Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh man such a long week.  Where to begin? 
So to start out, right after my last email i sent, E sent us a text saying that he needed a break from us and everything and just needed time to think about it.  He wouldn't answer any of our calls or any of the calls from members who had become his friends.  It was sad to have him drop us but i have a feeling he will come back sometime in the short future.  Not having lessons with him opened up our week a ton so we filled alot of our time with tracting and with trying to find all the inactives and less actives.  And that wasn't very fulfilling either.  We drove around from house to house with our list of members and they were either not ever home, they had moved, or they wanted nothing to do with the church.  That was a downer.  But even tho those things were hard and depressing, we also had alot of good happen.  And that good totally dispels the bad. 
We had another few very good lessons with M. She is progressing very well and really opened up when we brought one of the young women's leaders.  She said that she would now feel comfortable at church and would come to mutual!  She also accepted our baptismal date of August 7th!  She has so much potential.  Being a missionary has really opened my eyes to be able to see people how our Heavenly Father sees all of us.  Sometimes its hard to see.  Maybe i just need some glasses for some people.  Also, R and her kids, are coming along quite nicely.  They all came to church and by the end they loved it.  Now V has always loved it and she is the rock in her family, even tho she is 10.  M wouldn't even come out of his room during our last lesson, but his mom dragged him to church and then we met with him again yesterday and he says he absolutely loves Young Mens and wants to get baptized and go to mutual every wednesday.  So cool!  R said she thought church was very nice and now that she sees how much her children love it, she says it makes her feel really good about baptism.  Im so excited for their family.  Hatian people are just so awesome.  Oh and just fyi R has a bit heavier accent and reads much better in french then english so Dad, you should've taught me more french! haha :)
Other big news, Saturday was T-text night and since it was such a big deal, we went with the ZL's down to the park on the beach at night to wait for the texts.  It was sooooo nerve racking!  We all knew that at least one of us would be leaving (because of the big transfer and adding in the Connecticut mission)  But our zone came and went and no changes happened for our apartment!  So we are all staying together!  Im so glad.  I love these Elders that i get to live with.  I hope that you all will get to meet them someday.  So of course, after receiving the good news, we celebrated by the zone leaders taking a break from their diet for the night and we had ice cream and some cake. 
This morning we got up at 4:40am to go to a beach in Nahant(just south of Lynn) with the whole zone.  Apparently it is a tradition for this zone to go on the last p day of each transfer and watch the sun rise.  It was a little cloudy but still was pretty awesome.  I've decided that i really love living close to the ocean.  Then we went to our chapel and played alot of indoor and volleyball.  Good stuff.  I love being a missionary! Just if you didn't know :)
Mom i love that fortune you sent about "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." It is soo right.  I love it.  I think that is my new life motto. "whats a motto?- Idon't know, whats a motto with you?" --Name that movie!   
To answer your question/ statement about Mitt Romney in the election, alot of people know who we are when we say, " have you ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?" "the who???" "the Mormon Church." "oh ya Romney is a mormon right?"  Ya that happens quite a bit.  Brother Romney is actually in our stake i think.. or maybe the the boston stake, but ya some missionaries have been to dinner at his house.  Cool huh?  We also have a member in our ward that works with the Romney Campagn so thats cool.  It drives Elder G. absolutely crazy not knowing what is going on in the Political stuff and what is going on in the world.  Before his mission, he was very up to date and in the know of everything. 
Alright this letter is long enough.... and i can't think of what else to say.  I just wanted to share with you something i learned in personal study this week.  I read 3Nephi 19:3 and It talks about people laboring to be where christ will show himself on the morrow.  And it made me think, Are we "laboring Exceedingly... that we might be... in the place where Jesus should show himself?'  Are we doing everything that we can to prepare and be personally ready so that if Jesus was to come tomorrow, would we be where He will show himself?  Ask yourself that.  It reminds me of Alma 5 which is one of my favorites.  I have written by the Chapter heading- "The Great Personal Interview".  Go back and read that.  Ask yourselves the same questions he asks.  And then start NOW to make sure you are putting yourself in a place where Jesus will show himself. 
I love what i am doing.  Im so grateful to be here serving these people.  I love Christ is my Savior.  He has saved me so many times already.  And he continues to save me.  And it is my priveledge to help others be saved by Him.  This is His work.  I love this gospel.  And i love you!  Have a wonderful 4th of JULY! 
     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thompson's dog BOOMER DIED?! NOOOOOO!  That is so sad.  Long live the memory of his legacy.  Man what a bummer.  Ok sorry about that, i just loved that dog and that was the first thing that came to my head to write.  anywho...
Mom and Dad, you guys are the best!  I love your letters so much. I don't know what I'd do without them.  Thanks for everything and for your great examples!  Happy Father's day Pops!  Im glad you enjoyed the card.
Oh before i forget, transfers are next week so that means i won't be emailing til next wednesday.  Its a HUGE transfer cuz we are taking in Connecticut, Hartford mission and there is gonna be lots of changes.  there is alot of excitement and whatnot going on right now as we prepare for this big event.  should be fun.
I can't believe my beloved cousin YDOC SICNARF RELTUB is in the MTC!  I would love to receive the emails he sends home and if you could get me his address that would be fantastic cuz then i can write him.  I love the family emails.  They were hilarious and i couldn't stop myself from laughing out loud at the public library.  I tend to do that often and people just look at me weird.  Oh well :)  
Mom i loved the insight you shared about When Christ foretold his apostles that one would betray him and that instead of pointing fingers, they looked inwardly and asked, 'is it I?"  I think that is  so awesome.  It reminds me of what ive been reading in 3 Nephi when Christ is giving the sermon on the temple (mount) and he talks about people being hypocrits and seeing the mote in their brother's eye but not seeing the beam in our own eyes.  We definitly have to fix ourselves before we go about trying to help fix others. 
Alright so now to the news of this week.  We finally have a Cambodian Investigator!!!!!  She  is married to a hispanic man so i don't quite know how they communicate just yet but i guess they both speak some english.  We taught them both actually and the lesson went really well.  (our member we brought, fell asleep haha)  They said that they would pray about the BOM and then think about baptism.  Works for me!  She is also really impressed with our Khmae skills so that is a bonus.  The only problem is that she can't read english or Khmae.  Thats a problem with most cambodians actually.... still haven't figured out a solution to that one.
So about M.  We got her to come to church! Church this week was a special broadcast for the Massachusetts area because President Eyring and President Packer came to re-dedicate  the Long Fellow Park chapel that was burnt down two years ago.  It was not the most investigator friendly church but it was still spiritual.  We went over to her house later on sunday and teach her.  There were lots of people over and we were afraid the lesson wouldn't be good cuz of all the noise and what not.  but once we started teaching, the spirit immediately settled in.  There were some members there actually and they sat in and helped us teach.  We taught the plan of salvation and she seemed to be interested enough in what we were saying.  Then we came to the atonement and that really struck a chord.  We talked alot about How Jesus knows us so personally and has felt all the bad,hard,sad, things in our life.  She kinda got choked up.  We then asked her if she wanted access to the atonement and she said yes.  We told her that the way to do that is through baptism.  We then committed her to baptism.  Then one of the members who is kinda like a second mom to M. just testified so powerfully about her conversion and how everyone in this room and at church loves her and prays for her and cares about her.  We are a family and we will always be there for one another.  M was really touched by the spirit.  the member got up and just hugged her for a very long time and it was jsut so spiritual.  We decided we should just get out of there while the spirit's presence was so strong.  We told her we would set the date next time and we had her grandma, Sister S said the closing prayer in cambodian and she started to cry a bit.  I love teaching M.  I love being able to help her find God and see how much it really is impacting her.  I think alot of us forget or don't realize how lucky we are to have the knowledge that we are children of God.  He is our Heavenly Father and He loves us sooooo much.  WE are so blessed.  I hope you know that.  Don't ever forget it.
We met with R's sister and her kids.  They came to the baptism a few weeks ago and said that we could come over and teach them.  We did so and taught the restoration and it went well. We committed them to baptism and they agreed for the 24th of July.  Its very exciting but i think it will be a lot harder road for them than it was for R and her family but just pray for them.
E is still doing well.  We only have a few lessons left with him and he is pretty solid with the commandments. He really just loves our church and feels a real belonging.  Once again, we are so lucky to belong to this marvelous church.  We often take these things for granted.  but i implore you all to just sit down and think about all the amazing blessings you have as members of the Lord's true church.
Mom yes i would still love to get the letters from Adam, Casey, Daniel, Paco, Kolby, Nick and Trev and whoever you can find.  I love reading those.  Oh and Cody's too.  Thanks for being so awesome mom!  I have the greatest family and i love you all so much!  Keep being so amazing and keep inviting people to the gospel.  as it says in Preach My Gospel, Success as a missionary comes in INVITING!  I encourage all of you to study from PMG daily and become aware of what is in it.  I promise that it will help you in your calling as member missionaries. 
OH and mom, if you are cooking, Peanut butter bars sound real good right about now ;) haha you are the best!  Love you!

     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

Things are going pretty good here in Lynn.  R and her daughters got confirmed yesterday and we had two really solid lessons with E this week and with members present each time. Plus some members took him to Fathers and Sons last weekend and we didn't even know. GO Ward members! That was huge!  He is really fitting into this ward.  His baptism is now set for July 3rd and he seems set on that.  This upcoming week we should be meeting with investigators with alot of potential and we are hoping they will become progressing investigators. 
Ok so you know how i've talked about Sister S? she is the sweet cambodian lady that feeds us every friday and goes to the temple every saturday and goes to church every sunday and has been for pretty much 20yrs and has only missed doing that a few times.  Her grandchildren come to church with her tho all except one. This one has never opened up to the missionaries or even said more than two words to all the missionaries but Elder G has been working hard to get here to sit and eat with us or talk to us or anything.  Finally we broke through!  She agreed to let us teach her the first lesson about God and the restoration.  The lesson went very very well and she even said she started to read the BOM and that she will continue to.  But she said she didn't really want to pray.  E. G asked her: 'how come?" She told us her personal reasons and  Elder G and i were at a loss of words so i said a quick prayer in my heart and still my mind was blank but i just opened my mouth and started talking anyways.  I finally can say that i know what it means that if we open our mouths, it will be given to you what you need to say.  I promised her that she would get an answer.  I told her that her Father was up there just waiting to hear her voice.  Longing to hear it.  All she needed to do was just talk to Him.  The spirit was so powerful in the room.  The tears were just flowing down her cheeks.  I asked her if she thinks she could just talk to Him, her Father and she nodded.  I know she was feeling the spirit.  She did not pray right then for us but i know that we made alot of progress with her that night.  It was such a sweet and amazing experience. 
Saturday we met with H and D and their family. I don't know if ive mentioned them before but, They are vietnamese that grew up in cambodia that speak cambodian and english and a little vietnamese.  We taught them one lesson and found out half of the family are members already and like the church, they just stopped going cuz they were too busy.  So they really love us.  They refer to us as, "Church".  Like: "hey, church is here.  Go get mom." or something like that.  They invited us to play volleyball and have a bbq.  So we did and it was way fun.  Elder G sat and talked with some of them while I played sand volleyball.  They were very good but i held my own.  plus i was taller than most of them haha.  They are an awesome family with tons of family members/ connections with others so if we can just find a way to activate the members and baptize the non members, we could have a whole branch right there haha. So wish us luck in figuring out how to do that. 
hmmm lets see what else....
O my gosh i can't believe i almost forgot CRAZY BILL!  Pretty much it is a super long and funny and weird and crazy story but here is the basics.  We are walking, stop and help a women carry groceries from her car to her apartment and a guy with a beard, long hair that is uneven, no shirt, bare feet and some worn down cargo pants pokes his head out of a door and says, "Are you the Mormons?!  This is from God! Please come in!" Me and E.G look at each other and think, hmm this is good.  We go in, and he tells us how he has been praying to come in contact with us.  We think, this seems like a good sign.  but then he just starts talking and talking and talking. His story includes is that he is a "designated witness" because he has heard prophecies when he was 12 about a whole bunch of things like a tornado, something about a white horse, the oj simpson trial, a cross being struck down by lightning and a whole bunch of other stuff that happened  within the last 20 years or so.  It was so hard not to laugh! At first i started to but then he told me that smiling was "distracting him from his story" haha so i fought the rest of the time with holding a serious face.  My favorite quote from him was when he said something and then leaned towards me and said, "You know what i mean, jelly bean?" haha i lost it right there for a few seconds haha.  I now say that all the time :)  We finally got out of there.  So ya great missionary experience, right?! ha Too bad we have a potential investigator that lives in the same appartment building as him.  Im pretty sure I'll have more stories about him. 
Ok that is enough.  Gotta go play dodgeball at the Cambridge stake center.  Cambridge North (my zone) vs Cambridge South.  Game on! 
Oh and i love you guys and love the letters from everyone!  Thanks a bunch!  Have a wonderful week!

     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

So here's how my week went.  I went on tours (switched companions with the district leader) and went to Lynnfield.  The district leader is Elder N and he is way cool.  He has some crazy experiences and an awesome testimony.  I really learned alot from him and we became close friends in that 24 hr tour.  It was funny cuz we went running in the morning and it just so happened that i was wearing my byu shirt and he was wearing his Utah Utes shirt.  If we were running together in Utah people would think the world was ending or something haha.  He is very bold with people and it is so awesome.  I hope i can be like him.  I feel like i am surrounded by so many good examples here in this area.  I love it. I love learning ways i can become better and then striving to do so.  Good stuff.  Healthy too :)
So While i was in Lynnfield Elder G and Elder M were having tons of success and got lots of potential investigators and one solid new investigator.  Also when i came back me and E. G went to teach this Vietnamese couple that grew up in cambodia and speak cambodian and english.... anyways we taught the first lesson and it was really good.  (we spoke in english and a bit of Khmae).  Then i extended a baptismal commitment and the wife thought for a second then said, Oh i was baptized already.  So we were thinking she was baptized into another church but then she says she was baptized in our church and even told us where it was and it was indeed our church.  So apparently she's already a member.  Haha we run into that way too often.  Her husband is not and they are not active so we will continue to work with them. 
Great news!  R and two daughters got baptized yesterday!  it was very exciting and alot of work to get everything to go smoothly.  Bro B., a ward missionary did the baptizing and it went really well.  The program was awesome and things just worked.  IT was pretty sweet.  They said afterwards that they felt good and clean.  A. said she never wants to sin again! R's youngest daughter couldn't get baptized cuz she is only 6.  She was so sad and said she wasn't gonna leave the church buildiing until she was baptized haha.  So cute!  Im way excited for their family.  They are going to make a great adition to our ward.  Lots of ward members were there to support so that was good.  R's sister was there which was really cool.  She also had along with her, her son and her daughter V. who has been at all the lessons with us and wanted to get baptized but her mom wouldn't allow it.  But now her mom said that we could come to their house and teach V. and her and her son and hopefully they will all get baptized!!!!!!!! that would be so sweet! 
E. has blown us off a bit this week and didn't come to church or the baptism.  He texts us often and says he is still reading the BOM and loves it.  The only problem is getting to meet with him.  so i think we will have to move his baptismal date from june 19th to june 26th or so.  We'll see. 
So i have learned alot about patience and about not making a big deal out of little things and just not getting upset at all.  Its a very hard thing to do and i am continually working on it but it is getting easier and i tend to be in a better mood alot more.  I love what Pahoran says to Captain Moroni in response to Moroni's harsh epistle.  Pahoran forgives him immediately and says "It mattereth not, I am not angry" (Alma 61:9)  So that is what i want to be able to say.  Don't sweat the petty.  Don't make a big deal over something small.
Here is something from the Clayton Christiansen lessons i told you to look up last week.-- Often times when we think of missionary work we make a big list of who would be the best mormon or the most likely to be a mormon and accept the lessons from the missionaries.  But in Matthew 7:1 it says "judge not that ye be not judged."  We cannot tell who will or will not be interested in the gospel.  More often than not it is the people you least expect that will get baptized.  So something that helps us do member missionary work is to not pray for a specific person you can teach and invite to have the missionaries teach, but Pray for a specific date by which you can have a missionary experience and have someone into your homes with the missionaries.And then go out and start inviting.  I promise that if you make an honest effort to open your mouths and start INVITING after setting that date with the Lord, You will have success!  That is a challenge for you all.  So whoever wants to take that challenge please do.  And WHEN, not if, but WHEN, your success happens write me a letter telling about it :)
Thankyou for everything that you all do for me.  I can feel your prayers.  I love you all!  Oh I got my license and all the wonderful letters you have sent recently and im so grateful!  Thanks a bunch.  I will start being the designated driver probably today... hopefully!  Ma get better! I love you! 

     Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Mom you should have snail mailed those notes to me from the family cuz it took 30mins to read.  But it was awesome! I LOVE OUR FAMILY!  I really am part of the very best family in the whole wide world!   Thanks so much for your letters.  I was cracking up out loud in a public library but i didn't care!  You guys are the best! 
First off sorry im writing on Wednesday.  Monday was a holiday, which by the way we did a big service project at the church with our ward and the spanish ward and then after, played indoor soccer. It was me and the 4 spanish speaking elders vs the spanish members and we actually tied them 10-10 in an hour.  It was crazy and way fun. and then Tuesday was too buzy to fit emails into our schedule.  But here goes today. 
I don't know where to begin.... um so we do service at this community soup kitchen type thingy.  We help prepare lunch and then serve it to the homeless or needy.  It is really interesting to see how some people come in there and are super humble because of their circumstances and are so grateful.  Then there are others that have nothing and yet have so much pride and say terrible stuff about the food or the service we provide.  Its just sad.  
Oh guess what? One day, i think last wednesday, we dug two holes... and that is what we did all day haha.  We were helping some members and we had to dig two four foot holes.  Sounds easy but we were diging through rocks the whole time.  Anyways it was tiring but we did it :)
So this week we found some good Khmae streets to track and we talked to alot of cambodians.  It was way fun and i found out that i can speak cambodian!  Ya go figure.  I had some good conversations with people and actually understood what they were saying back to me.  Sometimes i don't know the vocab for stuff but i get the main idea.  And for some reason the people in Lynn are actually impressed that two white kids can speak and read cambodian.  One lady we talked to for like 30mins was asking us if we wanted to marry a cambodian girl haha then she asked us if we would marry her daughter!!!!! hahaha it was awesome... and awkward ha.  Cambodians are very blunt about things.  They tend not to beat around the bush.  I love it.  But still no investigators on the khmae side.
English however is going good.  R and her fam were supposed to get baptized this week but wanted one more week to feel more ready.  So they are getting baptized on june 5th.  Pray that all will go well.  E. is this guy that i mentioned before and he is progressing like crazy!  He loves church, he loves everything we say.  After we get done teaching a principle he just accepts it and says "Amen! that is great stuff."  He came to church on sunday and just went around introducing himself to EVERYONE.  He knows more people in the ward than i do already!  He is so solid.  it is so fun teaching him. and the members love him too.
We had a very inspiring zone meeting where we talked alot about how to work with members and what we needed to do now.  We got a plan and now it is up to each companionship to go forth and follow through with it. Im way excited.  One of the main points is teaching the members the lessons by Clayton Christensen on member missionary work.  I encourage all of you to go online, look it up, read it, and then follow what you learn.  It is so awesome.  I wish i would've known about it before my mission so i couldve been a better member missionary.  Good stuff. Please read it :)
So pretty much i realized one of my favorite parts of serving a mission so far and that is meeting so many new people and learning about them, hearing their stories, and helping them become better members or better people in general.  I love people!  haha I wish all of you could meet some of the people i have met out here.  Some are really cool, some very intelligent, some interesting, some way crazy, and some just hilarious.  It is so great out here!
So last time i talked about needing food because according to the norm, missionaries don't get fed much here.  Well i took care of that and got us tons of dinner appointments for the next two weeks.  So problem gone.  But wait, like always, another one arrives.  Elder D. and Elder T. have decided to go on a diet because they go home in 6 months and want to look good ha.  So seeing as we buy food together we are buying a bunch of low fat stuff and just not alot of food.  I guess its good cuz we eat really healthy now and exercise a ton.  Anyways don't worry about me.
Speaking of Elder D , He is my hero.  I know without a doubt one reason why i was transferred to Lynn, and that was to meet him.  I've learned so much from him already and he has helped me alot.  He is a great leader and very inspiring.  Plus he makes me exercise a ton (more than i want to but its ok cuz im getting strong and stuff haha) and eat healthy.  Pretty much he is a really cool guy and an awesome missionary.  All 4 of us are just way tight now and we have some good times. ha
Ok i think thats all. I love you all so much!  This work is so fun and so amazing.  Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world.  He did all that he did for us because he loves us.  Look to Him.  Have a wonderful week!

     Elder Brady Johnson