Monday, January 25, 2016

In the Lord's Hands

No pictures this week, but it sounds like Elder Johnson is doing great!

What's up everyone!!!!!!!!

This week has literally gone by in a blink! I cannot believe how fast it has gone!!! I love it though!  It has been a really great time working with Elder Carrington in Ambo!  I just can't believe that I have been in Kiribati for 3 months now!

This last week we had a ton of really solid investigators and lessons. One experience that really stood out this last week was our tracting experience.  One day we had a little extra time so we decided to pray and ask what we should do.  After we prayed we talked it out... "Maybe we should see one of our less actives"... nothing, "or maybe see if we can get a referral"...  nothing "Let's tract a house past the catholic church, we haven't gone past there yet!" As soon as we said that I felt the spirit confirm that is what we needed to do.. We went past the church and I felt strong that we should go to a specific house, and I told Elder Carrington, and he said he felt the same way.  We got there and one of our investigators walked out of the house!! Turns out it was his family that we tracted! sooooo sweet.  It is amazing what the Lord will do if we just pray and ask.  It's my testimony that if we just listen to what the Lord tells us and if we follow his commandments he will give us what we need every time.

The rest of the week was full of good lessons and new people.  Today for p-day was a blast, the first thing that we did is go email, and after we went to Betio to see if we could find any cool WWII stuff.
We got to Red beach and took a ton of sweet pictures of us standing on old ships, guns, and cannons.  We looked around with a couple of kids, and they found a bullet!! They let me keep it too! I am pretty excited cause it wasn't in the water so it wasn't all rusted!  On the way back we caught a ride on.... a dump truck!  It was so sweet, we stood on the back and we were way above everything! The only down side about today... sorry mom, but Today was literally the first day in a long time where I forgot to put on sun screen and I got fried..... ha ha. After we caught back up with the missionaries at the Stake Center, and I totally rocked it at basketball, I was definitely on my A-game.  I was stuffing people left and right!! ha ha.

Any way P-day is about over I love you all!  Remember that Ngaira Natina Te Atua ao e tatangirira! (We are all children of God and He really does love us)

Sounds like you had a great time shoveling the snow this morning, the only thing I have to worry about is making sure I have enough sun screen on so that I don't burn! haha  (My son is a punk!)

That is so cool that the Provo City Center Temple is getting ready to be dedicated. I wish there was one here so that I could go, but it is really making me appreciate how many we have within a short distance of our house!  I know that the Temple is a house of God, and within it's walls we can perform sacred ordinances that last for eternity. I love the temple so much.

I also love the Atonement. I know I have had to apply it many times within the short time that I have been here! haha I have used it to overcome my faults and short comings, my sins, for comfort, peace, and to expand my happiness.  I know that the savior loves each and every one of us, and he really wants us to apply his atonement. I have been reading the Howard W. Hunter prophet book and in it it said, that we all have to carry a yoke in this life, we all have to carry some kind of load, so why not let it be the Saviors yoke for his yoke is easy and the burden is light.  I love that so much... The Savior literally takes most of it, but that doesn't mean we wont struggle, we wont have pain, or else we won't grow.  He just gives us just enough strength to push through it.

My new zone is amazing!  Most of them are Islanders so it's a pretty wild zone, but tons of fun!!! hahah Our areas include Ambo, Bonraaba, Teaoraereke, Bairiki, and Betio which has three sets of missionaries working there.  I don't know all of their names but I know their faces! XD haha

I love Ambo, all of our investigators are super prepared for the gospel, the only difficulty is a lot of them hate Mormons, but that's okay! We are having a lot of success and a lot of spiritual moments!

The Senior couples are amazing, I don't see them as often as I did in the West Zone since they live at Moroni High School, but they are super nice!!  One couple and the Nurse are getting ready to leave this next month!  I really love Elder and Sister Jenks, they were in the MTC the same time as us, and they are just so inviting and helpful to all the missionaries!

Funniest thing that has happened this last week is we went to this house where we were trying to contact a couple and they weren't home again.... Just their drunk dad... We got up to the house and he is sitting in front of a speaker system jamming to a Christmas song, and we did our Mauri Mauri kain to house to call him to the door, and he didn't hear us, we tried for like ten minutes before he came to the door.  When he finally came to talk to us he started talking and slurring in English... he asked our names and when Elder Carrington said his this was his response... Oh that's a German name! Hail Hitler!"  It was so random and so unexpected we both started busting up laughing! Oh it was so bad!

The scariest was probably yesterday, we were about to drop off two of the Elders at the house but noticed there was a large crowd of people.  They were screaming profanities towards another HUGE guy down the road.  The big guy egged them on and they all took after him with massive rocks, (in the meantime we were parked just a little more than twenty feet away!)  Then they started chucking these boulders in the direction of our car toward this guy.  It was pretty freaky.

The most spiritual happened yesterday as well, we went to this guy, Beia's, house to teach him the Book of Mormon. When we got there, we were waiting for him to come and we started talking to this other guy who said he was going to sit in on our lesson as well.  SICK!  As we were testifying about the book of Mormon, the spirit was so strong another guy came in and listened to it too! They all had great questions, and the First guy who sat in seemed like he was really interested!  The Book of Mormon is truly the word of God!  As I testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, I felt the spirit testify that it was all true!

I have two other SD cards for my camera and I think sending them back and forth is a good idea!

 I love you love your son,
Elder Johnson

Dear Mom,
My new area is amazing we have a ton of great investigators who are soo prepared for the gospel in their lives.  It is a little harder to get in a lot of lessons however since our area is so big and we walk.  I'd say we have a pretty good routine set in place, but It freaks me out to think this is already my third week working in my new area.... It's going way too fast, It freaks me out cause I still don't have the language quite down, it is so simple that it's hard.  Our house is pretty big, as of right now we have 6 elders living there.  One just got set apart, and one is waiting to go back out to an outer island.  It's a blast, the Zone Leaders are super chill and nice.  I love it.

I am so glad that you are continuing to read in the Book of Mormon. I know the kind of strength that can bring.  Don't quit even when things are going rough, just remember you can always find peace, comfort and happiness in the gospel.  Pray for strength, apply the Atonement, and never let go of the iron rod which is the word of god.

I have been reading from the Howard W. Hunter prophet book lately for personal study, and one thing that has really stood out to me is he constantly talked about fear verses faith, and if we just have faith and follow God and do everything good in his eyes, we have no reason to fear what so ever.  I know this to be true, I have found when I have gotten frustrated, scared, angry, upset or down, I pray, and I sing a hymn in my head, and it helps every time.  Try that the next time you  have any of those feelings, and I promise you it will all be better.

I also love the Atonement. I know I have had to apply it many times within the short time that I have been here! haha I have used it to overcome my faults and short comings, my sins, for comfort, peace, and to expand my happiness.  I know that the savior loves each and every one of us, and he really wants us to apply his atonement. As I read the Howard W. Hunter prophet book it said that we all have to carry a yoke in this life, we all have to carry some kind of load.  So why not let it be the Saviors yoke for his yoke is easy and the burden is light.  I love that so much... The Savior literally takes most of it, but that doesn't mean we wont struggle, we wont have pain, or else we won't grow.  He just gives us just enough strength to push through it.

 I love you mom, and just so yalls know, I am sending home a small little package for you guys, just a few little things pray that it will make it your way!!

I love you so much,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Let Your Light So Shine...

Teaching a Lesson by Lantern Light

Hello Everyone,

Well I'm in my new area as of right now, Ambo baby!! It has been a crazy week!! 

Elders Whitehead, Johnson, Carrington and Alixa at a Botaki in Ambo
My new area is amazing, my companion Elder Carrington is great, and I get to live with the West Zone Leaders Elders Alixa and Whitehead.  It has been a blast.  Our area is a walking area and it is literally HUGE.  We barely even put a dent in our area.  We have a lot of super great people that we are teaching, it is going to be an amazing 6 weeks!!

As of right now everyone in our ward, and even some of our investigators think that I am the son of WWE wrestler John Cena, thank you companion and zone leaders you are the best!!  

"Elder Alixa told me I wasn't down to get up
and dance in the middle of a performance so I did...
that's when the party started baby"- Elder Johnson
I don't have a ton of time, but I am doing well.  Not sick yet, working hard and am seeing the Lord's hand in my life like crazy.  

I know that the Lord watches over each and everyone of us, even when we don't necessarily feel like he is there.  Sometimes, we don't receive an answer right away it is because the lord wants to see if we have the faith necessary to keep going and work for everything that he can give us.

I love you all!  

Elder Johnson

Elder Johnson and Carrington at the Botaki


It sounds like things are going really well back home, except for a couple of drama moments!! ha-ha I love that you are having all these cool experiences running into all these missionaries in the airports, having spiritual experiences.  Just remember that as you continue to do everything that you can to serve the Lord first and think of the Lord first everything will work out just fine. 

These last couple of days I have read things about families, and understanding the plan of salvation.  I think it is something that you would really like.  They are in the young women section in the April conference of last year.  It was really interesting what they talked about, and they both said stuff along the lines of preparing your family and teaching the family now in order to prepare them for when trials come later, I just wanted to let you know that I am very grateful that you have raised this family right, and you have taught me to hold to the rod.  The one thing I got out of this was just to make sure that you are doing those things to help strengthen the family spiritually, family home evening, prayer and scripture study.  I have learned while being here that those things will help strengthen the family so much, that when the storms come, nothing will knock them over!!

Family that believes Elder Johnson is the son of John Cena!
So I am going to start with the funniest story, so we are living with the West Zone Leaders, Elder Whitehead and Alixa, and they are super fun and funny!  Except they like to mess with people.  So everywhere I go they tell people that my dad is John Cena the WWE wrestler, and these poor people believe them!  Someone yesterday even went as far as to ask me to train him.  I'm just nervous cause some of these guys are really big! ha-ha  So now the whole ward thinks I am John Cena's kid thanks to my Lovely companion and Zone Leaders... 

 Okay now for my spiritual, So this last Saturday we had our first baptism and our investigator,whose name is Betero.  I had to baptize him 3 times because he wouldn't bend his knees and the water was really low.  After the baptism he bore his testimony, he's probably like in his late sixties, and he started to cry.  In our lesson with him yesterday he asked us why he cried, and I bore my testimony that crying is one of the signs of the Holy Ghost.  I said that there are times when I have felt the Holy Ghost so strong that I have cried, and as I was testifying the spirit filled the buiaa (there little hut/house things)  It was a really cool lesson, plus we got to teach by lantern light sooo sick! ha-ha 

Book of Mormon stories: I know that the Book of Mormon is the true word of god, everything that we teach as missionaries are within the pages of that book, and if anyone is confused about our teachings I know that they will be able to receive the truthfulness of all of our messages if they just read.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the most perfect book on the earth right now!

I love you dad,
Love your Elder,
Elder Johnson


The kids love the Elders!
Things are going amazing right now!! I have loved every minute of working as a missionary even though at times it has seemed super tough.  I know that I am doing the Lord's work and he is guiding all that I do.  My new companion is really cool, we hung out every p-day back in our old areas so we already had a pretty great bond going.  His first name is Scot and his birthday is the same day as Dad's, February 8, sick huh??   He has been out for about a year and a half so he is like pro at everything and he has already taught me so much! 

Our area is HUGE!!!  I've been here a week and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. It looks completely different than my old area, and it's a walking area.  That's cool because I get a lot more time to talk with my companion.  Our area is right by the government building which is a really cool building!  

Kids of Ambo
Your experience about the work is so cool!  It is amazing what the Lord will do if we just let him, I know that you have been receiving your answers because you are doing what the Lord wants you do be doing first, reading the Book of Mormon.  Now just imagine what the Lord will do if you try to be exactly obedient, doing everything that you can to serve him, remember him, and stand for him with all of your heart might mind and strength.  I know that the Lord has countless blessings that he is just waiting to give us.  All we have to do is work for them and ask for them.  I love that you are reading everyday, because I know I have taken enjoyment out of reading and I have had many prayers, questions answered through reading the Book of Mormon.  

I loved Trek so much!  (Amber and I have been asked to go on Trek with the youth of our area.  It is a re-enactment of the Mormon Pioneers crossing the plains to Utah.) You guys are going to have a blast, two of the activities I really enjoyed were making the flag with the family and making comfy seat covers for the buckets!  

I love you so much mom, 

Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Elders Kennedy, Kaakau, and Johnson- Elder Kaakau heading to New Mexico

Saying Goodbye to Temwaiku

First baptism in new area- Elders Johnson, Carrington, Whitehead and Alixa with Betero

Elder Carrington and Johnson writing home.

Large Bowl of Rice at the Botaki

Monday, January 11, 2016

Noticing Miracles in the Little Things

Elder Johnson Teaching Investigators How to Tie Ties


First off, sorry that this email is going to be a little short, we have very little time because the power was out at the internet café, and they only gave us 45 minutes in Eita, so if I don't get to everything I apologize.

I haven't transferred yet,  I leave tomorrow, so I will let you know as much as I find out during in this week!!

This last week we have seen sooo many miracles.  First off the Lord helped us to reach our goal of 70 lessons for this week.  Our zone leaders were so excited for us!  Another miracle is my language has made a definite improvements.  I don't know a ton of words, but I feel like I can teach most of the lessons, and I am starting to be able to throw in my own flare. 
Market on Bobwai

Two of our investigators have also seen the miracles.  One fasted and was able to find the strength to not smoke, for a whole week now!  Another told us that he knows that all of our lessons are true because he had a dream where we came and taught him, and after two men in white came and told him that all that we told him was true!!

I am so sad I am leaving this area when it is starting to be so good, but I know I am being sent to somewhere the Lord needs me to be!

I love you and I will write more next week!
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Enjoying an Ice at the Bobwai Market


My stomach is pretty much as iron as it gets.  I pretty much have no problems, except when I eat American snacks now! ha ha but I've been really good, I feel super unhealthy, and I am getting sick of eating the same thing everyday, but there is not much I can really experiment with. I'll definitely start asking around on how I can put in a little variety!

I'm not in my new area yet, I was supposed to leave last Friday, but one of the zone leaders didn't want to leave so early so they pushed my day back a week.  I leave tomorrow night... I'm super sad because this last week we saw a lot of miracles! 

It sounds like you are keeping yourself busy!  I love how crafty you are!  I honestly can't stay on, the power died at the email place and so we only get forty five minutes on the computers in Eita,  but know that I am so proud that you are reading and being an amazing mom!  I love you so much!  I know that as you continue to read every day you can overcome all things and continue to receive help from our father in heaven.  I know that I am getting lost in serving others all my problems are going out the window!! 

Again I am super sorry that I can't write more, but know that I love you and I continue to pray about/for your guys all the time!  Stay strong!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson 

The Slim Price Market

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year from the Islands!

Elder Johnson and Elder Kaakau (Elder Kaakau is on his way to serve in New Mexico)

Honestly New Years was harder for me than Christmas, just because I loved the games and the company we have every year and the crazy stories I have! But I tried to get lost in the work and it has worked.  It has always stuck in my mind what you said... whenever you feel homesick get lost in the work and everything will be alright.  I know that is 100% true because I've lived it!  I know that as we all get lost in the Lord's work we forget about ourselves and our problems!  

How much snow have you guys gotten this year??  I heard that sledding was pretty brutal!

I asked Elder Johnson to share experiences he has with the Book of Mormon each week so I can tell them to kids I teach in primary, since that is what we are studying this year.

I have two stories right now!  One is a family, where three of their four kids just got baptized, and it put a fire under them.  We just had their Book of Mormon lesson last week and asked them to read and the dad Umanata, he read to the middle of first Nephi! so amazing!! We taught them the Plan of Salvation yesterday and we just started to explain the three kingdoms and he went and explained it perfectly to his wife.  Also in church the topic in Elder's quorum was the priesthood and they asked who didn't have it who wanted it and he raised his hand and said I want it, but I am not baptized yet!  So amazing, we continued on to teach a little about the temple and told them that they were going to go as a family!  Amazing!

Another experience was with a guy named Taunebure,  we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon during our Book of Mormon lesson, and was teaching it to his family and he started reading it on the spot!!!! soooo awesome!  We gave it to him about 2 weeks ago and he is almost done with second Nephi!  The Book of Mormon is a powerful thing, because it comes directly from the power of God! 

Anyway I have to go, I am on the Senior couple's computer because the internet cafe was down and I have a couple more people to write.  

I love you dad!!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson 

Elder Johnson and Elder Kennedy- Killing Wasps
(There always seems to be some sort of creepy crawly thing trying to get these missionaries!)


As of right now, I'm feeling okay, my stomach hurts still every once and a while, (because there is a lot of under cooked chicken) But I am holding up a lot better than I thought I would!  I have had a few bad headaches and have thrown up once, but I kept working! ha-ha Swim has taught me to push through the pain pretty well!! ha-ha I will definitely be able to eat anything when I get home!

I haven't eaten dog yet, but I am interested to try.  I hear it is really good! ha-ha, so we will see! XD Sounds like you guys are enjoying just as much weird food as I am! ha-ha Tell me what more weird food you guys eat!

Thanks for ordering all of that stuff for me!  That will help out so much!  I did do something, you know my shoulder bag,  the Elder that is waiting for his time to enter the MTC, didn't have one, and he is working in New Mexico, so I gave him mine.  He was really grateful!  He loved it so much!  He leaves this Monday! He is super excited!

I am also glad that I had extra shirts because there are a lot of people who don't have them who need them so they can go to church, I have given out a few already!

I found out I am getting both a new area and a new companion.  The new area is now just becoming it's own area, it used to be the west zone leader's area. I am still on Tarawa, just on the opposite side.  My new area is called Ambo and my new companion is Elder Carrington.  I am super pumped!  The cool thing is now is the time when everyone is traveling and visiting family.  I have met three different people who actually live in Ambo!  It is so cool what the Lord will do if we just listen and watch!

Those goals sound amazing!!! One thing that I have learned about setting goals is to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T  Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time specific.  I challenge you guys to get a preach my gospel, read the section setting goals and try to follow it, I know that when I followed those steps I have seen amazing results!  I know that if you put your mind to it you will be able to do amazing things. 

That is so amazing that you are still reading, I know of the all the blessings that you can receive from continually reading and praying!  I finally finished for the first time, and I had an amazing experience when I prayed about it.  I prayed and as soon as I asked if the book was true, the spirit overwhelmed me and was so strong.  I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. 

I love you so much!  It is amazing how the Lord can also put us in the situations to help.  I know that as you continue to do what is right the Lord will continue to give you situations where  you can help other people! 

I don't have a ton of time, the internet was down at the internet café so I am using the senior couples computer, I just needed to say happy birthday to Ana and send quick emails to you guys!

I love you so much!
Love your son,
Elder Johnson 

Additional Pictures from Christmas Celebrations from Last Week