  Man time really flies!  I´ll be quick because this Lan house is pretty darn expensive and I only have 20 Reais to live off for the next 4 days!  I´m getting really sick of Ramen, ya´know?  

This week was really cool because us missionaries planned out a huge activity for the entire church!  The activity was called `Campo Largo Espasoso`.  We essentially made a giant `tree of life` out of paper and put Christ in the center.  We had every participant write their names on a white sticky-note in the shape of a fruit (which us missionaries collected and slapped on the tree) before comencing the activity.  We tied ties around all the participants` eyes then led them to a cord (the iron rod).  They followed the rod until they entered the church.  Then they were loosed to try and find their way through obstacles to find the tree.  The holy ghost (us missionaries) whispered the way to go, while other helpers tried to distract.  In the end, everyone was laughing and having a good time.  

With the help of the spirit, EVERYONE made it to the tree (Christ).  What´s more, is that, when others arrived in the chosen destination, they returned to help their families who were struggling along the way.  What a great example, right?!!!  We always will have friends or family struggling to arrive in the kingdom of God, therefore, WE have a great duty to look back and help guide.  We are all one big family...the Family of God.  Why don´t we help out our fellow brothers and sisters along the rough path of life?  It´s so easy to do.  So let´s go!!  Hope to hear from you all next week!!

Elder Kumen Johnson 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Furgaco de informacones.  That translates to a whirlwind/hurricane of information.  Why??  Because of GENERAL CONFERENCE!!  I can´t even descibe the 10 hours of pure revelation that the whole world has recieved just days ago!  Truthfully, before the mission, I didn´t understand the significance of hours and hours of talks.  Now...I can´t even wait for the next one!  In the past, I´always thought ` more gigantic conference to try to keep my eyelids open.`  (If you´ve never thought this...congragulations, your inteligence status is quite higher than mine).  Sure, I made notes and tried to listen as best I could, but did I make a CHANGE????  The answer simply was always excuses (I forgot, I got mad...etc) to justify my lack of change.  
Two of my favorite talks were by Elder Rasband and Elder Costa.

Elder Rasband recounted a story that sincerely hit me like a train.  He spoke of recieving an inspiration to stop a closing door of a would be pesquisador with his foot and ask the question, `is there anyone else that would like to hear about the gospel?`  Because of that one tiny insperation, the door for hundreds opened and many entered the waters of Baptism.  WE MUST ACT ON THE FIRST PROMPTING!!!!!  As a missionary, this phrase is essential to finding and teaching those prepared by God.  A simple thought to talk to a stranger on the road or knock a single door in the center of a neighborhood is inspired and always is worth it.  Most times we can´t see the result of a invitation or a quick lesson, but the spirit makes sure that it leaves a lasting impression on the soul with whom we talk to.  

Elder Costa gave a miracle talk.  Why miracle?  Let me explain.  Before the entire General Conference, Elder Vasconclos and I found an amazing family that showed HUGE interest in getting to know the church after we taught the Plan of Salvation.  Sadly, they were only able to attend the Afternoon Sunday session.  We prayed that the talks would touch the investigators in some way.  Guess What??  Joauqim Costa addressed INVESTIGATORS.  It was as if he was looking directly into the eyes of Christiano and Eniya and having a conversation with them!! He said to have patience with the missionaries and hear them out.  Then, he bore testimony that being baptized would be the best experiance that they could ever imagine. 
             After the conference, Christiano said that that talk had been very peculuiar because `the man spoke to us`.

I hope all of you enjoyed the conference as much as I did!!

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's here, my week of "lasts". Yesterday was my last Sacarament Meeting, today is my last P-day, it's all winding down to the end. Each day this week will be my "last". My last Tuesday, last English Class, last time seeing and teaching all those who I have come to love. It's rough...BUT at the same time I feel so blessed! We're seeing so many miracles these days it's hard to count them.

The most unexpected of these miracles occured on Sunday. We got to church early, after passing by to pick up a couple of investigators, and people started coming...and just didn't stop. All the chairs and church banks were taken up, and still people kept coming. Sacarament Meeting started, and people kept showing up! Investigators, Less-Actives, Recent-Converts, all of the people that I've been working with over the past 6 months. There was literally standing room only, and a crowd of people waiting outside watching the meeting through open doors. After counting, and counting again, we discovered that over 110 people came to church yesterday. In a place where our regular church attendance is around 70, the turn-out yesterday was simply stunning.

It was so fulfilling to see that little church our "casacapela" as we call it full of people that I know and love. After so much work, and a lot of dissapointment, I finally felt like I had made a difference. 

These next few days, I'll be saying goodbye to all those people, and it's going to be hard, but I'm so grateful for the blessings I've received, and the strength the Lord gives me to continue until the end. 

esforçando até o fim!!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 31, 2015

This Friday will mark 2 years that I have been set apart as a full-time missionary, or in other words as a representative of the Lord. After two years, what can I say? I love my Mission, I love the Gospel, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I intend to do everything I can now that I'm entering into "overtime" to serve him. 
As for this past week that has gone by, we're doing good. We aren't experiencing miraculous success, and to be perfectly honest, the going is getting tough. Even with all of our work throughout the week, the results are scanty. But, we're exploring some new ideas, and we're trying to figure out what exactly needs to happen to see growth here in the Branch. Just working like normal isn't going to cut it, we're going to have to be creative and bold!!! 

This Sunday we had a fun little experience that showed how creativity can pay off. There's this 9-year-old girl (Stefany) who randomly shows up at church alone on Sunday. She's super independant, and just a little bit...crazy. Anyway, a lot of the time she just stays for the Primary class and skips out on the Sacarament Meeting. But this Sunday, when she came up to me and said "I'm leaving now", I had an idea. I said, "wait a sec! I need your help with something" I had her grab the little electrical keyboard for me and she helped me set it up. I then set her to work choosing prelude hymns, and asked her to help me by holding the hymnal open while I play. Em fim, she stayed for sacarament meeting this week. 

With that little experience I understood a little bit better why a responsibility in the church is so important. Something magical happens when a person is asked to "help" in the Lord's Church. 

This next week, we'll be following up with a couple of new investigators that we found this week, and our challenge will be to work side by side with the members!!!

Até Mais!
Elder Johnson

pictures of Capybara!

Monday, August 24, 2015

We didn't receive a letter to everyone this week so weWhen we returned to Corumbá, we organized Emerson's baptism, and finially were able to help him take this important step in the Gospel. It's been a lot of time, and a lot of work, but we're finally seeing the fruits of out labors with him and his family. 

Other than that, the work continues as normal. Teaching, finding, all of that good stuff.

Zenock, WOW you're going to middle school! you'll be sure to learn a lot! Have a great first week of school

Talmage, Hope you have a great time at Corpus Christi with Mike and the family.

Ammon, Sounds like you finished up summer with a lot of fun, and that you're exited to start school this year. I hope your first week goes great.

Kumen, I can't believe that you're a SENIOR. In my mind you're still a little freshman! You'd better believe that I'm taking all the shots while I can. Have a great first week as School!
Mom, It seems like there are so many people going to and returning from the mission! It's great to hear that the work of the Lord is happining with such intensity!

Pai, ainda não tem uma resposta sobre minha viagem. Por algum motivo o escritório está enrolando muito. Deveria ter recebido os planos e horários dos voos um mês atrás, mas ainda não recebi. Desculpa por não ter as informações que você quer. 

Love you all, and hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hey everyone! This week was great, and we were blessed with the first visit from Presidente Oliveira and his wife! They gave a much needed training to the leaders of the Branch and explained some changes that will occur. Starting in September, the Church meetings will start with the Sacarament Meeting. This will be a challenge for the Branch here, because a lot of people show up at church half an hour late. Along with that change we'll be looking for another place to hold our church meetings because the rented house here is pretty small.

The biggest dissapointment this week was that Emerson's baptism didn't come through. He had his interview and everything...and then his mom announced that they would have to go on an emergency trip because someone in the family died. What a bummer. We're going to try and re-organize everything so that this next week he'll be baptised.

Along with Emerson and his family we're working hard with two other families that are really progressing. Fransisco, Jo, and Mielly (dad, mom and daughter) are a family that we found a long time ago that is finally going to church. Jo (the mom) has a hard time walking, and Fransisco was out of work, but ever since we started to visit them, they have progressed so much. They are truly trying to have a new life, and the Gospel is truly bringing a happiness into their lives.

Finally, for the first time this Sunday we were able to help Marcello and his family get to church. He is in the Brazilian Army and has a wife and twin Girls!! Ever since we taught about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, he has been reading faithfully and has been praying to find the truth. As of yet we havn't been over there to see what he thought of his visit to church, but we have hopes that he was able to feel the Spirit testify at church this Sunday!

So many awesome people, I'd love to write about each one, but there is neither time nor space to do so. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic week. 

lembra, fica firme!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 10, 2015

It's a whole new transfer everyone!! We got started great this week. I'm loving my new companion, so let me start out with some info...

Name- Elder Borges
From- São Luis, Maranhão (yup another Nordestino)
Age- 19, with 4 months on the mission.
Type- super cool, hard worker, obedient, and with a great accent to beat!

Elder Borges and I have got some great Goals for this Transfer, and we're determined to de everything it takes to help the Branch here grow. 

This week, I spent most of the time showing Elder Borges around, and we were able to follow up with all of our progressing investigators, and find some new people with a lot of potential. And, last but not least, we were able to finish up the week with a great baptism! It was for sure one of those miracle moments where the Lord simply prepared someone for us to find, teach and baptise.

This next weekend, President Oliveira should be able to make a visit here to Corumbá!!

We're looking forward to another great week too!!

Elder Johnson
1. me with two future missionaries
2. Nelson and his family!!
3. a random guy cleaning our roof

4. irmão Sydney working hard!!