Monday, July 25, 2016

I'm still alive and doing well :)

Wow, it's been one heck of the last 2 weeks let me tell ya. Right now I'm doing better for sure. On Wednesday I got pretty sick and couldn't work hanggang Sunday. I had to go to the hospital on Saturday because I couldn't take the stomach pain anymore. Long story short, I ended up having a bacterial infection that came from food. The crazy thing is, I wasn't the only one! 4 other elders in my district also got the same thing! We came to the conclusion of what happened.  We figured out we all got it from McDonalds because we ate as a district there last Tuesday. Who would have thought...McDonalds would cause me to get sick haha. So that's what happened. But I'm feeling a lot better and I'm just ready to get back to work! It feels like I've missed so much and I hate it! But I'm back- nothing can stop me ;)
So let me catch y'all up on everything that has happened here the past 2 weeks! 2 Wednesdays ago I picked up my new anak (companion)! Elder Garcia! He is now my second child haha. I emailed Elder Andrada and told him that he has a younger brother lol. It was crazy to be back in the mission home again and picking up another new missionary! Elder Garcia is really nice. He's super quiet and humble and is kind of a dork haha. I like it. He's cool. Just like 3 months ago, we headed straight home and we got right to work. I could tell right away that this training was going to be a lot different.
Now that I have trained a missionary (Elder Andrada), I felt confident and not too worried about this one. But Heavenly Father has challenged me big time. I have come to realize how lucky I was to train my last anak. He was super magaling and caught on to things really quick. He didn't have a problem adjusting to missionary life, not homesick, nothing, pretty smooth sailing...but it's very different with Elder Garcia.  He was homesick the first couple days and cried the first night. I had to comfort him and help him through it. It was tough. Also, he's kind of a slow learner/ doesn't really get it type of person. It's really difficult. He's just a completely different person which is okay, but I'm still trying to adjust. It really feels like I'm like every aspect of the work, it's like he has no idea at all. So to be honest it's been a rough couple weeks, but I'm pushing through, relying on the Lord. Teaching the lessons is an even harder, grabe talaga, it's like I'm by myself. But I love this opportunity to help my companion. It's a task that I know I can handle and I'm excited to see Elder Garcia's growth over the next weeks. Pray for him please.. us!
Last Saturday we baptized the 3 pinsan (cousins) of a member that we've been teaching. It went well. They were so excited to be baptized so we were really happy for them. Elben John (9), Adrean Ave (14) and Elvie Christy (11)  :)  The baptisms keep comin!
We're not giving up on June Bareno and we never will, but sadly we're putting him on the back burner as of right now (not focusing on him). His family needs help and we're continuing to help them as a family.  Sister Vilma still hasn't come back and says that she wont until June gets baptized.. so there's some major problems but continue to pray for them!
The DeGuzman family is the awesome!! Progressing, but we need your prayers for Brother DeGuzman to give up drinking coffee and also that they can get married in the next 2 weeks! We're striving for August 13, but we might push back their baptism until the end on August, we'll see.
Brother Oliver's wife came to church with him on Sunday!! Unfortunately I wasn't there but I couldn't be more happy and excited for their family! Our goal is to teach her, hopefully this week!
Being a District Leader is hard! There are a lot of responsibilities and things to manage. I gave my first workshop last Tuesday and the topic was about becoming a successful missionary by being exactly obedient. The spirit really helped me and I was able to give a powerful workshop to my elders. The problem is, the past few days I've felt like they haven't applied anything of what they learned to their life as a missionary. They continue to be disobedient and it's gotten even worse. I had to chastize them multiple times the past few days and I feel like more is coming. As a district leader I want my district to be obedient. If we are obedient, everything else will fall into place and we can become the missionares that our Heavenly Father expects us to be!

I think that is all. I caught y'all up on everything. I hope you're all doing well and sharing the Gospel! I read in Mosiah this morning about King Benjamin and his speech to his people. Those first few chapters are so powerful!! I love it so much. I challenge y'all to read chapters 2-4 and I promise you your faith in Jesus Christ will grow and your desire to share this wonderful gospel will be on fire haha.
ingat palagi
Elder Johnson

Monday, July 11, 2016

I will be celebrating my 1 year in the mission in Cogeo.. isa pang transfer! :)

Magandang araw po family!
One of the best weeks so far in my mission! A lot has happened here and I'm so excited to tell y'all everything!
Well, first of all, last Monday President Koster interviewed Brother Oliver Palomares. It was a quick and successful interview as President stated to us after.. "Wow magaling siya, very humble!" He's been prepared for his this day, to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm so grateful to have been a part of his conversion process. On Saturday July 9, Oliver was baptized...and man what a perfect baptism service we had for him! His testimony was so touching. Just wish you could have heard it. His wife (who we haven't taught yet) was able to attend! It was simply awesome! Hopefully this will be the start to her having a desire to learn more about the Gospel. I couldn't be more happy for him and his family, and I know this is just the beginning! Goal: temple!
I want to share with y'all the message I received from Brother Oliver after his interview last monday. "Bro. Johnson, I just wanna say thank u so much for your time and kindness you have shown to my family, and your dedication to help me by teaching the truth about the gospel of god. thank u so much for all u shared to me. take care bro."
I"ll never forget that text. It made me realize how blessed and grateful I am to be serving a mission for my Savior Jesus Christ. So many blessings Heavenly Father has given me the past few months.  It's incredible. This gospel is true, and it blesses lives...and changes them!
We had zone conference on Tuesday and were able to meet and get to know the Koster family.  They're so awesome! I can't wait to work with them the next 13 months. It's crazy the sacrifice that their family is making being here in the Philippines with 3 teenager kids. But I know they're called of God to be our PQCM mission President and wife.
I want to share a cool experience we had this week.  As we were walking in the bundok (Taguisan), we came to the area with many of the less actives. The sun was setting and it started to rain. We decided to stop and talk to this super less active member and ask if there's anything we can do to help her.  Well this time, there actually was! haha. Long story short, her house is at the top of the mountain and I'm talkin like the very tip and is a flippin hike like 90 degrees. Anyway, we carried these huge bags of pig food up to her the pouring rain!! haha. It was awesome, it felt like a movie. I wish we had a video. But we were completely drenched and covered in mud. I loved this because we were able to show our love and care to the less never know, maybe she'll come back to church someday. :)
The DeGuzman family has the marriage plan and they're progressing talaga. Luckily our members and bishop are really helping us and this family. We're excited for them.
The 3 pinsan (cousins) of the Samon family that we've been teaching will also be baptized on Saturday. They're excited. It's been fun teaching them.
I want to also testify of the Book of Mormon. I love it. This week I had the opportunity to study and find verses that would help my less actives and their concerns. I know that every concern, problem, or question we have can be answered in the BoM! I was able to study in my personal study and find verses that can really help them.
Well family...I have big's transfer week and I'm staying another transfer in Cogeo :)
OH and guess what...I've been called as a Trainer again! Yes I'm training ulit another new missionary.. crazy right.. but there's more, I have also been called as District Leader! Although slightly overwhelmed, I'm so excited! I know these callings are of God and I will continue to put my trust in Him.
I'll end with Jacob 4:10 that I read that this morning. It comforted me and gave me strength to continue to do the Lord's will!

Elder Johnson

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 17 Cogeo

Happy 4th of July, family!
Well, a lot of changed the past year.  I remember last year at this time I was at BYU and now I'm in the Philippines serving a full time mission...and I've been here for over 10 months! So fast talaga, I'm loving it.
Anyway, this week my anak Elder Andrada left me, pero this time he didn't return haha. He left on Tuesday and is now in his mission in California. I wish the best for him. He's going to do big things in the states and I feel fully confident he's ready to be a leader and example to his future companions. It's been a blast training him, and I'm blessed to have had the opportunity the past 10 weeks to be his trainer.
My situation right now is weird/rare. I'm now in a threesome with Elder Tequillo and Alosio (my kabahay - Cogeo B). It's really hard. We've had to work 2 areas until transfer day next week.  Being in a 3some isn't fun. The teaching, planning, everything is just off. Each day we switch areas and our plans are always changing. And, these elders are different from me, they just don't have the same attitude, work ethic, and desire as I it's rough right now to be honest. But I'm pressing forward. One more week until I get a new companion.
We had a speed bump this week with Brother Oliver. He was supposed to be baptized on Saturday, but we had a slight problem. President Koster has to interview him before he can be baptized. But, I'm 100% faithful that everything will work out and he will be baptized this Saturday! Pray that his interview today will go well and we can baptize him July 9.  As his missionary, I can see his true desire and sincere repentance. He's incredibly humble...he's awesome.
The Bareno family is doing's just June and Joan at the house right now and yesterday they didn't come to church. We're still doing our best to help June. We've involved leaders to help him and it's going to be a process. All I ask is that you continue to pray for him.
The DeGuzman family came to church as a family again :) They're progressing talaga. The only problem is that they aren't married. But we talked during ward council about how we can help them get married before their baptism on August 13.
That's pretty much all for this week family.  Thank you for your prayers and love.  I can feel it kahit I'm across the world.
I know this work is true, and I'm so grateful for the many things Heavenly Father teaches me each day as I serve Him.
Elder Johnson