September 10, 2013 First P-Day
Oi! that's a casual 'hello' in brazil. I've been a missionary for a week now. WOW! Sometimes I look down and see the nametag on my chest and I can't believe it. I'm on a MISSION! It's pretty exiting stuff. First and foremost, my companions and compatriots.
My companion's name is Elder Hinkley (yes, he's related to the prophet) He's a super cool redhead, and a huge Lord of the Rings fan. Needless to say, we geek out a lot. But, he really is a great guy. He's focused, and has a rock solid testimony, not to mention a great grasp of Portuguese!! He picks it up so quick. I'm always able to ask, "what is the word for...." and more often then not he's got me covered.
My two roomates, Elder Anderson and Elder Tibbits are also great. Our entire district is super focused, and really exited to be on missions. Elder Tibbits is super smart and has an extensive knowledge of the gospel. Elder Anderson is not as versed in the gospel, but he is way way exited about it, and he has an enthusiasm that is contageous. All three of these elders are just awesome, and I'm lucky to know them.
The rest of my district is also great. We have another trio of elders, and five sisters. Naturally the five sisters put all the elders (including me) to shame with their faith and work ethic. As more of a side note, last week I was called to be the district leader! It's an intimidating responsibility. Mostly because I have no idea what I'm doing. However I'm getting the hang of things, and honestly, I am really truly loving it. I was worried about the stress, the hardships, the trials, the sadness, the lonliness and so-on and so forth, but guess what? All of those things are just swallowed up in the joy I've found here in learning and teaching the doctrines of Christ!
Imagine swimming in a big pool of root beer (or favorite beverage of your choice) As soon as you get past the weirdness of it, you realize how awesome it is and you begin drinking as much as you can, till you are just bursting with delicious goodness. That's what the MTC has been like for me. There is just sooooo much to do and learn, you drink it up till your head is throbbing and your feet are aching but you love every single minute of it. Every day is "hard" but it doesn't even matter. I just can't wait for the next day to begin!
Some final thoughts- Even though I was panicky about it before hand, I realize learning the "language" doesn't really matter. IT WILL COME. It will take time, and it will take study and practice, but I realize now, I'm gonna learn Portuguese no matter what! So for future missionaries, don't stress. Work hard, but don't stress. What DOES matter however is the atonement of Jesus Christ. A firm, unyeilding testimony of christ and his atonement is not enough. Yeah that's right. Not enough. You can't just believe in Christ. You have to apply Christ. I'm still not exactly sure how, but that is one of the quests of my mission.
My love to all!!! Elder Johnson