Monday, October 31, 2016

First Experiences Training a New Missionary

Elders Johnson and Jackson

Dear Mom,
Fiji was an amazing experience but I am very happy to be back in my own mission!!!! hahah I met several amazing families, one whose name was Neil, who the missionary committed to baptism right in front of us.... to which his response was "Is it alright if we do it a week early so he could get baptized on his birthday!"  XD 

I'm doing great, getting settled, and feeling a little more comfortable in the area, Me personally, I don't really feel like I've been myself, I feel a little overwhelmed training, so I think it's effected the way I do things. And when I asked Elder Jackson what I could improve on, he reminded me of things that I used to do that for some reasons have slipped out of my routine. Nothing big, just the little things, like being goofy for the people, approaching people differently and just going above that which is expected. There will definitely be some changes this up coming week! I'm still just unfamiliar with training a new missionary, and just don't want to mess up....

Elder Jackson is doing great, I think he is a great kid.  Personally I've been stressed about training for the first time. I've noticed that I don't seem myself, and I think that might be making hard on him. He's doing great at the language and missionary work.  He's doing amazing, I am very impressed with how well he is at the Language, and how hard he has been working.

Yeah there were a lot of rules that I didn't know about.  I try really hard to get on time, which we accomplished when Elder Hunter and Christensen were out doing training, but while they were here, it's a lot harder, planning goes long and we go off on tangents joking and telling stories...... but I'm trying.  

The church here in my area is just like back home.... but bigger! hahah and there is quite a bit of youth! haha

Mom, I love that scripture, that's one that I personalized as well, it's in my patriarchal blessing and I've already seen so many blessings by following the counsel in it. It gives me the strength to push on and work hard.

Elders Hunter and Johnson, service project

Elders Johnson, Jackson, Hunter, Christensen service project.

Journal entry:  October 26
"Today was an amazing day, so we had a packed schedule and Elder Christensen kept making comments that they would take some lessons..... I'm not going to let that happen!  Anyway, we woke up ran, did a leg set then got changed, read in the scriptures a little bit then got ready to go to district meeting.  We picked up a cake for a sister whose birthday was yesterday and we got dropped off at the Bikinebeu chapel.  

When Elder Larsen got there we talked and got caught up for a little while, he's a really cool kid! XD  His training today was on obedience, and it turned out amazing!  He asked if anyone had a time when they ere obedient to the promptings of the spirit and I shared the time when the church leaders around the school came to a question and answer thing at seminary.  The time before we all wrote down questions and the Leaders chose the ones they wanted to answer.  I wrote one down about how to resist temptation, and when the day came for the leaders to come to church, I wasn't going to go.  I was in my truck when the thought came to go... I walked in reluctantly and sat at the back to which they had already started.... I was about 30 minutes late, but the first question they answered when I walked in the doors was mine.... and the answer was "a chapter a day keeps the devil away."  amazing since then I strive to read every single day!

A random lady who came in cut Elder Larsen off haha and he made the funniest face!!! WE then went to Paradise, a Chinese restaurant, where everyone ate but me because I forgot that my wallet was with Elder Jenks... I talked and Joked around with Elder Larsen and Elder Miller.  When we got back to the house we quickly got our stuff together and were out the door.  We just started going down the list, it was so great it all flowed.  

We taught Baewa who we just gave the Book of Mormon to, and he was already in the 20th chapter in first Nephi!!  When we came up he was a sleep so Elder Jackson made a wild cat noise that scared the crap out of him.  We Taught a really great Word of wisdom lesson.  After we taught Maua who has a member friend who sat in on our lesson!  The lesson was on prophets and went really well.  Elder Jackson pulled out some really great examples/ object lessons.  

We then went back to out house because Elder Jackson had beka nako, or in English poop that runs, which we booked it home let him go and we we were back out.  The rest of the day went amazing.  it ended up in one of the best ways possible but before that, we were a little ways from Morom Moroni which we had a lesson at 6 and it was 5:55 and this was a lesson we were told we absolutely had to be there on time.  We got there in record time.... and I  had the Beka nako hit me.... I got to the bathroom barely pulled down my pants and BOOM If I would have waited 2 more seconds I would have pooped my pants.... We met Tarima who was the one who set up our lesson, who told us why here nieces are all less active now and that is because of the way Elder Ah-to acted while he was here... After we taught tooti, who we tried to get  a ton of members to sit in but he said no to all of them... The best part of the day was dinner.... with our investigators!!! Itienang and Tangite who are so amazing, they came to church after just 2 lessons with them.   Very humble dinner, ben or coconut mai rice and very little fish.  Before we ate we taught prophets, amazing lesson, full of the spirit and they had great questions.  Overall a great day!!! 

Love you mom,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson 


I thought of one thing that would be very handy here... Hair clippers 240 volt, I get asked a lot to cut hair and I've gotten pretty good! but I don't have clippers.  

Elder Jackson and I fasted for you guys yesterday about receiving an answer about moving and while studying I came across a scripture that might help  D&C 75:26-27

I love you so much, and I pray for you guys all the time.

My Companion's first name is Seth, and things are going really well.... I am having a little rough time, he really wants to stand out and look good in front of the leaders.

We have a lot of people... a lot of amazing fellow-shipping going on and very strong members.  Itienang and Tangite are a family where we just taught restoration and they came to church 2 and have even fed us.  A less active who need some prayers going his way, he has a disorder where he is afraid of people, his name is Tooti (toes) and a lot lot more... A couple scheduled for this Saturday,  but they missed church Tokanuea and Kabutaake.

Our flat is way nice, huge, air con in the 2 bedrooms, I meant to take pictures... but I spaced... next week! We have a room filled to the ceiling with Elder's bags and luggage and Kiribati stuff.. We have a couch and bunk beds 2 closets and an unused ironing board in our room.. APs have 2 queen sized beds and closets... And a WORKING SHOWER!!!!!!! No more bucket showers!!! hahahah it's just freezing cold!!! hahaha

I briefly Met President Larkin, he is short and very soft spoken... He is going to do interviews this week.

I love you dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Back In Tarawa!

Dear mom,
Fiji was an amazing experience on Wednesday we went out and went on splits with some Fijian elders it was so much fun but the Elder that Elder Parry and I work with was very strange.  hahah I have already seen why I had to stay, there were so many things that played out.  The main reason is those couple that we met in Christmas Island! XD
Our area is so crazy, I walked into 80 plus investigators, 30 or so member presents a week and 7 baptisms last Saturday! Pretty crazy!!! XD  The Ward is huge it is the first one that has stood on the island...... pretty nuts! XD
Well we made it to Tarawa, and the last couple of days flew by! It's great to see Elders Christensen and Elder Hunter and to finally be training! Work here in Eita, I'm going to be honest is a little overwhelming, but it is going to be a great time. Some amazing things happened walking in to the area. We met one family and Elder Jackson and I were their second lesson. I had the impression to invite them to church and the entire family came yesterday and stayed the entire time. The husband and wife even participated in the gospel principles class. We also just got a long term investigator of over a year to come to church for his first time. The Lord has definitely prepared people for us here, and I am already starting to see the reasons for me being here.
Elder Jackson is a great kid, he is really excited to work and get going, and is doing great with the language. I was blown away by how much he is doing.  We get a long great, our personalities mesh very well, and I have had a fun past couple of days with him.
He is a pretty crazy kid and does some pretty crazy stuff! He's killed an alligator for a neighbor, he bungee jumps, spear fishes, and does some cool things.  I love him!  It has been a great past couple of days! He's from the southern tip of Texas and he loves it there!
Me, I am doing great.. There were a couple of rules that were added that I didn't hear about until I got here to Tarawa, like the going to bed at 10 and being to church by a quarter to. Honestly my daily routine makes it hard to make it to that 10 bed time, but this week I am going to sacrifice certain things in order to change that.
You guys will definitely be in my prayers!
Journal entry for the week: Oct 20
"Today was a crazy day full of some crazy adventures  So we woke up at 4 am so that we could be on the curb ready to be picked up at 5 am which took a while.... We got up there checked out to which the front desk told us we had left over money we didn't use to which she pulled out some money then had us sign a paper.  We actually got payed for staying in the nicest resort in Fiji!!! XD  After about an hour our taxi didn't show up and the desk was trying to call to find out where the taxi was.... They ended up arranging a different taxi for us.... The thing I don't understand is why are we going so early?????? The Check in doesn't start until 9:30... so we got to the airport, got a refund for our taxi service... found a spot on the wall crossed our legs sat down got stared at by several Asians who were surprised we could cross our legs so well.... After a while we went and bought breakfast at a little cafe, which was really tasty!  I bought a couple of fried Indian foods and a chocolate danish.  Is was good!  When we were done eating, we played Teroka a game similar to Uno, to which it came down to Elder Gilbert and I .  Elder Gilbert played a 7 of hearts which ends that game and you have to count your cards to see who has the least points.  He had 2 jokers 30 points each and 2 twos which are 20 points each.   It was so funny we laughed so hard at him! 
When we got to the check in counter, we were going to take some Kiribati people's luggage, but the guy said that was not allowed.... Then something amazing /horrible happened we got told that we were put in business class since we missed our flight last week.  We were all freaking out because that is awesome, and super embarrassing having to sit there with all of the Kiribati people,  Well we got through security and into the waiting lounge, to which all the workers in all the stores were in a meeting... so we waited for a while, until the Nike store opened. I bought some shoes with the money I got given by the Hotel then some chocolate for people on Tarawa. 
We then waited at some burger king then waited to get loaded.  When we got seated on the plane, we had to endure through all the people walking past us.... Several "Rich Mormon” comments got thrown at us by some Kiribati people.... .  After everyone was on the first thing that happened was hot towels to wipe your face... then as we got in the air menus for the food 3 courses.... appetizer, main then dessert.  We had silverware place mats... crazy.  They even gave us personal Ipads for movies.... but of course I didn't use it!   We landed in Tarawa, went through the chaotic building where bags and people were just crammed in waited for an hour to get out.   Reminded me a lot about my first day!!! XD  I met my kid, Elder Jackson, Elder Hunter, Sister Eubanks and Sister Vuvute!!!! XD  It was so good to see them! Elder Jackson is a great funny kid.  We are going to get along great!!! His parents have an amusement park in Texas, bungee jumps pretty crazy!  We got to the house and I went out to work with Elder Christensen, who sounds Kiribati, teach for a while hand out chocolate, teach some amazing people, then get back to no power and no water.   .   Messy everything so what happens is Elder Hunter and Elder Christensen go get Elder Larsen.... What??? He fixed the electrical stuff and got shocked and almost just almost let out a few select words XD sooooooo funny!!! Great day!!!
Love you mom,
Love your son,

Elder Johnson

yeah I got to Tarawa just fine.... in business class.....(see mom's email) The airline went above and beyond to apologize to all those who got stuck... I think they did a pretty good job! XD 

The area is great I work with Elder Hunter and Elder Christensen, we share the area so it's not as bad as I thought!!! XD 

Most spiritual thing is probably our lesson with a guy named Tooti who is really hard on himself, but we got him to say that he felt the spirit and that he really wants to be like Joseph Smith! We taught on repentance even though at first we were planning on teaching Plan of salvation.

Funniest thing.... we got chased by a pack of 20 dogs going to a lesson.... this is why I hate tarawa.... so scary... but we got permission to throw rocks at the dogs.

love you dad,
Love your son, 
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Stuck in Fiji Again, but Bonus! Hot Showers!

Dear mom,
So a little of information, the area that I will be working is a completely different area that I have worked before, so I will have new people, but I am walking into a battle zone, the elders there before were up to 60 lessons a week, and all of them are with member presents.... I have to keep that going on top of training a new missionary! I'm pretty stressed about it... but someone from My Kid's intake told me that I would be perfect for Elder Jackson, my new companion! so I am really excited!!! XD 
So I totally agree about the whole "all things happening for a reason", because when our plane didn't go through last week, we got to stay at a hotel on Christmas island owned by members.  While we were there we met two older couples, whom we ate dinner and breakfast with every day, and while we ate, we got to talking about the church and by the end of our stay there we gave them Mormon pass along cards! XD One gentleman from Texas explained to us he has a lot of friends and has been meaning to read the Book of Mormon! XD Plus he is a chemical engineer, what I want to do when I grow up, and he gave me some really great pointers and explained about what he does in his job. 
Sometimes it is a little hard what we need to learn, but Elder Pilkington challenged me to pray every night at the and ask the Lord what he wanted to teach me for that day, and do that for the rest of the mission. And I would like to challenge you to do the same thing, everyday the rest of the time I am gone, pray and ask the Lord, what he wants you  to know/learn from that day. 
A couple things I would like in my Christmas package, I lost my key chain for oil.... and on it that leather key chain that Kaleb made me will you ask him to make me a new one and send me a vial but that is it.
I love you mom,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson 

Well Dad, 
As you know I am in Fiji right now..... hahaha I love It, I think that I am going to buy a couple of things that I need since they don't have them on Tarawa! XD hahah  I already bought a new football, because mine got ruined by Kiribati kids!! 
I don't have much to say except I got the best haircut in my missionary career!!!! hahah Things here are soooooo cheap! and this hotel is ridiculous. To give you an idea of how ridiculous, when we got dropped off, 3 people opened our doors took our bags walked us to the front, to which we were met by another worker who gave us 3 glasses of juice.  We then got escorted to our room on a golf cart!!! The whole resort is private property and is MASSIVE!!!!!!!! Oh man how I wish I could swim in that pool..... PLUS  It's beach front!!! and the Airline payed for $100 worth of money for our food, so you KNOW I'm taking advantage of that. They have a gym with free weights and treadmills that have downloaded screens of running trails all over the world! And best of all........... HOT SHOWERS!!!!!!!!
You know I would not mind coming back here one day! hahahah There are even a couple of members who are workers and are very shocked that we are there! XD
It's nice... I love it I just can't wait to get back to Tarawa!
Love you dad, Love your son,
Elder Johnson   

A Message To Elder Johnson's Vegetarian Sister

Monday, October 10, 2016

Preparing to Leave Kiritimati

Dear mom,
First off, I apologize that this email will not include a journal entry.... because elder Gilbert and I woke up at five to clean the house to get ready for the Sisters to move into our house..... so I am tired and I forgot to grab it before leaving the house.  But I will try my best to highlight the best events from yesterday.
Something that I always say to people here is e nang mwaka teuare are buakaka, ma ko ataia, antai ae mwaka riki?? Te atua.  The devil is powerful, but do you know who is more powerful>?? God...
Yesterday was a great day, but really sad... we woke up, I ate, packed and cleaned up a little, then fixed my flat before going to church. We went, I ended up talking with Elder Gilbert in sacrament as expected He talked on the Restoration, and I gave them, ‘Elder Johnson's famous last words.... Looking back and pressing forward.  I explained that everyone always asks me, what have I learned most from every experience in my life, and I explained that it is good to look back, and use those experiences to press forward.  I then went to talk about being a captain for swimming and how I can use that for my missionary work! The closing song was ‘God be with you till we Meet Again”, and that's when it became real that I was leaving... and I teared up I'm not gonna lie.  After church my patches didn't hold up, so we had a long walk a head of us!! But that is okay, because our investigator was walking too!!!!! I love her so much, today in church she participated in Sunday school!!!!! XD When we got home, we did the sacrament for this cute couple in their 70s and then went to our lunch with some members.  (Everyone wants to feed us before we leave!!! hahah)  After we taught Ereateata, who I made promise she would endure and get baptized with the sisters! Her faith is so strong.
Today she even wrote her testimony in a Book of Mormon, and committed to give it to her brother, who has been reading all of her pamphlets we gave her!!!
Funniest thing that happened today is we went to go teach one more lesson before dinner, and we sat down with the kid said he would be right back, and left us waiting with his little cousin... when 5 minutes went by and he didn't come back, we sent his cousin to go get him from the back room, because I just saw his shadow on the wall... when he came back he had a smirk on his face, and said he wasn't there. We knew the kid didn’t want to lesson right then!!! haha
Anyway I know it's not as long, I forgot my journal...
Love you mom,
Love your son,

Elder Johnson

Dear dad,

Well, when I saw those pictures, my stomach got really upset... I do not even recognize my sister.... this is so weird....

It won't be long cause we have stuff planned for our last p-day in Kiritimati.

Honestly, I do not want to leave..... Ereateata is so close to baptism, she has come to church everyday for the last month, and has an amazing testimony... I am just sad that it wasn't in Gods plan to see her baptized.....

I fly out Wednesday late afternoon and will be staying in fiji for a day and a half. Elder Gilbert is going to my birthplace Temwaiku!!!! I will meet Elder Jackson on Friday.

I love you dad,
I will be able to email better in Fiji.  oh and I sent a Christmas package your way.

Love you,
Love your son,
Elde34r JOhnson

Monday, October 3, 2016

Splits and Transfer Details

Dear mom,

First I love the sandals, I don't think I am going back to regular shoes ever again!!!!! hahahah
Don't worry too much about the magic tricks it's not a huge deal!! hahah

 I did a cool new thing this time for conference, that is I chose 5 questions I wanted answered and each talk I tried to listen for the answer to each question.... I liked this a lot better, because I left it up to the spirit to teach me. And yes I got to watch conference... started at 6 in the morning! XD but a member has a satellite at his house with BYU TV so he allowed all of the missionaries to come and watch conference.

Monekiti, Konono and Meetin are all boys, and they are all around my age if not a little older.  But we just have to keep thinking of different ways to keep them involved with the lessons.  And the lizard that fell on my head is just one of the few animals they have in Kiribati.. hahah it gave me a startle that is for sure!!! hahah

As for my journal entry it goes like this:

So today was an absolute blast!  So I woke up, did a chapter in the Book of Mormon and got a text saying that we were doing a split and that I was supposed to bring my sleeping stuff and as soon as I got the text  The Pilkington's showed up  to pick us up because they didn't get my text about how the guy came and gave me my carvings! 

So I had to throw my stuff together quickly. we got dropped off at the church and we got to talk to District Leader Elder Parry and Elder Baker.  We were all super excited today because it is the day for transfers!!!! XD  When we got to Banana we started pretty quickly. 

We were a little bit disappointed to find out we couldn't find out about transfers because the MTC was having some issues that is affecting the mission so the Pilkington's couldn't tell us.... That's okay!! 

District meeting was very fast but amazing, there was a lot that was said that helped me a ton as usual!!!  At the end we found out that the person I was splitting with was Elder Baker!!!!!!!!!  SO AWESOME  I can't write everything about their people because I don't know enough details, but it was amazing! 

The main things that stood out are as followed.... we went to find the guy Ieremia, whose wife I met in London, he has a cancer that convers his entire mouth and is about  and inch and a half off his face. We introduced ourselves and asked him if he wanted a blessing and he said yes. We explained to him what it was then gave him a blessing.  His name is Ieremia  Tentau... the words I said amazed me!! I felt so strong for him that I shook and could barely speak... I told him that the Lord would lighten the pain and that everything was for us to learn and that it would stop.  I don't know what I don't know how, but something amazing is going to happen to that family.  I met a lot of their people here in Tabwakea and they are all solid! My favorite was this guy in his 60s who was so solid we taught on the Book of Mormon and we gave him one and he told us, "I always wanted one, but I was afraid if I asked them for one of theirs they wouldn't have books to do their teaching."  At one point we got to  where I was bearing my testimony and he cut me off to say " E bong!!! ieera kam aki reireinai ngkai e tei tai???" or its dark outside... Why didn't you teach me when it was day!!! hahahah crazy man!! 

At one lesson we taught Christ's church and Elder Baker showed a picture of Moses as a review of Prophets and Moses was holding the 10 commandments and on the commandments was reformed Egyptian so I made a joke and asked him if he could read it and he turned to me and said this guy knows my problem... pointing to elder Baker... to whom he told me he couldn't read!!! CRAP!!!  At one point we got up on the giant yacht across the street from the church and took titanic pictures!!! So funny!! 

Dinner we went to their branch President's house where we ate 1/2 a bucket of ice cream because he keep force feeding it to us.... even when we told him we were done!!!! Then he showed us the program for Saturday's activity for the relief society which says that Bill Kingston was presiding (they literally think Elder Pilkington's name is Bill Kingston.  We then went to Gamespot (a store in their area) for some snacks took some pictures on the motorcycles then went to go pick up sisters from their lesson since there are a lot of drunk people in their area at night.  Back at the church we joked with "Bill Kingston" then went to bed! What a great day!!!!

Love you mom,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Dear dad,
Okay as for Ana, shave her head.... at least until I get back she is too pretty...... I almost didn't recognize her!!!

I was able to get the guy his carving kit he was so happy, I even filmed it so you guys could see it one day!!! Oh and I sent home my fishing pole today, here is the tracking # since yes I will be leaving
Christmas on the 12th of October...cp 000039655 Union postale universelle

So we got told transfers today I am leaving and I am training a new missionary his name is Elder Jackson.... but the only thing that I am disappointed in is I am not going to an outer island... I am going to be working in Eita... but the cool thing is I get to stay in a house with Elder Hunter!!!!!! XD a little disappointed, but I know there is a reason for it! As for Kiritimati big things are coming and sisters are taking over London... so the Elders coming back with me are Elder Gilbert and Elder Parry! Oh and Elder Ellis is becoming the zone leader... Kiritimati is becoming a zone!!!!

I am going to miss Kiritimati so much.... it is literally so great here!!! I love it... I hate leaving areas it is probably the most difficult thing ever.....

One thing I think I've learned the most on Kiritimati that God Knows what is best.... that is pretty much the biggest thing!

I love you dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson