Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week 3, Jan 25 2011

Hello People!  I hope all is well!  First off, thanks for all the many letters and dearelders!  I feel like Elder Van Pelt from the Best Two Years whenever our district leader brings the mail.  So many of them are for me! haha You might not think it is a big deal (i didn't even think it was) but mail is such a big deal here! So thanks. 
So Rosemary, why did i never know you went to cambodia among other places???? That would be something I would've liked to have heard about before I left ha but oh well.  Sounds like a sweet experience.  I am already planning with another Elder for a trip to Cambodia after our missions.  Wanna join? 
Ok so when i heard that the new MTC pres was a mission president in Chicago, i immediately wondered if Kevin knew him and i guess i was right.  I tried to go talk to him but he was busy.  Don't worry mom, i have like 9 more weeks to meet him.  Oh just so you know, i did receive the candy and it was a ton so i'm still good but you could send more next week or something.  I'm glad to hear brock is healing fast.  but that is what i expected cuz he is a champ.  Tell Sims and Ler that they are both studs and that i wish i could see them ballin it up. To answer your question about the temple, yes we go every P-day after i write this email.  It is such a blessing to have it so close and have the opportunity to go once a week.  It made me so happy that Stacy was able to step in for me in answering Brock's movie quote.  No one gets my movie quotes here....
Alright now to the more spiritual matters.  This week was really good.  Elder Gong from the 70 came and spoke and  same with his wife.  His wife shared the history behind the song As Sisters In Zion and it was way cool.  You should look it up.  That song has a new meaning now.  I was also able to watch a talk by Elder Holland from a few years ago at the MTC called miracle of a mission.  Once again, i was blown away by the power and spirit in his talk.  He told us that life is hard.  The reason being, no one ever said it would be easy.  Salvation is not a cheap experience.  When talking about missions, he said that yes they are hard. "If you didn't expect that, welcome to the life of Christ who knew a little bit about cups not wanting to take or paths not neccesarily wanting to take."  So how dare we ask not to partake in just a small amount of the trials/suffering that He took upon Himself.  I learned that any price to pay is a priveledge to pay to say that I stand along side God and Jesus Christ.  I hope you all feel the same.  Yes life will be hard.  The Lord knows that and He will strengthen us and help us if we turn to him. 
As far as the language goes, it goes on.  Me and Elder T are a bit a head of our companions.  The lord has helped me out alot with the language.  Just yesterday the teachers started to only write in script so it takes a little time but i can read it and for the most part understand.  I have also given two spiritual thoughts reading out of the Script(cambodian) Book of Mormon and then explaining/testifying in all Khmae.  My companions and I have also set a goal to try to communicate as much as possible in Khmae.  it amazes me how much i can say if I actually think about it and try. 
Every saturday we go to the TRC and teach an "investigator". we teach in English for now.  We were teaching the 1st lesson and we got to Christ's life and usually you don't go into the atonement much there but we felt impressed to stop and discuss it further.  We told her the blessings that come from the atonement and asked her why it was good for her and she just started bawling.  The spirit was so strong.  If that kind of stuff happens in just role playing, i can't even imagine how it is going to be in real life.  It was an awesome experience. 
Oh so today me and Elder G went with Elder D to the hospital for his check-up for the 2nd time.  Yes, we went into the outside world!  it was sweet!  We passed the marriot center and saw a huge line of people waiting to get tickets to the game... I wanted to go ha.  But while in the outside world it was so cool because people would say "HI Elders" or "hey look its the missionaries" and i would be thinking -hey, thats me! Haha i don't know why but i thought it was cool.  Its funny cuz me and Elder T. say "hey look its the missionaries" all the time to other elders just for fun ha. 
Alright my time is up, unfortunately.  I hope this is long enough Mom :)
I love you all.  Have a great week!
P.S. can you send pics of family, friends, and me and what not cuz my comps want to see them.  Thanks!


     Elder Brady Johnson

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week 2, Jan 18 2011

Hello people!!!!
Just to start out, if you want to email me here at the MTC, don't.... send me a letter because with emails i dont have much time to read and also write.  So try to send them before tuesday, that way i can respond in my next email.  Sorry to hear about Brock's ankle but it happened for a reason because everything happens for a reason.  Remember that.  Blake, thanks the wedding invitation and i told some people that i got dear john'd already haha and for a bit they believed me.  I love the family goals you made but might i  add one for you all?  Make a goal to give at least a couple refferals to the missionaries please!  I wish i would've done it more.  The missionaries are the full time teachers, the members should be the full time finders.  Try to do that.  It really helps out a ton.  Tell Paco and T congrats on the mission calls and also let me know when they are coming to the MTC. 
Elder H. left for Portugal this week and that was sad cuz now I don't see him every day.  But let me tell you, he is such a great missionary already.  I can see it in his countenance and in his speech.  This place really changes people for the better.  I'm so happy for him and it is the best thing ever to see friends becoming such good people. 
So alot of stuff happened within the next 24 hours of last writing you.  One of the Elders left so Elder D., the one who has been here for 13 weeks is now part of my companionship.  And let me tell you it is such a blessing to have him.   Having 3 in a comp has been an answer to prayers.  We all get along so well and have a good time and learn tons from each other.  Also, we got a new MTC presidency and they are pretty sweet.  I'm excited.  In the TRC (Teaching Resource Center), where we practice meeting people in cambodian and set up an appointment to teach them and then 5 mins later teach them, I met the Gooch's grandma. I got to teach her and it was pretty awesome.  People volunteer to come to the TRC to let us teach them even tho most are members.  Me and my comp did very well teaching lesson one, in English of course. 

I've been learning sooooo much from my two teachers and I am loving it.  Bro G. speaks only in Khmae so I haven't learned as much from him but Bro O. when he wants to teach us something important he speaks in English, has made such an impact on me.  The spirit is so strong when he testifies of different things and i Love it!  Some things I've learned from him:  The atonement not only helps us overcome sin but also all of our weaknesses -  that is so cool!  also: If we all saw who God intended for us to become, we would never act the same, we would do all that we could to become that person.  So why don't we try?  Anyways that is just a taste :)
Lastly and my favorite was Elder Jeffrey R. Holland came and spoke to us!  Elder T. and I got to sing in the choir for the devotional and had pretty good seats for his talk.  Not even kidding, that talk changed my life.  Never have I felt the spirit so strong and felt so much power in a talk as I did that night.  It was incredible.  Elder Holland talked to us about becoming better missionaries.  And I want to live up to everything he asked us to do.  He told us that we can because this is the Lord's work and He wants us to be better so He will help us.  Here are a few things that i wrote down:
-The fundamental change that is being changed in missionary work is converting YOU first and then turning to converting the investigator
-We are supposed to "get this" (the gospel) way before we take it to the investigators
-We not only have to be the best missionaries the church has ever seen, but after our missions we have to continue and be the best people the church has ever seen(this one is for everyone.  We have to be the best people the church has ever seen. ALL of us)
-The last thing and my favorite- We have to be better, not because the prophet or apostles say we do, but because the world needs US to be better.
I hope you can kinda feel how important it is that we as missionaries and members need to be better.
I love you all and pray for you every day. 
Just to let you know the language is going good and i am starting to interpret script!  It's coming! 
Gotta go!


     Elder Brady Johnson

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Week at MTC - Jan 11 2011 (0r 1/11/11)

Alright so this is pretty stressful because there is a little clock that is up at the top that is counting down from 30 mins so lets hope i say all that i want to say.
First, thanks for the few letters already.  I'm not gonna lie, it is awesome to get mail :)  So being on a mission is very hard.  Harder than i thought it was gonna be.  The first 4 days were the longest, hardest, and most overwhelming days of my life.  Time went by so slow and i was just not ready for the missionary lifestyle.  Getting up at 6:30am adds so much to your day ha.  So the first days I was having a hard time adjusting but everyone was saying that it is normal and that once Monday comes, the days will speed up.  And they were so right.  I thought monday would never come and now it is Tuesday.  It has been so cool seeing everyone i know up here.  My companion is kinda sick of me running into so many people i know and stopping to talk to them.  I've seen Elders: Hatch (he's gotten kinda chubby but don't tell him I said that haha), Stratford,  Warr,  Clement, McGuire, Almquist, Smith, Peacock,  Hall, and  Gooch.  And also Sister Powell. Seeing these people who have been here for awhile I can really see a change.  The MTC changes people, and for the better.  It is so cool to witness this. 
Speaking of my companion, it is Elder G. from Minnesota.  He is a good guy but we are pretty opposite.  but we get along well and he is very knowledgeable.  In my district we have 5 missonaries plus one that has been here for 12 weeks who missed his flight cuz his lung collapsed.  So he is with us for about 3 weeks. And it is a blessing to have Elder D. cuz he helps us with the language and teaching and where to go.  He and our District leader Elder T. are going to Long Beach Cali speaking cambodian, Me and Elder G. are going to Boston, and then Elder T. and Elder W. are going to Cambodia itself.  I like our district and we all get along really quite well.  Its is good cuz we spend most of the day together.  Side note, I met Elder T. when i went to preference in Richfield and he knows Makenna and what not.  He is my favorite in our district and we get along really well.  We are quite similar I think.  Our Teachers are awesome.  So most of the day we spend our time in our small little classroom and for half of it we are being instructed by our teachers.  Bro G. speaks only in Khmae (Cambodian) almost all of the time, which was really frustrating at first but now i understand most of what he says.  Bro O. speaks to us more in English but alot of his teaching is in Khmae.  They don't waste any time here with the language.  They both return missionaries for about 2 years and they went to Cambodia and Thailand Cambodian speaking.  So they know their stuff and I am so grateful for what I've already learned from them.  
 So the language is pretty crazy.  We can't read the script yet so we have a romanized version (where they put it into letters we can understand but are still weird spelling) to help us learn words and soon translate it into script.  I already know how to pray, bear my testimony, and introduce myself as Elder Johnson from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  So that is pretty impressive if i do say so myself.  It is a miracle actually and i know that it is only through the Lord's help that I've learned so much.  The spirit is really strong here and it is awesome!  Oh ya and in class we can only speak in Khmae (pronounced Kah-my) if we have learned the word already.  Its pretty tough but it teaches us so fast.  I can't wait to get better! 
We have so many talks, lessons, language lessons, and what not that  my brain is full! It is hard for me to think that i can fit anything else in but i will keep moving forward in Faith.  All the talks and lessons are so powerful and inspirational.  I'm kinda glad I'll be in here for the next 3 months.
So in just a week we have already gotten new ZL's, a new branch pres., and soon getting a new MTC pres.  Its crazy.  I really like the new ZL's.  We get along really well and we play basketball in gym everyday together.  Yes Dad, I only play basketball in my gym time. 
Well I Love you all and hope all is going well for you.  I miss you but i know this is where the Lord needs me and I am so ready for the Lord to mold me into the person He needs me to be.
Love, Elder Brady Johnson