Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 19, 2011

Dear Mom,
   I can’t believe that the time has gone so fast.  I can’t believe that, to hear that Cam and Billy both came home from college that is a weird feeling.  I about pooped my pants!!!  I have been talking about college with my comps and they are very smart and have been coaching  me on what I should do when I get back. haha  We will see how everything works out but I am way excited to buckle down and get going on school and start a family of my own.  Yah!  Shocker huh!!  I love to read, as well, haha, crazy huh? I feel like the Lord has truly changed me to the person I need to be and is still helping me to become more and more like him.  I love this experience that I have had and will be keep having to help the people here.
     Well, last night I created a new amazing game that you all have to try.  Well, Jason and Terrin at least.  I don’t know if anyone else could do it.  It’s soooooo funny and fun, you have no idea.  Remember how I made the pillow pull game???  Well, we made a new game called the Howlin Huskie haha.  You have to pick the person up on your shoulder and they have to crawl through your legs and up the other side without touching the ground!!!!!!  It is so funny and hard but possible!!!! We put on some missionary pump up music, like a Christian rock song… Haha and played for like an hour last night.  It’s so funny and hard it will be great for them to try for Christmas if you have time.
    Well, we had another baptism this week which was a great experience …she needed the help of the Holy Ghost and the waters of baptism.  I confirmed her and I tried to forget myself and let the spirit talk through me and I felt like it did.
    Oh, the coolest thing for the week was that I dressed up like Santa Clause and Elder Williams dressed up as my elf!!!  We have great pictures and believe it or not I felt way good having every little kid come up and tell me what they wanted for Christmas.  It was so, so cool and I felt really good.   Elder Williams and I put on kind of a little show.  He pulled the chair out from under me and I called a member of the Bishopric to come and sit on my knee.  He asked for a Ferrari and I coughed in the microphone.   We did tons of funny stuff.  I told my elf he was on the naughty list  and he cried. Then he sat on my lap and then I carried him off and we ran inside.  I had so much fun.  I did the belly laugh and jiggled my belly, I had a cool outfit and everyone loved it!!!  I lived it up, it was a great and fun experience.
     Well, I don’t know what else to say I will be talking to you guys in a week!!!, So I will see you there real soon. I love you so much and stay safe.
Elder Johnston

Dear Dad,
     GOOD NEWS I got my debit card and it works fine. I cut up the expired one and put it in the trash so its all good and taken care of, thanks a billion…I have some letters coming here too I understand and a package here in Palenque and all we have to do is go pick them up from the guy who brought them from Villahermosa. I can’t wait. I love you so much dad and I am happy you got everything ready to Skype. I will almost be talking to you all personally face to face. How crazy is that? We are all going to call on Sunday the 25th at 4 PM my time here in Palenque just to let you know so you are all ready. I love you guys tonz. I can hardly wait to talk to you all. I have to go for now but know that I will always be praying for all of you.
Elder Johnston


December 12, 2011

     I’m glad you liked my letter last week.  I hope you did.  I had a lot of time so I figured I would write something good in there.  The thing is this week hasn’t been the best week ever.  But I’m still fine and doing well.  I’m working hard for my Lord and Savior and my God.  I love you so much mom and I really miss you.  This Christmas will not be the same without you guys.  I have been reading Jesus the Christ and I have a goal to finish it by Christmas.  I started liked the 20th of November, it’s an amazing book and I am learning so much.  I have learned so much from reading.
     Cool thing is that for our Christmas party for our branch I will be the Santa Clause and my elf is Elder Williams who is about 6’5”haha How funny huh???  It will be a great experience though and I love the little kids here.  We have some down syndrome kids here that are just amazing and I love them to death.
     This week I blessed the sacrament as well, and I thought of home and how I used to do it.  Well, there is nothing much to say this week.  I love you and I’m glad you and dad wrote me this week.  Thank you so much for your time to write me and show your love for me.  I love you so much , as well, and I pray for you every night.  I am so appreciative of you.
     I will talk to you later.  I hope you like the pictures and I pray you remember your son this Christmas.  I’m still out here don’t forget  about me!1 haha
I love you so much
Love Elder Johnston

December 5, 2011

    Well, I will start with a cool experience. We got to see the Christmas devotional here from satellite and had brought three investigators. My comp and I were in the back office watching in English where we had found the computer, heated it up and got it going in English some how.  Then we fixed the climate control so it was nice and cold in there, it was great!!!  As we were watching the devotional so many Christmas memories came back to mind and I was so happy.  We were there and I felt the pure Christmas season.  My comp and I said we could almost see the Christmas lights outside and feel the snow falling because it was so cold in the small office.  When they closed with a prayer we hugged and bowed our heads to our Almighty God and remembered how amazing this time of year is.  We both had desires to just cry on each others shoulders haha!  But we stayed real strong.  When we walked outside back into 80 degree heat with everyone speaking a different language we had to come back to the real world.  For that short period of time I could really feel Christmas and putting up the tree with you and the train and most of all the nativity stable.  The white stable with baby Jesus  and Mary.  It’s amazing the birth of our Lord and Savior.  I’m so glad and grateful for him.  I will never be able to repay him for what he has done for me.
     This weekend we had a baptism of a young lady who’s name is Landi.  She got baptized even though her family is completely disowning her.  But faith triumphs over everything.  I admire her for that.  I did the ordinance and the confirmation.  It was a smooth baptism and the spirit was definitely present.  What a blessing it is to be there so close in that moment.  We have an investigator named Miguel.  He works for the government hacking into computers and banks and  other governments to see how safe their security programs are.   He’s a very smart young man who is 23 years old.  Everything we left him he would actually teach us when we returned the next day and we didn’t have to do anything.  He said before we came back he would read a chapter that we left him once, twice or even three times but he still didn’t know if it was true…I said to myself…“unless the Lord answers him there is no way I will be able to convince him or help him get baptized.”  That night the Lord answered him through a dream with a vision, and an answer to all the prayers he had given.  The next day we walked in and he told us he was ready for his baptism, but he wanted to get rid of some addictions and he wanted to know how to do it!!   We helped him with the Word of Wisdom and in that very instant he grabbed his coffee and Coke a Cola and poured it down the toilet and flushed it.  …yep.. You can say “where is the baptism water??? “ He is way prepared.  He fasted with us Sunday to help him get rid of his addictions and then we played ball with him today. haha He is amazing!!!
     Something I realized today is how much more I am in the world now than I was. Before, in high school, a kid thinks he is pretty cool and thinks he works pretty hard.  He has math homework or science or even the big AP  test or statistics or something…then he may have some sports and think it might even be cool to win a state championship and your homework is to practice everyday on your shot or technique…  You want to know what  my homework is now??? Imagine that a twenty year old kid who you don’t know knocks on your door and tells you to get married…would you do it?  Our homework is to tell people to stop having premarital sex, it’s to tell them to repent, to get married, to get them off drugs. Its to get them to believe in something they have never seen in their lives, like a supreme being who has created the earth and listens to them when they are in a room alone talking in their head saying a prayer.  To get them to ask this being they don’t know and can’t see for forgiveness for all the sins they have committed in their life, from drinking coffee to killing.  Then to get in a pool of water and immerses them until they have gone completely under to free themselves of these sins and be able to have Eternal happiness when they die.  
So they can receive something called the Holy Ghost  that supposedly guides them to do good things and is with them even when no one is around.  To get people to get married in a big white building with a gold figure of a man on top…and then after all of that, get them to do it for the rest of their lives until they pass away.  My homework is the saving of a human soul and if I don’t do my job correctly…they will be condemned along with myself forever and ever.  I won’t just lose a game or get bad grades I will be the reason that someone either suffers for eternity or lives in peace and happiness to one day become a God or Goddess.
    Huh! Well I wonder what I would rather do...or which is the bigger responsibility?  I also wonder WHY DO KIDS NOT GO ON  MISSIONS!!!!
I feel  the pain the apostles feel like Elder Holland.
     Funny story this week --- We ate rocky mountain oysters and all my comps freaked out, haha.  It was way funny but they tasted pretty good.  Elder Williams has received 12 packages from his mom for Christmas not including the one with the Christmas tree and decorations.  I must be getting coal this year.  I think I’ve been bad or something,  haha it’s cool.  I miss you so so much. I love you so much and I pray you all have the best Christmas in the world.
     Shout out to the whole family, you better Christmas it up.  Caroling and everything you could possibly do and if you waste it I will slap you.  Live, live, live it up and don’t waste one second of the celebration of the birth of Christ our Savior!!!  Live it up!!! Hot Chocolate it up!!! And sing and dance and decorate and GIVE AND TESTIFY THAT CHRIST LIVES AND LOVE AND PRAY AND FAST!!!!
(PS: All I ask is a package family)
I love you all so much!!!
Elder Johnston

Friday, December 30, 2011

November 28, 2011

Dear Mom,    
Everything here is really good.  Actually last night Elder Williams who lives with us got like 5 packages from his mom.  It was a tree with full ornaments and everything and so we got to put it up in the house and took tons of nerdy pictures. Haha It’s so funny to see grown men acting like we are little kids still!!!
     Well, we have had some excitement lately and it’s all going really good here.  The thing is that my president gave me an interview the other day.  I promise this man is the most powerful man I have ever met in my whole life.  When he walks in the room everyone can feel his presence and the presence of the spirit, it is awesome!!  I am learning so much from him.  I promise he will be a seventy one day.  Anyway, he gave me a challenge that I had to have 120 people at church.  Well, I set a goal to open the overflow curtain in the back and fill the place.  This week we opened the overflow and had 123 people in church.  It was great to see my hard work and the hard work of the Lord finally paying off with the blessing of souls.  I love you mom so much and I wish you could be here to see the miracles I have seen on my mission.
     I am sad to hear about Becky’s mom and yah it’s crazy how many dead people you see, but I can’t believe that Becky is seeing that stuff.
 I feel bad for Jake Jones as well, state side mission are way hard.
     Well, I haven’t received any packages yet.  Cody sent me a card and I got it.  It was a small letter about two paragraphs but it meant the world to me and something that I’ll keep close to my heart.  I pray for him every night as well.
     That’s great that you had a good Thanksgiving I only wish I could have been there with you. The good news is that I only have a few more weeks and I will have the great opportunity to talk to you guys and everyone on the phone!!  We have been asking our president if  we can do a  skype  This is like a video chat thing where I can look at you on the computer. We will see but he is pure business so don’t get your hopes up.
     Well, there isn’t much here I still have a cold, I’m working hard and I pray for you always…I’m pumped but sad for Christmas but this is my last one here in Mexico…I am going to be completely honest the mission is amazing apart from Christmas.  Christmas is honestly kind of depressing, haha kinda stinks but it’s okay.  I know who I am here for and I feel like my time is going way fast, it seems like I’m almost done with my mission because it is going so fast.
Elder Johnston

November 21, 2011

Dear Family,
I have been thinking  a lot about you and home and all the stuff that is going on there.  I can’t imagine the atmosphere.  It must be an amazing sight to see Loni so happy and everyone so happy.  I never would have thought that I would be in the middle of Mexico in a small town with monkeys running in the street, teaching in the name of Jesus Christ when my sister Loni gets married and Lacey has a baby!  My joy is full…as they say in the scriptures, to know that my family can truly notice the blessings that the Lord has given us!!
   I have been working really hard here.  I don’t know where to start. We walk lots here, shake a lot of peoples hands and teach the same message over and over and over…but that’s the most important thing that someone could do in the whole world.  I’m so grateful that I have this wonderful opportunity. Even though I miss you guys so much, I would give anything to be with you in these moments of life, I have faith the Lord will bless me for the work I am doing and I know what I am doing is the most important work of all.
     The truth is I don’t feel like I have a lot to tell you guys.  I feel like everything now is normal even though the same crazy stuff is going on.  I wash on top of a roof with buckets of water and walking down the street if I feel hungry I can pick a banana to eat it and I feel like it is normal.  I feel like it is my life now and I’m happy with it.  I have fun and truly enjoy what I am doing, the Lords work.
     We got a new comp in our house named Elder Williams, he is a tall gangly guy from Utah and plays bball…
     We are getting ready for Christmas here.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy a Christmas tree because there is no way in heck that I’m not celebrating Christmas and to tell you the truth, Christmas in the mission is straight up depressing. However, I did start reading Jesus the Christ in November with the goal of finishing by Christmas and I’m already half way done.  I’m learning more and more stuff and I love this opportunity to learn so much.  I  have learned one thing I am very grateful for is the gift of learning.
     If you want you could send me some peanut butter and I could use some new garments that would be way nice.
     Another funny thing is that everyone is sick because I am sick as well!!!!  I can’t believe it!!!  I think it just runs in the blood this time of year to be sick.  I have a cold as well!!!
     Mom I need pictures from home.  There are so many things happening and I want to see pictures from everything.  I am getting ready to mail your Christmas package today so be looking for it.  You will love what I got you I hope you do because it cost a lot for a poor missionary.
Love Elder Johnston


November 14, 2011

Wow!  That’s  lot of stuff going on.  It sounds like life is cruising right on by, just like my mission.  I’ll be done in no time at all with all that keeping you occupied.  Just wait mom, the sheet is about to hit the fan and you don’t even know how busy you are going to get.  I know for sure you will be really occupied and the Lord is going to bless you with opportunities to work for him more than you think…maybe not inside the church but with your own family.  I promise.  I love you so so so much.  I am just sorry I don’t have a lot of time right now.  I love you, just know that and everyone here is just sick about how much I talk about my stud my mom and how she can still beat me in an arm wrestle. If we had the form of a spirit or testimony you would be ten times bigger than anyone I know!!!  I love you and I know lots of things are coming to pass in the small city of Fallon especially with our family.  Everything that happens I think is for a reason even though sometimes it might not seem fair.  It doesn’t matter in the end because it is all worth it.  The Lord has it under control.
     Well, all is good.  We had changes again but nothing happened with me.  We are baptizing like crazy and after all the hard work my comp and I have gone through, the Lord is finally starting to bless us.  We basically opened a new area this last change because no one was working there and within two weeks we have started to baptize every week….Those two weeks were the hardest two weeks of my life let me tell you.  We worked our tails off, I’m not kidding.  Now it’s like we are getting tossed blessings of baptisms all over the place, it’s amazing.
     I love you tons and I have to go.  I can’t wait to talk to you, it’s only like one month and I’ll be talking to you.  Send me lots of pictures and say some stuff for me at the wedding. Tell them I love them and express the testimony that I have.  I know the church is true and that the Lord has a plan for everyone because He loves His children no matter who they are.  He lives and our Savior suffered for us, we will never know what He suffered for us.  Always stay strong in the Lord…I love all in my family and have forgiven to be forgiven.
Elder Johnston

November 7, 2011

Mom, I don’t  have a lot of time but I am going to do the Lords work!!  The Lord pushes us to our limits to teach us lessons and then we receive blessings.  I have prayed and had my prayers answered.  Know that God lives and speaks and loves and listens and touches.  It’s all real mom.  I love you so much sorry it’s not that long but I don’t want to be disobedient.
     One more thing I really, really need those sticky notes that I told you about.  They are red, blue, yellow, and green dots on paper.  Well, if you sent them they must have been in the package I didn’t get so I would appreciate it if you send me a letter or package.  I still haven’t received your package.  You have had lots of holidays and taken lots of pictures and so now I ask that you send me some.  Some of the backyard, the fire pit, you guys, and everything!!!
     As well, to mail a package from here it is $126 for a 9 kilo package… so that’s why I need money.
     Keep working hard, all is well here, baptizing every week!!!
Elder Johnston

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

October 31, 2011
Dear Mom,
     Okay, I am writing you last so I will write until I have no more time to write.  I will write as much as I can…  Well, first off I want to tell you I
Loved your letter but I have one question…WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING TO OUR FAMILY!!!  Haha It’s crazy … Loni is getting married.. Terrin and Jason are golfing every week like a new vacation, dad is spending money and stuff, Cody actually wrote me, Courtney sent me an e-mail..  I just don’t know if everything is okay or not , it’s freaking me out!!!!!!
     This week for me has been hard.  We have baptisms every week lined up but we are missing one and for them to get baptized they have to go to church 2 times so we had to have someone go to church this week to get baptized the
twelfth of November.  The thing is we fasted and contacted our butts off and didn’t find anyone.  I felt like I was fighting the world and telling them all they are living in apostasy and they all need to repent.  I have told so many Catholics and Adventists, and Jehovah Witness off this week I lost track by Wednesday how many.  My comp thinks I was like on a rampage of calling the world to repentance.  So it was way hard to find people but what happened finally is Sunday after fasting and everything many times, one of the richest ladies in Palenque came to church and we are teaching her! Haha.  Typical Desperate Housewife lady. haha  Her name is Castor and she is an old rich lady who doesn’t know what to do with her money.  She came to church, then another young lady named Fanny who now has a date for the twelfth of November cane and another kid came as well.  The funny thing is all the fights we got in with people…I got to the point of saying…your in apostasy because you worship money and you don’t know anything about the Bible or religion so repent and go to our church not the store on the corner… I was getting pretty heated this week, haha you have no idea!
     Then I gave a talk this week as well…it was call ed El Camino or the way.  I talked about how Jesus is the way and it’s a law higher than what people think.  I told the whole ward that they need to start being better.  Our ward is so sic k though…the best I have had in all of my mission.  I shared the scripture in John 14 about Jesus and Isaiha 55 about the way.  It was really good and everyone loved it.
     We had a baptism this week and like I said the ward is great…usually I have to clean the font, make the programs, get the white clothes and do EVERYTHING…but this time I wanted to cry, it was so amazing because the ward did everything!!!!  It was great!  The best I think I have ever been to, to be honest.  I think about 60 people went to this baptism.  I will send you a picture.  Our convert is named Abdias and he was the last of his family to accept the gospel.  So now they can go to the temple in one year from now!!!! How cool!!!!  They are great and to get him to accept I straight up told him…3 Nephi 11 verse 20 something where it says those who believe and are baptized will be saved and those who aren’t will be condemned …I was like.. Do you want to be condemned?? Okay get baptized and he did!! haha it was so cool!!
My house is good.  It’s three rooms and big, but four are living in it.  My comp is great!  The water is still colder than crap.  Showering in the mornings ummm….  My bed is like sleeping on the dining room table it’s so dang hard and I have this one spring that is like sticking out of it and I have to sleep in a c shape to not let it hit me in the middle of my back.
     It’s so beautiful here I feel like I am in a dream and it’s fake.  I can’t take in how real everything is!!!!  I love it to death here and I can’t wait for you all to come and stay here.  There are tons of tourists here and people from England and stuff….   I don’t know how Jason was a missionary for those hippy people…anyway it’s way cool, I love it.
     Well, I honestly don’t know what else to say.  Our president put us down here and basically said look you four guys are going to just do work in this ward for a while until the attendance doubles!!!!  We are working so hard…just to let you know in the Boise Mission they have like 15 lessons a week and that’s a great week with 1 new investigator and 1 in church…We had like 37 lessons this week with like 13 new investigators and 6 in church…we are doing so much work here!!!!  I love it.  I love the Lord, like my new favorite scripture I memorized in 2 Nephi 22 He aqui dois es mi salvacion, confiare y no temanre, porque el senor es mi fortaleca y mi cancion, y tambien ha llegado a ser salvation para mi and it’s funny because in verse 1 it says, te alabare oh senor, aun que estabas enojado conmigo tu ira has apart ado, y me has consolado… it’s cool
     I don’t know what to tell you about the scripture.  You pick a good one I trust you.  I love you tons and I pray for you everyday!!
Elder Johnston

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

October 17, 2011

Wow!!  What a hard fast week!!   I love hard work…  I just feel so much better about myself after…and I love to study and read!!!  How crazy huh???  The blessings of the Lord…the sad part is I only love to read the Book of Mormon and things in Spanish haha
     My comp is Elder Powell, I haven’t showered in hot water for over a year, it’s Mexico mom…did you forget or something???  It’s all the same her, nothing changes.  We live in a bigger house now but just to give you an idea… it’s been raining so much rain is seeping through the roof and is dripping in my bed.  I woke up and thought I had peed the bed and then a big water drop hit me right in the chest!!!!  It’s fine though.  It’s way safer here I think… Well, it’s Mexico but it’s safer.  I bought a machete today though and I’m going to buy a maca in a few days.  Send me money though because I want to buy you cool stuff and I am poor.  I will only be here once in my life.
     I’m basically opening a new area here with no investigators or anything so it’s like looking for new people and knocking doors but we are having a little success now I think!!  We went with this kid of 18 years old and gave him a blessing because he has cancer… I said the blessing because my comp doesn’t know the language very good yet.  As I put my hands over his cancer bald head I was literally filled with the spirit!  I said some profound things that just came to my mind.  It was cool.  Then after we went to another house with an investigator of 22 years old and his whole family is already baptized.  We had decided before hand that we would be really direct with him.  We were.  I told him if he didn’t get baptized he couldn’t be saved.  He started to cry and said my problem is my uncle died and I don’t know.. Why him???  I shared the story about Uncle Cam and I almost cried,  I felt a strong spirit.  We then told him to say a prayer in that very moment to see if God would respond to him, he did and asked if he could see his uncle again and he received an answer…He will be baptized the 29th!!!
     I haven’t received your package yet but I have run out of space on my memory card and I can’t take pictures now.  I got a letter from Loni, Hadley, and Rachel sent me one too.  I received one from Tommy a while back but I think I already told you that.  Tell all of them it’s hard to write from where I am because I’m so far away.  It is now going to cost me a lot to send mail.  Like $50 to send a package and that’s a butt load of cash where I live.  Tell them thanks and I love them they are great friends. I have to go but remember when I said…”When I go to the pyramids I am going to take my picture in that very spot!”  …Well, I took one in that same spot today…AND… saw lots of monkeys!!!J   Tell Jason I think that he has a picture like this at a temple on his mission.  Now I have one from the other side of the world…It’s the one on my knees yelling toward the heavens haha. One is a monkey as well.

Love Elder Johnston

October 10, 2011

Dear Mom,
    Just to let you know a lot of details because I don’t have a lot of time…my new comp is from Arizona named Elder Powell.  His great grandfather is who Lake Powell is named after.  He is a great kid and says he is an athlete.. We will find out about that!!!  I’m basically opening a new area and the other elders took all of the investigators so it’s hard.   I am in a branch but we have a church building and it’s the nicest I have been in I think.  The Branch is really big, it’s like 100 people and the President wants us to make it into a ward and stake.  Soooooo let’s go establish the Lords Kingdom!!!
      I wrote lacey about an experience this week I had if you want to ask her for it.
     This place is so amazing.  I’m in a small town in the mountains with Mayan ancient stuff everywhere!!  It’s sweet.  If you want the nicest macas or hammocks in the world send me money.  It’s like $100 for the best ones but I have to ship them also.  They will be good forever and are amazing, they are made by hand! It would be perfect to go on the back porch!
     The food here is different.  Just to let you know for example, our first night here we went out to dinner and it was ten times better than La Fiesta and only $8.00.  I can’t wait to bring you here.  It’s so cool here!
     This week I am burning all of my socks and shirts that I have worn for a year…in other words send me more socks and white shirts.
     Well I love you tons I’m going to go for now but I will send a package.  It costs more to send because we are farther away.  Take lots of pictures when you celebrate my one year mark and send them to me!
Elder Johnston

September 26, 2011

Mom, first off I love you! Second I need you to send me Christmas music. I don’t care what type all the songs you  listen to when it’s Christmas, the ones you listen to when you are cooking.  Third,  I could use some more of dads old ties to give away.  As well, I am a year in and about to throw away a lot of my holey socks, shirts, pants, and shoes.  All I ask is maybe some new white shirts like 5 or 6 but I want them silky not like the kind we bought because they stink! haha
     I received a letter from Loni which she sent a month ago.  I don’t know when you mailed the package but I haven’t received it yet.
     Well, this week was amazing mom you have no idea.  Just to give you a small example.  We baptized a kid this week from Taiwan that only speaks Mandarin  and a little English.  He is a foreign exchange student and we had to communicate through the Book of Mormon, everything, so he could understand it!!!!  I’m writing his story and through the mission we are sending it to the Liahona!!!!  It’s amazing!!  Another kid we baptized this week named Victor is amazingly smart and a true baptism.  I am so thankful to my Father in Heaven that I could have the opportunity to baptize both of them.  The services were the best I have ever prepared with musical numbers, parts in English and Spanish…as of yet it is the first baptism I did in English!!!! Amazing!!!    I did the programs and everything.  My district all say they want me to decorate for their weddings because it looked so good.  I told them I think I got that from you mom.
     Well, I don’t have a lot of time this week but I will write more next week.  I love you so much and I have been waiting 11 months now to get something from Cody…  I pray for him every night.
Love Elder Johnston
p.s. name for the fire pit  El Hermanito

September 19, 2011

     To start out that is amazing about the song and everything.  I don’t think that was just a coincidence, this week we had ward conference and I had prepared a special number for the baptism with all the elders here in Acayucan, there were six of us.   I played the piano and organized how we would sing.  One person would read the first line while I was playing the piano, the 2nd two missionaries would have a duet and the third , then the fourth with each I would play louder and at the end a solo on the piano.  The Bishop heard it and asked if we could do it during the conference, so we did!  I played Come Thou Fount  but we sang Oh My Father..., it was very spiritual but I think at the end I played a little hard because the Stake  President gave me some looks, haha!!  He said it really brought a good spirit though.   I was so nervous that my back started cramping like crazy haha.
     Anyway, this week has been really really hard for me.  We worked really hard with this lady and I arranged the nicest baptism I have ever prepared for someone and she didn’t show up to the baptism.  It was hard for me and we did everything possible.  We even went to her house to get her and she said no.  At times it’s like that.  I had an overwhelming feeling when we were cleaning up.   The church here is completely different.  They say it’s the same in the whole world but it’s not.  At home missionaries have a calling to be missionaries.  Here we have a calling to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To be the bishops, to be the teacher in priesthood, to bless the sacrament, to get the investigators, not kidding everything!!!  It’s hard!  My comp and I brought 10 investigators to a ward activity by ourselves TEN!!!!  5 members showed up to the activity.  It’s been a hard week but I know that I will be blessed for my work.
    I felt the spirit so strong with this lady that didn’t go to her baptism.  I was guided by the spirit to take her to the baptismal font and show her because she still wasn’t really sure about 4 days before her baptism.  We had a plan to teach her, my comp and I, when we got to her house this day but when I sat down I don’t know why but I asked her if she had anything to do and if she would accompany us to the church.  She said yes and we opened it because we have the keys.  It’s a long story that I will have to write you  later but I have never felt the spirit so strong since I got here in Mexico.  When she set foot in the empty baptismal font for the first time tears filled her eyes and in that moment she knew without a doubt that the church was true.  But just like thousands of people, like other investigators I have had, like Martin Harris, like Oliver Cowdry, people just forget.  The thief of thieves, the father of all lies and master mind behind the secret combinations rips the lives down of others and the testimonies of others to a point that they just don’t want anything to do with our Father who is in Heaven.  It’s hard, it’s really, really hard but if it wasn’t easy for the Savior, I like I said dad, why in the world would it be easy for us.  That’s why we need love.  That’s why there is such a thing as LOVE and Charity and Hope.  We have to press on, we can do it, we just have to start.
    I love you all so much! stay safe, read your scriptures, and pray always and everything will be okay.
     I love you so much you will never comprehend it in the rest of the life you live.  You will never understand!
Love your son

September 12, 2011

I had a dream last night that I was cleaning the arena!!!  Can you believe that!!  It was way funny, I woke up and was like.. What am I doing???  And that’s when it hit me that I was cleaning the arena.  Haha way funny  That sounds so cool mom I’m saving my money up to buy some cool stuff to go in the back yard as well!!!  It will be so cool to hang out back there.  I know it’s now football season and it gives me the desire to watch Sunday Night Football…even though it’s a sin haha!!!  And have cookies and milk and Coke with my family haha I miss it so much!!!!  I can’t wait.
     Happy Birthday Dad!!! You are one of the best examples I have had in my whole life.  I love you man!!  How does it feel to be 33 again?
     I could use some granola bars and some old ties dad might want to give away, an American flag, some new white shirts, and lots of pictures of the holidays!!!
     I love you all and pray for you always. Keep up the good work on the backyard and send me pictures!!
Elder Johnston

September 5, 2011

I had an interview with my president this week and it went really, really good.  He was really happy with me and was kind of shocked when he looked at my numbers.  He said that I had experienced a lot of success in the mission and repeated it like three times.  He asked me how the family is and I said who knows! haha  I told him that I hear a lot from you and dad but I am preoccupied with my siblings.  He made me a few specific promises from the Lord and I am going to do all possible to complete this promise.  He also told me that I will receive lots of packages and candy haha from my family.  It was really good and to tell you the truth and the first time I felt love from my president and felt good after my interview, like it actually did something for me to help me as a missionary.  I am baptizing every single week mom it’s amazing you have no idea!!!  I am receiving letters from my converts saying that now their mom and cousins and aunts are all getting baptized!!! I’m already seeing the fruit of the work I’m doing with the Lord on my side down here.  I love it!
     The movie nights are great.  We watched the best two years this week and next week for sure is the Ultimate Gift!!!  This week my companion and I are calling a presidency for the movie theater so they can keep doing it without us, then we will start it in another ward maybe.
     What I could use is maybe some food in my package and gold bond the big bottles.  I would love to buy some stuff!!  There are so many cool things here like belts and wallets made out of alligator skin and hammocks made by hand you can’t buy anywhere else and tons of stuff….  If you want something just let me know and send me the money.  I will look when it gets closer to Christmas okay.
Love Elder Johnston

Friday, September 9, 2011

August 29, 2011

That’s so cool that you are about to plant grass!!  That’s way way crazy!!  I can’t even imagine what it looks like now to tell you the truth.  Well, what I want to build when I get back is a little house with palm tree leaves!!  It would be so cool to have a little one out in back and they are way easy to make.  I am learning how.  I can’t even think for a second what it could look like out back and our yard.  Like I said no one ever sends me any pictures of anything so I wouldn’t know, haha!! So is Jason’s finger all the way better?  It sounds like it is if he has been playing golf this whole time.  It doesn’t sound all that bad, haha  But then again like I said I wouldn’t know because no one sends me any pictures of anything.
     I haven’t seen a monkey yet.  I’m on the search though.  I think I live with one though. Haha  We live with this kid named Elder Warren and Elder Williams.  They are really cool kids and I’m sure they will be good friends for a while.  They are both from Utah. I compare Elder Warren to Chicken Joe from Surf’s Up and Elder Williams to Batman, haha!!  They always talk about hanging out when we get back and want to make plans to do stuff.   It’s good to have some good friends you know.  I feel like my whole life I haven’t really had a good friend and now I’m making lots of good friends.  They are good kids.
    My comp is Elder Zamora.  He is about six feet tall and 250 pounds.  He played football for a team called the Capitals in Idaho.  Come to find out we played against each other when I went to the Gold Beach football camp in Oregon.  As well, when the kid broke Aarik Wilson’s record at Reed High School he was there and saw me jump.  He is a good kid and has about 8 months in the mission or a little less.  He is part Mexican and I’m his second comp in the mission.
     This week was amazing.  I gave a talk in church this week and it was really hard just to talk because I was so tired.  I have to tell you the story first…We found a kid from Taiwan and he only speaks Chinese and a little English.  Just barely enough to communicate.  The thing is, he already has a Book of Mormon in his language because he listened to the missionaries over there in his house.  One of his old missionaries is named Elder Van Drew who lives in Mesquite Nevada!!!!  How crazy is that???  He is a foreign exchange student from Taiwan and we have to communicate the gospel through reading the Book of Mormon that he has!!  It’s such an amazing experience…the gift of tongues is real.  As well, mom, it’s amazing how the Lord works.
So in church ,before I gave my talk, which I was last to go, I had to translate for him in English the whole sacrament meeting…  It was so stinking hard!!!!!  I thought my tongue was going to fall out of my mouth by the time I was done!!!!   He is thinking bout being baptized!!! We will see what happens.
     Your fireside sounds like a way cool activity.  I wish I could be part of it.  We had a cool one as well called via Hawaii!!  Or trip to Hawaii  and it talked about the plan of salvation and we walked from room to room explaining the different parts of the plan.  I was an angel who led the people through the plan and explained it as we went.  We had about 200 people go.
     But I have to say that’s a really high goal you put!!  100 investigators!!!  That’s a ton!! haha  Well, I will pray for your success mom.
     I love you to the moon and I will never stop praying for you!!
Stay Safe
Love your son
Elder Johnston

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

August 22, 2011

Dear Mom.
  I love getting letters from you haha.  That one was really good and I love the big ones so I have cool stuff to read about.  It’s so crazy that Tommy, Hadley, and Cameron are already getting ready to go on their missions.  I feel like they should all still be in high school haha, and doing the same old stuff but everything about them is about to change.  They have no idea what the gospel of Jesus Christ really is yet, and when they finally get a little hint of what it is their whole world will start to change around them.  It truly is amazing how the Lord works.  First we have to do our part to get to know him.
     Well, I am still known for my dancing!!  Well, not known but they all laugh when I dance just for a  few seconds.   They all say “oh Honson”!! haha  It’s way funny, but I can’t wait to come back and dance with my mom!!  I have been thinking lately of when we would dance when you were making dinner, getting ready for a party, or on Sunday’s or Christmas!!  I love it and miss it so much!!
     That’s cool you had that cake.  That’s what they call Tres Leches here,  or three milks.  It’s pretty good and real common here.  I’m glad you liked it.
     I taught a class the other day, gospel principles, on service and used Cody as an example.  I talked on how he has been such an example to me through service to others and shared some experiences.  I told them the blessings he has received through his service and I am sure he doesn’t even recognize the blessings he has received.
     This week I threw someone out of the church.  He started yelling at a kid in the church and I stopped him and then he yelled at me…You know my patience level and so I threw him out the door into the street.  It was a good experience.
     That’s crazy about the yard!!  You tell me all this cool stuff and I can’t even imagine it so I have to see it for myself, I need pictures!!!
     We had changes today and I will be getting a new companion from Idaho I think, or maybe he is from Oregon who knows?  He is a good kid though and has little time in the mission.  My comp is going to Nachital, past Coatzacoalcos,
     I love you tons and I pray for you every night.  Stay safe and work hard like always, just don’t hurt yourself, okay!!
Love your son forever
Elder Johnston

Robby Johnston to me
show details Aug 18
Dad here is a story I would appreciate you giving to Pres. Pursel.

The Lords water of baptism is such a beautiful gift. This past week I learned how real it is to be able to change someone’s life through the waters of baptism. It all started when we were contacting in the streets. We were walking to the Church to clean the font for a baptism on Saturday and along the way we were contacting people. For the past few weeks I had wanted to contact near the Church for some reason but wasn’t exactly sure why. I just felt like it would be a good idea. Little did I know that the Lord had plans in mind for me and my companion. We contacted two men standing on the street corner. One had a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The other one had a backpack that appeared to be a kid’s and was wearing a white tank top that was ripped and worn. Like always we invited them to Church on Sunday and asked if we could stop by some time to tell them more. The man with the beer turned away and ignored us but the other seemed sort of shocked for a moment then asked us if we would have time right then to teach him what we had to say. Now it was my companion and I that were sort of shocked for a moment and after looking at each other for a second we said yes we of course we had time. Following the guidance of the spirit we went to the church with him, unlocked it and let him in. We began teaching the first lesson of the restoration in the room adjoining the baptismal font. During the lesson I felt a strong impression to get up; walk to the doors of the font; open them and show it to him …but I didn’t. Later again I felt the same impression but just didn’t know when I could stand up and show him the font because we were in the middle of the lesson. Then, as we started to close the lesson, the spirit basically yelled at me “stand up NOW and take him to the font!” This could not be denied any longer. I immediately stood up and invited him to go with me to the doors. As I opened the first one he was a little hesitant to look inside. As he approached the door and looked inside a silence came over all of us. I have never experienced something so powerful. The spirit was welling up inside and tears filled his eyes. As he started to cry he looked at us and said “this is what I have been waiting for my whole life”. As we continued to talk, now with tears in our eyes as well, he opened up and shared many things about his life and many things that had happened. We told him of the blessings that could come to him, and to all, through the waters of baptism and a happiness filled him like I have never seen happen so suddenly. The following day he came to the baptism we had scheduled and then attended church on Sunday. Through this experience he committed to baptism and set a date to be baptized himself. I testify that the spirit is real and it is powerful in so many ways.
We can all learn many things from this story I think. How the Lord prepares us; how some turn away and how others find the straight and narrow path that leads to the savior and how the waters of baptism change lives. It also teaches that we should follow the spirit the instant it tells us to take action. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth and the only one through which everyone can truly receive the blessings of God.
I share these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Elder Jake Johnston

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 15, 2011

Mom, I missed you so dang much this week!!!  Gosh I miss you.  I can’t believe all the work you guys are doing!!!  It’s amazing and send me some pictures of it!!!  I want to see the before…construction stage… and after pictures so I can kind of be part of the process!!!
      I can’t wait to get my package thanks a ton because this week I ran out of memory. I hope I don’t have to take a lot of pictures this week or I’ll have to delete some cool pictures.
     I can’t believe you are putting cement in the back.  Are you doing the whole thing of cement???? Or what’s the plan??  What is the end going to be like??  Are we building a deck with a hot tub or swimming pool or what???   I want to know!!!
    Anyway, this week was really good I guess.  God never ceases to amaze me.  It’s amazing how he can make things happen all we have to do is ask.  This week we have had a testimony experience of prayer.  It was amazing.  Every time it blows my mind how God works  I feel like I have wasted my whole life not learning anything about the gospel and now I am just scratching the surface of a higher gospel!!! idk it’s amazing and don’t worry mom I’ll remember these momentsJ!!!
     That’s cool about the movie maker.  I don’t know what I want to do when I get back home.  I thought I had it all planned out.  Tons of days thinking and planning when I was home but I still don’t know what I want to follow.  I know it’s going to come fast but what I want or should do …who knows.  I’ll pray about it this week and we will see what Gods plan is for me.  I want to go to St. George to play or study…and I know I don’t have that great of grades to just jump full on or get into a big school I don’t think… who knows all this stuff.  We will see but by all means make the video so I can have it at the least .
     Well,  I have to go for now but I love you all so much you have no idea!!!  Oh and by the way we didn’t get to see The Ultimate Gift yet, we had technical difficulties with that movie so we are waiting until next week to watch it.  However, I think if I watch it I might cry or something haah who knows???
Love your son
Elder Johnston

August 8, 2011

  I miss you so much!!!  I am glad you are working hard in the yard!!!  Guess what?  We have established something way cool here… after working my butt off we finally have established the (Cina De Arrocera) it’s like… the movie theater of the Arrocera.   It’s way cool and every Sunday night we have movie night but they are movies of the church like Charly, The Restoration, The Work and the Glory and what we are going to watch next week is….”The Ultimate Gift” !!!!!  It was on the church website!!!  So we are watching it haha!!!  It is sweet!!  We started out with two converts at the church and on a normal TV.  Now we have popcorn, drinks and a projector that is gigantic!!!  Now we have about the same amount of people come as the attendance in sacrament meeting haha!!!  It’s funny.  I hope our Bishop catches on that we know how to get people to the church.  The Lord has blessed us in so many ways.  You have no idea.  I truly see miracles pass by everyday I’m here.
     Well, today we went to the Amazon Jungle haha!!!  It is called Soteapan!!   It’s amazing!!  I want to tell you all about it but I just can’t it’s too long and I have to go to work!!!  I promise  I will tell you about it in almost 1 year from now.  Don’t worry but let me tell you the deep jungles of Mexico are AMAZING!!!!  Watch the Planet Earth show then you might see where I went today….It was the coolest thing I have ever done in my life!!!!
     You want to know why Mexicans are so good at stealing things and robbing people????  Because they raise them young doing it….Like today…we got robbed by like 6 little kids not even kidding the oldest was like 5  years old and the others are about 3 and 4 years old!!!!! I swear!!! Freaking Mexican Ninos!!!!
     Okay well, I am going to go for now but maybe I will send you a picture or something if I have time.
Love your son
Elder Johnston
p.s.  I’ll send you this picture of today.  It was amazing and this is my new best friend Edwardo and me after giving him a BOM .  The rest of the pictures you’ll have to wait to see them.

p.s.s  Yes the Mission home got moved to a different place.  Send the package to the new address.
Mexico, Villahermos Mission
Elder R. Jake Johnston
Av. Circuito CD Deportive No. 206
Colonia Atasta
Villahermosa, Tabasco
C.P. 8160

August 1, 2011

1) I need memory cards for my camera.
2) I got your package and it was amazing…the best package I have received in my whole life you have no idea!!!!  I loved loved loved it!!!  I love my pictures!!  I hope you have more copies to save .  The pictures of the temple and my baptism are so very special to me you will never know!!  Someday when I come home maybe!!
3) the direction (address) of the mission changed I’m pretty sure it is…

CP 86190

I’m pretty sure that is it.
As well, I need you to send me more of these labels when you send my next package.  They are little stickers and I have already used all I have.  I pray you can find more of the same exact size and colors….   If not I am not going to use them.  I will send you pictures with all the information.
     Well this week was good as well.  We have a convert that will baptize his sister this week…that will be really special for me.
      As well, this week my comp and I started a movie theater night just like we use to in our house!  It is Sunday’s at 7 and everyone comes!!  We almost have more people coming to that than to our sacrament meeting  haha  But it is great and I am directing it.  We are watching spiritual uplifting movies from the church but we change the name around to make it sound cooler… Like Transformer Three the Restoration or Harry Potter the Testaments.  It’s really cool!!  We bring popcorn and drinks just like the movie. Now we found a projector that we can use because it is getting so big and we are going to make it even bigger!!!
     Well this week was good again and I will be in heaven if you finish the yard by the time I get home.  Like I said it’s not much longer till I’m home…trust me it will fly by!!
I love you tons
Love your son Elder Johnston

July 25, 2011

Dear Family,
     Just to start off that is the second time that you all have said I am sure Terrin told you all about it or I’m sure mom told you’ll about it or Loni told you all about it…and then NO ONE TELLS ME!!! No even writes me anymore.
     That’s way cool about your trip to Idaho.  I hope you all had a great time.  What did Uncle Gary have to say?  I hope all is well with everyone and I’m way happy you had a good time.
    That’s way cool that you are getting the yard ready.  I want pictures of it all!!!  No one has sent me pictures of our field, our arena, our house want pictures of everything!!!  Send me photos!! and memory cards.  This is going to be the new rule I think.  For every picture I get you get a picture.
     Well, the yard sounds like it’s coming along good.  I can’t wait to bring home a big old hammock to put under our new porch we have….  But idk you don’t have a lot of time before I come home to have grass and everything ready.  Think about it the time is almost half way over!!!    I’m coming home soon.. Best be ready!!

  Anyway, this week was okay.  It was really hard at times but at other times really good.  It was a week filled with spiritual revelation.  I guess I will share a story so you can give it to President Pursel like I promised him.

Love you more than anything and I pray for you as well!!

Love your son
Elder Johnston

July 18, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,

  Well, this week was really hard the truth.  It’s hard to know what to do sometimes.  It is the simplest time of my life right now but then again one of the most stressful as well.  It is so hard to know what the people here need and how to find the people who need the gospel of Jesus Christ most in their life.  I want to do the best I can for the Lord and I’m trying hard but at times if feels like I just can’t be the best for him.  I want to and I try but it is hard.  Thinking about what the Lord does for us everyday and then he asks us to do something, and we can barely do it.  It’s sad to me, especially when people make promises with the Lord and then can’t keep them.  It just breaks my heart to see the in actives and to see them throwing away the most important thing in their life. It really breaks my heart  If they could only  know a hint of how much the Lord loves them they would change in an instant. The world makes it seem impossible to compete with the Lord’s gospel when actually he has made it really easy for us.  I really don’t even know what to say to some people their hearts are so hard and cold; they are so far away from the Lord.
     But I am okay,  I’m still working hard for the Lord trying to complete his commandments and help people to come unto him.  I’m just thankful for all he does for me.  How amazing and beautiful it is to have the gospel of Jesus Christ himself here and be part of it and be fulfilling the teachings He taught.  This week was good and I will be in prayer until I talk to you again.  I love you and stay safe.  Stay close to the Lord more than anything.
Love Elder Johnston

July 11, 2011

Dear Family,
    Thank you for everything!  You have no idea how much those photos mean to me!!!  Thank you a ton.  Thank you dad for the line of authority!!
     I want to tell you all the stories about these people but idk at times I just can’t do it.  It is something sacred and someday I will share these experiences with you in a better form.
     This week we baptized 2 kids as well, Rosalino and Arturo.  They are great and now have a chance to be raised in the church, serve missions, and be great leaders one day.
    These past few weeks have been challenging. For this reason I haven’t written much because time is very, very short.  This experience has helped me grow up so, so much and I love how much I am learning here everyday!!!  I’m learning how to be like Jesus haha  just like the song!  It’s really cool and I don’t even want to say anything because anything I say will be an understatement!
     I got a picture of you and dad… Holy Moley!!! I don’t even know what to say!!!  Where did half of my mom and dad go!?!?  I can’t believe it…I thought it was a picture from like 30 years ago!!!  No stinkin way!!!  It looks.. I  don’t even know!!!  It’s crazy!!  You look great and I can’t even imagine what you will look like when I get home!!!  It’s amazing!!!  Wow!!
     But mom, now you have nothing to defend yourself with!!  At least when we wrestle you had the weight advantage… now you don’t even have that!!  hahaha!!!
     As well, President Pursel wrote me and wants me to write him a story to share with the youth so I will try to think of one to send him.
     I love you all so much and I hope all is well.  I pray for you everyday and night and I want you to know that I know this church is true.  How amazing it is to have the experience that we have to enjoy the gift of life.  We can experience things… It’s amazing to me this gift of a body that we have and the creations and adventures of God our Father who is in Heaven….How amazingly beautiful right?!!   I love you and I thank you for this opportunity mom and as well my father.

Love your son
Elder Johnston

July, 3, 2011

Dear family,
     Well all is good here.  We had our zone activity today and we actually went to a nice football field and played.  It was sweet and I am getting way better at playing soccer haha.  Well this week was rough and amazingly good at the same time.  When I was in sacrament meeting I felt this burning sensation in my heart of the truthfulness of the gospel and how amazing it is to be a part of this work.  I do feel bad for poor Jacob but things will get better for him.  He is in the Lords hands.  The Lord sent him there for a reason.  Maybe it’s not to preach the gospel but to obtain a testimony for himself first.  Who knows?  But the Lord is working just as hard as everyone of us.
     Tell Loni and Lacey Happy Birthday.. I remembered but I can’t write everyone the day of their birthday.
     Please mother, I want a picture of my baptism.  I will ask every week for a picture of my baptism until I get one so please, as fast as you can send me a picture of my baptism Please Please Please!!!  As well, a list of my priesthood.  My line of authority.  Please… these things are make or break for me right now.
     Well, I don’t have hot water here.  We have a spigot and the stream stinks.  The toilet is broken so I am going to try and fix it tonight,
       We lived with an ex-bishop but his familia moved to Mexico City to get away from here because of some stuff that happens here.  It is pretty common so they are leaving.  We live solo now and the food is the same as what we had before but way worse. I still eat but it is gross.  I feel like the Lord, my comp and I are working together and changing the members and the ward.  Just since I have gotten here we have increased the ward from 51 to 69 people and I pray it will keep growing.  It is hard at times but the Lord is on my side.
     As well, you will never guess!!!!  But we got a car!!! Sweet huh??  It makes me feel like I’m out in our old backyard again!!
     There are a lot of Catholics in Mexico…and idk I guess I am pretty much used to things and I have stories but they are just too long to tell you.  The other night a cat broke into our house and I thought it ate our dinner…. I about pooped my pants when I turned the light on .  I thought it was a bear or something crazy that was going to eat me!!!
     My comp is just like my first comp.  They are from the same place. We get a long better but at times he tries my patience.  We have two different wards that we work on here and we work half the city or more.  There are two gringos in this zone of missionaries.  
     I love you tons. Please send the pictures and line of authority.
I love you so much
Love your son
Elder Johnston

June 20, 2011

     Well, this week was pretty good, except I have a cold now… imagine that!!  I have a cold in this 100 degree heat!!! But it’s just a cold, I’m good.  We are teaching this kid right now who works for the Z. He already went to church once and wants to get baptized.  It sounds like the setas in English and it’s like the big mafia in Mexico.  He is one of the main drug dealers here in Acayucan I guess, and we are teaching him.  I think we will baptize him if he can stop doing drugs!!!!
     The work is amazing here and I wish I could share all of my stories with you but the truth is it is really, really hard.  I don’t ever have time because we are working so hard.  We are baptizing every weekend down here and the spirit of the Lord is truly with us.
     I love you mom for everything you do for me and stay healthy and safe.
Take these moments in and feel the spirit that is there at camp with you.  You are doing the Lords work.  I’m really going to miss my mom on my birthday.
    Tell President Weed  that I sent a note with a guy from here that will be a president of a mission as well and I hope he gets it.  If not he will know I tried.  I wrote it on the spot like really fast with a page from my agenda.
     Tambein…also, tell everyone that there are lots of cool stuff here too buy that I want to get for them but I don’t have any money.
Elder Johnston

June 27, 2011

Well, I finally know what I want for my birthday…the only thing I really really really want worse than anything is a picture  of my baptism… The truth that’s what I want!  Any picture that you have of my baptism send it.  Send all of them.  Especially if you have one with me and dad in our white clothes.
     My birthday obviously was not the same without you guys.  Without my house and my home and my family.  It’s okay though I’m not going to talk about it and we can talk about it when I get home.  Time is going so fast here in the mission and everyday I feel like I will be home in no time, now seeing how fast the time has gone by.
     Everything is good here.  The good news is that I got a new comp in the middle of transfers.  We had a special transfer and now my new comp or me know nothing about this area, but we will work hard.  His name is Elder Hernandez.
     Well, I love you so much and tell everyone thank you for sending me Happy Birthday emails and I pray for them.  Sorry I couldn’t write everyone today.
Love your son
Elder Johnston

Monday, August 15, 2011


Mexico, Villahermosa Mission
Elder R. Jake Johnston
Av. Circuito C.D. Deportiva No. 206
Colonia Atasta
Villahermosa, Tabasco
C.P. 86100

Sunday, August 7, 2011

June 20, 2011

     Well, this week was pretty good, except I have a cold now… imagine that!!  I have a cold in this 100 degree heat!!! But it’s just a cold, I’m good.  We are teaching this kid right now who works for the Z. He already went to church once and wants to get baptized.  It sounds like the setas in English and it’s like the big mafia in Mexico.  He is one of the main drug dealers here in Acayucan I guess, and we are teaching him.  I think we will baptize him if he can stop doing drugs!!!!
     The work is amazing here and I wish I could share all of my stories with you but the truth is it is really, really hard.  I don’t ever have time because we are working so hard.  We are baptizing every weekend down here and the spirit of the Lord is truly with us.
     I love you mom for everything you do for me and stay healthy and safe.
Take these moments in and feel the spirit that is there at camp with you.  You are doing the Lords work.  I’m really going to miss my mom on my birthday.
    Tell President Weed  that I sent a note with a guy from here that will be a president of a mission as well and I hope he gets it.  If not he will know I tried.  I wrote it on the spot like really fast with a page from my agenda.
     Tambein…also, tell everyone that there are lots of cool stuff here too buy that I want to get for them but I don’t have any money.
Elder Johnston

June 13, 2011

Dear Family,
Well, sorry but once again I’m going to be short.
     Just so you know I am doing a lot more than just leading the music here.  Piano lessons, English lessons, leading the music, training our bishops and mission leaders on how to do their jobs…etc.  We are doing so, so much work here and are truly establishing the kingdom of God here in Mexico.  The joy I have for this work is amazing and to be part of the volunteers of the Lord is something so amazing I really can’t explain it.
     You theme for Youth Conference sounds way fun although one thing about the name is that in this month’s Liahona , if you read it , there is a talk on how we don’t call ourselves MORMONS just to let you know in case you want to change the name.  It says that we accept it but don’t call ourselves Mormons.
     Well, this area is great and I really don’t have much else to say right now.  My comp is a great.  A tall Mexican named Elder Robles who likes to work.   The areas right now are good for baptizing but they need a lot of work in the wards with leadership training.
     I love you tons and when I have more time I will write more.
Love Elder Johnston

June 6, 2011

Well, I’m short on time like always but this time even more.
    When I left my last area I left my book with everyone who signed it, on top of he taxi!!!!  It had all the comments of my converts and just about every member from two different wards.  I almost cried and  it was one of the saddest times in my mission.
     A girl there, named Karen, had given me a ton of cool stuff.  She is the one who gave me the hand crocheted blue tie in my package and she made me another one… that was white for baptisms as well as a hand made pin and shirt that said “I love Coatza”.  She is way cool and will always be a good friend.
     My new comp is Elder Robles and he loves to work hard.  That’s what I am happy about and we are both ready to work.  We are already having a bunch of success here in the new area.
     This Saturday we were going to baptize a kid and he is scared of water.  I was going to do it so we both got in the water and he went straight to the corner!!  Long story short I was in the water for two hours trying to convince him that the water wouldn’t bite him!!  My comp got in the water as well.    I think it is the closest I will come to swimming on my mission…
     This town is smaller and yes foresty.  There are lots of hills and I’m truly in hillbilly Mexico haha.  It’s actually really sweet here and I can’t wait to buy some stuff and send it to you guys.  Everything here is hand made and authentic!!  It’s way cool!!
     Well, I have to go for now but I will tell you more next week when I have a little more time to write you all.
I’m all good and safe!
Elder Johnston    

May 30, 2011

Dear Family,

     Well, this week has been really hard but it is all good.  I’m glad that I get to go to a different area and start over new with all the things I have learned.  Then again it is sad and a little scary to leave all your friends, family and converts here.  It is sad that all the hard work that you have done might just be thrown to waste!!!  Who knows?  I’m leaving like three families who are preparing to go to the temple to be sealed and in one year I will be able to go with them to the temple. We will see what happens but I pray they will stay strong in the church.
     This week I saw an alligator right on the side of a river, like five of them.  They were just little guys but it still scared the crap out of me.
     Now I’m going to this place called Acayucan.  It’s right on the border of the mission and one of the farthest away from Villahermosa. My partner who was the zone leader is going to Villahermosa and will be a senior companion.
     My new comps name is Elder Roblas another Mexican which I am happy about because I will be able to learn much more with a Mexican Companion.  Scared to leave behind my converts but ready as well.
Elder Johnston

May 23, 2011

Dear Family,
     That is so great that Tommy is excited to go, I’m glad he is ready.  He will be a great missionary.
  I can only imagine how big Ava and Dylan’s party was, gosh I can’t wait to see all the pictures.  All I really want is letters and pictures and money haha.  That’s it.  Here in the mission we don’t have birthdays so just put the money you would have given me in my account. It’s just another day so I’m not worried about it till I get back home.  That’s great that the school did so good this year in the AAA. It’s about time.  That’s great about Tedford I’m real proud of him.
     Well, this week we heard Elder Quinten L. Cook from the twelve apostles and you could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost.  I shook his hand and everything.  As well, I saw all my friends from the mission because all of us were there.
     Changes are this coming up week and I have an interview with the President tomorrow so I’ll probably know if I’m going or staying and what I’m doing then.
     As well, I got the package!!!!!!  Thank you a ton and the family loved the seeds you gave them.  Then in the week the two other missionaries, who are younger than me, ate ALL my cookies without me knowing.  So when I got home I really, really let them know what’s up…  I saw the tears coming from them when I was yelling at them but that’s a different story.  Needless to say they said sorry and bought me a new bag, haha.
     I got a letter from Claudia Beckstrand!!!!  Tell her I loved her letter and I can’t wait for the next one  She is really excited to work with you side by side in the work of the Lord, mom.  How much better helper can you get!!!
    As well, we baptized this weekend, it was really special. I don’t have a lot of time so I will shorten my story of the week.  Our recent convert, Rodrigo has been having trouble lately.  We talked in his room and it’s the first time I really cried for one of my investigators. I love this guy so much and it broke my heart to hear his story last night.  I feel like Alma when he says he waters his pillow at night for his people.  That’s what I feel like.
     That’s great what Cody is doing.  I hope it all works out great!!!  Tell him when I buy my ranch he will have a place to put all of them, haha.  Crazy about the horse thing.  I know where it came from probably.  I think I’m living here in it.  The horses here have it tough and I feel so bad for them it’s horrible.

     I love you so so much and I can’t wait to talk to you as well.  Send me letters!!!!
Elder Johnston

Friday, July 29, 2011

May 16, 2011

Dear Family,

     Mom, you sound like you’re so busy!  What happened to taking it easy?  haha  It’s ok though because you will be  blessed for doing the Lords work and magnifying your calling.
     Well, this week has been horrible for my companion and I, well mostly for him! It wasn’t his week.  He started out  sick on Tuesday … 1st day of work and was sick until Friday…   Saturday we finally go out to work but first passed by for some beds for the other companions.  We are carrying the beds and my companion falls in a hole in the road.  One of those big drain holes that goes down to the sewage and the water drains down.   He almost broke his leg but all is good now.  So basically we have been in the house all week.
     Before I forget -  Happy Birthday to Grandpa, Ava and Dylan
     I forgot to tell you some stuff last week.  I talked with this lady named Horte.  She has had a really bad five months.  Like two of her cousins died, and her father and son got hit by a car.  She is a member but inactive.  It is truly amazing how we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord here in the mission.  I talked with her calmly about the situation and she was crying her eyes out.  I taught her about the plan of salvation.  It was truly one of my most spiritual moments in the mission.  The things I said and the experience     really was directed by the lord.
     We also got to travel to Villahermosa to hear an Apostle, Quinten L. Cook this week.
     Today was the zone activity and we played……SOCCER again haha but I am getting pretty good.  I hit one in the goal with my head and did the same thing to someone else, I passed to him and I hit another one in as well,  I am getting better finally.  It’s fun
I love you tons and I’ll talk to you later.
Love Elder Johnston
PS:  I am sending pictures of the zone activity and the guy I baptized the day I talked to you His name is Rodrigo.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

May 2, 2011

Dear Family,

     Well, not much to say here on my end.  I can’t believe that I have already missed a St. George trip.  The truth, I think is that it was harder on  me than Christmas was and Thanksgiving.  Haha It was a hard week not to think about all the fun you were having.  But on the same note, I was learning a lot this week.  I am in a process of learning.  I love to learn now.  It is an attribute that I have added to myself in the mission, the ability to learn.  And what a blessing it is to grow and learn from experiences.  I love everything that I am doing here.
     I received a package from our ward, the young men and Tyson Sorensen.   So you can tell them thanks and I am already starting to write them back,  Tell them,  Thank You !!! for everything and I am trying to get back to them as soon as possible, and thanks for the snacks I loved them!!!!
     Well, we have been baptizing every week down here which is really good.  We have been working really hard especially this week.  We have so much to do and people to see and I just love the work.  It is always a test to see if we can reach the goals that we are setting.  I love it!!
     Well, since I will talk to you guys soon I will leave this how it is and talk to you in a week.  I love you all so much and I hope all the cards get to everyone without any problems.
     Love you tons and here are some pictures.  What I do is send you pics from my comps camera so that you can save them as well.
Elder Johnston

April 25, 2011

Dear Family,

     Well, here I am in Mexico still, if you were wondering.  Writing you from the same old cubical as normal, paying this Mexican lady to use the internet….hmmmmm I can’t believe that you are all down -  well up  in St. George without me.  It’s horrible thinking about it.  I have been waiting all week to hear all about it.
     I am really really glad our whole family can be together this week having a good time enjoying the love you have for one another. It truly is amazing to see how much joy we can have from the family.  One thing that I have learned is that it is the family that everything is centered around.  You can ask anyone in the world about their family and they will have something to tell you no matter if their family is the most amazing in the world like mine, or that they don’t have one.  People will always have something to relate or talk about when you bring up family.  I have learned that testifying about my family is what I am best at. haha!  We have a little bit of everything in our family and I’m glad.  I have learned something from everyone in my family and apply it in my life to make myself a better person.  I hope and pray that you can all  make this time that you have together an amazing experience.  I wish you all could know some of the things I see here about family.  The family is a blessing from God and the sad part is that a lot of people abuse the blessings that we have.  That is why this week I pray that no one there will abuse, waste, or take away from the time you have together to love every moment with each other.  If you could see what I see everyday I know you wouldn’t waste one moment.  It really breaks my heart to see 9 year old girls washing the family’s clothes all day because their mom is too lazy or when I see bare footprints in the sand of a small boy because his dad can’t afford to buy him shoes but has enough money to get drunk every night.  We don’t know how great we have it.  I have been blessed to see these things and learn from them and I hope that all of you can remember what we have.
     So how was the Easter Sunday for everyone??  I hope it was great.  I hope we all took the time to remember the Savior and what he sacrificed for his family.  The perfect example.  Our older brother who died for us, for our sins.  This week has been a week of reflection for me.  I have really been thinking about the sacrifice of our Lord.  I remember thinking this week, as we were knocking on this back door, about what we say when we contact someone, then the lady yelled from the other side of the door,  “Who is it?“  We responded, “ We are representatives of Jesus Christ can we share a message with you?”   She responds, “I don’t have time!”
     Now this is the point; I was thinking how can anyone reject Jesus Christ like that as if Jesus Christ is waiting outside your door, waiting for you to open the door and invite him in….why would you say no to Jesus Christ?   I just didn’t get it.  Why would someone say NO to our Savior?  … Well, first what does Savior mean?  Someone who could can give you salvation… I didn’t get why someone would say no to salvation.  Salvation is the ultimate goal right?  We go to church, we pray, we keep the commandments…all so we can someday receive our salvation and live with our families forever!  We were lost and our Brother was loving enough to save us.  Now we are on our own terms, to be saved or not, for our own sins.  Well, we will sin and so He gave us a way to be saved; Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Holy Ghost and then live out our lives worthily…
     So why isn’t that good enough for us. idk, maybe we are just to lazy, maybe we don’t have enough money to go to church, maybe the football game is on, maybe we are about to go out with our friends…or maybe we are just to lazy to get off our butts walk to the door and let the Lord save us!!!!
     I have learned so much here in the mission.  I have learned that it is ONLY through the guidelines of our Savior that we can be saved with our family.  That is the most important thing I know.
     So I want you all, for this reason, to remember Jesus in everything you do.  I will tell you all my favorite law of heaven  -   With everything we do, we either receive blessings or no.  So watch what you do this week, because I know that if we all remember Jesus Christ we will all have a good week- every week.
     I wish I could be there with you all this week.  I wish could be having a great time with you all, but I will be having a better time you just don’t know it !!haha
     I pray for you all every second of everyday.  I hope you get as much fun as possible out of this week that you have together.
   I love you and I will be praying that you have a great time this week.
Elder Johnston

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

April 18, 2011

Dear Family,

     Well, good news I sent a package today.  It has some of my books, some toys from Mexico and a memory card and coke bottle you will really like.  The man helping me said it would break but I snuck it in anyway.   I also ha ve a lot of letters in there and you need to distribute them for me.  I hope you can handle that, Thanks!!
     This week we had changes.  I didn’t get moved but now we only have one area again and 2 more missionaries are coming back into our house.  It’s all good but the sad thing is that we left about 16 baptisms in that ward.  My comp and I… you can imagine how depressed we are but I know it’s the Lord’s will not mine.  I just worked my hardest and hope and pray that it’s the right thing and ask if there is anything more.  When I find out what that thing is …I do it… that’s how it is in the mission.
     Well, we went to the light house today and I bought some cool stuff from a kid.  Nothing to amazing over here.  Just working like always.  I can’t wait to talk to you and I will be talking to you from the same house as last time haha!!  Cool huh?  Twice from the same house.  My other mom wants to talk to you as well.
     I love you all and hope all is well.  If you need anything let me know and I’ll see how I can help you or if you want some advice.  Keep working hard physically and spiritually.  Remember true doctrine understood is what changes hearts ….  Not applications.
Elder Johnston

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 11, 2011

April 11. 2011

Dear Familia,
     How’s it going?  I hope all is well over there in little ole Fallon.  Here everything is good .  I can’t believe that Jason only won $40.00 for second place that stinks!!!  Anyway I am good.  It has been a hard week here, my slowest week yet, I think.  In fact my only slow week!  We have been baptizing every week down here and I realize after not having a baptism this week how hard it would be to be in England or Rome or anywhere else.  The people here really are great and love the gospel.
     We have changes coming up this weekend and I think I will be leaving.  I am pretty sure that I will be going to Villahermosa or down south somewhere I think and hope as well.  Now 6 months into the mission with the language down and I pretty much know how the mission works and what I need to do.  I am ready to be in a leadership position and start in a different area with new challenges and work my butt off.
     There was a pretty big earthquake this week.  It was 6.7 and I definitely felt it haha.  It was in the morning again and in the night I couldn’t sleep because I thought I could feel an earthquake coming again.  It was cool to feel, great experience!!
         I can’t believe that I have been out 6 months.  It feels like it has gone so fast, already!!!  I have 3 more of these and I am done…that’s a scary thought.  I do not want to go home haha!  Sorry to say but now I know how all the missionaries feel.  I was thinking about it the other day and it really upset me thinking how one day I have to go back….But I still have time so I won’t worry to much about that.  This 6 months has been the best 6 months of my life so far.
     I bought me camera. Thanks I love you guys!!  Write me lots next week and give me lots to read from everyone!!!!  Tell Kevin congrates and that I received his letter.  It’s funny he will speaking gringo Spanish when he is done haha!!!
     Well, all is good.  I hope the family is all good.  I am sad I won’t be there for St. George but 2 more years and I will be ready to go party it up!!!!
I love you all!!

Love Elder Johnston

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

Dear Family,
     This week we had two baptisms, it was Rubi and Shala.  I can already tell they are going to be my friends throughout my life.  This is the first time I had to baptize two times because her hair came up out of the water, haha.  Beautiful times really!  I love this life!
     I am not all the way better  but I am feeling better each day.  I talked with a doctor last night and he gave me some pills so it’s all good, I’ll live.
    I would appreciate it if you could send that stuff.  Also, I am still working on the package to send you guys.  It will be in the mail in the next week or two.  Also my camera is dead so I have no choice but to buy a new one so I hope that you will make sure I have money in my account, thanks.
    No real good stories this week.  Just that all is good and I miss you all so much.
  I will talk to you next week.
Elder Johnston

March 21, 2011

Dear Family,

Well, this week I was really sick for the first time and that’s all I will say about that,  I was so so so sick haha.  But now I am fine.  My comp is great and fits in perfect with our family.  He is a big goof ball who would be really good friends with our family.  He is like Ricky Hacking funny, haha!!!
     The camera I want is like $300 so I don’t know if you want to buy me a Christmas present or what haha.
     I saw BYU play a little.  The family who lives downstairs has a tv and the bball is always on so I have some basketball time when I am talking to them.  It’s nice because they are less active so I can have a lesson and see the bball at the same time haha.  Just kidding.  I just saw Jimmer hit a three and I was like… oh that’s him.
    I taught a sweet lesson by the spirit this week.  This girl called for an emergency lesson because she was going to get baptized but wanted to know why all this stuff in her past was so hard to get over.  She shared a really sad life story with us.  My compo started consoling her and something told me to pull out the Book of Mormon. When I reached in my bag I felt the bible but instead I pulled out the Book of Mormon. I looked and I couldn’t find anything that I felt was right to share so I put it away.   Then the second time I felt it again… so I pulled out the Bible.  The first thing I turned to was a scripture that talks about a story of a lady in her same situation.  I explained the scripture to her and told her to read it.  The scripture said, idk in English but something like…you will come to know the truth, and the truth shall set you free…When she read this she started to cry.  I explained that she can have a new life without the pains from the past.  She has a baptismal date set for this Saturday.
     Also, did any of the Cooper boys serve here in Mexico?  Because this guy told me I look like an Elder Cooper that was here a long, long time ago…just wondering.
     I got your package mom thanks a ton!!  I’ll try the potatoes but I actually have so much food here I can’t handle any more.  I could use the cookies again and the cool aid is great!!!!  Thanks for everything I really enjoy the American things haha!!!  I llloooved the inspirational things you sent me.  The quotes from the prophets like the one that has been in my room forever!!!!!  Thanks I love them!!!
     Today we went to the beach to play and it was such a nice day!!  I was building this sand castle though and I reached my hand back and I got stung by a jelly fish!!!!!  It wasn’t that bad and I’m already better but it kind of hurt.  It’s such a great adventure I am on, mom,  I love you so much and take care.
Love forever you son,
Elder Johnston

Ps) tell Pete  and Rachel that I received their letters and I am going to write them back within this next month.