Monday, October 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013
Howdy all y'all!
Just kidding. no-one really says howdy here. But everyone does say y'all. I think it's weird, but give me another week or two and I'll be saying it too.
This week has been busy and humbling. But, despite hardships, I am enjoying the work, and have found that sometimes you just have to laugh at all the crummy things that are happening!
This week me and Elder C. have run into a lot of...firm opposition to the church and it's principles to put it mildly. So many people are totally convinced that the church is a cult! One of the families we stopped by actually gave us some material that their "non-denominational church" had distributed to them. It went something like...
"WARNING there two cults going door to door preaching their falsehoods.
They are the Mormons and Jehovah witnesses. They will try to deceive you into thinking that they are christian believers in the bible, but this is false. They each have a set of 'higher doctrine' that they don't tell you until after you join their church." The paper proceeded to list a mixture of things that we do believe (but that we teach openly with no secrecy), along with a number of completely obscure and false "beliefs" that are either purely wrong or misrepresented. It was so sad that people could be so convinced of lies, but we just had to laugh about it because it was so far-fetched!
This week we taught a couple of really...interesting lessons, along with a couple good ones. We taught Bro. W. who is the father of an LDS family and has been investigating the church on and off for 22 years.
It was just sad to see such a lack of a desire to change! We also taught K. and A. the first lesson this week. The member we had present, Bro. S.. got really into it. He was just really excited to share ALL of the stuff he knew.  It helped me realize though that simplicity is beautiful.
We also taught this really goofy guy, J. I feel bad calling him goofy because he has some serious problems, but he's just goofy! I think he's just really desperate for attention. He's in his early twenties and has a bunch of drug problems. When we went to teach him, he asked us about our position on alcohol, and then proceeded to pour himself and his friend a glass of wine. Despite being drunk and high, he said that he felt the book of Mormon was inspired. Then, the next day, while we were talking with a guy on his street, and he came up to us and gave us back the Book of Mormon. But, like I said, I think the whole reason he even talked to us is because he wants attention.
We (or rather my companion) taught two more Spanish lessons this week, and I smiled and nodded! As always those were tons of fun. BUT to cap it all off we actually had a decent lesson yesterday! YAY! We taught a young family, M. and A., who are good friends of a family in the ward. We were able to help M., the father, pray with his family for the first time! It was so great! Little things like that make everything worth it.
In other news, I had two flat tires this week! Getting a flat when you're out in the middle of your area can be just a little bit distressing, but it's one of those things you can't control, so you just deal with it. I also got my mission bike this week. It's super old, creaky, and WAY harder to ride. So basically, it's what I'm used to! The lesson learned from this week, and the lesson I am continuing to learn is humility. This week was nothing if not humbling. The one thing that I felt confident with, bike riding, was taken from me, first by the flat tires, and then by the "new" old bike. The Lord works by simple means, and although it seems weird, the lord humbled me this week by making biking hard. What I learned is to always beware of pride. As soon as I developed pride in my biking prowess, the lord stripped that away. It is so much better to remain humble by your own choice than to be "compelled to be humble" as Alma states.
Anyway, I'm loving the work, hardships and all.
Elder Johnson

The following comments and pictures are from a friend that knew us in Burke, VA!  Here's what she wrote!
These are a couple more pictures I thought you would enjoy.  We had several missionaries come to our home because one of them hurt his knee, no worries not your Justus!  While Aaron was treating this missionary they were talking about the "new" elders assigned to our ward.  They couldn't have had more kind words for Justus and his companion. 

We were asked to have them over for lunch since they didn't have a place to eat today so we brought Elder C. and Johnson home with us.  I always knew what a wonderful family you are but I thought I would tell you what a wonderful missionary and son you have.  They brought a wonderful spirit into our home and Justus jumped right in to help prepare lunch.  You have done a wonderful job and he has an amazing spirit about him.  He is so well prepared and I hope that you never worry about that aspect of his being out here.  We had some other Elders right out of High School here before Justus and his companion, your son is leaps and bounds more prepared and mature to handle the work that they will be doing.  He is being exposed to a lot of questioning that I am sure he will not encounter in Brazil.  A great opportunity and so amazing he will get to experience such different types of missionary work serving one mission & from what the grapevine has said he is doing a stellar job!!!  I thought I would just pass that along as I am sure it isn't news to you but sometimes it is nice to hear.

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