Monday, July 28, 2014

07.28.2014 Email

Hello familia!! Okay, can I just say that THIS WEEK FLEW BY!!!!
So to be honest I can't really remember anything that happened. I will try hard though.
Blanca and Alex are freaking AWESOME, as always. I think I say that every week but ah oh my goodness I love them so much. This week was a really great week with them. We were able to see them a lot and have some really awesome lessons. Their love for us is growing and our love for them is growing. I think they wish we were their kids, that's how strong their love for us is. They are for reals already planning on coming to our weddings. hahahaha. Anyways, they are doing really well, they have been coming to church every week and staying for the whole time. Alex is like the best member ever! I for reals don't even know why he is less active, he has one of the strongest testimonies i have ever heard. We are going to the visitors center with them tonight. And I am so excited!! It is going to be so awesome.

We had a super super awesome MIRACLE this week. Okay so we have been trying to get a hold of this old investigator named Miguel for basically my entire time here, but we could never find him. His wife is a less active and he was taking lessons a few months ago from the other missionaries. So we go by his house again to see if he is there and guess what. HE IS HOME! So we have this mini lesson with him and his wife. It was so super awesome and the wife, Mariana said how she really wants to start coming back to church. So we invited them to come to church with us on Sunday and they were super excited and said they would for sure be there. Then as we were leaving the lesson Miguel stopped us and told us that he wanted to get baptized! He said he has had all the missionary lessons and is ready to get baptized!!! WHAAT?? We were so excited.

That same day, we had a lesson with that family we found contacting last week, and we taught the restoration. Oh my gosh. Probably one of the best lesson we have taught yet. For reals, the spirit was so strong!! All of them were so interested and involved in the lesson, even the 8 year old, who ended up saying the closing prayer, which was an awesome awesome prayer. BUT, the best part of this lesson is that they all agreed to get baptized if they got they're answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet!! AHHH they are going to get baptized! Erica (the mom) has so much faith. She really wants to know! So I have no doubt that Heavenly Father will answer their prayers.

We weren't able to find Ariana a whole lot this week which was a really big bummer. But we did get a chance to see her last night, and she is still SO interested in the Book Of Mormon. We gave her one and talked about it last night, and I really don't think I have ever seen anyone so excited to read the Book of Mormon before. We are also going to the visitors center with her on Saturday too because she really wants to know about Joseph Smith! (Like, have you ever seen a more solid investigador?)

Last night all of us missionaries in our ward did this little workshop thing for the members. The point of it is to teach the members in our ward how to be missionaries and why it is important to be missionaries. So we are going to have it every Sunday night. Last night we talked about the gospel of Christ. I had to teach the Holy Ghost. I was FA-REAKING out. But everything turned out really good. And i don't know where my Spanish even came from.....but it was there!! and it was awesome! (not my Spanish, it still propably sucked) But I just was able to speak for like 5 minutes about the Holy Ghost! It turned out way awesome. I realized that I really love teaching. Who woulda thought?

So yeah, everything is going pretty great here. My Spanish is getting a whole lot better! I am really starting to love speaking in Spanish. It's so fun especially when you can understand what people are saying!! Some days my Spanish is like amazing and I think i will be fluent in no time and then some days I still feel like the only Spanish I can speak is Dora the Explorer. But it's all good! I will get it someday.

Monday, July 21, 2014

07.21.2014 Email

Alright so real fast I just want to quote what mom said in her last email to me.

"Dad hit a guy on his bike (no big deal-- bent the tire is all)..........     Are you serious right now!?!?

ok thats all.

So you know what the worst thing I've realized is? Songs get stuck in your head soo easy and you can't do anything about it! It's Satan. He is trying so hard! All the time there is random music playing and you are just asking yourself, " are you serious right now where is this even coming from??" 
Now I'm that weird person that walks around in stores singing. Except I'm singing "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus." Sometimes we get weird looks, but you know what they say, "ya gotta do what ya gotta do."

Also I just have a real fast question for ya'll. (especially my family). 
Because if you did I will probably have to kill you. Why did I not know this was an issue my whole entire life until now?? Almost every single night I do weird crap in my sleep, serious!!. (like having conversations with my companion, laughing, crying, taking sheets off my bed, getting ready at 2 AM. Its definitely a problem.) 
The other night I woke my companion up because I was praying out loud in SPANISH (whooo) and I was praying specifically for one of our investigators! How cute, right??? I know I may not have been aware of what I was saying, but I'm sure Heavenly Father appreciated it mucho.
But that is not all, the other night one of the sisters we live with made brownies to take to one of their investigators the next day. Okay but she couldn't take them because guess why????   I ATE THEM IN MY SLEEP. She heard me in the middle of the night so she got up and asked me what I was doing.  I told her I was going to hike coyote mountain. Is that even a place? idk.  Apparently I needed to eat brownies while I hiked??

Anyways, so on a more serious note. Last week we were biking home pretty late at night and we biked past one of our members houses (ironically the one that called our investigators to repentance) and he waved us down and then introduced us to one of his friends who is SUPER interested in knowing more about the gospel. Miracle Moment!!! Love them!

On Saturday all of our plans fell through so we decided we would start knocking doors at this apartment complex. We ended up finding this super awesome family to teach! It's a mom and her three kids (who by the way are all old enough to get baptized) they just moved here from California, and they are looking for a church to go to! We have another appointment set up with them in a couple days, so i'll let you know how that goes!

We have this one investigator named Ariana who is supes cool. She is married, but I have this feeling that her husband is a BIG punk. It's really hard for us to find her and she has told us how they are having problems. it's really sad, but she is really interested because she wants to find peace in her life. BOOM. She'll get baptized. If we can figure out what the heck is up with her husband. 
Anyways, so we had a lesson with her a couple days ago and it went real well. She speaks english too, so sometimes we kind of speak English with her, which is so confusing.  Let me just say idk why?  But at the end my companion asks me to pray so I say,  oh yeah sure! Well I start saying the prayer and about 2.5 second into praying I realize that I am speaking english! Do you know how bad this is? I have not said a prayer in english for 3 months! So let me just try to demonstrate to the best of my abilities what my prayer sounded like:
"Dear Heavenly Father....(this is when I realize "oh crap I am speaking english right now").. We thank you for this opportunity to be here with Ariana, and we are so grateful We are grateful for Jesus. And we are grateful for...... the... ....Holy ghost.......................... (at this moment I am holding my breath trying the hardest I have ever tried not to laugh.) Then I look at my companion secretly and she has her face covered with her hands trying not to laugh too. Then all of a sudden all three of us burst out laughing. It was so funny. So I made my companion pray because there was no way I could stop laughing. 
So she starts praying and then out of no where we are all laughing AGAIN. We took a few minutes to breath and finally on the third try we could complete a prayer. 

Yesterday was Sunday and guess what that means... CHURCH.. and guess what else that means.. We had to speak in Sacrament Meeting! I was so freaking scared but I did it. WHOO. My heart was basically beating right out of my chest. I talked about missionary work and having faith hope charity and love. It went pretty well! And Blanca and Alex came to church (ps his name is actually alex not manuel. srry) anyways, i like to think they came for themselves, but it might have been just to hear me speak. Either way they are one step closer to salvation!!
That night they took us to eat with them at one of their friend's houses. We were all excited, yay free food! We basically drove out to Mexico and ate the most real Mexican food I have ever eaten. It was awesome. 
Blanca and Alex are seriously so awesome. i really think they are getting closer to baptism. The only problem is that they are not married and for some reason they don't want to get married!! So that is our only obstacle with them. But hopefully we can work through that real fast! I love them!

So yeah, things are going pretty dang good here! Me and Sister Thomas have SO much fun, I love it. We are half way through this transfer already! I am so scared because I do not want to leave all the people here! But i have this really bad feeling that I will be leaving next transfer..
But this transfer we have been trying specifically to be EXACTLY obedient. It's really not too hard, but so far we have seen so many miracles and so many blessing already. I know that the Lord really does help us and bless us when we keep the commandments and try our best! This church is true!!

les amo mucho!!
Hermana Johnson 

Monday, July 14, 2014

07.14.2014 Email

Okay hi. So I have been thinking for like the past 10 minutes what to even write in this email about the past week. I was trying to think of a word to summarize the whole week and the only word that comes to my head is WEIRD. 

Before I say anything else I just want to know one thing. WHO SAID THAT ARIZONA WAS NOT HUMID??Liars! Arizona is so humid what the heck. So do not expect to come to Arizona over the summer and have it be dry heat. It is humid. Okay and second of all, in case you are wondering about our house? Yes, it still looks like a hurricane happened. And it will continue to look that way until about the 20th of July. GREAT. I am going carazy. Gotta love bed bugs!

Also, EVERYONE in the state of Arizona thinks that me and Hermana Thomas are twins. Seriously at LEAST once a day someone will say something about us being twins or sisters. So funny!
The other day we were waiting in a gas station to get a ride to dinner and this random guy comes running up to us and points at me and he's like "you are the older one!" and I'm all confused and my companions like "nope that's me." Then he says  "ugh darn it, I always guess right which twin is older!" then just runs away.. this is kind of thing happens on a daily basis. Even from our zone leader and mission president!!
Okay anyways, so Monday nothing happened.

Tuesday: We were riding our bikes to the church and we were riding in the middle of the road because it was not a busy road and then out of nowhere my companion just fell off her bike. hahahah it was so funny. I know I am a horrible companion but i for reals have a problem with not laughing when stuff like that happens! But we got it all figured out and she is totally fine. We went to visit Blanca and Manuel and they of course are great and they of course still love us. Every time we go over to their house we always leave with a bag of either food or chocolate. It's awesome. 

Wednesday: We had a lesson with this girl named Sarai. She is so awesome! She is pretty young and she has two kids and lives with her boyfriend. She loves it when we come over but the only problem is that she is not very good at keeping commitments.. so it is hard to get her to read and pray and come to church. But she is so nice! So hopefully she will have a change of heart!
That night we went to this donut shop that we go to a lot. THEIR DONUTS ARE SO GOOD. Okay anyways it was pretty late, but we mainly only went to use the restroom. There was this lady that was working and she was kind of a little bit weird.. but super nice! So when Hermana Thomas was in the bathroom I was just talking to her and she isn't Mormon so she was kind of asking questions about missionaries and stuff. Then Hermana Thomas comes out and I turned to her and was trying to secretly ask her if she was going to buy a donut, but my back was turned to the lady so she couldn't see me and I was kind of doing this weird hand gesture game to talk to my companion hahah. anyways. So we leave and go home. THEN flash forward to a couple nights later, Sisters Arellano and Reynor come home one night and are completely DYING. So they tell us how they went to the donut place and the lady there was talking to them and she tells them, "Yeah, these other two blonde missionaries came in the other day. One is new and from Utah and the other one.. I think she is special and speaks sign language.." HAHAHAH oh my gosh. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my entire life. Now Hermana Thomas won't let us go back to that place ever again. That's so sad.

Thursday: We went to a new missionary meeting with all the missionaries that have gotten here in the last 12 weeks. It was actually really really cool. My mission president is so cool. We played this jeopardy game about missionary work and stuff. When it was my turn I chose one and I had to go up in front of EVERYONE and demonstrate how to introduce the Book of Mormon to someone! I think Heavenly Father is teaching me a lesson because I always complain to my companion about doing role plays. Never again! That night we were riding our bikes home and I was coming across this opening thing to a parking lot and out of nowhere this car comes speeding in (and i know I exaggerate a lot but i swear this is for reals) and they did not see me or even start braking until they were like 5 feet away from me! Scary right?? My front wheel was literally touching their car! My companion had a heart attack and basically already had the cops on the phone because she thought I was dying. BUT I am alive and all is well. :)

Friday: We had a lesson with a less active named Irma and her boyfriend Roberto. They are both really really nice and I think they are going to start coming back to church. We had one of our members, Hermano Villa, come with us. He is probably my favorite member, he is a convert and he is so awesome! But, we get to the lesson and we are just talking with them and being friendly then all of a sudden Hermano Villa just starts testifying of the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ and completely starts taking over the lesson.  Aahaha he talked for like 15 minutes straight. Finally Hermana Thomas tries to like bring it back but THEN he decided to call them to repentance of all their sins. We were really scared, but they seemed to handle it well.

Saturday: There were two baptisms in our ward! WHOO. neither of them were ours so we weren't supposed to go, but my companion last minute had to talk on the holy ghost so we got to go! Later that day we were biking to a lesson with a couple of our investigators and then we realized that they are not in our area... we have been teaching them for over a month and we just now realized this. So we lost two investigators this week! But, when we were teaching them we showed them this video called "Because of Him" If you haven't seen it, you should it is so awesome. We show it all the time to our investigators. Anyways, long story short we have to tell people to read the words on the screen or else they will completely miss the point of the movie and we will get random responses. Well, we forget to tell them to read the words, but we're thinking it would be okay, they probably will get it anyways. So after,  we ask the guy what stood out to him about this video, (keep in mind that this is about Christ and having the chance to change) And he sits there then goes "umm, well... I liked how they showed someone going to the moon... because like it's true, we did go to the moon.." Then there was like this awkward 5 seconds as my companion just stares at him. Then he adds, "and Jesus.."    DUH!!! YES THAT IS WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT. CHRIST! !  Oh My!

Sunday: MANUEL CAME TO CHURCH!!! he came by himself.. which was sad that Blanca didn't come with, but hey at least he came!! We were so surprised when we saw him.Then we invited them to come to a baptism that night and they both came to that! It was such great day. I think Manuel is remembering how awesome church is. He said it was his first time in 14 years that he put on a tie! They are totally golden.

07.07.2014 Pictures

Wait? Seatbelts?

Matching Superman shirts. We are so cool.

This is Squeaky(notice the Book of Mormon in his cart) he came to church on Sunday.

Awesome pic of the HABOOB

BOBA shakes are the best!

07.07.2014 Email

How is goin familia?? Sorry I got supes lazy with the subject this week. Plus I'm in a hurry okay? So this week was so awesome! I am going to be typing like crazy fast in order to get everything that happened this week! So don't hate on my spelling.

First thing first.  BED BUGS!!. Who even knew bed bugs were still a thing right? Well let me tell you. THEY ARE. They are real living creatures that will eat you alive, that live in your beds, that are scary and will haunt you at night. It's a true story. We got bed bugs this week and it was terrible! We had to put literally everything we own in garbage bags and move all of our furniture to the middle of the room so people could come spray. But wait that is not even the worst part. We have to put everything capable of going in the drier, in the drier because that is what kills bed bugs, THEN we still have to keep all of our stuff in garbage bags for about another two weeks apparently until dogs can come smell our house! There are so many bags and stuff everywhere because we have nothing to do with them!! You can definitely say I have increased anxiety every time we go home. I have never wanted to clean so bad! 

On a cool note. There was a freaking haboob this week guys. idk if i spelled that right but thats how it sounds so thats all that's important. A HABOOB!! Me and my companion were so excited because neither of us have ever experienced one before. YAY. The only problem was that we had a meeting to get to that night so we had two choices. We could either stay home and watch the storm from inside our messy cluttery house OR we could conquer the storm and make it to our meeting. Well of course we are going to choose to conquer the storm. It looked so cool in the sky so we are stopping to take pictures and everything, then we'd stop and admire how cool the sky is or how close it was getting to us every two seconds. Okay well we didn't realize that the storm could totally conquer US. So half way to our meeting we had to stop and hide out inside a CVS store for like an hour waiting for a ride. It was so cool though! I have never seen so much dirt in my life and I have never tasted or smelled so much dirt either! (pictures included).

So I just wanted to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH to Julie and Karlie for sending me an awesome 4th of July package!! I was so confused why I had this huge package waiting for me. Then when we opened it we were like WHAT!?! It was an awesome 4th of July! so thanks! We decorated our apartment with all these cute 4th of July stuff and we had a little miniature party that night. We were constrained to our apartment at 5 o'clock that night. So you can say we partayyed all night long. (missionary style obvs.) (and only until 10:30).

Okay this week I have had two very, VERY scary encounters with spiders. First, IN MY BED. right? Like bed bugs aren't enough! I was making my bed in the morning and when I pulled my covers up there was this little spider running across! gross! I probably slept with it all night. and just think if I would not have made my bed that morning. I will always make my bed in the morning from now on!

Second, We were getting in the car to go somewhere and as I got in the back seat I was leaning down to pick something up of the ground and I see this little white thing hangin in front of my face. I kind of thought that maybe it was just fuz or something so I kind of looked at it while it was still 2.5 centimeters away from my face. THEN i realized it was a spider dangling in front of my face! Okay not kidding, I have absolutely no idea how I jumped over my companion on the other side of the car, but i did. I guess what they say is true. I do have ninja reflexes. 

 Most of the time when we are eating at members houses I don't really know what is going on with the conversation, but I have really mastered the smile and nod thing. The other day we were eating and the members asked if any of us wanted more beans. But i don't know the word for beans so I didn't know what they were asking! My companion says, (in spanish) "Oh my companion loves beans! She wants some more!" Then they turn to me and say,  ya? So I look at my companion and shes nodding so I say,  "si?" then they come back with this HUGE bowl of beans. i was so mad. It was a really sad night.

Funny story number 2: Awhile ago when I was like very first new, we would see if we could help people in anyway and my companion started telling people that I love cleaning bathrooms and that I'm really good at it. But i didn't know that's what she was saying! So of course I agree with her. Then i realized what was happening and it was really funny. But now everyone in my district says that, so now I'm known as the missionary that loves cleaning bathrooms!  My mom taught me well!!
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06.30.2014 Email

WOW. This week is transfers whoo! Okay it's really not that exciting. Everyone is basically staying the same in our zone. But it's good because our zone is awesome. 

But funny story, last night we stayed up until like 12 o'clock waiting for our zone leaders to call us AND THEY FORGOT. We are really tired today.

Last monday we went to this place called Guadalupe. It was really cool! There's a bunch of little Mexican stores with all this cool stuff, my companion got a pink mexican dress she calls her Mumu. She wears it all the time its awesome. Also our whole zone went bowling on Pday, it was so fun! i forgot how good I am at bowling.. ;) jk!  But I actually won both times, I'm pretty sure.

Anyways, this week was a really interesting weeks with contacts. VERY interesting. All i'm gonna say is there are some weird people here in Arizona guys!

We ride our bikes everywhere and i honestly have so much fun! Like thinking about how hot it is and riding bikes just sounds horrible. But I actually love it! By the time we get home every night we are both so dead. Sleeping has seriously never felt so awesome before! So on saturday my companion got a flat tire on her bike. Luckily we were at a church building, except it was locked! So we had to sit outside and wait for  three hours for someone to come and help us! It was a big bummer. We missed two of our lessons! But I got to work on my tan, so that's good.

Well, we aren't really going by to see Jesus as much anymore because he hasn't been keeping any of his commitments. It is really frustrating! I think this week will be better though, we are going to try really hard to find some new investigators! We are still seeing Blanca and a few other people, and they are doing great! 

Spanish is going pretty good as well. We are doing this thing in our apartment with the two other sisters where we can't speak any English inside. It is so hard! and if we do speak English, we have to pay 25 cents. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but for reals. I am losing all my money!! 

Now today with all the money we are going to go buy brownies or something amazing, probs brownies.  

But it actually is helping a lot! I can actually speak some  words other than just gospel stuff! I also learned that for my entire mission so far whenever I have been meaning to say "authority" in Spanish I say "auditorium".. and my companion just now remembered to tell me this! 

06.23.2014 Email

Como estannn familia? espero que esten muy, MUY bien!!!
Arizona is doing so awesome right now. I am dying because of the heat... sometimes a little worried of maybe getting a heat stroke but it's okay because I haven't gotten one yet! But for reals, please someone remind me why i was so excited to come to 115 degree weather. WHY? no se. 

This was a really sad week because we lost our car! We have been riding around on our bikes all the days and it is horrible and amazing at the same time. On one hand it is so hard because it is hot and I am all sweaty and gross and i have basically given up any hope of what my hair and face look like. But on the OTHER hand, I am getting super tan and might end up coming home Mexican. 

Not that much different has happened this week than last week though! We are still having a hard time getting any of our investigators to start progressing. We spend almost all day sometimes just trying to track our investigators down!! They must know we're coming and all go on vacation for a couple days, AT THE SAME TIME. Super frustrating. Blanca and Manuel are still super good though. We helped Blanca this week finish cleaning up their yard and getting ready for their sons birthday party. I love being over at their house! Blanca is so cute and so nice and their whole family is super awesome! Their kids are like for real, CRAZY. But really cute so it's okay. We're hoping we will be able to take them to the visitors center this week and talk about eternal families, hopefully they will realize the importance of being married in the temple! 

So I know every week I have like this crazy story about cops and stuff. But I SWEAR it's true! Crazy stuff happens to us all the time! So this week our district leader told us of these "really awesome apartments" that are "really PACKED with Spanish work" that we should go to. So we were thinking yay, awesome we'll go! So we go. Okay turns out there is like absolutely no Spanish work at all there. Every single door we knocked spoke english. So we're like awesome, thanks Elder! Then we knock on this one door and this lady opens it like super fast and we're like hi we're missionaries from the church, etc. then she's says, sorry this is a model home and I'm in the middle of a tour right now. (super awkward and also she was super rude) so we go to the next door and were about to knock but then the lady comes out and shuts the door and she starts yelling at us! Guys i am not kidding you like she was so freaking mad and I don't know why, like we are just trying to share the love ya know? But long story short she told us we better get out or she will call the cops on us and they will arrest us! Like are you serious woman, the cops are not going to arrest two 20 year old mormon missionaries for knocking doors! Anyways, thats my cop story this week. I know it's really not that exciting because no one actually did get arrest and there was no drugs and no one died. (BUT i was thinking, that would be really cool to get arrested on your mission right? Especially if all you were doing was knocking on doors) 

Anyways, this week we had Zone Conference! It was really good! I loved it all. My mission president is seriously the sickest mission president ever guys. I'm sorry but if you're on a mission and you think your mission president is the best ever, i hate to tell you but you are wrong! Our president is totally going to be a prophet someday, I'm just telling you now! So the work is definitely hastening right now. It's crazy how fast the church is growing and how many missionaries there are! Guess what, they are running out of room in the MTC's, so they are starting this new test thing with a few missions (ours being one of them) where they have a mentor come and teach you IN YOUR HOUSE everything you need to know before you leave for your mission. crazy huh? (and actually idk if I'm supposed to say that so... you didn't hear that from me.) But really, This work is so awesome, there are so many people coming on missions, there are so many ways to hear about and learn about our church, and there are so many people getting baptized! This is definitely the work of God. I am so glad that I am able to be a missionary right now! I know this church is true! and I am so glad to be sharing it with people here in Arizona!!