Monday, April 7, 2014

7 April 2014

Somehow we are going to be together for another transfer! I'm pretty sure we will be able to "kill each other," or, finish our mission as companions! Aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
The transfer rocked the mission. The transfer isn't actually until Wednesday but on our weekly conference call some things slipped. (No complaints here.) Lots of zone leaders are "stepping aside" because everyone is "dying" (finishing the mission) soon. Somehow Elder Myler and I survived unscathed.
Our zone didn't though. Three companionships whitewashed and every single companionship got a change. Except us.
So, we're ready to make some changes this next transfer and move forward even more enthusiastically into our last two transfers in the mission. #workingharderthanever
This past weekend I finished my reading of te Book of Mormon. I set a goal to read it in 6 weeks and was able to accomplish that. It was awesome. Amazing. Inspiring. Lifechanging. Comforting. Directing. Exciting. There's just something so special about that Book. If you are reading this and have not read the Book of it. It brings me such peace and joy and I want everyone to be able to experience that in their life. Here it is online ( Start with the introduction. And to get your own paper copy, which I would recommend, go here ( The Church of Jesus Christ also has an awesome free app. Check that out here (
Read it. It's true.
This past week was a soccer match between Mexico and the USA. It just so happened to happen here in Phoenix! We had lots of investigators cancel on us for it. There was absolutely no one in the street. That was a frustrating hour. We visited one family that we were planning to stop visiting because they're not doing anything and as we walked in we saw out of the corner of our eye the USA score the first goal. Naturally we said, "WE'LL WIN!" The family told us never to come back.
Haha no they laughed about it. We told them we couldn't watch it and left. As we walked down the street, reveling at how empty and quiet it was, we heard a man say, "goal" with absolutely no emotion but loud enough for us to hear it in the street. We had no idea what house it came from but it was the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life.
There is a store in South Phoenix  called, "Ranch Market." Imagine all of Mexico packed into a smelly grocery store. That is it. It has THE BEST carniceria (meat shop) ever and you can buy the most amazing burritos of Carne Asada (grilled steak) and the best horchata in the world. Horchata is heaven in a cup. It's like a cinnamony rice milk drink. Ohhh my goodness it is HEAVEN. You need to learn how to make it.
As many of you are aware, this weekend was General Conference. It was awesome! We took a lot of questions and concerns into it. I've never experienced what I experienced there to the degree that I experienced it. It seemed like the afternoon session on Saturday was exactly for me. It was perfect. It increased my conviction that those men really are Apostles and Prophets. What a cool experience.
For the Saturday morning session we were able to help an investigator family get there with  us. By family I mean wife and kids. The husband is, almost non surprisingly, out of the picture and unsupportive. Men are the worst. He won't talk to us, won't talk to his wife about what she loves about the church, and isn't being a supportive husband. It is sad to hear her troubled talk about her possible options.
The conference was perfect for her. Her children are insane though - they can't sit still. We had her go sit in the front and tried to distract the kids with iPad cameras in the back. It worked for a bit. She's so patient with them. It's inspiring.
You learn a lot on a mission by watching how people interact and act when out of their comfort zone and when they're inside it.
Anyway, conference in Spanish isn't half as good as it is in English. Maybe it's because I have an emotional attachment to the voices of the speakers in English but the Spanish translators seemed to be so monotonous. It's a hard thing to do though, especially for millions and millions of listeners.
I want to re-emphasize what I have said a few times: some of the greatest moments of joys and greatest moments of sorrows in missionary work come as you see missionaries succeed or fail.
We had the weirdest experience of my life this week. There was a day that seemed to just be filled with problems. We were driving to a lesson, reflecting on how unexpected everything was, when an SUV with two 40 yr old women pulled up next to us. I glanced to the side as I saw their window going down. They asked what we were up to and we told them that we were helping people get closer to Christ. They weren't too interested in that and asked if we were married. Luckily the light changed to green a couple of seconds later and we were able to shoot off into the sunset with looks of terror on our faces and laughter filling the car. South Phoenix, man...
We are teaching another amazing family. This last week we were very bold with one family member who is slowing the family's progress down by his lack of effort. As we testified to him, the wife turned to this person, and in a mixture of passion and impatience, told this person, "these missionaries have been so patient with you! This isn't a game! You need to commit yourself!"
She is converted. And she's being an amazing person and trying all she can to help this other family member. We love them both but that was another moment where it hurt to watch how much families can impact each other, either for the better or for the worse. In a lesson yesterday, as their five year old daughter prayed, we looked up afterwards to see the mother in tears.
The gospel does great things for families. But Jesus Christ's gospel is not a gospel of inaction. Every moment you sit there doing nothing is a moment where you have hurt someone by missing out on growth opportunities. We're being given opportunities in every instant to bless someone in the future. We can either accept, act, grow, and serve, or sit and waste life away in unproductivity.
Raise your vision.
Another family we are teaching has another husband who isn't as involved as he should be. Actually, he isn't at all. Last night we taught about families and had the Primary president with us. She shared a powerful testimony about how her lack of action negatively impacted her family and how she is doing all she can now to save other families the pain that she experienced. Elder Myler and I both showed pictures of our families. I showed the one where everyone went to Peru without me (not bitter, not bitter, not bitter, not bitter :) ). It touched her. I told her no family is perfect but the gospel fixes the imperfections, step by step. She sat there and told us, quite frankly, how hard it is because she wants what we share but her husband's extended family is anti-ing her. She pulled out the, "By their fruits shall ye know them"  that Jesus talks about, and says that she sees the good fruits of the gospel and wants it.
But her family is holding her back.
Are you doing all you can to help your family members reach their potential? I'm grateful for great parents who did all they could to help me reach mine. I'm still trying to get there but I wouldn't be where I was without them. Thanks!
Anyway, a new transfer, some new plans, a new vision. We're putting everything on the line for our last two transfers. We've got a vision, goals, and plans. And we'll hit them.
Thanks for the letters this past week John and family!
Happy April 7th!
Elder Johnson

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