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!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

When President Hinckley said that there's a better way to do missionary work than knocking on doors, he wasn't kidding. My companion and I have done a LOT of door knocking (which is actually hand clapping here in Brazil), and it's a ton of work with very little results. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that miracles can happen and all that, but it's not exactly the most effective thing to do. It's truly a miracle when we find people that not only let us share our message, but want to LIVE according to what we teach and DISCOVER the truths that we know and love.

But, even with these frustrations, I feel like the Lord will recognize the effort we're putting forth to do this work. After days of dissapointment there are miracle moments that prove that we're not at the helm! One of those moments happened this week. About a month ago, we found a less-active lady who has an 11 year-old daughter who was never baptised. This lady isn't able to come to church very often because of her "husband" (not legally married or anything, just living together and having kids together like normal), who doesn't accept the missionaries at home. Because of that particular problem, we always mark lessons at the church, but a couple of weeks had gone by without them showing up at these appointments. We were just about giving up on the family, and we were going to give them one last chance this week. Finially they showed up at the church, mother & daughter, and the daughter prayed about the message of the Restoration, went to church this Sunday and will be baptised next week!

For lack of other remarkable stories, I'll get on with the news. My companion Elder Smittenaar is getting transferred to...ALTA FLORESTA, and I'm sending him with a bunch of letters for the people there. My new companion is a Brazilian, Elder Borges... I think he's relatively new in the mission...and he'll probably get here on Wednesday!

Have a great week everyone!!

1. family night with the Elders!

2. Irmão Stepherson!!!