Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane- What?

So im guessing you all are wondering what happened aren't ya.  Well...... lets begin at the beginning of the week.  We go to the gym every morning and they have the news on so we were the first missionaries to know about the hurricane and not gonna lie, we were stoked for this cool new life threatening experience, as every 19yr old boy would be.  So as the storm got closer President had us all preparing for evacuation if necessary and getting provisions and what not.  We, living a street away from the ocean thought for sure we would either see some crazy stuff or get evacuated so we prepared our house big time.  We pretty much made a bunker...even tho we live on the 2nd floor ha. We have all of our possessions in our big bedroom, have the windows boarded up with tables and what not and we were prepared.  No hurricane was gonna get us. so Saturday comes and news goes out that church is cancelled, so there goes our baptism.  Plus we are "red Dotted" which means we are not allowed to drive sunday.  So we were thinking this was gonna be bad.  Sunday comes and NOTHING! at least for our area.  We had a bit of wind and rain but honestly i've seen worse rain storms and wind in St George, Utah! We were all pretty bummed that nothing "cool" happened.  But apparently it was really bad in other areas.  
Sunday since we couldn't go anywhere, us four elders played games and did alot of chillin.  At about 4pm we were going stir crazy so we went out into the pretty gusty wind and went to the beach to see the ocean/see if there was any damage.  It was pretty crazy being out there in the wind and bit of rain and just imagining what it would be like if we had actually got hit. It would've been insane, but we still kinda wish something would've happened, you know, just to say that we had live through it or whatever haha.  All in all it was a good day of rest. it actually felt like a sunday ha cept for no church.  But for us missionaries, sundays are usually the most stressful days so this was a nice break.  And now we have p day so we pretty much had a vacation this weekend.  So ya, there you have it.  Pretty lame huh?  I'm not impressed ha.
Anyways....  So it sounds like everyone back home is doing good.  Brock is still being a stud on the football field.  And Stacy, thats really too bad about the stress fracture of you foot, i know how you feel, cept i was at college when i practically broke my ankle and had no one to baby me when i got hurt ha so make sure to take advantage of that :) 
Guess what? this was the first week of my mission that i didn't receive a single letter. I had a pretty good streak going but you all are slacking ;)  All the older missionaries always say, "oh just wait, there will come a time when you will be forgotten and you won't get letters and then you will know how we feel." haha i always say, "Nah its not gonna happen to me." So don't make me a liar :) If it feels like i am guilt tripping you into writing more letters then, Good-that was the plan :) I just would love to know what is going on in peoples lives you know?  I do enjoy the emails that i get as well so thanks for those :)
Ok so we have some awesome things coming up this week.  The baptism will happen this week so that will be sweet.  but we also taught G and gave him the audio book of mormon and had an awesome lesson with him about prophets and he told us that he believes the book of mormon is true and that Joseph smith is a prophet called of God.  So we invited him to be baptized and at first he was worried about be baptized twice but we explained about authority and what not and he accepted. At that moment his kids came in and started asking lots of questions so we weren't able to extend a date for baptism but now they are our investigators too!  If we could get his whole family that would be so awesome.  I love G so much!  He is such a good person and loves God so much. He knows a ton about the bible and he is loving the book of mormon.  We will teach him again saturday so i'll let you know how it goes. Our goal is to get him and his family to church.
We have some other investigators with alot of promise so we'll see what happens.
On Tuesday i got to go on tours with Elder D since im am the district leader and the zone leaders tour all the district leaders each transfer.  It was way fun! We just went out and worked.  Taught a lesson to some way awesome people just on their porch and they are really interested and we have some return appointments with them.  We also did some tracting and we just had a great time.  Elder D is such a good guy.  He has taught me so much and given me alot of advice. He also is my personal trainer ha.  We work out together every morning and he pushes me.  A few more months with him and i could be ready to go play college football with him haha.  Just FBI (For Brock's Information) I benched 235 today!  I used to only be able to do 185, but since working with elder dawe ive gotten way stronger.  Im gonna make sure that Brock can't beat me up after my mission :)
You know, i think that is about it. Not a whole lot went on this week as alot of our time was spent preparing for Irene.  Oh and i didn't feel no earthquake... so this week was a let down for natural disasters for me.  
Well peeps, i love ya! 
oh ps.  This week a principle has popped up multiple times for me so i think it something God wants me to learn and so i shall share it with you.  As it says in Luke 6:41 or so... Make sure you take care of the beam in your own eye before you try to fix the mote in someone else's.  it takes Humility but it is the best thing you can do.  Let your pride go.

     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yay Brock for asking a girl to Homecoming! Geez im so proud of you!  Plus geez you picked a good date!  I can't wait to hear all about it.  And if Nick [Anderson] has any problems with you going with his sister, tell him that i have connections with the cambodian swat team special forces unit aka the Klaa Haaa which means flying tigers haha.  Also way to go with football.    And i want to see a pic of your facial hair some time soon. 
That is crazy that JT is home now.  I wish i could've heard his homecoming talk.  Can you believe Dahlson will be home in a few months?! That is so crazy.  Stacy is so awesome!  Thanks for using me in your talk.  
Oh hey Mom and Dad, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 25YEARS! WAAAAAHHHOOOO!  You guys are so awesome!  Im glad you liked my card and that everyone agrees with my philosophy of me being the best child of yours and now i can prove it mathematically, scientifically and ....ok im just kidding but im glad you got a good laugh out of it.
Alright so now for my side of things.  This week was not a very good one as numbers go and actually doing missionary work because of A) pday B) Weekly planning C) Water Festival and D) Zone Conference.  With all of those things we barely had time to do a whole lot of missionary work but we did what we could and Water Festival and Zone conference were SO AWESOME!
First Water Festival.  So Friday after District meeting we drove up with Elder B and his companion Elder M(who doesn't speak cambodian) to Lowell.  Man if you guys ever get the chance to ride in a car with someone who has only been speaking english for a few months and only been in america for a few months, take that opportuninty! It was hilarious! I love elder B sooooo much!   The ride home saturday night was just as good haha.  I just can't even explain what it is like.  Its just one of those things you need to experience :)  So we get to Lowell and met up with the other elders and we started to help set up the tents and what not at the trail next to the Merrimack River when it started pouring and there was lots of wind. So we had to take everything back down.  Then they sent us over to a different place to help them move things inside a building cuz they thought it would rain all night.  but it didn't so we were able to go to the opening ceremony which was kinda lame... they had a candle lighting ceremony where the Monks said a long prayer and then people put candles on the river... It would've been way awesome but they only put like 20 candles so it looked lame.  Anyways that night we slept over at the lowell apartment and i got to sit at my old desk and really just take a trip down memory lane all week end. 
Saturday we got up at 6 and headed to the river to once again help set up.  It was a perfect day!  We helped set other people's stuff up and then set our booth up.  Which was legit if i do say so myself.  Ill be sending a package with some pictures probably this week so  you can see what it was like.  So from 9am to 4pm us 9 elders took turns manning the booth, handing out free things, contacting, speaking khmae, and just wandering around talking to peopleand buying stuff.  It was so fun!  I don't think ive ever seen so many asians at one time!  I love these people!  Plus i got to speak lots of khmae and alot of people were really impressed that a bunch of white guys can speak their language.  There were alot of cambodians there of course but also Laotian, vietnamese and Thai people as well.  Pretty awesome.  I saw some ward members from my ward in Lynn and also from Lowell that i recognized.  Met some RM's that were coming back to visit, met some of our former investigators and just talked to alot of people. Our booth got alot of attention and we gave away alot of stuff.  I feel like this description just isnt really doing this event justice but its the best i got.  Just so you know, i went on a little shopping spree and spent like 70 bucks!  It would've and should've been alot more  since most people were impressed i spoke khmae so they gave great discounts!
After it was all over we helped take the whole thing down for 2 hours and then drove home and that was it.  It was so FUN! I can't wait til next year! Its a bummer that its already over. 
We stilll have 3 investigators set for baptism this week on the 28th!  Our last few lessons have gone super good and they are all ready and excited for baptism.  They are a bit nervous still but that is to be expected. The interview will be on thursday and since i am the district leader, the Zone Leaders will do the interviewing.  Oh and yesterday at church we asked M who he wanted to have baptize him and he asked me to do it.  that will be my first person i personally baptize.  Im a bit nervous but honored to be able to do it.   I'll let you know how it goes next week :) Pray for them! and thanks for all of your prayers so far
Ok so Zone conference was wednesday up in Nashua, New Hampshire.  It wasn't your typical zone conference of talking about rules and goals and obedience and all that jazz, but it was a special one.  The focus and really what the whole thing centered on was the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  From 9am to 3pm (with an hour for lunch) President and Sis, Evans, the Assistants, and the zone leaders gave talks/lessons all about the atonement.  Can you just imagine what it was like for us.  A room full of missionaries and the spirit just talking all about the atonement.  It was very very spiritual and enlightening.  I wish all of you could have experienced it.  Here are a few things that i learned or experienced.  Pres. Evans started out and he talked alot about Bruce R. McConkie's last talk on the Atonement. I encourage you all to look that one up and read it.  Sis. Evans read to us 3 Nephi 9: 13 "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that i may heal you?"  The atonement was already made.  We have to be the ones to turn to Him and use the atonement in our lives.  She also told us to imagine what it was like for us to be sitting in heaven watching Jesus go through with it, and hearing him say "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me." and thinking, hoping and praying that Christ would go through with it so that you could be saved and then hearing Him say" nevertheless not my will but thine be done" and knowing that because of Christ we can go to Earth knowing there is a way to be saved to return to God. Sis. Evans is a brilliant woman.  She knows so much. Elder T (AP) Asked us to think about What does the Atonement mean to me?  Think about that one, and i mean really ponder it.  Elder (AP) talked to us about how the applications of the Atonement are infinite! everything is covered by the atonement.  We then had a very spiritual testimony meeting all focused on the atonement and alot of tears were shed and lots of powerful testimonies.  Man, some of these missionaries come from the hardest backgrounds. It is so amazing to me to see where they are now.  Truly inspiring.  The last thing i really loved was what Elder D and Elder T did.  They had us all close our eyes as they narrated the last few days of the Saviors life and asked us to picture ourselves there with him, being an eyewitness to all of the things He went through.  I did so and it felt so real. I felt like i was right there next to the savior watching him suffer and die. This zone conference, the atonement finally clicked with me and it is real to me.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Atonement is real.  as it says in PMG everything in life will be made fair through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know that is true.  I love this gospel.  I love this opportunity to serve the Lord!
I love you all.  Have a wonderful week and make sure to keep Christ in your thoughts always.
     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, August 15, 2011

So as a district leader i now do reporting with my district and then the zone leaders on wednesday and sunday and then i also do baptismal interviews for the people in my district.  thats what im most excited about.  plus being able to be closer to other missionaries and try to help them.  Our district isn't doing so hot.  Me and Elder G are doing really well and being blessed with alot of success so my goal this transfer is to find a way to bring the other areas up. I've already been blessed with revelation for them and i guess we'll see if what i suggested will have good affects. 
R, M, and V are still on for the 28th of August.  We've been meeting with M separately so that we could really focus on his concerns and it has turned out to be the best idea for his personal progression.  R has had a huge turn around. We have had some solid lessons with her this last week with Bro C (who she absolutely adores) and another brother in the ward.  She also agreed to let us come twice a week to finish teaching her in time.  So really good news with them. 
I wish i could play the piano better becuase, believe it or not, i play the piano every week for district meetings and have been for the last 4 transfers! Im getting pretty good at the same 7  hymns haha. Now i take time before district meeting to practice and learn more hymns. 
School starting already?  I can't believe Brock and Stacy have a class together!  Im so jealous.  I wish i could've had a class with someone in my family.  Brock take good care of our baby sis would ya? thanks!  Sorry to hear that mom got pulled into PTA AGAIN. haha mom you were just made for that you know :)
I have a little shout out for L O so i hope he reads this.  I am so impressed with him.  That is huge that he has stuck with his decision to go on a mission at the expense of his bball scholarships.  I think that is awesome and i know he will be blessed immensely for it. You are a great example to me.  I promise you that the mission will change your life and that you wont have any regrets by serving it.  Im so excited for you to come out here soon and join the ranks of the Army of God.  It really is the most important thing we can be doing at this time of our lives.  It is our Duty as Priesthood brethren as President Monson once said.  I love it.  Im proud of you L, and I can tell you that the Lord is too. 
M was confirmed a member this week so now she is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka the kingdom of God on earth.  Sadly, her mom didn't come but we will keep working with her.  She has a testimony deep down.  Our job is to help her find it in herself.
So at district meeting (which went good by the way) we do a prayer roll each week for the investigators that are struggling plus we all put something on it that we want the district to help us personally with.  I know that the lord hears our  prayers.  It is truly amazing that we have the priviledge to communicate with the all powerful all knowing Heavenly Father every day whenever we need him. We are so blessed with the comfort of knowing that He is always there listening.  I challenge you all to try and make your prayers more meaningful this week.
Saturday was not the best day. just to sum it up we had appointments fall thru that we had to pick up members and then take them home and there was really bad traffic all day and it just wasn't our day.  We did make out a really solid appointment with a guy from iraq who is a christian and a refugee who is very interested in what we have to offer.  So ya saturday we used 70miles and were in the car a total of 3 and a half hours! Ya.... we are probably going over our allotted miles this month....
Oh just fyi WATER FESTIVAL is this weekend in Lowell and all of us cambodian elders get to go and we have a booth and everything.  It is a huge Khmae holiday.  I will tell you all about it next week. 
Just as a parting thought, we were talking with a member about 1 Nephi 11:3 i think and the angel asks Nephi, "What desirest thou?".  What do we desire?  When we look inside ourselves and really ponder that question, what do we desire?  Munch on that and ill see you next week.  Love you peeps!

     Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alright family and friends get ready for some random bits of information, answers to questions and little thoughts that come to my head.  Im just gonna list it all offf in no real order.  Ready, set......GO!
Brock you are a stud!  So glad to here that your soccer team stepped it up a bit in Park City. Mom way to step up and take care of that boy who broke his jaw.  I bet that kid's parents were very grateful for what you did.  My friends all love you cuz of your kindness and generosity and hospitality... well cept towards Adam but he totally deserved what he got hahahaha jk :) Our soccer game last p day went way good.  I was super sore from doing squats a few days before so i wasn;t at full speed but i still scored 2 goals to help our team win :)  I guess i haven't lost all of my soccer skill.  I never really thought about continuing soccer after the mish but last month or so, i just had this feeling that i need to at least try out. So thats what im gonna do.  And yes mom one of my biggest goals is to have a restaurant where i can go to and say, "ill have to Usual." and have them know exactly what i want. haha that would be so awesome.
YAAAYYY Stacy!!! Way to go on making to soccer team! Im so proud of you!  You are such an example of hard work and determination to me.  Good luck with the season.  Thats way cool that Kylie got to stop by and you guys could have a nice chat.  I am still working out with Elder D and now i weigh 190 and most of it is muscle.  Im pretty stoked about it  ha.
Oh by the way, T texts (transfer texts) came this saturday and our apartment still stands!  WE all are staying again and we are all pretty stoked!  I love Elder D, Elder T and Elder G!  We have alot of fun together and are continually learning from each other.  Oh and guess what?  President has assigned me to be the New District leader.  Im pretty excited about it because i will get to interact with other missionaries more and help them when they need it.  It also involves reporting each week and planning district meetings and going to lots of leadership meetings but it should be fun.  Elder N was the district leader but he goes home this week.  Im gonna miss him.  He really taught me a ton and i have some big shoes to fill as district leader.  My first district meeting is friday so we'll see how that goes haha.
Im glad you enjoyed my pictures and videos. And yes i agree with you, they are very weird and random.  Just wait til you see some of the ones we have been filming this last week haha.  We sung "High On a Mountain Top" this morning with the zl's cept i sung in Khmae, Elder D in Spanish, Elder T in English, and Elder G in Chinese.   Haha it was epic.  I also ate the Ghost Pepper, something the ZL's brought home and told me to eat it.  so i did.  yup it was hot.  but did we get an awesome movie out of it.  You betcha!  ..... The things i do for for the entertainment of others.... :)
 So this sunday was a special day if you didn't know.   IT was the day that M got baptized!!!!!!!  So Sweet.  So first, at church, her whole family, that is her 3 brothers that are baptized already, her grandma (of course), her grandpa who is pretty less active recently, and Her MOM ( inactive) came!   and that was huge.  She seemed to  have a really good time at church and really enjoyed the baptism.  K pause on  that and let me rewind to last thursday which was malina's batismal interview.  Elder N. interviewed her and everything went swimmingly.  While the interview was happening we had the chance to talk to her mom.  We had a very good conversation and found out that she has been thinking about coming to church for awhile, she is just scared that she has forgotten everything.  We told her that we can help her and teach her and that the Lord always forgives and that He wants her to come to church.  We challenged her to pray with her kids that night and She did!  The kids were so happy too.  OK now to the baptism.  It went very very very well.  Bishop baptized her and the spirit was very strong.  It was so amazing being apart of all that.  We have been working with M since the End of may.  Its been alot of work and she has been awesome and progressing and opening up each time we met with her. She kept commitments and finally she was baptized.  Such a rewarding experience.  We still plan on working with her and her family because we want to get them all back into church and active and do it as a family.  I realized that one of the reasons, if not the only reason,  i learned Khmae was so i could have the chance to meet this family and help them.  We still have a lot of work to do but we have made the first step.  One of these days i will give you some background of this family, the S family. They have been through a lot and Sis S. has been faithful through it all.  Its truly amazing.
We are having a tough time meeting with our other investigators.  We have a lot, its just that we can't ever meet with them :(  its quite frustrating cuz we look at our board, full of people we should be busy teaching with and yet each day we have 2-4 hours of tracting.  But we have some pretty cool experiences while tracting.  Not anything like people wanting to get baptized right away or even want to hear more, but the Lord shows us tender mercies to let us know He is there.  oh ps alot of the tracting we've done this week was in the rain.  It would be perfectly fine when we start, but once we got far from our car, it would rain haha.  Oh well, it builds character, right?
We had a lesson with G (the blind guy) and we just read 3 Nephi 11. We took turns reading and he read with us using braille. IT is SO COOL!  You guys gotta find a blind guy who reads braille and have him show you cuz it is wicked awesome.  anyways, after we got done reading he really liked it and said that none of it disagrees with the bible. We tried to commit him to baptism but he said no, and that he will make a decision after he learns more. 
R, V, and M are progressing really well.  They are scheduled for the 28th of this month for baptism and things seem to be going well. they came to malina's baptism and really enjoyed it.  M said that it calmed a lot of nerves he had about it.  R said, kind of jokingly, "Maybe ill be the next one..." .  Im excited for them.  We take bro C with us and they all love him.  Im sure i've told you about bro. C before but if not, he is a convert to the church of about 50 years (he is 70), He is very knowledgable about the gospel, he is a temple sealer, him and his wife have us over every two weeks to do our laundry and eat dinner, and He is SUPER deaf!  Hahahha it cracks me up.  He is probably my favorite person i've met out here.  He refuses to use his hearing aids and we were teaching them one of the clayton christensen member missionary lessons and he kept saying, "WHAT?" and so his wife, who always makes hilarious remarks at him says, "put your hearing aids in, stupid." and he says, "But my life would be so dull with my hearing." hahahaha I want to be him when im old haha.
Ok so i think i got everything out that i wanted to say.  Whew.  Hope you guys followed that.  Wow you know how true this church is? wow, it is just so true.  It becomes so apparent to me more and more every day.  It is truely something special.  Thanks for supporting me and helping me get to where i am today.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  He is always there for us.  "Oh sweet the Joy this sentence gives- I know that my Redeemer lives."  We are so lucky to have this hope and foundation to hold onto. Don't ever let it go.  I love you all!  Be good.  Choose the Right. And be a missionary.  Don't be afraid to share the gospel.


     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011

As you can see by the title of the email, “I gots no time.”  So i probably wont respond to anything people said this week so i can have time to let you in on whats going on here.  Sorry :)

Where to begin?  How about i go day by day: Monday me and elder greer made cookies for the A. family because the mom was sick (and that was why they didn't come to church) We gave them to the kids that night and then came back later that week and Sis. A was praising us like crazy!  She thought it was the nicest thing and that they were homemade and all. (it was just store bought cookie dough but baked with Love :) haha  So that helped her open up to us more.  We haven't been able to meet with her very much but we have an appointment tonight.

Tuesday: We had a good lesson with Bro. B  and he committed to come to church! and he did show up sunday, but ill get to that later.

Wednesday  Was Elder T's Birthday so we, being the best housemates and companions, we woke him up by singing to him and then at lunch we pulled out a ice cream cake we had hid from him and lit a match on it and sang again.  It was pretty epic.  We also got him a sweet card with Belle from beauty and the beast on it.  Let’s just say we made his day!  Then elder G and i hit the streets.  We were having a grand ol time getting doors shut on us and what not but just laughing and loving life (we were definitely having the kinda attitude Elder B taught us), when all of a sudden we knock on a door, a lady answers and is on the phone, thinks about it, and then says, do you want to come in? We of course said YES!  She told us that she had met missionaries 15yrs prior and had lost the book they had given to her.  We taught a great first lesson and at the end we asked her if she believed what we said.  She told us that she really wants to believe, she is just a little skeptical.  WE told her that was ok and that we knew that she could find out for herself through reading and continuing meeting us.  She then told us that when she first opened the door she really wanted to tell us to leave and shut the door. But as she was about to do so she told us that "something" had told her to let us in.  How cool is that? And now she wants to meet with us again!  I’m pretty stoked.  

Thursday, well let me just write what i wrote in my journal for that day:  "Have i mentioned how great it is to be a missionary of the Savior Jesus Christ?! Well it’s amazing! I am loving it.  I love the people- Ward members and investigators.  I love Elder G and Im so grateful for him (Im pretty sure that my mission call is not to the Boston mission but to the Elder G  mission  because we have been together 5 out of 7 months haha)  I love teaching, contacting and tracting. I just love doing this work.  I am especially grateful for Heavenly Father's help in me changing my attitude and becoming more optimistic.  He has definitely opened my eyes to see ONLY the good in things/people.  This is something i will continue throughout my life.  Life really is so much funner and better when you are optimistic!"  Ya things are just going really good.  Try being optimistic.  I dare you :)  You won't be disappointed :)
Friday: We had a way intense district meeting on Goals.  Goals reflect the desires of our hearts-Preach my gospel page 148 i believe.  I encourage you all to read PMG pages148-149 about goals.  If we don't set good specific goals, we will reach a ripe old age only to look back at our life full of regrets.  Have no regrets people.  Oh and M is coming along.  She is getting nervous for her baptism but she is still set to do it next week!  Pray for her please!  PS who among you have read the Clayton Christensen lessons i told you about yet, HUH?  We have taught a few families and we are already some fruits from them.  Our Elders Quorum president, Bro. B aka my favorite person in our ward and also a convert for only 3 years said that "These lessons are what every member of the church needs to learn."

Saturday we were on a role with lessons with several Africans.  We taught E from Cameroon, Ge (blind guy) from Liberia, and I. from Uganda! They are all doing pretty well but none came to church this week. On Sunday we also taught this guy, T, from Africa...we don't remember where exactly.  Africans are where it’s at!  They really know their bible and they are also very humble and willing to learn. 

So ya Sunday Bro. B came and he wore and outrageously ridiculous hawaiin shirt but i loved it! He participated a lot in sunday school when we talked about the good samaritan and service.  Kinda cool.  We have a lesson with him tonight so we will see how he liked church. 

Now today we have another Cambodian planning meeting and then a big soccer game with lots of missionaries and that is where i must run off to.  I love you all and am so grateful for all the letters packages and prayers.  It truly is inspirational and motivational thinking about all the people that are praying for me and all the missionaries.  I Love truly love this work.  The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is So True!  I know it is.  Be Good!  Love yous guys! (pronounced "use guys"-it means y'all in the boston accent)

PS if Chase J. is reading this, I love you man! and im way stoked about you getting your mission call! My only question is, WHY didn't you write me a letter and tell me? Geez :)

     Elder Brady Johnson