Thursday, October 18, 2012

Homecoming

October 15, 2012

Jake is Home...
He arrived at the Reno airport at 3:18 PM which was 8 minutes early and amazing considering that he had three different flights. He had not slept for over 48 hours as he had to travel to make the flight which required being at the airport at 5 AM. He arrived literally with only the clothes on his back with his original two suitcases which only contained mission materials; books etc; a few keepsakes and a couple of soccer jerseys. He wore out 4 pairs of shoes in two years and had to buy new ones before he traveled home. The only remnant of the plethora of clothing he took was his original belt which was in three pieces....funny for sure. He was both dazed and amazed coming down the airport hallway and had trouble remembering the English language he left with. He is grateful; skinny; humble and still as funny as ever. He calls everyone "Elder" (just the men of course) and then corrects himself and he can't say the word "cinnamon" if his life depended on it...pretty funny!!! He thinks its weird to see houses with doors on them and every mirror he sees he comments about how big it is. Showers and hot water are his two favorite things right now and he puts chili peppers on everything he eats.  He has a new appreciation for his life and has lots of captivating stories of all types. He is looking forward to getting reacquainted with everyone and knows he will see many when he speaks this Sunday. His family is very happy he is home and the time demands for his attention has begun in earnest. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Conversion


October 8, 2012

Dear Mom & Family

Well I'm baffled right now.. out of words to say. After all this time the primary thing I have learned, and the most important that I could share with you, is something so small and so simple, yet so powerful, like a sword that pierces the heart and drops a seed in the center, my testimony of the Christ. I know He lives and He will forever be my King and my Lord. I know this Church is true. I have learned to leave the testimony of my mom and dad and walk alone being truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ the son of God. I now have found the burning Nucleus in my chest that screams 2 Nephi 22:2 !!! I love you so much mother and I want you to know how proud I am of you. I know the process of the conversion that has passed through you in this past two years and I'm so proud of the daughter of God you have become. I love you and the Lord is so pleased with all your efforts to declare good tidings among my siblings and me... and how much your testimony has grown. I know you are not the same. I thank you for your support and for your prayers. I have needed them and I have felt them. I love you mom and in a week I will see you. Just don't wear make up because I don't want you or my sisters to stain my clothes when we are all crying hahaha!!!  I love you. Take care mom and soon we will rejoice together. The Lord has lots of plans for you, so prepare yourself. I probably won't be coming home with many souvenirs because I'm in a place where I cant really buy any and I don't have money. Don't worry though the best souvenir of all is my testimony and the conversion of my soul forever. Stay safe.
Love Elder Johnston
Love you forever; like you for always; forever and ever my mommy you'll be...





Sunday, October 7, 2012

Noticero

Jake will be returning from his mission in Villahermosa Mexico on Monday October 15 arriving at the Reno airport at 3:30 PM. All those who would like to see Jake are invited to welcome him home.

On Sunday October 21 he will be speaking in Sacrament meeting at 10 AM at the Tolas Place Chapel. We invite all who would like to attend to come and hear of his adventures in Mexico.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Promise

October 1, 2012

Dear Dad; Mom & Family
I’m scared I’ll have a heart attack with all the surprises I feel are coming when I get back. I love you all so much. idk.. Sometimes I wonder why is it that the lord decided to bless me so much in my life and keeps blessing me so much. Sometimes I don’t understand it. All I know is he really loves us all allot. I had my last interview with my president this week. He really loves me and I really love him. He is a great man and I have learned so much from him. I will forever be in debt to him. He really is an inspired man of God. I have felt that I have never had an interview by the Lord himself until my interview last Friday with my president. It was very moving and we both cried like little babies. Never have I felt the spirit so strongly nor have I received so clearly the revelations that have been revealed to me as I did that day. He shared with me sacred guidance that I will need and that I am now excited to complete. I love you tons dad. I am excited to come back. I have never experienced anything like this in my whole life and even though it was so hard, it was so worth it. I love it so much and I will miss every second of it.. That’s why I need to enjoy the taste of it now so that when I get back I can rejoice in the words of the Lord that say: “Ye have been faithful, enter into the joy of thy Lord”.
I love you all tons. I know that I have such little time left but I have big things planned, to finish with a bang. When I finished my last track race in the high school, when we broke the record, I remember throwing up and having nothing left to give, completely drained of all of my energy. That’s how I promise to finish the mission.. With everything.
Love
Elder Johnston

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Beauty Of An Eternal Perspective


September 24, 2012

Dear Familia

I love you all so much and I thank you so much for teaching me correct principles and the things I should know and do to have a great and wonderful life.!! I truly do love life so much. It is so beautiful and remarkable to be able to live with an eternal perspective. I love it. I had a very spiritual week. I have never felt so close to the Lord in all my life. Each week I feel more convinced of that. Actually this week we went to His sacred House. We went to the Temple Friday here in Villa. The missionary’s have that chance to be able to go and visit the Lord in his House every Friday. A luxury I have not had until now. We saw people that I knew in Mina who taught us allot and I really enjoyed my time talking with them. One of the men said that I should get married within three months after my mission.... haha…that really made me laugh as you can imagine.
We took 10 investigators to church this week. The Lord has seven that will be baptized here this Saturday and 5 more on the 13th of October... I will not leave Mexico without baptizing my last day in the mission even if I have to baptize a cat my last day I will do it!!! ha-ha
Well its really amazing what’s happening. Actually we are getting someone married this week and I have lots of papers and stuff to complete on that. Then president called and said that we are splitting the Ward here and they will place two more elders here so I have to start making divisions and do a slide show presentation on how we will divide the area plus much more. Basically I have been charged with organizing all of it. It will be a fun roller coaster ride and on top of it all I also have to go find a new house for the other missionary’s in another town before tomorrow plus at 7 PM we have a family home evening with a family of 5 that’s going to be baptized that I cannot miss because they are really important so basically, long story short.... its a normal day in the mission!!! Any questions? hahaha
Dad
Thank you for teaching me to love learning. I don’t know if you realize that you are responsible for that but I am so grateful for that gift from you.

Well I must go for now but know that I love you all tons. Stay safe; stay happy.
love
Elder Johnston


Monday, September 17, 2012

Viva Mexico ! ! !


September 17, 2012

Dear Mom; Dad & Family

Well this week was really good. We are having so much success and I have never felt closer to the Lord my God than I do right now. I look at other missionaries and other kids and even baby’s and think to myself about how far I have come yet I have so much farther still to go. I’m so happy the Lord’s plan for our progress is eternal and not just for a short period of mortal time. I love you all so much and I love the Church and the Gospel. I really do love it and what is more important is that I know it is true. I know it with all my heart.
I am happy to hear that you had a good week and that dad is happy and healthy.. How young are you guys again? Haha,,,Well right now we are teaching a family of five and the daughter is 14 and just had a baby.. They are really excited to get baptized. The mom is Indian from here and speaks Cholo, a dialect I learned in Palenque and when I got to their place I could tell by her accent. I have no idea how to spell the accent that she spoke, Cholo, so I just started saying the little words I know in Cholo and she laughed and from then on we were really good buddy’s and now she wants to get baptized. We set baptismal dates with another two families of three people. There is also a family of six we are teaching and another family of seven that came to a church activity. There is also another couple we are going to get married so they can get baptized. There is also another family that has a very different make up including a brother; sister; cousin; and nephew who all also accepted invitations to be baptized... Lots of “exito“, now we just have to prepare them and help them go to church. We have so many people we just have to get them all to church. We have over 48 people that we are teaching and I think we will have allot more before I leave here. It is really amazing the power of God!!
I love you all so much and I hope all is going well with you all. Another interesting thing I did this week was celebrate the Independence of Mexico which is the same day as dads birthday September 16th, so we had a party for the ward saturday where like 200+ people came. They asked me to do the “grito“... or the “yell” of Mexico... its the famous VIVEEE MEXICOOOOO... Well I did it and everyone really loved it and got a huge laugh out of my efforts to make it sound authentic.
I’m good and just trying to be more than I ever have been in my whole life. Ten percent of the things in life just happen to you and the other 90 percent you decide what happens... I’m making the choices now. I love life and love that I am an eternal identity of God.
Love you all tons …see you soon
Love
Elder Johnston



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Extra Mile


September 10, 2012

Dear Familia
Well I have had since last Monday a crazy crazy week. I have been trying to take everything to the next level... for a while I’ve been sick of being the same and keeping the same commandments as everyone else so that’s why I have set lots of new goals for myself... that’s an amazing concept to be able to change ourselves and be better all the time. Well Tuesday was my last night in Mina and I didn’t want to say goodbye to allot of people because it just gets too sad.. I left a really good friend Elder Fonseca and I think I will be seeing him around at BYU or something. I said goodbye to my two favorite families and one gave me a sombrero.. the people who want to come visit us.. they gave it to me but I left it there and they are going to send it to me.. The other sombrero is one I bought on the side of the street haha. Tuesday I got on ado and came to Villa.... it is sooooooooo hot. I thought everywhere else was hot but this is hots daddy. It is called the green hell! I’m not even kidding you all. Its so hot and there are so many mosquito’s... I even gave a talk on it this Sunday about how many mosquito’s there are here and I compared the west Nile virus to missionary work... It was a really good talk actually and this is an amazing Ward... Well presidente sent me to a great area to finish.. Its a really strong ward of like 150 in attendance every week!! And as well the bishop actually welcomed me to the ward and someone plays the piano and everything, it is so beautiful. I feel like I’m a little closer to home already... Actually it makes me think of Palenque allot here. My area is so big.. Its one of the biggest in the mission and I have to take convis everywhere and sometimes pochimovils... a convi is a van with no seats with like 20 Mexicans crammed into it and a pochimovil is a motorcycle that pulls a two man carriage. Its crazy but its way big.. its like the whole city of Carson or bigger. It has lots of small ranches too which is way cool. My comp was here with my old companion Elder Zamora and overall he is a good guy but has allot to learn.. he is from Salt Lake City.. He’s a tall and skinny dude.. My first day here I got up at 4:30 in the morning and started throwing stuff away... He got up at 6:30 and was a little surprised. You know how I am when I clean and I just start throwing stuff away that I don’t think is needed... needless to say he was pretty shocked at what got done... We took out ten trash bags and they were the big black ones.... It was funny ha-ha I cleaned every room in the place and lets just say the house is now like a Temple... I have never lived in a dirty house and I never will. I have made lots of changes and I’m taking all my work to the next level.. and the truth is I feel so close to the spirit. I feel like I can read presidents mind... They had the zone leader council last week after changes and I had already started all the ideas here that were set out in the zone leader council and more... its great and we are having so much success here I am excited for it all.

Well I love you all so much and I hope that that’s enough information for you. I’m good; healthy; happy and working hard.

Dad I took out that money so don’t worry.. I had to buy some stuff for the mission and to travel to Tabasco... just stuff like that but I think I might need some more money because here we use more money in taxis and convis and motorcycle things than any other place in the mission... They even give us more money for transports but I don’t think it will be enough. We have to travel so much so I would highly appreciate it if you could put a little more in my account.. thank you so much.

Well I love you all tons... Also today in the morning we got up early and instead of using our pday for ourselves we went and helped a member clean his yard... We started at 7AM and it was basically like we had to chop down a small part of the jungle ha-ha.. We got a lot done though and I feel good. There is nothing like going the extra mile.

Well I love you tons and wish me luck.

love your son

Elder Johnston

One More Time


September 3, 2012

Dear Family,
Thanks for all your motivation. I love you all so much and really I miss my family so much. I hope you are all fine and are good and healthy. I can’t believe the time has gone so fast. All of what you said is so true so I better get to work. Well I have lots of news. I have had my last change/transfer in the mission. After six months here in Mina I am finally getting my last transfer. It will be great because I’m really ready to get out of Mina and have more experiences. It was great being here. Its really funny because all the missionaries have a joke that I was called to the Mexico Villahermosa Tabasco mission but the funny part is in my 23 months that I have in the mission I have never served in Villahermosa... I haven’t even served in the state of Tabasco which is way funny actually. In my last transfer in the mission I will be going to Villahermosa Tabasco to finish in an area called Los Rosas. My comp is named Elder Peterson and is kind of new in the mission. I think he is still in his first area. The lord has always blessed me with everything I have ever wanted and sometimes I think “why do I deserve these blessings?”... ha-ha its wonderful, the mercy of the Lord, and the love he has for all of us. I know I will finish strong in my last area and the time will fly by and before you know it mom I’ll be home so don’t worry.
This week we had two baptisms but one didn’t get confirmed... who knows what happened to him but my comp will figure it out. He is really a good guy and the kid I baptized is going to be a great missionary I think.
Well I have to go and pack all my stuff and then before I know it I will be doing it one more time before I come home. I love you guys tons and I pray for you always. The church is true and it is amazing!
I love you and I will talk to you soon.
Tell all my siblings I love them tons too.
love
Elder Johnston

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

To Finish Strong


August 27, 2012


Dear Family
This week was really good. We started out with interviews with my president. It was really a spiritual experience for me... even though it was very different. He told me something really important, just so you know this was my second to last interview. He said most missionaries at this point start to fall down and stop working as hard and coast through. They just go through the motions so to speak. He said I can’t be one of those missionaries and the first thing I have to do, which is an act of faith, is to tell my family to ... in his words (DONT TELL ME ANYTHING!!) I know you’re all really excited to see me and I’m really excited to see you. I know I only have 40 something more days but it’s that many more days I will be a servant of God... I have such little time left that I cant be distracted now at the end. He gave me an example which is really true and I thought of when I ran in the state track meet. He said what if you are in a race and you are winning and at the end you mom is standing there with your girlfriend and she is yelling “hey good job here I am I’m waiting for you and your girlfriend too“ and because I was distracted I lost the race... that can’t happen that cant stop me. I was having a rough day the other day and my comp got in my face because we like to pump each other up when we get down like football talk... I felt the Cooper blood and adrenaline rush through my veins’ again. I needed it. I need you all, not just you mom, to tell me to go the extra mile and not give up.. tell me to keep the Cooper determination that I need to finish stronger then ever... I remember in the race in the state track meet.. run Jake run.. don’t give up, I remember neck and neck and I couldn’t give up so I could win... right now I’m neck and neck.. with the devil and winning a great blessing that the Lord has waiting for me.. I can’t give up now. Please help me with this goal. It builds my faith to hear spiritual stories as well and your testimonies.. I want you to all tell me that yes I can do it and I can be something more than ever before.
I know that people are waiting for me.. they will always wait for me.. I’m not worried about them. I can get a job, I can do everything. I can watch movies, go and eat food, go bunji jumping, everything. You guys just plan it and if I’m with you all I will be so happy and thrilled to do it...

Now I don’t want this to sound like I’m yelling at you or anything I just want my family to be the support I need.. And “behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ the son of God“.. I have been called by Him to declare his word to his city.. so they have eternal life (3 Nephi 5-13) I will be blessed for this work and all of you as well.. as a team let’s finish strong. Thank you brothers and sisters mom dad. I love you all and you are such an amazing support.. without you I would not have made it this far.

After the interview we had a great week. We set baptismal dates and two were with a small family of a mother who never accepted the church and her son who has always gone but never had permission from his mother and now they are both getting baptized. How wonderful is that?

Other news... we had stake conference which was amazing and my mission president blew the socks off of everyone.
Well I love you tons so so so much.. stay safe and healthy mom.. If you are not better with everything by the time I get back I will yell at you. You better be healthy enough to throw me down like usual!!! haha
I love you all so much
love
Elder Johnston

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Amazing Power


August 20, 2012

Dear Family

haha Wow that’s some crazy stuff!!! I can’t believe Remy is having a baby! Pete needs to get baptized already and stop sinning and Andy as well... those are my first two baptisms when I get home.
Well I love you tons that’s what matters I guess.. please don’t tell Teresa I want menudo please… its not very pleasant. Tamales are great and now you know the type of service projects I do here haha. If you want to eat something way good ask her to make mole.. or empanadas o Memel as... those are some dang good foods... or tacos de pastor oh my goodness I’m starting a restaurant of tacos de pastor when I get home I’m not kidding haha so good.
Well I’m doing good and this week I had lots of testimony building experiences... Friday was the craziest day so I’ll tell you about that. We got a call to go give a blessing because the bishop couldn’t. It was a sick lady but we didn’t know how bad it was and didn’t really know who it was, but she was a member. The bad thing is we didn’t have any blessing oil because we had run out. We went and called the bishop and the counselors; checked in the church; called the young men and all the leaders of the Church and no one had any oil... we decided finally to go and buy some but as we were walking we had to pass the ladies house and the people there came to us and said that she had already died.... You don’t know the sadness that came over me... that’s why it is so so so important to carry it with us at all times whoever is a holder of the priesthood, oil consecrated; its so important.

Then we get a call from president Castaneda and he asked me if I had seen an elder Aguirre... I said I heard he was sick but hadn’t seen him. He told me to go to his house immediately. We went and when we got there they told us what he had... he was really hot and all his body hurt and he had a temperature even his arms were burning hot and it was hard for him to stand up cuz his legs hurt... It’s something called dengue.. its a viruses that comes from mosquitoes... I think its called in English the west Nile virus. He had been to the doctor and everything but we had orders to call the president when we got there. When I called him he asked me how he was and then he gave me and order and simply said. “Elder Johnston I want you to ask the Elder if he has faith and then heal him... with the priesthood power that you hold heal him.. that’s an order“. You can imagine what I was thinking. In that moment I placed my hands on his head with the two other Elders present and we commanded him to be healed. I felt things that I shouldn’t even try to write and I know it is real and the power is as well. We told him to sleep and call us when he woke up to tell us how he felt. The next day he was 100 percent better; healed and ready to go and work!!! He went to church and did everything as normal as ever carrying out the everyday life of a missionary. How amazing is the gospel and the power of the Priesthood?
Well I love you so much mom and Dad stay safe and worthy. I will go for now
I love you
Elder Johnston

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Prez Rules


August 13. 2012

Dear Dad
haha yah I know who is there.. actually us as missionaries here have a site on the internet where we can see what missionaries are serving where and which are in my house having lunch with you. One skinny white kid with glasses I think right? and one big Tongan guy haha looks kinda funny. I didn’t know that Jenifer Whitaker went on a mission to Mexico either. That really shocked me when I saw her there on the site.
Well I’m good dad. We had a sick baptism service  this week. I think it’s the best one for me so far and I was so nervous haha I haven’t felt so nervous since my first day in high school... I’ll tell you why later. It was great but she didn’t go to church Sunday and didn’t get confirmed so we will see I guess.
Well I love you tons dad and I hope everything is alright there. The yard looks amazing!!! I’m not kidding but I did see a patch of grass that seems to be kinda dead down by the garden ... might want to check that out haha.. just kidding. I love you and I’m so happy your happy.
love
Elder Johnston
Well mom..
This week has been pretty crazy.. we had lots of stuff that happened. Early this week a hurricane hit us pretty hard!! It was crazy... it was the hurricane Ernest or Ernesto in Spanish. It was pretty cool just strong winds and some flooding but everyone is fine and now its hot again. It was cool. I baptized a girl this week named Mari and she didn’t get confirmed cuz she didn’t come to church!! ugh so mad sometimes. Its okay.. her baptismal service was great though and I was really nervous for it.
We had some hard times in the zone this week but we are still doing good. The Lords work always goes on pressing forward.
Well it was really funny what happened the other day because we went to a capasitation of bishops with the stake president and he asked us to say some words and we gave them lots of great tips and stuff but the bishops here are so stubborn sometimes. They think they know everything even when most of them are recent converts or maybe they went on a mission. But long story short they all shut us down on all our ideas and I was sooo mad.... but like 5 days latter pres. Castaneda came to our stake and we had a junta with him and the stake presidency and he told them all the stuff that we said and they couldn’t say anything because I have the best pres in the world. After that they all shut up haha I was so so happy you have no idea... I know its probably not a Christ like attribute to say I told you so but I love it that we can keep moving forward. We told the stake pres and the bishops how things should be and Elder Price is the assistant and was there also. We conducted the whole thing.. it was great.. I can so see he and I running some big company someday haha.
Well everything is good here and I got the picture of the yard. It looks great!! I’m way impressed... still seems like we need more green or trees or something.. maybe I’m just used to the jungle down here haha but it looks magnificent mom honestly. I will go for now.
love you tons
Elder Johnston

The Work Of Prayer


August 6, 2012

Dear Mom & Dad, (But mostly Mom) jk
Well this week was really good. We had a baptism this Saturday and the water was sooo yellow we took one of those things from the toilet bowl that makes the water blue and had to throw it in the water to make it a little bluer... I think that’s the bluest I have ever seen baptism water in my life... hahaha it was really good tho.. the Lord is blessing us so so much and to tell you the truth idk how I’m going to keep up my personal progress when I get home.. everyone says.. Elder how are you going to not drink coca cola when you get home if your whole family is addicted to Coke hahaha its way funny. Well this week my tooth fell out again like Avas did and it falls out about every month so I figure I will have to go back to the dentist here like 2 times at least. Not fun!!
In other news today we played football and I’m not as good as I once was... but... I’m as good once as I ever was if you know what I mean? haha
I can’t believe there is a Texas Road House in Reno!!!! UGHHH I am going to be wasting so much money now. That’s great that terrin got her promotion at work. I’m sure she did way better on the IQ test than I would ever do haha.
Well I’m way happy you watched that movie in my memory haha. Every time someone asks me what my favorite movie is I tell them el regalo supremo... its Spanish for the ultimate gift haha.
Well I love you so much mom. We are having lots of success. This week we are having a bautizona which is where every missionary in your zone baptizes. It has only happened one other time in the whole mission!! Can you believe that? And we are making a plan with the stake that we can have 42 baptisms as a stake the month of September!! That will break the record not only for the zone but for the whole mission!!! Working hard pays off and the souls that have come to the Lord are keeping the work going and that is what makes me happy.
I love you so so much and I know that you are anxious for me to come home... yo tambien. idk what I’ll do but I can’t wait. Speaking of that I should tell you that today I got my official travel plans... and the flight plans.. long story short it is amazing that the time is drawing to a close so soon.
I will be coming home Monday the 15th of October and I think I will get to the airport at 6 in the afternoon!! crazy!!! If there is anything that you want me to buy here for you guys tell me because I don’t think I’ll be buying much stuff ... honestly there isn’t allot to buy here haha
Well I love you tons.. tell the girls to hold their horses I’m still a servant of God and can’t be tempted haha.
I love you tons
love
Elder Johnston

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fire Up...Push On


July 30, 2012

Dear Dad
Thanks dad I’m doing really good. My comp and I are doing great.. He is a stud and a good friend that I got to know early in the mission. He played American football back home and is from Torrion Quawila Mexico and a big guy... we have so much energy between the two of us and in the first week we set six baptismal dates!!! It is finally picking up again. Prayer works and the time is flying by. I love you tons stay safe
Elder Johnston

Dear Mom
geez mom don’t work too much!!! That’s like praying for a blessing and then slapping the Lord in the face and hurting yourself again!! Anything you over do is bad for you. Too much of anything can hurt you. Be a little more careful. Well yah they called me the other day and said I’m going home the 18th but who knows.. and as well I would love to eat at Texas road house but.... when I left there was no Texas road house in Fallon or Reno so idk what... idk. Just make the plans and at some point I have to get released as a  missionary.... UGHHHH WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS. I’m still a missionary haha I have a long long time left before I go home haha.
Well I love you so so much and can’t wait to get home.
My comp and I are doing great. He played football before the mission and was a full back.. he is a big kid from Northern Mexico.  We have so much energy together and we gave a sick class the other day with all the Elders and we were running across the room yelling at people it was like a game day for football or basketball and all the Elders got excited and we set goals and in our first week we set 6 fetchas or baptismal dates!!! Its so cool and we are really working hard.
I love you so so much and I pray for you everyday. Stay safe
Love Elder Johnston

New Comp


July 9, 2012

Dear Mom,
Well today I got a little freaked out and happy at the same time to come home because they sent me a form I have to fill out to come home now haha. Its crazy!! I will be coming home Thursday the 18th of October I think so that day will be pretty amazing for all of us I am sure. I love you so much you have no idea.
Well this week I will be getting Elder Fonseca as a companion. He went to a school of the church called the Benamerito and speaks really good English. Actually he is the nephew of my mission president but he is way cool. He played American football and is really a big kid. I will send you some pics to see when he gets here. Well a few more months and I will be home.. that’s way crazy.
This week I have passed through some trials but I’m getting through it all now. I’m fine and I’m allot more happy and relaxed. I know the Lord has control of everything so I’m not worried.
Well great news is that one of my converts that was baptized in November in Palenque is going on a mission... for 5 months I was trying to talk him into going and now he finally is going and I am so happy for him. I love you so so much and the Lord is so loving as well.
You need to start making lots of plans because I’m coming home before long... I don’t care what I do as long as I’m home haha. As long as I’m with my family who loves me and takes care of me...
Well not much more to say... the weeks just keep passing on.
One more thing I guess my best buddy Elder Price basically my comp in the MTC is assistant now... and he is going to hook us up with seats next to each other going home and a great dinner to finish off the mission.... He will be a great assistant. I’m really happy I will be able to talk with my bud for reports now haha.
Well I’ll talk to you later love you mom so much. Keep up the good work I’m so proud of you and talk about how I have the best mom in the whole wide world and how we used to play basketball with the paper towels in the old kitchen and you would always beat me haha.
love you tons
Elder Johnston

Old Glory


July 9, 2012

I hope all is well and I hope Jason is doing good. I know he is my boy. Well I am shocked that you email off your phone. I find that amazing mom haha. I’m sure you have changed allot like we all have. I know the Lord is helping us grow our talents everyday and help us be better people. He loves us so much and I can’t wait for the day to thank my Lord and Savior in person for the love He shows me. Well my comp this week had his last interview thank goodness... he is going home in 2 more weeks if he can make it. He is really struggling here and I feel bad for him and its kinda getting me dismantled as well but I wont let him. I’m always behind him punching him along but I’m excited that I will be getting a change soon. The president said in his last interview that I would not be finishing here where I am thank goodness because honestly it’s a hard area. We have had a hard time finding people to baptize and I’m struggling for some last breaths.. it doesn’t mean I’m not working hard but my area is very small and its very of the world. The people don’t want anything to do with God in their lives and its hard to not have people with desires.
I’m working hard though and this last week we had the zone leader consejo. It was great and very spiritual. I love being able to go and hang out with Elder Price and Elder Williams my best buds in the mission here. It’s like a two day vacation in heaven like I leave earth for 2 days and come back really fast. I was in charge of giving the last prayer and the spirit was very strong. I did get your package by the way and my comp thanks you for the book. He says you are really amazing getting the book to him that fast. It was funny. The  4th of July I was in the consejo and I woke up in the morning and realized there were 22 of the best missionaries in one room and at 6 AM in the morning I put on the American flag like a cap and went around waking everyone up! They all said the pledge of allegiance to the flag it was way funny and great!!
Well I love you so much mom. I am doing my best. Not for you or anyone else but so all glory goes to my Father who is in heaven. I love him so much and He has blessed me beyond measure. I love you and thank you for everything you do for me. The Church is True !!!
love
Elder Johnston

Viva America

July 2, 2012

Dear Familia

haha  That's all so great.. I love hearing that everyone is good and happy and honestly this is and always has been my favorite time of the year... I just remembered this week that the silver state rodeo and the 4th of July with ice cream and brownies is going on and I about freaked out. It's so amazing the life that the Lord has given us.. the way to learn; the ability to desarrodiar talentos and stuff its just so amazing. I love life so much and I just wish it went forever... oh wait i guess it does. Anyway this week was kinda good. Its really hard here in my area because the president always sticks the zone leaders in the hardest areas. We haven't baptised very much lately and its the part of my mission I have worked the hardest but I do know that the zone is receiving blessings for the work of my comp and I. We already have 24 baptismal dates in our zone and that's amazing because usually in the whole zone we only baptise like 14 and that's way good so this month I think we are going to break a record of baptisms for the zone so I'm way pump and excited to work...
I love you so so much mom.. I will be going to Villa tomorrow for the consejo with our president so i will get my package I think and celebrate the fourth with all my best buddy zone leaders. Remember Elder Price in the MTC... well he is a zone leader as well and my buddy from Palenque Elder Williams and the assistant Elder Liston we are the best friends of the mission and basically run the whole dang mission. Its great we always call and match our ties for the zone counsels and are always sharing our revelation with each other.. Its great and helps us have lots of success. I cant believe that me and Elder Price have come this far and we are in the same place now... now we only need to be comps...
Well tell Billy he better be practicing up. haha I love that kid. Okay I love you so much mom, don't worry I will be living with you for a long long time.. I'll be like the movie failure to launch mom and you'll just want me out of the house haha. I love you so much. Happy fourth of July
Elder Johnston
muchisimo amorrrrrr

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rescate

June 25, 2012


Thanks Mom
Well goals, idk what I told you last week but I'll tell you that we are breaking history my zone and the Lords zone.. we are the zone of Moroni.. we set a mission record I think with contacts and lessons... we have the most baptismal dates in our zone for July than any other and it all comes from sacrifice.... We have studied, we know our stuff and now its time to go and just do hard work... It's the 4th quarter of my mission and I'm not turning back and the Lord in our zone is preparing NEXT level missionary's. Another thing that you will find way surprising is that we started something that is the team rescate, or the rescue team, in our ward about 3 months ago and our plan is to go one member by one saving everyone... Now the general athouritys are coming out with the same stuff and they just had a conference call on the rescate and talked all about the thing we started here... Tell me that wasn't revelation!! This week my comp and I did 412 contacts and the rest of our zone did over 200.... the average missionary does 140! THE WHOLE ZONE OF MISSIONARY'S!! crazy..... president sent us some dead, don't want to work missionarys to our zone.. actually we have 3, and that's allot for a zone, that are just not great missionarys and in one week the Lord has changed them calling them every night helping them and pumping them up to do it. I love it because no one can believe that they are changed and now they are some of the best missionarys of the mission!!!I love you mom so so much. I know I'm 21 now but I'll always be your baby boy wrapped in your arms.. I love you so much and I can still feel the warmth of your hug; the smell of you hair; see the kindness in your heart, the glisten in your eyes and the fight in the Cooper!! I love you so much.LoveElder johnston

A New Level

June 18,2012


Dear Family


haha hey lay off me on the whole english thing... its only been twenty months... haha.
Well all is great over here. I'm spiritually preparing myself right now like Christ did in the desert for forty days in fasting.. I'm doing it because these last months of my mission I'm going to make a covenant with the Lord to take it up one more level and do things that no one has ever seen before. I'm going to be the Moroni of the mission and I'm in preparation because when I say go... it all starts and I will be working my tail off even harder till the day I go with no excuses and I will not fail the Lord. It's amazing what the gospel can do.
Well today you will never guess but I went back to Coatza for a bit and got to play basketball with some elders, with all my buddy zone leaders. They are really good ball players and basically they got on their knees and pleaded for me to come so I went... I really got a confidence booster today because out of no where when we were playing 4 on 4 half court ball I took a kid to the hole and somehow the Lord just lifted me off the ground and I dunked it on everyone!!! Everyone like got silent for a second and then freaked out that I just threw it down haha and now think I'm the best basketball player in the whole mission haha !! It's pretty funny. I guess I've still got a little bit of game. I'm just really skinny that's all. As well I also saw there MY FIRST CONVERT IN THE MISSION... When I baptized him he was only ten years old now he is 12 and tall and strong and has the preisthood and his sister who I also baptized is going to the EFY!!!! It's so amazing.. I got him way excited to go on the mission. I love that so much. I loved the feeling. It was way funny to see the expressions on the face of the people when I knocked on their door after a year and a half.
Well I love you and I got dads letter tell him thank you tons and I got the two short sleave shirts.. Thank you for the shirts. 
Well I love you tons and I'll go for now but I love you so so so much.
Love
Elder Johnston

Feel The Burn

June 11, 2012


Dear Mom,


haha gracias mom... I love you so so much and thanks for telling me so much of whats going on there... I love you tons. Well nothing really new is happening here and all is well.... I am really picking all my work up to another level the last three transfers... I only have 4 months left so what I have done is made an oath, a pact, to give everything all I have like the last 100 yards in a football game. For example usually a missionary does 140 contacts in a week but we set a mission record of 408 in a week last week and this week we want to do 1000 contacts in 7 days... feel the burn and the fire in our bones for the love of the Lord.!!!  Well all is well we had a crazy week but I cant really talk allot right now. We had to take a sister missionary to Villa because she got sick and another to Coatza because he got sick... crazy stuff but at the same time miracles are happening...
I ask 2 things for my birthday... one is an American flag for the 4th of July and the second is my comp is learning the guitar and wants my guitar book that I never used... can you send that so he can use it???? I would very much appreciate it if you could send those things... I got the garments.. I love you so so much and thank you for everything.
Well I love you tons have to go.
Elder Johnston

Monday, July 16, 2012

Electric Miracles

June 4, 2012


Dear Mother,
Well I'm really sorry Roxy died I know its sad and all.. someone once told me the only thing that is sure in this life is change and it's really true. I know its hard for you and its painful if its a close pet or a loved one but the only way to take the pain out of death is to take the love out of life. I love you so much mom you know that. I hope you trust me and can put your confidence in me at all times. I hope all is well and I constantly pray for your well being. I know you are going through a tough time. I pray you can feel the love of God. Read the song where can I turn for peace in the hym book and then sing it. It really helped me this week. Then once you are feeling good go back and read the last three emails you have sent me, the impressions that you recieve will be of great knowlege and a learning experience by the spirit.
Well this week was great as always. I think I say that just about every week... I think it might be because of my attitude.
This week was amazing and I really saw the power of God and felt it descend from the heavens over my life this week. Another personal experience that is and will be part of my testamony for forever.
I'll start out from before. Well our goal for attendance here that we set was 100 people. It has been like that since the last time we broke it a few weeks ago because truly we have helped this place grow. To have a real growth in the church is an amazing feeling. Long story short we have never gotten to 100 people before in the history of the ward. Another goal we have never broken is the attendance of the stake which is 600 people... we are working with the stake president to make that.. anyway last Sunday the attendance just made me soooooooo mad because we only had 70 in our ward and that was the low in the stake.. I was really upset and the Lord revealed to me a plan. I said this week we will have 100 people in the ward even if I have to do it all my self!!! I told everyone. I composed a pledge in writing that stated.. I (blank) and your name.... promise to help the Lord to achieve the goal of one hundred people in the sacrament meeting and renew my covenants this day and hour I... kinda like that.. and I went to every members house during the week working my tail off.... not kidding ...most I have worked in my whole mission.. I went to 133 peoples house and they all signed the paper saying they would go and help make the ward goal and bring a friend.... so I'm exhausted and ready for Sunday.. I start my fast and every prayer was focused on this goal. After we had planned to make it a stake thing because it was looking good. Then we get to church and we are the first ones there.. kinda weird, its already late and little by little came 80 members to church... I had failed... again.... now I felt bad because I got everyone excited.. the bishop and the leaders didn't help me at all, no one did. I did everything... I brought 80 people to church alone and if it wasn't for the investigators we had it would have been 70 again. So sad imagine how I was..
but I put on a smile and said the next time we will get them here.
I'm down... but putting on a show for my comp... who is really dead to let you know, one of the worst comps I've had..... so I am trying to animate him..
We go to eat, come back and start calling for the numbers of all the wards... Now I told myself I know that the Lord wouldn't fail us like that.. I didn't do all that work for nothing. I knew that something was going to happen.
Once we got all the numbers from all the missionarys the goal that we had for the stake at 600 people was broken by some miracle. We got 624 people in the reunion sacramental.. that is the real number that is important to give to the president of the mission and we broke the goal wich no one ever does. No one ever breaks the goals they put in the mission because they say its a lack of faith if you put a realistic goal.. it's amazing how the Lord knew that what we really wanted was 624 people and not just the 100 people in our ward. I know he listens to us and it shocks me how miraculously he does what he does.
 
As well there was a big electric storm here. So scary I have never been in a storm like that in my life. The lightning actually struck a chicken of one of the neighbors and killed it haha. It's pretty funny but the thunder was so loud it hurt your chest and the light was flashing so bright you could barely see because it would like shock you.
 
Well  love you so much and I hope you can be optimistic about the things that happen in your life. Learn to enjoy your personal conversion. I love you so much
love
Elder Johnston


Two Birds and a Tooth

May 28, 2012


Dear Family


I'll just start off by saying that God listens to you as well... its funny to read your letters once a week. Last week you were complaining about the cotton and wanted some wind and now your complaining about the wind. That's funny!
Remember when dad says... I can never make your mother happy Jake... HaHa well I wonder how the Lord feels.
I love you so much mom. Don't worry so much. It is all in your attitude.. if you have a bad attitude everything will be bad... you have always told me... it is what you make it to be...... as it says in the bible... woe unto the priest who profit unto himself.... be happy.. come what may and love it. What more can you do?
I had an experience this week. Lots actually thinking about it. I had a stake meeting with the president and all the ward mission leaders of the stake. They just called a recently activated what some would call a punk kid as our new mission leader to help us and he shows up for the meeting in shorts and the same shirt he slept in and was just a mess... so what did I do? I told him with some strong words to go home wash up and come back when he is ready to represent the Lord.
He left mad and I went in the meeting and sitting there I felt a bad and repented for what I said to the kid. I felt impressed to offer a prayer for the kid. I did and I prayed he would feel the impression to return to the church for the opportunity for me to offer an apology. Finishing the prayer in walked the kid with a tie, white shirt, showered with dress pants. The love of the Lord filled my heart for the opportunity I received for the revelation and inspiration he gave me. He said he learned his lesson and I ask his forgiveness.. 
I as well gave a talk this week in sacrament meeting. The bishop asked us Saturday night and I had no idea what I was going to speak on till 5 min before the talk. Then he sent all the revelation I needed to give a great talk about two experiences I had in these weeks with birds. 
One bird that we found in the church building was calm enough to grab it so we could release it and the other one that flew in our house that was crazy and didn't want us to touch it. It was very funny the talk and I related it to not being afraid to choose the right and do good things. Don't be scared to do good things... everyone liked it and it was the first time I have had the people in Mexico say good job on a talk I gave. First time ever.. the culture here is that they just don't do that.
Then that night we were going to have a fireside and I was going to speak but during our dinner appointment ... what happens... my tooth falls out... and now I can't stick it back in so I just didn't talk the rest of the night. Being Sunday I couldn't do anything about it until today in the morning when I went to get it fixed. Uggggg
Well I love you so much... oh we baptized this week as well and I don't have much more to say except that I love you tons.
love
Elder Johnston





Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Governor

May 21, 2012


Dear Family
Well I'm very good  I'm happy and healthy. We baptized this week again, a small kid that I hope will go on a mission someday. As well this week that's coming we will have another baptism... haha the bad news is I am suppose to help others baptize now and I'm still working on how I can do that instead of doing it myself haha. I hope I can figure something out to pump up the elders here... I also have to tell you this week there was a governor who was campaigning for something big and we were leaving the house of a member and his parade passed us and he stopped and came over with a big crowed of like 100 people with news people and photographers and stuff and tried talking to us.... but in the end we contacted him... I started going off like look these people need help and the gospel of Jesus Christ, like it says in the scriptures, has to be preached to the Governor of the city and blah blah blah.. I gave him a Book of Mormon and they gave me and my comp hats... the family that was behind us were so happy to see the guy and so I asked for 8 more hats for the family and he gave us his card. It was really cool. He's a really fake political guy you could tell tho.
Well I'm kinda frustrated with the pride that there is in our ward. I'm really trying to help them and I'm working a ton with the stake president teaching him how to do his job basically... well the Lord is doing it but I'm just the messenger. As well I cooked the mickey mouse pancakes for some members and they loved it.
Well I love you tons and will go for now.
love
Elder Johnston

Mothers Day

May 14, 2012


Dear Mother
I love you so so much. Sorry I made you cry. I told myself I wouldn't cry before i got on. Honestly its going to be no time mom before I see you and then you will be sick of me again and want me to leave. You need to enjoy the wonderful oportunity it is to have a son in a mission. Enjoy every second because before you know it.. Johnston will be back.. and forever is about to happen. I love you so much.
I will try to tell you more details of this stuff but its just hard because I feel like its all normal stuff for me now... idk what is wierd and crazy is that I live it every day of my life... when I give a lesson in the middle of a chicken pen or coop or I'm on a bus and hit a big pot hole thing because the roads stink here its all normal... 
Well I'm great here I'm fine. We played soccer today I and made like three goals.. it was pretty fun because it was raining really hard when we were playing and I had fun... just hot hot rain haha it was really cool. 
I pretty much said everything I needed to last night so idk what else there is to say. I love you tons and next week I will fill you in really good on the stuff I have done and when I get home you will hear all about it dont worry.
love
Elder Johnston

Thursday, June 7, 2012

May 8, 2012

May 9, 2012


Dear Family


Sorry I didn't write you this week. We had a council I had to go to in villa like 4 hours away where we had a great opportunity to be instructed by our president on the things of heaven. I have been changing so much lately and I feel so happy and clean like I never have before in my life. I love you so so much and I pray that you are all good. I hope you had a good time in St George.
How was it by the way? I hear that everyone had a great time.
Well all is well here. I heard that someone from the family... or in other words dad and mom... wrote the mission to complain that I didn't write.. tranqualisense porfavor. settle settle... I'm fine don't worry.. I will be skyping at 6 o'clock my time just on Sunday for mothers day to let you know so I hope you are all ready..... yes everyone can stop telling me to eat as well haha I'm fine its just the camera don't worry. It always takes off a few pounds haha.
Well I love you and I will talk to you Sunday.. happy mothers day mom and dad I kove you too.
love
Elder Johnston

April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012


Dear Family


Well all is good here, yep the softball thing was amazing. I don't want to brag or anything but you know who did the whole thing, which was so amazing, and planned it so good.. yep.. Elder Johnston. ti was amazing tho and everyone loved it.  I will send you the picture that was in the announcements. I think its the first time a pday zone activity has been in the announcements I and my newest inspiration from last night is for the next one we are going to have the Olympics I think.... how cool huh?  
Well all is well here. This week I married my first couple ever, it was crazy... we had to take them to the middle of no where to get them married where I think they still use donkeys to get around haha. It was crazy because anywhere else there is like a big line to do the papers and there you can do it in one day so we took two cars out there I did the papers and we got them married I got a little frustrated but what I have seen is that my patience has grown so much because I haven't been so impatient and irritated like that for a long long time... and everyone was mad and it was such a big deal... ugh glad that is over haha. But we did it so the lady could get baptised. tania. she did and I made elder smith baptise because its his last transfer here. He talked at church as well. My talk wasn't that good because i kinda winged it but Elder Smith gave a good one and cried lots because it was like his goodbye speech. My talk was based on how the young men blessing the sacrament represents Jesus so that must mean us partaking of it must represent the disciples... so which disciple are we?.. Peter, James, John or are we Judas and are we going to turn Jesus toward his death by our sins. It was a really powerful message.
I can really tell everyone loves Elder Smith because they had a really big farewell for him and now I know how it was for my comp when I left Palenque. It was so hard to leave there.
Well i love you mom. I'll keep you up to date. My new comp is elder Thomson. We will see how he is but I'm excited to get this ward pumped up to do good things.. love you all.
Elder Johnston

April 23, 2012 Batter Up !!!

April 23, 2012


Family


Thank you so much for the information. so question... do I need to worry about school stuff now or can I wait till I get home to apply?? I want to start in January. The thing is mom is now I am more ready to go and study than I ever have been. If you think I studied in school you should see how I study now its not even funny. I love to study. All I want to do is study but I'm worried if i go to some party school I will fall back into being a Little kid again. 
Thank you for all your support mom and family on being a missionary. I pray every night that the lord will help me to touch other peoples lives and be the best missionary and person I can be and I will be the best zone leader I can be even though I don't feel sufficient to do it I know the lord will help and guide me to do the best I can. 
Well we had the zone activity today where we played in a professional baseball stadium. We sent people to make both teams (we played another zone and invited them, Acayucan my old zone) Jerseys to play and I made president a Jersey and it is way cool I'm not even kidding. We played and everyone said it is the best zone activity they have ever had in their whole missions and even one of the sisters that cooks there wants her son now to get baptised and go on a mission because of us. 
Me and another zone leader got there early and set up the shirts in the underground dugout all cool like they all walked in and had to find their Jersey it was way cool. I was the pitcher and made some good plays but didn't bat very good. 
I was so stressed out of my mind a little Mexican who doesn't know how to play baseball was going to get hit in the face with the ball or something bad was going to happen. I have had bad dreams for the last two weeks about it but its all good.
Well I love you all and I hope all is well. 
love
Elder Johnston

April 15 2012

April 15, 2012


Dear Mom & Family


I am working for the lord and he is working with me. Mom you are working on the yard and that is no reason to break your back and hurt the health that you have... if you don't rest you as well are breaking a commandment of God.. the word of wisdom. God has given you a gift so precious that you shouldn't just use it badly or run it out of battery's all the time so get better first.

Well this week was the most spiritual week of my life I think. We had a conference by our president who I believe will maybe be the first Mexican in the 12 apostles... he has such a spirit to him and has helped me understand the truths of the eternity's. I have really opened my mind to have an eternal vision and take this as Christ would take them. In the conference I had to give a talk.. president assigned me to but they told me like 3 min. before the conference so I basically had to wing it. It was a combined zone conference so there was like idk 40 missionary's there. The spirit really guided me to say what I needed to say and I even walked down in between the missionary's with the microphone and gave an example using some missionary's... it was great.. it was like an hour long. Then presidente got up with me and started teaching the missionary's with me. It was a great experience to be able to teach along side of pres. I was taking more notes when he was talking during my talk then anyone else haha. It was great. Everyone after said that my talk was really good and wanted to know about me preparing it and stuff and I had nothing to say. It was like an hour long tho by pure spirit. Way good. The best part was president and what he said. The words he spoke touched everyones heart and the things he said were things so sacred I shouldn't share them like this.
I had my first baptism in this area. His name was vicente martin hernadez sanchez and it was a very special and spiritual baptism. Ever since my president talked this day my mind has been opened to the spirit and so much more Revelation. I love the gospel so much it is something so incredible. 
Well I am glad everything is good over there. I hope all is well
It is getting so so so hot here. Its a good thing this is my last hot season here because I cant take more it is so so hot like 100s everyday and he haven't even hit the hottest yet. May is going to be like worse I am sure.

Well I love you so much mom. gots to go
love you tons
Elder Johnston

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jake Eating Fish and Menudo (cow stomach)


Looks a little questionable to me!!!

l
April, 9. 2012 BOUGHT MY FIRST HOUSE! Well, I have to be quicker today because there is a lot of work to do. Just to let you know I am good on shoes. I don’t really need any for now and thanks for the Easter package. I got it this week when I went to Villahermosa. This week I gave a talk at the EFY conference that they had here in Mexico. I received the special assignment from my mission president and got to speak to the youth with him. Everyone died laughing over my comments. I used you in my talk mom. My job was to pump kids up to go on a mission. I told them that my mother always told me I shouldn’t be such a picky eater because maybe I would go to Mexico and have to eat menudo…cow stomach…and I talked about preparing to go on my mission. I got them really excited I think, and then President Castenada got them really excited as well. He had an amazing talk as always, he is so powerful. I went to the consejo (council) this week with all the zone leaders of the mission which was a great experience. In addition I bought my first house ever this week!!!! We had to change houses so we went and bought a new one. Haha It’s pretty nice and it was really fun moving and everything! Everyone is so worried about me being so skinny. Well the reason is because it’s 100 degrees here and all I eat is menudo (cow stomach) and fish in a bowel of water! We will be skyping I think at Mother’s Day, anyway that is what my comp says. I love you all tons and thanks for being my inspiration. Love Elder Johnston

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 2, 2012 I miss you so much. My comp was just saying that it is weird to think I haven’t seen you all in so long…and it is!!! You are not the same at all and I’m way different as well. We have all changed and it will be way way hard to come back to the real world. I have no idea what I will do… It’s sad and I thought I would never say this but I am kind of scared… IDK what I am going to do at all. The world is such a sad difficult place and not being in the world where I am right now is such an amazing experience. You know that I am loving my life and mission every second. I learned so much from the conference this session. Hearing the words of the Prophet and apostles brought tears to my eyes. I hope Roxy get feeling better and all is well back at home. Elder Smith is an amazing missionary and I have learns so much from him. He is going to be a professional guitar player someday. I swear he sings like Jack Johnson my favorite artist. I fall asleep listening to him play the guitar. Well, I have a Mina to conquer so I better get started…I love you and pray for you always. Love Elder Johnston
March 26, 2012 Dad I have lots and lots more work to do here in Mina… I almost never have any time now. I love you tons and thank you for all the great advice . You always help me in every situation and I am so thankful for you. You should keep following those missionaries blogs. You might be surprised who the companion is of the Elder Smith you were talking about. Maybe you can say it’s ironic. I am fine and I hope you are as well. Be safe and stay worthy to enter into the presence of the Lord. Mom I am serving here in Mina now and have tons and tons of pressure on me because I have to do the same thing over again that I did in Palenque. I have been called to do a work that is so much bigger than myself here in Mina. It is hard because my heart is in Palenque. I left everything there. I will slowly build my relationship with the members and start to fill the church and open the over flow section like I have done in the past. I will complete what the Lord has called me to do. The feelings of it, the work, and having to forget about the people I love in Palenque hurts my heart so much. I am fine so don‘t worry…Prayer has always helped me in my hardest times and I have resorted to the Lord to help me. I feel like where I am is a good place I just have to get use to it. It will take a few weeks. The people…are in love with the old missionaries and it will be hard to win their confidence trust, and hearts. It’s like the story of my life, that I will have to prove myself again and rise to the top and prove that I am a representative of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.. I have a great comp who is teaching me so much and I feel so so humbled. It’s such a humbling experience and I have learned so much. Well, this week was good. It was frustrating because there are lots of problems here in the ward. We are finding them out and now it is time to go to work. As well, I officially completed one of my goals…I completed the worldly goal I had coming into the mission…I will send you a picture. It was amazing and I think you will understand what happened. I had to talk my way into it so so much, you know how persuasive I am haha. I also talked with the professional baseball team’s coach that is here in Mina to see if some of the missionaries and I could come and play on the baseball field. It will be way cool. My comp and I are going to be motivational speakers to the baseball players. We are going to teach them about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. They in turn are going to let us play on the field. It will be a lot of fun but we will see what happens. I’ll let you know, but…. how many people teach a professional baseball team on their mission?!!!!! As well, they want us to pump them up to win…it will be great!!! Well, my companion is…..Elder Bradley Smith, the same one that dad has been following his blog and the one dad wrote a letter to. Pretty crazy huh??? But he is my comp and is great… I love him and I can tell we are going to be good friends. Well, I love you tons and stay safe! Elder Johnston
March, 19, 2012 Well, I don’t have as lot of time today because I have some bad news…well, not bad but just a change, I am way sad. The mission is an experience that no one can understand. I’m leaving Palenque. I’m going to Minatitian Mexico. It’s very sad. Last night the members had a bon fire for me because they all knew I might be leaving. Then in the middle I got the phone call and I had to give the announcement that I was leaving. They asked me to say a few words. It was really sad because the last time I felt like that mom is when I left you for the last time. I got up and expressed my feelings. It was so hard and I don’t usually cry but in front of everybody I cried like a little baby. I love them. I really feel like they are my family, imagine that…haha I never thought that would ever happen in my whole life but God works in ways that we can’t understand. Don’t get me wrong mom, I miss you everyday, how could I forget my mother…your mine aha and always will be. Nothing can change that. I love you all but I now have a family here as well. Imagine how much I love you and you love me…that’s how it is here. Every person cried on my shoulder and I theirs…so hard I feel like my heart is ripped out of my chest. I know God sent me here for a purpose and this is it… I went to the temple Saturday…President gave me special permission to go with the ward….And the ward bought me new shoes. Imagine people who have literally nothing all pitched in to buy me new shoes because mine had holes in them in all places….How am I not suppose to love them and make them part of my life? I can’t wait to explain it all to you on Mother’s Day. It’s really hard right now because I have to go and get ready. I will explain more later. I love you so much and I will be coming home soon. Remember what family stands for Father and Mother I Love You Love Elder Johnston