Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011

Here goes another round of my completely random letters.  Im just gonna write stuff as i think about it.  Hope you all can follow along :)
Im sorry Brock's soccer team got worked this weekend, but the thing with soccer is its gotta be the whole team or you got nothing.  Just like in a companionship on a mission. You have to be unified and both at the top of your game if you want to have the spirit with you and have success. And to Sawyer, aka little Lii, i hear you dominated in soccer!  Way to go bro!  Keep it up and make sure you beat up Chunn every once in awhile to keep him humble :) Its good to hear that coach Hunt is still coaching!  Someone that good at coaching needs to keep coaching.  Tell Coach Hunt thanks again for everything!- the opportunity to play soccer and the amazing example from him. 
Dad, the cambodian hymn book only has about 50 songs or so and i don't think any of them are pioneer songs so no i don't know how to sing them.  I do know how to sing other ones tho.  I wrote my own translation of Nearer My God to Thee cuz its one of my favorites and it isn't in our hymn book.
Mom, i'd encourage you to read the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf called Things That Matter Most from october 2010 conference i think.  Your life only fills up and makes you feel caught up with everything if you let it.  Hakuna Matata mom, it means no worries :)  As my good friend Chad Call used to say, Don't sweat the petty, Pet the sweaty! don't ask me what it means cuz i don't know :) haha. It really is easy to let yourself get all worked up and stressed and what not, even as a missionary. But just take a step back and think.  I have learned to do this alot and the lord has blessed me with patience and understanding. 
Speaking of patience, Chapter 6 in preach my gospel is on the Christ-like attributes.  I encourage you all to study from that chapter and especially use it in your family home evenings.  I promise you that as you study these attributes you will begin to have them and you will notice the change in yourselves.
So as you all probably know, this last week was a scorcher here in the east.  Talk about hot!  I felt right at home.  The best part was, We had no appointments from 2-6pm on friday and saturday so guess what we did during the hottest part of the day on the hottest days of the year? Yup, TRACTING!  Elder B (from cambodia) was on tours with me those days so we went tracting in the heat and sweated alot and knocked alot of doors and had a little of success.  But you know what? i didn't complain at all. I was loving it.  It definitely helps when you have a hilarious companion with the best attitude i've ever seen.  I learned alot from him about attitude and i hope i can become like him.  At one point we got rejected and i said "Ah man."  Then i asked Elder B, "how do you say dang or ah man, or something to express disappointment, in cambodian?" and he said something back that was so profound, " i don't know.... I don't really use any of those words cuz i don't ever feel that way."  me: "really, why not?"  Elder B: " well cuz i've already felt disappointed/discouraged/mad once before and its not a good feeling-i don't like it.  So why would i let myself feel that way again?"  How awesome of an attitude is that????!!!! Man the people i learn from here on my mission are just incredible.  I have so many good examples here to learn from just as i had when i was home.  I am so blessed.  My goal is to become like Elder B! and im gonna reach it!
So really cool thing happened this week. We taught a native guy from Liberia...i think, and had the most perfect first lesson ever!  Did i mention he was blind?!  Ya get this, we are talking about Joseph Smith's vision and we ask, "so what do you think about all this?" He said, " well in the bible it says that You can know a prophet by their fruits, So what are the fruits of Joseph Smith?"  We told him about the BOM and he told us that he wants the copy of the BOM in Braille!  Good thing we have one at our church.  Just FYI the braille BOM is 7 or so Huge binders!  And he can't wait to read it all.  He also said a prayer for us at the end and prayed that his whole family would want to listen to us missionaries next time we came. And he has a HUGE family.  so Im way stoked for him.  His name is G.  He is awesome. 
OH last p-day there was a sand sculpting competition at Revere Beach so we got to go see that, and it was incredible.  I'll send pics soon :)
Oh sad news.  We found a new investigator, a 17yr old, taught a lesson, he accepted a baptism date and then we came back a few days later and his step mom told us to never come back again... Well hopefully he finds us when he is 18.
Wednesday President Evans picked me and Elder G. up cuz we were in big trouble, Taa leng (jk).  He picked us up on the way to meet with all the Cambodian elders (7 of us now)  for a preparation meeting for Water Festival aka the huge Khmae holiday that we get to go to and have a booth and be around thousands of cambodians and hopefully get tons of new investigators.  It was way fun getting all of us together.   Elders A and B in the same room was just hilarious.  We discussed things like what we need, what our main focus/theme will be (Families) and lots of stuff.  it was a good solid meeting and we have another one in a few weeks and lets just say im way stoked for Water Festival.  It is August 20th i think, and in Lowell.  It was also fun just riding with President Evans and talking to him and what not.  He is such an awesome, humble and funny man.  I love him so much.  His dad was the apostle Richard L. Evans if you older folks remember him.  Pretty cool.
ok im done :)
PS. if you can't tell, i am in just a great mood! Last week was just awesome. Lots of good things.  I hope it carries over to this week. If not, im not gonna let my attitude change. Keep smiling :)  I LOVE YOU ALL! 
pps you all can write me letters if you want cuz thats always fun! Mom, keep sending those letters from my friends, i love them!  isn't it so awesome how i have so many amazing friends serving amazing missions?  I feel like alma and the sons of mosiah.  I can't wait til we reunite and have the same experience as all of them.  I wonder who will be like ammon and faint? haha probably adam :)

     Elder Brady Johnson

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 18, 2011

Oh man why did EVERYONE have to write to me about the Harry Potter movie?! I can't wait to see it in 1 and a half years.  I'll probably have to read all the books over again for the 4th or 5th time(?) before i watch it.  A few days ago me and Elder G challenged each other to some harry potter trivia.  I won obviously, but i was quite proud of him for knowing so much :)

Real quick, i don't know if i've told you or not but the roads here in Massachusetts are CRAZY!  Someone just dumped a bowl of spaghetti on a map and then that became the roads.  You guys would not believe how crazy the roads/intersections are.  Plus the rules of driving are just different here than most places.  Crazy crazy crazy.  Ok sorry i just had to let you know how i felt :)

We just started going to the gym every morning at 6am cuz Elder D got special permission from President Evans cuz he will  be playing football at BYU and needs to get back in shape. So we all get to go :)  Anyways this morning i saw the news that said the US women's soccer team lost.  Thats a bummer. 

Thanks dad for your advice about not always knowing at first what the Lord has in store for you but that it will all make sense later.  I had an experience with that yesterday actually.  Allow me to explain: -Sunday at 6pm we found out our 3 appointments with supposedly solid investigators all cancelled on us with in a couple of mins.  My first thought was, "NOOOOO now we have to tract all night."  but then i thought: "ok heavenly father, what do have in store for us? there has to be a reason that you cancelled all our appointments, what is it that we need to do?"  We decided to try to meet a potential investigator that we haven't seen for a few weeks when we met him.  We went to his house and he was there and he set up a time for us to come back next week.  Then we get a call from a less active member who is living with her fiance that is not a member.  We've been trying to meet with them forever and they told us to come over that night.  Bingo!  We went, had an awesome discussion and asked G (the non member) if he would get baptized.  He said he wants to and has gone through the missionary lessons before its just he's not married yet.  Apparently they got engaged a year ago planning to get married but it didn't happen.  So we asked them to pray for a wedding date and then we could set a baptismal date!  It was such a good lesson and i can't wait to see the outcome of their prayers.  That was definitely what the Lord needed us to do that night.

Mom i loved your insight to Pres. Uchtdorf's article in the Ensign this month. I totally made that same connection about jumping into the water with the gainers [back flips] I do when i read that talk earlier this month.  Great minds think alike!  The thing is, most people aren't impressed with what a gainer is until they see someone do one.  And i haven't been able to do one to show an example haha.  But ya there is no middle ground.  There is no going half way.  You have to go all out and accomplish the thing you committed to in order to reap the benefits.  Its like a quote i really love:  "If you are almost willing and almost worthy then you will Almost get the blessing."

i totally feel the same way about what happens to the Nephites in the beginning of 3rd Nephi.  It is how the world is today.  People don't want anything to do with God, and they don't even have a reason for that.  Its just that, like in the days of Ether, Satan has such a great hold on the hearts of the people and the spirit of the lord is starting to cease to abide with them.  We as members and missionaries alike are to bring that spirit back into their lives.  If we don't do something, our brothers and sisters will be lost.

Just fyi me and elder g did absolutely nothing special on our 6th month mark.  It was just another day.  the weather here is way weird.  One day it will be 90 or so with lots of humidity and then the next it is 70 degrees and rainy.  It really isn't too unbearably hot.  For someone who has experienced but the dry and humid heat, i think st. George is hotter in the summer.  but  most people don't believe me.  I did get the cookies from Karli. Thanks Sis!  My companions loved them and so did i.  I don't think i need anything.  there is some things i could use but i will wait til my birthday/christmas in order to ensure that i actually get presents haha :)

But yup things are going good.  M and V are loving church, R still isn't to hot on it.  M came to church and young womens earliar and she is liking it.  We are going to be committing bro B (part member that we have been teaching for the last month) to be baptized so please pray that he will accept it and will be willing to work towards a date (he has many concerns).  I don't know if i said anything about the A family but they are way solid.  They speak spanish and english perfectly and live in Lynn so they could either go to the Lynn spanish branch with the spanish elders or go to our ward.  We don't care who teaches or what not we just want things to work out the best way they can for their own spiritual growth.  Pray that things all go well :)

Thats about it.  We did alot of speaking Khmae with people but no real investigators.  Elder B taught a new way of contacting which is just talking to them about random things.  Apparently its not weird for a couple of strangers to walk up to you and and ask how many kids you have, where they live, how old they are, how many grandkids you have, how long you have been in america, etc... if you are a cambodian that is normal? haha its fun tho.  Im excited for what the new week holds. 

I love you all and im so grateful for your examples.  I love hearing about your insights and experiences so keep sharing them.  Special thanks to Emilee Johnson for her awesome letter i got this week!  Keep Rejoicing :)  and i also got the letters from the Luekenga's and i loved them, especially the pictures! 

You guys are all amazing!

     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hola mi familia!  sorry i have been around spanish people alot today and been working on my spanish ha.  I plan to be fluent in spanish by the end of my mission along with Cambodian.  Anyways, we don't have a whole lot of email time and honestly im just not in the writing mood.  but i will do my best to write something that is worthwhile :)
I loved the emails from everyone. It is so fun hearing about what you are up to and staying involved in your lives. Keep it up :)  Brock it sounds like that soccer camp in Oregon was pretty crazy but alot of good experience. Im so jealous of you!  You are gonna be so much better than me at soccer by the time i get home.  You'll have to teach me how to play again.  Way to be a missionary up there!  That is so awesome you had that experience.  im so proud of you!  Keep being that light and that example. 
Mom, i think that Adam Ott didn't just appreciate you writing to him, he absolutely loved it! He bragged to me about it haha. Oh and about me not using my debit card, i use my mission money credit card for almost everything cuz that is what we are supposed to do. I don't know, im just trying to save my own personal money as much as i can so i will have something to come home to, you know?
That is so cool that Stacy and Brock have Trek! I loved trek so much!  Our stake here just had trek and L (recent convert) went and absolutely loved it!  Oh man speaking of that family, they are so awesome!  I love them so much.  It is like they have been in the church their whole lives.  I wish you could meet them.  Little A (6) is so sassy and has so much attitude. It cracks me up.  They are planning on doing baptisms for the dead in august! 
Things are going really good here in our area.  WE have lots of good investigators with baptismal dates like M, R, M and V.  And we have alot of others that are on the way. The only downer is that nothing cambodian is happening.  I haven't taught a lesson in Khmae in more than a month. I do speak it when i can and im getting quite good but i just want to be immersed.  Thats why im starting to learn spanish cuz 7 out of 10 people we tract into are spanish.  But im really not focusing on espanol yet but just doing bits. I can contact, like say who i am and that im a missionary for the church and that i have friends that speak spanish and i can ask them for their name number and address.  its a start.
So about the plans that the zone leaders have made.  So i talked to you about the Clayton Christensen Member Missionary Lessons. Well we are now trying to go family by family and teach them these lessons.  There are 3 lessons that we plan to teach one lesson per week.  And these lessons are amazing.  I wish i would've known how to be a member missionary before my mission.  I encourage everyone to read and studies those lessons if possible.  For our ward, our ward mission leader announced it in ward council but we have to do a lot of training.  We have to start with one or two families and hopefully it spreads and people will let us teach them.  Clayton Christensen talked to all of us at the mission conference last week and said that most members aren't doing missionary work cuz they just don't know HOW.  So our job as missionaries teaching these lessons is to help them learn how.  So even if you know how, please look into those lessons and see what he says.  So many apostles have told us that the church is not going to keep growing unless the members start getting involved. if you want to know how to get involved, read those lessons. I bet they are on or something.
This morning we went with the spanish zl's to move a piano for one of their members.  We had to move a piano from their neighbors house to theirs and it was very very difficult and took a long time but we got it!  The lord definitely blessed us with some extra help when two guys hopped in to help us.  so ya thats why i was around spanish people and what not...
I feel like there is more but i can't think of anything. plus we need to go shopping and clean our apartment.  I love you all very very much and am so grateful for your prayers and letters. They really boost me up when im down.  You guys are the Best! have a fabulous week!
Love,  Elder BradyJohnson
PS here is the link to the 3 lessons i talked about in my email.  Please read it and try to be member missionaries.  This is a great tool for Dad as ward mission leader. also the website: by itself is really good.  Love ya

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July in Boston

Oh family i have so much to respond to and so much to tell and just soooooo little time.  Here we go! 
Dad i can't believe... well ok i can but still, that is crazy that you are going to all those BYU football games! That will be way fun.  Next year my roommate elder dawe will be on that team that you will be watching. 
Sounds like brock has been dang busy.  I guess that explains why he doesn't write to me.  I expect a long letter one of these days from Brock telling me all about his crazy busy and fun summer. Good luck at the ODP thing.  Do Work bro!
Nikki i got your letter and im kinda confused at how totally random that was.  But I feel like those kids are exactly who me adam, dawson, daniel, and trevor were like when we were that age haha.
Man i just sounds like you guys are all having tons of fun!   Dad, you and i better be going to the world cup in brazil in 2014! That would be soooo awesome.  So start getting your connections so we can go! Knowing you, you will probably find a way for us to go for free haha.  I love all of your connections!
I just gotta say that i REALLY miss are totally random and hilarious moments at the dinner table as a family. haha such good times.  Thanks mom and dad for always stressing having us together for family dinner almost every night.  I look back now and i wouldn't trade those little moments for anything.  I Love you guys so much!  Oh and mom sorry for not telling you that i got your package.  But i did and it was the BEST!  I ate nearly all of the peanut butter bars that day and i ate the banana bread pretty much by myself too haha they were so good.  Thanks mom! 
Ok so now for my side, Transfers happened and connecticut and Rhode island are now part of our mission.  We had a huge mission conference in belmont and got to meet lots of people.  Some good friends from the mtc are now in my mission so that is cool.  Elder B (from Cambodia) is getting trained in the english program but he is in my district so we see him alot! He is hilarious.  I love foreigners haha they are jsut so funny.  We had another zone meeting this week and our zone leaders have been working way hard and we have some sweet new plans to get this area to pick up.  It is gonna take alot of work but i feel like by the end of these next few transfers, this area will be hoping.  Just so you guys know, our mission is known as one of the hardest missions in the world.  Many apostles have said so.  But we are going to change that.  Maybe not this transfer or the next or the next, but we are starting this big change.  It is so awesome to be a part of this mission at this time and be able to make a difference. 
R and her family are doing really well still.  M is solid.  Not a whole lot of updates on them cuz they have been buzy and hard to meet with during this holiday.  We did lots and lots of tracting cuz we just didn't have anything else to do.  Out of all the tracting we did we got a good number of potential investigators that i am really excited about.  we are going to be meeting them this week so ill let you know how it goes.  Still no word from E. 
Ok so now to the 4th of July. We spent most of the day in Boston just walking around.  We were with the Cambodian elders in Lowell plus elder newsome and elder ban so that means both elder ban and elder ang were with us and it was a party.  Man elder A is still just as funny!  Those two cambodians crack me up.  Elder B is a bit more serious than elder A but he is just as witty haha.  We just kinda wandered around for the day and it was just fun being in boston.  later at night like at 8pm we went down town and it was completely empty cuz everyone was gathered by the charles river waiting for the fireworks and watching the Boston Pops. So it was kinda like I Am Legend status.  It was almost creepy walking threw the empty streets.  So some how we had some sweet hookups for our zone and the cambridge south zone to get to watch the fireworks in a skyscraper overlooking the charles river!  So ya we were 32 floors up it a sweet office with an awesome view of boston and the fire works.  It was sooooo cool!  And president gave us permission to be out late so we got to watch it all. I have some good videos and pictures that i will send as soon as you send back my other memory card :)  So with all the traffic and stuff afterwards, we got home at like 1am.  So ya long day but so worth it.  We had a blast and i love Boston soooo much!  I want to serve in the city so bad.  Its just got this awesome feel to it. 
I don't really know what else to say.  im kinda tired from the late night so i can't really think straight haha.  But i was reading  the conference talks again this week and each one has so much for me to learn and do to become a better person.  I love reading the words of the prophets. of the talks i read, Elder Christofferson's really hit me hard.  It definitely applies to me.  It says in there that we need to "willingly accept and even seek correction."  In order to become the best person you can be you need to be constantly refining yourself.  I love his analogy of the gardener with the bush.  The Lord knows what He is doing and knows your potential.  So i encourage you all to accept and seek correction and then apply it in your lives and become who God wants to you become. 
I love you all so very much and i am very grateful for the letters prayers and support you all give.  Keep being such amazing individuals! 
OH MAN HOLD ON A SECOND!  I can't believe i almost forgot!  so when we were tracting this last week some guys told us to come over to talk. So we did.  They started trying to bash with our beliefs and what not and so we jsut bore testimony of what we knew was true and invited them to read the book of Mormon.  They then said how about we invite you to our pentecostal church so we said we'd come! You should've seen the look on their faces right then and when we showed up at their church the next day.  Let me tell you, that pentecostal church was INSANE!!!!!! hahaha  Their was tons of loud music and singing and shaking and just weird stuff. OH and guess what? it was all in spanish hahahahahahaha that was the best part haha.  They tried to have translators but it was so loud in there that we could barely hear ourselves think.  So ya nothing came out of it but it was a good experience :)  Some people are just so confused and lost and they don't even know it. Its sad.
anyways i gotta be going.  Love you bye!
Elder Brady Johnson