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