Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hey everyone! I'm just about heading out for a trip to Dourados, so I havn't got a lot of time. But, my Christmas was wonderful, and we're looking foreward to a great New Years as well.

We've recently been trying to use the new year to our advantage, talking about new starts, and important decisions. We're teaching a lot of people that really need to make some big changes, and now with 2015 around the corner now is the time to make them! 

Happy New Year to you all!!!
2015 here we come!!!!

Elder Johnson

We spoke with Justus via Skype for Christmas.  He loves the mission and is doing well.  He expressed his desire to extend his mission by 6 weeks which means he might not return until mid September.  More from Justus:
  Hey everyone! I loved seeing you all on Christmas, and I hope that next time we can organize a better time for you all. The past week wasn't super productive because of Christmas smack dab in the middle, but we did our best and were able to help people get to church. 
Today me and my companion are leaving to do some long distance divisions, and we'll only get back in our area Dia 1 de Janeiro. But, I'm excited to get to know some new areas and new missionaries!

1 & 2. Christmas eve with Members
3. Christmas presents!!!!! (the shirt is a gift from some investigatos, don't worry I don't use it to go prostlyting...yet :)
4. the killer Braziliancat!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Well, Christmas is here again! I can hardly beleive that a whole year has past since I was there celebrating my first Christmas away from home in Texas. This past week, we had a great Christmas conference, and sadly, some big dissapointments this weekend. BUT, who can be sad at Christmastime!? 

The Christmas Conference was this past Thursday, and it was great to get together with so many missionaries. Here we have seperate conferences in the North and South, and so we had all the missionaries here in the South together. During the conference we learned about being a more consecrated missionary, and we studied a powerful talk by Tad R, Callister. The talent show afterward was a blast! Our zone did a missionary version of "A Christmas Carol". And to end the conference, we presented a new mission song!

But, unfortunetaly, as the week went on, we ran into more and more moleza. Saturday just about all of our appointments fell through, and on Sunday we were only able to scrape up one investigator to go to church. ALL the families that we had been teaching throughout the week dropped off the face of the earth, including the couple with a baptismal date for the 27th. But, it happens...

Despite the remarkable lack of progress in our investigators, we're still excited and working hard. After all, it is the season to be jolly! Christ gave so much to us, it's the least we can do to use this time to give just a little bit back.  
Merry Christmas to all! 

Elder Justus Johnson 

picture below: the three remaining "sons" of Contor...RIP

Other friends at the Christmas Conference 
1. a house we destroyed
2. big toad

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hey everyone! It has been quite a week. With transfers, there have been many missionaries coming and going to and from Campo Grande. As the missionaries who live closest to the bus terminal, my companion and I were responsable for receiving and sending each and every one of them. So, we spent the first two days of our week running to and from the station, once even at 4o'clock in the morning. Talk about sleep deprivation.

One of the missionaries that arrived was one fresh from the US. He spent a day with us trying to get him registered here in Brazil, and it was quite the experience. I was reminded of when I got here. I didn't understand anything and I must have seemed so lost!! 

Even with the transfer craziness, we were still able to keep up with our progressing investigators. It was great to teach and help J prepare for his baptism this Saturday. He accepted the commandments so humbly and sincerely!! I was struck by his "broken heart and contrite spirit". It was wonderful being able to see him in white!

As is now the standard, I also spent a number of days in division this week. I was able to work with my new LD, who just happens to be an old companion of mine, Elder T!! We had a number of great lessons, in particular a lesson with a part member family. The father of the family is a great guy, but as of yet he's never wanted to go to church or get baptized. We had a great experience as us missionários, along with his his son testified about the blessings of having the Sacerdócio in the home. This father was touched, and finially expressed interest in applying the Gospel in his life as an example for his family.

I am so grateful for the blessings of the Gospel and the Preisthood in my family. It's real and true!

Ate mais!

Elder Justus Johnson

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wow, what a week. Let me try and actually remember what all happened.

We started off the week with a division in this tiny little city called Terenos. The mission recently opened up a group there, and so we spent a day with the Elders there. I loved the small-town feel, and I learned a lot from the division. We got back to  Campo Grande and I spent a whole day working in our area, before heading off again on Thursday for two more divisions. Lets just say that I'm now familiar with a bunch of different areas here in Mato Grosso do Sul. 

I joined my companion again on Saturday to try and pass by all the people that we wanted to invite to church, but NO

ONE was home...it happens I guess. However, the day ended on a happy note with the baptism of M. She is such a joyfull old lady that has been through a lot. It was touching to see her make a decision in her life that will bring her even closer to Christ.

This week was the start of a new program that the missionaries will use leading up to Christmas-"He is the Present" This short video explains that Christ was the first and most important Christmas gift ever given. We presented the video to a number of members, and as we did, I thought about how I am using "the present" in my mission now. There is so much to gain from understanding and applying the life and sacrifice of Christ in our lives. I hope that as the Christmas season approaches I can remember him and all he did for me.

Ate mais,

Elder Justus Johnson