Monday, December 7, 2015

Hard Work and Big Blessings

Sadly, Elder Johnson was not able to send pictures this week.  There is a virus on the computer on Tarawa that could delete any files plugged in.  If he is able to send pictures later, we will update this page.

This week has been really crazy!! It has flown by soooo fast, mainly because we have stayed soo busy.

This week we have done a lot of tracting and have found 16 new investigators, many of whom are really solid.  They ask really good questions, and seem to be very interested in our teachings.  I love it here!  It has been tough because Elder Kennedy wants to sacrifice things like lunch and part of dinner.  I love his intentions, buuut I gotta eat! 

It has been nice having Elder Aboki with us, who is an elder from Kiribati waiting for his visa to serve in Washington.  He has been able to help us when we can't understand the language.  But last Thursday he got moved to Betio so it is just me and Elder Kennedy now. I cannot believe I have worked with him for a week now!  He has taught me so much even though he has been here a little bit longer than I have.  

We have had to hike a lot because most of our new investigators are in places were there is too much water or mud to get our bikes through.  The work is hard, but I really appreciate the time here.  It has been difficult, but I know that I cannot grow without trials.  

This last week my own testimony has strengthened so much about prophets.  We have had a lot of lessons on prophets and every time we talk about/ pray in our lessons about Thomas S. Monson I feel the spirit. I know that he is a true prophet of god.  

Yesterday was fast Sunday, I fasted for help with the language, our investigators, and my family.  I am already seeing the blessings coming from that. The Lord has helped with my language so much this last week it is amazing.   All I have to do is keep working hard and continue to trust in the Lord.  I love the power that comes from doing what we are commanded to do.  They are all for our benefit.  If we follow the commandments the best we can, the Lord will bless us! 

That's it for now, I love you all!

Love Elder Johnson

Letters to Mom and Dad


I know how tiring, stressful, and hectic traveling can be, but I have never told you how much I have appreciated that you do it.  Thank you so much for getting a job that can provide for the family.  You work so hard and I know that it is because you love us, you aren't thinking about what you can get out of working but what you can give to help the family.  I love you so much for that, thank you.  

The Lord has a hand in all things.  He puts people in our paths for a reason.  If we truly try to listen the Lord will guide us.  He will teach us what to do and what to say.  It is important to tune out the world as much as we can, tune out the distractions, and tune into the quiet voice of the spirit.  

Excerpt from my letter to Jeff for context:

I recently changed the screen saver on the computer at home.  It now flips through random pictures and videos that are loaded on the computer.  I then loaded all of the digital pictures we have been storing since you guys were tiny.  It has become a pretty cool thing to have in the kitchen.  There are times the family will sit and watch them flip through.

A video just came up of one of the hundreds of swim meets I went with for you.  You were young, maybe the second or third year swimming at a Skyline meet.  It was definitely one of your earlier meets.  Your arms were wide, you wandered the lane back and forth and water was splashing everywhere.  I love you, but you looked like a wounded dog in the water! 

The screen saver moved on through a couple more pictures and then by chance, (or maybe not by chance) it showed a video of you swimming the IM at one of your last big meets at Kearns.  It was beautiful.  Your swim stroke was precise, your lines and technicality were spot on.  Every detail of your stroke and your turns was calculated from muscle memory of the countless hours you spent in the pool.  The corrections from your coaches, your attention to other swimmers, your dedication to something that was so important to you paid off.  You no longer looked like the wounded puppy, but the master swimmer.

I always loved when you got out of the pool, the first thing you would do would be to go to your coach.  You would listen carefully to any suggestions and guidance.  Then right afterwards you would come to me to tell me what your coach said and how you did compared to your old times.  It made me very proud how you would internalize the counsel your couch gave you and almost instantly make necessary changes.

I don't relate those stories to you to make you miss swimming.  But looking at both videos I had a distinct prompting.  At the beginning of your mission it is like you in the first video.  You are working it out.  It feels awkward and uncoordinated at times, it is hard work.  I know you are leaning on the Lord.  That your are reaching out to that perfect coach to help you make small corrections in your missionary life.  Through listening to the promptings from going to Him in prayer.  From watching for the tender mercies He gives you.  And from learning from the companions that you have been assigned to labor with, you will continue to grow and improve

Your story about my swim opened my eyes.  I have been frustrated because I know that the Lord has blessed me with the ability to teach well, but I can't do that yet because I can't speak... but I know that all great things take time, hard work and dedication.  As I am studying I have to learn how to teach the most simple way that I can, then I can start throwing in my own flare.  It's hard cause I want to be able to do it now, but it is teaching me to be patient, and it is teaching me to be humble.

Yesterday I did a weird thing, I thanked the Lord for my trial, and I even asked him to send me more so that I could learn and grow from them.  I want the lord to mold me into my potential, and I want to be who the Lord wants me to be, and the only way I can do that is through trials.  

I love you dad, Stay strong, and keep doing those things that you know are right.  

Love your Son,
Elder Johnson


That is really exciting to hear that the Christmas box has made it. Maybe I will get it when I get to Moroni today.  I will let my companion know about going through the box and all that fun stuff.  I am really excited!  I'm super disappointed though cause I can't send pictures, I just don't even want to risk having them deleted.  What I will do is get a flash drive, copy the pictures on to it and send the flash drive home.  

I am glad that you found the incentive to read  the Book of Mormon.  I have a very strong testimony that there is great power that comes from that book, because it is truly the book of God.  That book has the power to help us overcome all of our worldly trials, all of our questions, and it has the power to help us overcome temptation.  I remember back home, when I would really read every day, I wouldn't have any troubles with my trials.  I could feel God's love. I know that as you really put forth the effort you can receive the same strength. I love you so much!  The Book of Mormon truly is the word of God.  

I have definitely developed a closer love for that book the short time that I have been here.  I have been able to feel the whisperings of the spirit, as it teaches me what I need to know.  I know the power that book brings.  Sometimes we take it for granted.  As a side note, do you remember the Book of Mormon reading trackers you gave us?? I am about done! I am in Mormon right now, I am really excited to fill that tracker!

I know that right now it is hard at times, but I know the lord is watching over me and he is watching over you and the rest of the family.  I love this work, and this last week has been sooo busy, I love it, I haven't had time to even think about missing home as much.  I do, but I know that I have work to do, I need this time to prepare for those that I promised I would teach in the life before this. 

I loved your song by the way! 

Mom I love you so much! Stay strong and know that I love you with all of my heart and that I pray about you every day.  

Love your Son,
Elder Johnson  

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