Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Distinct Impression

Only one week left with Elder Cabrera as my companion. We are really good teachers together, he's a really smart guy. Because he's such a talker, we had to talk about some things but our companionship is stronger because of it.

Went to the Temple again today and did the session in all Spanish. Getting better! I understand the whole thing pretty much so that's nice. I bought this nice hard leather scripture case for my English scriptures that will protect them nicely. I also bought a Book of Mormon in Quechua that I want to send to Michael Breton. I´ll send it to you guys when I get to Ecuador and you can forward it to him sometime, I know he's interested in that language and I dont know if I'll run into another Book of Mormon in that language.

I'm realizing that the reason why I have had/might have some challenges is because some elders lack focus and lack the desire to work. During our District Counsel I spoke to them about the situation very kindly, and it reminded me of Dad. Thank you Dad for your great example of how to handle difficult situations and deal with kids(people) who have a lack of focus. I take from your example the way you would deal with kids in boy scouts, I was watching you and it works out here too. The elders told me they loved how I approached the issue and respected me for it.

Thank you mom for teaching me how to forgive and forget and move on. I feel my district is ready to be more focused and hopefully I won't have to remind us to study during study time. During my personal study I am studying the new testament from Acts to the end because I've only read the gospels and revelations before. I'm finding a lot of scriptures with great missionary application that I am using in our teaching practices.

We went tracting this last Saturday! The the eastern part of Lima Barrio kind of like East Los Angeles, haha. We walked around and taught and talked to a few people. On the last street, I was with my companion and our maestra (teacher), and she said to pick one last door. I felt a distinct impression and heard the voice of the spirit in spanish tell me to go to the one on the right and I went. I knocked, and a man, probably around 28 years old, answered. I did the introduction and told him we wanted to share a message about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can bless his life and family. He said okay! He let us in and we taught the whole lesson of the restoration to him. I spoke a lot and recited the first vision in Spanish. We didn't have a Book of Mormon to give him but he agreed to go to church the next day and to pray about what we taught. He also agreed to be baptized if he found out the things to be true!

I know the spirit told me to go to his door and that he has been prepared by the Lord. May we always have the Spirit with us so we may act upon the promptings to share this gospel with God's children. It really is our responsibility, we have so much more than other people around the world. I often think about all my brothers. I pray for you all every day. I wish I could have my brothers out here with me learning Spanish and preaching the gospel with the spirit. We would all be such great companions! Why isn't there a brother program? Like the Sons of Mosiah, only the sons of Edward? Haha, I know we have to move on with life but it's still cool to think about.

I want to get better every day and it is possible for us all to get better every day. I love hearing from you too. I got your Dearelder, Dad. I got it on the 23rd so it took maybe 6 days? I love those letters because I can read them at night. I want you to send my love to the ward too. This last Sunday we sang Oh God the Eternal Father. I think the last time I sang it was in our ward and I just remembered that and felt love for everyone there. So send me the addresses and send them my love. I'm gonna send my testimony in Spanish sometime. I'm getting better at Spanish. Well my time is up, sorry no one wrote something specific to reply to. But I love you all! Love you, mamita.

Les Quiero,
Elder Jacob Johnson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hola Familia!

So I just finished my first week in Peru. It has gone by pretty slow actually but not in a bad way. It just seems like we've done a lot. I'll start at the beginning.

After that first day of relaxation and such, I got to know my companion better and meet our teachers. I have one teacher, Hermana Flores, from Lima and another, Hermano Galo, from Lima. They don't really speak a lot of English at all so they look to me a lot to explain things sometimes. We have something called T.R.C. which is one North American district and one Latino district. We teach two people who are our progressing investigators. We teach with our Latino companions. We also have an english-speaking companion just for class time since our classes are separate. In 3 weeks we'll be in class with new Latino companions since they only spend 3 weeks here. Anyway, during the T.R.C. it's as if whoever is teaching is the same pair of missionaries (seen week after week) and we all watch and give ideas to do better and stuff. So what I'm getting at is that I sit up front on the mini stage and wear a translater mic like from Stake Conference and translate for the Americans/english-speaking elders in my district who need it. I was also asked by the Zone Leaders who have already been here for 3 weeks to translate the Temple Class since about 17 Latinos just went through the Temple for the first time today. Everyone liked my translation since I would tell jokes when appropriate, haha. It was fun and I'll probably be translating more. I don't know how I can do it. I remember a time not long ago when I couldn't understand what Spanish was and I let it just pass through my ears. But now I can get the message of what they are saying and know what they are saying. But I'm really only pretty good at gospel talk right now, haha, hopefully I'll get better at other talk too.

I'm trying to talk more since I can understand and the Latinos say I'm the best "gringo" at understanding and look to me during meal times or whenever to explain something they are trying to say to their english-speaking companions. Every day we have an hour at 4 for actividad física. We play futbol with both districts so it's with the same people in the T.R.C. group. It's set up so you get to know people pretty well. It's nice. So far 3 of the best Latinos that we play with have come up to me after and said "juega bien", that I play well at soccer. Haha, I try. I'm not used to using my feet yet but just being able to run fast and not trip all over the place goes a long way in soccer. There's a sand volleyball court right next to the huge turf soccer field and on Saturdays we aren't allowed to play soccer so that's what we played. I had fun jump-serving and showing them what sport I am good at. The Latinos who have never played are btter than the gringos who have never played, haha. They also have foosball tables and ping-pong tables here that you can play between meals and such because you get an hour for lunch and breakfast and 45 minutes for dinner. I win at ping-pong too, haha, but there are 4 other Latinos and 2 gringos who are pretty good and we have fun.

So I'll tell you about my companion. He is Elder Cabrera from Nicaragua. I'd send you a picture but I don't have the cable, any word on that? By the way, destroy the other recommend if you ever get it, I got a new one. Also, the Temple was really nice today. I listened to it in Spanish, the whole thing! And understood pretty much all of it because I know it in English so well. The Temple is very small though. Afterward, I bought a Peru soccer jersey and corbata at a little family owened store across the street.

Okay, so my companion from Nicaragua is a really funny guy. He's probably the most outgoing out of all the Latinos, and knows the most English. Which is funny because I know the most Spanish. He and I are great at teaching together, I think he's the smartest one out of them all too. He wants to study Nuclear Physics at BYU because he wants to get into alternative energy. How perfect is that? He also likes physcology which is funny and I see it in the way he teaches. He asks questions like "So are you doing it out of love for the Lord or tradition?" He is going to the Lima South Mission.

I want to set some goals with Spanish since I've been kind of learning from here and there and not being specific. So that's my goal this next week: To have specific goals.

I hear it takes about 8 days for a letter through to get here. So if anyone wants to write something long and personal or what not I would say do it through that for now since my time is actually pretty strict on the computer. It takes time to read so send something not urgent through the Pouch or Sorry I didn't get the address for the Pouch yet, I left it up in the room and I have just a couple minutes left.

I love you all, I love you mami. I know that this is the true work of God. I know miracles can happen if we are only faithful and obedient. I appreciate the opportunities I get here to recognize some faults of mine and work to improve them. I'll record in my journal some funny stories this week so I can remember them for next week. Pray for me as I will pray for each of you. Oh yeah, I met an elder from Arequipa and he was so happy to hear my mom was from there. He put his arm around me and started talking quickly about how she must be so pretty and how that's so great. :) Les quiero much.

Hasta Later!
Elder Johnson

Saturday, July 16, 2011

¡Hola! from Perú

Estoy aquí en el CCM en Lima. We didn't arrive until like 2am and then customs wasn't done until like 3am almost. We finally got to the CCM around 3:30am last night. Today has been very relaxed though. We woke up and met our companions a little bit more than the few words we shared very early this morning: Me: "Hola, soy Elder Johnson." He looked at me kind of half asleep and said "Mi compañero entonces." and put his head back under his blanket and went to sleep. It was pretty funny. If Michael was here we'd be laughing at something almost all day haha, if any of my brothers were here...

I like it a lot though. The morning came quick, and after a quick interview with Presidente Whetton, an American with some good spanish skills, we were allowed to go to breakfast. We don't have to stick by our companions at all today because our schedules are different since we got in really late. For breakfast I had some of this yellow juice that tasted like a mix of orange and lemonade. It was really good. Some of the gringos said to balance out the juice and the rice. One makes you flow while the other clogs you up! I've been fine so far.

After breakfast we went straight to get our heads buzzed! I might be able to send you a picture. But the guy left me with a little bit to work with. He gave me some tiny bangs and a fade instead of just a straight buzz like some other elders got. Maybe it's because I told him my mom "es de Arequipa".

Do people from Lima not like people from Arequipa? I got that feeling a little bit from a few people I talked to. The flight attendant on the plane said something about Areqipaños having two passports and laughed. I was confused, haha.

Any word on my camera charger and temple recommend? Maybe the recommend can just be sent in the mail? Or should I tell someone here and I can get issued a new one? I might be able to buy a camera charger here. They said to tell parents not to send packages because custom charges and taxes and such are expensive. And letters should have my mission name on them. I haven´t gotten the address yet but I´ll work on that.

Oh yeah, my companion is from Nicaragua, Elder Cabrera. I was having a hard time understanding that he was asking me if I had my "llaves" this morning because he says "javes", haha. My ears are tuning in more though. And I practice rolling my R's off of every vowel throughout the day. My accent is getting better, people think I just know spanish with what I do say, haha.

I was so happy to see mis tias at the SLC airport, haha. My prayers that they would know I was getting there 3 hours earlier were answered so I think it was okay. I'm not homesick at all so it (seeing them) didn't affect me negatively. They are so sweet, Patti, Lula, y Elsa. Dales mi amor. Well, write me back and I´ll come check in later. The email rules are a little more lax here.

¡Les Quiero MUCHOOO!,
Elder Johnson

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One week until flight to Peru MTC

(Jacob is serving his mission in Ecuador however their MTC is in Peru, so he will be there for a few weeks.)

I leave July 13th from Salt Lake Airport on Delta Flight #1972 at 11am and arrive in Lima Peru on Delta Flight #151 at 11:10pm. I have a layover in Atlanta, Georgia. If anyone would like to come and see me off from Salt Lake you are more than welcome to come :)

This last week seems to have gone by really fast. I'm seeing a lot of guys I knew from BYU here so it's cool to see them and say hi. 

I know that this work is the Lord's work. I taught the first lesson kind of shakily in Spanish the other day, haha. We will teach it again this Saturday in Spanish. It's getting better, it's just hard to decide on what to study so you just have to sit down and start studying something or nothing gets done. 

The gym is closed for 10 days so I wont be able to play indoor volleyball anymore, haha. I get a lot of hello's walking around the MTC from guys that played with me there and they still say I'm a beast. A guy broke his ankle really badly in the gym a couple days ago playing basketball. I already promised I wouldn't play basketball so I haven't. 

I have been doing the MTC Choir since being here. One of the directors is Brother Brenchley. He is one of the guys who is the host at the Heritage Festivals for Vannaires every year! (Vannaires is the Van Nuys High School Choir) Haha, tell Spencer to tell Mrs. Gamboa. He said to tell her Hi and that he remembers her name, Nadine Gamboa, haha. He kind of remembered my solo from two years ago and was happy I came up and said Hi to him. It was cool, I always kind of thought he was LDS seeing him four years in a row.

Sorry for stressing, it's the dumb clock at the top of my screen clicking down with 2 minutes left and then I dont hear anything for a week. I love you guys and miss you but I know what I am doing is right and a blessing for us all. I can't wait to talk to you in Spanish at Christmas! The next time I email you will be from Peru! Love you so much everyone. I am excited to focus on the work. 

I sleep all the way through the nights now. No more waking up at 3 or 4, haha. I sent Michael a present and birthday card to our house to get when he comes home.
Les Quiero Much
Elder Johnson