Monday, March 28, 2016

Bike Repairs, Fishing and Rough Roads

Elder Johnson Playing with the kids

Elder Johnson's first fish on Kiribati!  

Yeah, I'll be honest, I love all the fun Easter stuff, but It was nice not to have to focus on all of that stuff!!

Fishing was a blast!!! I caught a huge red snapper and another smaller fish called a grouper I think! hahah We let the guy whose poles we used keep the fish as payment for letting us use his gear!

Yeah he is, we think he might be leaving this next week, but we are not quite sure! But we know that he is going to Abamama, and my companion will be another kid from Darm and Kennedy's intake, Elder Hunter!

Transfers start this next week, and everyone else on the Island is staying!  Oh one quick side comment, one of the Elder's here is going home in May to Utah so I'm going to send a few things home for you  guys with him and I will see if you can meet him in the Airport or something.. they are just a few things that I want in a safe place and then a couple things for you guys!

My bike is a peice of junk! hahah I've had to do so many things to it, it has broken almost a million and eight different times!! hahah

Our house is way big and way nice!!! I love it, we have beds and even fans for when we sleep!! It sucks though cause we only have a flat plug in stove so there isn't much we can cook... I'm worried that I won't learn how to cook any thing on my mission!!!! there is either no food or nothing to cook it with!! hahah

Funniest story, probably when I was fixing our bike on the side of the road, and our investigator Tebwe was helping. A truck full of Imatang (white people) drove by and they screamed "MORMONS!"  They were not LDS hahah. Our investigator thought this was so funny, so now whenever we see him he screams MORMONS in this really funny voice!! haahha

Most spiritual, was yesterday, we had 3 men who are here for vacation show up at church who were not members and we translated for them, and the Guy who I translated for asked a ton of questions so I ended up giving him the links to and  After church they started walking in the direction of our house and we had a lesson that way.  I wanted to give them a Book of Mormon, but we only had one in the house. Luckily we got picked up by Elder Miller, and I prayed that I could get the book to them.. We saw them on the side of the road just as they were getting into a truck.  I had just enough time to give them the Book of Mormon! It was so cool!!!

The church is so true!

I love you dad, I'll send pictures if I can!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Second fish was not as impressive!

Flooded Road

Excepts from Letter to Mom, there were some sensitive things shared that we have kept out. 

You sent me letters?? I might get them on wednesday when the plane comes! Have you guys sent my package yet? My backpack is on it's last strings... hahaha

Oh dang! are you serious?? they were using it in Africa?? that's way far away from where I am!! I'm glad that the bank would call and that I was able to get my money back! that makes me happy!

That is true, as long as things get sorted out then it doesn't really matter, plus it is something that can always be made up for!! haha

I love this work, but I've been depressed and sick the last little bit.... Just pray for me!!!! hahaha everything is good!

Mom, I love you so much! and I know that you wll be blessed by doing what the Lord wants you to be doing!

I love you,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fishing with President Weir

Elder Johnson Eating Beach Worms


I'm glad everything is doing well and all things are good, and I'm glad that you guys got my package!!

So I don't have a ton of time and I've got 10 other emails to get to... soooo I'll answer your questions real fast,

1) How is your health?  Any fungus, digestion problems, boils, leprosy, parasites etc?

Health is good, I was sick for a while, cause it is a lot hotter here and we are a lot closer to the sun, so I got pretty bad heat exhaustion, a few cuts and maybe one boil.... not sure yet,

2) Tell us about the members of your branch, are they supportive?  Do they help with missionary work?  How do you keep them involved?

The members here are way strong, the Mwanieba is waaaay big (the place we have church) and the members are really supportive, most of our lessons came from referrals!

3) Tell us a day to day thing.  Like bike repair, cooking meals, killing bugs, or something. 

Start off the day with a work out, change, write in journal, study, leave at around 12, bike for 20 to thirty minutes, yes our house is that far from our area... teach, dinner at 7, return.  If we have time we play a quick card game with our investigators, it's way fun!! It's exhausting but way worth it!

4) What is the most spiritual thing that happened this week?

Most spiritual was last Sunday, not yesterday, but my first Sunday, I was asked to talk in sacrament meeting, and I had no idea what on, so I just went with it, and I talked about the Book of Mormon, and the whole time that I explained what it was, and when I shared my testimony, I felt the spirit sooooo strong, it was amazing!!! I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true!

5) What is the funniest thing that happened this week?

Funniest today, we went fishing with President Weir, and I prayed I would catch something, and when I got in the water with the pole, no joke I caught a decent sized fish within 20 minutes,(I'll send pics next week)  then I prayed I would catch one more thing before we left cause we were staying for a long time, and I specifically asked for a shark, (a lot of elders catch sharks) and I ended up catching... waiiiiiit for it..... a grouper... hahhah waaaay small!! hahah But hey I caught the first fish and the most so I'm happy!!!

6) What is the scariest thing that happened this week?

Scariest.....nothing really... Kiribati is chill.... there are really no problems! hahah

I love you! 
Love your son
Elder Johnson

First off I'm so glad that my package made it safe to the house, (Elder Johnson sent home a small package that included a some items he wants us to store for him, a few gifts and an SD card filled with pictures!  Made our week!) I was a little worried cause I had the zone leaders sent it for me, so I wasn't sure if it was going to make it there or not! I'm glad you like the shirts, I payed a lady trying to raise money for her daughter to go on her mission.  Hopefully they fit alright I just showed her a picture and she said OK! haha

It freaks me out how fast everything is going.... the weeks seem like days and tomorrow I hit my 2 week mark in Kiritimati.... crazy, it scares me how fast it is going.... it makes me really sad... but I know that I just have to serve with all of my heart, might, mind and strength and everything will be alright!  

The store JMB's is awesome!!! so cool they literally have everything that you could possibly imagine! ahhah and it's pretty dang big! I'll take pictures this week and send them to you guys! I left my sd card thing for the computer on Tarawa.... so I have to borrow Miller's or another elder.  There are a couple of houses at the hotel, but they are mostly rooms for vacationers who come here to fish!

Darm is sick!  He is such a hard working missionary and he connects with the people so well!!!  He loves card and board games, and I'm learning a ton of Kiribati ones! I'm gonna write down all the rules so that I can send them to you guys they are way fun!!

I know for 100 percent that we were supposed to be there, not a doubt in my mind, the Temple was just so amazing and you and dad should try to go as much as you can!! 

I am so glad I don't have to deal with all that worldly stuff yet!! hahah I remember when I would freak out at every little thing, 

Sorry it is short, we don't have a ton of time, we went fishing today, and we only get an hour!

I love that you continue to read, keep it up, and keep sharing your testimony!

Love your son,
Elder Johnson 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Finally on Christmas!

At the Christmas Island Airport

Yep! I am officially in my new area!! and I have been here for a little less than a week now, and let me tell you this Island is NOTHING like Tarawa!! hahah, there are sooooo many trees and a ton of vegetation! The bike ride from my house to our area is about 20 minutes, so that can give you an idea of how big our area actually is!! hahah Living conditions are alright, we live in the Captain Cook hotel, but with no air conditioner or hot water, it's not bad though cause just having a fan is pretty cold.  We are no where near the rest of the other Elders, probably about a half hour ride in a car from our house to theirs, so it is just Darm and I except for p-days and District meetings.  hahah The nice thing is our house is right next to this store JMB's  that gets it's cargo from Costco in Hawaii! So we get some pretty good stuff!! hahah My companion is amazing! He is really funny and a really hard worker!

Catching up with MTC Missionaries and Meeting Elder Darm
I am so glad that you guys got to pick the gang up, I love those guys so much!! They are all going to be such great missionaries!! That was so nice of you guys to give them those bags!! I know that most of them only had one or two neck ties, both Taibati and Tenoa were wearing ties that I gave them!! haha

I know that they would LOVE getting packages in the MTC hahaha and that fish thing would be way awesome for them!!! hahah

We did not get a forward/copy of that email sent from the Temple presidency! That is literally the coolest thing I have heard!! I know I was kind of confused as to why we stayed a week in Fiji! But that gave me the answer, that is literally so cool!!! I want to share with you a very special experience that I had while going through the temple last week.  I decided to go through one of the sessions with a question in mind, and I know that it is a while a way, but I couldn't stop thinking about whether or not I am going to swim and which college I will go to.  What I did was I prayed at the beginning of the session and when we got into the Celestial room I prayed again and sat and pondered.  And it was as if I was having a conversation with my Father in Heaven.  Not only did I receive my answer to whether or not I was going to swim, but I received my answer to a whole lot more.  After I received my answer I prayed to confirm what I heard and I was overwhelmed with the spirit.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that Elder Miller and I had to go through the Temple as many times as we did last week.  I know that Heavenly Father watched over us and provided us with the means to do what we needed to do.
District Meeting- Back Row- Elder Berends, Elder Beacham, Elder Miller
Front Row- Elder Osborne, Elder Johnson

Mom,  I love you soooo much and you stay in my prayers every night! I love you, and I know that the Lord will continue to bless you as you do your very best to serve him first!

love your son,
Elder Johnson

Sunset at Banana

hahah finally, but just from experiences this last week and the emails I got from you and Mom, I know that I was supposed to be there. 

I am so glad that you guys had the chance to pick those guys up that makes me so happy!  I love the pictures you sent!! they look so good!!! hahah I bet they were dying with how cold it has been there! haha I also love the cartoon that you drew it made miller die laughing! XD  Yeah, he was wearing my pants, and Taibati and Tenoa were wearing my ties! They only had one each!

Apartment has been invaded by crabs!
I know mom told me about that email, I'm surprised that President didn't say anything to us! that is definitely a testimony builder right there, knowing that the Lord was there every step of the way! I had an amazing time in Fiji, and so much happened that I just know wasn't a coincidence! I didn't tell you this before but the day we left Tarawa the dentists that were there doing a check-up on all of the Missionaries and the kids at Moroni High School left with us and stayed in the same hotel.  And when we went to go check if we could get on the flight, they told us that they had already talked to the front desk at the Hotel, and told them if we come back they would pay for another night for us, amazing, then when we did come back we had a place to stay for the night, then in the morning, they bought us both breakfast!!  Everything just worked out so well in our favor, that it really strengthened my testimony.   So amazing
Tari- Smoked Fish with texture of Gel

Christmas is AMAZING!  When I got here, the first day, we taught 10 lessons, it was crazy!!! My area is soooo far away from every one else on the island, so we only get to see the other missionaries on district meeting days, and p-days!  haha pretty cool, so it's like outer island life without living on an outer island!! It was soooo cool catching up with Berends and Osborne I missed those guys so much!!

Darm is a way funny kid, he is a big kid but has lost 50 pounds since he has been out on his mission! crazy! He is a really hard worker, he lives is California, played football and wrestled in high school, and is really good at connecting with the people 
Baptism on Christmas

Funniest moment from this last week is probably our baptism, Darm performed the baptism itself, and here we do it in the ocean every time, so when the two of them went in to the water, he started saying the prayer this HUGE wave came down and crashed into the two of them and Darm goes head over heals, no joke into the water, it was SO funny!!!

Most spiritual... was probably yesterday, I got asked to give a talk yesterday at last second and I decided to do it on the Book of Mormon, it was really powerful and I felt the spirit way strong through the whole thing.  It really strengthened my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, it was really sweet. 

I love it here, there is soooo much fresh fish and it is all soooooo delicious! and yes I am bragging! XD

I love you dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Baptism Group

Letter President Weir forwarded from the Fiji Temple President

Dear President Weir:
My name is Thaine Olsen and I am first counsellor in the Suva Fiji Temple. 
This last week we had the great pleasure to have your two fine elders join us in the temple. We, by a little miracle, were able to run into them and find that they were stuck in Suva and were with the young elders from Kiribati. They willingly shepherded the young men to the temple and we had them with us Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the temple for all the time it was open. They got to do baptisms for the dead in Kribati, sessions, initiatory, and they helped with sealings of some couples and families from Kiribati. They are fine young men full of the Spirit of the Lord. They took hold of those boys and made sure they got to the temple and served there. One of the greatest blessings was that they were able to translate for us and help these young men straighten out their communication with the Fiji mission and with us in the temple, also they helped them get to where they needed to be in the temple. They were an absolute answer to prayer; who knows but that they were brought to Fiji for that very purpose. I am sure that you were worried about them being stranded in another mission, in another country, but they were faithful and diligent. When I asked if they would come and help us in the temple and particularly to bring the young Kiribati elders, they said they had to get permission from their mission president and then perhaps they could come. 
You should have seen them in the temple doing baptisms and confirmations in Kiribati. The young Kiribati families there to do the work for their ancestors rejoiced with them and the other young elders to have those ordinances in their native tongue. Being that we just opened the temple we were not  prepared to do them in Kiribati. 
So again thank you for having such fine elders, so steady and faithful, and reliable. They were Saviours on Mount Zion. Could you please forward this on to their parents. I would be most grateful.

On Saturday afternoon we ran into them in a store and took these pictures. Pictured in the group photo were some of the other couple temple missionaries. 

Your brother in Christ
President Thaine L Olsen
Suva Fiji Temple

Temple Workers and Kiribati Missionaries

Elder Johnson and Elder Miller

Amber and I had the chance to take these awesome Kiribati Missionaries to the MTC. 
We also got to meet Elder Miller's parents (not in pictures), amazing people, no wonder their kid is such a good missionary


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Blessing in Fiji... But Ready to Get Back to Work!

Mangos in Fiji

Dear Mom,
Soooo... Today is our last day in Suva, it has been a pretty fun/boring/fast/long week!!! hahah I got to do so much work inside the temple it was amazing! Thursday when Elder Miller and I were walking I had the thought to exchange my personal funds to Fijian money at this one store, and guess who we ran into? The first counselor in the Temple Presidency, who told us that they were going to go downtown and do their shopping but had the feeling to go to this store instead. He told us we were the reason they had the feeling to stop.  He told us that the visa waiters had an appointment at the Temple at three o'clock but they couldn't get a hold of them.  Over the week I have been here I was able to go through 4 endowment sessions and take part in over 50 baptisms,mostly in Kiribati!  I was able to confirm in Kiribati, it was soooo cool!  I witnessed for a lady from Kiribati as she sealed her parents, and then afterwards she was sealed to them.  I had conversations with the entire temple presidency, and received personal revelation in the Celestial room.

Oh and I learned how to prepare huge tuna to eat! Let's just say it is pretty brutal and really messy!

Preparing Tuna

I did use personal funds this week because I felt bad using mission funds for food and clothes.  This last week was a week of miracles!  I did some studying a little everyday, we went to the town, and Thursday through Saturday we spent most of the time in the Temple. When we had free time we went to Suva town, which put me in a little bit of culture shock cause it is nothing like Kiribati!! haha

Going through the temple with these guys was such a humbling experience, it really made me appreciate everything that we have back home.  I just wish I would have realized how blessed we are to have so many temples so close to us back home, I definitely would have taken more advantage of it if I knew.  I am just so blessed to be able to go, Elder Miller and I are probably some of the only elders who has been able to go to the temple serving in the Marshall Islands Majuro mission!

I was having a hard time at first staying for a week and it really freaked me out but being here, but I have found so many blessings and I know that is the reason I am here.  It has been a blast, hard because we didn't teach, but amazing anyway!

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

Chilling with Ronald

Tell everyone hi for me and that I love them!  That is so cool how well Ana is doing that makes me proud of my lil sis! (Ana is playing water polo like Jeff did when he was in school.) 

I am way too ready to get out of Fiji, it has been good, but I haven't done real missionary work for a week.  I just want to get back out and teach. It has been amazing however to be with the Kiribati gang, they are way to fun, and super humble! I loved going to the temple.  I didn't think that I would have a chance to go while I was on my mission.  It really made me appreciate all those temples that are sooo close to our house.  One gift of the spirit I really need in order to be a more successful missionary is definitely the gift of tongues.  It was kind of frustrating because I couldn't understand a lot of what the visa waiters were saying, but that is okay, I still had a great time.  I even learned how to prepare and cook tuna! and yes that's fresh from the ocean.... XD hahah

Miller is an awesome kid, he is really funny and super nice.  He is really good at the language, and connects really well with the people.  Everyone loves him.  He was really sad he was finishing his time in Christmas, he had a hard time getting on the flight last week.  I don't blame him, he had influenced so many people there.  I'm just glad I have such a long time left!
The thing we did the most is go to the Temple, and to Suva town!  I gave away one more pair of pants so I am down to only two, so for my birthday package, I need pants! (Jeff has given away about 8 pairs of pants and a bunch of shirts to Kiribati missionaries going to the US or to investigators that were worried about how they dressed coming to church.  6 months into his mission and he is out of pants!)haha and I am bringing one of the Elder's pants that is working on Kiritimati, and they are sooo nice, they are the Nike golf pants, they are super cool, (as in not hot when you wear them) and easy to sit cross legged. 

Our flight is tomorrow at midnight, so we are going to bus back to Nadi today after we run a few errands here in Suva,

I love you dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Sometimes we wonder about the pictures he chooses to send!

Some messages we received Monday afternoon:

Just wanting to let you know that I made it safely to Nadi, and two of the Kiribati Elders had a hotel room that are going to the MTC today so we got to sleep with them last night, everything is looking good for the Flight to Kiritimati we just have to wait until nine tonight to check in for our flight!  Know that everything is going well and I am being well taken care of by the Lord!  We just were given a super sweet missionary opportunity to spend some time in Fiji!!!!

We know the mission is changing him, but some things will never change!