Sweatbands, Cats, and a Preacher

Hola y’all!!!

I hope that everyone had a beautiful Christmas full of love and laughter.  Really.  Laughter is very important people! If you aren’t laughing often (within reason) then you’re not doing something right! I had a great Christmas.  En serio, being a missionary over Christmas is the BEST! So glad I get to do it next year too.

I never know what to say in these emails. Usually the titles of my posts are just something random that happened this week.  I’ll start with the funny stuff.

[GO TO THE END IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME:]

CATS: This past week we went over to a families house and they have the cutest little kitty named Toby.  We we holding him and the mom told us that if you’re sick and you rub the cat on your face, your sickness will be transferred to the cat!  Well, we were both feeling a little under the weather so we picked up Toby and rubbed his soft fur all over our faces!!  Oh the crazy Mexican beliefs some people have!

PREACHERS: This one is also a bit funny but also a blessing.  Just last night we were sitting in our car in front of an investigators house and going over our plan for what we would teach them. Suddenly we hear a crashing sound and out of the blue a car come streaking over the grassy plot where we were parked and crashed right in front of us into a telephone pole.  She had already hit another car and the whole front of her car was smashed.  We got out and went to see the other woman who got hit.  She was yellin, “Go get prophet Daniels!  Got get prophet Daniels!  He’s in that church right over there!”  She was a bit frantic but seemed unhurt so we walked into this church. There were a bunch of people singin praises to the Lord and there was prophet Daniels (but we know he’s not a really prophet so we’ll call him Preacher Daniels) right up in front.  He beckoned us to the front and invited us to sit down.  But then we told him the situation so he put on his robes, had Pastor Mary come with him,  and we went outside.                                                                                      The police got there, taking names etc…. The best BEST PART was that a little later Preacher Daniels came over to us and said “Let me say a blessin on y’all”.  He took our hands and gave a sweet short prayer over us.  It was awesome. The cool thing is that just that day we had been talking about black baptist churches and how we wanted to visit one when we came back.  Well, we got our chance that very day!!!  We were so blessed that the car didn’t hit us.  I truly felt the Lord’s hand in protecting us.

ON TO THE GOOD STUFF:

I gave a talk in church yesterday and our investigators Maria and Victor came with their cousin Wilson!!!  It was so awesome and we have great hopes for them.  They came to dinner with us last Monday with some members in the ward and then they also came with all of our district to the May’s on Christmas for dinner. Maria and Victor don’t have a lot of family here so it’s great they are becoming friends with people in the ward.  Hopefully setting a baptismal date this week!!!

We have eaten so much food.  EVERYONE wants to feed us, and they never stop bringing out the tamales, tortillas, or whatever other yummy Mexican food they are making.  I LOVE IT!! And now we are starting a new workout regimen…..

I love finding people.  We have seen miracles everyday and we started making a list of at least one miracle we see everyday.  But it’s usually more.  We will find people that we thought were lost forever.  Or finally get into contact with someone in the area book.  Or meet someone who knows all about the church but just hasn’t been because he didn’t know!!  We can be missionaries and look for ways to create miracles in others lives. Or just look for them in ours.  I know the Lord wants to bless us and when we are obedient and trying to do our best he WILL.   I love all y’all and hope that as we start this new year you can look for a way to refocus and set some goals that you can attain.  My mission president sent us this.  READ THIS IF YOU DON’T READ ANYTHING ELSE: 

ADJUSTMENT
In your Great City
I see, in jewelers’ windows,
Clocks that tell the guaranteed Correct Time;
And in front of those clocks people always halted
Adjusting their watches.
But suppose there were displayed, beside the street,
Some great poem,
Telling perfect Truth or Beauty,
How many passengers
Would pause to adjust their minds?

Brothers and Sisters, how can the theme of this poem apply to you in this coming New Year?

One way that comes to mind is the opportunity for each of us to select a truth or a principle or a statement of purpose that we can use to keep ourselves focused during the coming year. That way we can have it before us all year, and if we stray, we can bring our minds back and reset them again, just like we would set a watch.

What will your focus principle be? 

Why that’s up to you. What do you want inside your mind to drive you forward and help you improve? Is it love? Or kindness? Is it consistency? Or obedience? Or maybe you’ll choose to be a Champion for the Lord? Or Strive for the Spirit? Or give more of yourself to the people you love. Or some other worthwhile goal.

Here are some pics.  Disfrutara!

-We got matching sweat pants and SWEATBANDS. Keeping it classy on Christmas eve.   -Our little tree that wouldn’t stand up. Dark Chocolate and Bananas! The best.                        -Santa was really nice this year.  Thank you all!!                                                                                -These sweaters are from our awesome recent convert Selene.  She is so sweet! We ate tamales at her house on Christmas Eve and skyped at her house on Christmas Day.                -Our presents, our cute tree my mom made, and our matching hats. Roll Tide!                        -Our district.  We couldn’t resist getting them monogrammed SWEATBANDS too. They are awesome.

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Feliz Navidad

Hola todos!!!! Here are some pics.  I will get more of our beautiful “tree” and all our Christmas festivities next week.

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Starting at the top:

-My awesome trainer Hermana Barroso’s boyfriends mom sent us the cutest packaged treats for Christmas.  We are waiting for Christmas day to eat them all #christmasweight #missionaryprobs

-This is at our Mission Christmas party on Saturday.  We ate really yummy food, watched the most amazing talent show I have ever seen, and then got to watch Frozen!!! (complete with kettle corn and York mints) They spoil us here. (oh and I was wearing possibly the best ugly Christmas sweater ever, thank to my comp.)

-Then we went to a part member families house and their little girls decorated our faces with stickers.  oh la vida.

-This our cute investigator Maria. She is so sweet and I just love her and her cute little family.  They are really progressing and be praying for them so we can set a bap date soon!!

-Alex (the little boy in the middle) did not smell good that day.  He is the son of an awesome recent convert named Selene.  She is so funny and can pop my back, it’s the best.

This first full in the field has been full of miracles.  I love finding people to teach and being a missionary is the best thing in the world! I know the lord has strengthened me to be able to everything I need and more.  He has blessed me to start understanding the people we teach and once I totally understood a question that Maria asked and was able to answer in a way that made sense!  Most of the time the people can understand me when I talk about Gospel related things…I’m working on my conversational skills.

Christmas is such a wonderful time to forget about ourselves and serve others.  I love saying “hi” to people and helping them feel the love that God has for every one of us.  I am so thankful for the support of my wonderful family and friends, I know some missionaries who don’t have what I have and that helps me keep things in perspective.

I hope y’all are doing great back home.  I know that God and Jesus want us to be happy and live them again.  I know that He didn’t just suffer for our sins, but for our pains and afflictions, both physical and spiritual.

Look up the song “Cradle in Bethlehem” by Nat King Cole.  So good.

I love you.  Feliz Navidad y espero que tienen mucho amor y felicidad en el ano nuevo!!!

-Hermana Johnson

p.s. I updated my address, please send stuff here instead of the mission home.  Letters in the mailbox are like manna from Heaven;)

Bienvenidos a Alabama!

Wow this has been the craziest week!! I’ll start with some funnies. If you don’t want to read it all (I get it) GO TO THE END.

So our toilet flooded.  There was water everywhere and we had to take out multiple buckets of pretty gross water.  After a full day of no working toilet, the cute senior couple, the Jones, came over and after 15 minutes of toilet plunging Elder Jones got it to work again.  Whoohooo! Our Apartment is actually really nice, just some things don’t always work…..

My companion is Hermana Barroso and the most amazing person ever.  She is from Orem, Utah and we are the same person, it’s awesome! This is her last transfer before she goes home. Entonces, her Espanol is really good!!! She has been in this area for 4 other transfers so she knows everyone and they love her.  She is so patient and the best teacher, friend, and companion I could ever ask for.  I KNOW Heavenly Father answers prayers because I had been praying for weeks in Mexico that my trainer would be excited and patient and ready to work.  I have never met anyone so charitable.  All her arrows are pointing out, she thinks of everyone before herself and she is just a great example to all.

Some details that my mom has been asking for:  I am in one of three Spanish branches in the whole mission so I’m very lucky. It’s the Altadena area and technically we live in Birmingham but its really Homewood. (You know how “Salt Lake” is really a bunch of cities? Its like that.)  So there are a lot more Hispanic people we can teach. We do have a car, I’m still waiting to get my bike…Hmm I need to call on that.  We only have a certain number of miles we can drive each month so we bike and walk if we’re close to somewhere.  We write at the local library and its all good fun to talk to people there.

But on to the good stuff.

On my first day here after our transfer meeting (where I met the amazing Hermana Barroso) we went out and got to work!! We had two teaching appointments that day and I was so nervous but it was good!  Hma. Barroso is really good at spanish but she invited me to testify of the way the Gospel has blessed my life and at least they understood what I was saying!  We taught Maria and Victor and they are doing so well.  They have the cutest son Daniel and I already love them so much.

Everyone is just so nice here and I love being a missionary.  It gives me, well not really an excuse, but a reason to open my mouth and share the Gospel with everyone.

On Friday I was feeling really bad about my spanish and I had an interview with Presidente Hanks. He could tell I was anxious and he said to just relax, put out my hands, and spit my tongue out and make a spitting sound.  I laughed but he was serious.  So I did it and I FELT BETTTER. If you are stressed, put your hands out limp and stick your tongue out and make a short spitting noise. IT HELPS.

I know this is really long but I just want you all to know that I love this Gospel and this work.  It’s hard and I don’t understand what half the people are saying but it’s ok. I know the Lord will help us and by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Ether 12:27. Take our weaknesses to God and we will make us STRONG! 

Keep CHRIST in Christmas.  He is the Gift.  I love you all. 

¡Adios CCM! Pictures Week

100_1929100_2016100_2015 This is me giving in for once and eating a Nutella and peanut butter sandwhich. Man it was good. There is the Nut. and PB bar in the Comedor everyday and I had to exercise great restraint for six weeks not to go there. The comedor was one of my favorita places!  These cute names on the door of classroom were made by Hermano Martinez.  That man has some great skill in the arts, his handwriting is like calligraphy.

100_2020 The one on the right is Hermana Lira, the best teacher ever! Hermano Candia (middle) would somtimes come and visit. 100_2012     It was our last day so selfie game was strong.100_1986

100_2008 Our last night together as District 7C. I´m going to miss them so much!  100_1931100_1945

100_1977  These cute blondies would also work out with us in the Gym. Hermana Kingsbury (middle) is REALLY strong.

}100_1990   Our lovely Latino Hermana friends! We had the greatest laughs with each other. I´m so glad we can communicate through the spirit when our Spanish fails us:)

100_1939  100_1931 Our district with the two best teachers in the CCM! Hma. Lira y Hmo. Martinez have taught me so much.  I´m really going to miss them.

100_1952 Another Selfie Sunday.  Hma. Charlesworth is so sweet; so glad we are going to the same mission together!

This week was such a roller coaster. Most of the time I would feel so many emotions that I would just feel blank because I couldn´t absorb it all.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord.  I want to do my best so that I can find and help those who the Lord has prepared for me to serve.  I love this Gospel and I can testify that our living prophets and apostles are really inspired of God and if we follow ALL their teachings we will be abundantly blessed.  Read all of Mosiah 14. I know this is the season to celebrate Christ´s birth but we should also remember that he suffered and died for us personally. When you´re done reading that and have wiped the tears away, read 1 Nephi 11.  Rejoice because He lived again and through him we can also live with our families and with God for eternity.

I love you all. May you start this Christmas season with the true spirit of Christ and keep it with you always. I´m off to serve the people of Alabama and could not be more excited!

El Libro de Mormón is the BOM

Selfie Tuesday!! 100_1924 Here some fun/good things this week:

So they just call up the speakers for sacrament meeting during the meeting.  They give us the topic the week before and this week was The Atonement.  I prepared and actually really wanted to speak. They called my name and I felt blessed with the spirit and a miniature gift of tongues as I spoke in a lenguage I hardly know, about my favorite part of the Plan de Salvacion.  It was really great!     I also played the piano last Sunday for the the district that left this week.  They sang the Army of Helaman, it was awesome.  I also get to play the piano for one of the devotionals next Sunday.  Pray for me because I don’t know the Christmas Himnos that well!!

I had a great lesson with our investigadora, Jazmin (she’s is our teacher for the afternoon).  Even though she is not a real investigator I felt the spirit so strongly in our lesson and I could tell she felt it too.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this Gospel and why more people don’t join.  It makes us happy, we can live forever with God and our families, and it’s just the correcto thing to do!  But then I thought, just because we get all those blessings, doesn’t mean that it’s easy or we always remember.  BUT, if we read the Book of Mormon everyday, we will become converted and never fall away.  It is a testimony of Christ and if our faith and belief is in him, we can do all things.

The Book of Mormon also constantly reminds us to “remember” our covenants, our blessings, and our God.  Remember the great things God has given his people who remember him and turn their hearts towards him.  Elder Holland is just the greatest and the devotionals he gives to the missionaries in the MTC (sorry not available to the public) are so full of fire and passion I feel re-motivated every time.  He constantly speaks the necessity of staying converted after our missions.  “We must come home with at least one convert and that better be you” he said.  What good is it if we convert others but are not converted ourselves?  Those who pray and study everyday will be on the continuous path of conversion toward our Padre Celestial.

I love you all. Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous and your December is full of love and remembrance of the true gift of Christmas: Jesus Christ.  Here are some pictures:)

These are my favorita latinos.  They are on missions now but I just love them.  They would always laugh at my Spanish and then try to help me.  051 058 059

These payasos (clowns) got up with us this morning at 5:00 am to exercise because Elder Hepworth lost a bet: he was sure he was speaking on Sunday but didn’t:)100_1921 100_1919

And these sweet Hermanas just left for Chile.  We became such good friends with them.  Oh the many wonderful people you meet on missions!!100_1912 100_1918 100_1916