Saturday, September 26, 2015

MTC Week 4

Another week down here at the Missionary Training Center!

Last Sunday was the best one yet. Lloyd Newell from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (the guy who introduces general conference on tv) came and we did 'MTC and the Spoken Word' with all the missionaries in choir. I look forward to choir because our director is hilarious. He makes practice more fun by telling us stories and cracking jokes. We sang 2 wonderful hymns that night - How Firm a Foundation and Redeemer of Israel! They were both so powerful. The spirit is always so strong when we sing. After the devotional we got the chance to see a film/talk. My kasama Elder Sanft and I saw that Meet the Mormons was playing! We both turned and looked at each other and said "We're seeing that." It was the first time we both had watched it. It was great! They did a perfect job. I was very impressed. Non-members must see it!

The work is still pressing forward steadfast! The language is coming along and I'm becoming more comfortable when speaking/teaching a lesson. This week I took some strides. My kasama even noticed. I memorized like 100 verbs of the guys in our district said, "we're doing it for the people in the Philippines." It made me want to work even harder so I can be able to communicate as best I can as soon as I can. There is still a lot to learn, but I can do it (I will do it). This week I totally noticed the spirit in our lessons. Each lesson we become more comfortable and just say what the spirit prompts us to say. A few times this week I totally don't remember what I said or how I said it but I knew it wasn't me speaking - it was the spirit. There's a verse in D&C I read this week, It states, the words which thou shalt say shall come to thy remembrance (something like that). It's so true though. If I work hard, and practice, the Lord will bless me.
Wednesday was such a great day!! Thank you for all the packages! Mom- you sent like 4 haha. And I believe I got like 8 total. My district couldn't believe how much food you sent! I think I'm good for the next 2 years on snacks haha. Anyway, my district made my birthday very special. I'm lucky. They got me a shirt, more candy to make me fat, and sang to me at dinner in front of the whole cafeteria filled with hundreds of missionaries staring at us haha. It was so nice and thoughtful of them. What better way to spend your birthday than as a missionary! What made my day was seeing my best friend Elder Ogden!! I was running around the MTC searching for his class, opened the door and I'm pretty sure I surprised the heck out of him and gave him a welcome to the MTC hand shake. Later that night I found his dorm and surprised him again. It was great catching up with him. He looks so happy. We are both so grateful to be servants and representatives of Jesus Christ. On Thursday I saw another one of my best friends, Elder Ohman! I got to eat with him and catch up with him as well. It's so cool seeing 2 of my best buds here doing what we know brings us happiness and joy.

I'm looking forward to this next week. Only 2 and half more weeks at the here until the Philippines. I can't wait. Thank y'all for everything! Love and miss y'all so much! 

Elder Johnson

Saturday, September 19, 2015

MTC Week 3

Magadang hapon pamylia! 

This week flew by! I don't even remember what happened. haha. All the days feel the same here. It's like a blur. Last Saturday night was one of the craziest/spiritual experiences that I have ever been a part of. I can't give y'all all the details but all I know is that the Priesthood is powerful! This week I had the opportunity to be a part of 2 blessings and they were incredible. I am anxiously waiting for the chance to give a blessing. I know it will come soon. I have realized that accidents and needs can happen at any moment and I must be worthy and prepared to exercise my Priesthood authority.

 Saturdays are the best, not only because it's P day but because I get to go to the temple!! The best place on earth. So many blessings there. I feel so peaceful every time I go. It is definitely the highlight of my week. Tuesdays are my second favorite day because I get to sing in the MTC choir! The guy that leads us is a stud and the spirit that comes as we sing gives me chills. I love it so much. We sang "The Army of Helaman" on Tuesday..ay grabe!! (oh wow) I couldn't help but to tear up. The room was filled with the spirit. I'll never forget that. 

My testimony of the gospel continues to grow each day. There is just no doubt that this church is true. I have felt the spirit so strong. I can't deny it. I am so grateful for my companion. Elder Sanft and I get along maybe even too well sometimes haha. But he's such an example to me. The way he leads our lessons with his strong testimony and knowledge of the Tagalog language inspires me to be a better missionary.

My district is good. Not gonna lie though, after 6 weeks I won't be too sad to say goodbye haha. Class is going well. The schedule is exhausting sometimes but it's not bad. My teachers brother Uhi and Brother West are great. They are also our "investigators" which is kinda weird but it's cool because we know them and feel comfortable speaking Tagalog to them. The language is still coming along. Keep praying that I can learn it. It's not easy. I know I'll be blessed if I work hard though, so I'm not worried. I think that is it, I'm gonna make this week great! I miss y'all and love y'all so much! sigi bye! 

P.S. I'll be expecting birthday packages from all of y'all on Wednesday haha jk, But really though. 

Elder Johnson

We love emailing home!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

MTC Week 2!

Kumusta po pamylia!

Well I have been here at the missionary training center for 11 days now. I'm still getting used to the fact that everyone calls me Elder Johnson haha. No more Brandon, but I love it. This week it finally hit me that I am a missionary of the Lord, representing Him. Being here surrounded by great examples makes me want to be better. I learn something new every day (not just Tagalog). It is so amazing to dedicate every single day for the next 2 years to Jesus Christ. Doing personal study, and companion study has increased my testimony of the gospel so much more!!  I literally all day am privileged to study God's teachings, the doctrine, and Preach My Gospel. Although I have read Preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon many times, I have learned something new every day. It is so incredible. Every day here at the MTC gets better. My last email I was really stressed, but I have learned that there's nothing to stress out about.  

My companion and I have taught 5 lessons and we just finished with our first investigator!! His name was Ronaldo (real name is Brother West) but the coolest thing ever happened... He became our teacher! So now we have 2 teachers, Brother Uhi (who is great) and our "investigator" Ronaldo! I have learned so much from teaching Ronaldo. Elder Sanft and I learned that you have to teach by the spirit!! It's the most important thing. We have to teach to the investigator's needs, not just teach our lesson plan. I am sooo lucky to have Elder Sanft as my kasama (companion). He is the best! We are already best buds and we call ourselves the Dynamic Duo!! haha. So Elder Sanft is basically fluent in Tagalog which is frustrating because I feel so behind.. but I have faith that it will come! Slowly but surely. Our next investigator is Jay. Pray that I can feel charity and love towards him as we teach him the restored gospel this week. 

I can feel y'alls love, thank you so much! Also keep the Dear elder letters coming, those are my favorite thing ever! Reading them every night brightens my day and I love to know what y'alls days are like. I am praying for all of y'all as well! I wish I had more time and to respond to all your sweet messages but I can't. It's so busy here and I love it. I am looking forward to this week and to becoming a better missionary! Talk to y'all next week :)

P.S. the food.. I'm getting sick of - I have gained a few pounds :( , ive been playing basketball everyday which is awesome! ( still haven't found any competition )

Elder Johnson

 This guy (Elder Huish) is a stud at bball (nothin on me though).  He's going to Quezon City so maybe we'll be companions.

 Elder Owens from BYU

Elder Fano

Saturday, September 5, 2015

MTC Week 1!

Kumusta po kayo, pamilya! 

So it is only day 4.. but it feels like I have been here for 4 weeks! Wow, the MTC is crazy. I am loving it. I have been non-stop working ever since being dropped off. I was thrown right into it! So the first day they put us into our classroom where we were being spoken to by our teacher in Tagalog. By the way, I still don't think he has said a lick of English! When I walked into the classroom I met my awesome companion Elder Sanft! He is a big Tongan dude who has the greatest testimony I have ever heard. He and I work very well together and get along great! I have definitely been blessed to be with such an amazing companion and district! Everyone in my district is very close. We like each other which is a blessing. We eat together, study together and learn from each other. Everyone was right when they said the days were long, that is for sure! But the work is great and there's no place I'd rather be. 

The Tagalog language is HARD!! Nobody said it was going to be easy and I know that. I am kind of struggling with it, but I think everyone else is too. My companion is basically fluent in it! It's not fair haha. But he helps me. If you could keep me in your prayers that would be awesome because I need them. I can feel y'alls love and thank you all for sending letters to the MTC! It's so nice to come home after a long day and read your advice and know that I am being loved and prayed for. Keep them coming! 

So my P day is on Saturdays which is nice. It's funny though how P day goes by faster than normal days haha. I got to work out for the first time yesterday and play basketball today so that was good! Also I forgot to tell you.. we are already teaching lessons.. in Tagalog!! It is so hard but my companion keeps me afloat haha. We are teaching this investigator named Ronaldo but he's a member so it is kind of weird. Today in our lesson Elder Sanft and I are going to try and get to know how he is feeling and try and find out what Ronaldo needs.  We have learned to teach by the Spirit, not to go in there and just read our lesson plan. I am starting to be able to pray and bear some of my testimony in Tagalog but it is just super hard. The word faith in Tagalog is Pananampalatya- such long words and difficult pronunciation, but I'll get there. A lot of elders have told us newbies to not worry about the language - it will come. I did my laundry today even though I didn't have too much to clean. The food is good! I like it. Everything is going well. I wish I could tell y'all more but I have to go. If I think of anything else I'll send it next week.  Thanks again for everything family! I love you all! Miss you so much but I don't have time to be sad haha because I am busy doing the Lord's work. 

P.S. Thank you Dad for your package :)

Elder Johnson

Brandon and his companion, Elder Sanft