Monday, May 25, 2015

Another week full of work! The time is flying by, and there were a number of crazy experiences this week. 

Last Monday, after a relaxing P-day, my companion and I went out to make a couple of visits. We were walking down the road, and we noticed that there was a semi-truck starting up. The only problem was that there was a drugged homeless lady sleeping underneath. We ran to the truck yelling to stop and to wake up the homeless lady. But, the truck didn't stop, and the lady was so loopy that she was barely concious. Just as the wheels were about to pass right over her, we got to the truck and literally threw her out from underneath the moving vehicle. But, she was so heavily under the influence of drugs, that she wasn't even able to respond to basic questions. What a sad, sad existance. It is hard for me to believe that human beings can be brought to such conditions. I am infinitaly gratefull for the teachings of the Gospel that keep us from such a lifestyle.

Other than our saving-the-homeless adventures, the week was pretty normal. We were really trying to talk to everyone! We found a number of new families to teach, and now the challenge will be helping them get to church. 

The weekend was awesome! On Saturday the District had two baptisms, and I was able to do the baptismal interview of the two women that were baptised. I was struck by how the lord prepares people, and we were blessed with a beautiful baptismal service! Two rainbows appeared as we started the baptismal service, and it made for a memoriable moment as well as for some great pictures!!
This next week, I'll be spending two days in Campo Grande, so there should be some great stories next Monday

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Johnson

reunao de distrito

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Time is flying by so quickly. It's now been two months since I've been in Corumbá. The Branch is slowly progressing, and we are able to see miracles every week. Thinking back on the few days that have gone by, it seems like they all run together. It's been great getting to know Elder Smittenaar better, and we're having a great time together. He's super easy-going, and teaches really well.

As for the things we're getting done, we were frustrated this Sunday when many of the people who were going to go to church didn't show up. I really should stop being so suprised...But, we were thrilled to find out that Gonçalo and his wife are planning on getting married now, and have set up the wedding day for the 1st of June!! They want to be baptised that same week, and now we're helping them feel 100% prepared. 

Lastly, we had a major change in the Branch this week. President Reber visited here in Corumbá for our first Branch Conference as a Branch in the Brasil Cuiabá Mission. As part of the Conference, there was a change made in the Branch Presidency. Now we have a new branch President, and he was sustained by all the members in the Branch. It struck me how blessed we are to be guided not by the will of men but the will of God. In the Church of Jesus Christ men are truly called of God to lead and lend a hand in the work. Leadership of the Church is so different than Leadership in any other organization because of one factor. Inspiration. I know that God loves and inspires people today to do this marvelous work. 
Até mais!!

Elder Johnson

top- new companion in Corumba
Corumba Elders
Justus wearing a sweater for the first time in Brazil.
All other pictures are random, sent last week from another companion, Elder Alvez.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Wow time really flies, other than Mother's Day, this week also marked the end of another Transfer. The weekend was highly emotional as always. It's great to see and share some time with family even if it is by a shaky skype connection in a Dental Office...but more than ever I understand now the importance of family. I'm immensly grateful for a supportive and loving family that always wants the best for me. I had to give a talk this Sunday on Mother's Day, and it was a mess. I cried like a baby in front of everyone. Who's idea was it to make a missionary give a talk about mothers on Mother's Day anyway???
Other than the impressive waterworks display at church, the week was pretty normal. We were able to open our mouths to talk with everyone, and we found a lot of new investigators that way, but the great challenge now is helping them get to church! I was able to practice patience with a number of opportunities. One of them happened when, in the middle of teaching the Restoration, a lady randomly asked if we believed in Maria (Mary). She proceeded to tell a long detailed story of how a lady appeared to a friend of a distant relative when he was about to die in the middle of the jungle...what fun!!
Lastly, this next transfer will have a couple of changes. I'll have a new companion, and an American to boot! It's been a while since I've had a Gringo Companheiro. He's from Maryland, and I've know him ever since I was in the Sorriso Zone! My companion Elder Alves, is going all the way to the other area in Corumbá...with whom we share the house, so we'll be able to stay in touch!
It's been a great month, and I'm excited to see what the next week has in store!!
Ate Mais!!

Elder Justus Johnson 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hey everyone! It has been a wonderful week! Full of great experiences, and lots of great moments. This weekend was the baptism of Emanuelly. Talk about prepared people. She instantly stopped drinking coffee when we taught to Word of Wisdom, and continues to read the Book of Mormon every day. Her mom went to her baptism, and now we hope to help her familiy discover the same truths that she has. 

Along with this wonderful baptism, we had the privelage this week of helping a young man, Marcus, finially make the decision to serve a mission. For the past few weeks we've been regularly stopping by to leave him with mission-related messages, and this week he let us know that he decided to pause his college course and serve a mission. He was anxious to let his parents know, and we set up a suprise anouncement this Sunday with his parents. It was a very touching experience. His mom laughed and cried and was just a mess! It was great to be a part of that moment. 

Yet another great opportunity was with one of our Recent Converts, Sidney. We were able to do some visits with him on Tuesday night, and in one of the visits the mother of the family asked for a blessing. For the first time Sidney was able to exersise his priesthood and help in the ordenance! It was great to see a guy so humble magnifying his priesthood duties. His conversion was really special because before joining the church he was a pastor of another denomination! 

Needless to say, this week was just great! You all must be praying really hard for me, 'cause we're being so blessed!

Até mais!

Elder Justus Johnson