Monday, September 26, 2011

A long long ways aways. but in the same country, "there is a place called Kokomo you get there fast and then you take it slow....." sorry i meant there is a place called lynn.  also known as the city of sin. you never come out the way you came in. alright for reals here goes ;)
So this somewhat short week has been wicked fun.  Im loving serving with Elder A.  We are doing Work and laughing pretty much the whole time.  Its kinda weird cuz he was pretty much my half trainer and now im the sr. comp to him.  kinda crazy.  Its definitely weird without elder g and elder d -there is so much less drama and noise and distractions in the apartment ha but its kinda bitter sweet. but i learned that the work goes on even when im not with elder G and i now lead out on everything and i've already grown alot in the past week. 
Good news, we still get to go to the gym.  K and A and their families have not yet started taking the lessons but it will happen sometime this week.  So im excited for that. 
So Sister Evans (mission president's wife) had the brilliant idea to have a Fall Cleanout so we have spent the whole day deep cleaning our apartment.  And if you don't know, missionary apartments accumulate a whole ton of random stuff over the years and plus they aren't taken care of very well.  but Elder A and i went to work and chneah.... i can't think of the word in english..... i think its overcame or beat... so ya we beat the mess.. or something like that. It makes sense in khmae i promise. 
As you can tell my khmae is improving.  Elder A has forgotten a lot of khmae and so we made a blood pact that we would try to speak khmae as much as possible and we have been doing really well and i can already feel the improvement. (im totally kidding about the blood pact of course).
G and company. are doing pretty good.  We took H to a lesson with us and as usual, she did an amazing job and she offered the family a ride to church on sunday and they accepted.  i thought only G would be the one to actually show up. but quite the contrary.  G had something come up but his daughters came along with J who is his 2 year old granddaughter. And she is just the cutest little girl i've ever seen!  They seemed to like church enough but we didn't get a whole lot of time to talk to them afterward so we'll find out more when we meet with them.
R. is still doing wonderfully!  She has just been so solid since the day we started teaching her.  She is definitely the most ready people for the gospel that i've taught.  She will be getting baptized this saturday in between the conference sessions and she asked me to baptize her. Once again im so honored and excited to share this moment with her.  I don't know how much i've told about her but she is just the sweetest elder african woman ever.  She also tells me what to do like my mom but so does everyone else out here hahaha.  it has been such an amazing opportunity to teach her and i am so excited for her baptism.  She told us yesterday that when she heard the news about the falling satelite peices she prayed to God to just let her live tell she gets baptized, thats all she wanted haha.  She said she almost called us up and asked us to baptize her that night ha. She is just so cool.
Well other than that, Elder A and I have just been having some solid lessons together. We teach really well together and I especially love teaching with elder ang cuz he just bears such an honest, sincere, and powerful testimony.  It will be an exciting transfer. Thats for sure.
So last night Elder T and Elder P (the ZL's) came back from their stake meeting with the stake president, mission president and Clayton Christensen and that they had some exciting news. They said that in the meeting it came up that Me and Elder G have had 7 baptisms in the last 4 months and they were all astonished.  They talked to Elder T more about it and found out that our success has come from working well with the ward and getting member referrals and doing the member missionary lessons.  It was at that point that Clayton Christensen (the guy who wrote the member-missionary lessons) invited Me and now Elder A to speak at his meeting to all the ward mission leaders in our stake in a big meeting he has with them each month.  I totally feel inadequate for this. especially without Elder G. Im honored of course but the glory goes to God.  Its just all been blessings from Him. but i gotta go and Elder G can't come so it will be just me speaking.  It should be a cool experience :)
Thats all i have time for.  But make sure to make conference the center of your weekend. If you have to miss a session, make sure you take the time to go back and listen to it.  It is such a privilege we have to hear the voice of the Lord through our prophet.  Pay special heed to what they say.  Learn but most importantly, APPLY what you learn. 
Love ya!

     Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh my goodness! so much seems to have gone on back home! Alot has gone on here too.  I don't have enough time to  respond to all of your lovely emails but i do appreciate them and the letters so much. You have no idea.   Oh and Happy Birthday to Brock and PJ and Ethan Martin if he reads this :)  Love you guys!  Speaking of ethan, someone should tell him to write me or get his address for me. please and thank you
I just have to say congrats to DHills football team for beating Pine View.  Thats awesome.  Brock keep working hard and your time will come. Are you doing b-ball this year?  Stacy get better! :)  And stay away from all those boys ;) Brock you best be watching out for her haha. hmm ok i guess thats it cuz i don't want to mention the other game.... (byu v u)
Ok so this is a long week with lots of stuff so bare with me :) So to start with the tuesday after i emailed last   Elder T got super sick so he slept all day and elder D just had to stay home all day.  We taught this guy from nepal that barely speaks english but he asked us how to join our church so we think there is potential haha.  We are going to try to teach him english.  I feel like i've met people from every country in asia, africa, and south america and parts of europe.  One of these days im gonna take a map and mark which countries i have met people from.  I bet i could cover most of the world.  that is the cool thing about Massachusetts is that its just a big "melting pot". 
Wednesday i started to get a sore throat and so did elder dawe but Elder G and i still worked.  Elder T was still super sick and was seriously asleep 90% of the day.  Thursday i got really quite sick with just a nasty cold but i still fought it.  This is my first time getting sick since i've been on a mission (9 months) and my goal was to go the whole mish without getting sick, so i acted like i wasn't sick. But ya i did not feel to hot.  good thing it was a weekly planning day (4 hours worth of planning -yum:)  That night something... i guess extrodinary happened.  I guess all i can really say is that i felt the strongest spiritual prompting i have ever felt.  The lesson learned is that when you feel a prompting, follow it without question.  I don't know what might have happened but i know we were blessed for following the prompting.  Sorry that was a little vague but i just feel like i should keep it at that.  The Holy Ghost is real.  Always be worthy of its companionship.  God is aware of each one of us, i know this to be true.
Friday i gave a training in District meeting on Names and who we represent.  The two names we have on our tags are our family names and the Savior's name.  We represent something far greater than just ourselves as missionaries.  We represent our families- dad this made me think back on all the times you would yell to us as we went to school, "Remember who you are!"  Im grateful for the wonderful examples my family has been to me and im proud and honored to carry your name and represent you all.  We also represent Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This is his work.  It is such a blessing a privilege to be a part of it.
Our investigator, R N. who is H's (a member who has also adopted me as a son ha) friend is progressing really well.  She is awesome.  Everything we teach she just soakes it up like a sponge.  She comes to church all the time and never misses appointments and always wants to meet with us.  When we taught the Word of Wisdom we asked her what she thinks and she told us that she is ok with it.  If she wouldve known before she got to know us and feel the spirit she would not have been ok with it.  but that day she stopped drinking tea and coffee just like that!  She also gives the best prayers!  Oh and she is from Uganda just like H.
We also  met with M like every friday and she is going to seminary every day and liking it cept for the early part.  She thought elder greer and i were like 25 or 28 years old! haha wow.  She said something that reminded me of Nikki soooo much.  She asked us, "what is the right way to peel a banana?" we said a few different things and then asked her how she usually peels a banana and she says, "i don't know, i usually make my little brother do it for me." hahaha!!!!! that is soooo Nikki :) Remeber all those times you got Brock and I to do things for you without us realizing it?  Love you sis!
Saturday(still sick :( )  Being sick is annoying.  especially as a missionary.  But with All of us being somewhat sick, we got tons of food from members but even more from A and K (from the gym)  They are the best!  They have also adopted us as sons so i have like 3 moms out here haha so Mom you don't have to worry, your little Elder Johnson is in good hands :)  This day was the day that i finally succombed to being sick and actually resting.  I took like an hour nap and it was sooooo wonderful. If you can believe it, its the first nap ive taken since being on a mission.  We kinda just took it easy for most of the day so i could get over the blasted cold.  That night was T-TEXTS!!!! CRAZY!!!!! the texts came and we are all staying cept for elder D :( he is going to Nashua, NH.  Its pretty sad and im gonna miss that ol lug.  Its gonna be weird without him.  Elder G was so certain he would be going.
Sunday night Elder B came to lynn with me and elder G went to lynnfield for tours/exchanges.  I love Elder B so much.  He is like a kid in so many ways.  He always has to explore and touch things when he comes to a new place.  Everything intrigues him haha.  He told me that my khmae is very very good so that made my day.  So Monday was the tour with him and it was a blast.  I really got to know him better and this time i got to teach him some things and give him advice and it was just a super good tour.  Everything he does is funny. Everything.
Tuesday was a very crazy day.  We taught R again and she is just amazing.  We only have a few more lessons for her, plus she is getting baptized on the 1st of October!  We are stoked and she is stoked.  She can't wait!  Her and H made us lunch with just the most random things put together and it was awesome.  My plate included: rice, beans, a sweet potatoe, and a sausage pizza.  I told them it was a weird combination and their reply, which is H's excuse for everything she does, was, "We are africans."  All i know is that i love africans and want to go to Africa way bad now.  Later we are back at the apartment with the elders and AP elder T calls and tells us to put in on speaker phone he says, "Im sorry for the mess up and late notice but Elder G  is being transferred to Lowell."  We all look at each other and then laugh and think its a joke.  But it wasn't.  Yup Elder G is leaving me.  and Elder A is coming to serve with me here.  Its weird.  I've been with elder G 7 out of 9 months of my mission.  What am i going to do with myself without him? He has become a very close friend of mine and im very grateful for the chance ive had to serve with him.  I've learned a ton and have changed alot about myself because of this guy.  eh who am i kidding, ill probably be serving with him again in a few transfers so i don't need to worry.  But ya that was a big shocker.
That night we had our goodbye dinner with K and A and their families.  They are probably my two most favorite familes that i've met out here.  They both just have such good values and good families. They have really grown attached to us 4 elders and are very sad to see Elders D and G leave.  They fed us an amazing dinner(and gave us tons of leftovers) .  Elder G just testified about the plan of Salvation and what it means to him and how it will bless their lives to know it and that what we teach is the best thing we can give to them to show our gratitude and love for all that they have done for us.  I then asked them if they would allow us to teach them and have them find out for themsleves if its true. (Elder B and Elder M were there with us cuz technically the two families live in their area so they would be the ones to teach them.)  I then testified that all of us elders have been called of God and we all have the same authority.  I told them that we had full confidence in Elders M and B's abilities to teach and that we trust them with teaching these two wonderful families.  They all agreed to learn more!  Elder D bore a very powerful testimony and thanked them for everything and there was hardly a dry eye in the house.  We then all had a kneeling prayer together and left.  It was an incredible feeling. I'll never forget it.  Its experiences like this that really let me know that this gospel, this knowledge is true.  I know it without a doubt.  And i want to share all this goodness with others, for it is all goodness.  We are so blessed and if we are true followers of christ we cannot be content with keeping it to ourselves.  God's purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." we are to work to fulfill God's purpose and to help others do the same.  We cannot be satisfied with just perfecting ourselves. we have to help perfect others along the way. 
I know this to be true.  How could such a good thing, like what we have, not be true?!
I love you all.  Leah howy 
     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, September 12, 2011

First off, before i forget, i want to give a shout out to Chase Jensen cuz he finally wrote me a letter! Love ya Chase!  oh and also, if anyone can get a hold of KJ Boyer and either tell him to write me or give me his address, it would be much appreciated :)
Well now sounds like everyone back home is just doing swell.  Its so good to hear.  Thats too bad about BYU.  Thats so awesome that dad and stacy got to go though.  Dad I expect some details about the games cuz all i hear are scores. 
Oh wait i must say one thing, Mom you are the BEST!!! Thankyou so much for the package and for all the new music! you did a wonderful job!  all of us in the apartment are so grateful for new stuff to listen to haha.  I love you! 
Brock, how come so many people at the high school don't know we are brothers? huh?  I always used my connection to blake and nikki to get on teacher's good sides haha by the way thanks for that you two!
the weather is definitely cooling down here.  We still have the a/c on though.  but i can definitely feel the fall coming and im scared for winter.  I've decided im a wimp for cold - not as much as mom and nikki but still, i'd rather be warm. 
Ok so i have some good news and some bad news.  Bad news is that G is not getting baptized on sept. 24th.  Good news is that he and his whole family have a date for October 16th!  We finally had a lesson with all of them, plus extras, and they are all pretty interested in what we have to offer.  They are willing to set that goal and see if God will let them know that this is His true church and what He wants them to do by that date.  Its pretty sweet.  
Ok so two really really cool things happened since i last talked to you.  First, Our 3 recent converts that are high school age have all decided to take seminary!!!!!!!! How totally awesome is that?! And im talking early morning 6am seminary!  That is pretty much the coolest thing!  I love our recent converts! they are so solid.  They all weren't sure at first but after we explained a bit and promised blessings, they had it set that they will go.  Us people who did seminary in Utah had it easy.  And yet there were people that ditched all the time.  And now these brand new converts are going at 6am! thats huge.  They are such good examples to me!  
The other totally awesome thing that happened was that we had an extra dinner appointment. Let me explain.  So when we first went to the gym to check it out, a nice lady said that she would give us the college student discount even tho we weren't.   Slowly over the past 2 months we have made tons of friends at the gym but we really didn't do much to foster these relationships, just said hi, asked them about there day/weekend and then went about lifting.  Then we get invited  to go to dinner by the owner with her family and a family of someone else who works at the gym.  We of course said yes!   They kinda knew who we were (missionaries and such) but most people only knew us as 4 young guys who come every single morning and are happy. 
At dinner (all 4 of us were invited)  this was the first time they all saw us in our suits and ties.  So they kinda just interrogated us... well interrogate has a bad connotation, they asked us tons and i mean tons of questions about us and what we do and they were so intrigued by the whole missionary thing and especially about how we would do something like this during this time of our lives.  It was really fun just talking to them and seeing how surprised or shocked they were that we couldn't do some things and yada yada yada.....  They fed us an amazing dinner of meat and potatoes and vegies and everything, really.  They were so distraught on hearing that we are away from our families and have hardly any contact with them haha.  So they have kind of taken it upon themselves to be our mothers.  They are two really really awesome families.  They are very family oriented and seems like they are just perfect for the church.  Easily the best family situation that i've seen out here besides members of the church.  We continued to talk and share our testimonies here and there and talked about the church and a little about what we do.  And they were just soaking it all in and in awe really.  Elder g and i had to leave early for another appointment but elder d and elder t stayed and taught a lesson on prayer and they said the spirit was insanely strong.  K then told them that she can't explain it but there is something different about us four "kids".  From the moment she met us she has just loved us instantly.  We are like lights(yes she said that ha).  She said that ever since we have started coming to the gym, things have been so much better, she can't explain why. She just knows it has something to do with us.  We are different and she wants to know why, and so does her and a's families.  How cool is that?!  They want us over again next week and i can't wait.  They are such awesome people.  The only problem is that they are out of our area by like 2 streets :( but that means if they get taught it will be by Elder B and Elder M.  i'll keep you updated on them. 
Things are going great out here. Im loving it!  Let me just share one last thought.  I was reading in Luke today in chapter 22 v. 32 which says "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." at first i thought, yup i know that one, i need to go about strengthening my brother.  but something stopped me from moving on.  I read it again.  the line, "When thou art converted..." stuck out to me and i couldn't get it out of my head.  I realized that there is something i need to do to me converted.  what it is, im not quite certain.  But im asking myself what am i supposed to work on, what aspect of being converted?  Is it doctrine, attitude, diligence, my faith, do i need to repent, is there something more i could be doing? Like i said, i don't quite know.  But I'd like to ask you all the same question.  What more is there you can do to become more converted? So then you can go about strengthening your brethren? Maybe your part is to go out and strengthen others. I don't know. But God does and He will help you know what you must be doing if you ask for it.  Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be given you.  Ask, Knock; they are action words.  We have to act.
I love you all so much!  Thanks for everything!
Love your son, brother, friend, grandson, cousin, nephew, buddy, bubba, etc.

     Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sorry I am writing you so late in the week.  Monday was a holiday and tuesday was a bit busy so that leaves today.  To start out, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLIE WRIGHT! :)
So geez sounds like mom dad blake and karli had an awesome weekend at the BYU game in Mississippi!  It sounds like tons of fun. We have a guy in the gym that is like 60 somethin who absolutely loves us and we are best pals with him. He keeps us updated with how byu does. Oh we also have dinner coming up this week with the owners of the gym. Man those people there love us!  lets hope they turn into some investigators :)
So wowzers i have so much to tell you cuz its been a week and a half, and a very eventful week and a half.  Here i go.
This week was filled with just alot of good solid lessons with some inactives that haven't been to church in years, to lessons to members-the member missionary lessons which are sooooo awesome(by the way, no one has read them, have they? Come on people!), and then of course to investigators. 
Saturday i had elder M come to Lynn with me for tours and we had a great time.  It worked that we were booked the whole day and no appointments dropped on us! When does that ever happen?!  it was so great.  We got to go visit R and her family (our recent converts) and we took home teacher-and also the area seminary teacher.  We found out that L is thinking about going to byu when she graduates in 2 years and also that she is planning on taking seminary! How cool is that?! Im so happy for her and that whole family.  Then we got to participate in something so very special and that was, we gave them all back to school blessings and gave R a blessing cuz she has felt really stressed and run down. The coolest part was that she came to us, we didn't even have to suggest it.  They are such a solid family.  But ya so giving those blessings were so special to me.  It reminded me of when Dad would always give us kids the back to school father's blessings.  Dad, thanks so much for your example of always being worthy of your priesthood and always blessing our family with it.  Because of you, I was able to step in and help their family, because they have no one with the priesthood.  I want to be just like you dad and always be willing and worthy.
Saturday we also had a lesson with two Member referrals!!!!!!!!!!!! Two families that we taught the member missionary lessons had found friends and invited them to hear from the missionaries and we got to teach both of them at the same time!  SOOOOO LEGIT!  I love when members find us people to teach!  So we taught the Restoration to both and one had to leave early but said she really enjoyed it and wants to learn more.  R has already been to church a few times with a member but its just been impossible to meet with her. She really loved our message, we invited her to be baptized but she said no.  She said that she would read the BOM to find out if she should be baptized. So i of course gave her 2nd Nephi 31 for her to read and asked her to come to church and the baptism.
We also met with G that night and two of his kids.  We mostly taught towards the two kids and had G help teach with us haha.  G is just the best!  We taught about baptism and the reason we are baptized and it went really well.  He accepted the date of Sept 24th (Brock's B day) for him and his family that would prepare themselves. He really liked the idea of setting a date to hold the Lord accountable to help him know that it is something he should do.
Sunday was a crazy stressful yet rewarding day!  We were supposed to have 11 people at church but only 4 came, but still we were happy.  Right after, was the baptism.  So many people from the ward came that we had to have the meeting in the chapel(instead of the RS room where it normally is held) so that was cool. Bro. C spoke and it was amazing!  You people need to meet this man.  He is my hero!  He was so personable and his talk was pretty much just to R and her kids, and the spirit was soooo strong. then Bro. M baptized R and then V and then i baptized M.  It was such a cool experience.  M was so pumped for it and so right when i said Amen, he kinda just let his legs go out from underneath him and he went under, almost catching me off guard haha but everything went well.  After the people went back to the chapel to wait for the rest of the meeting,  After the welcomes to the ward and what not, the meeting was over and i asked Them all how they felt, and they all just smiled huge smiles and R says she feels Special and soo good.  M said he felt happy, and Vwas excited.  They are such a sweet family.  President and Sister Evans showed up for the baptism and came and talked to Elder G and I and said that we are doing such a great job in this area and that people are watching us and taking note on what we are doing together in this area and that President is very very pleased.  That was very nice of him to say.  We honestly feel like we aren't doing anything special, just doing what we are supposed to. And the Lord is blessing us immensely.
Days like that are what make being a missionary sooo worth it.  Even tho there are hard or frustrating times, the few good things just totally out weigh the bad.  I wouldn't trade this time here for anything! 
That night after the baptism we met with R. again and talked to her about the Plan of Salvation.  We only got to our life on Earth/ our purpose.  We were talking about the things we need to do now while we are alive in order to "prepare to meet God."  We said one of the things is baptism.  We then asked her what she thought about 2 Nephi 31 and about the baptism she got to witness that day.  She said that her eyes were opened today.  She realized that Jesus Christ was baptized in the same manner that we baptize.  Plus she feels that the Bof M is true.  So we straight up asked her again if she would be baptized and she said yes! We gave her the date of Oct. 1st and told her that we needed to meet with her about 7 times before then, and she said, "ya of course we can do that!"  The members we taught with are stoked, we are stoked and R really wants to be baptized! So sweet, huh?!
So in just two days we baptized 3 people and got 2 new people with dates.
On Labor day we went to the Temple with a bunch of missionaries and that was super awesome as usual.  Then we went to the Park at the Alewife Station and played soccer.  It was so much fun but also a little depressing cuz i got to see how much i have digressed and gotten out of soccer shape aka conditioning haha. I had a frightening thought that when i get home, Brock is probably going to be faster than me. OHHHH NOOOO. oh so just wondering, has brock grown any? how about gotten heavier? im stuck at 186lbs and cant get more no matter how hard i try oh well.
Elder G and I have been studying and discussing Faith a ton this week cuz it seems to be what everyone is struggling with.  The talk "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character" by Elder Scott has been one we have really disected and learned alot from.  Here is a bit of what he says:
         Faith and character are intimately related. Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience.
       We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.
There you have it.  To get faith we do the small things and by so doing, we strengthen ourselves against trials and temptation.  So work on what you want to become this week by being what you want to become. 
I love you all and am so grateful for all of your letters, love, prayers and support!  I really couldn't ask for better family or friends.

     Elder Brady Johnson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Here are the latest pictures from Elder Johnson.  The captions are his own words.
The Monks at the Water Festival.  Monks! I'm pretty sure this is mine and Brock's calling in life :)

Our cool both at the Water Festival.  We rocked the place!

Our shower curtain was dirty so I bought a new one.  I loved it so much that I had to get a picture!

I built this full-proof barricade for the window to protect us from Hurricane Irene.

The full force of Hurricane Irene.  Disregard the 2 people standing in the background....but I'm flying away cuz the wind is so strong;}

Is this the best you can do?  All that hype about Irene for this?

Our home in Lynn, Massachusetts.  The saying is "Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin.  You'll never go out the way you came in."

My favorite Cambodian brother, Elder Ban.

We had to teach a lesson outside with a member because her husband wasn't home.