Monday, July 23, 2012

No, Really!

Well Hello everybody! This week was BUSY but i love being busy! some highlights: C adn V were confirmed -i was able to confirm V so that was special- haha when we all put our hands on his head, he said, "OW!" really loud. i guess there was just too much weight on his head ha. We also spent the rest of sacrament meeting with them and their cousins trying to keep them controlled and quiet, ha we really need to get their parents to church somehow.... the YSA branch that we cover had a record 40 or so people at church this last sunday and it was AWESOME! One of my and Elder M's focus since he came to this area is to help the YSA grow by inviting those in other wards to come attend here. And its coming along. Plus we've had a few people move in for the summer. one of which is C Flake and yup he is second cousins to Dawson! He has a little brother who we went to lunch with who actually was in Dawson's ward at Dixie State! Small world. 

Next, We spent all day wednesday at the Warwick Chapel for interviews with president and trainings by us and the Assistants. We did 3 sessions so we had our zone split up in 3 groups and they came at 9, 11:30, and 2:30 and we stayed and helped train them on the things we learned at zone leader council a few weeks back. It was a long day but so good too. There was a crazy thunderstorm towards the end and the power went out so we ended up doing the last 2 hours in the dark ha. Then we immediately got in the car with President Packard and drove down to Groton RI to meet with our Stake Presidency. i love those meetings. Then drove back with Pres and he took us to dinner. With all that time with him, we really got to know him. He told us all about his mission, his life before the mission and his job. He was a big time Trial attorney and spoke in some pretty intense court cases. Some, murder cases. From his stories I felt like it was something in a movie.My conclusion about President Packard: He's the man! He likes to ask us for advice and what we think on certain matters or what can he improve on and we can be totally honest and open with him.

Lastly, I went on an exchange from friday to saturday with my good friend Elder H, the chilean. This is what the title of my email eludes to. Little background: Elder H is from chile. He's been on a mission for 3 weeks and has been speaking English for about 3 weeks :) Talk about a fun tour. He has a few phrases he really likes and says over and over again which include, NO Really! Be Mature. That is for Girls. Bring it. (and my favorite) Curtains! haha He tries to say curtains like people from utah where you don't say the "t" so he says Cur n's and that is how he texts it to us at least once a day haha. But i digress. It was so fun spending the whole day with him. My spanish got a good work out and I realized that i could probably survive if i only had to speak spanish. It would be super rough but i could do it... maybe. I love being around people from other countries and different cultures. I think my love for them all started back with Ivan the Ukrainian, Henry from Germany and then Palm from Thailand - exchange students from my high school days. Haha good times. I've decided that i HAVE to live outside of the U.S for at least 6 months at some point in my life. I just gotta experience being the foreigner cuz it looks like it is so much fun!

That is all. Oh, sounds like the Idaho weekend was fun, congrats to Jessica and Colby.  

Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, July 16, 2012

Full Speed Ahead!

Holy smokes the weeks are flying by! And they are just getting jam-packed with stuff. Its been Go Go Go this last week and its been pretty stressful having to make sure everything works out but thats what i love so its great!

First off, the most exciting thing was that C and V got baptized yesterday! Their Mom and Step-dad and two sisters all came to the three hours of church and then the baptism and they really enjoyed it! Their mom was super happy and thanked us a ton for everything. Elder M baptized C and then i baptized V:) When they both got in the bathroom after the baptism they looked at each other and yelled, "that was so cool!!!" haha it was the best! Lots of members were there to support and all in all, SUCCESS!

Another cool thing that happened sunday is that I got to confer the aaronic Priesthood upon Y (finally-  He's been super busy with work) That was a first for me. He's the man! He will do great things as he progresses in the gospel.

Oh and we also taught the High Priest quorum lesson. That was a first ha. We taught them about how to effectively share the gospel and had a really good lesson. Now in this ward I have taught HP, Elders quorum, Relief Society, young womens, young mens, and also taught a primary class. Plus given talks in Sacrament. Haha wow that shows that I've been in this ward way too long. If I'm here much longer, they will make us teach Nursery haha!

So some of the stressful things of being a zone leader was that we had two new elders brought in to the spanish ward in our zone and so we were put in charge of finding them an apartment, getting everything set up, having them live with us for a few days, and then get them moved in. All this took place in less than 5 days. Yup it was crazy. But We got it done and all is well. The two elders are way cool. Elder H is straight from Chile (He's only been in the US for 3 weeks) and speaks very little english haha its so much fun. It brings me back to the days when Elder A barely spoke english. But its all good cuz I can understand him in spanish and we can at least communicate. But his comp is way good at spanish and does a great job translating. the Chilean also plays soccer. of course he does, he's from chile, but i mean he was about to play for a pro club team down there but chose to come on his mission. And the cool thing is that he's been a member his whole life. We are gonna have alot of fun this transfer together in the zone and whatnot.

Lastly, something cool that happened was that we had 13 different members come out and teach with us this week! Thats our new record. The key is that we got couples to come out together :) there's a good date idea-go out with the missionaries and teach someone the good word! Dad asked, what we are doing differently to work with members because, you are right, I've spent most of my mission working with members and not much is different, just that now the whole mission is going to make a more concentrated effort on working with members, instead of just tracting all day. And President Packard gave us alot of good ideas to build off of and suggestions on what to do better when helping members with missionary efforts. and one of the things is following up on the commitments you give to them. He wants us to treat members like we would investigators and to keep records of what we teach them and what invitations/commitments we give them. We will be training all of the elders and sisters in our zone this week on the things we learned from President at Zone Leader Council so it should be pretty sweet.

Last week we played basketball at this park and there was like 6 of us elders and these 14yr old kids came on and challenged us to a game. They were pretty good. I think they actually beat us... ha no one in my zone really plays b ball cept me. But i did get a fast break and i totally dunked it again :) Oh the great things that come to you when you serve a mission!

Whelp, thats all folks. I love you all! In the words of my good friend, Kolby Emett: Call me! haha k bye!
Elder Brady Johnson

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's a new day!

Holy smokes I feel like its been forever since I last wrote and that SO much has happened. Where to begin? Well since most asked about 4th of july i will start there. That morning we drove up to Franklin, MA and had a meeting with 3 of the 9 zones and got to meet President and Sister Packard our new mission president and wife! They are soooo awesome! They are in their early 40's and Pres is from little ol Beaumont, TX and has a sweet southern accent and tons of those classic southern sayings. Blake probably knows what I'm talking about. He served his mission in So Cal and he remembers his mission so well- like when he talks about it, it seems as tho he just got off his mission. Sis. Packard is from Utah and served a mission in south america- Uruguay i think. They are both big time trial attorneys and were last in California practicing. Oh and did i mention that they have kids?! 4 of them! Its so cool having kids here in the mission!  Yup so that whole morning/noon we got to listen to them speak and introduce themselves and then got to personally greet them just for a couple seconds. But you could totally feel the love and the energy of a new young mission president. Needless to say, we all let that meeting excited for whats next.
Later that night we got together with a few missionaries and went to the bay of Providence and watched the fireworks that were shot off of a barge in the middle of the bay. it was pretty decent and we had a good time.

So if you recall that last monday I told you about going to the gymnastics gym with the huge foam pit that we all jumped in and did tricks and what not. Well, friday we went to that same gym to do a humongous service project-taking all the foam cubes out of the foam pit and then letting them air out and rise and then putting them all back. You would think, oh thats not too bad but they only do this like twice a year and there was 8 missionaries there and it took two hours of intense labor of throwing the foam cubes out of the pit and then took an hour lunch break and it took about an hour and a half to throw them all back. There were thousands of foam cubes!!!! It was so much fun tho! I don't think I've ever had so much fun, sweated so much, and been so sore afterwards from any other service project before. it was epic! I'll be sending pics of it soon :)

C and V did not get baptized this week because we just wanted a little more time for them to really understand everything, but now its all set for this Sunday and even their mom is going to be comming to church and the baptism!!!!! Those kids are so excited! V asked me to baptize him but first he asked one of our members, "if you were gonna get baptized, would you trust elder Johnson to baptize you?" haha. Too bad their sister stopped meeting with us. But im confident that she will come around someday soon.

Not too much else in regards to investigators cuz last week was filled with lots of meetings, a holiday, and lots of service. But it was a great week none the less.

yesterday we had zone leader council with President and Sister Packard and all the other zone leaders. It was so different from how Pres. Evans would do it. Thats why the title of the email is its a new day, because with a new mission president comes a lot of new things. new ideas, new changes, and new excitement. We were there at the mission home for the council from 8:30am til 4:00pm with only an hour lunch break. It was intense. Alot of information. We talked mostly about how to work with members and I am so stoked for the things that will happen here in this mission. President Packard is definitely the perfect man for the job here in New England. It will take awhile to start implementing his plans and ideas but once it starts going, amazing things will happen. I am convinced that success and miracles are out there within our reach. We just gotta move forward with these new plans and ideas and we will see the fruits. I wish i could tell you all about what i learned at the meeting but its impossible. Maybe over the next few months I'll share some of the things we are doing to work with members and help them with their sharing the gospel efforts. A quote by Pres Packard is this- "in our mission we will live or die by member work". And so, like what i've learned over and over and over again through out my mission, Change is GOOD! Embrace the change and love life :)

I love you all! Thanks for everything! Good luck to Nikki and Ryan and Carter in AZ! Thanks Grandpa Butler for going to my old Mission President's homecoming and reporting on it! I have the best family and friends in the world! :) OH and just so you know, im not getting transferred! I get to stay another round here in good old Providence! the promised land!

Elder Brady Johnson

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Well my friends and family, I don't have much time at all this week cuz we are having too much fun this p-day! So real quick:

the 3 children I have been teaching should be getting baptized this week on the 8th.

I'm still not sure what we will do for the 4th of July but we have permission to stay out late for fireworks- I like the new mission president already :)  We will meet President Packard for the first time on July 4th in the morning along with his family. I'm way excited!

We went to the temple with some of the ward on saturday night and J went and then on sunday she bore her testimony for the first time and said how grateful she was for this church and all the members and the missionaries who brought her here and helped her be baptized. It was so cool to be there for that. She is so solid :)

We have alot of members helping us by coming out teaching with us. More members want to come out than we have appointments so its pretty awesome! I feel like this is my home ward now and I'm such good friends with alot of the members. I hope i don't get transferred any time soon cuz I absolutely love it here!

I had legit ethiopian food and that was way interesting!

I love it here. I love the investigators, the missionaries, the members, my companion elder M is way cool, and things are just great! We are so lucky to live in this great country where we have so many freedoms! our founding fathers truly were inspired by God. Life is great when you are a missionary! We have every reason to be happy as Latter Day Saints! Remember that and be happy! I love you all!

Elder Brady Johnson