Thursday, June 30, 2011

MTC's Vollyball MVP

We went to the Temple today. It was nice. The Provo Temple is a lot smaller than Los Angeles.

That's cool about Michael getting a few more sales.

My Spanish is coming along pretty nice I think. I can understand what my teachers say 90% of the time when they are only speaking Spanish.  Reading the Book of Mormon is fun in Spanish too. I bought a nifty little verb book that I think is really going to help me. I say pretty much all my prayers in Spanish and have started to pray more for others. Especially my new companion. He had a cyst in his lower back that he got removed before he came but was having some pain and trouble. I had to miss some class with him and take a shuttle to a surgeons place. He didn't do anything just drained it and re bandaged it so we have to go back next week. Hopefully it isn't a problem.

I learned some more about charity this week when we were finally able to go inside the gym for gym time. It was closed the first week because of the New Mission President's Conference. I played volleyball of course. There are a lot of guys who would make Michael look really good ;) Haha. Actually there's this short, big elder who only speaks Spanish that makes me smile when I see him because he's kind of like cute and a little round like Michael from elementary school, haha. We talked a little bit in Spanish and I say hi to him when I see him. So in volleyball I started getting mad that the game was horrible because no one knew how to play, but then I thought that it wasn't about me having fun and showing off. I took some breathes and started teaching the guys on my team just some basic techniques to help them play better. I was rewarded in the next like 10 minutes. People just started playing better and I got some good hits in. Haha, people I dont really know have come up to me saying I'm a beast at volleyball.

I also get a lot of comments on my ties, haha, people like those ones we bought at JC Penny, mom. So my nice church shoes are going to be useless in Ecuador. With my thick black socks they are way too tight. Maybe another pair of the Nunn Bush that I got, they are nice.

Yesterday marked my one week mark. It doesn't really feel like it. But I think I'm finally getting into the groove to learn a lot really fast if I want to. I wake up every night at like 3:30am or 4:30am. I don't know why. I stayed up a whole day when I woke up at 4:30am and just studied for two extra hours and wrote in my journal. Today I woke up at 3:30am and studied for two hours then slept till 6:30am and then till 7:40am since it's P-day. I feel like I can stay up all day if I wanted to from 4:30am and that just gives me extra time to study. I could sure use it. I want to feel comfortable with my Spanish before I go to Peru.

Oh, I got my travel plans. Departure July 13 at 11am from SLC. We stop in Atlanta, Georgia at 4:44pm then get to Peru at 11:10pm. I'm excited for that. I will continue to work hard and try not to sleep or nap. Talk to you next week!

Quiero Mucho
Elder Johnson

Friday, June 24, 2011

In the Beginning

(On Wednesday, June 22nd, Jacob said goodbye to his family at the Burbank Airport and flew to SLC...)

So President and Sister Nielsen, my friend Josh's parents, picked me up from the airport. It was very nice because they made me a sign and cookies and had vitamin water in the car waiting for me, haha. They are so nice. Someone who had class with me and Josh at BYU was working at the MTC and walked me in so it was cool running into him. There have been so many funny coincidences of meeting people or seeing people that I knew or weird connections that I just think is so sweet. That "sweet" was for dad.

There was an orientation type thing and we met the teachers and companions. I got tested the first day and I will be moving to Intermediate Spanish (instead of beginning). It’s sad that I will be leaving my district.

I love my companion Elder Profiler, he is from northern Utah, a town called Tree Mountain or something.

I was able to help a lot of the guys in my district with Spanish questions during our personal study times when the teacher wasn't there.

(Another Elder was on the same flight as Jacob at the Burbank Airport) Remember that elder who was at the airport with us? Well he ended up being in my district and was actually in a 3 person companionship with me and elder Profiler because his companion didn't arrive until the night of the first day. My district has two companionships going to my mission in Ecuador and we all live in the same room. The other 4 companionships are going to different parts of Mexico.

I can say my purpose as a missionary in Spanish now and pray in Spanish alright. My class definitely does not push me to my Spanish limits and for that reason I am excited to move on to the next class. I find myself reading other stuff because the teacher is going over vowels but that's hard too because you know how I love to participate! Haha.

There were so many General Authorities here this week and Apostles and the Prophet. The devotional last night had 7 of the twelve! But we got stuck in overflow seating :( It was a really good talk by Elder Bednar and answered a question I had been thinking about! The question was whether or not it is a good thing to want to be District Leader, Zone Leader etc. I wasn't sure if it was pride or just wanting to be better. Elder Bednar said that we shouldn't preoccupy ourselves with these thoughts. To strive for that is to satisfy your pride and vain ambitions and is PRIESTCRAFT. Anything that you do to draw more attention to yourself is priestcraft. That hit me hard and humbled me. I want to be more Christ like. In a video we watched at another devotional last night Robert D. Hales said something that also hit me hard. "Sometimes we forget just how obedient the Savior was. HE HAD NO PERSONAL AGENDA. Everything he did was out of obedience to his Father." I never really thought about that and I thought I had thought about everything. There is ALWAYS more to learn. Especially in the gospel. To have no personal agenda and do only the Father's will for you is the ultimate form of obedience.

What can we, as God's children, give to Him? He has everything. The only thing we have to give to Him, and that he left us with, is our agency. That is what we can each give back to our Padre Celestial. Ultimate obedience will pour out blessings we won't even have room for.

I’m running out of time but I wanted to share a miracle that happened yesterday. After breakfast I was feeling sick, similar to how I felt sick at Disneyland with Spencer so I was scared because that sickness lasted for two days and that was with lots of medicine and sleep. I didn’t have time for either here. I said a strong prayer for strength, health, and energy throughout the day while in the bathroom. All of that happened. Lunch was this taco salad thing that I loved and I was healed. I felt good and strong and had energy all day even in the long devotionals. So did my companion. He said I must have prayed for him too. That taught me to pray for both of us.

I love you all,
Elder Johnson
Hasta Luego!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One More Week!

so i leave in one week and it is a little hard to describe the emotions i'm feeling. I am SO grateful for my family that made it to my farewell this last Sunday and also my friends who came. It went better than I could have hoped and I love my parents for the hard work they put in, especially my beautiful mommy :)
I know The Church is true, and the Book of Mormon, and Everything! There isn't a doubt in my mind or heart that I am leaving for the right cause, but the thought can be a little scary at times. Strength is found in 1 Nephi 3:7. I am grateful for this time i have to spend with my family and friends and Spencer hanging out with me :)