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