Monday, February 29, 2016

Quick Note From Fiji

Elder Johnson is on his way to Christmas Island.  The only flights between Tarawa and Christmas Island take him through Fiji.  There is only one flight per week, and regrettably they did not make the flight.

First off, sorry I didn't write yesterday, I had to be at the airport by nine and didn't get to Fiji until 3. By that time all the internet cafes they were all closed so I am emailing today haha. 
Investigators are solid, and I made this last week my best week in Ambo, even though we didn't have a ton of lessons! haha We had two new investigators come to church and my understanding of the language sky rocketed!

So we have a dilemma here in Fiji, our flight to fiji was a okay.... but our flight for tomorrow to Kiritimati was not confirmed and they only have one flight a week from Fiji so we could be staying for a week here..... aaand our hotel Raffles was only booked for one night.  You guys should look it up its waaay nice! hahah  So we will see what happens tonight we are on a waiting list so there is a small chance to leave tonight at midnight! haha
I love that you are  continuing with your reading that is going to help you way more than you know!! That verse that you sent me is amazing, and it helped me to know that everything will be alright no matter what, as long as I am doing what I am supposed to be doing! 
I love you mom,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Well I'm in Fiji baby!! ahahah you were right about me not getting time yesterday, but I do have time today!!
Flight went good but like I told mom, we might have to stay a week with no hotel.... so we will have to travel four hours to Vula and stay with the Kiribati visa waiters.... no work..... I really hope we get on tonight... hahah
Carrington left last Saturday, Elder Stone, and Elder Aru are taking over the area, I worked with Stone the last couple of days so that I could show him around the area it went pretty well. 
I love that experience that you had with your friend, it is really an answer to my prayers.  I have been praying that you would have more spiritual experiences to help you know that the Lord is always there. Anyway I love you, I don't have a lot of time, We are going to do a few things before we fly out!
I'll update you next week!
love your son,
Elder Johnson

Letter sent Tuesday night:

soooooooooooo didn't get on the flight.... which means Elder Miller and I are stuck in Fiji for one week.  But the bright side is that we get to stay with all the visa waiters from Kiribati, and we get to go to the temple baby!

Visa waiters are missionaries going to america for their missions from Kiribati. As of right now I am across the street from the temple emailing you.  President Weir told us if we didn't get on to find the Visa waiters. and the cool thing is they are all getting their temple endowments right now, and the AP's here have a few investigators that speak Kiribati, so we might go with them sometime!!

I love you all!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cyclone Delays Christmas

Cyclone Winston has cancelled flights in Fiji,
delaying transfers until next Monday.
Elder Johnson is Transferring from Tarawa to Christmas Island
This is about the distance from California to Illinois.

Dear Mom,
Well, my flight for Kiritimati was supposed to be today.... buuuut since there was a cyclone that hit Fiji this last week my flight got pushed to next week on Monday.  At first I was a little disappointed, but now I just think I get one more week to work with our people!! I am going to try my hardest to be 100 percent obedient and work as hard as I possibly can to get the most out of this next week.

(An Elder from Kiribati will be going into the MTC.  We will be picking him up from the Airport, feeding him and taking him to the MTC.  We are really excited about this!)
Elder Nabaruru is flying out on the 7th and with the date line I think flying in at Utah on the 7th his day for the MTC is March 8th, but the Senior Couples the Jenks will shoot you an email with more details.  He's a little nervous cause I showed him a picture of dad with the primary kids and his beard and he said "e un" he's angry! (I made my primary kids fake beards in our last class of the year to match mine and we were posing with our "tough faces") hahah But he is one of my closest Kiribati friends, he doesn't speak a ton of English, but knows the basics. 

I decided it was okay if I gain weight while I'm here I know I'll have more time later to take care of it, even though it sucks, I just have to worry about what is most important; studies, and teaching with the spirit. I'm still going to try to eat less and work out but, a lot of elders and sisters gain weight. From what I hear, if you are used to working out everyday, you will gain, if you didn't workout you will lose soooooo yeah.

I definitely do believe that we are planting seeds wherever we are going, and I have definitely seen the Lord's hand in all of our work!

I am safe I'm working hard, and Love this work, I love you and Pray for you!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson

I was supposed to leave for Christmas today with Elder Miller who is finishing up his time out there but because of the Cyclone I have to wait until next Monday... I was a little sad because we essentially had a day and a half long p-day to do whatever we want in Fiji.  I was going to spend a night in a 3 and a half star hotel, and meet my new companion, but now I'm good! I get one more week in Ambo with Carrington!!

(I asked Jeff about Cyclone Winston)
The only bad thing is it has messed with transfers but we are all safe and good!

(From my letter to Jeff- I am like a fanboy following my favorite sports team, the Kiribati Missionaries!  I am tempted to make playing cards and team shirts!  (Only half joking!))
Please do make shirts and cards and send them, Everyone would LOVE them!! hahah
I'm not going to lie I miss swim and polo, I'm losing my muscle and continuing to see a difference in my face, but I know that this is just one of my trials, and as long as I work hard now, trust in the Lord, and then work hard later, the Lord will help me make up for it.  I know he is good for his word!

(I asked for new pictures, we have not received any new ones since he has been companions with Elder Carrington.)
I'm sending a package home with my full SD card so you will get all my pictures up until last Saturday.  Patience it a virtue! ;D

The most spiritual experience so far was probably yesterday.  We got to go to the Suva Fiji temple re-dedication, and we went to the first two sessions, the talks were all super spiritual, and just felt good. The second session was focused on eternal families, and the Plan of Salvation.  It really strengthened my testimony, and made me think how my mission now is preparing me for that time when I will be a dad.  That gave me the fuel to work hard and learn as much as I can!!

Coolest thing is after the 1st session I found another Kiribati tie, but this one is even more rare! It's blue!!! I asked where the guy bought it, but he said eh it's old we can just trade! sooo cool!!

Anyway, I love you, you're in my prayers, remember the importance of temple work and go as much as you can!

Love your missionary,
Elder Johnson

Monday, February 15, 2016

Upcoming Transfers- Going to Christmas Island


Haha no they don't celebrate Valentines here. They mostly celebrate 1st birthdays, 21st birthdays, Christmas, and that is about it! haha Long weekends are really nice, but we don't get any here, P-days are our "long weekend!"

So I'm not too worried now about the gaining weight, I started working out a little harder in the morning and have been putting on some muscle.  Let me tell you, pushups with a bag full of rocks and books does a lot in a short amount of time! 
So living with the Zone Leaders you hear things aaaaand they also have pictures of the transfer board which I may or may not have taken pictures of them...... hahahah, but I am leaving next Monday for Kiritimati... Christmas Island.  I get to stay overnight in a hotel in Fiji.  My new companion is Elder Darm and I get to see my MTC companion Elder Osborne, and Elder Berends!!!! I am so excited I have also been told that they go fishing on the Ocean every p-day!  I am sooo excited!!
(Amber sent Jeff a few quotes and scriptures from the youth theme on Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ from her calling in the Young Women's)
Lately I have read a lot about fear and faith and how they are completely opposite, so that is really cool how you shared that I really needed to hear that.  I really like the story of Peter walking on the water. It shows that as we focus on Christ we can do amazing things, but as soon as we lose focus that is when we will sink!  I love you so much mom!!
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

So I told mom this but living with the zone Leaders you hear things aaaaand they also have pictures of the transfer board which I may or may not have taken pictures of them...... hahahah.  (The punk didn't send a picture of the board!)  but I am leaving next Monday for Kiritimati... Christmas Island, and I get to stay overnight in a hotel in Fiji.  My new companion is Darm and I get to see my MTC companion Osborne, and Elder Berends!!!! I am so excited I have also been told that they go fishing on the Ocean every p day I am sooo excited!!
(Jeff asked us to pray for some of his investigators.)
You know what those people have not once come to church even when the zone leaders taught them, but they came yesterday, and seemed really into it. Everyone was shocked that they came, that strengthens my testimony that this church is true!! I love you so much, thank you for doing that!

Yesterday, we were asked to pass the sacrament in our ward and when I stood up at the table and they showed the bread, I felt the spirit overwhelm me that partaking of the sacrament really does help us in this life.  I know that this church really does help us become clean enough to enter into the kingdom of God.
The funniest thing that happened this last week was there was this HUGE spider on the wall and Carrington has silly string so we sprayed the thing and it dropped and we freaked out like little girls and we caught it all on camera! hahahah
We just had a baptism last Saturday, her name is Ramaua, and she is so solid. She is already asking about the temple and getting her husband reactivated so they can have the priesthood in the home! amazing!!
Anyway that's all I have time for today, I'm going to get my drivers license printed!  (I put my occupation as Jedi Knight! XD) hahah I love you!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Broken Promises, but... Building Faith

Elders Carrington, Hilliard, Kennedy and Johnson

WWII Bullet Found on the Beach

Dear Everyone!

This last week was amazing!  I'm pretty sure there wasn't a single day where it didn't rain or was cloudy, but it was super nice because it wasn't so blasted hot! haha

I have had a lot of amazing spiritual experiences this last week.  One being with my companion.  The other day, he expressed to me that he was having doubts on if he has been an effective missionary. I started by telling him of all of the amazingly prepared people we are finding in the midst of those who are rejecting us through excuses and lies.  Then I reminded him that an effective missionary isn't one who gets good numbers, but is one who calls others to repentance and helps people make and keep commitments in preparation for more sacred covenants such as baptism, and the temple.  I then bore my testimony about how things suck at times, but for those who are faithful and listen/follow Christ, his commandments, and his example blessings do come.  I then shared a talk that has really helped me, An High Priest of Good Things to Come by Jeffrey R. Holland.  In it, it talks about how blessings come no matter what, some come now, some come later, and some not until heaven, but for those who are faithful they do come.  I suggest to all to read this talk.  The spirit was so strong that I cried.

Our investigators and lessons are doing really well, and we continues to find amazingly prepared people.

There have been a couple of times where we had to walk home after dinner, which is pretty far, and I have had 3 times where I have prayed to get a car so we could get home on time.  Two of the times within a minute of me closing my prayer a car showed up.  Yesterday was my other time, I didn't want to pay for a bus so I prayed for a truck that we didn't have to pay, and a car showed up.  It is my testimony God hears and answers prayers, and if you don't believe it, put it to the test.

I love you all,
Love your friend, grandson, brother, son and Servant of the Lord
Elder Johnson

Dang that package was super fast!!! hahaha I'm glad that you guys like the stuff I sent, and tell Josh he better wear that tie, they are super hard to find and I haven't found one for me yet!! hahah

This week was pretty rough a couple times... I have gained a ton of weight and I hate it, I'm starting to see it in my face and stuff.... I just miss being able to exercise more than thirty minutes, and nothing here is healthy so it's been really rough.  We've had an amazing week with our investigators, we found this couple and we teach them in their little store. Their names are Matthew and Nardia.  Every time we teach them I feel the spirit really strong!  My favorite was our restoration lesson, I finally memorized the first vision, and when I said it the spirit testified of what I was saying.  Just yesterday we had a lesson with them and when we asked them if they prayed they said yes and they said they felt an answer!!! I am so excited for them!

Still living with the zone leaders, we find out transfers next week, but you start to hear some rumors living with them since they know all that's going on, so I think I have a pretty good idea where I am going! haha  but technically I am not supposed to know so.... shhhh hahah

We were just messing around with the dance but I think we might get to do it today!! hahah XD

Mom, I love you and what you said helped me so much as it always does, I love you sooooo much!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson


Happy freaking birthday you old man!!! you better not be shoveling snow too much or you might break your back for real!!! hahahah

I'm glad that you guys got your stuff and you all enjoyed the pictures and the stuff I sent you all.  I'm also glad that your big project went well, I have been praying for you to have a successful time.  I love you so much dad!

Yes I have heard about transfers... but technically I'm not supposed to.  But living with the zone leaders they say/discuss things and you start to put things together so I have an idea were I am going but I can't say anything yet because it hasn't been announced officially! haha

 We've had an amazing week with our investigators, we found this couple and we teach them in their little store. Their names are Matthew and Nardia, and every time we teach them I feel the spirit
really strong!  My favorite was our Restoration lesson, I finally memorized the first vision, and when I said it the spirit testified of what I was saying.  Just yesterday we had a lesson with them and when we asked them if they prayed they said yes and they said they felt an answer!!! I am so excited for them! will You pray for Taake and Bobo and Mauri.  Taake has word of wisdom problems and is trying to stop smoking and Bobo and Mauri have Marriage complications... so if you wouldn't mind praying for them!

Funniest is probably dinner the other night, I spent the entire night sneaking food on Elder Carrington's plate, and if there is food on your plate you have to eat it!  hahah!  I just kept loading it on there! He even asked for a refill and he told me stop when it got half way but I kept pouring! hahahXD

I love you dad!
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Monday, February 1, 2016

Staying Upbeat in Ambo

This week was another week that went waaaay to fast, except this time not a whole lot happened that was really note worthy.  It rained a lot, a lot of our lessons and back up plans fell through... but I was able to keep a pretty good attitude about it!
Two funny/cool stories, last Tuesday we went to an Elder's birthday in Betio, and I got up in the middle of a performance and started the party! XD aaaaahhhhh yeah! 
Wednesday, we had zone meeting and I slammed open the doors while I was singing frozen, tell the guards to open up the gates!!! hahah
Our investigators are doing really well, some make up excuses as to why they don't want or why they missed a lesson, because they are busy all the time.  It just makes me sad because they don't know what they are trying to get out of....
I know that the lord loves each and everyone of us, and he looks after all of us, we just have to turn to him and it will be all right! 
I love you all I don't have a ton of time but know I love and miss you all. You are all in my prayers!!


Elder Johnson


Ah man, I am enjoying the nice warm sun, with that nice ocean breeze, not missing the snow one. little. bit.  hahahah By the time I'm the designated shoveler, I will probably have forgotten what snow even is!! hahaha (Jeff is a punk, truth be told.)
Sounds like work is a handful as always, but I know that as you give the time to the Lord first, he will bless you with the patience and help you need for work.. I know that when I feel myself starting to get frustrated, or upset, I sing a song, and it helps me keep a cool head, and it helps me to keep a good attitude when things are not quite going as planned. There have been a couple of times when Elder Carrington and I got a little down because our investigators were making excuses of why they weren't there or why they didn't want lessons, or from our plans falling through pretty fast.  But I prayed on how I could help us stay in a good attitude, and I felt to start singing hymns aloud, and talk to Elder Carrington about my study in Jesus the Christ. 

We were able to talk things out and I was able to share my experience with Temwaiku where I would get frustrated really fast, and how I am quick to anger.  But Elder Kennedy always had a good attitude.  I have tried to apply that to my life and I feel like I have been pretty successful at it, I have noticed when you keep a good attitude about things and if you try your hardest to love others and worry about them you are more in tune with the spirit.  But when you allow yourself to be angry or upset, you miss out on teaching moments from the spirit.  I know that we can apply this to any feelings of frustration, stress or anything bad. 
For p-days we go to the stake center. They have an indoor gym, but nothing like anything back home, it's pretty fun, I pretty much ball people up left and right! haha XD
Elder Carrington is amazing, I have learned so much from him and we click really well!  We are working hard but I am seeing blessings in a different way here, we don't get in a ton lessons, but the lessons that we do get in are all people who are PREPARED for the gospel.  I know that the Lord definitely blesses us as we do our best to turn to him. 
I have noticed when we pray to the lord he guides us to those who are prepared, and are willing to accept the gospel.  When we pray I feel the spirit strongly that we need to go to a specific house, but we have to pray, come up with an option ourselves then listen to the spirit. 
The funniest thing that happened this week happened last Saturday. So there are a lot of dogs here and sometimes they can be pretty mean, so one time one was walking towards us and I lifted my arms to my side, and I wiggled my fingers and made a weird noise, and it bolted sooo fast! It was pretty funny, then Carrington and I came up with what it was thinking.  "oh look what a nice huma... wha what is, what is that??? Is it a transformer????" hahah
I love you dad,
love your son.

I'm doing amazing! I love being in the same house as the zone leaders it's pretty fun, but it can be pretty crazy at times! haha  Now there are five of us, one left for an outer island last Friday, and Elder Bontekai leaves today, he is going to work in Temwaiku until he gets his visa.  This morning we choreographed a dance for a Kiribati song for our next botaki that they ask us to dance... Let's just say I've got some good moves up my sleeves for it... hahah. We are together quite a bit except during lessons and when we have different dinners, but other than that we are together!. 
Mom, I am glad that you sent that quote, because there have been a couple of times where I haven't felt like I was a very successful missionary because I still don't have the language down very well, but I know that as I bear my testimony with meaning and I teach with meaning cause I will invite the spirit, and the language of the spirit is the same with everyone. 
Mom, I love you so much and I know that the Lord will continue to bless you as you continue to turn to him and keep his commandments, it only gets easier!  Remember the Plan of Salvation and if you gain a testimony about that you will know that there is a purpose for everything, and the Lord will never give us anything that wouldn't help us grow. 
I love you,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson