Monday, October 24, 2011

*ATTENTION* We are going to be moving apartments within the next two weeks(long story).  So please by all means, keep sending mail.  You should just send it to the mission home address if you send it after wednesday the 26th. Then next week we will hopefully be in our new place and then i can give you our address. Also, this works perfectly cuz transfers are coming up and i don't know if im staying or going so its another reason to send things to the mission home. So in accordance with that, I will be writing yall next wednesday.
Just know that I love ya and that i super appreciate all the letters and emails and everything! You guys are the best!  Mom I loved the insight about teh apostle Paul "almost" convincing king Agrippa to be a Christian. That was really insightful and comforting.
So last monday Elder A and I went to the Museum of Science down in Boston cuz one of our members works there and got us free passes. It was really cool and we got to go to a special pompeii exhibit.  My only complaints are 1) it is outrageously priced so I would never go again 2) but i want to go again cuz there is no possible way you can see everything in one trip.  But ya cool experience. 
Not a whole lot happened this week.  We lost/dropped nearly all of our investigators this week and did not find any new people so our investigator pool is very shallow.  We are planning to go to the K's one last time to see if there is any potential there but if not we are dropping them.  Its always sad to drop people, but sometimes they just aren't ready. 
However we still have B and J. I don't remember how much I have talked about them but i don't think very much, cuz quite honestly I didn't think much would come from them.  We met them about a month or two ago and they weren't really interested in what we had to say but we would just come over and talk once a week and squeeze in some teaching.  A few weeks ago they agreed to listen to our message and so the teaching began.  And they have already progressed so much.  They have started to read the book of mormon and are sincerely interested in what we have to say. They really have the desire to know that it is true.  We extended a baptismal date to them and they accepted.  They have alot of things they need to change in order to reach that date but i have full faith in them.  Our biggest concern is that they can't come to church cuz of work-which revolves around the NFL.  But as the spirit continues to work within them, they will soon have the desire to go to church.  I've really grown to love these people and I can't wait to see what happens in the next month.
This weekend we had dinner with R and R and their families for the first time and it was the best!  They cooked a hatian dinner for us that was way good.  Man i love these families so much!  They are so awesome!  I can't believe the changes that have come in their lives and in their countenances. If i hadn't been here to see it all, i may not have believed it. The gospel truly blesses families. It has blessed me and my family and that is a huge part of why im out here sharing it with others.  L and M and doing so great. M just got the priesthood yesterday and that was really cool.  He has probably changed the most and that is all R and Rcan talk about is how happy with the change they've seen in him.  I feel so blessed to be a part of their lives.  They say that they really want to meet our family and I invited them over and I really think that they are gonna come to Utah within the next two years to visit-especially if L decides to go to BYU.  But no matter what, all of you have to come out here and visit with me after i get home!
Eh, I think thats all I got for today.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon yesterday and i read something that brought some revelation. the revelation is that we HAVE to be reading the scriptures and talks from conference over and over again, because there is always something that we miss or didn't catch. There is always a chance to learn something new from them.  It just came so boldly to me and it was clear that I need to continue to read the word of God over and over again.
Love ya!
     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, October 17, 2011

Man this week just flew by, and it seems like nothing really happened, at least on my side of things.  Oh before i forget, Happy Birthday to Marcie Prince and Chase Jensen this week! I don't even know if they read this but i just thought i should let them know that I remembered their birthday and that I was thinking about them :)  Also, next transfer is on November 3rd for those of you who wanted to know.  Im pretty sure that things will be staying the same for me but, you never know.
Here is a little update about our investigators: S, the khmae lady pulled a no show at our appointment this week but her family gave us her phone number and we called and she apologized and set up another appointment so we'll see. As for G and family, no one was at our appointments this week cept for G both times and no one came to church.  They seem like they are going to become eternagators (eternal investigators)
We met a Lady from Sudan and taught her a lesson and she was like, "Well if Joseph saw what he said he saw, who am I to tell him he's a liar? I believe him." haha that was cool. We have another appointment with her this week that im excited for.
Thats about all we've got right now.  We need to find some real solid investigators.  If you have any referrals for the Lynn, Malden, Chelsea, Melrose, Revere, East Boston, Charlestown, Saugus, and Everett area, Please feel free to send them :)
Some other things that happened this week is that 1) we had dinner with the families from the gym.  Like always the food was fabulous, we had a great time-they have become some really good friends, and the spirit was soooooo strong when we shared a message with them.  Each time we go, the spirit is there.  They have to be able to feel it. I don't see how they can't.  They really love us coming over and listening to us but at the moment thats all they want to do is listen.  But we wont give up :) They are so awesome!  We also sang Nearer My God to Thee and They loved that.  All four of us are pretty good singers and it sounded way good ha.  They thought we had been practicing that and rehearsing for some time but we told them that we had actually just decided to do that as we were knocking on their door haha.  Keep praying for them :)
Also related to the gym, K told Elder T that he could come to boot camp in the morning at the gym for free    I volunteered to do it with him cuz Elder P didn't want to and I know how much this means to Elder T.  Its a pretty crazy work out- I'm totally wasted by the end but its actually quite fun.  I mean I haven't sweated/ work out so hard like this in a long time. It feels good.  We'll see how im feeling after a week of it haha.  Pray for me :)
Lastly, we found out that the Elders in our stake are singing for stake Conference.  We had a practice last night and i found out that the missionaries in our stake don't quite know how to sing haha. No they are pretty good, its just gonna take a few practices to make it all sound nice and together.  I'll let you know how that goes. 

I just want to leave you with a little insight I got in personal study this morning. I was reading in Acts 5 verse.....41 i think? Anyways before that verse it talks about the apostles getting thrown in prison and then getting a beating and then in 41 or something like that they come out "Rejoicing to be counted worthy to suffer shame for His name."  I learned a lesson on enduring from this.  We don't gotta just endure all the hard things we go through in life but we have to endure it happily.  There are so many things out there persecuting us but how do we react to it? Are we rejoicing to be counted worthy?  We should be because it is such a blessing to be a part of this church.  We have the "good News", its something to be happy about.  So let it show :)
Love you all!  Have a great week!
     Elder Brady Johnson

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Well Hello again everybody! 
I'll get right into it.  Sorry about the cold weather in Utah. Here in Massachusetts it has been 80-85 degrees the last 4 days! its been wonderful.  But the cold is on its way and im way scared.  I don't like the cold I've decided.  Oh but earlier in the week we woke up to the most insane rain storm i have ever witnessed.  It was raining sooooo hard.  Lots of houses in Swampscott (pronounced Swampskit-Don't get me started on weird massachusetts words) were flooded way bad including the gym.  But everything is fine and dandy now.    Brock,  nice job in your football game. And for scoring 2 dates to Sadies.   
Mom, Elder B absolutely loved the birthday package you sent! Thanks for doing that.  He wore the tie you gave him to District meeting and i was like, "Whoa sweet tie Elder B! Where did you get it? Can I have it? haha" Then he told me that it was from you.  He also brought the whole package and shared some with our district. He was so happy.  I also bought a cake and brought it to district meeting cuz it was Elder M and Sis. T's birthdays that week too. 
So this week was a long one on our side of things.  We did lots of finding. We can't ever street contact cuz all that are out on the streets are spanish speakers so that leaves hours upon hours of good old tracting. So much fun...! No its good. Always good to just get out and work and show the Lord your willingness and faith.  We are also doing other finding tips that are mentioned in PMG to change it up every once in a while.  But what we really need is some more member referrals.  
R absolutely loved conference! Seriously.  I think she might have enjoyed it more than me and that is saying ALOT!  We went over this week to see if she even watched it and she just went on and on about out wonderful it was and all the different talks and what she learned and how she wished she would've known all of this her whole life. Her favorite talk was by Sis. Dalton. She was telling us specific things from lots of talks. It was so awesome.  R was telling me that her and her sister had a hour long discussion about what they had learned.  Man I love our Recent Converts!!!!! I hope you guys get to meet them some day.  
We had a pretty good lesson with the K Family.  We brought Hymn books and Elder A and I sung a hymn for them and then at the end of the lesson the whole family sung a hymn together with us.  Then, after much stress and hectic planning, all came to church on sunday!  And they liked it.  They thought it was a little long but said that they would come back.  SAAWEEET!
Friday we took a guy from the cambridge ward, that served his mission in Cambodia 3 years ago and actually knew Elder A, teaching with us.  Bro. D had our sweet sister S laughing like crazy with all of his cambodian jokes and play on words in khmae.  I didn't understand anything.  Then we went and taught a lesson to this new Khmae lady we ran into a few days ago and she let us in and we taught a lesson about God and about prayer.  Having bro D there helped alot cuz my khmae is not good and Elder A has forgotten so much. Bro. D knows more khmae than elder A at the moment. But this lady was way nice and she even offered a prayer after we taught her how!  It was way cool!  So now we have a legit Khmae investigator! YAY!  After teaching with Bro. D and talking with him, i realized just how bad my khmae is compared to someone who gets immersed in the language.  Its pretty frustrating knowing that I can't get that good unless i go to cambodia. Like i know it well enough to get by and i am grateful for that and for all that i've learned but there isn't much room for improvement until im in a situation to depend wholly upon my language.  OH well its still fun being the only one to understand the conversations that go on between Elder A and Elder B when they are together. Its still kinda weird to me that no one else can understand.
Yesterday for P Day we went into Boston just to chill and walk around and shop and what not.  Not too exciting until all of a sudden we here this chanting and loud drum and see a huge group of protesters marching down the street. The whole "Occupy Boston" thing that is going on... which i don't really know whats going on  only that it is going on. Can someone who has access to the world please enlighten me why we were almost trampled as we were strolling around B-Town? :)  It was kinda fun just being in the middle of it all having people walk past trying to get us to join in haha.
I have been reading the Oct. Ensign all about the Book of Mormon and it has been so great.  I started reading the B of M again (i took a break to read the new testament but now im reading both) and started using the study skills i learned from the ensign.  One thing Elder D. Todd Christofferson said was  that every single thing written in the book was for a purpose and to help us.  So he said to study it with the question of why was this particular thing written and why is it important to me always in your mind.  So thats what im doing. I started brand new with a new pass along copy and have been going through asking myself those questions after each verse and coming up with answers and writing it in the margins.  It is the coolest thing. I've already learned so much and been able to apply so much to my own life. Some things are harder to find answers to why it was written, like why is the verse, "And my father dwelt in a tent" written but i try to come up with some sort of explanation like for that one it shows humility.  I encourage you all to follow the counsel we've been given in conference and be reading the Book of Mormon every day.  This book is what we depend on as missionaries.  It brings hope, happiness, peace and answers.  I know it is true.
I love you all! Thanks for your support!  Remember that there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference is great!

Isn't Conference just glorious????!!!!! I feel like it has just blocked out everything else that we did this week cuz I can't remember... ha but first let me respond you all of y'all.
Dad, thanks for the update and detailed report of the BYU game.  Sounds like it was exciting.
Mom I'm so grateful for your efforts in getting all of us together for family dinners whenever possible with are extremely busy schedules. I totally believe that news report about how kids who eat dinner together as a family are way less likely to get into trouble/drugs.  I see it in the homes I go into.  It really is such a simple thing to get the family altogether to eat and it has such huge blessings. Keep trying to have those family dinners.  It makes a difference.  Also, thanks for starting to learn the member missionary lessons.  It means alot to me.
Some cool things of the week: We met with a inactive guy and he invited us to dinner for this week and seems like he wants to come back. I wrote a whole letter to Elder B in Cambodian for his birthday.(it took like an hour to do one page haha but still, it was sweet!).  We had leadership training which is where all the zone leaders, district leaders, and trainers meet together along with the Assistants and President and Sister Evans and we have trainings on different things.  The one I went to was with just our zone and 2 others and our companions didn't come  and so it was just a small group.  We were there from 9am to 3:30pm with 30mins of lunch.  What we do there is the AP's and ZL's and President give different trainings on what we call the Simplified Curriculum which is basically 8 major principles of how to be better teachers/missionaries/leaders.  It was so awesome!  We did lots of role plays (which is easily the best tool we have) for many teaching situations and then discussed/evaluated how we did.  It was just really cool and I learned a ton.  President Evans is a hilarious man and also very very spiritual.  I love him so much.  When he just shakes your hand, you can just tell he loves you.  
So Saturday was the day I was supposed to go speak in front of Clayton Christensen and the ward mission leaders of the stake but as we (the Zone Leaders, Elder A, and I) pulled up to the Cambridge Stake center, we received a call saying it was cancelled :(  So instead we went with the Cambridge South ZL's to a small little fancy Cafe' in down town Cambridge Massachusetts.  Ya picture this.  (I wish I would've gotten a picture of this... but that is beside the point) 6 missionaries, in suits and ties, in a very classy cafe', sipping on hot cocoa or a berry smoothie, listening to the Beatles, on a foggy rainy morning, in down town Cambridge.  Yup it was as epic as it sounds.  Man were we Fancy! We felt like we were living the MIT/Harvard student life (MIT and Harvard are within a few miles of us).  Pretty Legit, huh?! haha.
Then on to Saturday morning session which isn't really in the morning here cuz it starts at noon but oh well.  We show up to the church and there is no satelite connection! We had a few investigators there and we couldn't get it to work and no one had a laptop to try and watch it on.  So we scrambled and finally got everything working with a small laptop and terrible sound quality about an hour into conference.  So yes we missed the whole first hour of conference :(  It was not fun.  But we got it working and got to see some of it.  Then came the baptism which went so perfectly! (it was still stressful like every baptism but still good)  R loved watching conference and then was just so excited for her baptism.  After I baptized her she went into the bathroom to change and you could just hear this loud shout for joy hahaha.  She came into the room afterwards just smiling from ear to ear.  She also stopped the program so that she could bear her testimony haha it was awesome!  It was just an amazing experience. She told me later that we need to go with her to Africa and start saving those people as well!
Priesthood Session was easily my favorite but it also made me miss our tradition of going to iceberg.  Alot of people have asked me, "What do you wish you would've done before your mission?" and the answer I can now give is, Go read all the talks during Priesthood session of October 2011 and that is all you need. 
Sunday Elder A and I went up to Lynnfield to watch with Elders B and M and it was nice and relaxing and spiritually uplifting. I don't have much more time but I just want to encourage you to read over and study the talks that have been given.  They are modern day scripture. Take advantage of them.  I know that Thomas Monson is a true prophet. I know that without a doubt.  Our church is lead by God.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  We are so blessed.  The Book of Mormon is true.
I love you all.  Be Good :) 

     Elder Brady Johnson