Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! - November 24, 2014

Thanks so much to Uncle Dave and all the elders of Gilbert, Arizona for sending their ties down here to Honduras for Christmas.  It´s going to be awesome! White shirts are very hard to find here and ties are even harder! They will be much appreciated!!  The ties mom sent just got here this past week.  Thanks so much for the package.  
How cool is this?!  Missionaries from Arizona Gilbert Mission collecting ties to send to Honduras.
We had a pretty great Thanksgiving celebration for lunch today.  Everyone got pretty darn excited.  The elders decorated the table with the decorations that mom sent us while we ran off to make instant mashed potatoes and buy some fried chicken.  It was a wonderful way to spend the holiday.  Elder Giron is taking all the paper decorations home with him on Thursday to go celebrate anew with his family in Mexico as his mission is completed this next week, and he goes home  (He is from Guatemala, just that his dad is living in Mexico now).
Hermana Mejia and Elders Giron and Alonso getting ready for our Thanksgiving feast at the church
Giving thanks!
Big news with transfers coming up this week.  No I still do not know where I´ll be going, but it is likely I will leave since I have 6 months here already.  President Dester will be opening up an area of Honduras that has never before had missionaries ever!  The area of Lempira.  (It would be the equivalent of opening a new state for preaching in the US, so it´s a pretty big deal)  Missionaries have never stepped foot there before... but get this, it is even farther away than Copan!  It would be like a 6 to 8 hour bus ride from San Pedro to head out there.  Of the five new areas, hermanas will be assigned to one, so it´s actually possible that they could send me there and that´s pretty scary but exciting as well to be the very first missionaries to start the work there.  We shall see what happens.  

Also the big news is that now the transfers will be done in a completely new way.  Before they always had a big meeting in San Pedro where everyone that had changes went and president announced the transfers in front of everyone.  Love that!  Now it will be very different.  There will no longer be a big meeting.  On  Monday they will call us and tell us right then and there where we will go and with whom we will be going, and then it is our job to try to call and find that person and meet up together to go to our new area.  Everyone is pretty much completely on their own.  I feel like this is a little scary.  Life is way easier with just a big meeting with everyone to announce what is happening, and everyone is supervised, and the leaders are there to help out.  Now it is every man for himself.  Needless to say I am a little nervous about the whole thing... let you know how it goes.

Elise was looking very beautiful for her dance pictures.  Most of all, I am just so proud she went modest.  Her dress was so pretty.  I am sure it is much more good looking in person.  Her date was so sweet to get the awesome flowers that were a wrist corsage but a real bracelet as well.  So nice!  
I cannot believe I only have two transfers left?!  The time has gone by so quickly I cannot believe I am getting so close to the end!
I love you all!  Thanks so much for all your love and support!  Have an awesome week!  
Hermana Johnson
All I Want for Christmas - November 10, 2014

Everyone´s been asking what I want for Christmas this year.  Well I don´t really have great need of anything because I don´t really have that much time left.  But it would be wonderful if you could send things like ties and white shirts for boys and skirts for girls for the members and investigators we have.  That would be the very greatest Christmas present of all for everyone.  Little toys (cars, Barbies, or beanie babies) would also be wonderful.  It doesn´t matter if they are used or new, just anything you think would make a little kid´s day.  Just to make this Christmas special for them.

My favorite bakery in all of Honduras!  Enjoying my favorite cinnamon cookies and mango smoothie.  Yum!!
Congrats to Elise for getting her young women´s medallion!  Whooooooo!  And for getting a cute date for preference!  When is preference?  Be sure to send lots of pictures in her cute dress, of her date and everything.  I wish I could be there to go help pick it out!  Well, there´s always next year!

This week I heard the most darling story from our stake patriarch. We are very lucky to have the patriarch here in our ward.  He said when he was receiving the missionary lessons, the elders taught his family the law of chastity.  So he went right ahead and asked his wife to marry him.  Well the Honduran people just don´t like to get hitched for some reason.  It is extremely rare to find a legally married couple.  You can go find an old grandpa on the street that has been with the mother of his children 60 years, but if you speak of marriage, he´ll say, "No no no, I feel I just need to get to know her a little bit more before making such a big commitment."  Anyway, the patriarch´s wife said no, and so he begged her and begged her every day for eight months to marry him to be able to live the commandments of God and have their family be baptized as members of the true church.  After eight months she still said no. So he packed up his bags, and said to his wife, "My dear, I love my children, I love my Heavenly Father, and I love you, and for that very reason, today I´m leaving you."  And he walked out with all his things to live in a nearby neighborhood, still supporting his family financially of course.  He just so desired to be obedient to the Lord´s commandments that he no longer could stay in the same house with his wife until they were legally married.  He was baptized a member of the church one week later.  He was willing to give up everything for his testimony of the restored gospel.  One month later his wife called him up on the phone, and said, "honey, let´s go get hitched."  And so they were married very shortly after that.  And one year after they were sealed for time and all eternity in the temple.  One would never ever know of their difficulties as the patriarch and his wife are the most darling, loving couple, and the Spirit is so strong in their home it is almost like being in the temple.  The patriarch said, "It is not always easy to be a member of this church.  There will be moments when we feel we are unfairly losing everything, but if we are patient and wait, we will be lucky enough to see all the grand blessings our Father in Heaven has in store."  Obedience is always better.  Always. 

Our neighbor's dog, Simba.  We are feeding him tamales because he is a pretty fierce guard dog (aka bites people).  But if you feed him every once in a while, he is your friend. He is sick and very thin because his little body is full of ticks.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!  I love you all!

Sincerely, Hermana Johnson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hermana Wong is Home! - November 3, 2014

Hey shout out to Mindy!  Congrats on completing your 18 months of service!  That is so spectacular.  She will continue being an excellent missionary at home as well, as she always has had a testimony and a light to share with everyone.  Good job mom, Kristy, and Rhonda for getting the house ready for sweet Sister Wong.  Too cool!

Hermana Mindy Wong returns home!
Ryan is happy to see his baby sister!

Oh happy day!  Hermana Wong is coming home today and three are getting the yellow ribbons ready!
Hey, good lookin pics of Molly from halloween!  She fits the part PERFECTLY.  I actually have seen Frozen.  We watched it at a ward activity last year believe it or not.  It´s pretty alright.  Even Molly´s braid was done to perfection.

Elise or should we say Elsa has the Frozen fever for Halloween
 I celebrated Halloween this year by buying a new pair of rain boots.  Winter has officially arrived here in Puerto Cortes!  And it is rain, rain, rain and more rain.  Puerto Cortes really is just one big swamp.  All the houses have to be built up on high stilts so that when it rains it doesn´t fill the house up with water.  But Saturday it rained so terribly that the water got up waist high in some parts. We were in the town center, and it was a massive river where the streets should be.  The elders literally had to go swimming to get to some of their appointments.  Now that´s dedication.  I would be too nervous to go swimming in that dirty water.  Many houses flooded with water as well.  In front of our apartment, the yard is covered a foot deep in water.  We can´t leave the house without putting our rain boots on.  With all the water, the snakes are coming out more than ever.  Tons of water snakes in the street.  One must take great caution where to step. ha ha ha  All the creepy critters are seeking refuge in my house.  Just this week we found two scorpions in the house.  We sweep the house every single day to try to keep the critters under control.  It´s nice that it´s cool now, but almost no one came to church on Sunday because no one felt like swimming I suppose.  The other cool thing is that now that the streets have turned into rivers, I suppose the sea spilled into them a bit, so they are full of fish and sea snails, so that´s pretty cool.

Rain boots - one of the best purchases made on the mission
The only bad thing is that when it rains they shut off the water in the house that we use to bath, wash the dishes, etc.  So we are back to bucket showers these days.  Lots of Halloween adventures.  We even found a street here in Puerto Cortes that celebrates Halloween.  They decorate their houses and send their kids trick or treating and everything, but only in one block here (10 to 12 houses as I believe they all have family in the US that passed on the idea).  Cool right?  Although it´s odd because all the stores and supermarkets decorate for Halloween (put up pumpkins, spider webs and things), but no one here actually celebrates it, except for one block of people.

Many times when the Spirit whispers to us, it gives us some really weird ideas.  Like this past week, we are visiting a less active family that has a teenage boy named Marco, who is 17 years old.  We go to visit the entire family, but Marco doesn´t pay us a whole lot of attention, and sometimes even tries to hide from us, or so we thought.  Well we prayed to know how to help Marco come back to the church and help him understand why the gospel is so important.  Marco is a super fan of Naruto, the anime, and so we felt the idea that we should teach him the plan of salvation comparing it to Naruto.  I thought that was the weirdest impression from the Spirit ever, but when I talked to Hermana Mejia about it, we felt it was the thing to do.  So Hermana Mejia then told me that before her mission she was also a super fan of Naruto, and so much so that she had even brought DVDs and playing cards with her on her mission.  I was totally shocked because she´s so obedient and hardworking.  She said after two months in the mission field she decided to leave it all behind and threw it all out because she couldn´t feel the Spirit knowing she was disobeying, so she doesn´t have that issue anymore.  So she spent all morning teaching me about Naruto and how we could compare it with the plan of salvation.  We even made him a Naruto themed poster with a list of the blessings one receives for going to church.  Well it totally worked because now he sits in the house waiting for us to arrive and pays attention in the lessons.  He liked his poster so much that he called us to thank us for it, and it is hanging up in his room.  The Spirit really acts in mysterious ways sometimes, and really God puts the missionaries He needs right in the place He needs them to be, because only Hermana Mejia would´ve been able to understand Marco´s likes and tastes to be able to relate them to the gospel and help him understand why it´s so important.  

Well anyways, lots of adventures here for Halloween.  I hope you all have an awesome week!  Love you lots!

Hermana Johnson          

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Halloween! - October 27, 2014

Happy Halloween from Honduras!
I am very proud to say I have wonderful parents who have been happily married for 29 years now. (Wow, that makes you people sound super old.  Just kidding!)  Way to keep the flame alive! 

Visiting the Omoa Castle for the 5,000th time.  (ha ha)  Believe it or not, Hermana Mejia had never been there before.
No, but really it is something worth celebrating.  Marriage is ordained of God.  I spend all day begging people to get married to comply with the commandments God has given us, because I know from the thousands of people I have visited that it leads to a more stable, happier, and united family.  Couples just living together is very challenging for me.  Why would anyone want to live like that?  That is probably the least romantic offer ever.... "Hey baby, now that we´ve been dating for a while, would you like to come live with me in my apartment?  You know, see how it goes for a while, who knows what´ll happen tomorrow."  Silly people, and somehow they think by that zero compromise, no catches here, what´s mine is mine, and what yours is yours will lead them to be happier.   

On the other hand, there is the offer of "Hey, would you like to be my eternal companion?"  Now that´s romantic!  Someone that no matter what happens good or bad, will always be by your side to support and love you for always.  Way to go mom and dad!

I am very, very grateful that my parents have set that good example of marriage first, family later, and that not only were they legally married, but they were sealed for all the eternities in the holy temple, so that our family can be together forever.  Now if that´s not worth celebrating, I don´t know what is.

Mom and dad are a great pair that complement each other super well.  You are both hardworking, loving parents that are willing to sacrifice everything for our family.  Thank you for the love and support you have always given me and continue to give me and for putting family before all, as that is just how our Heavenly Father wants it.  I couldn´t have asked for better parents in all the world.       

Way to go Molly for decorating the house for the anniversary. 

Speaking of decorations, I got two super fabulous Halloween packages this week.  One from Uncle Darren and one from Mom and Dad.  My apartment is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, stunning in fact.  We decorated our bedroom and our kitchen and still had left over decorations, so we gave some to the elders.   We put up the purple lights in the bedroom, threw spider webs all over, and put up pumpkins and the beware tape on the door.  At night we just sit in the dark for a few minutes looking at the lights, and we just feel so peaceful.  I feel right at home, because we all know how psyched mom gets for Halloween.  We have thoroughly enjoyed all the candy, and we´ll start giving all the Halloween toys Darren sent on Halloween day.  Whooooooooooooooo!

Our apartment all decked out for Halloween

Our bedroom looking spooky for Halloween
I love you all!  Have a wonderful Halloween and send me pics of everyone in their costumes!  
Hermana Johnson
Loving Puerto Cortes - October 20, 2014

This week was pretty alright.  There were some disappointments, but wonderful things happened as well.  Of course I've been worried about how all you people have been and how our family is doing with Nana's passing, but from what you sent it seems like it was a pretty peaceful week and that things went alright in California.  I'm glad the family could be together for a little bit.  It seems like the services went nicely, and I like the boys' matching ties.

Nana's boys after her funeral
As for transfers, I got to stay here with Hermana Mejia!  You all guessed right.  I'm glad I get to have more time with her because we are great buddies.  We were very disappointed though that Elder Melendez, our super awesome zone leader who serves here in our ward, has gone home as he finished his two years.  Elder Melendez and Elder Alonso were the greatest zone leaders I've ever had, and they were always there helping us with all the activities and the four of us really just felt like real brothers and sisters in the Lord's work.  This past transfer really was spectacular. 

The Fab Four working harder than ever in Honduras!
Lots of great things happened this week as well.  On Wednesday morning, we got to know an awesome lady just knocking on doors.  It was actually already time to head to our lunch appointment with a member, but we passed by the house and just felt that we needed to go right then, so we knocked on the door, and she let us in.  We told her about the restoration of the gospel, and when we told her about the story of Joseph Smith this lady just started to cry.  She said she felt something so powerful, such a great peace, that she never wanted us to leave.  She said the day we first arrived was very strange.  She said that she normally wears her pajamas all morning to clean the house and then changes after lunch.  On that Wednesday her husband wanted her to go to with him to the grocery store, but she felt something holding her back and that she needed to be at home, and so she said she showered, got dressed early and just sat down waiting.  She felt that she really needed to wait for something grand, and that very day we knocked on her door.  We have only visited three times, but she has already been studying her Book of Mormon and has committed to give up smoking and wants to go to church and everything.  She says she feels so much peace, and cries every single time we go to her house from the spirit.  We even got to know her husband this week, and he understands everything perfectly as well.  It was so amazing.  
When I leave her house, we feel like we are floating on a cloud because the spirit is so real and so strong, and she is just so well prepared by the Lord.  For people like her, we can walk all day and have everyone slam the door in our face and walk through ran and mud and jungles, and it's all totally worth it just to feel that perfect peace and happiness that only the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ can bring someone.  She says just to see our face fills her with joy and peace, so that gives me even more pressure to be a bit more perfect each day, because there are so many people watching our example as missionaries and as members as well of the Lord's church.  I feel so happy.

Thanks for all your love and support.  Happy birthday to Uncle Dave!
Hermana Johnson

Friday, November 21, 2014

Remembering Nana - October 13, 2014

I am so very sorry to hear about Nana passing away this past week.  I want you all to know how much I love you and that I pray for you every day.  Nana is free from all the physical and mental trials that have been afflicting her.  She is free to be with Papa and her parents and free to be in great peace.  And she is free because she chose to follow the great plan of happiness and endured to the end.  I am forever grateful for the great example of optimism she always had.  Nothing could get her down.  She was just always so happy and easygoing.  I remember when she started to have Alzheimer's, we were driving in the car and passed by one of her favorite restaurants, and she said "Hey that place looks really good, we should go try that out sometime."  I don´t remember who said it, but someone said, "Nana that´s one of your favorite restaurants, you don´t remember?"  and she was like, "Oh wow...." and she says to me, "This sickness isn´t really that bad.... everything is just so new and exciting each and every day now."  Nobody can put a hole in Nana´s boat.  She was just always so so positive and could make everyone smile.  

Nana hanging with some of her cute granddaughters
And thanks to Nana, our family is so very privileged to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   If it weren´t for Nana, I would not be here serving a mission in Honduras today.  And the dear sweet Diana that was baptized on Saturday perhaps wouldn´t have ever gotten to know the gospel in her life.  Diana is the only member of her family now that is a member of the church.  Diana here in Honduras, in English would be Diane just like Nana.  And she got to know the gospel very close to Nana´s age, and just like Nana she had problems with the Word of Wisdom, but just like Nana the very day the missionaries taught her the Word of Wisdom she started to live it because she knew it was true.  Nana´s legacy will continue changing lives for many generations to come, though she is not physically here.  

Diana´s baptism almost didn´t happen.  It was the most almost impossible situation I have faced in all my mission.  Friday night we went to fill up the baptismal font, and there was very little water coming out because this week there´s been a lot of rainstorms so the water gets dirty, and they shut it off.  And the bishop told us there´d been some troubles with the water system in the chapel so that workers would be coming Saturday in the morning to fix everything.  So Saturday at 8 in the morning, we  went with the elders to a member´s house to weed and mow her lawn... but lawn mowers don´t exist here in Honduras, so when I say mow the lawn, I mean get out your machete and start cutting down jungle weeds and plants to a sufficient level that people can get to their house.  And they do that about once a month.   It took a lot longer than we thought, so we didn´t arrive at the chapel again to see if there was water until 1:00.  We  thought we were going to finish by 10.  Once in the chapel, we discovered no one had come to fix anything, and there was absolutely no water, and the baptism was going to be at 5:30 that very day. 

We called the fire department to see if the firefighters could come fill it up, but they were busy putting out a fire, and said anytime we need water we have to ask at least 24 hours in advance.  So with 3 teenagers from the ward, we started going door to door to all the neighbors that live close to the chapel to see if they would let us use water from their pilas, and we would pay them in turn for all the water we used.  No one wanted to.  Finally at the sixth house the lady agreed and gave us her garden hose, which we put as close to the chapel as possible, and from there we started filling up buckets of water and walking them to the chapel to start filling it up.  After about 20 minutes of that we figured out the drain of the font was broken, and the water was escaping, so we had to go find a large rock to cover up the drain to start filling anew.  By then it was already like 2:30.  We continued filling up by buckets until the bishop brought us five giant garden hoses to reach from the lady´s house to the chapel, but it was very little water flow.  By 4 it had only reached half of the very first step of the font and the water shut off entirely because they started cleaning the water system because of the storms. 

The bishop didn´t want to do anything else and gave up and went home and said we will change the date, even though he has a pickup truck, and we asked him to go to his house and bring us water but he was unwilling to help.  Said he´d be too tired to go to church the next day.  Hermana Mejia told me she´d been feeling the impression to call Diana´s friend Grosvin who is a member from another city half hour away, but that she´d been ignoring it because how is it possible that he could help us.  He has no car, and lives far away, how is he going to be able to do anything about it?  But we decided to follow the spirit and call him up, and he was so concerned, at that very moment he was in a church activity and asked everyone in the whole chapel who had a pickup truck that could help us to fill barrels of water from member´s houses.  But no one had anything.  So he called up his dear friend who is a firefighter about the issue, and they had just finished putting out the fire they´d had, and even though they had plans to go clean up their department, as a favor to their dear buddy Grosvin, they came directly from the fire to the chapel to fill up the baptismal font and finished at 5:30 exactly.  And she was able to be baptized.  We have so many angels looking out for us each and every day, and with Nana that´s one powerhouse angel more that is helping to bring to pass the salvation of souls even here in Honduras.  

In moments of trials or hardships, we must think of Nana and not worry so darn much.  What needs to happen will happen, and if it is the Lord´s will it will come to pass in His time and His way, not ours.  Nana´s trust in Heavenly Father was very firm in this aspect.

Nana's favorite thing was being with her family.
I want to share with you what President Monson said in October conference of last year, "There will be times when you will walk a path strewn with thorns and marked by struggle.  There may be times when you feel detached, even isolated, from the giver of every good gift.  You worry that you walk alone.  Fear replaces faith.  When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember prayer."  I love the words of president Ezra Taft Benson concerning prayer: "All through my life the council to depend on prayer has been prized above almost any other advice I have received.  It has become an integral part of me; an anchor, a constant source of strength, and the basis of my knowledge of things divine... for God will speak peace to the soul.  That peace, that spirit of serenity, is life´s greatest blessing." 

The apostle Paul admonished: "Let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  

President Monson follows, "What a glorious promise.  Peace is that which we seek.  That for which we yearn.  We were not placed on this earth to walk alone.  What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us.  He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning has assured us that He will be there for us to provide help if we but ask.  Pray always and be believing for all things shall work together for your good." 

I love Nana very much and will always be grateful for her wonderful example and influence in my life and the lives of the members of my family.  The best way to remember her is to be where we feel she would want us to be, and to learn to grow a little closer with our Father in Heaven each and every day, as I know that´s what she would want for all of us.  I´m sorry I cannot be with you all right now together as a family to remember her, but I know she is here with me to lead and guide and protect me each day.  I know our families can be together forever without a doubt.  There is a perfect plan for each one of us, and may we remember that it is not called the plan of endurance, or the plan of trials, or the plan of hardship, but it is the plan of happiness and the plan of salvation that all the children of God may return to His presence someday.  

Hermana Johnson

Monday, November 17, 2014

General Conference Was Amazing! - October 6, 2014

I am somewhat offended that Dad in his letter took a few lines to explain to me exactly what the Heisman Trophy is.  I am perfectly aware of what the Heisman Trophy is!  I am not that oblivious to the world of sports, even after a year of being in Honduras, thank you very much.   Wasn´t General Conference the greatest thing that happened all week long?  I would say YES.  We had 9 investigators present.  Which for Puerto Cortes is a pretty big success.  One of our investigators, the aunt of the siamese twins that sadly just passed away, liked conference so much that afterwards she said, "It´s over already!  That was way too little.  I just feel so much peace after that."  She was there for the Sunday morning session and afterwards she ran home to send her daughter to conference as well, she was like "You´ve got to see this too!"  So we were pretty happy that all went well.  

Out proselyting in the STREET?! (Still rainy season . . .)
Sad news about our investigator from the disappearing house.... we went to visit her on Sunday after conference, around 5 but no one came to answer the door or anything so we just kept on walking to other places, but 10 minutes after she sends us a message that she could no longer receive us in her home because she was from a Christian background and wanted to continue in her old church as she felt our ideas were just too different. I am feeling frustrated.  It is obvious that she felt the spirit when we were in her home.  She prayed that God would send her to the true church, and that very day God sent us to her house and nobody else.... I´m not sure it could get more direct than that.  What happens is she´s got her sister that goes to another church that tells her all the silly Mormon rumors and this is usually what happens with so many we visit.  Also she´s living with someone she´s not married to and doesn´t want anyone telling her that marriage is ordained of God.  We go to the house and have an awesome visit and the spirit´s super strong and people are totally pumped to go to church and read the Book of Mormon, and then the very next day people from their old churches come to visit, that haven´t visited in YEARS.  We once knew a lady that hadn´t gone to her evangelical church in 5 years and in that time no one had come to visit or invite her to anything, and we arrive and they see us there and the very next day send someone to visit.   Then the lady the next time we go tells us, hey, my old church invited me to a party this weekend so I´m going to go back with them, thanks for visiting, but you guys just have to many rules.   what?!  A God that requires nothing of His children to return to His presence is a God that DOESN´T EXIST.  I´ve just gotten a little bit frustrated this week. 
And I feel so sad when people say," Hermanas I can´t accept your ideas because I come from a Christian background" What?! The name of the church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, and if you don´t think the Book of Mormon talks about Jesus Christ it´s because they´ve obviously never read it.  No one can read the Book of Mormon and say the Mormons are not Christians. We invite everyone to come and see for themselves. We invite them to church, to read the Book of Mormon and then to pray to our Father in Heaven if what they are reading is true.  I beg of everyone who really wants to know the truth if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if this really is Christ´s church on the earth today to ask our Heavenly Father.  

The following describes how to take a shower in the winter in Honduras:

Put on rain boots
Go out back to pila (outdoor sink-like basin)


Take Simba with you to protect against all evil!  Fill up large bucket with COLD water (there is no such thing as hot water here)!  Return to apartment and enjoy!
When we had interviews with President Dester 2 weeks ago, I asked him about this topic.  What should we do or say when we´ve really felt the spirit with people and they´ve read the Book of Mormon and even gone to church and then out of the blue someone tells them some rumor, and they tell us they never want to see us ever again?  Because really it´s an issue here.  The biggest challenge we are facing here in Puerto because there are so many churches.  A different one on every street corner.  President asked me what we´d been doing so far.... we told him we always invite people to keep on reading their Book of Mormon and praying for an answer and that they´re always invited to church when they feel the desire to go but then we never go back because they´ve told us not to.  Then President Dester surprised me because he was like," you know what, not with everyone, but with those whom you have really felt the spirit strongly, go back every once in a while just to see how they´re doing, and if they keep reading, and tell them how much you love them and that the church is still true, and always has been... and someday they will come."  Sure enough this week we went with a lady with whom passed a situation very similar, and we just stopped to give her a little invitation to conference, nothing more and she said she´s been studying her Book of Mormon lots still and that she really likes it... though she says she will keep going to her Catholic church... the Book of Mormon works miracles and will work while we´re away, and someday she too can come to a knowledge of the truth.  

The good news is Hermana Diana will be getting baptized this Saturday at 5·30 Whoooooo!!!!!! She loved conference as well.  She told us it just confirmed everything for her and that she couldn´t wait to get baptized.  And just this week when we went to teach about tithing, she told us that she had always paid tithing in her old church and that she felt such an emptiness and just so terrible without the ability to do it that she felt so blessed to have the opportunity to give 10% of all she has to the Lord and feel those blessings He has for her.  How cool is that when an investigator asks you if they can have the privilege of paying tithing?  WHAT?!  Very good way to end the week.  

Thanks so much for all your love and support!  Got a package from Mark and Susan´s family this week!  Thank you so, so very much.  Loved all the pictures Addi, Emma and Ashtyn drew for me. They are up on my wall in my apartment.  And the bracelets Addi made were super darling.  We gave them to lots of kids at conference and they loved it.  My comp and I chose one for ourselves as well because they are just too cool.  We had to have one too.  All the missionaries here in Puerto Cortes greatly appreciated the treats sent as well as some of our members.  I´ll send pics real soon.  Thanks so so so much!

Much love

Hermana Johnson    

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's Snake Season! - September 29, 2014

I loved the pictures you sent of  the "Highland 5" gang "Walking for the Cure" for Diabetes!  How cool is that?!  Count me in for next year!!  We have such a great and supportive ward family.

Walking for the Cure for diabetes with the Highland 5 and their supportive families and friends
This week was a bit more tiring than others for the missionaries of Puerto Cortes.  Hermana Mejia was getting pretty stressed out because we had walked around all day long yesterday and only one person had received us.  She got so tired she just sat down in the street and didn't want to keep walking.  That's very unlike her because she's super duper hardworking, but this week idk no one's been home. So I just told her we'd go to one more house and sure enough they recieved us and we got to give them a Book of Mormon and schedule another appointment.  There's always one more door to knock on, and if you endure to the end of the day Heavenly Father will always send you blessings.

Hermana Mejia and I have given up Coca Cola.  Let me tell you, people here give the missionaries so much soda pop, especially coca cola because we can't drink the water that I have become totally addicted.  If I don't drink soda even for one day I get a terrible headache and just don't have any energy.  It is awful.  So this week we went to visit our investigator who is totally addicted to coffee, so as we taught the word of wisdom she got pretty disappointed.  So  I felt the impression to give up Coca Cola myself, and Hermana Mejia hopped on board with that.  We told our investigator if she gave up coffee, we would give up Coca Cola, and we could support each other in that.  She totally got excited after that and is ready to give up coffee.  The Holy Ghost gives some ideas that seem so odd sometimes, but if we follow through with what He is telling us it always works out so darn well in the end.  Idk if the Holy Ghost wants me to give up Coca Cola for just right now or for my whole life.  I am undecided myself on the subject because I really love Coca Cola, but we shall see what happens.  For right now I will no longer be drinking it.  Look dad I'm one of those crazy Mormon people like you now that doesn't drink Coke. Ha ha ha.
Reserved parking sign for pregnant women - wanted to share it because it made me smile!
We got to go watch the Women's General Conference on Saturday night so that totally made our entire week.  It was spectacular! Highlights for me... obviously the cute Korean girls singing, Hermana Mejia and I were totally beaming.  Also Elder Uchtdorf's talk was amazing.  He really got pretty direct there, but that's just how I like it.  Now I know I have lots to change.  For those who weren't present, he talked about how our Father in Heaven doesn't care if you've got great hair and nice nails, if you've got tons of friends on Facebook, or followers on Twitter.  He said "Cease with your self centered priorities and unworthy desires.  There are far more important things.  Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and recognize who you really are as a daughter of God and stop being so darn worldly and judgemental."  It was pretty powerful.  I want the Ensign of General Conference to come already so I can read it over and over again because I  just love it when Elder Uchtdorf talks.  Also super pumped for the Prophet of course, and Elder Holland as always, and for my hero, Henry B. Eyring.  I could listen to Elder Eyring all day.  He's just too cool.  

Hermanas Mejia, Johnson and Gardner at the mission president's home for a special Sisters Conference
Snake season continues this week in Puerto Cortes, as the large reptiles spotted in the street this week was up to 6.  

Also we are visiting a less active who is very sick with cancer.  She feels so terrified and uncertain so we invited the elders to give her a blessing.  The spirit was so strong as Elder Alonso before the blessing talked about the power of the atonement and how his own mom had had cancer 5 years ago and just put her trust in Heavenly Father and told Him His will be done and not hers.  She ended up living.  We all felt very impressed that she would survive her disease, but that she as well needed to be obedient to the laws of God and faithful in all her doctor's appointments and treatments and such. 

As Elder Melendez gave the blessing he promised she would live as long as she did her part as well to follow Heavenly Father and His commandments.  And yet as we passed by for her, she didn't want to come to church on Sunday.  She doesn't want to go to her doctor's appointments, and she has made up in her head that she is going to die as the same cancer killed her sister 3 years earlier.  I felt so frustrated with her because there are so many people that fight for their lives and have lost against cancer.  But she just wants to give up.  Heavenly Father has His perfect plan that we don't know.  He knows when we are needed here and when it is our time to go, and what a blessing she was given to know that she was going to be allowed to live, to see her children grow up, to have the strength once more to run, to grow out her hair anew.  The Lord Himself was present in that room when that priesthood blessing was given, and she was promised all those blessings.... in accordance to obedience and diligence to her doctors, and above all to her God. 

All I can think of when I think of her is the scripture that says,"And I the Lord God am bound when you do what I say, but when you do not what I say, ye have no promise."   It reminds me of the talk Uchtdorf gave when he said, that we are constantly receiving blessings from our Heavenly Father, as rain that comes falling from the heavens.  Our own doubts and fears are what put up the umbrella that block us from receiving those blessings  He so generously is pouring upon us.  Let us not forgot the promises our Father in Heaven has made that we may not fall into the fear and darkness where Satan constantly invites.  When the Lord speaks to us, may we actually be found listening, and then acting according to what He has to say.  We shall visit one more time this week to invite her to conference, as she does have many afflictions.  Her burdens are not few, but she can choose to carry them all alone or have the Savior carry every last one for her, and as of right now she is choosing the earlier and it is overwhelming her quickly.  

Enjoy conference this week.  I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet called of God, as well as the 12 apostles, and I know the messages they will share are coming directly from our Heavenly Father.  May we give heed to what he is going to say and realize how very blessed we are to have a living prophet today that leads and guides us, who communicates directly with our Savior that we may have all the blessings our Heavenly Father wants us to have.

I love you always!

Hermana Johnson

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Honduran Independence Day! - September 22, 2014

That´s so cool for all you people that got to be there for Hunter´s big night to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It sounds like it was pretty special.  If only I could be in two places at once.  Hermana Mejia and I are doing super great.  We have a wonderful investigator that is progressing incredibly.  Her name is Diana, and she was once a missionary for the Iglesia Evangelica for three years, but for a few personal matters she left.  She never stopped believing in Christ and studying the Bible and praying though she wasn´t attending, and got a job with someone who is a member of the church here in Puerto Cortes.  Her brother passed away around a month ago, and the members that she works with took her on a trip to the temple, and while there she felt like her brother was there with her and that everything was okay with him.  Her brother was never a religious person in this life, but she says now after knowing about the Plan of Salvation that she feels there are in fact angels teaching him, and she feels a great peace unlike ever before.  At church she´s like our third companion as she bothers the other investigators so they stay the whole three hours and go to all the activities, and asks them if they are reading their Book of Mormon.   Her baptismal date right now is set for Oct. 11, and we feel that General Conference will be the cherry on top of it all to help her testimony even more.  General Conference in the mission field is more epic than the Super Bowl or March Madness.  It is grander than the Olympics and it is going to be so, so wonderful. 
It´s actually pretty disappointing that it will be my last General Conference as a missionary, because as a missionary you just try to apply it to every single person you are visiting and the spirit is just especially strong, as others sitting at my side realize for the very first time that the men that are speaking really are prophets and apostles called of God and they cannot deny it.  You can always put your money on the prophet.  So we´ll be going super out of our way to drag people to church just two weeks from now.  

In other news.... Yes Satan is strong these days as the Hermana from the disappearing house is sick with Dengue fever, and so we haven´t been able to visit her again.  

Also this week we had some fun activities in our ward.  Since it was Independence Day this week in Honduras (15 of September), we had an activity celebrating the cultures and independence of all the countries of Central America with food and the typical clothing of each country.  The members actually got super into it and a ton of people came.  Each room in the building was decorated for a different country.... and some how we got roped into decorating.  On Sunday the Elders Quorum says to the elders, hey what organization do you belong to in the church? and they were like uhhhhh, the Elders Quorum we suppose, so they put them in charge of decorating a room for Costa Rica, and then they call us and say hermanas we don´t know how to decorate and begged us to help them and bought us smoothies so we agreed, and all day Friday we were busy decorating for Costa Rica.  But it was all worth it as we had a new investigator and her sister come to the activity with all their cute little kids. 
Celebrating the Cultures of Central America at our ward activity

Making papusas from El Salvador to celebrate the cultures of Central America
They have so many challenges in their lives it is amazing they can even function.  He husband died just a month ago from cancer, and her family is so poor after having to pay so many medical bills.  Her husband was not able to work, and they just make little pastries in their house and sell them to make a living.  Her sister that is living with her just gave birth to Siamese twins about 20 days ago.  They are attached at the chest and stomach (idk if you´ve heard about that in the world wide news).  The doctors right now are saying that they share a heart so that they are going to have to separate them and one is going to have to die.  Their poor mom has to go every single day all the way to San Pedro, two hours from here to nurse them, and that´s all she does all day every day.  Make pastries all morning, take the bus up to San Pedro to see her little girls without any idea of what´s going to happen next with them.  And yet, they stay surprisingly positive and are so hardworking and so very prepared to hear the gospel.  There is nothing that can bring more peace.  It is amazing to me how the gospel applies to everyone.  There is no one it can not help.  It is so flawless and helps us to learn how to be with our families and our Heavenly Parents for all eternity.  It shows us who we truly are, and what we can become if we endure this moment well.  

Thanks so much for all your love and support.  Start writing down those questions and personal matters so all is ready for this General Conference!  It is an opportunity not to be missed!  Love you all!
Hermana Johnson
Another Miracle in Honduras - September 15, 2014

It has been a good week.  I have a great companion.  My mom sent me an awesome Hello Kitty themed package.   Bad news... it is now snake and tick season apparently.  We already found two baby snakes and three ticks in our house.  AND IT WAS CLEAN!!!  We sweep and mop and go crazy cleaning every Monday to keep out all these crazy animals and somehow they still find their way into our house.  The neighbor lady is like "yeah that´s perfectly normal for this time of year.  Just sweep them all outside with a broom and kill them with this."  And then she proceeded to lend us her sledgehammer ha ha ha.  

Loving my Hello Kitty package to share with all the sister missionaries!
Good news from this week.  We had a super awesome miracle this week. Wednesday was Día del Niño here in Honduras, aka Child´s Day, which is similar in popularity to Halloween as all the little kids put on typical Honduran clothing.  Then there are parades and everyone gives the kids candy to celebrate.  That´s the closest comparison I can make.  Anyway, we were super nervous to go out to visit because we thought today´s going to be absolutely terrible because everyone is going to be out celebrating, and so we are just going to have to walk around all day because no one is going to want to let us in their house. 

I shared my package with our zone leaders too!  The elders aren't as excited about Hello Kitty, but you can never go wrong with chocolate.
Or so we were thinking...  Reaching around 5 or 6 in the afternoon, we hadn´t had a ton of success as everyone was out celebrating, so we felt we should start heading towards the home of an elderly lady in the ward who had an operation and hasn´t been able to go to church for a few weeks.  As we were walking towards her house we saw a house that has these big cement walls around the yard that have always called our attention because they have this super cool purple paint job in big waves that just looks so neat.  Let me tell you, I have previously tried to contact this house when I was with Hermana Luna and we went up front to the gate and had searched and searched for a house and there had been NO house.  Just the big purple walls and a little dog house and nothing more.  Like nothing was there.  We literally had searched as hard as possible and there was NOTHING there!  Just the dog house.  And after Hermana Mejia had come we had walked by on another occasion but again we saw no house and they have a pretty fierce guard dog out front that pretty much scared us off because we weren´t sure if the gate was closed. 

Well, Wednesday it was so weird because we felt we should just stop by, but this time it was so weird because there was CLEARLY A HOUSE OUT BACK.  What?!  I have passed by this road a thousand times and searched and never, ever seen a house before.  Idk how it is possible that we missed that but as we yelled out front the lady and her daughter came to answer the door and let us in super friendly and nice, and the lady told us she had been praying that very day at like 3 in the morning, that God would guide her to the true church because she´s had a desire to unite herself to a church now for a long time, but she wanted it to be the right one and had been praying very fervently for that very thing and that very day we arrived at her house.  A house we had never before been able to see with our human eyes!  IDK how Heavenly Father pulled that one but somehow He made that house invisible to us until the very moment that we needed to arrive.  Everything is in His own way and His own time.  
The woman's daughter then proceeded to tell us that her mom had had a dream about a new book that God wanted her to have, which obviously was the Book of Mormon. WHAT?! And then in the closing prayer the daughter, age 11, asked us to pray that she could become a missionary like us someday.  WHAT?!  Talk about one prepared family for this gospel.  God really has been preparing them, and sent us there in the precise moment that we were needed.  That experience really just blew my mind.  I am still wondering how it is possible that I couldn´t see the house until now.... but wow, we were pretty darn excited to encounter such a family.

Today for Pday we had a fun time as we just played games with everyone in our zone.  We have great elders in our ward that are just too funny.  We work with Elder Melendez from El Salvador and Elder Alonso from Nicaragua.  This week we also had a service project as a zone that was a little sketchy...   We went up to a farm, but just to get to the farm we had to walk half an hour in the jungle. We even had a small river crossing because the path had been filled up by the rain like 5 feet deep it seemed.  Somebody had set out rice bags earlier in the day so we just had to hop from rice bag to rice bag.  Hermana Mejia and I and the Elders from our ward were put in charge of cleaning out the house of the family so we took all the furniture outside so we could clean everything.  There was literally like 2 or 3 inches of pure dirt in all the rooms.  You couldn't even see the tile.  We even encountered a few tarantulas.  We spent 3 hours just in the front room and didn´t even make it to the 2 bedrooms before we had to leave.  Because we were only there from 8 to 12, and the first hour we spent moving cinderblocks and then helped the sister make tortillas for her little kids.

Hermana Mejia walking on rice bags to cross the river.
The lady has had to wait like two years already and still can't be a member of the church because she needs to get married, but a very common problem here is that people mess up dates and names and things all the time on birth certificates and identification cards and such.  Well this sister is 21 but according to the year on her birth certificate she is only 17, and can´t get married until she completes 18, so still she is going to have to wait a full year more.  To fix such errors is extremely expensive so no one does it.  This problem is so ridiculously common here it would shock you.  ay ay ay  We just have way too many adventures here in Honduras, but we´re loving every minute of it.  Lots of great stories for the future grandkids.

I love you all!  Thanks for all your love and support and for sending such a nice package to me and my comps.  Super excited for the next General Conference!  It´s going to be super sweet to see everyone speaking in their own language.   

Love you much,

Hermana Johnson

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Guess Who My New Companion Is? - September 8, 2014

Good news this week is that I have a new companion and guess who it is?  HERMANA MEJIA!! WHOOOO! One of my best buddies in the whole mission that lived with me in Potrerillos.  I was so happy because we are already good friends so the work is easy.  It doesn't feel like work at all now, just visiting with a friend and helping people.  We've already got the whole unity thing down.  We are of one mind and one spirit.   I never thought I would get so darn lucky.  I never imagined I'd get the chance to be her companion, but here we are and I'm loving it.  The funny story is now Hermana Gardner is with Hermana Luna, so we just did an old comp swap right there, and they are chillin out in Santa Rosa de Copan. Really they are chillin out because it is cold there.  Even better news, with rainy season, it's been cool all week here in Puerto Cortes as well.  Washing clothes has become a challenge, since we dry them outside and it's been raining every day, but we put up clotheslines inside the kitchen to have a "make it work moment".  
My fantastic zone before transfers!
Despite the fact that we had a flood, and the mission sent someone from pest control to all our houses, this week we still found cockroaches, a baby scorpion (those are actually pretty common here) and a gecko laid eggs in our house as well.  We could be a national park with all this wildlife.  

Today for Pday we had another beach day and ate lunch out at Beach Cineguita.  

We are currently teaching someone very special.  I can't remember if I've already spoken of her.... She is evangelica, and her brother passed away just two months ago.  She was very active in her church, leaving three days to preach every week for three and a half years like a half time missionary really. But one day in a church activity something bad happened to her and she stopped going.  She recently started working in a business that her boss is a member here, and he invited her to church and she has gone two times now and really likes it.  This big change is hard for her, but I know with time she will be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will become a full time missionary to help others around the world.  She stopped going to her old church, but she always keeps her faith in Jesus Christ and the experience only strengthened the love she has for Him and her desire to follow Him always. 
Having a fun day at the beach
In other news, a story I really like that lots of people share around here in Honduras because they are all religious folk is about a man who went to get his haircut in the barbershop.  As this client was talking with the barber they started talking about religion and the barber says, no I don't really believe in God.  How is it possible that there is a God when there is so much evil in this world, with robbers and murderers and rapists?  So the client went ahead and paid the barber and went to the door to leave, and in front of the barbershop passed by a man who looked pretty scruffy, Duck Dynasty type, with a big beard and long hair like it hadn't been combed in months.  Well the client turns around to the barber and says, there's no such thing as barbers.  And the barber all confused says, how is that possible?  How can you say that when I just cut your hair for you?  Well the client says to him, well that is exactly how God feels about what you just said.  In the same way that that scruffy looking man didn't go looking for a barber, there are wicked men because they don't go looking for God.  Just because hairy, ungroomed men exist doesn't mean there are no such thing as barbers.  And just because there are murderers and thieves doesn't mean there isn't a God.  It just means there are a lot of people that don't seek out God in their lives, but if they did the world would be different... 

Tell Elise congrats on her driver license!!  Tell cousin Jason congrats on his new baby boy!  That's pretty darn exciting news.  

I love you and hope you are all well and happy!  

Thanks for all you do for me!

Hermana Johnson

Monday, September 29, 2014

We Had a Little Flood But It's All Good - September 1, 2014

This week had a lot of ups and a lot of downs.   Just yesterday for instance... the water went out around 8 am before we headed off for church.  Hermana Luna opened the faucet to check if there was water, and there wasn't, but then she accidentally forgot to turn the faucet off again.  And so it just so happened that while we were at church yesterday the water came back on and our entire house got flooded!  Normally after church we go eat lunch with a member and head out to visit, but we forgot a notebook so we had to run back after lunch. Thank heavens we forgot that notebook because if not it would've been a lot worse.  The whole house had about four or five inches of water. Darn!!
Hermana Luna and I at the beach on P-day.
 Unfortunately, the night before our hermana training leaders came and stayed the night.  There are two beds, but for some reason we have three mattresses.  We put the three mattresses on the floor in one giant bed for the four of us, and we left the mattresses on the floor planning to put them back in place Sunday night.  Unfortunately the flood got the mattresses.  Boooooo.   We left them out with the fan so they are dry now.  Since I live out of my suitcases, which are always on the ground, I had to wash EVERYTHING I OWN this morning so it wouldn't smell terrible.  That was a lot of work since we wash everything by hand as there are no washing machines or dyers.  The flood ruined every single card and letter I have ever received in my entire mission.  That was the only thing that really was a bummer. All my notes from companions, that my family gave me when I headed out, even some photos and  the copy of my patriarchal blessing were in a nice stack in one of my suitcases that I wanted to save forever, but they all got ruined.... the ink all ran together and nothing was even legible enough to be saved. Some of the ink ran and stained some clothes as well.  Sometimes things just get so hard and ridiculous you just have to laugh.

The cute lady that did our corn rows.  We are lookin' good!
But you know what?  As I was wading through the water, trying to sweep it out through the front door, I made a decision to not freak out and to not make my comp feel bad for leaving the water on.  I really felt the Spirit guiding me to just be calm and get to work cleaning.  If yelling won't make things better and can't fix what's been done, there's no point in doing it.  Even though I will honestly admit I wanted to yell at her for being irresponsible or forgetful or whatever, I really just tried to take a step back and think will that make things better?  No obviously.  We were both a bit bummed at some of our things getting ruined, but you know Heavenly Father really sent angels out for me yesterday to persuade me to think first and to not be bummed out.  In spite of the fact that some really special things had been ruined, I really didn't feel that bad.  I didn't feel the weight of the things that got lost or ruined.  It just really came clear to me like never before that people are more important than things.  And saving my companionship and the relationship I have with Hermana Luna is far more important than an object, though it may be something special or sentimental.  My Heavenly Father will have all those cards fresh and perfect without a single stain awaiting me in the Celestial Kingdom if I keep my priorities straight and follow Him and no one else.  

I know yesterday could've been a day that could've saved or ruined my relationship with my companion forever.  Even though chances are we will be transferred this week, and I will probably never see her again in my entire life, except for maybe once in a while on Facebook since we are from different parts of the globe.  The most important thing is to always take care of Heavenly Father's children.  Hermana Luna has had enough bad thoughts about herself from her own head, she doesn't need it from me.  People are always more important than things.  And now all is dry and clean again and it feels like nothing happened.  We just took a few hours to sweep out all the water and put things in front of our fans yesterday, and now all is well.  The Holy Ghost is real and saved my friendship with my comp and taught me that it is not always necessary to be right.  You can be right and vengeful and angry, or you can be happy. You can face your trials alone, or you can face them with the Spirit and angels to uplift you.  Stay calm.  Any object, no matter its importance cannot go with you after this life, but the souls you encounter will exist forever and will remember you, and will remind you of how you treated them in this probational time be it for the best or for the worst.  

In other news... Elder Alonso of the Seventy came to visit us this week, so that was cool.  I always love going to zone conferences or when leaders come to visit, because it's always so special with all the missionaries.  It's the only chance I've got perhaps in my life to have those special opportunities. We'll see what else Heavenly Father has in store for me.  

I love you all very much and hope you are all doing great.  I thank you for your examples and your love and kindness towards me always.  Tell Hunter good luck with his roommates, and tell Molly good luck with Driver's Ed.  I hope everything goes awesome.   

Lots of love
Hermana Johnson

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Work is Going Great! - August 25, 2014

Dad sounds very sad in his letter with all his kids leaving home... But don´t worry because we´ll always come to visit!  My family is the most important thing in the whole wide world.  Don´t worry so much.  The only thing that would be worse than us running off would be us sticking around doing nothing!  It´s just that now we´ve got to go start learning some new things on our own; always remembering the good things mom and dad have always taught us to guide us on our way.

I would now like to take the time to wish mom a very happy birthday this week.  She´s always been a lady worth celebrating.  She´s always so very thoughtful of others, and forgets herself just a bit too often, so go do something special together!  I love you so very much mom.  Thanks for always listening and supporting me.
Baking cupcakes with one of my favorite families!  I know it's a little late for Easter, but ovens are hard to come by here.
I hope Hunter likes all his roommates.  Sometimes getting to know new people can be difficult. I can relate... ha ha ha JK, but perhaps there will be those that he can really love.  Like my room roommate Mary and I seemed like a weird combo, but we ended up super buddies as we both love reality TV, the arts, making cupcakes together, and have a great appreciation for all things Asian.  Couldn´t get any better than that right?  There´s always something to be learned from everyone you meet.  So Hunter just put your best foot forward, you´re just a super nice, super handsome, super smart young man and everyone will want to be your friend so just be happy and keep calm and carry on.  Whatever bad issue that may arise I´m always here to support you.  Look, I´m here in Honduras with companions from the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Bolivia... and if I can do it, and I´m super ornery and like to be right all the time, well you surely can do a far better job.  

This week we had four investigators go to church. That´s few for other places in the world but here that´s really super good.  

In other news, I hope you could all see the photo of Javier and Cesar that I sent. If you remember they are awesome, amazing young men we taught and baptized from our old area. They went to the temple this past week!  whoooooooooooooooooooo!  Hermana Mejia's mother is from Tegucigalpa where the temple is and just happened to be at the temple the very same day they were and miraculously recognized them from the pics Hermana Mejia sent home and went and took their pic and sent it to us.  How cool is that?!

Javier (far left), another member and Cesar at the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
Also,  transfers will be coming up next week, so we´ll see who will be heading off.  They will let us know next Monday.   I really loved the quote mom sent because it´s the best advice I could have right now.  That we should try to help everyone, but if we can´t help them that at least we shouldn´t hurt them.  Sometimes all somebody needs is someone to sit by their side and listen to them, no matter how silly their problem might seem to us.  If to them it is a big deal, well perhaps we can just stick around for a moment to listen as to the Why it´s such a big deal.  If we can´t do anything for them, why must it be our first instinct to contend or say they´re crazy or that things don´t make sense.  Being patient is one of the most Christlike attributes out there and one of the hardest to obtain.   But things are going well.  I know I am where I am to help and to learn new things myself  from others.

I love you all and thank you for all your love and support.  I hope you all have a great week! 

Hermana Johnson     

Monday, September 15, 2014

One Year in the Mission Field! - August 18, 2014
Yes I did get your 4th of July cards and old summer pics.  They were so beautiful and darling, I just loved it.  Sorry I forgot to mention they had come.   Everything is going well, thanks so much for always writing. I got a sweet card from Miss Molly this week and grandma as well, and Uncle Dave's package came with an entire year's worth of allergy meds included.  Wahoooo!
Congrats to Hunter going off to college!  I loved seeing all your first day of school pics.  He looks so handsome.    Tell the college girls to stay far, far away from our future missionary.  Yes... never have girls in the bedroom, and never have girls over later than 10 at night is what I say.  I'm so glad he was able to get his Patriarchal Blessing.  That sounds so nice. 
Meet the Johns, our wonderful senior missionaries who recently went home.  They were the ones who had the happy job of delivering our packages on Tuesdays.
Things are going well here in Honduras.  We have two investigators that went to church the very first time two Sundays ago.  They really liked it and all was well, but then when we went to visit on Tuesday, their mom said she didn't want them going to church with us because they had already been baptized in the Catholic church, and she did not want them attending anywhere else.   So we were pretty sad.  We'd been praying all week  that their mom would have a change of  heart.  We passed by on Friday to ask again and she said no, and we were like well there's probably no way they will go this Sunday, so let's just go with some members to visit next week so they can go the following Sunday.  We just thought it was going to be pretty impossible to change her mind because she was pretty firm.

After the Johns went home, things got a little behind in the mail room.  Happy mail day for the four sister missionaries living in our apartment!
On Saturday we were out visiting with a member and she was showing us where a less active member was living.  Well, on the way to visit the less active sister, we just happened to pass by the house of our two investigators, and the mom just happened to be out in the front yard.  Well, to our surprise the member with us runs up to their mom, and we found out that they are actually good buddies.  What?!  Well, the member we were doing visits with is pretty bold, so she was like, "So when are you going to go to church with me?"  The mom said, "Well you know I go to another church and that is where I'm going to stay."  The hermana who was with us asks, "Well would you at least let your daughters go with me this Sunday to get to know the church a little more?"  The mom said, "Well I  suppose that's alright.  Sure I'll give my permission, because if people like you go to that church, it can't be so bad."  And we were like WHATTTTT?!  That was way to easy Heavenly Father, but thanks so much!  We were totally lacking in faith, but God provided the means for the miracle to happen and sure enough, both girls were at church  Sunday, and all the messages were so perfectly directed at them it couldn't have been better.  We were so excited.  God really prepares a way for everyone to return to Him, always in His own time and in His own way.
So you know, Hermana Gardner is out of the hospital and back working hard as a missionary.  So happy our prayers were answered, and she is doing better. 

Thanks for all your love!  Thanks for helping me celebrate my one year anniversary of being a missionary!

Hermana Johnson