Monday, January 30, 2012

Wow what a crazy whirlwind last couple of days it has been.  Can you believe that im in Rhode Island? ya me neither.  But first let me start with Thursday. It was transfer meeting and the whole cambodian program was affected by this transfer so we were all at transfer meeting in Belmont MA and that was fun gettting to see everybody again.  Then came the hour or so long drive to Providence Rhode Island.  It is a bit ghetto here with lots of sketchy neighborhoods and lots of graffiti so of course I love it!  Our apartment is way tight too.  Not much else happened that day cept we met D.  D is famous among missionaries cuz he becomes your best friend and favorite person in just seconds after meeting him.  He is like 55, he doesn't work cuz of a working accident that messed up his leg, his wife passed away and so he spends mostly all of his time going out with the missionaries.  He has the thickest new England accent ever and he is just hilarious.  He joined the church about 11 years ago and ever since then he has been the best ward missionary.  I can't wait til you can meet him someday. 

Friday we drove an hour into Connecticut for district meeting.  We only make that drive every 3 weeks cuz we all switch off on which church we hold district meeting in.  So ya I can now say that I've been in all states that our mission covers.  New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.  Cool huh?  We got to meet S, the new cambodian convert who just got baptized 2 weeks ago.  It was weird to teach a full-on lesson in khmae but It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  Plus she fed us some really good food that she made.  

Saturday we taught a member referral, a lady from Sierra Leon and we extended a baptismal date and she accepted like that!  oh and we also have a baptism on Feb 12.  She is the wife of a recently re-activated member.  Plus we have 2 others we plan on extending to this week so this should be an awesome transfer. 

Sunday was super crazy just trying to meet and talk to everyone I possibly could plus we had to investigators at church in the Warwick ward and then in the YSA branch there was a few non members so hopefully we can meet with them.  I really like this area and the ward.  Its gonna be awesome down here and I think I will be here for a long time so that will be great. 

A little about our zone, we have the biggest zone in the mission. We have 26 missionaries or so and right now, our zone is doing really well with baptisms and dates.  Our Zone covers all of RI and a little bit of Connecticut. 

Its been really busy but already I've had so much fun. I love serving with Elder W again.  We are gonna have a really fun transfer and hopefully a very successful transfer.  This week is already super booked because of different meetings and lots of appointments.  We have tons of work in our area plus they just took two elders out of our ward so now we have their area and cover the whole ward by ourselves.  But we got this.  This is the Lord's work.  He qualifies whom He calls.  I love this work and know that it is true.  The book of Mormon is true.  I know it.  And I know that God lives.

Im glad to hear that everyone is doing well.  Mom thanks for being the only one who sends me snail mail these days.  Checking the mail isn't exciting any more because i never get anything ha.  But such is life.  I get lots of emails tho so thats lots of fun.  Well I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Love,  Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm going to Rhode Island!

       Stacy made these shirts for Brady and his companion for Christmas. They say "Mission Possible".

So alot of big things happened this week. 1) it finally snowed, like 3 inches.  2)all the snow is gone and it was 60 degrees yesterday-so nice! and 3) IM GETTING TRANSFERRED! Yup 8 months in this lovely area is all over just like that. We got the text Saturday night and it said that I am going to Providence, Rhode Island which is a newly opened cambodian area.  My companion will be Elder W again(my trainer) and we are the Zone Leaders down there.  Its gonna be so much fun. I love Elder W and way excited to serve with him again.  Being a zone leader will be pretty intense but alot of fun as well.  Crazy stuff, huh?! here is my new address:

304 Pearl St  #209
Providence, RI 02907
I never would've thought I would ever find myself in RI ever in my life but here we go ha!  So the last few days have been saying goodbye to lots of people.  Lots of good memories here and this is definitely a place that I will bring my family back to after the mission.  It has been sad saying goodbye to our recent converts and also sad saying goodbye to investigators and members that have become close friends.  But Im sure I will see them again someday.  We will definitely keep in contact somewhat.  I went to say goodbye to the D family and she had made peanut butter bars again using mom's recipe.  It was awesome!  Oh and Bro C made me promise that I would tell Mom and Dad thanks for raising me and getting me here :)  He also is expecting to meet you guys too.  But you will have to talk REALLY loud cuz he is extremely deaf haha its the best!  It feels like I've been in this area forever so it will be nice to get out and start again new and have lots of new experiences with more people to meet.  Im way excited about it so don't worry about me in the least!

D is still doing really well.  She told us that she wants to join our church eventually and that she loves everything we are teaching her.  She said that since meeting with her, her mind is "expanding".  We showed her Alma 32:28 i think and it talks about exactly what she was explaining to us.  She is totally gonna get baptized but she just wants to take her time.  Its been really fun teaching her but definitely a new experience cuz she is just so open and accepting of what we say.  Sometimes we don't know what to say next cuz she has no comment about the principle we had just taught her. 

B is determined to take care of a problem and will start a church program to help him.  He plans to start the day after the superbowl.  People are going crazy about the superbowl and im sad I'll be in RI for it so as to not see all the celebrations.  Our other investigators still come to church but are taking it slow about getting baptized.  It will happen eventually.... thats how I feel with alot of our investigators-eventually it will happen.  Because they know it is good and know it is right but just aren't ready, you know?

Let me tell you about my favorite part of this last week. On Saturday, It snowed the 3 inches so that was cool but also we got invited to help out at a stake Youth activity down in Cambridge.  The Stake put on a MTC in a Day experience for all the youth in the stake.  So all the kids got fake mission calls in the mail the week before and told them to report to the stake center (MTC) on saturday.  My whole district got invited to do a 1 hour work shop with 3 times on teaching the first lesson/what is it like to be a missionary. Elder A and I had all the kids in our group role play and teach us a part of the first lesson.  It was alot of fun and all the kids had a good time asking questions and seeing what it was really like to serve a mission.  It was an awesome idea.  There were other workshops going on like:  A day in the life of a missionary,  language training, and P-Day and what not. 

We had alot of fun interacting with the youth and there are some solid kids in this area.  The young man that I baptized in September was there and he says he wants to serve a mission! How cool is that?!  Also, in one of my classes that I taught, I had President Eyring's grand daughter in it! Ha she totally looks like an Eyring. Her dad is the Area 70 here in New england.  President and Sister Evans also spoke at a fireside at the end of the event and it was really powerful.  All in all, it was alot of fun and I think it will be a big motivation for the kids to go on missions because If I had done something like this before my mission, i would be way stoked to go on a mission-not that I wasn't already but it just calms alot of nerves and fears i think.  I was thinking, maybe summer of 2013 Me, Adam, Daniel and Trevor and Dawson could organize something like that for our ward.  or something like that. 

Well peeps, I must be on my way but one last thing is that i know that this church is true.  How do I know it is true, one might ask? Well you see the other night after leaving R, M & V's house I felt extremely happy and so much love for that family.  I couldn't be this happy if this church wasn't true. Its just not possible.  I love the church and I love seeing the happiness the gospel brings into the lives of the families and individuals. And I am so honored and grateful for the privilege I have of being able to bring the gospel into other people's lives. Its a beautiful thing.  I love you guys!

Oh ps. V gave a talk in church on sunday! It was like a 3 min talk about prayer and how she said "the prayer of her life" so that her mom would let her get baptized and her prayer was answered a few months later.  She is only 11 years old and only been a member since Sept.and yet she is up there giving talks like its nothing.  She is so awesome.


     Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Well Hello, Hello.  Another week has come and gone.  Sorry i didn't write for the last two days. Mon was Martin Luther King Jr. Day so libraries were closed and Tuesday we were too busy.  And to give heads up, next week is transfers so 1) I will be emailing again on Wednesday again and 2) send my mail to the mission home cuz i might get transferred.  Im pretty sure I'll be getting transferred but I said that last one so who knows what will happen.  We find out on Saturday.  I have been in this area for 8 months now.  I love it and all but I'm ready for a change of scenery, something new, a fresh start.

None of our investigators are progressing so no new updates about them.... Ya its kinda frustrating when you have lots of investigators but nothing happening with them.  Ok I take that back we have one really cool new investigator.  I don't remember if i wrote about her last week but her name is D and she is a nice older lady who is very curious and open to us.  We found her by a member bringing her to church.  That first sunday she came, she demanded us to come over and teach her more haha.  We've had two lessons with her and it is so much fun!  She likes to talk alot and tell us her theories and what not that are quite interesting but then all of a sudden she will just stop and say, "Sorry, please tell me more :)"  She is just soaking it all in but is not really thinking about baptism or big commitments like that yet.  Her first reason for meeting with us was because she wants to be a better person and she has noticed that Mormons are the type of people she wants to be like.  So she wants to know why it is Mormons act the way they do.  She often says after us teaching her a principle, "I can accept that.  But I'm not sure I believe it yet." haha she is just alot of fun to teach.  She asks some really hard questions and that I don't know what to say cuz I can't relate to alot of her situations but thank goodness for awesome members that we bring to lessons.  I'll keep you updated on her.  See, this is what happens when we get a member referral!  It is so much more likely to work out rather than the random people we meet on the streets that we never see again ha.

R, one of our recent converts called us on Friday night and asked, "so I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 84 and i had some questions..." haha I was way caught off guard but apparently she has been reading and studying the scriptures like crazy.  She is so awesome along with all of our other recent converts.  By the way R and M are all doing really well.  I am so happy for them and it is so awesome to see that they are already part of the ward and it seems like they've been members the whole time.  This gospel changes lives. I am a witness of that.  It is truly incredible to be a part of it all.

We also had our monthly dinner at the D's with the P family(the gym families).  I love those families.  Just in case you forgot, they are not members but they absolutely love us missionaries.  We shared with them Pres. Monson's  address in the January Ensign about Having an Abundant life and they loved it.  They were way impressed by what he said and the spirit was very very strong.  I was able to bear my testimony that he is a prophet of God and I realized that I really do know that he is a prophet.  Don't you just love those moments when you have known something for awhile but never really known it and then it just clicks and the spirit confirms it to you? I don't know if that makes sense to you but it does to me.  Pres Monson is The Prophet of God on this earth today.  Just read his words and you will also know.

The last thing I want to write about today is about our Leadership training we had this week down in the Cambridge Stake center.  It was all the Zone Leaders, the District leaders+companions, the AP's and President and Sister Evans. 9am-4pm of being trained by President Evans, each other and the spirit and tons of roleplaying.  Roleplaying is the number one missionary tool for helping us be better missionaries.  I love being able to go to these meetings every other month.  President Evans is so funny and so knowledgeable.  Plus Sis Evans always makes the most amazing lunches. Oh and the other thing that I like about them is that I get to see alot of my buddies from the mission.  I got to see Elder Aaron Hall-one of my good friends from high school- for the first time since June and that was awesome.  We were able to catch up and see how much each of us has grown since high school ha.  Good times. 

Well family and friends i must be on my way. Duty calls, you know.  I love you all so much. And i love our Savior Jesus Christ.  I love being His representative in the New England area.  He is the light and Life of the world.

ps. just some random facts, it was FREEZING on saturday and sunday but now its back up to the 40's and 50s and its nice. It finally snowed yesterday but today its all melted and gone.  So one of my goals for this year is to improve my memory and the way i go about doing that is by memorizing a scripture or two each day.  Some apostle once said that If you memorize a scripture each day for like a year or two(i don't know the details just the main idea of what he said ha) you will have a photographic memory.  So thats what im doing.  I've memorized 18 scripture masteries in 18 days and still have them all memorized.  And each one I memorize, the easier it gets.  Cool huh? ha k, bye

     Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hey Peeps! Thanks for keeping me updated in your lives. Its the best getting letters and emails from all of you so keep it up!  I received revelation that my summer job in 2013 will be being an EFY couselor at BYU! Im so excited for it haha. Dahlson is home?! Man that is sooooo crazy!  Tell him to give me his email address or something.  Also If someone could get me Trevor T's email address that would be splendid.  Thanks! 

Well this week was super busy.  So much so, that we simply don't have time to go out finding(street contacting or tracting).  Its crazy. I've never been this busy before but we have been able to just find new people by just talking to EVERYONE we see on our way to different appointments are trying to contact referrals.  One of the keys to missionary work is just simply talking to everyone.  Also, every one else in our zone is doing lots of finding and since we are the english elders almost over the whole zone, we are getting tons of referrals from the other missionaries. haha so we don't have to find cuz other missionaries are doing it for us haha. Its way cool!  We have been trying really hard to plan very effectively because if we don't, we are going to not be able to meet/teach very many people.  Its always a good feeling knowing you have a deep investigator pool to draw from.

But even tho we have been super busy, nothing really has come from it.  Lots of investigators but very little progression.  Its frustrating at times and we had a few lessons this week where we sat down with investigators and straight up asked them Why they were meeting with us and what they were hoping to get from all this and then we were able to share our purpose and what we wanted to do and how we don't want to be wasting our time and your time if they are not gonna do anything about the things they learn.  And we got a really good response and a renewed desire to learn and to find the truth.

We met with a lady who is having a baby in like a week- and she is really searching for the truth. We watched the Restoration movie with her and after, asked her what she thought and she said," I feel like I'm in the same position as that Joseph Smith kid.  Im just looking to do the right thing."  Boom! Solid!  So then we promised her that she would find the truth thru meeting with us and reading the book of Mormon and then we committed her to be baptized if she found that all this was true and she accepted!  The only problem is that it will be hard to meet with her for the next little while cuz of the whole baby sitch.

No new news about D, D, and J cept that they all came to church this week and at least D is still looking forward to getting baptized eventually.  Its just a long story with them that i really don't have time to explain. but Eventually they will all be baptized but all in due time.  J went two days without coffee but then got major headaches so he went back to one cup a day but is slowly drinking less and less and sometimes goes a whole day without drinking it. 

We had interviews with President Evans this week and it was awesome.  He is such a funny person.  And he always has the spirit with him. I'm sad that he goes home this summer.  In our interview he gave some really good advice and was just a good listener.  He told me that in his mission these last 2 years he has had the hardest days in his life. But he has also had the very best days of his life as well.  Nothing has ever brought him to his knees so often in fervent prayer and it is so true.  The mission is extremely hard but so very rewarding.  I love it out here.  Things are going good. I really just can't complain. I am so blessed.

It has been soooo warm this winter.  It got up to 60 this week!  still no snow which is a bummer but its also a good thing cuz then driving is still safe.  But there have only been two days that have been decently cold and it was earlier this week and it got to like 15 degrees plus a very bitter wind chill. So we've been lucky there.

Well i got to get going.  We are going to go down to Cambridge and walk around the Havard (my future school) and MIT campuses. So Im pretty stoked.  I Love you guys. Thanks for everything!

     Elder Brady Johnson