Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Hermana Johnson celebrates her 20th birthday on March 28th.  If you'd like to send her birthday hellos you can write her at either: (click on the Provo West MTC mission option) or snail mail. You will need her address below for either one. 

Hermana Lauren Marie Johnson
2023 N. 900 E. Unit 827
Provo, UT 84602

(Note: many of you have asked me for the following info for Dear Elder: Unit # 827; Mission Code: MEX-TOR; Est. MTC Departure Date: April 2014).  


  I'm going to start off by mentioning how grateful I am for the GORGEOUS weather we have had this whole week! It has definitely reflected in my Spirits for sure :) And a HUGE thank you to all the friends and family who have been sending me Birthday cards!!! I probably would've forgotten otherwise haha

  It's the little things my friends. Once we find happiness in the little things, think of how hard it will be for us to get upset! Food for thought.

  Welp. Same old, same old really. Working hard, learning Spanish, struggling from time to time, but still moving forward. I've been able to make a lot of friends from around the world! It's cool that Spanish is what brings us all here together! It's sad though, because a LOT of people left these past two weeks and not many people have been coming in, so it is a small crowd on both campuses. (our zone has become just our district of 6..haha we'll be combining with another zone for Sunday) But pretty soon we will hopefully have new missionaries coming in and become the "top guns". Weird to think it's going by that fast. I am half way to Mexico people. THREE WEEKS. I get goose bumps and excited and a little nervous when I think about it. There is SO MUCH TO LEARN. But I need to realize I was never going to learn it all here haha

  Went to the Provo, Temple this morning and it was GORGEOUS. When you truly prepare yourself for spiritual experiences (like entering a House of the Lord) there is so much that you can gain and learn! That the whole purpose of life! It's a learning experience. I need to take advantage more of the knowledge that I have and use it every day to seek out the good and better the life around me! This goes for anyone. There is so much that we are blessed to know. Like for starters, that good is better than evil. That simple knowledge can make such a difference if you truly utilize it in your life and daily actions :)  Well that's what I'm striving to do anyways. 

   Oh, by the way, I always read Alma 5 when I'm in the temple. Just thought I'd share that :) It gives me such a great insight and perspective on how I should be leading my life! I actually randomly flipped to it the first time I was there, and remembered using some of the verses in one of my talks from home. Oh the little things.

  So, some random but wonderful lessons I've learned this week...

-"We shall not fail, but prevail." Yes, I actually wrote that in an email to my branch president this week haha pretty catchy if I do say so myself.

-I've really learned how important it is for me to plan and make goals; especially with learning Spanish. With goals, we're making ourselves AGENTS and REACHING for something. We're actually trying to accomplish something instead of blindly going nowhere. Because we aren't going to get anywhere if we have nothing to strive for!

-"Our greatest fear is not that we're inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous?" Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. We were born to make manifest the Glory of God within us. It is not just in some, it is in everyone. And as we let our lights shine, we consciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -Marianne Williamson.

-Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." i LOVE this. We are only going to find what we are searching for if WE put forth the effort. We often expect God to do it all. As we pray to Him and then ACT, we will find Him and find our answers. Faith is an action word. 

-1 Nephi 9:6 "But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen." Amen! God created us. Of course He knows what we shall do and how to return back to Him! The only thing that stands in the way of that is ourselves. He will always be there with open arms!! We can't doubt that :)

Oh something else that's random. This gentleman from Mexico that we are teaching heard that me and my companion are going to Torreon, Mexico and asked if God was punishing us...HAHAHA. I said, "No! He's just blessing the people there!!" He laughed and agreed to that :) 

Funny enough, that only makes me more excited to get to Mexico! Bring it on.

Well. I love ya family and friends :) I'll try to make something extravagant happen this week so my emails are more exciting ;) 


Hermana Johnson  

the pic is what is left of our zone. and it will actually only be the six of us girls starting tomorrow!! (sorry for the mission lingo)

Sorry i didnt take many pictures!! I'll have to get some from the other hermans :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week Two. Whoot Whoot!

HOLA. hi.

How is everyone?? I have REALLY felt the love this week from family and friends. So MUY MUY MUY GRACIAS to all of you who are thinking about me and sending letters and such and even reading this! I hope you find something to uplift and enlighten you :)

This week was just grand. Of course I love everything I am doing here, all that I'm learning and experiencing, but just like any great work it does get hard. Let me tell you..trying to become "fluent" in a language in 6 weeks..not gonna be easy. I may have had a slight moment of discouragement where it all kind of hit me and I just got frustrated that I couldn't always understand what the maestro (teacher) was saying, or what the people I teach were saying, or that I couldn't fully express what I wanted to say because I don't have a big enough vocabulary yet, but the biggest thing was that I was upset at myself for being upset! haha silly right? Through all of this I knew that there was no point in being discouraged because I knew that all I can do is to keep trying and doing my best. That, or quit. But what would be accomplished from quitting? Nothing. So I basically told myself   "if you don't have the language then you might as well have the attitude!" (yes i quoted myself). I know that discouragement is not of God. And i know that as long as I'm trying my best, Heavenly Father will provide the rest. And then I also stop and think..ITS ONLY BEEN TWO WEEKS. haha I have about 70 more to go!! PLENTY of time to improve myself. But then again what's the harm in starting now? :)

Being the District Training Leader has also been quite the experience. I didn't realize how much I'm looked at and followed by, at least by these girls. It has definitely been humbling, but also such an opportunity for growth! Everyone here that I meet and work with has SO much to offer in knowledge, testimony, character, advice, EVERYTHING. Just think of how uplifting the human race could be if they let their gifts shine and truly "turn outward" in the pure love and concern for others, just as Christ does. That is basically what we do here. So what better place would anyone want to be??!!!?  Sorry mom and dad ;)

The last two Branch Council meetings (leadership meetings) I was in, they asked me on the spot to give a scripture and spiritual thought. I actually was not nervous or totally shocked. Both times I knew right away what I wanted to say and it came out in ways that seemed to speak to everyone else, and bring the Spirit! I mean talk about Divine Guidance :) I know that anyone can feel of the Spirit of Christ and have the Holy Ghost to guide you to do good, and to guide you to eternal happiness! We just have to make all of our daily decisions in accordance to what the Lord would do. How else do we become like him? I know that by doing this we become vessels of the Spirit and have to opportunity to enlighten and be enlightened :) I hope that made sense. Haha

I've made SO many friends and lots have already left. There are people coming and going every week. But so is the work. I don't know if I mentioned last time, but mi companera's (my companion's) name is Hermana Sekona! She's from Anaheim, California (spelling? it's next to Disney). There is another Hermana from Gilbert, Arizona and three from different parts of Utah. I'm stuck in the middle with age, but we are all between 19-21. Everyone is so great :) We have made quite the little family! We all LOVE music and sometimes go to the piano room and sing special arrangements together. SO beautiful. Music is SUCH a strong gateway to feel the Spirit! I love it :) Not much more I can say really. haha sorry.

I have had so many experiences in teaching, meetings, lessons, and just talking with others, where I listened to the promptings of the Spirit and followed "my gut feeling", which led to some really great experiences not only for me but for others. This just shows that as you put yourself in the right place, at the right time, have faith and truly prepare yourself, things will work out for the best. I mean taking advantage of living and being in an environment centered around can't go wrong right? ;)


keep spreading the love. your love, Christ's really is all the same :)
Just go to Him. He's always waiting with open arms!

Hermana Johnson

Ps. DandC 29:5!! Heaven Fahter knows you and he stops and looks down at us working hard and says "that's my daughter" or "thats my son". i know that by working hard, and especailly by doing HIS work, I'm making Him smile :) we can all find joy in that!! 

hopefully that was the right sciprture..left mine at home..oops. BYE

One of my teachers, Hermano Toledo. Just think of Pedro from Neapolitan Dynamite and that's him. haha we LOVE him.

my District with two friends who already left for Mexico!!

yes yes. we went to Main Campus and did the classic map pictures. you are welcome.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Eljay's second letter home: oh my goodness ONE WEEK !?

Here's Eljay's second letter home! We're excited to hear that things are going very well. She mentions Dear Elder in her email. If you want to write her through, we found out that her mission right now is called the "Provo West MTC".  Choose that location under the mission prompt at the website and she will get your letter the same day (if you send it in the morning). Also, she included a few pictures in her email! Check them out at the bottom of this post.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Hi! Hola!

I don't know where to begin!! haha I don't think I ever will. The last email was a fast "short one", so sorry if I repeat stuff. 

So yesterday was my P Day, but a group of us had to go to SLC all day to the Mexican Consulate and get our VISAs. So that's in check! (expect emails on tuesdays)

It's definitely true that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It's funny though, it seems like I've accomplished a months worth of stuff! Crazy. So in case people didn't know, my schedule goes like this..I wake up every morning at 6:30, I get ready and prepare and do a little exercising and personal study until 7:30, breakfast is at 7:45, at 8:15 I go to class which is ALL in Spanish (pretty much everything around here is in Spanish...learning by immersion definitely), lunch is from 12:30-1, gym time is 1:25-2:15 (I've gotten really good at volleyball!!), go back to class from 2:45-5:45 for personal study (always studying the language, the scriptures, lessons, ways to improve ourselves, etc.), dinner from 6-6:30, more class from 6:30-9:30, 9:30 we have to be back at our apartments where we get ready for bed, plan for the next day, do companionship study, and my district likes to read El Libro De Mormon out loud together and then pray. 10:15 is "quiet time" and I'm supposed to be in bed by 10:30..I still have yet to do that..oops (but only like 10 mins off). There is just not even time in the day for everything I need to do!! And everyone here says that and knows it haha oh well. At least I dont sleep in!

So mi companera (my companion) is great!!! She's 21, goes to the University of Utah, is Tongan (fluent in Tongan and Samoan), and is the oldest of her family! I can definitely tell you that these companionships and my district all around was divinely inspired! There is a reason we were meant to be in each others lives at this time and we are learning more and more about that every day! 

Being the "district leader" is AMAZING. Although it adds on a lot more responsibility and things to do (lots of different meetings), it's given me the opportunity to grow myself, really learn about these girls, and learn true Christlike love for others. I love it. I have to say I haven't had any homesickness or major personal problems, and I think helping others through the problems they've been having really helps me to see that 'higher perspective" for myself. Like I KNOW why I'm here, I've already made that decision before with my Heavenly Father, and all I can do is move forward and make the best of it :) I hope that made sense.

The weather in Utah is Bipolar. haha it is beautiful and sunny one day, raining the next minute, and then starts snowing. Lets just say I've come home drenched, but still happy. I plan on Mexico being "extreme" in different ways haha

Keep the Dear Elders and letters (and packages) coming!!! ;) I LOVE hearing from everyone and just the satisfaction of opening a letter. FRIENDS THIS INCLUDES YOU GUYS TOO!!!! dont forget me :) and dont be upset if i dont respond or it takes a while..i try my best but no promises.

So I'll try to leave you with some of my favorite quotes/lessons/scriptures from the whole week i've been up here!

"You are stronger than you realize. You are more capable than you can imagine. You can do it now!" -Pres. Uchtdorf (our awesome teacher left that on the board after class when we were feeling a little discouraged..don't worry! we've gotten better :))

Something I thought of myself is that Heavenly Father won't let us fail. He may let us fall, but He will pick us right back up! We just have to extend our hand.     I KNOW that God loves and knows each one of us individually. I KNOW that what I'm doing is THE BEST possible thing I could be doing in my life right now..and it's something we can all do! Just be Christlike. Don't be selfish and think of others. That is true joy. This is a part of a big lesson I've been learning about turning outward as Christ would and thinking solely of others. I must be converted before I can convert others. If our purpose in life is to return back to God by coming unto Christ then we must do ALL that he did. "You should begin a life long pursuit of learning of Him, not just about Him." 


I hope this all flowed. That was a fast hour. 

 Hermana Johnson

PS-1 Nephi 17:3

One picture is of my District!! There are the 6 of us Hermanas and we do everything together. A district is basically a family away from home, and we  got lucky with ours :)

The other pic is of me and my companion!! we stick together 24/7. And with no problems :)

The last pic is when we came out of the temple and it was randomly snowing..haha fun.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Eljay's First Letter Home

Well, the blessed day has come, Hermana Johnson has entered the MTC (picture below) and we've received our first letter from Hermana Johnson! From what I've heard, Eljay had a great time in Utah with Barrett and Emily for a day before she reported to the MTC.

Feel free to write her through while she's in the MTC. I know she would love to hear from family and friends. :) PLUS her birthday is coming up (March 28) and a bunch of letters would make her day very special. Feel free to leave a comment if you need more instructions on using As a reminder, her MTC address is: 

Sister Lauren Marie Johnson
2023 N 900 E Unit 827
Provo, UT 84602

Being dropped off by Barrett and Emily!

Hola mi familia!

Oh my goodness. I do not know where to begin. Just know I will never be able to accurately portray my experiences into words for you all...but I will do my best! 

This email will be short and sweet. I was supposed to email you all yesterday to let you know I was alive, but our Branch President (basically the adult overseer of us all) was coming back from travels and we were kind of learning a big lesson of self reliance, right off the bat. haha

The MTC (mission training center) is not like a camp. We don't have supervisors following us all the time telling us what to do. We are given a daily schedule that is PACKED and leave no down time, which is PERFECT. Because now we can be lost in the work and learn a lot more quicker. 

I'm on the "west campus", which is not the main MTC. Because of the increase in missionaries, the church bought some of the nearby apartment buildings and made them into a separate smaller MTC just for Spanish missionaries!!! i LOVE IT. It is a chill version of the other campus. Everyone is SO happy and talking in Spanish with each other, and we get to walk and study outside because we have to walk from buildings to buildings. 
Anyways, it is just amazing. 

The first day when Barrett dropped me off (just like when mom did) I got teary eyed, but i did not let the tears fall!! i'm pretty impressed with myself. Once I came here and immediately after I entered the MTC and jumped right into things I had NO anxieties or fear or sadness. I was IMMEDIATELY happy and had such a sense of peace and comfort and calmness. Because that is what the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost do for you! And I can tell you the Spirit resides here more than anywhere else!! (just like Barrett told me;)

So on a mission, us missionaries are split into districts (a group of missionaries that does everything together and has the same schedule) and it is common to have both ELder and Sisters (men and women). So our district is just WOMEN!! It's the only all girl district that our Branch President (Pres. Collett) has had in his four years here! We are pretty excited. 

So we met him and his wife tonight and they are both SO amazing! We went around and said some things about yourself and bore our testimonies. That was the first time I have cried since being here! yes its only been two days,.but that an accomplishment. I cried when talking about my family and right before mentioning Barrett. ahha you got me when you cried the other day buddy. ;) so i also cried when talking about my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ!

testimonies are REAL! so is the SPIRIT OF CHRIST!!!

Hermana Johnson

PS- He chose me as Sister Training Leader!! It's basically the same as a District Leader...trying not to be nervous ;)
BUT i know the Lord blesses those who do his work and Will and who serve Him.

PPS-the language is comin along quickly and even though ALL Classes are in Spanish it doesn't make me hesitant, it helps and pushes me!!

In front of the Provo Temple with Barrett and Emily before the drop off.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Not an end, just a beginning.

"You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make." -Gordon B. Hinckley 

"It's not enough to wish, it's not enough to dream, it's not enough to promise. We must do." -Thomas S. Monson

"To express gratitude is honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." -Thomas S. Monson

These quote are some of my favorites. They are a perfect explanation of the journey I am about to embark on, and why I've chosen to take this journey. 
I will be dedicating a year and a half of my life to a cause and purpose much greater than myself and anything else I could be doing. I want to live a life as my Savior has; a life of service. I have been fortunate to live a blessed life with capabilities and privileges. I only want to be able to put my capabilities to good use. 
I want to be the cause of someone else's joy, because that is when I find true joy in myself. I want to be an instrument in the Lord's hands for good. 
My faith is my life, and it has brought so much happiness and purpose to me. I plan on sharing this with others and to help them find happiness through our Savior Jesus Christ. 
I plan on lending a helping hand wherever needed and I plan on lending a listening ear. Yes, this is something I can do wherever I am and at any time in my life, but I know that I have been called to serve and do this in Torreon, Mexico for a divine purpose. I know that through this experience of service not only will my life and future be blessed with great change, but more importantly the lives of others whom I work with will be changed for the better.
I know that I have a Father in Heaven, who knows and loves me. I know I have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered to give us all the opportunity to come here to earth and prove ourselves worthy of returning back into their presence again. I am indebted to him. I only hope that as I use that knowledge to make righteous choices in my life, I will become as He wants me to be and knows that I can be. We all have a divine potential. It is up to us to take this life and learn how to aspire to it. 
I know that this choice I am making will help to lead me on that path back to them. And will help others to do the same. 
I love this journey of life. It is truly a gift to us all. A gift, at the price of our Savior. Hopefully we can all make choices that will "give back" to Him..the only one who can never be fully repaid. 

Because I am literally setting myself aside from "the world" for 18 months, communication is limited. BUT I would LOVE to hear from any and all of you!
Letters will be GREATLY appreciated and just make my day :)

My address for 6 weeks until I leave for Mexico:

Sister Lauren Marie Johnson
2023 N 900 E Unit 827
Provo, UT 84602

My address for sending letters to Mexico (April 14-September 5, 2015):

Sister Lauren Marie Johnson
Mexico Torreon Mission
Apartado Postal 792
29000 Torreon, Coahuila

My address for sending packages to Mexico (April 14-September 5, 2015):

Sister Lauren Marie Johnson 
Mexico Torreon Mission 
Calle Ernesto Breede #301
Col. Ampliacion Los Angeles
27140 Torreon, Coahuila

I have VERY limited time to email only once a week. That is why my family will be posting my emails and pictures to this blog :) But it you have a quick email you'd like to send...

**I you are even more curious about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it, visit this website...

**If you have even MORE questions about my faith in general, go here...

And don't be shy about visiting this blog every so often ;)

Peace N Blessings.
Hermana out.