Thursday, November 14, 2013

Last Transfer!

Hey family!

As expected, we didnt have any changes in our companionship, so its going to be me and Elder Macias in barrio Madero until the end! I am suprised that this changed ended so sudenly. It went by really fast and the end of it snuck up on me. We only had one change in the whole district. My district is in total 14 missionaries so it is fairly big, but that includes the assistants and zone leaders and I dont have to worry about them too much.

That is awesome that Kaitlyn got a mission call to serve in Virginia! I am really excited for her! Now she only has 3 more months to prepare so she better be studying Preach My Gospel like crazy.

This week was really rainy, and I even got cold enough to use a sweater some days. We have a gas water boiler but we dont have a gas tank but we will hopefully be able to get one soon.

We had a super awesome lesson this past week. We visited a less active sister the week before last and she told us to come back last week to teach her family (she is the only member) and we went with our Ward mission Leader and taught her husband and one of her daughters. The Spirit was super strong and we committed them to baptism and they said yes but they didnt feel ready enough to accept a date. Unfortunately they didnt go to church yesterday so we are going to see them again this week and see how well they have done with reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.

I got a haircut today and now I look 12% uglier but now now my haird isnt touching my ears so I guess it is alright.

oh and I signed up for my classes. I am still on the waiting list for half of them but I am #7 for one, #6 for another, and #23 for another. There was a writing class that I wanted to take with Ryan but the waitinglist has like 60 people and the class size is only 25 so it wouldnt be a safe bet to count on getting in through the waiting list I dont think. If I dont get into the classes then I will just have to make other plans. I decided to not do the honors thing because you have to sign up for them in an envelope so that just makes it more difficult and I would rather just focus on having a better GPA.

I gotta jet, but I am glad that Colin did well on his debate and enjoyed it and I am glad that Dad did well on his talk. I will probably have to give a talk in sacrament meeting when I get back won´t I?

con amor,

Elder Johns

Monday, November 11, 2013

Giving Things Away

Hello Hello!

Thanks for the pictures! Speaking on the 29th is fine, it will give me more time to learn how to speak english correctly again. as for my guitars, honestly I would LOVE to be able to play them and I am going to be home for almost a month so if it isnt too much of a hassle to transport my acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and amp home AND if there is room enough for it in Ryan´s car than could you please bring it home from Utah on the return trip after thanksgiving week? I have lost the callouses on my fingertips and I gotta get them back. If it would be too much of a hassle to bring the amp and electric then just the acoustic would be fine.

Also more questions about stuff like that: My short sleeve white button up shirts, do you want me to take them home? I probably wont ever need to use one again except maybe one just to have one in case, and I was thinking about giving the others (the others excluding the one I will bring home with me) to some companions who dont have short sleeve shirts or have realy bad quality shirts that dont iron very well.  So would that be alright if I gave them my shirts or do you want me to pack them home? My dress pants have been continually becoming undone at the seems and I have had to repair them so I am probably just going to throw them away or give them to my comp. I will look for a christmas nativity, but  they arent that big here. Ill ask around to see if I can find one.

Um well this past week was alright, it was really rainy and alot of people that we have been visiting couldnt recieve us so we didnt get to teach as much as I would have liked to. We finally had a ward council meeting yesterday and we should be having one everyweek from now on which is awesome because it allows us to work in much greater harmony with the members.

We got hot water this week! a member gave us the parts we were missing to hook the gas tank up to the boiler adn so now we have hot water just in time for the rain and cold weather.

Jose has been progressing really well but then he didnt come to church:( so now he is not going to be able to get baptized while I am still here. We are going to find him a better fellowshipper who can help him be more motivated to go to church. We also committed an investigator named Alejandra to get baptized, but she hasnt been keeping up with her commitments so far but we´re  still working with her.

Um I have to go, sorry I didnt tell you much about my week, it was a kinda slow week.
I love you all!

Elder Johns

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hot Water Optional

This was an interesting week. To answer your question about hot water: for the vast majority of my mission I havent had hot water,  but that is most of the time excellant because it is so hot and humid that you dont even want to use hot water. But now that it is November there are some days that we wake up a little cold. Now we have a gas tank, but we still need a regulator thing and a short hose to be able to hook the boiler to the gas tank. We havent had that many cold mornings still but we need to get prepared for them.
My District got split up! We used to be 14 missionaries in total but then in a leadership meeting they realized that they made my distict really big, so they split it into two and now I only have 8 in my district, but I only have to talk to two companionships over the phone becuase one companionship is the assistants. I miss having a big district because the meetings were fun because we had alot of people but the calls everynight took foreeeeeeever        but now I only have to make a total of 3 calls everynight instead of 5 so that gives me  a little more free time and helps us to get to bed on time. Usually in the calls I ask them about how their day went and how they are feeling and how the people they are teaching are progressing and other questions to check how they are progressing and if they are putting in practice the principles that our mission is focusing on improving. Also  sometimes I need to ask for specific information about their recent converts that they are teaching.
One night while I was talking on the phone, I tried opening a window the sings outward into a right angle from the wall. As I pressed on the lever to open it, the bottom hinge broke and it fell of the wall! Luckily the window next to it was open so it got caught on it. There is a metal screen to keep bugs out so we couldnt grab it from inside so  I had to climb up on the roof to be able to grab the window so that it wouldnt fall from the second story and shatter (it was very safe and I was never inany danger). It was super easy EXCEPT that someone had come earlier that day to throw a bunch of tar on the roof  to keep it waterproof and it was still wet when I went up. the tar destroyed my sandals and I got some on my knee and arm, but I was able to get it off... after alot of pulling and scraping. but its all good now, except that now I need to find someone who can fix the window...
We had a cool training for new missionaries and trainers on Wednesday. I am pretty sure that will be my last meeting of that type which is wierd to think.
We took some time to go to downtown Tampico and I bought some clothes and recuerdos of Tampico.
We are starting to  find some more people to teach, but we dont really have anyone who is progressing super well. I am pretty sure we need to do better about involving the members in our appointments, but they are so busy and  there are so few active members in our ward.
hey a random question but its been something that has crossed my mind every once and a while. Are my guitars, amp, snyth, and all that stuff still  at Grandpa and grandma Andersons house?
Ok I attached the itinerary to the email.
I gota go, I love you all!
Elder Johns

Monday, October 21, 2013

FINALLY moved into our own apartment!

Querida familia Jones (everyone pronounces my name as if it where Jones and they dont hear the difference between Johns and Jones),

Hey hey hey! I still havent recieved my itinerary, but I am certain that I will be headed home on the 9th of December, the secretary to the president should already have my itinerary but he hasnt sent it. sometimes there are minor changes in the itineraries that occur in the months leading up to the departure so maybe he hasnt sent it out yet because he wants to make sure that there arent any changes. Ill call him in the week and ask him to send it to me so that i can send you a copy next week.

I forgot to comment last week on the pathway that Dad made by the hot tub, it looks awesome, I cant wait to walk on it when I get back.

We have been finding almost no new investigators in this area so we have focused on visiting more active members to teach them a lesson and get them more involved in missinoary work. We have had pretty good success doing this and have been able to recieve more referalls that we should be contacting this week.

our investigator Jose came to church yesterday!!! It was his first time and he seemed to really enjoy it. He should start working again though this week and that could be a problem because it will be difficult gfor him to get work off on Sundays. 

Oh I forgot to mention that we FINALLY moved into our own apartment!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were sharing that tiny apartment with the assistants for a whole month! we didnt have desks or like any personal space so now our apartment feels like a mansion. It has 2 rooms, an entrance room, big bathroom (a little smaller than normal american bathrooms), and a open air room behind to hang cloths to dry and my hammock! I feel so free. It has a tooon of windows too that make the apartment very cool and not stifling hot. also our beds, refri, microwave, washer, and everything are brand spanking new!

I researched some classes today but I really dunno if the ones I selected are good or not. here are the ones I chose:

Engl 312 persuasive writing
Psych 111 Psychological science
Rel A 211 The New Testament
Rel C 351 World Religions
SFL 223 preparation for marriage
Span 321 3rd year spanish read, gram, and culture

They are a total of 16.0 hours. If you have any suggestions then please let me know. I also feel interested in doing honors but i am not exactly sure what that entails or if I should and I dont really have time to research about that so please tell me what you think about taking classes at honors level.

I gottta go now but it was great to hear about all that has been going on this week!

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, October 14, 2013

I hope you are all loving life!

Hello familia and amigos,

This week was fairly different. On wednesday we had a round table meeting. round tables are like zone conferences but everyone particiaptes more in giving ideas and answering questions. It was pretty good. we learned about how to teach with more power and how we ourselves are the best visual disply that we have as we teach about the gospel, so basically we need to live what we teach. I enjoyed it and it was nice because I didnt have to prepare th district meeting.

On thursday we were supposed to have a trainer/new missionary training meeting, but when we got there President Jordan announced to us that the night before a missionary passed away. He talked alot about the plan of salvation and gave some time for people who were from his district in the MTC to say some stuff about him. It was really sad, alot of people were crying. I never met him but I am sad that it happened and I hope that his family is ok. We arent really supposed to talk about it or what happened with other people in detail but you can probably read more about it on the website of church news.

On saturday I had a baptisimal interview with Rosalda again. This time she was really ready and was really happy that she was passed! It feels wierd to interview someone, I have always been the one being interviewed so it is strange to be the one doing the interviewing.

We got to know more less active members but alot of appointments fell through and we didnt see alot of people this week.

Ill tlak to pres about signing up for classes, I am fairly certain he will let me especially because it is on a P-day.

thats awesome about Kaitlyn! I hope she gets her mish call right away because I wann know how long I´l have to help her get ready before she leaves. when did she put the avaible date? I hope moms hand gets better, I will be praying for her.

I love you all alot and I hope you are all loving life!

con amor,

Elder Johns

Tuesday, October 8, 2013



Conference was awesome!!!!!!!!! I got to see all the sessions in English and it was sweeeet. We were in the high council room with clima, super comfy chairs, and our own projector. And the talks were all great, alot of people talked about missionary work which happens to be one of my favorite topics.

I did a division this week with the ward Hidalgo, which borders the first area that I was in (Independencia) and we even taught a lesson in the chapel so I got to see the first chapel that I went to church in my first area because they share the chapel. It is so wierd to think that so much time has passed since then...

We have been teaching alot of less active members and we had more that came on Sunday so that was great. Unfortunately our investigator didnt make it on Sunday becasue family members randomly visited them and didnt leave until late at night. It will be difficult for hime to go to church now because he will start working and has to work on sundays... we will see what we can do.

We are teaching someone named Juana who is lik 65 and really Catholic. We shared the restoration with her last night and it seemed to move her, but she has alot of family and social pressure right now so she seems to be a little hesitant about making commitments or changing but we could see that she felt the Spirit undeniably so we will see what we can do to help her.

We STILL havent found a house. well, we found a house but he said it would take until this week to get it fixed up but now he wants alot more money for it than he origionally offered so we probably need to find another place. I think I am just going to tell President that we havent been able to find a house like he wanted so that he will let us rent an apartment.

We went to the temple as a zone today and it was AAAWWWEEESOME I havent been to the temple in like a year almost and it was so peaceful and enjoyable.  I cant wait until I can go more often after the mission.

about my byu ID I am not really sure what it would be, maybe it is tjohns56? If it is a number then there is no hope that I still remember it.

thats a little scary with Abby, but still kinda cool that she was able to walk home all by herself. I hope mom´s hand is doing better. and good job inviting Kaitlyns boss to listen to the missionaries! thats awesome that she is interested.

Ummm I am going to talk to pres tomorrow about if I can sign up for classes or not, I hope he says yes.

Elder Johns

Monday, September 30, 2013

For we are not cast off...

Oh no! That sounds like it must have hurt alot! Mom is probably going to want to avoid caramel for a while. I´ll make the caramel popcorn for her when I get back. I really hope that she is starting to feel better. And dad, I just realized that you told me that you were an AP on your mission but I remember you saying that you served as a secretary so were you refering to being an AP or were you first a secretary and then an AP?
We still havent found a house... President Jordan told us that he wants us to find a house to rent that has three separate bedrooms so that he can send missionaries to come stay with us when there are big leadership meetings. We already found one super awesome house that had clima and everything, but President didnt feel good about that house so we have been searching and searching but we still havent found anything big enough. hopefully we will find something this week.
We have been finding alot of people to teach! We have an investigator named Jose Guadalupe who lives with a less active member we are teaching. Jose has a respiratory disease right now so he has been unable to talk much, but he should be getting better and starting to work again soon. We taught him a couple times and we comitted him to get baptized and he said yes! It wont be until November becasue now for investigators to get baptized, they need to go to church 5 out of 6 times (it used to be 2 times a year ago and a month ago is was only 4 out of 5 times). He seems genuenily interested so we are happy with that.
I havent shared much about stuff that I have been learning in my studies but this past week I found a scriptural passage that I really enjoy that helps me to look forward with faith and hope. It is found in 2 Nephi 10:20,23-24. (in verse 20 only read until it says "for we are not cast off" and then jump to 23-24). I dont know why I like it so much but it helps me to remember that as long as I am choosing to "lay aside my sins" and "reconcile myself with the will of God" then I am heading towards eternal life. It is MY decision as to where I will go, so therefore I dont ever have reason to feel hopeless or abandoned as I am choosing to do right. Even in the midst of tough trials where everything appears to be going wrong, and I can be full of hope as I remember that I am not cast off, and that I will always have my gift of agency to choose where I will go. I think that maybe that is what it talks about in part in Ether 12:19. If I can look forward with an eye of faith towards the blessings that will be mine through obedience to His commandments, then I will exercize my agency accordingly and be able to enjoy those blessings. I have been learning alot about the relationship of faith and hope lately and what I have learned has been quite rewarding.
um I would prefer to be able to sign up for my own classes, so I´ll talk to president to ask him about that. GEtting some housing options would really help me out, thanks!
con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, September 23, 2013

Living the Law of Consecration


Things are still pretty crazy here in barrio Madero (barrio means ward). We still dont have an apartment! but it is underway so all is good. We have been staying in the assistants house for about a week now and we have been living the law of consecration as far as food goes. On wednesday after writing you guys we started looking for an apartment, just walking around aimlessly and asking random people if they knew where anyone was renting an apartment. We got some leads but it all ended up in nothing. We decided to say a little prayer asking for help and to be able to find the correct people to talk to and afterwards continued to wander aimlessly, but this time with more faith. After a little bit, we found ourself on the 5th story of an apartment complex talking to man who knew someone who was renting an apartment on the 2nd floor of another apartment building so he told us where to find her and she later agreed to rent us the apartment. It is in a good location because it is in the center of the area. The only problem has been that she needs to move out some stuff with a truck and she wants to paint the kitchen but she hasnt found someone to do it yet and we dont have a truck so it might be another couple days before we can get in there. We are probably going to find someone in the ward that has a truck. and I think she wants someone professional to paint so we cant really help her with that.

We have also seen numerous other  miracles and tender mercies in our quest to find people to teach. The ward bounderies are pretty small but there are more than 300 members that live in it. about 52 went last sunday so we have some work to get done. The Bishop and the bishopric members are awesome though, the counselours have already accompanied us to visit people. We also have a recent X mission president in our ward from the Mexico Leon Mission. He LOVES missionaries and will be a big help to us.

Elder Girot is in my district again! he was my comp in the MTC and we have been in the same zone numerous times. We have come to be pretty close friends so I am happy that he is here. I also know just about everyone in the zone pretty well so this is going to be a fun change. I am district leader over 11 other missionaries (we have one trio) and it has been fun to call them all every night.

As far as apartments, I really dont know anything about the options. If it would be possible for Ryan to maybe find some options with varying prices/locations that would be helpful for me to be able to make a more solid conclusion. I also have another Elder friend who is asking me about apartment options. ahh I dont like thinking about this. I promise that I will keep working super hard. I have seen the missionaries that lose their edge towards the end and I will not be one of them. I love being a missionary and having this opportunity to serve and to learn.

as for rooming with Derek, when do I have to let you know? I will think about it. he is a cool kid.

I gotta go now, I love you all!

Elder Johns

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Hey, there is a chance that a hurricane named Ingrid is going to pass by here tonight or tomorrow. It has been really rainy for basically the whole week. They even cancelled church services today, but everything is clear and sunny right now so maybe the storm isnt going to hit us. President has all of the missionaries writing their families to tell them that we are ok and that we are prepared for the storm if it does happen to hit us. It shouldnt be too bad, some people are already saying that it wont hit us because it is really sunny again.

Our P-day got changed to Wednesday so I´ll be emailing y´all again on Wednesday!

nos vemos! dont worry!

I love you!

con amor,
Elder Johns
Hey family and friends,
Everything has been a little nuts this past week and half, lots of twists turns and changes. We had been hearing alot about some sort of hurricane that was destined to destroy half of Tampico and flood the rest of it and that it was going to hit on Sunday. It had been raining everyday for almost a week so we didnt doubt it. then we got a bunch of messages from president about saftey stuff we had to tell all the elders in our zone such as to stay in their houses once the wind starts to kick up and to stay away from the windows and to buy food to survive in your house for 3 days. on saturday night it started to rain a ton so they cancelled the noche mexicana stake activity, and then they even cancelled the church services for the next day so we went to bed expecting to wake up during the hurricane.
BUT, to our suprise, it was sunny all day on Sunday and didnt even rain one drop. President Jordan came to our chapel and we had a little mini sacrament meeting. also, in anticipation of the storm, they changed the day of changes until today so I had 2 extr days in Tancol.
NOW, I am training  a new missionary named Elder Macias from Tijuana. He seems pretty great but I dont really know him very well because we just barely met yesterday. They called me at like 9:30am yesterday and told me that I ahd to get all my stuff packed and be in teh mission home by 12:30am so I only got to say goodbye to a couple families. My comp, Elder Villegas also got changed to another area.
Elder Macias and I are opening a new area named Madero. It has not had missionaries for almsot 6 months, and the 6 months before that it was occupied by a couple missionary companionship. We also dont have a place to live yet so we are looking around haha. Everything is really crazy right now. oh and I am also the District Leader so I am going to be woking closely with alot of other missionaries in the zone. President doesnt want to let me rest haha.
I cant upload photos because the comp doesnt accept my memory so please forgive me for not sending photos again.
about college, I am pretty decided on attending BYU for the Winter Semester, but I dont have any preferences right now as to whom I would like to room with or where. I dont know when class sign ups are, and much less what classes I want to take.
sounds like everything is going well for you guys, have a great week and I`ll write you guys back next week on monday like normal! please pray for us so that we can get things moving and find an apartment quickly in this ward.
I love you!
Elder Johns

Monday, September 9, 2013

There is a lot more that I still need to learn


this past week went by really fast. I feel like I say that almost every week now haha.

I am still learning a ton of stuff. I remember thinkging that I would know everything by about the gospel by the end of my mission but I keep learning more and more and I bet there is alot more that I still need to learn. I am reading through the Book of Mormon highlighting in different colors anything that talks about faith, repentance, the covenant of baptism, The gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I am getting alot of new insights on examples of how to live and apply the gopsel more fully in my life and I am writing it all down in a notebook to remember.

We had 6 investigators come to church on Sunday! 3 of them cant get baptized yet because of divorce issues, but it was the first time for the other three! They really seemed to enjoy it. but the gospel doctrine class teacher didnt show up so I ended up teaching the class but I didnt have any time to prepare but it was alright.

We did divisions and I went wiht a new american elder from Utah named Elder Alsup. He is a good guy but is having a really hard time learning Spanish so I went to go see if I could go and keep him motivated. I really enjoy doing exchanges because I get to know the people that the other missionaries are teaching, and I like to get to know the other missionareis better.

Today we played soccer, volleyball, and basketball as a zone and it was a lot of fun. This is week 6 so it is that last week before changes. I have a feeling that I will probably get changes next week.

Im glad to hear that everything is going well at home. Does Dad enjoy being a seminary teacher? does he go to work right after or does he take a quick nap at home? What has colin been up to? he hasnt been writing me very much.

I still havent gotten the package yet but maybe it will come this week.

I love you all lots! tell Abby happy birthday tomorrow for me!

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, September 2, 2013

Claudio Got Baptized!


Claudio got baptized on saturday! He was really happy! I have been very blessed to have had this opportunity to teach him. His baptismal service went well because his best friends showed up, but basically no one else came which worries me a bit about how well the ward will care for him after I have gone, but I guess we just need to help the ward to realize that they also play an important role in helping the recent converts to successfuly become active members. His family also didnt show up to his baptism because there was a family issue that made it impossible for them to attend.

We did more exchanges this week and I got to be with Elder Ellis. He is really cool and I think I learned more from being with him then he learned from me. He had an interesting idea about making decisions. He calls it "5 steps into the future" which includes analyzing the following 1. The action in itself 2. The immediate consequences 3. short term consequences, 4. long term consequences, 5. Eternal consequences. I really liked it because it might help me to see things from a larger perspective.

ummm on friday we had another consejo de liderazgo and in our plan we have some stuff that should help us to establish goals with the investigators or less active members to help them keep progressing. I dont really have time to explain it in alot of detail but I am hoping that we can get it to work. It should also help us to motivate the local leaders to help out more and fufill their responsibilties.

I am going through a hard time now with my comp but I am trying to learn my best from the situation. I am also trying to stop critisizing myself so much. sometimes I get too hard on myself and _I dont let myself relax and enjoy the moment. I guess that is what I am trying to learn now but I know that my Heavenly Father is giving me these little challenges to teach me and prepare me for the future. I guess that makes me grateful for the difficulty because I cant even imagine having been able to deal with all of this a year ago.

I miss you all and I hope all is going well for you!

con much amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's a short one

Dear family,

thanks for the cool poem! I have read it before but I cant remember where. I really enjoyed reading it again.

sorry for this short email but we just got a call and we need to go and help some missionaries get to a doctors appointment because they have spent all their money and dont have reserve funds...

on Saturday Claudio is GETTING BAPTIZED! I am really excited for this. He has been progressing alot.

other than that I am feeling alot better. There are still alot of problems and difficulty but I guess I am increasing my capacity to deal with all of it.

Sorry for the uber short email, I wrote Kaitlen and Ryan and then I was going to dedicate the rest of the time to write you guys but now we have to go and help the other Elders.

I love you!

Elder Johns

Monday, August 19, 2013

Scuba Diving Might Become a New Hobby

Dear family,

Thank you for the great letter, it was something that I really needed right now. Alot of times I dont like to say that I am having a hard time because I dont want to compain to you guys about everything hard or difficult about the mission or about what is going on. Last week was fairly hard because I had alot of stress working on me and being in the ciber writing all of you guys just made me feel so homesick. But now I am feeling much better. My companion is a little difficult but great at the same time. He isnt used to being very obedient and complains alot and its hard enough for me myself to be obedient without having to worry about him and have all the stress of taking care of the zone. He doesnt have any problem with doing the work, he is actually a really good teacher and he is able to win the trust of the people we teach really well so I am very thankful for that. And we arent hating each other either but it isnt the most fun relationship but I am trying my best to love him more and more. He isnt the first hard comp I have had so ive been through this before.

My birthday was pretty nice, The stake presidents wife made me some delicious lasagnia and bought me a small cake. And the sister that we ate with on Sunday gave me a huge ice cream cake from Dairy Queen that was super delicious! It was a pretty good birthday but I really missed being with family and friends.

On tuesday we had a super awesome leadership training meeting that really helped me out and answered alot of personal questions I had about how I can get through this current phase of my mission. Then we had a meeting with the Stake President on Wensday morning and we talked about a plan that we have for the zone (the zone covers the whole stake) and we are excited about it because we are going to be better coordinated with the ward leaders. After that meeting we had interviews with President Jordan. He is a really good guy, I have missed seeing him so often since I left the offices.

We did divisions and my companion thought that he was ready to be here in our area by himself but he ended up getting lost and we missed some important appointments. I had a good time with Elder Rosado. He was really into scuba diving before the mission and told me a ton of cool stories. He is from Veracruz (a state in Mexico). Scuba diving and fishing with a harpoon gun might become a new hobby after I get back...

We only saw Claudio one time this week but he is still doing well. We dont have many other investigators that are progressing but we are having success with the less active members. We have started formulating a ward mission plan with the ward mission leader and the bishop that should help us out alot.

um I cant think of much else to say right now. I have been getting fat but I am going to start eating a little healthier.

Thats cool that dad is going to be a seminary teacher! I would love doing that except for the getting up in the morning part. Seminary played a huge role in my life, more than I realized while I was taking it. Basically everything I know about the scriptures I learned in Seminary.

I love y´all and thank you all for your support! have an awesome week! I still havent heard anyhting about my package but I am sure that it will come soon.

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Birthday!

hello everyone,

Its my birthday! I am 21 years old. I dont feel much older but being on a mission makes me feel like Im 40 so I guess realizing that Im only 21 makes me feel a little younger!

We went to the beach this morning which was fun. I bought a pineapple coconut drink to enjoy while relaxing on the sand. We got there at 7am so there were only a couple of people jogging on the sand. Its been almost 2 years since we went to Hawaii and being at the beach reminded me a little of that last family vacation.

My new companion is very different from my last companion but we have been getting along. He is from the state of Puebla and he was a really good dancer. He also has the same amount of time in the mission as I do.

We did an exchange with some Elders and I was with an Elder named Elder Harris. He served in the Last Vegas West mission Spanish Speaking for a few months while he waited for his visa and he said that he met Elder (Tucker) Short while he was over there.

A new couple moved into our ward from another state in Mexico. They had been listening to the missionaries over there for a few months and they want to get baptized but they are having problems with getting married.

one of the hermanas that we ate with yesterday gave me an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen!

Claudio and his family didnt show up to church which was kinda dissapointing. We are going to visit them later today to find out what happened.

Thank you for the many birthday wishes! I dont know why it feels so hard to be here on my birthday, its basically just like any other day, but I feel your love through your emails and that makes me feel better. The stake presidents wife said that she was going to make me some lasagnia today so I am looking forward to getting to eat lasagnia. Thanks for the money and for sending me a package as well, I hope that it will make it through the mailing system.

Thats too bad that Abby has been a little difficult this past week, but that view of mount rainer must have been absolutely beautiful.

I love you all and I really really miss you, have a wonderful day!

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Companion

HeLlo FaMiLy,

Another week and another change under my belt! and another companion. Elder Fernandez is going to train in Victoria! He is going to be openning up a second area in the area that I was serving before I got here (Villas 2). I am really excited for him because the members are really awesome over there and help out a ton with missionary work.

My new companion is going to be Elder Villegas, he has around the same amount of time as I do. It is a wierd change because he was a zone leader in his last area but was only there for one transfer. Ive met him before and he is a great guy. later today around 12, 12:30, we are going to the bus station to make the switch so he isnt with me yet. Ive heard that he has trouble sometimes getting along with his companions but Im sure we will learn to work together just fine.

basically the whole zone is changing. all the district leaders were changed and so now we have new ones, and a new area opened up in our as well so now we are 16 missioneros. We are also going to have 5 trainers and 5 new missionaries in our zone which is going to be AWESOME! I dont really know why but I am really excited to have so many new missionaries. I guess I am excited to be able to teach them and take care of them and stuff, I miss training.

Nothing really big happened this past week. We had to clean the house for the missionareis that are going to open the new area and it was suuuuuper messy. The last missionaries that served there left food in the fridge and MILK! It was all moldy and the milk was spoiled and the electricty got cut a week before we got there so the fridge was just a mess. We took it outside and got it all cleaned up though. silly missionaries.

Claudio is progressing really well, he has been going to church and is excited about the gospel. He hasnt done so well with reading every day but it is something new for him that he is learning to do. His dad and his sister were going to go to church as well but something happened to his sisters eyes and his dad ended up staying to take care of her in their house.

There were 14 less active members in church today (and thats just from our half of the ward becasue there are two other missionaries serving in the other half) so we are having good success in motivating the less active members to attend. We still havent been able to get the bishop to call people to teach the family history and temple preparation classes which is a little frusterating, but we have achieved that all the other wards in the stake have the classes every week.

thanks for sending the photos of Tanners wedding! Its so wierd to think that he is married! He has been one of my best buds since as far back as I can remember. I am glad that Colin was able to enjoy his high adventure and thats a little dissapointing that he didn´t get to go all the way to the top but I am sure that it wouldnt have been so pleasent if the crampons (I dunno what a crampon is) wouldnt have functioned.

Thats exciting news about Kaitlyn! she should be reading Preach My Gospel everyday and reading her scriptures to prepare.

I am excited for my birthday (especially because it will be on a Pday). we got permission from PResident to go to the beach as a zone from 7am-9pm on that pday so I am excited. I hope that package for my birthday that you sent me gets here alright.



Monday, July 29, 2013

Maria's Baptism


wooow it is almost August! This week went well. We had a little more success in finding more investigators to teach. And supposedly we should be at the high peak of hot weather but I havent felt too hot. Now that I have become accostomed to hot weather I am sure that I am going to literally freeze when I return to Washington haha.

Maria fernanda got baptized on Saturday! Not many members attended who werent family members but she has alot of family in the stake so there were alot of people. She seemed to really enjoy it and was smiling the whole time. Afterwards we ate tamales and cake. I am really happy that I had the opportunity to teach her and we should be seeing her alot still since she is a recent convert. We visit recent converts at least twice a week.

On friday we had our consejo de liderazgo. I enjoyed it and learned about how I can help our zone to improve and how I can better carry out the plans that we make. President wants us to put more emphasis on street contacting now. Back in November they told us that we werent allowed to contact people and recently that changed but most missionaries still dont contact at all in the street. It is going to be hard to get that to change because alot of missionaries feel nervouse about contacting people in the street and now there are a ton of missionaries who have never street contacted before because they came during the period in which we couldnt contact people. I guess they are letting us contact now becasue we have learned how to work more with members and now we dont plan to go "contacting or knocking on doors", but now they want us to do both things but without planning time to go contact.

We have had an investigator named Claudio but this week we have started to teach his whole family (almost except for his mom) and they all accepted baptisimal dates for September! They seem really interested and we will see how everything goes.

We stopped by the office this morning but my package wasnt there :( and they just went to the post office Wednesday last week. Maybe I just have super bad luck or the price for candy and EFY CD´s has gone up in the black market.

I hope colin enjoys his 50 mile backpacking trip´. I remember that it was super difficult when I went on one when I was 14. It was a lot of fun though. Ahhh Tanner is getting married! crazy, send me some photos and the details. and mom yeah we are going to be recieving American sister missionaries in my mission. Right now there are 3 coming but they wont get here until the day I leave. We have never had sister missionaries from the states here from what I know.

I love you all and hope you all enjoy the first few days of the best month on earth!

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, July 22, 2013

Going to Have a Baptism!

¡Buenas tardes!

This week went by really really fast. We made a goal to increase the number of families that we are teaching, and we saw alot of help from the Lord to guide us to more families to teach. A young man named Max invited on of his friends from school over to eat with us when we came over to eat with his family (his mom always uses chili habanero and it makes the food suuuper spicy). His friend was only 11 years old so we couldnt teach him as a new investigator, but we asked him for his address so that we could teach his whole family, Later in the week a found his mom and found out that she and all of her family were baptized in another city but stopped going to church a long time ago but is really interested in learning about the gospel again and coming to church. Her kids arent members though. We´ll see how things go with her and her family.

María had her baptisimal interview on Saturday and she passed! she is going to get baptized on saturday! we are really excited and so is she. It seems like alot of baptisms will be coming from less active families that didnt baptize their kids when they were 8, but thats ok because we are reactivating families and helping them to get back on track. Reactivating a family is just as good as a baptism.

There is a ward in our zone that hasnt had missionaries for 5 months, I dont know why. we heard that there was an investigator who wanted to get baptized, but hasnt been able to do so becasue the ward doesnt have missionaries. President told us that in early august he is oging to put missionareis there but in the meantime my companion and I will be teaching this investigator in the chapel accompanied by a member of his ward. We met him on Sunday and he is a pretty cool guy. He has experienced alot of changes since he started to investigate the gospel because his girlfriend invited him to church a million times (because he kept saying no) so he is really set on being baptized.

We did another exchange and I got to go to another area. To be honest, I really dont like leaving my area and sleeping in another persons bed and knowing that they will be sleeping in my bed, but i enjoy being able to get to know the other missionary and the people that they are teaching. We have alot to teach the zone, but we arent sure how to make it happen exactly because if we try to teach them everything at once it probably wont be as efective. I think we will start with how to plan effectivly and set goals and make plans to achieve those goals.

We had the idea to schedule appointments in the chapel and have more lessons there and maybe get it into a weekly thing in which for one whole day we will teach all of our lessons in the chapel. To be honest, that would be sweeeeet becasue there arent any distractions, its a spiritual place, and it has air conditioning.

no I havent gotten a package, but this next friday is the consejo de liderazgo so I should get it then if it arrived in the mission (I really hope so!).

it sounds like things are pretty crazy with getting abby potty trained. It is probably easier struggling with this right now then later needing to change her diapers for the rest of her life.

I love you all very much! I had a dream that Ryan had taken my guitar and broken it and I almost woke up crying.

Con amor,

Elder Johns

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love Has the Power to Change


Weeks are days and days are hours. Time has started to go by faster as Ive gotten even more settled into this new area and have gotten to know the mebmers. We are already half way through July adn I just need to survive the heat for the rest of july, august, and then towards the end of september we might even have some cold days.

This past week went by fast. On tuesday we prepared everything for a Zone Class that we we had on Wensday. In the classes we usually train the missionaries on what we talked about in the consejo de liderazgo meeting of all the zone leaders with president. This time The president wanted to see how we do in relaying the information so he paired up all the zones to give the class on certain days so that it would be easier for him to attend. The assistants told us that we would be sharing the 1.5 hours for the class with the other zone so we would only be responsible for presenting half of the material, BUT on the tuesday night right before, they told us that we were actually going to split up so we needed to present all of the material. We were up pretty late getting it all put together, but it went pretty well I thought. We are supposed to think of ways to make the class interesting and interactive so that the missionaries actually pay attention and learn. It was my first time so I have some ideas of how we can do it better next month.

On Thursday morning we had a brief meeting with our stake president, accompanied by our mission President. We are trying to get a family history class set up in every ward so that the less active members we have gotten to return to activity can start to do their family history work and prepare to enter the temple which can help them to remain active.

one cool thing this week is that we found a less active lady that lives super far from our chapel and we got to know her a little bit. we learned that she had been offended and decied to not like the church because of what happened. We talked to her of Christ a little and told her that she wanted to her to go to church, and she did! She seemed to really enjoy being in church after about 2 years of being inactive.

I miss washington summers. that is cool that there are new missions in Washington. the new total is 5 right? Colin sent me the first email in a while and I was happy to hear from him, Thats cool that his first job is at taco time. He should try the tacos down here.

I also agree that Love is the factor that has more power to change others than anyhting else, and has been one of my main mission focuses. I still havemuch to improve on but I recently made some new goasl on bettering my love for others and it has helped me.

I love you all!

Elder Johns

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Streets are Rivers

It flooded that bad in less than 20 minutes. we got trapped on the block so we ended up having to walk through it.

¡Buen día!

This week was a little better, my stomach was still bothering me but I took some medicine and now it hasnt been hurting. Still alot of people forgot about the appointments and werent there but we also had pretty good success. We have two solid investigators; Claudio and Marí. Claudio is the friend of a recent convert and is only 19 years old but he likes going to church and the activities. He likes it more for the social part so we need to help him to convert himself spiritualy to the church.

Marí is only 9, but her less active mom has been coming to church regularily now so we have started to teach marí so that she can get baptized.

Yesterday we found 2 new investigators that were taught by some missionaries over a year ago. They didnt progress in that time because they had a financial crisis and had to work literally 24/7 to keep the family going. Now things arent so tight but they still work on sunday. They sell tacos and tamales so they are their own bosses so they could choose not to work sundays. We are going to see what we can do with them.

For the 4th of July I ate some hotdogs and a bag of doritos! I bought them at the store HEB on MOnday so that I could heat them up in the microwave and eat. they were tasty.

I did an exchange with an Elder in the zone and it was alright, I part I dont like about being a zone leader is having to worry so much about making sure the missionaries are doing what they are supposed to do and not waste time or break the mission rules.

sorry I kinda let time pass and now I have to get off the computer, ideas for my birthday package: Teeth whitening strips, and thats all that comes to mind. some candy would be nice as well, I really miss good chocolate.

I luv yáll,

con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, July 1, 2013

Finally Far Enough Away from the Petroleum Plant


Sounds like you all had a pretty crazy week getting everything ready for the reception on friday. I am glad that it all went well. haha I laughed really hard when I saw the picture of a card board cut out with my face on it! I look quite classy...

This week was kinda tough because I was getting used to the humidity difference, almost every appointment has fallen through since ive gotten here, we had to get a zone plan prepared for July, and then I got some stomache problems on Friday and am just now feeling better.

Elder Fernandez is great, he has 6 more weeks than I do on the mission so we have almost the same amount of time. I met him almost a year ago when we were serving in Zone Valles and he seemed really quiet and not very fun but he has changed alot and now he talks alot and is alot more outgoing. We will be a good team to help Zona Chairel.

This area is simialer to my other areas in Tampico, but now I am finally far enough away from the Petroleum processing plant that I cant smell it anymore so that makes me really happy. all of my other areas in Tampico were relatively close to the processing plant so they occasionally  smell absolutely terrible (always in my first area becasue it was right next to it).

Umm I havent really been able to get to know the investigators becasue all the appointments fell through, but the people we have taught seem nice. I still really miss the people I was teaching in my last area.

We had a Consejo de Líderes (it used to be called the Concilio which sounded way cooler) meeting on Friday of all the Zone leaders with the assitents and President. We basically just share our plans for the zone for the next month and then there is a time for people to ask questions. Our plan is focusing on helping the missionaries in our zone to work in better unity with the members, helping them to become more converted by developing christlike attributes, and helping them to understand the importance of the committments that we give when we teach, especially the committment to get baptized.

It is very tiring being a zone leader becasue we have to worry alot about our area but then also we need to make plans and do phone calls late at night (to report to the assistants) becasue there isnt time during the day to do everything. It is SUUUPER nice sleeping with air conditioning though, I havent slept this well in a long time.

I am glad that you all enjoyed the wedding reception and I hope that you save me some pie.

con amor,

Elder Johns

Monday, June 24, 2013

A New Zone Leader


Wow craziness. I am super happy to hear that everything went smoothly with the wedding and to hear that I have a new sister. I really wish I could have been there but I had some other stuff I had to do. Oh you were listening to my piano music? Have I gotten famous yet?

The baptism for Nayla was great. It wasnt as spiritual we were hoping but she really enjoyed it and is very happy. The reason it wasnt as spiritual  is because the bishop and the ward mission leader changed at the last moment all the plans we had origionally made. It was still very good but I was a little dissapointed to be honest.

oooo Friday was a tough day, it was hard to stay focused and work hard, but having the baptism helped me to keep things together.

The transmission they showed yesterday was phenominal. I thoroughly enjoyed it andam hoping to see the members here more fully step up to the plate. I enjoyed it so much because it taught me that altough there is an end to my mission, there is never an end to the missionary work and I will always, no matter what my calling, be able to share the gospel with those around me, whether they be non member friends, less active members, and even active members.

I also got changed out of my area :( I was really hoping for at least one more change over in teh ward Villas but President never listens to me haha. Now I am in Zona Chairel in an area named Tancol with a companion named Elder Fernandez. He has one more change than I do in the mission so we both know how to get work done. I will also have the opportunity to serve as a zone leader so that will be fun and challenging. I am really excited to be honest and I know that I will learn a lot of stuff.

haha you read my account? I wrote that so long ago haha. I thought about changing it while I was in the offices but I´ll have to update it after the mission. is a super cool website.

thanks a ton for sending the pictures, Ryan and Angela look very happy as well as the rest of you.

I love you all and miss y´all like the dickens!

con amor,

Elder Johns

Monday, June 17, 2013

Important Stuff I've Gotta Get Done in Mexico

Dear family,
First off, I am really excited for Ryan and Angela. I am really happy knowing that they are going to get sealed together this Friday. I really wish I could be there but I have some important stuff Ive gotta get done down here in Mexico.  I look forward to hearing all about it next week and I cant wait until I can finally meet and get to know Angela this December.
Secondly, Happy Fathers day dad! I sent you a kiss on the cheek but I dont know if it made it all the way to Washington.

Thirdly, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!! Im pretty sure i have been telling you guys a little about Nayla. She has been progressing really well and she passed her baptisimal interview last weekend so she will be getting baptized on Friday. I am happy because it is something that makes up a little for not being able to be there for Ryans sealing. Nayla is super excited and so are we. It is going to be Elder Martinez´s first baptism!
Elder Martinez and I only have one more week together which makes me sad because he has been a great companion and we have gotten along really well. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to train him and serve with him.
Rosario and Jorge are still getting the divorce paper thing worked out, but they are progressing well still. By now they are basically members of the ward just without the baptism.
Vicente, an invesetigator that we started teaching 2 months ago (and later stopped teaching becasue he wasnt progressing or taking it seriously) has been progressing really well in the past couple weeks that we started to  teach him again. He has really had a change of heart and honestly feels a desire to develop faith in God.
We had 6 investigators in church on Sunday which is more than I have had on a single sunday in all of my mission.
I am trying to think of stuff that is interesting but I cant really think of anything else... This past week I ate my cereal with fresh cut strawberries and mango... It also rained super hard on Tuesday afternoon and we got sooooooaked... Today we got the zone together to play volleyball and basketball which was really fun.
thats all I got for ya this week,
con amor,
Elder Johns