Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I have added one new smell to my book of smells I don't really like smelling.


Pedro and Karen with Susana and family


Elder Girot!

scraping paint

A beautiful lagoon in our area. People keep telling me there are crocodiles but I still havent seen any. 

A beautiful lake of sewage water

Hey family!
Sorry that this one is a few days late! In our District Meeting last week we decided to go to the temple as a zone for this week. The temple is closed on Mondays, so the President has us change our P-day to Wednesday for the week when we want to go to the temple. It was my first time doing it in Spanish so that was interesting. I really enjoyed it and the Spirit was strong.
Last week started off kinda rough, I think I ate something that upset my stomach (I am pretty sure it was a mango a member gave me) so I had some stomach problems and wasnt feeling very good Tuesday and Wednesday. And it just so happens that tons of different people gaves us tooooons of mangos, but I havent eaten any of them. I need a little break from mangos.
I dont know if I have mentioned it yet or not, but Elder Girot, my companion from the MTC, is in my District and is companions with the District Leader. Every exchange, the District Leader does a companion exchange with each companionship in his District, and this time he sent Elder Girot to my area and my companion went with the District Leader to his area. It felt good again to be with Elder Girot! It was just like old times, except it wasnt the MTC, it was the real thing. It was a little tough because neither one of us are fluent in Spanish yet and we didnt have any appointments so we contacted all day. I enjoyed getting some time to spend with Elder Girot, hes a really nice guy and we have become pretty good friends over the past couple months.
We have a new Elder in our zone named Elder Skiles. He lives just an hour north of Seattle and I think he is the only other missionary from Washington in our mission. He has one more exchange than me. We have fun talking about how awesome Washington is when our zone gets together before District meeting.
On Saturday morning we did some service for a member Sister. She is repainting the inside of her house so we were there for a couple hours in the morning scraping the paint off the walls. It was kinda tough because some areas the paint just wouldnt scrape off very well but we got a lot done. We returned on Monday morning to help her do some of the actual painting, and because I am so tall (I am pretty tall compared to the people here) I got to paint to roof in the bathroom. Luckly i was painting with a mixture of this concrete colour powder and water (im not really sure what exactly it was) because it dripped all over me. The sister said that it should come out of my clothes in the wash.
I am not really sure why, but this past week the sewage water that is usually beneath the streets has been deciding to be above the streets. I have added one new smell to my book of smells I dont really like smelling. Its not just in one place either, wherever there is a manhole cover the water is seeping up from beneath and flooding the street its on. I am sending a picture of one of these little lakes but its at night so I dont know if you can see how big it is.
It doesnt really feel like its getting much hotter to me but people are saying that it is getting hotter around here. Some people have also been saying stuff about how there are going to be solar flares that are supposed to make it even hotter here, and consequently also destroy all the satelites as well. We dont have any investigators with baptismal dates, and we arent really working with any golden investigators right now, so I guess we kinda did baptize all our investigators. We have been doing a lot more contacting but alot of our appointments fall through. It doesnt really bother me because I know that there are people who are prepared by the Lord and are ready, we just need to find them. Thanks for the information about the new Mission President. I havent heard anything about him yet. He seems like a pretty capable guy, I cant wait to meet him. President and sister Call only have about a month or less left.
Kaitlyn and Kelsey's party sounds pretty fun and that is really awesome that Ryan is having a lot of success.
but I am all out of time. I loaded some pictures on another email of the Baptisms and other stuff. I love you all and I cant wait to here again from you on Monday!(my next p-day will be monday again)
con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, May 28, 2012

Three baptisms and a wedding!

Buenas Dias!
What a great week this last week has been! We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday morning and it was great. I learned a lot about how I can teach better. It was my first and last Zone Conference with President and Sister Call because they are going home in only 5 weeks and then we are getting a new President. I really enjoyed the Zone Conference and it helped to motivate me to work harder.
Thursday morning Pedro and Susana got married! It was at the marriage office where we had been a couple times to submit papers. They signed a bunch of papers, we had the 5 witnesses (we had asked some members to be the witnesses) sign the documents, and then a guy in the office legally married them. Afterwards we went to their house and ate some Mole (its chicken with a sauce that is kinda like chocolate but it isnt sweet). Then my companion and I got everything ready at the church for the baptism. Pedro and Karen invited some family and we had a bunch of members come as well. My MTC companion, Elder Girot, was also there because he is the companion of our District Leader. At the baptism, my companion spoke about what baptism means, and then I spoke about what the Gift of the Holy Ghost means (in SPANISH!!) and then I baptized Pedro (first time) and my companion baptized Karen. I was really nervous all day about actually baptizing someone but when the time came I felt ready and excited. It felt amazing and I really felt my love grow for both Pedro and Karen as they took this step in their lives. It was a great first baptism.
On Friday we held the baptism for Orquidea. Not very many people showed up because she didnt want to invite anyone, but we had invited some members who came. It was a great baptism and my companion did it. I am stilled a little amazed because we only have known Orquidea for less than a month.
On saturday we went to our wards talent show. I felt really homesick. There was a band that played and it reminded me so much of jamming with Tucker, Dakota, and Carlin. A girl also sang a couple songs by Adele very beautifully and a kid sang Forever Young. That made me really homesick because Forever Young is the song that my band played at the baccaloureatte thing about a year ago (it feels like only a couple weeks ago, time goes by fast). Afterwards, we had a last little get together as a zone and I had the most delicous torta and agua de melon. A torta is basically bread with delicous meat and sauces. Agua is water, but if you ask for water here they will ask you what type because they call lemonade and drinks like that agua (water is really agua natural) and agua de melon is like lemonade but with cantelope. I dont like cantelope, but it was really good. It was fun to be with the zone one last time before exchanges.
Sunday Pedro, Karen, and Orquidea were confirmed into the church and recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Bishop and his Counselours did it and it was great, I am really happy for them. For dinner Susana cooked something called Menudo and it was like a soup with this really soft chewy meat stuff in it that I couldnt identify. Mom, dont learn how to cook it.
Sounds like you guys had an awesome week! The sushi place sounds really great. and the symphony sounds phenominal, I miss the symphony. I was just thinkinbg that it has been about a whole year that I finished Seminary and I am really grateful that I went because I learned a lot more from it than I thought I had when I graduated. It would be expensive to print off the emails here (they are real cheapos about paper here) so I just need to get faster at typing and emailing. I am sending some pictures of the wedding and baptisms.
I love you all and I am so glad to hear that you are all doing wonderfully! thanks for the email addresses of my siblings and Ill try and get some time to shoot out an email to them soon! Have an excellant week!
con amor,
Elder Johns

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


It was so great to get to talk to all of you last week! I really enjoyed being able to hear your voices and getting to the chance to talk in English!
This past week was buenisimo! We were able to finally get all the papers submitted and everything for Pedro and Susana´s wedding so they will be getting married on Thursday, and then Karen and Pedro want to get baptized later that day. Karen was having some doubts before about if she felt ready but we talked for a while and went over the baptisimal interview questions with her and that seemed to help. Also, we have been teaching a girl named Orquidea for about two weeks and she is going to get baptized this Saturday! We had the District Leader come to our area and do the interviews (the District Leader does the baptisimal interviews) with Pedro, Karen, and Orquidea and they all went well. I am really excited for them! We dont have any dates set with our other investigators so we are going to work hard with them this week to get a date set for them to work and prepare themselves for.
Pedro, Susana, and Karen have a dog named Roco, and for the past week he would always follow us after we taught them to our other appointments. But on Thursday, he was in the street and a taxi ran into him. It screeched to a halt and he was stuck under it as it was stopping. When the taxi stopped he got out from under it and ran away really fast. We were really worried about how he was doing, but the next time we went to teach Pedro and Karen, he was fine! It was a miracle because the Taxi was going pretty darn fast and they are pretty low to the ground but somehow he went under it after it hit him (hes a fairly big sized dog) and missed the wheels and only got a scrape or two. We thought he would never want to follow us again after that, but he tried to again so Pedro tied him up haha.
One family we are teaching has a son named Richard who is just starting to learn guitar and he likes it alot. He let me play his guitar and I was reeeeeaaalllly excited to, but the strings were way out of tune and he didn´t have a tuner. The family, Barron is their last name, is pretty great. we have only taught them twice so far but they get they´re family of 4 together when we come to teach which is kind of nice. After the last time, they seemed really interested in reading the Book of Mormon.
So this next week we have a wedding and 2 baptisms planned for Thursday, and a baptism planned for Saturday! We also have Zone Conference on Wednesday so this is going to be a great week!
Happy Birthday to Dad, Kaitlyn, and Kelsey! I hope Dad has a great birthday today and Kaitlyn and Kelsey have a great birthday on Saturday! It sounds like Mom had a great Mother´s Day yesterday.
I have a question and a request: did you ever recieve an envelope with letters from the MTC and letters I wanted you to hand to a couple of my friends(question mark(the button doesn´t work)). I believe I mentioned it to either Mom or Dad and also that there was some letters for a few of my friends. And please could you send the email addresses of Colin, Kaitlyn, and Kelsey so I can email them(question mark).
I love you all and I was so happy to hear your voices last week! Until next time!
con amor
Elder Johns
p.s. we are at a new internet cafe place and it does not appear as though I can plug in my camera because of the setup, but I will try and figure it out and send the pics in another email. If I cant figure it out then you´ll get tons of pictures next week.

After a Month in Mexico

Buenas Tardes,
This week was great. Pedro and Susana didn't make it to the analysis last week, but they should be going today which means they can get married next week and then Karen and Pedro can get baptized on the 19th! We also found a new investigator on Tuesday and we gave her a portion of it to read and pray about. On friday when we came back she said that she read it and prayed about it and that she feels good about it. She seems really interested and she even came to church where we found she already knows some members. She has a baptisimal date for the 19th of May as well.
This past week was really hot and its going to get even hotter over the next couple months. I got a haircut today so it feels a little cooler. I have been in Mexico for a month and in some ways it feels like I have been here for a year and in some ways it feels like I just got here. As I'm getting into the swing of things down here time seems to go by a little faster. Spanish is becoming less and less of a problem. I am trying to think more and more in Spanish and I am going to start reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish this week.
I dont have my camera with me right now but I will make sure to bring it next week so that I can upload some pictures for you guys.
Thats crazy that Mom is the Relief Society President, I know that she can do it well. I'll keep her in my prayers. From my experience, when the Lord gives you a calling you can always do it if you really on him. I am excited to call you guys this Thursday 8pm here and 6pm for you guys. I will try the home phone first. And thanks for sending me those mailing addresses!
Love y'all and I'll talk to you on Thursday!
con amor,
Elder Johns

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

La Cucaracha

The condition of our kitchen table when I arrived. I can now say that it is currently trashless. 

A visitor we had a few nights ago.

my comp and I

Hey hey hey!

I feel alot more used to this place, it doesnt feel so foreign anymore. My Spanish has been improving. We found a new investigator named Mari Lu and she seems to be really interested.

This past week was pretty tough. we started off with 5 baptismal dates but now two of them aren't interested and dont want to meet with us. in order for Susana and Pedro to get married they have to both do a physical analysis and submit some paper work 8 days before they can have their wedding. We got them to agree to a plan that would allow them to get married before the 12th of may so that Karen and Pedro could accomplish their goal of getting baptized on the 12th, but then they said they didn't have enogh money (it costs about 900 Pesos which is less than $80 us). We found out about a program in the church tha can help them pay for it so they only have to pay about 300 pesos but now Susana made up an excuse that she doesn't want to miss work to do the physical analysis. Its all been a little frusterating but I know if we keep working with them we can help them to overcome these challenges.

Sounds like you all had a pretty great week. Thanks for sending me the list of all the missionaries who are serving or who have calls in our stake. Would it be possible to find Dylan Parry and Derek Lambert's mission mailing addresses? As for Mothers Day, my companion told me that it is the 10th, which isnt a Sunday so i hope that doesnt cause problems. He told me that I am going to call from the church, hang up, and that you are supposed to call me back and then we can talk. We can talk for 30 to 40 minutes and we cant use skype. We dont know what time we will do it yet, but if you need me to do it around 8pm here so that Dad can be there after work then we can probably do that.
I love you all and i like to hear how you are all doing each week.

con amor,

Elder Johns