Monday, December 29, 2014

12-28-14 Happy New Year!

Here comes the new year.

Everything was pretty chill this Christmas. We entered early because of dangerous drunks with fireworks.

Other than that, we ate about 10 tamales each and put goals of things we want to improve as a companionship and as people.

I´m really interested in this next change on the 6th. If I leave here, it will be weird, and if I stay it would be weird. It will be interesting. But everything will be alright.

I love God so much and am so grateful to him for blessing me so much. This work is not possible without Him. We must depend on him. always.

Love you guys
Happy new year, 
paz y amor

sorry it´s so short just kinda at a loss for words haha

Monday, December 22, 2014

12-22-2014 Merry Christmas!



 MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL
 
Well, this time of year is crazy for a unidad, or like branch I want to say.
 
I was looking at the calendar and wow, I´ve been in this same area for like 8 months..... that's a long time, almost half my mission. Pretty crazy, but we have done so much here it´s kinda mind boggling.
 
This week we had the Christmas Dinner, found a ton of people. I´m really hoping that the Lord softens the hearts of these families. Other than that, this week was relativley calm. We had 200 people come to the dinner. There was miraculously enough food. I dressed up as a women to do our drama, and other than that, we worked hard in finding people to teach.
 
I love this work. I love Christmas because it is a great time to be with the family and develop true lasting love.
 
I want to give a gift to God this Christmas, I want to give him my life. Not like dying or suicide, but like dedicating my will to his will so that they can become one. I want to give my life to God through dedication. Not my will but his be done. If I can give that gift, that will be the best thing I´ve ever received in my life.
 
Love you all! You´re awesome!
Don´t do anything I wouldn´t do.

Monday, December 15, 2014

12-15-14 A busy week

I don't know how someone can be so happy and so tired at the same time.

This week I was in my area working for a total of 1 day of the week. This is bad and good. It breaks the routine, and the rhythm... so good and bad. haha

I'll start with Monday, for p-day we started the day painting the health center. Then I was in the office doing interviews for people to go to the temple. It was awesome and I felt much joy.

 

Tuesday we got up early, made breakfast for the travelers and loaded the buses. I was in charge of the 7 youth because that's what I assigned myself since we don't have anyone to be a young mens president or even a leader,  but lots and lots of women. Seems like in my life I've been trained especially for this moments what with 3 sisters and no brothers. Anyways, we got up and went to Teguc. We  got there late so we had to wait to combine with a group from Nicaragua to do the baptisms. We ate lunch and then did the baptisms finishing at like 4:00. We sent the two little buses home and stayed in the temple so we could go to the Christmas activity the following day. So we found some New York Cheese Cake and then took a taxi. This is the capital we're talking about and I was completely dependent on that taxi to get to the assistant's house. We got there and played... haha kinda we went contacting in a super rich neighborhood... 

Wednesday I took advantage of a hot shower... geez I miss those, and we went early to the migration office because my residence expired so I had to renew it. I felt bad because we were an hour late to the activity and my companion had never been to one before. We watched Frozen and played games.


 

Thursday. I went straight to Esperanza for the District mtg and to know the baptismal dates, and stayed the night there.

Friday I got back to my area and we had a district meeting with a crazy guy who barged in and I told him he could stay and listen if he didn't say anything. It was funny to see a grown man be so obedient... haha

Sat we tried to finish the Health center and then we had a baptism and then an elders quorum activity with tacos.... Then Sunday.



Really crazy week, this next week should be easier. haha
He got his package but some of the candy didn't like the humidity, especially the crackers.
 
Love you all Love the holidays
paz y amor.
Elder Johnson

Monday, December 8, 2014

12-08-14 20th century paint style

I feel good, tired, but satisfied, kind of tired.



This week was kinda nuts. I was only in my area for 3 days, for various meetings in La Esperanza and Tegucigalpa. Kinda complicated, and then one of those days we had to do a service project sooo what did we do? Logically, we painted the health center where Elder Saurez fainted... haha, pretty fun. But man, that's a lot of work. We still haven't finished and looks like next Saturday we will be doing the same thing so it doesn't stay super ugly looking.... but all good. haha We didn't have enough paint so.... we combined white paint with yellow and green... not so bad, but we still don't have enough paint.. I think we will be taking a 20th century style and painting every wall a different color.
 
He just loves the jungle.
As for inv. well... One family is having problems and now are going to separate. I have now recognized the consequences of fornication. They have a daughter together, they've been together for 3 years, and they  faced this problem and now, well... because they had no commitment to each other they're just gonna split up and the daughter will go with the mother.... It sure makes me sad. This is what happens when one does not marry but has a family... shouldn't work like that, but it is all too common here.
This is a fruit that is like cantaloupe but its called sipote and falls out of a tree like an apple.... weird but good.
On the other hand, in the branch, tomorrow me and my companion are going to the temple for a temple trip where our 8 youth and 2 families are going to work. The Families are going to be sealed... I'm am inexplicably happy about that. 
 
Food for 2 months straight... (its cheap and weddings are expensive)
I think up to this point in my life I've never felt such extremes. Such sadness to see people waste their potential and do exactly what you say not to do only to suffer the consequence, and the worst part is when they still keep going at it. When a person does not learn from the mistakes that's the worst.
 
And such happiness to see people loving God and their lives changing and seeing the blessings in their lives.. I
I believe I haven't cried so much from sadness or happiness ever.... until these days.

These are crazy Hondurans, there is a man driving the first car.. the chain broke...
and the car fell but no one died, just minor injuries jajaja... but seriously.

This coming week will be a wreck. I'm going to the temple tomorrow to baptize the youth, then sending the branch home without me as me and my companion stay to renew my residence and then we go to stay with the assistants. Wednesday we will be at a Christmas activity of the mission. Then Saturday we have this service, Elders quorum activity, and Christmas party prep. That's in 2 weeks, we have so much we need to do, but geez, sometimes it's hard and that's using a planner. I would be unable to accomplish this without my planner...

The branch had a high in attendance this week and we have a baptism on Saturday.. basically missionary life. Lovin it.

Paz y amor
Elder Johnson




Monday, December 1, 2014

12-1-14 Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow so this week was a pretty normal full throttle week.

We are really focused on finding new people to teach which means we have to go to the extremes of the village because I basically know every house and inhabitant of the pueblito.... haha 

The big news of this week is that my district has doubled in size and our zone has shrunk. Here a zone is normally 8-10 pairs of missionarys, and a district is usually 2-4 pairs of missionaries. I had a district of 2 before and now I have a pair of 4 because they closed like 2 areas from our zone. Not for disobedience but  because they aren`t baptizing, so president puts them where they baptize.

 
Now my district is a lot bigger so this district meeting we decided to do a Thanksgiving dinner... haha It was on Friday. We were going to cook the chicken, one pair of sisters had rice, and the others a salad, and then the other pair of missionaries had the mashed potatoes (because one of them is a Texan and you got to have a lot of mashed potatoes.) When they were on the bus to come to Otoro, which is like an hour drive, one of the missionaries fainted.... kinda a problem. So we bought the chicken, asked the sisters too cook it and then took him to the health center (there are no nearby hospitals, the closest being a 2 hour drive). There they stabilized him..... idk what exactly they did, but in the end they said they don't know why he fainted... so they sent him and his companion to the hospital. We stayed and did the Thanksgiving dinner and district meeting.... felt bad but I didn´t know what else to do. Now he's back with a crazy brain medication that keeps him awake.. kinda scary Honduran medicine I think, but whatevs, the Mission pres knows so I'm not gonna worry about it too much, I just wouldn't take the medication.


Thanksgiving dinner with the new district
 
Other than that, we had a priesthood conference in the Esperanza and it was kinda lame because here it's graduation so we could just lift like 8 people and then.. none of the other branches showed up.... but it was good. President Fortuna is super powerful. The branch president from the other area said he was ready to be a Setenta.. haha super fun.

Well life in the mission continues, love every crazy day, how fast the time flies by.
 

Love ya all

paz y amor
Elder Johnson


Monday, November 24, 2014

11-24-14 We found a waterfall!

Phew!!!! Well I´m kinda tired but not cause of the week but because today for Pday we basically did what I've wanted to do the whole time. hahaha 

We went to a Finca of a member.... I'm not sure what that is in English but it's like a plantation of coffee. Anyways and we made a path in the jungle with a machete, we saw snakes, and swung from vines (like legitly! I always thought the movies exagerated but it was pretty dang cool) and in the end we found a waterfall and if I wasn´t a missionary I would have gone swimming but since I am... we did not go swimming. I´ll have to come back to do it all again. Then we harvested two giant heavy things of bananas.... those weigh alot. and filled a bag of oranges and hiked all the way out of the valley again... cars do not enter there. It was freaking SICK!!! Other than that we cut coffee... I never thought I would do that but we did it as service.. they´re members, I just hope they don´t fall into tempation. I don´t understand the appeal honestly, especially seeing all the processing that they have to do, I do not think it is worth it. But that's my opinion.

Other than that this week is transfers!!!! I will be staying until January because we're doing tithing setttlements right now so they can´t really take me out. Also we got the Christmas program set up, I can´t just leave after planning it all. haha but our district lost Hermana Hackney.

Now we will be receiving a new sister tomorrow... the day changed from Wednesday to Tuesdays now... it´s more effective but not as comfortable, oh well.
 

This week I just want to share an experience. I went on interchanges with some elders and we invited one of their families to fast with us about if they should be baptized this week. I don´t know why I did it, but I accepted to do it even though it wasn´t my area or investigators... I really fasted for them and they got baptized. I found that this gave me a happiness that I have not felt for awhile. Or maybe it´s just that I had begun to take it for granted. It made me so happy and im not even sure why. I felt so good. In our are We worked super hard this week, and the fruits will come later.... haha.

In the branch we called a first counselor and a secretary... talking about progresss. we are trying to have a temple trip on the 9 of Dec. and on the 20th of Dec we have the Christmas dinner. We should be sending like 2 families to get sealed if they can stop drinking coffee.... It feels good. Also this week the chapel filled up with people.... all of the sudden. God has done miracles here... other than that I´m beat and I think if there is 20 min I will try to squeeze a nap in. or maybe I´ll just close my eyes while I wash clothes.. haha

Love you all! Hope you're doing great!!!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

paz y amor




Monday, November 17, 2014

11-17-14 soccer tournament

To be honest I need to wake up!!! haha Idk what´s happening these days but I just feel tired and unexcited. We baptize, we teach, we find, I know the words, but I feel like I´m missing the feeling that I used to have. Now looking at those symptoms I would say I need to repent. So that´s what I´ll do. I just gotta figure out what exactly I need to repent of... :)

Really, things are going good. The attendance is rising, the new investigators are progressing, I wake up, do excercise, eat, work in  the mission and collapse exhausted on my bed. repeat repeat. Sundays people come to church and yet don´t want to get baptized yet. I´m missing the enthusiasm that I had when I just came out. Now I know what I´m doing, I know how to do it and we have results but... it´s missing something, you could say the spirit, you could say enthusiasm, or energy. Or maybe a bunch of different things. I know we determine our attitude, and that the prepared are out there waiting. But why don´t I have that something?  Because I choose it and I want it soo bad, even sometimes it comes, but why doesn´t it stay the way it used to? Thats what I´m doing and thinking about these days. I am repenting, and trying to re-repent, trying to find the thing that is impeding me to feel the energy I used to. I think I just need to trust more in God..
 

 
Now those words are so easy right? Trust in God. It´s on the Dollar but how do we do that? Doesn't´t faith mean action? So what is trust and how can I do it more? These are my questions these days. I´m definitely a work in progress.
 

Other than that, this week something different happened. As the young men´s presidency in our branch my companion and I organized and reffed a tournament of kids 14 to 10 playing soccer. It was really fun and it reminded me of my reffing days when the Tippets would call me. Some of these kids have some major talent. We taught them all about the church and invited them to church and one of them came. It was cool, we´ll see how his lessons go this week.

Well I love you all so much. Don´t let the letter deceive you, I´m happy and working, and content these days. I just used this letter as a thought process more than anything so thanks for all listening, and don´t worry everything is gonna be alright. :)

Paz y amor, Elder Johnson

Monday, November 10, 2014

11-10-14 Nothing went as planned, but it was a great week.

This week was surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because nothing went according to plan, but everything we needed to do got done, and more. Just goes to show that sometimes God changes the plans. haha

We started  out the week with a Zone Conference. President Fortuna came and talked to us about studying and gave us a test to see how well we´ve been studying. It asked what the 13 chapters of Preach my Gospel were,
and the titles of all 5 lessons. I´m proud to say I got 96 out of 110. That´s without warning. haha He taught us the importance of planning and making lessons ¨spiritually¨ before we make them physically. We read in the Pearl of Great Price and it says God created everything spiritually before he created it physically, or in other words he made a plan. Cool huh?

So this week we were committed to have 10 baptismal dates, and we ended with 6. One of our investigators received a miraculous answer and wanted to get baptized early.... we were like "hey, want to get baptized the 15th?" and he was like "No, I want to get baptized the 8th".... that never happens, usually they say "why so soon?" so he kinda caught me by surprise. But thankfully my companion is much more intelligent than I and was like, "well, we won´t make you do anything you don´t want to." haha This man is now a member of this church... not planned but way better.


 

Also, basically we only had 12 lessons this week.... so that means we had a lot more appointments cancel than usual, but we found 4 new families.. It´s crazy how much God knows better than us. The thing is we made this plan with his approval and we felt it is what he wanted. Sometimes God just wants to show us some miracles I think. I sure am willing to let Him. I love it so much.

Other than that, this Sunday was seminary graduation and my convert graduated!!! He´s such a stud, and it was even cooler cause I was presiding over the thing so I got to give him his certificate, made me tear up and everything, but I didn't cry. He is blessing the sacrament every week and is currently serving as my 1st assistant in the Young Men's Quorum (we have 7 young men and I am the only active leader, so we just keep them all together). He is learning so much. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to see all of the amazing miracles.

Well... Love ya. Sorry I don´t have anything funny or any crazy stories, super spiritual. Like I said, it was a good week. Just not sure how it all happened haha.

Love ya all
paz y amor

Monday, November 3, 2014

11-03-14 Welp, I'm sick - stengthening my immune system



Welp I'm sick. I have an extremely strange rash on my arms and my legs and on my belly button. Yes yes I have talked to various doctors and they normaly tell me something different every time, but now I have been treated by  the mission doctor and am taking a medication to destroy the "giant mosquito bites that wouldn´t go away." because that´s what I thought it was. but... not. :) 
Eating a lot of sugar cane these days
The mission is so great, think about it, I would have never had the opportunity to get this in the states, well... at least I don't think so, and now my immune system is going to be that much stronger. Really, they don´t bother much which is why they got kinda biggish, like a quarter, not like horrific or anything. Really everything is just great.
 
New hammock for $10!

We have a family we are teaching that are progressing a lot. They want to marry and they want to join the church, the problem is they don´t want to get baptized for the 3rd time... Kind of a pinch, but no worries. They just have to understand the doctrine. The doctrine of the gospel enables us to make changes in our lives when we understand it correctly. That's a key thing I´ve learned here. I've been frustrated because lots of times I feel like words are not enough. There ought to be more that we can do to bring people to this truth. Through suffering and stress and studying the missionary manual, I have been taught that our words really are one of our most powerful tools. It is a tool of influence, it´s sole purpose is to communicate... there are other ways to communicate, but if we use this communication in a way where the Holy Spirit can testify as well it becomes more than words. The thing for me is it is hard to know when the other person is feeling, and UNDERSTANDING (two things that are inseperably connected) that this really is the Doctrine of God. I´m a work in progress.
 
Awesome family! They're a riot!
I love this place, these opprotunities and I am so grateful to all who have helped me and influenced me. Love you all!

Paz y amor. 
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 27, 2014

10-27-14 It's 76 degrees and I'm cold!

Yes, another week has passed. I´m not sure how, but I feel like the days seem to be longer than the weeks.
 
This week was great; I focused almost completely on missionary work with minimal emergencies in the Branch and a semi-successful activity of the movie "The Testaments". 
 
We found 7 positive families this week. That makes me so pumped. The bad thing is not even one of them came to church. We are desperately searching this town for men who will contribute to this Branch here. We need the help of the priesthood. And men who can lead. I Have faith that we will find them. And we are doing everything possible to make sure our acts are demonstrating our faith.
 
The bad thing is that missionary focus is coming to an end with the Tithing Decleraciones. This is looking like a monster chore. Interviewing all the people who have donated and asking for a donation, registering it on paper and on the computer. The good thing is my new comp, Elder Lopez, is super awesome and helping more than I had hoped he would or could. It´s amazing how the Lord blesses our lives.
 
This month in the District we have put a goal of baptizing 20 people and 4 families. That means 10 and 2 from every companionship. (Yes, we are a huge district of 2 companionships) (there was a little sarcasm in the prior remark.)
 
To finish I just got to tell you guys I am dying of cold. Right now it´s like 76 degrees and I have a sweater on. I think I’m going crazy. But it sure feels colder. Hoping the blazing sun comes back soon.
 
I thought of one question yesterday that was inspiring to me. I asked myself. ¨In what ways in my life am I not appreciating the Atonement?" Yesterday I realized one of the worst ways of not appreciating the atonement is not taking the Sacrament.... Then I got fired up and we changed the whole focus of church yesterday on the sacrament. I feel like I needed to understand it better. How can we appreciate the atonement more? Why?
 
Elder Johnson

We got to meet Hermana Nielsen!

Sean sent me an email telling me that a sister in his district was coming home to Nibley on Thursday (This was Monday, the 13th). He said he was going to send a package with a USB with photos on it! I was super excited! That same day, Drew got a new boss who moved to Utah from Arizona. They were talking and she noticed his map of Honduras and said her niece was serving there. Come to find out, they are one and the same! She was coming home Thursday and reporting her mission Sunday. She gave us the time and place.

Sunday came and Drew and I went to Nibley to hear her speak. She did an amazing job! I loved listening to her stories about the people in Honduras and their faith, and I love her accent. She also talked about her District Leader that got made a branch president. She said that after two weeks, she could see a definite change in him. He was scared and unsure at first, but the Lord qualified him and he was wearing the mantle placed on him. Yes, I cried.

We went and talked to her afterwards and met her mom, who I actually knew! Her daughter that is Angela's age took dance years ago when I helped with Marianne's dance company. This same daughter also runs cross-country with Ang. What a small world! They invited us to the luncheon they were having after church, so we went back to our ward and finished teaching, then got the girls and went back to Nibley. She had a computer that was going through a slideshow of some of her photos, and yes, Sean was in several of them. She came and talked to us to explain some of them. It was so wonderful, being with someone who had just been in the same place that he was. Kind of silly, I know, but I had to hug her.

She gave us the package and the girls all had to touch it because he had just touched it less than a week before. See, we're all silly! He sent soccer jerseys for Drew and I, some I love Otoro t-shirts, a bag from Honduras, bracelets for the girls, and some keychains and magnets - and the best! A USB and letters. The photos are all from the first year of his mission except for a couple, but there are even videos on it! So we got to hear his voice!

Here's a link where you can view what he sent:
http://cmpadmin.zenfolio.com/p346020676

It was all just what this momma needed.

Shauna

Monday, October 20, 2014

10-20-14 A new companion

Yup another week done and gone filled with a ton of meetings and traveling. Just the way I like em... not, but shoot they are necesary evils I believe.

This week was Changes and my companion has now left. He´s in a place called Talanga. 

My new companion is from Guatemala. He is my eighth Latino Companion... I´m not going to remember English when this is all through. Good thing computers can help me relearn real fast. jaja that´s the only way these emails are semi understandable. With my new companion, we have now attained full access to everything in the branch like program wise. It´s super wierd having people ask me for permision for things... haha I just say yes cause if someone is deciding to do something without me asking them to, GO MAN! I will give you whatever it is you want. haha
My new companion got here on Wednesday and I gave him the tour of his new calling as a Secretary of the Branch. He was like a fish in water. Very intelligent and always ready, I feel like we are going to have alot of success. Now I just got to remeber how it is to work as a team instead of just a dictator. Nothing against my old companion, he just needed someone to tell him what to do and when to do it. Super great guy, super great missionary. I believe the mission will help him develop alot of initiative.
These are photos from awhile back that we got on a USB drive.






Other than that, our adventure for this week is we had kinda lost the key of the chapel, the miracle is we now have the keys through divine intervention. 

haha Another story for another time.

I love you all 
Paz y amor
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014

10-13-14 Changes

So... how ya´ll doin? Bad... Shoot that´s not the typical response, I was just asking to be polite Geez.

I feel like this situation happens alot in society... anyways

This week had it´s ups and had it´s downs. Ups we found a family super postive and prepared by the Lord. Downs, well changes are this Wednesday and 3 of the missionaries from the zone are leaving to their homes, one of which lives like 5 min from my house by Little Wonders. Hna. Nielson. Kinda a distraction knowing that she is gonna be in my Town in less than 72 hours.. geez. The other bummer is that I am sick.. Just a cold but it's a cold that you don´t know whether to rest it out, or just ignore it and keep working. So when in doubt, work it out. Yeah that' my saying that I just made up. 

To be honest I don´t really remember much of what happened this week, we saw miracles, we blessed some people, some people blessed us, and we now have food in the house... (was that hard to follow?) Sorry it´s just honestly, I don´t remember any specifics and it doesn´t help that I haven´t been able to look past my nose this week cause I just don´t feel good.

One thing I know is it is raining. Alot. Like at least everyday and in a village where only one street is partiallly paved That rain causes alot of chaos and it makes my shoes super muddy, they are taking a pretty hard hit (the shoes that is).

Let's talk about changes, since I can´t remember much of the past we´ll look to the future. In this Mission changes (also known as transfers in other parts of the world) happen every 6 weeks on Wednesday (pretty sure it´s like that in all parts of the world). I love changes meetings. The way they do it here is no one knows who has changes until the day before, or Tuesday (normally in the night). Tuesday the zone leaders get a call from the assistants with a list of everyone who has changes, they then call the district leaders and the district leaders tell the companionships. Everyone on the Changes list has to go to a certain chapel in Tegucigalpa at 9:00 with their luggage and a good spirit.

In the meeting Pres. Fortuna talks, introduces the new missionaries, and gives the farewell to the old missionaries. The ones finishing each have like 5 min. to give advice to everyone who is staying and bear their testimonies, and in the end the most important part is the SLIDESHOW. This is the slideshow with the area name, the companionship in the area and the callings. (District leader, Zone Leader, Trainers, etc. etc.) This is the moment where you find out where you are going, who is your new companion and if you are recieving a calling. Pretty intense and brings out some good reactions.

Like I said, this happens every 6 weeks. But the goal of the changes is to have the lowest amount of missionaries possible present. So for that reason I´ve only been to 4 of these meetings my entire mission. Now that you guys have an idea about the excitment of changes I'll just say I hope I get to go to this meeting. I don´t want changes, I just want to go to the meeting. haha

Anyways now you understand a little bit more how my life as a missionary is. Thanks for reading, keep strong. 

Love you, paz y amor, Elder Johnson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A day late - 10-7-2014 - Pinata time!

Well I gotta start this email explaining that I´m writing today because yesterday we did not have time to write.... I´ll tell you why later on.
I love being a missionary mom:)
 

Can I just start by saying how freaking cool Conference is. Geez Those people are so inspiring and elevating. I want to be like them when I grow up. I liked so many talks but one that struck was from the priesthood session (I was only allowed to watch it as Branch president because here the missionaries aren´t allowed to see it, just read it.) The talk was Elder Uchtdorf.... He basically talked about self accountability. I loved it. 

I also loved the language thing, It was even cooler to realize I now speak two languages. haha. Conference was also fun this year because everything went smoothly here. We had like 6 hours without any tech problem in our building. And on Sunday just a minor problem when the breaker flipped. But we realized what the problem was and fixed in minimal time (Inspiration from God. I´m not exactly tech savvy.)

So we got to the chapel on Saturday at 7:00 to set everything up for the 8:00 retransmision of General Women's Conference, then the normal sessions - they brought us lunch ( french toast made by the sister missionaries) and Dinner (eggs and rice, and of course, beans) We left at 8:00 pm. Good day, but bad for missionary work.

Sunday about the same, but we left the building for lunch and we left at 5:00 because there wasn´t preisthood session.

Monday we left early with three pinatas for a zone activity. The pinatas are for three missionaries that finish this week. It was all a secret, so we left early so nobody would know. Then we helped the Texan zone leader make hamburgers.... We didn't really know how to do it but we needed 40 of them so.... they turned out all right :) haha


 

After that we met with the zone, ate the hamburgers, and then went to go play soccer. We finished with a flour fight and breaking the pinatas. Super good, but the bad thing is there was no time to do anything else. haha oh well

Alls well that ends well. 

Love you guys keep up the Faith.

Paz y amor
Elder Johnson
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

9-29-14 - A Photo Tour


Sean's email is super short this week. He send some photo of the church, it seems to be where they spend a lot of their time these days
.
 
 
This week I'm just thrilled that we got this big regional conference of the branches over with. Just to inform you all we found a lot of success being the branch that brought the most people, 2 buses full (which no, were not cheap) to this conference thanks to the Sisters and the work of the council. I really can't take credit because I just did my part and hoped everything fell in place, and it did, God really does work miracles.
This is where Sean spends a lot of time these days, at the church.

Sean's office



Other than that, the other big news is that a couple and their daughter got baptized, I love these guys so much. Really I'm doing good, just making the preps for General Conference tech wise and inviting people, it's great!
 
 


Monday, September 22, 2014

9-22-14 - Hitchhikers and snakes

Another week gone by super crazy. I traveled a total of 14 hours for conferences and meetings and trainings and interchanges and I was in my area for only one complete day..... But we still have a baptism this Saturday so.... sick!!!!
 
 

Anyway. It started on Monday. I went to a place called La Esperanza one hour away, then came back. The purpose was to leave my companion there and bring the other district leader to Otoro so the next day we could take the bus to Tegucigalpa and get there a little faster 4 hours instead of 5. The cool part is that there weren't any buses after 5:00pm that go to Otoro so we had to look at all of our options... Stay in La Esperanza or.... wait for a miracle... We waited for the miracle and started hitchhiking.... Yup... It was legit. We prayed that God would send us someone who could help us and needed our help. After having our thumbs out for quite a while and nobody even slowing down, we decided that maybe God wanted us to stay in the Esperanza, but we chose to give it one more try. The car..(not Truck) slowed down, it was a man older than 18, and with no female passengers.... Bingo. 
We got in as fast as we could with the car rolling forward still and got a free ride to Otoro. haha Turned out the is a King Limhi case. Or in other words he believes in God, he just doesn't know anything about him. But he didn't even hesitate, he just went straight to the deep questions.... and my older and more mature companion changed mode instantly to be able to give Johnny the deep answers that he was searching for... it was awesome and definitely an experience I'll never forget. It was also a free ride, so I'm just calling it a bonus miracle there.

Tuesday we had that meeting of district leaders in Tegucigalpa and returned to Otoro. and worked for like 2 hours.

Wednesday we went to La Esperanza to drop off the other district leader and bring home my companion.
 
Thursday we had a surprise baptismal interview so we took off again to Esperanza where I stayed on interchanges when my companion went back to Otoro.

Friday we came back to have the district meeting and work.

Saturday we worked and found a kid named Eduard who is basically an investigator of GOLD. We challenged him to baptism in the first lesson and he accepted. Super cool, he's 19, and his whole family are less active members. He went to seminary, he just was never baptized but now... he wants to. Thanks to some good missionary who planted a good seed.

Sunday was a day full of interviews and giving callings. No one will go in this branch without a calling. And found another chosen one of God. He's an alcoholic so we're gonna be working with him a bit closer. 

Today I just want to play soooooo that's what we're going to do. It's cool when you have full access to everything. You don't even have to plan to try to get keys and stuff. I gotta keep focused on the benefits, and blessings. Those are what keep us motivated and Chispa! 

Question: in the mission what's the difference between faith and craziness? mmmm?

Tip for the mission: If you see a dead snake in the road that isn't too messy, pick it up and take a photo, your future kids will love it.
 


paz y amor
Elder Johnson.  

This is where I live:) HONDURAS!


 

9-15-14 - Happy Birthday mom!

We didn't get a group email last week, but I did get this email in response to one I sent him that had a couple of photos of Ang from homecoming attached:

She is soooo beautiful. seriously it´s ridiculous how old she is. haha wow.
So here´s the big thing.....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!! 
I did not forget at all, in fact I was telling all our investigators and yesterday as branch president I kinda announced it in church.. hahaha so lots of people in Jesus de Otoro are thinking about ya. Its the day of independence here and you could say all of Central America is celebrating your bithday. :) haha

Love you mom. Tell Ang she´s the Best!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

9-8-14- Time management


Hello Everyone! So this week was very different in that our missionary time is much more limited.


 
I have now experienced my first testimony meeting in which I was presiding..... talk about weird. But honestly it´s like the exact same just with a different view.. haha. (that was a joke, hope ya´ll got it) Anyways I´m in the process of learning and the thing is I feel very alone in this. My companion is there... but not really because he knows nothing of technology or computers or stuff with electricity so basically his job as finance secretary falls on me. But that's ok, he´s learning and willing to serve. 

Other than that I´m learning a whole new level of time management and my most important hour everyday is my hour of personal study. If I did not have that I´m pretty sure I would have shriveled up and died on Tuesday, but I didn´t! Thank goodness for personal study.

Another thing I´ve been learning a lot about is inspiration. God is not going to inspire me if i don´t give time to thinking about it. Callings are number like 2 or 3 on my mind these days. When I see people I think "In what way can this person serve". Even my investigators, which is helping us to focus and teach quality lessons a lot more often. 

Also there are advantages to being Branch President, mainly you have all the members contact and the majority respect you. So you can put a ton of appointments with members and then half the work is done. I´m hoping that God will help us to become a Missionary Branch. Everyone will have callings and be missionary oriented, meaning effective tools and helps in the building of the Lord's kingdom. It´s gonna be fun. Sometimes I still think to myself....."how did this happen" Especially after moments where I find myself childishly nudging my companion into a puddle. Or when Elder Navarro and I have burping competitions.... It really amazes me that the Lord has trusted me with a calling. (No we don´t do it in public, just in our house that is on main street) ha ha

Really, life is good, and there is a lot of work to do. I know everything is gonna work out alright. :)

Oh and by the way, I have now successfully sent of and filled out my first missionary papers! Giving a shout out to Elder Trejo in the Guatemala City Mission!!! woo woo. I really need a car. ha ha

p.s. The two in the middle are now married. YAY!!! ( I presided the short civil wedding, SUPER WIERD)

Monday, September 1, 2014

9-1-14 Tip #6



Hey guys! Soooo this week was super good and super stressful but man we just got to do the best we can and trust in the Lord.
The Zone playing soccer. We only get to play once a month so got to make it count!
Let's just start with the fact that we baptized two kids, super excited to work with them. They are 16 even though they look 10, and they are giving the example to there reluctant parents. That´s what this picture of the baptism thing is. Yes I did use a saftey pin. That's my tip for today. 

Pista por hoy
6) Always carry a saftey pin or white zip-tie (not the neck tie the plastic tie up thingy) your choice.
 

Just fyi, this month the mission did a huge push and baptized 255 and 40 families... That's like a whole new ward here in Honduras. Crazy. Just thought that would be interesting.
 
Something else that happened, that was super good this week is we went to a village called the "new neighborhood". It´s like 5 miles and we had to walk. After we arrived at the house of a very faithful member, to our surprise, we found him and all of his family extended family and their dogs waiting for us to teach. In total we found 38 people there. We gave a lesson of the importance of the family in the plan of God using sticks. We took on stick and I called a little kid over. "Break it" I said, and he did. Then we compared the stick with one person and read Mosiah 4:15 and put more sticks together saying "this represants the family unit" then I told the kid "now break that". He tried and he couldn´t.  The devil is less powerful the more unified the family is. Then we talked about things we have to do to strengthen the family. Then..... we finished with wonderful nanci juice and tortillas. Then we played charades. It was good.
 
A group of kids from my pueblito

Sunday rolled around and we went to get our baptisms and arrived 5 minutes early. To our surprise we found President Fortuna there. He asked me to come with him, we went to the bishop´s office and the conversation went something like this:

"Hello Elder Johnson How are you? How many baptisms did your district have this month?"

"I'm pretty good thanks, and well we didn´t have the 13 we were hoping for but we got close and we´ll be confirming 2 more today to finish with 9."-Elder johnson

"That´s good. Looks like you´re doing good work. Look Elder Johnson, you are going to be the Branch President of this Branch."

".........em.. what? How? When?"

We left from the office and I went to go sit with my investigators. President Fortuna Released the anterior president and sustained me as president of Jesus de Otoro Branch.... I walked to the front, and sat down. My only thought was, "I´m 19. How am I going to do this." That same day I led my band of leaders to take a bus and travel to the center of the church around here, La Esperanza, where we had a leadership training. It´s a lot to take on, I think the biggest challeng is to send the three missionaries we have on the mission, and the Tithing and fast offerings, not to mention patriarchal blessing, activities, The youth camp for SOY (spanish version efy.) and ordinations. I have to start giving calllings this next Sunday, figure out how the satilite works for the training from Salt Lake, work with a new MLS program... etc. etc. etc. 
3am in the morning, a beautiful sight
 
I couldn´t sleep last night. so I recorded my companion snoring. I couldn´t stop thinking that there are now 476 people under my care and that will trust in me. We no longer have any presidency, and our active priesthood is limited to 4 Elders, 2 leave to study in one week and 2 can´t read or do math. One current deacon and one deacon ready to be ordained. We had an attendence of 82 and we have to hit 100 before the end of the year.... I learned all this like, yesterday.

I´m not ready and I can´t do this alone. We will be relying on the Lord, more than ever. We can do miracles here. We´re already seeing them. 

That the biggest news. Prayers would be appreciated.

Well.... have a good week, paz y amor.