Tuesday, April 29, 2014

8 Week?? I don't even know.

Hello Family and Friends!
We are still in Utah winding up the wedding festivities. Barrett and Emily's wedding was so beautiful.  They were a gorgeous and very happy bride and groom.  Everything went so well with many smiles all around!  Even the pouring rain and cold temps didn't dampen the spirit of the day!  Lauren has sent pictures from today's letter and I've attached a few more from the wedding.  Enjoy!


Miss me?
Lo siento if the typing is weird, Spanish keyboards.

First off, CONGRATULATIONS BARRETT AND EMILY. The pictures look wonderful :) I have a model family for sure!

Sorry if my emails become rushed or not as interesting. I have very little time and mucho cosas en mi mente. I kept a list of things I would want to mention, so as random as they are here they go...

For a while there, me and my companion would spend most of the time trying to communicate so we would go to bed late and we have to be up at 6:20, so needless to say I would be pretty sleepy. But I’ve found energy these past few days so no sueƱo!

There are TONS of dogs and TONS of taxis (little smart cars) and TONS of ants (hormigas). Yes it is hard not to pet every dog that passes by or follows me...but then again with some it’s not as hard.haha

The area that we live in is on the other side of the tracks...but literally is split by train tracks. I LOVE our area. It is very crazy and humble at the same time. I bet we’ve already contacted every person here...haha well not quite. But people definitely notice and know us.

Our little area seems secluded from *civilization* (can’t find the quote button). We walked 45 minutes to get to the grocery store last Lunes.

One amazing experience we had was with Laura (there are a lot of Lauras here). We were trying to find a family we had met the day before. The mother answered the door and let us in. When we got in we found out the lady was not actually the person we thought she was and was a complete stranger! haha wrong house. So we met Laura. She let us in because she had apparently been taught by missionaries before, and she has literally been reading in the scriptures right before we got there (they were on the couch) and then we showed up! She said we were an answer to her prayers and I believe it :) it was a pretty amazing out of the blue experience.

We sing hymns to start every lesson, no matter if we are in a house or on the street. The people here LOVE to sing and every single one of them has their own key :) haha i love it. not everyone owns scriptures but practically everyone owns a hymn book. So dont be surprised if i come back without a good singing voice ;)

yes I use sunscreen every day and I am not burnt. have a pretty sweet shoe and ring tan.

Oh. I hope you weren’t worried mom, in the pictures from last week. I have no clue how I got that bruise but the scratch was from something random in a street. No biggy. Got my shots. ;) haha no its clean.

So in the MTC they said once you start to dream in Spanish then thats a good sign..I had a dream in Spanish last week!! well it was Spanglish. But pretty chistoso. I am understanding things pretty well! I can follow every conversation and lesson, but if someone asks me something directly I freeze up! Got to work on that.

The showers are cold and a small little stream, but I love the cold showers with the heat. We do have a microwave but when you use it you have to be careful or the power in the house will go out.

I think every day is a fiesta for the people. Constantly blasting music from their homes or cars :)

I will also probably come back with jacked up feet and knees because we kneel to pray practically all the time and all the floors are hard or tile.

The next week is lluvia lagumera, which means rain but the rain is actually dirt...so not sure how that will go but I’ll let you know! haha

Mexico livin.

Someone has asked me to bring him across the border to America.

Ok that was a weird note to end on. PERO I LOVE YOU ALL.

1 Juan 4:18. A big lesson I’m going through right now. I need to learn to have complete love for the people here and then my fears with the language and such will go away.


HErmana Johnson

Congrats Barrett & Emily!

The one pic is a lip mark from an investigator. All women kiss on the cheek here


Wednesday, April 16, 2014



I really don't have much to say.

Except that I leave the country for 17 months in TWO DIAS. No big deal.
Actually HUGE deal.
These past few dias have been major "Spanish Study Cram Sessions". And packing slash preparation stuff.

Ayer (yesterday) we had a whole day of In-Field Orientation. It was a bunch of workshops and speakers. Everyone was SO inspiring. I definitely learned MUCHO.

A favorite quote from the week:
"There is neither a man or a woman who it not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it is to do good, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail upon themselves and everybody around them to live those principles that they obtain eternal life." -President Brigham Young

This is so true for us all! 

I am more than excited to start this adventure in Mexico!! I know it will be hard, but I know it will be worth it. The experiences will grow me and more importantly bless others. 



Hermana Johnson :)

P.S.-keep me and the people of Torreon, Mexico in your prayers!

easter bunny came early! thanks mom :)

we did skype lessons with people in Mexico, Columbia, and El Savador. it was fun :) 
Some of our friends from Tonga :)

LOGAN! he was the bus driver of the public bus we would take to main campus and the temple. Gave him my first pass along card!

Us and Hermano Toledo today on our last day of class!!!! so sad. we had a "fiesta" for a whole ten mintues! ha ha. At least we got a pinata :)

Fifth Week...it's the FINAL COUNTDOWN.

Dear Family,

This was Lauren's letter from last week that I forgot to forward.  We got to speak with her on Monday as she was waiting to board her flight to Mexico.  She is a bit nervous, but ready for whatever this challenge brings her way.  She is very grateful for your letters and emails of support. It has meant the world to her and to us.  Thank you!
The Dearelder.com website has recently included letter writing to Mexico for free.  So if you want to type her a note over the next 17 months, just log into dearelder.com and select Torreon Mexico.  The deadline is Sunday nights at midnight.  The mission office will receive the letter midweek. Then it will be forwarded to her specific residence from there.

Thank you again for your encouragement and kindness.  It isn't easy being a missionary or a missionary's parent!
Love to all,

HIJOLE!!!!!!! (oh my goodness)

Six days until I am in Mexico.. Que en el mundo?? Commence nervous excitement!
To think I am headed to 100 degree weather, sweat and dirt, beans on beans on beans, Espanol 24/7, minimal communication, and minimal living conditions..need I mention sticking out like a sore thumb? What crazy person would do this?? Oh yeah. Me :)

The knowledge and testimony that I have is more than enough to carry me through all of this! It makes every challenge that I have encountered and will yet encounter WORTH IT. Sacrifice brings forth the best of blessings, whether we realize it in the moment or not. Christ sacrificed His life for each one of us to obtain ours, for eternity! 3 Nephi 27:13-15.

13 Behold I have given unto you my agospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do thebwill of my Father, because my Father sent me.
 14 And my Father sent me that I might be alifted up upon thebcross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the ccross, that I might ddraw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me,to be ejudged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

 15 And for this cause have I been alifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their bworks.

As D. Todd Christofferson said in General Conference this weekend,"Having redeemed us from the Fall, our lives are in reality His!"

On Friday I was thinking about how my week had turned into a big lesson on Christlike love. So much had happened that just pointed to Christlike love! AND THEN we have General Conference and Jeffrey R. Holland starts off by speaking about Christlike love!! I found an overall theme of it, as our prophet Thomas S. Monson talked about the exact same thing! Literally right before the Conference began I wrote down my "feelings before" and this is what I wrote, "Feeling Christlike love for everyone and what we are doing! A sincere happiness and joy, and overwhelming feeling of warmth from the Spirit. Gratitude for tender mercies from the Lord :)" Uncanny.

I know that being in tune with the Spirit blesses and guides your life!

I had literally been talking with my companion earlier in the week, about how the mission has already taught me SO much about Christlike love! And how it really is a different kind of Love. It's the love that Heavenly Father has for each one of His children. I know that Christlike love is seeing EVERYBODY as the daughter or son of God that they are.

Christlike love is sacrifice. As Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked God to forgive His condemners..for "they know not what they do". From the cross, He also made sure Mary would be taken care of! Christlike love does not involve yourself. It is purely setting aside pride (sadly the error of the human race) and "turning outward" as Christ.

As Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet!..righteousness follows it!" I truly believe it is strong enough to change the world. As President Thomas S. Monson said, "Love is the essence of the gospel and of Jesus Christ...Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show love and kindness!"

He also said, "The Savior brought a message of love into the world." And I know that as followers of Him, as sons and daughters of God, as Christians, and as disciples of Christ, we CAN and it is our sacred DUTY to keep sharing that same love :)

How grateful I am for a living prophet to lead and guide us today, in the ways of Jesus Christ! Just as prophets of old, prophets in the Bible and Book of Mormon, we ALL have that SAME divine guidance and authority on earth today :) How blessed we are! I know that this is because of the unfailing faith of Joseph Smith, who simply prayed and received revelation from God to restore His church back on the earth! Because God loves His children, and loves and knows each ones of us, and wishes to help and guide us back to Him as WE show Him our faith :)

How blessed my life has been! How privileged. To have a loving and supportive family, to grow up in the truth of the gospel, to know my Heavenly Father, to have an education, and to be lead to this point of blessing and helping the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters of Torreon, Mexico. I thank my Heavenly Father EVERY day. Even when it's been a challenge, because I know that is when He is testing me, and growing me, and strengthening me for things to come!

Ok, so some tender mercies...

The scripture I shared above that was mentioned in General Conference, I had used just that week in a lesson!! Pretty cool. And this lesson was AMAZING. The best we've had so far. It was with our wonderful investigator Nayeli :) I don't know how to retell it all to you (to be honest words probably won't suffice), but the Spirit was felt SO strongly and as everyone's most sincere and tender feelings we shared, coupled with the beautiful doctrine and scripture of Jesus Christ, it just made a change in all of our hearts. It has been with Nayeli that I have truly learned Christlike love. As me and my companion would prepare for our lessons with her, we would always keep her specifically in our prayers. We would always pray that God would have us say what He wants her to know, and what she needed to hear, and what would bless and strengthen her life. I know that all of that happened and she open up to us about her life for the first time, and we in return were able to help her and show her God's love for her!

I know that the message I'm sharing is a message of love, and hope, and joy! A message that is so everyone, everywhere. A message that only blesses and strengthen lives :)

Mi ultimo historia, yo promesa!!
Whenever we go up to main campus, everyone always sees people and friends they know from home or school. I literally had said to the Hemana next to me, "I wish I could see someone I knew." when I then turned around and saw my friend SAVANNAH!!!!!! It was the first time I had seen someone I already knew and I just ran up to her and gave her the BIGGEST hug!! Tender Mercy!!!! She is literally the best. California will be lucky to have her :)

Okay. That was a long one. Lo sinento.



Hermana Johnson

P.S. I WAS ON TV!!! The David Archuleta documentary they showed before Conference had film from when he came and visited the MTC! The part where it shows the crowd singing and him in the little box conducting, I'm right below the little box on the left...yeah I hope you recorded it :) Have fun seeing me singing! haha LOVE YOU ALL.

We got our travel plans in the mail!!! SO CLOSE TO LEAVING. crazy. 

We got our travel plans in the mail!!! SO CLOSE TO LEAVING. crazy.

Me, Nayeli, and my companion Hermana Sekona!

Me and my friend Savannah!!!

Me and some Elder friends who all left for different places in Argentina!

Our personalities.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Lauren told us she has a personal profile that just got posted to the mormon.org website.  You can find her at: http://www.mormon.org/me/FB61/Lauren. It sounds like she's had a great week!  Thanks SO much for making her birthday so special! 

Lots of pictures included this week...make sure to scroll down to the bottom.



How is life? I truly hope everyone is happy and smiling. If not, do it. Right now. Ok, good :)

Man! This week was gooooood. Probably the best so far! Although I think I say that every week. haha well at least it's not the other way around!

THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY LOVE!!! I felt so special :) All of the letters and emails and gifts from friends and family were SO thoughtful!! I am surrounded by some amazing people in my life (and if you're reading this I'm talking about you), so THANK YOU. I'm one luck girl :) I have a good feeling my 20th year will be one of the best of my life. What better way than to dedicate a full year (and then some) to the service of my Savior and God's children in Mexico? Rhetorical question! Nothing. Haha

So besides that wonderful day, every other day has just been fantastic. Honestly, it's probably because I choose it to be and see it that way. It's all in the attitude! And just surrounding yourself with amazing things and amazing people and el Espiritu Santo! (the Holy Ghost :)   

I have to say, my Sunday was probably THE BEST day so far. Firsts, I had my first Fast and Testimony meeting (where we fast two meals and share our personal testimonies with the congregation at our church service) here at the MTC. We combined church with another zone because it's just our district! And the zone we combined were some friends of ours so it was just perfect! Testimony meetings are so wonderful, because it is a guarantee that you'll feel the Spirit :) It was so special to hear the tender feelings and sincere beliefs of people my age and friends that I've become so close with. I had the literal "heart pounding out of my chest” feeling and the next thing I knew I was out of my seat and at the pulpit. It was amazing how the Spirit lead me to get up, helped me to stay calm and know what to say, and then just engulf me again as I sat down. It was hailing and storming as I spoke, but then as I finished the sun all of the sudden came out and just lit up the room! It was honestly so amazing and such a tender mercy. I have always loves those moments where the sun comes out and you just bask in it! I think God knew that :) I was touched when a few people came up to me afterward and thanked me for sharing my testimony! To know that someone appreciates your sincere thoughts and feelings and it touched or made better by them....I mean what better compliment or accomplishment (if you will) can you have! That is honestly the only way that I want to and hope to spend my life. Being an instrument in the Lord's hands to help and bless others! So one step closer I guess :)

Well the day gets better!!! Can you believe it?? I had a normal weekly interview with one of the Counselors from the Branch Presidency that ended up being very enlightening! (Go figure...enlightenment at the MTC ;) ) Well, he asked me the typical 'how are you doing?', 'what do you think you could be doing better?' questions. My answer was practically that I always think I have room for improvement and could be doing better. He all of the sudden started giving me this whole lesson about the importance of knowing the difference between "the best" and "perfect". Often times we ARE doing our best and there really isn't anything better that we could be doing. He asked me that at the end of my day do I think Heavenly Father would say "Well done Hermana Johnson." He says this to many people in the scriptures "well done my faithful servant." He sees their efforts and he acknowledges them. He also knows that they aren't perfect. I need to remember (and I think we all do) to be happy with what we have, what we are doing, and what we are capable of; and not waste it away wishing or being held back by what we don't have or haven't done. I explained to him that his timing was impeccable, and just the night before I had gotten upset at myself in class for not being able to do something right. I thought what I was doing should be easy and was upset with myself because it was obviously not. I know that what he told me was a lesson that God wanted me to learn. What I am striving for and getting upset at myself for not having, is perfection. And we are not perfect! Perfection is the goal. Perfection takes a lifetime for me to learn and aspire to. I need to utilize what I have and have been blessed with and know that everything else takes learning and time! Some of us have been given "two talents" and some "five talents". As Christ teaches us, the quantity doesn't matter, it is how we use them and show our appreciation to Him for having them! So that's what I'm learning :)

OH. and the day keeps going!!! So we have a Sunday night and a Tuesday night devotional where special speakers come and basically enlighten us. This last Sunday we were blessed to have a musical devotional! We heard from Richard Elliott, the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir who is SO amazing!! He would play some songs and then speak in between. It was a blessing to be serenaded by the man that the Prophet gets to hear all the time. And then...........we got to be serenaded by......DAVID ARCHULETA!!!!! He had returned from his mission in Chile the DAY before!!!! He gave his homecoming talk that morning! So crazy!! How sweet that he wanted to come and speak and sing to US missionaries :) He had THE MOST powerful spirit from his words and pure insight and of course from his voice! I know I don't know him personally or anything, but it is truly amazing to see how a mission matures and grows someone! You guys will have to let me know how is post mission life goes! He is one amazing person.

SO yes. That was basically all my Sunday. haha I hope you all enjoyed it vicariously as much as I enjoyed it in reality :) 

Here is a quote I randomly found on a bookmark I received in Young Womens (Shout out to YW leaders!! whoot whoot). It was perfect timing and perfect for us all!

"There is something Inspiring and Sublime about the little forget-me-not flower. Its five petals give pause to consider five things we would be wise never to forget... FORGET NOT to be patient with yourself. FORGET NOT the importance of good sacrifices. FORGET NOT to be happy now. FORGET NOT to "why” of the gospel. FORGET NOT that the Lord loves you."-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The leaders of our church are truly inspired and of God. I know I really learned that lesson this week when Brother Marrett (the counselor) told me that he honestly didn't know why he was telling me those things until I explained my day before. To prepare yourself spiritually in being a disciple of the Lord is something truly special. And believe it or not, something we can ALL do. So try it. Today. That's my invitation to you all. (yupp. I just committed you. typical missionary) 

I LOVE YOU ALL. And that's not just said lightly. The fact that you're reading this shows you care :) 



Hermana Johnson


Ether 12:12' - Faith is an ACTION word. we must SHOW our faith unto the Lord. 

HEBREWS 6:10 - not just for missionaries ;) 

me and my companion on my burfday!! the hermans made me a candy chart and we blew up the balloons mom sent :)))

GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES!!!! GRACIAS!!!! they were the best

all that birthday love <3 getting mail seriously makes my day!

at the temple this morning :)

yes i know i'm a ham. but this was candid...what can i say! haha THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY DRESSS :))

a group of good friends that we've made! (this was actually after playing volleyball this morning)
Elder Howard and Elder Alverez!! They are good friends that both left for Mexico this week. Keep them in your prayers :)