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