Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spanish Choir

Thank you for your dear elder dad, alondra, cara... the rest of your already know. Haha, ya saben. There are phrases I will say in Spanish that don't translate back to English.
I really am so grateful for the friends I have made here in the mission. And being in the office has let me meet a lot of great guys. There is a good sized group of us who will be going to BYU after. It just gives me so much happiness seeing the blessing of the gospel restored. And what do I do with all this happiness that gets built up inside me? Go share it! And spread the good news. Las buenas nuevas. The trials are hard too though. But the solution always comes if i put my trust in the Lord. I invite you all to put your trust in the Lord and endure through whatever trial you have. The morning will come, it always does. I love this church. Well you can all write me for next week and I will be able to share some cool experiences.

Oh, I forgot something. This next Saturday the Apostle of the Lord Elder Christopherson is coming to our mission! He will be at a bigger stake center for both the North and South mission. Our mission was given the assignment of making a choir! And President gave me the charge to find a choir, haha. We did auditions through the phone. And there is a cool Elder from Colombia who is like a profressional director. So we got it together and we will be singing Lead Kindly Light in spanish. I am standing next to Elder Josh Nilsen in the choir, haha. We have sung together at a baptism one time too. It is nice to have him here. So I will let you know how all that goes.

Love Elder Johnson

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Buenas Tardes

Mi querida familia, Muy buenas tardes, Espero que todo vaya bien donde estén. No tenemos bautismo esta semana pero la próxima esperamos que un hombre se bautice con sus dos hijos de 12 y 13 años. La esposa es conversa reciente. El tenía un desafío con alcohol así que oren por el y su familia.

They are reading the Book of Mormon as a family and the dad is reading personally every day and it is working miracles in their lives. I love when we go over and he explains how the Lord helped him overcome some challenge or temptation. He said "I'm not mad anymore. I don't get mad at my wife and my kids. I know this church is true." The spirit really can and does change hearts. I see it working through the lives of many people. It has been nice to be in this ward for almost 5 months because I have been able to witness the progress of our converts. Oscar and Vanessa are now both members. They have two little girls. They have a goal to be sealed in the temple next year around August 12th. Naybe that would be a good time to come down and visit? That would be so nice to go to the sealing with mom and dad and whatever brothers and sisters can. And it is cool that I will be in the mission to send them letters of encouragement up until June to help them reach their goal.

Oscar is a ward missionary now and goes out with us or the other secretaries on visits all the time. He is doing great. I am excited to be able to share all of these experiences when I return. I appreciate and am so thankful for all your prayers. I have made great friends here in the office too. Elder Cesar Hernandez is tha finance secretary. He is a great guy. And it is a blessing to be with Elder White. We have plans with a few guys to all go to BYU after. Elder Nilsen (we were already friends in BYU), Elder Carnese, Elder Applegate(the assistant), Elder White, Elder Warner, and more. Alondra was right when she wrote me that I would meet my best friends for life on the mission. But of course I don't forget about any of my friends from before the mission. I would invite all of them to come unto Christ. To read the Book of Mormon if you don't know in what to believe and to not deny more the reality of God, and the divinity of his son, Jesus Christ.

I feel more love for my family and desires to help everyone be active in the church. We are all in this together.

This week should be good. I had to get up early a few times this week with Elder White to go to the airport for one or more reasons, haha. Being secretary has been such a blessing. I am a better missionary, a better teacher, and a better friend and disciple.

I hope all is well wherever you are.

Love, Elder Johnson

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Changes coming soon maybe

I hope all is well wherever you find yourself. I cannot be more thankful for the opportunities that I have been given as a missionary to learn and grow. An interesting thing, and I'm sure those who have gone on missions have experienced this, is that everything I learn, I feel like I knew before and I can't imagine being able to get along without that knowledge or experience.

Oscar Marshall (27 years) was baptized last week with Michael Sciníca (23 years). It was really nice. And Oscar received the priesthood on Sunday and will be baptizing his wife tonight.

I feel like I am leaving soon from this sector. Apart from the fact that I am already training my replacement as secretary (Elder White from my MTC group) I feel it in my heart. It's like the Spirit is calling me away to a different part of this city, or country. But I think I will be staying in Guayaquil. All I know is that it will not be longer than 3 more weeks. That's what President told me, but it could be sooner. Haha, time certainly keeps rolling forward.

We are really trying to advance the work here in Guayaquil. The people are open to listen, I feel like sometimes it's the missionaries themselves who limit the potential of growth. I have come to realize and feel in my heart that this is the most important work that there is. I will be sure to find some way to preach the gospel for the rest of my life. The Book of Mormon is a key in all of this. No other book will lead us to the tree of life like this one. If you are not reading it regularly, I invite you to do so.

It is fun to be with Elder White. We played on the same soccer team in the Peru training center and we were remembering a few goals we scored against real soccer players, haha.

I am so grateful to have you all as my family. I am ready to keep the momentum going for the rest of my mission, and the rest of my life. I really didn't expect to learn so much out here, I think part of that comes from not limiting myself to any expectations. Big goals are good. Never limit yourself. That was one of the things that Elder Pino from the Seventy stressed with us. He also taught us a little about grace. And wow, the secret to receiving blessings in life is so simple. Just try your hardest to keep the commandments, and then grace will replace what you can't do and you will receive the blessings with time and patience. And your capacity to obey will increase, meaning a greater effort is required to receive grace. We do this until we arrive at full conversion. And then on till the end. :) Don't worry, be happy.

Love, Elder Johnson