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.....
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.