Monday, December 30, 2013

A Honduran Christmas and awesome rompompo

Dear beloved ones,

So.. let me describe Christmas in Honduras with four major things:

First like the "Holy week" everyone is super jolly, setting up gigantic towns of Bethlehem and nativity scenes in their little jail cell, (because they don't have yards I call them cells) like the full out bonkers, I saw one with an artificial river and water fall, like nuts.

Second on the 24th they have fire works at midnight and all the kids open their presents. I'm pretty sure santa doesn't visit here because if he did Rudolph would be a goner. Kinda like "Death by fireworks" here. The members tell us that they have like mini wars with roman candles and have like bases where they bomb the other team.. yeah nuts, idk how many people are in the hospital.

Third, all of last week and this week they eat tamales and camatales and torejas and stuff that is considered like special Christmas treats.. and aren't bad.. but with tamales it's like a prank to put something gross in the middle sooo ,beware if your friends with a Honduran.

Fourth, all of this is accomplished with the accompimiant of drinking a ton of alcohol and rompompo... thats just eggnog. Which is just as good here as it is in the states..

 
Speaking of rompompo, we were at some members house and they gave us this and said, drink it drink it, and of course we did.  Later they were looking at the bottle and saying that their grandma had made it. The next thought they had was, wait a minute, our grandma isn't a member.. usually eggnog is made with alcohol.. hahaha, so we were all like freaking out and the members were freaking out and saying what did we do to the missionaries!? and later we asked the grandma and she made it without alcohol in respect to her childrens beliefs and turns out wants to learn more about the church. haha God does work in mysterious ways.

Anyways, yeah, of course that was the highlight of this week. My companion and I are slaying numbers wise we just gotta get this family to pray about their fecha and we'll be baptizing this family of 7 people. But they gotta do their part. God will always do his part. Always. 

As a missionary I've learned that I NEED to trust God more. He hasn't let me down yet. I'm not saying everything is super smooth all the time but like with the story of eggnog, shoot I worried so much I was gonna like call the president and like.. shoot, I don't even know what I was going to do but I was scared, when really God knows my intentions, why am I so worried haha. Faith and hope. They're the best and really they come in a package.

I love this gospel, it's awesome. This New Year is gonna be sweet and I'm in the best place in the world for it. 
 
Love you guys take care.
Love Elder Johnson

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

So... we had 4 more baptisms that rocked, and then the primary program brought like 50 more people to church than normal. WAHOOO!!!

It's so satisfying to see good things happen but I have something I have to admit... The girls here like me and it's wierd because the ones that like me are all under 12..... yeah like after the primary program three little ninitas attacked me and hugged me!!!!! AAHHHHHH!!! SIN!!!!!! Don't worry, I did tell the president and I did not hug back in any way.. super awkward....

The baptism was of 4 girls who are the daughters of Fabian. Fabian has a complicated story but basically we're waiting for the papers of marriage for him and his wife then they'll be baptized too!! These four girls remind me alot of my sisters.... and the youngest is 8 and getting her into the font was really funny because at the last minute she was super afraid of the water and her mom came and kind of pushed her into the font saying something like "do you love Jesus! Then do this!" and... yeah she got baptized super linda baptism cause we had all the kids of the ward there on the Saturday and they sang and everything!!! wow. Probably one of my favorites for sure, it's so amazing to see people sooo like clean, so clean you  can feel it... wow just loved it.

Small news,  I'm a branch president of the Las Anonas mini part branch, and I have had alot of interchanges. The members all love me now and I only have 6 weeks left in this area.. :( bummer.

Elder Montero is strong and always complaining that he's like a black person and this isn't his True color... haha I'm a red skin and less gringo than many gringos but... still there.

Well Merry Christmas!!! Love ya all and hope your all doing great! paz y amor :)

Elder Johnson

Monday, December 16, 2013

Missionary's advice to the youth in our ward for Fear Factor, Tuesday, December 17th.

Elder Sean Johnson
Advice: Hug your mom when you can, tell your dad you love and appreciate him. And talk about the Gospel with your friends, it's not just a Sunday thing.  Everyone wants to be happy. I promise that if you follow the commandments you'll be happy, that simple.
Elder Johnson


Elder Spencer Agren
MIs amigos!
Hola de Argentina! Missionary work is the greatest. You have no idea how crazy....insane... this work can be. Yes, there are tough parts about the work (like not having any snow at all for Christmas) but baptisms and playing futbol with the natives is the best. The Lord´s work makes every worth while! Have a good time this Christmas, and remember the real reason why we celebrate! Mormons rule!!
Elder Agren

 
Elder Alek Barney
Try Poutine. All it is is french fries with cheese curds and brown gravy it is really good.
I can't think of anything inspiring to say but  the way to a happy life is service and selflessness.
 
 
Elder Tyler Hanks
 
Beware the panza. It could kill you

Another baptism and I built a house!

okkkkk

This week was crazy!  I didn't feel like we did much then I looked at our numbers and we freaking killed..... (only an expression) but it explains why I'm so tired these days.

It's weird here they don't have day light savings so its really bright in the morning and really dark at like five..

Anyways this week we had a really great baptism and I helped build a house, pretty much the highlights of the week.

The baptism was the family of women so according to our standards not a family, but 5 women, but it was still awesome. They live out in the middle of no where... it's really weird, and we only found them because they came to church out of the blue once.

I also found out the members love me here!  That felt good, this one sister wants me to call her Mama mejia but I had to tell her I can't because I'm a missionary. Her son just got back from Guatemala... 

This letter isn't real focused.  Really this week was just a good solid overall week. My companion is growing, I'm growing, we need the office to reimburse us for paying the electric bill and... yeah we have a ton of progressing investigators and a family that is scheduled for next week. I can now say I speak spanish. I just can't say I speak spanish well.... umm....

Yeah thats it. I love this work!!! Love this Gospel!!! Love being happy!!!

Take care, love ya all. Elder Johnson

Monday, December 9, 2013

Anyone know what week this is?

Well.... um, yeah idk whats happened this week was.. well boring we have way too many meetings and not enough time to work.
 

Can I just say that my area is huge!! geez we found another village through a reference, and we don´t have time to visit them ever.... Ugh frustration, why couldn´t God make the earth in like 8 or 9 days that would be perfect for our area.. haha oh well don´t want to be sacrilegious or anything, I love the 7 days it`s really good too.
 
 

I have learned soooo much about training this week, and well, it´s true what they say the teacher always learns more than he teaches.
 

 
One cool thing is we lent (lended? Idk) service to a member and I put my ceramic skill to the test and made a pot!! Yes, I felt very accomplished.
 

 
um.. This week we found this stellar family who are super evangilistical but are totally gonna be mormanized. Why? Because when we explained about the Book of Mormon they were like... uh yeah but why this? and why this? and why this? and we did our little presentation had all the scriptures in the Bible to answer their questions and they wanted us to come back the next day but we couldn´t cause we were all booked so we get to teach them today! Sooooo excited for that..

Other than that, this week was about as boring as a mission can get (with out being put in your house and not allowed to leave.
 
 

Alma 26:12 the best by the way.

Love ya all, hope everyone's ok.  If not.. well you could totally email me and tell me about it I`ll listen.

Love, Elder Sean Johnson
 
 
(We believe what he is trying to say with the 8 or 9 days thing is that he wishes there were more days in a week, just in case any of you couldn't understand it like we didn't understand it.  We had to think about it anyways)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Love Pizza!

Welp, Idk who´s reading this at this point but I am so grateful for my awesome ward at home. I got your guys´ letters and just idk, thanks guys, means alot.

So to begin, I´m going to start by explaining that here we have  3 missionaries with more than a year in our whole zone... yeah out of 12 only 3 have more than a year... so basically we´re a bunch of greenies.  My district leader has two more changes than me, yes he´s new from Mexico.  Then there´s me and my son and that's the only changes... but in our zone the zone leaders have like a reward and point system by the numbers. And the best prize is they buy you a pizza if you are in 1st place. I´m proud to say me and my son (who I´ve been training for three weeks) have eaten pizza three p-days in a row... yeah pretty sweet.

Now that I´m bragging the Lord is for sure going to humble me in some way.  It just demonstrates that really it doesn't´t matter your experience, the Lord is working us in a way that I never thought was possible. We´re going like 100 miles an hour and honestly, I don´t want it to stop. I want to finish this race like this.

I´m so grateful for this Gospel. Seriously, this week I took a minute to look at how old I am, what I´m doing, and how I'm doing it and well really.... I'm so not qualified for these things.  Maybe that's why the Lord is sending such young people. Because they HAVE to rely on the Lord, not on their qualifications. We don´t have a choice, I can´t tell people how to fix a marriage because I went to school and received training, I can´t tell them that I know because I have experience with marriage, I can´t even give them advice from seeing a bad marriage, and people are trying to fix it. But lately that´s what me and my companion have been teaching a ton lately GET MARRIED. It´s like a Honduran tradition to Not get married, yeah the biggest block to baptism really.

Anyway, this week was good, just keep getting frustrated with fechas falling through, but part of the work. One of our members that really might be John the Beloved got beat up and couldn´t visit with us. Funny that here if someone gets beat up it´s like well psh why was he being stupid?
Where in Utah it´s like who beat him up? haha, well Ii think its funny.  It wouldn´t be funny if he was super hurt or anything and he was even making jokes about it haha oh well.

Oh. freaking sweet news!  We took one more step into making Las Anonas (the little village in the mountains) a branch!!  We´re having meetings up there on Sundays.. woooo hooo!

One last thing, the weather here is usually super hot but this past four days it´s been cold cold, but compared to Utah, nah, still warm, but for some reason I´ve been freezing my bottom off..

With that I´ll end.  I love this gospel, I´m grateful to God to have had the opprotunity to have this my whole life. love ya all, peace out 
Elder Johnson

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

3 Days of house arrest

Well apparently Thanksgiving already passed... I forgot, bad American sorry guys.

This week was super long why?
1. We have a tiny apartment and we weren't allowed to leave for three days
2. Lots of noise in the night for 3 nights
3. All because of the elections here - everyone is scared to talk to anyone... ugh dang politics!!

But anyways, right now feels like the height of success for me.  We're two weeks into training and now we have 7 people and 3 families with fechas accepted.. how firm they are is the next question... I hope the don't flake out...
 

Um.. other than that we have just been working our butts off and sometimes I feel like I need to be like a better example, but really I'm just doing my best but it's a little hard and scary to try to be responsible for everything including the results. Scariest part.. The phone, I struggle with spanish in person, imagine spanish with static and a funny accent.... oh man, but the best thing to do is just do it. Maybe NIKE was inspired idk.
 

In the three days of our prisonhood we actually had a lot of fun. I learned alot about Dominica and I can now cook like a Dominican and I'm working on the accent. From what I can gather, they're like the Hollywood of Spanish America. Always singing and dancing, I learned a lot of dances and music and one more thing, Domincan people are crazy about pool... soo yes we made a flipping sweet pool table using a box(for the borders) 3 bottles (for the pockets) and an extra sheet that was in the apartment.. and finally a ton of tape.  Then for the sticks we used the broom handle and some golf balls we had from my golf day... Yeah it was sweet and I made cake and we had cake and ice cream like every day... so really maybe the phrase prisonhood is a bit harsh.

Welp I'm excited to get out of the house finally, hope people warm up again and Love you all, Have a good Thanksgiving!  Hasta manana!!!

Elder Sean Johnson

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Angela!

I was admittedly a little sad with the shortness of Sean's email today, and lack of photos. But then Ang checked her email and there were a bunch of silly photos wishing her a Happy Birthday and she got a personal email which made her day. I guess I'll get over it.






A New Companion

welp I looked at a calender and discovered I've been out of the house for 5 months now, where did it go?

I have now had a Son, yes a son.  That means in missionary language I'm training.  Yes, it was very sudden. He is from the Dominican Republic. He's 19, has two younger siblings and his parents, but is the only member of all of them... yeah, he likes to play baseball, and basketball, and is a great kid.

Um.. oh Good new one of our investigators we've been teaching since I got here accepted a date for baptism with his whole family!!!!!!!

Well got to go, we have a new district leader, and basically new district.  I'm the only gringo and still struggling with Spanish... um.. yeah well that's about it!  Peace out!!!!

Love, Elder Johnson
 
Here are some questions I asked him:
 
1. I hear elections are coming up.  What is missionary protocol at that time?  Have you heard much about it? Elections are coming up our protocol is not leaving the house the day before, day of and day after. then we're good. so I'll be writing on Tuesday next week.
 
2. We also heard there is an air force base near you, do you know much about it? Yes there is an air force base that the Americans own and allow the Hondurans to use. All I really know about it is the DFAC is where you eat and they have burgers there.
 
3. What is your favorite thing about the area you are currently serving in? My favorite thing is that we live in comfort in the middle of a city but still visit peublitos and hike in the mountains.  Really this area is just the best in the whole mission for baptisms, beauty and the ward.
 
4. What has been your favorite food? What do you eat the most?  I really like the soap here. I eat a lot of rice and beans and plantanos.
 
I'm a little confused on that last one, I don't know if he spelled something wrong with the soap, misunderstood the question, or really likes to eat soap. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sean opening his mission call

So yes, this is a little late in coming.  I originally posted this on Facebook in March, but realized I should probably add it here too!  Plus, it is so great to hear his voice and see his face!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

October Family Baptisms

Here is a video Sean's mission president's wife, Sister Fortuna, made.  I love finding things like this!
Mision Honduras Comayaguela 2012-2015: Familias Octubre

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 12

SO this week was super crazy.  Just to sum it up, I´m with the zone leaders in a trio right now... yeah pretty much is the result of craziness!!! shya

Ok so Tuesday my companion got called as secretary, so they have to be trained a week early so we went to Tegucigalpa where I received a native Honduran for a companion. He was waiting for his visa to go to his mission in Mexico but the thing is, he was trained here and we already knew each other from the mission president's house. So we had 4 days together, then he got taken by the pres to go to Mexico and I am now with the zone leaders...

We found 28 people and 4 families.. in 3 days... yeah both of us were in training still and training each other and we have the highest numbers in the zone.... weak things shall be made strong.. it´s amazing. Sooo ready to rely on the Lord, it was like a test drive of training and now I'm learning from the best,  our ex assistant and the zone leader.. man, God really is looking out for me.  I wish I could have had more time with this elder cause really, he and I made a great team, but the Lord knows better than I.

Hope that you all don´t get mad at me if I don´t write a personal email, I'm really limited over here. Love you all running out of time again! 
umm..... yeah wish we could have focused more on missionary work instead of missionary coordination but all is well...

Stay strong, the Lord WILL help us. Love you all.
Love, Elder Johnson

Monday, November 4, 2013

Visiting Picacho

This week was pretty sweet until Sunday.
 
On Monday we went to a place called Picacho which has a giant Christus at the top of this mountain. We went with the president and it was awesome to get to know that he is a real person not just a person we send numbers to.
 



 
 
um... yeah the rest of the week was spent working, I´ve been feeling sooo tired lately it´s crazy I never thought that I would have to fight my eyelids so hard. Really this week was double hard because we didn´t have money to visit the peublitos so we had to stay in the city with the stiff necked and hardhearted. It´s not that they don´t let us in, it´s that they don´t receive the message we share, but in their minds they didn´t reject the word of God because they let us in the house so they´re good. Still frustrated with my Spanish inadequacies that continue to be pointed out to me. 
 
 
 
I had a trainers meeting this week and was with Elder Livingston. This guy is a missionary, he just finished being an A.P. and then he was my Zone Leader and now he´s going to finish his mission training. One thing that stuck out to me was how happy he was. Like that´s seriously one way to tell an obedient hard working missionary from a disobedient one, how happy they are. So in the end isn´t it easier to be hard working and obedient and LIGHT than disobedient, lazy, and unhappy HEAVY.
Maybe this is applicable to more than just missionaries but I´m not going to think about it right now cause I got a job to focus on.. just keep this letter so I can think about it later. haha.
 
 
 
One of our biggest struggles is getting people to church. Even with a new schedule we lost 30 people who were attending before. They aren´t willing to eat lunch a little later for the Lord.... yeah.. a bit dramatic but I mean literally it´s such a small thing to keep someone from such a grand potential it´s like tripping on a pebble the size of your pinky toe. And we went to church and ended up being fed 5 times!!! Ridiculous I'm getting fat! I gained all the weight back that I lost in Mexico but its all fat.. awkward. 
 
Love you all, I really appreciate the emails and letters of encouragement you guys are great. Remember don´t trip over pebbles, shoot just don´t trip.  
 
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 28, 2013

I have been called, and am way stressed!



So this week wasn´t very exciting in anything except we just had a solid week. We did good work this week and well.... I´ve been called to train... yeah in the next two Wednesdays I´ll be receiving a new Latino companion and Elder Aguilar will be leaving to a different area... Getting ready to test my Spanish for sure. Shoot I'm so nervous for real. In our mission we have a tradition of referring to our trainees as our ¨sons¨ so.... I´m gonna have a Latino son, really curious who it will be. sooooooo stressed.

 
Other than that we visited a new peublito even farther up the canyon than Las Anonas called San Jeronimo, where we found like a branch of inactive women who can´t afford to go to church so they just have been meeting and reading the scriptures on Sundays. We´re looking, we only need 7 men who will be given the priesthood and we can form a branch up there.
 

 
Another big change is our bishop is changing the time our church time to 11-2 and setting up a system to activate the huge amount of inactive people. All the members are going to meet at the church at 8 and go visit until 11. Yeah sweet huh!?  You can bet us missionaries will do our part.

Honestly I'm kind of sad to see Elder Aguilar about to leave... I´m going to be all alone in this area surrounded by new missionaries because the other missionaries are leaving in the area as well... that means when we´re in Tegucigalpa I have to get us back to Comayagua.. freaky.

I know that God wants me to train, but I also know that this is probably more for me to learn than to teach. Yeah I'm gonna do my best. Haha I've never applied 1 Nephi 3:7 so much in my life.  I´m both excited and scared out of my begeebers, to be relying on the lord so much, but why should I fear. I hope I don´t prove to be a man of little faith. 
 
I love you all, and man I miss you. But I know that this church is the church of Jesus Christ and ultimately he is at the head. He is directing this church.  I love him, and I know he loves me. I want to be able to tell him that in person. I can´t wait. 

peace out! 
Elder Sean Johnson

Monday, October 21, 2013

I sang with a band


Ok.... well this week we baptized a little boy who lives in a place called the Valle de Angeles, it is definately a beautiful place. He came early on Sunday and asked me to baptize him... of course I said yes.


This week was extremely eventful.

But other than that Honduras won on Tuesday over Jamaica (yeah, Scott my mission country beat your mission country ;) ) haha jk but they lost to Brazil next so... yeah that was a short victory.

Also on Tuesday I ate cow tongue... hahaha it was`t that bad, I was honestly really excited about
it haha my companion didn't  like it at all but todo cheque. I find myself surrounded by really baggy
missionaries. One has 4 weeks left and then my companion and this Nicaraguan all are super baggy. Kinda affecting me.

On Wednesday we didn`t go to Las Anonas because we all had interveiws with the president. For those of you who don`t know my pres. is this huge black guy that carrys a bat around everywhere, and is from the Dominican Republic. Yeah pretty cool right? Until you have to be in a small room
with him and you`re the last one and he`s kind o sick of dealing with disobedient missionaries.. and he has his bat.. great situation. :) but I love him he`s super cool and has a sweet accent. After the interveiws he took everyone to Burger King.

Thursday we visted another small pueblito where we met a Brasilian minister with another cool accent, but it wasn´t cool because he was trying to steal our investigators... yeah but cool experience our investigators claimed us as their church...I`m thinking that`s a good sign.  She has a date for Nov 2nd, the thing is it`s 40 limps to get to church, and 40 to get back, she doesn´t even have that.

Friday I went on interchanges with my District leader who is also Brazilian and we ran in to a Honduran like band who  wanted us to sing so... I tried to imitate them.  I took a picture with the guitaurist who is now letting us visit him and seems pretty positive. Still Early. I`m getting more confident I think I`ve just determined to enjoy this cause dang it,  God wants us to have joy, even if
contention is surrounding us.


 Saturday we went to Las Anonas and they were having a soccer tournament, they had four teams competing. It was sooooo cool!!!! It`s this little village that grows beans, and they have a total of 300 people, 2 hours away from the nearest high way on top of a mountain and they have a soccer field up there!!!! yeah talk about sweet priorities... just need convince them god is more important...


 Sunday was crazy, we woke up, and I asked my companion, whats up with the boy we're supposed to baptize and he was like... Oh crap.  We have a baptism so we took a taxi to get baptismal clothes
call the bishop to fill the pila and then ran over, got everything set up right before church started. When I took the sacrament I was still wet. Another intersting thing, dogs seem to be allowed her in church.

Well,I love this work.  This week was hard for missionary work. Anyways... spanish is coming, Love the scriptures and they have supported me.  Now I'm out of time again.  Gotta go teach a lesson.  Love ya'll and take care of what you're doing!

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 14, 2013

We had a baptism!


WE BAPTIZED SOMEONE
 
This week I got sick from eating cabbage, never again.... then my companion got the flu on Friday so we were praying we would be healthy for the baptism... um yeah it was super miraculous.
He was kind of sick so they made me do the baptism... I felt the power of the words and like it was super happy and clean. As soon as she came back up all I could do was smile, a huge smile. Hahahaha oh man it was so beautiful.
 
Also we had a huge storm this week, the roads turned into a river. 

Oh!! also we had a family just randomly come to church. HALA!  It was amazing they are for sure going to be strong in the church.

The ward has started to try to organize home teaching and us missionaries are planning for a ward barbeque, they don`t have an activities director or committee.  Too bad that would be so much easier, the thing is that our area is soo huge.

I`m going to buy these narly nephite sandals I saw and a wicked machete, sweet!!! Oh and I bought a pillow!!! super!!!!

Sorry I don`t have much to share, just make sure that you stick to your commitments, love your enemies and those who are in a different situation than you. Try to think about what you want to become and HOW you are going to do it. 

My favorite chapter this week was Alma 34, about not putting off repentance.

Love ya`ll I`m out of time. :) the district leader is kinda on my back right now otherwise I would explain this.

keep strong, Elder Sean Johnson



Monday, October 7, 2013

Where much is given, much is required

I´m gonna be honest, all I remember about this week is this weekend, GENERAL CONFERENCE IS SWEET!!!!! No doubt, this church is so true!!!! My favorite talk was by Elder Nelson, the last one in the last session. It´s amazing. I learned sooo much.

Its amazing that we have such leaders and discourses every 6 months. I don't think I´ll be able to look at general conference the same ever again.
 
Um... what else we gave two blessing this week on lady said she couldn´t see, then she could. Another man has a problem with his blood.  He is super catholic with his family, but he still asked for a blessing. The spirit was so strong. I don't understand how people can believe in our blessing but not our church. Either this church is true, or it´s not. That´s what we claim, seek, and  have found in this church. That this church is the only true church on earth..... The only pure religion, the only way to salvation, and eternal life... sometimes I wonder if we forget our potential. Eternal life, there is a huge difference between immortality and eternal life. We can achieve our potential, it was promised 5 times this conference.
 
Another scripture that really was repeated at least 5 times is the scripture about "take my yoke upon you for my way is easy and my burden is light" in Mathew, yeah it must be pretty important if so many talks mentioned it... ha one last thing that stuck out to me was how many promised blessing the prophet gives us... seriously I wrote down at least 7 just from the closing remarks. PROMISES of the lord! woooo talk about bodaciousness!!!
 
Also this week we taught in a new place, another pueblito por las anonas, so many people sacrifice so much here just to go to church. It makes me wonder how I´m worthy to try to teach them? They live the gospel even though they don´t know all about it. This is better than me. It´s like when Christ upbraided Thomas because he didn´t believe until he saw. Part of my belief is because I have seen the results of living this gospel and this is good. But I think that those simple and humble people with no money to go to church and too weak of bones to make the hike, are better than I and I hope to one day be like them. We are so blessed, God has given me so much. D&C 82:3 I think is my new favorite scripture, totally applicable to life, and for me right now both a great relief and warning.
 
I hope you all got the chance to listen to the Saturday conference, it talked so much about how to help the missionaries. Really we have been sent as "gathers" not "planters". I mean of course you´re going to plant while harvesting, but our main purpose is to harvest, so who are the laborers? Maybe we just need to look into the mirror to find them.
 
I love you guys so much, all of you have impacted my life, and I am so grateful for it. Pres. Monson teaches that "those who touch our lives become part of us, and we carry them around with us" and therefore  it follows in my head that we can be lifted up by those same people. I love this Gospel, the true pure gospel of Jesus Crist.
 
p.s. Dad congrats on "our" bike ,)

Monday, September 30, 2013

you don't like my English?

Some of Sean's emails have had the most atrocious grammar and spelling I have ever seen!  So, I sent him and email just saying that maybe he should watch that a little bit better because this is a life skill and a great time to practice typing well, plus I didn't want him making it a habit to type poorly.  Here is his response

"tal vez voy a responder en solomente espanol si usted no le gusta me ingles... pero... Si las zappatos son buenas por supuesto! gracias"

What a stinker, he just thinks he's sooo funny!

I'm from Argentina

This  week was soo slow and idk why.

We have a fecha for a family!!!! and they came to church and want to have their baby named and blessed in the church!!!! It´s a miracle the first family here in Comayaguela in half a year!
 
This week we went to Tegucigalpa, that was not fun.  We are on a bus for two hours and then we get there and they tell us we can´t watch General Conference.... what!?!?!?!!?!  I think that some missionaries almost stood up. He changed it, we just aren´t allowed to go to priesthood session because Saturday night is the best night to find families. Which makes sense but it is still a super bummer.  I was soo excited for it. Oh well, I can read it after.
 


 
Oh, one exciting thing, I mastered an Argentine accent in Spanish for about 4 or 5 sentences, so if I want to make a joke with contacts I tell them that I´m from Argentina.  At first they didn´t believe me, but now like four contacts believed me! woo!!!  Spanish is coming, and yesterday I spoke the whole day in Spanish without asking once for a word in English!  wwoooooooooo!  Finally one goal accomplished.

 
We aren´t working as hard as we should... my companion,  I love the guy but he is sick of being "rejected".  I feel bad for him. Also, he`s taken to looking at our work as condemning to the people who don´t accept us. Which I haven´t been able to prove to him we aren`t. That our goal is to save, but kinda by attempting it and making the chance that they reject us it's scary, but we kinda do add one more problem for them....
 
Um... the food is good, I´m becoming quite the chef and mastering all sorts of little tricks. I enjoy improving myself very much but I have to remember this mission is not about me... it`s tough to think outside of myself. One thing is we get fed all the time but I´m always hungry!!! It`s so frustrating! Yet sometimes we just forget to sit down and eat, like yesterday we ate lunch and now that I think about it I don´t think we ever ate dinner.

 
Funny story about last night though, my companion locked our keys in our room so we had to get the security guard and he broke in for us..... yeah kind of ironic.  Other than that, the shock and excitement is wearing off.  Time to buckle down and work.
 
Oh one more cool thing! This month was a record for the mission!
 188 bautismos y 40 Familias Whoo whoo just some mission pride there
:) btw my address is

Elder Sean Johnson
MisiĆ²n Honduras Comayaguela
Apartado Postal 2625
Tegucigalpa Honduras

 

Love to hear from ya`ll
Let me know if I can do anything for you. I will do my best.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The beginning of our mission journey

This journey started years ago, but Sean received his mission call on Thursday, March 14,2013.  He opened it surrounded by family and friends, receiving a call to Comayaguela, Honduras.  He graduated from high school on May 30, 2013, then received his endowment in the Logan Utah Temple on June 4, 2013 in the 9am session. 



 
After a full summer filled with father & sons camp out, family weddings,
 a trip to Idaho and a trip to California and Las Vegas, his farewell and a family reunion,
 Sean flew to the Mexico MTC on July 9, 2013 at 7am.
 
His first email to tell me he made it:
 
"Hey mom, so things are pretty crazy out here haha I have Pdays on tuesday. Today we went to the mexico temple, all in spanish... My companion is way cool, he was a gymnast and, kinda a red head. The food down here is craz! haha like all mexicano except once when we had pizza on our first night, ha so far.. I´ve liked all of it . They´re kinda unorganized down here so basically we have been allowed to do anything we want. but its kinda frustrating when you are assigned a lot to do and not given any time do do it. We started teaching a "investigator" on the second day I will refer to him as angel (prounounced anhel) we do all of our communicating in spanish which is so hard but its coming extremely fast. I call it communication because its not quite talking yet. ha anyways we committed him to pray, go to church, and read the book of mormon. and yesterday we challenged him to be baptized and he said "Si" I almost jumped up for joy! actually I kinda did. I just stood up and shook his hand. I know that this is the kind of work Christ would have us do. It´s really hard and last week really felt like an eternity. I miss all of you and Love you. Stick with class and tell everyone to write me through email. The mail system out here isn´t well..... let's say established."
 
Can I just say, um, hello!  AP English high school graduate!  Where is your spelling, punctuation, capitalization? Ugh, I sent a little email out about that. I also sent an email about giving us a little more detail.  I asked a few questions, like how was the bus ride.  In response the next week we got:
 
"hahahaahhahahaha the bus ride????? hahaha you joking me we had a bus driver who seemed to have the philosophy of "grind it till you find it" we were stuck in traffic until the cops started their sirens then everyone was like flying. I think the rule is when you change lanes you honk. and the bigger you are the less warning you have to give. Motorcyclists were shoooting gaps i didn´t even think were gaps. and we looked out our window and saw a lady  tied up and gagged in the back of a Geo... it´s like wha? I asked the elder next to me if we should tell someone. Since neither of us had any idea how to convey in spanish what was going on he said "nah, i think that that´s probably normal round here" so we didn´t say anything.
 
Sorry i may have mislead you guys on the baptism thing, these investigator guys are latino teachers who are acting the way they did during their conversion lessons and such Angel is actually maestro  who is now teaching us on how to teach (in spanish of course). My companion is getting really frustrated with the launguage. the food theses days is sooo good but we still don't have irons.... odd. we learned that Manana doesn't mean literally tomorrow... it really just means not today.
 
I have seen like four kids from my schoool now and talked to all of them. Including scott and josh i'm telling you the first week is the hardest. and i  played soccer the other day with Bud it was sweet.
  
We have two more investigators. one is really hard and the other is medium... serious like when they talk a million miles an hour it's all i can do to get the gist of what they are saying. I'm still tired all the time and more and more funny thing keep happening but nothing as funny as an elder's sleep walking. Tell everyone i say hi and that i miss them. Stay close to god and mom read 1 nephi 2:8 if you ever miss me too much. ;) love ya dad thanks for being such a good example to me maybe when i get back i can learn portuguese, and you can help me?"
 
Ok, so he gave us more information, but really, a girl tied up and they didn't tell anyone?  I still haven't gotten over that one.  But there is some improvement.  We then asked some more questions and for some more information like who was in his district and what the sleep walking story was and such.  Hence, you start at the MTC in the beginning, the first post.  It only took a few weeks to get to that point.  We still ask questions all the time, and answers seem far and few between, but we are getting there.
 
Shauna
Mom
and so you are, at the beginning of a mission adventure!
 
 
 
 

Horse Whisperer

This week was.. really fast gee whiz where the heck is it going?


Elder Johnson the photo bomber.  The elder on the right is Kay Pearl's grandson, my former coworker from the temple.

 
This Monday was the first Monday in the campo that I played soccer and just fyi... all the Latinos in my zone like me now.. (weird) We have been teaching like nuts, but no one has accepted fechas yet. Interesting fact, an hour away from where I am, George of the Jungle the movie was filmed. Sweet

We found this new peublito called Quebrocho. Missionaries have never been there before, I was like.. what? It's so cool, people are soo humble and they are letting us in and everyone insists on feeding us. I really feel like I'm gaining weight.

 We went to Las Anonas again and of course, it was one of my highlights. We had an adventure, we decided the trail was boring so we went up a cliff cause it would be faster... it wasn't much faster and we were way dirtier in the end... haha. Then we helped calm down this little horse of one of the members, and the people now think I'm an animal whisper just cause I touched the nose of the horse and it just stopped. Yeah, not spiritual or anything, I think it was just surprised, they treat their animal pretty poorly here.

I've been wondering what are my strengths in missionary work without Spanish...... I've also been wondering where do abilities come from? Very broadly, that's what I've been wondering about.

We also went to a place called "valley of angels" super pretty and we taught an 8 year old who got baptized this Saturday.

This week we have been focusing on meno activos, less actives. Here a lot of people can't afford the bus to go... and it's too expensive for the church to rent a bus every Sunday. My companion and I want to set up a branch in Las Anonas cause that would be EPIC and everyone in that direction would be able to go.

I'm learning a lot about myself out here, and I'm clarifying my beliefs. That's important. Figure out what you want to become. Always remember it, I'm not talking about your job, or future, I'm talking about your essence. We are SUPPOSED to change, it's what we're here for. That's why we don't like it so much. Comfort is the enemy of progress.... that was in a gym over here, I think it's partly true, but I think that the ultimate progress would to become comfortable with progress, expect it of yourself, God expects it of us. And Jesus Christ didn't suffer for our sins for nothing.

Anyways this week was super fun, can't wait for the next week. Let me know if there is anything I can do for any of you. Que le vaya bien!!

Love, Elder Sean Johnson

p.s. If you write letters to me make sure you put "Elder Sean Johnson" on top because we have two or three Elder Johnsons in this mission and fyi, I really like letters.

The gospel is a path that exists FOR us, but knowing about a trail or a path doesn't mean you know the path... LIVE IT.

Ok.. well this week was loco. I had interchanges, I went to the temple and we have a BAPTISM!! Woo! I also met a man who lives in New York and we're teaching him, and I did my first service day of chopearing... which is like cutting a lawn with a machete.... yeah pretty sweet..



  So Interchanges are when you and your companion trade companionships so my companion was the district leader for one ...day... He is sooo good at contacting, we contacted 8 people and they all gave us food. He's from Tonga... and BIG like really big, that's probably why everyone gave us food. Oh and I freaking met a monkey, like it climbed on me!! Woop! Woop! yeah I'm cool, that was a really cool day.

That was on Tuesday, it was super cool, but on Thursday we went and did service chopeando,. It was honestly really hard but I can now say I have used a machete.. whoever thought that using a machete is cool and fun.... oh man that person has a lot to learn. We are so blessed to have weed wackers. I have two blisters on my hands still and I never get blisters, but after that the guy drove us to the city and bought us Honduran Chinese food, it was pretty good:)



  The next day we went to the temple. Hahahaha, that was crazy. We had a bus meant for 28 people and we fit 40 missionaries on it!!! haha and the temple is sooo small that we filled two sessions just missionaries... but it was cool. I understood like all of it ,so that was a miracle!!

Then that night we got home and went contacting. I met a man who speaks ENGLISH!!! Man, I would be so good at teaching Latinos in English, oh well. Man, OH and the 15th is the Day of Independence, here they had huge parades and almost no one came to church, but it was ok hahaha um..

We're really close. We have been focusing on finding people. Just this week we found 18 investigators and 4 families... total we have 42 investigators and 9 families.... but many aren't progressing. They just don't want to do anything. They think if they let the word of God into they're home they're blessed, but they don't act, they just listen... oh well they have agency and I really am trying my best. I'm having a blast and working hard and honestly loving it...

I can't think of anything else and I'm out of time. Basically this week was super fast and really fun. I hope it will be like this always.

Just one last thing, the gospel is a path that exists FOR us, but knowing about a trail or a path doesn't mean you know the path... LIVE IT.

Love Elder Johnson
 

 
 
 
 

Questions and Answers

Here are some questions Sean answered about his mission:

1. How many missionaries serve in your mission? 230
2. How big is the area you serve in? Idk really, we have half of a city and then like a huge mountain area at least 10 by 35 mi...les but rough estimate.

3. How many wards are in your area? 1

4. What is something that has surprised you while you have been a missionary? How much time you spend in the apartment, you have to prepare before you can teach effectively.

5. What is some advice you would give the youth? Dude, be an example, even if everyone is pretty much white over there they still notice if your following the standards set by our lord. Also you don`t have to share a message to someone who doesn't want to hear it.

6. What is a cool experience you've had while there? I suck at Spanish but this pregnant lady asked us to give a blessing i did the anointing of the oil, then my companion blessed. The baby hadn`t moved through the pregnancy and she was 8 months and 20 days in as near as she could tell. during the blessing the baby moved. It was a miracle. Priesthood power is the power of god, and your intentions and worthiness to exercise the priesthood are more important than how well you speak.

7. Anything else? The church is so strong in Utah, appreciate it. We have 1,500 baptized members here, but only 130 members attending church every Sunday. See
More

A rough week

So this week sucked..... nobody came to church!!! probably because tomorrow is la dia de ninos (kids day what? talk about epic culture) and therefore they were saving the commute money for the pinatas and candy. Also Honduras beat Mexico in a qualifying game. No me and my companion didn´t watch the game, we just watched people dance and set off fireworks all night. then our neighbors came in and ...told us all about it. They are so crazy here, it was actually pretty freaking sweet to be surrounded by people who care about soccer.

OK but other than that, I mean it rained alot.... not much happened. I`m getting used to life here, I had pirahana yesterday and my companion didn`t like it.

I hope that since I`m becoming accustomed to life here I`ll be able to focus more on the gospel and the teaching of it. That sure would be nice, my Spanish is todavia terrible, but it`s coming... slowly. When I tell people I`ve been here for 2 weeks they compliment me, so whatevs.

We`ve been focusing on contacting a lot this week. It`s hard, people don`t automatically like you if your a gringo here, its work. I still feel like I could do more, I just need to do something, Idk know what yet.

Oh ok, so the most exciting story happened during our trip to Las Anonas, the night before we left we had three dinners.....bad idea. Woke up and was fine, started heading out and on the bus, I started getting car sick. I never get car sick, so it was a weird experience. We get off and we have a member RM with us, and just start hiking, I felt terrible, like sick sick. So half way up I just told my companion "yonecesito vomitarse" "I need to throw up" so I stop, tuck in my tie to my shirt (I didn`t want to get it dirty) and then bend over and puke my guts out. Yeah..... that was half the story, we get to Las Anonas and they feed us lunch, chicken head stew... I ate it.... haha and then threw up all over the porch. The starving dogs loved it!. After that they gave me this juice and I felt good, and we had a really spiritual lesson on the importance of temples.... hahaha then they made me take some corn before we made the hike back.

Another story is, well, the day after Honduras won we went to the hospital because this lady, I`m gonna call her Esperanza, had her baby. This is the lady we blessed and the baby hadn´t moved her whole pregnancy until we blessed her. Then it moved! Man this is a freaking miracle packed mission or something, Idk what's happening, maybe I just never had recognized miracles until now... anyways we went to visit her in the hospital...

It was gross, like really gross. I tried not to touch anything at all and washed my shoes when we got home. I don`t want any diseases.... the crazy thing is I learned that men suck.....(and we need to fix how they treat women).

We need lots of prayers.

I don`t want to end on that note sorry, but I`m out of time. Love you all, I really could use your guys` prayers right now. And just pray for people in general. Gee whiz. Keep your face toward Zion k? and love where you`re at and what your doing when your doing it, it`s important to have joy in the moment.


Never take doing laundry in the U.S. for granted

Let me just start by saying that I will never complain about laundry in the United States again..... haha laundry sucks!!!! oh man 2 hours to do 7 shirts and & unmentionables and a day and a half for them to dry hoping it didn't rain and you do it all over again.



 Anyways this week was awesome!!!!! We went to a pueblito on Wednesday called Las Anonas. It's a 4 mile hike in and it's literally in the middle of no where on top of a random mountain in the jungle... about 150 people live there and 30 of them are members of the church but the crazy story is how all this started. I mean no one would ever tract there so how did they get converted? Well there was an old man there who was studying to become a Catholic priest. One night he can't sleep and when he finally falls asleep he receives a vision that he needs to go to Comayagua and unite himself with the Mormons. So he hikes down, and the hour drive from the trail head goes to Comayagua and stays a week taking lessons from the missionaries every day, gets baptized on the 2nd week (because he had to attend church twice before he could get baptized.) then he brings the missionaries to the village Las Anonas and they baptize 4 families and 15 people... yeehaw! crazy story

 So every Wednesday we go up and work in Las Anonas. It's an all day thing so we get up early, leave the house at 6:00am and leave the village at 4:00pm running down the mountain to catch the bus because the last bus leaves at 5:30. Super fun, cool and you'll never meet a more humble people. Such a cool experience. They fed us lunch which was chick head soup with "chips"(really just pig skin dried but it's actually pretty good and pretty common here, not homemade)

Then this weekend we set really high goals cause we're trying to work hard. We had no progressing investigators. But now.... we found 4 families this weekend and have 10 progressing investigators in Comayagua alone. SWWWEEEETTTT. Then we travel on Friday to another pueblito called  where we have a family, and then on Saturdays there's a new Pueblito with a family who asked us to be baptized... my companion says this isn't normal, but I hope it becomes normal. This one family, they are so cool. They want to feed us, that's a sure sign that they're ready for baptism. I still don't know a lot of Spanish but I can understand it a whole ton better than I can speak it. So much work to do.

Oh one last exciting thing, be grateful that church in Utah is awesome. We had kind of an apostacia aqui. during priesthood elders, I think I'm very grateful for church in Utah.

 Lots of love I'm running out of time, I hope you're all doing great if not I'm definitely not opposed to being written, sometimes it's very lonely out here speaking English.. and being a noob, but God will help us always, we just have to rely on him.

Stay with God, Love ya all

Elder Johnson
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

First week in Honduras

So, I feel like I need to start the count over since now I'm in the field. As most of you know I am now in Honduras. I arrived here 6 long days ago and am now an experienced missionary. And yes I was very surprised by Elder Hanks and I read his letter. It only got that way near the end for me, so elder good luck with 6 weeks of it. I don't have to worry about it For those of you who don't understand that... it's ok, don't worry about it. Let me start telling my story from the beginning with leaving the CCM.

So we woke up at 5:30 to get to the airport to catch a flight to San Pedro Sul airport. Then from the airport we caught a tiny plane to Tegucigalpa and the landing was one of the most fun things in the world (as in we were literally 50 yards above the houses right before the landing and then suddenly a airport appeared and we were jamming our breaks).

 Then we got off and were hustled to the A.P.s house and we had our first meal with the president. This meal was very foreign and known as pizza. It was actually really good and just normal stuff. When I say we I mean the 16 gringo missionaries from Mexico. So.... 18 missionaries in one Honduran house.. amazing. The next morning we went to the Presidents house on the other side of town and just played... really hard first day. Then we met the Latino missionaries coming from the Guatemala CCM, there were 14 of them and 4 hermanas... yeah seeing trouble yet? that's 32 male missionaries... anyways they gave us the low down on the rules and the things we will need here (the nurses seemed to think we only needed two things: water and Pepto Bismol) and then we had Lasagna!!! ooh so good, then we hopped into two large vans but not quite busses, and went back to the A,P's house. It was nuts we somehow fit and found 32 beds in the house, luckily it had two floors and a semi open garage. But all of this is Honduran size remember so... small.

 The next day we went to the changes meeting. I was assigned to my companion who is El Salvadoran, he's really funny and a great teach. He is the only member in his family and soooo strong in the gospel. He is my trainer and I am blessed. He speaks about as much english as I speak spanish soo.. it works We took a bus for 2 hours to Comayauga which is the area I have been assigned. They call this place a pueblito, meaning small village. It is in the center of Honduras and isn't small but it's not big. I don't know how to explain it. When we got back we went to visit with members seeking referrals. I had no idea what was going on. We met the bishop who all the missionaries agree kind looks like Will Smith, with a big smile, and they fed us.






 The people here have almost nothing, you can buy a violin here for 100 american dollars. Nuts! They have tin roofs, cinderblock mud houses. Dogs wander the street, cars fly through the street at the same time as people cross the street. Soccer is in the street ( I love that part, one language I understand) apparently it's pretty sketch still, we aren't allowed to show our camera or anything like that.

 Yesterday was church. We have a strong ward, of about 100 people, and this is where I noticed that we are very similar, except in sunday school. But I'll get to that. I had to give a talk in spanish and I'm pretty sure most of the congregation had no idea what I was trying to say..... I still felt good that they were nodding at me and the incomprehensible sounds I was making. Then we somehow ended up in primary singing I am a child of god and then to sunday school half way through the hour, I look behind and someone is just nursing... Yeah kinda freaked me out but... apparently it's not a big deal at all... I didn't look back again. Then we went to a member's house for lunch and they gave us a traditoinal soup called "mandoga". It's something they are all very proud of with corn, potatoes, rice, planotenes (like potatoes in the shape of a banana) and carrots and... Cow stomach. I didn't know what it was until after I ate it and my companion said something like "you handled that well for a gringo." I was like, "what, it was good". Then he told me what it was.... yeah definitely an experience to remember. It wasn't too bad, Ii just thought it was like pig or something... yeah no. Haha today I get to learn to wash clothes by hand!!! Yipee! I have way too many clothes.

I pray for you all and hope your doing great. I would love to hear from you guys! Thank you for writing me.

Love, Elder Johnson