Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Matt and Lacey

Today is Lacey's birthday. Here she is with Matthew
"This week was super awesome! We were able to find lots of investigators and the people we are teaching are progressing really well. This week we had a meeting with Elder Rasband and it was great! Elder Rasband is super humble and loving. Before the meeting started, we all went up and shook his hand and you could feel the goodness of his spirit. After the meeting with Elder Rasband, I had my last leadership meeting with President Archibald because he finishes a week before me. He talked about principles and the importance of always being obedient to the principles and to our leaders." Elder Johnson

"My New Area is Awesome"

"It is a little agriculture town and it reminds me a lot of the Pacific Northwest. My new
companion is from Colombia and is named Elder Cardenas. This week we found a lot
of good familias and if we work hard, we are going to be able to have a lot of success.
This Friday we are going to have a meeting with Elder Rasband and I am super excited!
Also, a fun fact about my area is that there are a lot of ruins. They aren't from the Inca's,
but are way older. There is one city named Caral and it is the oldest ruin in the
American continent. The only city older is Mezopotamia. I am sprinting to the finish."
Love you all and I hope you have a great week!"  Elder Johnson

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Leaving Lima

"Today is another day of transfers and yes, I am getting changed.  For my last change, I am leaving Lima and am going to be on the coast about 4 hours to the North in a place called Barranca. I am really excited to get there and start working hard. I have 2 weeks to find people to baptize my last week and so I have nothing to do but work my gut out. The other day, during our district meeting, we talked about charity and the way we can show love for people. We talked about how giving, shows love and as missionaries, we give the best gift a person could give, which is the restored Gospel. All my life, I have thought about myself but I have learned that the more rewarding thing to do is think of others. I am excited to have a new area for my last change because I will have no distractions and I promise all of you that for my last change, I am going to be lost I the work. Haha , if I hadn't lost my baptism pants, I would bring them home wet. I love you all and I hope you have a good week!"  Elder Johnson  

"The person teaching and the person teaching both learn"

"This week was pretty awesome, we had some baptisms and they turned out really good.
We were also able to find lots of good quality investigators. I am am grateful for every
day that I have to teach. It really is true what it says in Doctrine and Covenants 50 that
when someone teaches by the spirit, the person teaching and the person listening both
learn by the spirit. I know that the gospel is line upon line and the little things really
matter. I love you all, have a great week!"  Elder Johnson  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"I Just Ask Myself Two Questions"

Young Elder Johnson wrote, "Well, this week was pretty awesome! We had a lot of success finding new investigators and we had a lot of people show up at church.  I know I have been in this area for a long time but it's okay because the work is really progressing here. I have been able to learn a lot in these last couple of weeks about the Lord's timing. Sometimes I have no idea why things happen but I just ask myself two questions.
       1.  Am I worthy?      2. Have I done everything I could?
If the answer to both of these questions is yes, I have learned that the best thing to do is "put your shoulder to the wheel and keep pushing!" I love you guys tons, have a great week."

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Watch General Conference at !

"This week we found and contacted lots of families to teach.  Now if they watch General Conference, they can gain a testimony of the living apostles and prophets! I have been thinking about that a lot, the fact that in our days we have men chosen by God to bear special witness of the resurrected Christ.  I am really excited for the opportunity we are going to have to listen to General Conference.  I hope that each of us can take advantage of this great opportunity and that we can receive personal revelation for ourselves and our families. Have a great week!"      Elder Johnson

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


There's Matt, back row, far right. He needs to start sending photos again.

"We had a meeting with our mission president and learned about how to better teach people instead of lessons and the importance of listening to and getting to know the people we teach so we can truly have charity for them. I feel like this applies to everyday life. Love you guys tons!"      Elder Johnson

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Practice a Bit of Carpentry

No photos again, so here is a flashback from the Bountiful Temple on a very cold day about 10 years ago.
 "Wow, what a week! All day Wednesday, we had a meeting with our mission president.  Thursday, we all went in a bus to the MTC in Lima which is about 2 1/2 hours away.  We had a meeting with Elder Robbins, one of the Presidents of the Quorum of the Seventy. Both of the meetings were super awesome and I could feel that Heavenly Father was speaking to me through his servants.  Also, this week I was reading in 1st Nephi about when Nephi broke his bow and it made me think a lot. The first thing that stuck out is that I don't think Nephi was expecting his bow to break, but it did. He wasn't a bad guy and he wasn't doing anything wrong, but when his bow broke, he went hungry too. The difference though is that instead of thinking that he was being punished, he practiced a bit of carpentry and made a new bow and asked his father where to go. The other thing that stands out to me is that the liahona works according to our faith and diligence, or in other words, our ability to be steadfast. I love the scriptures and know that they are true. If we apply them in our lives, we will be able to feel God's love more fully. I love you all and hope you have a great week!"     Elder Johnson

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Prayer and Fasting in Peru

Back when Matt was the shortest of the Johnson Men

"This week was awesome! We worked really hard in our area and we are seeing
the fruits of our work. I want to share something today about fasting. We have
all read or heard Isaiah 58 about fasting and blessings and those who fast with
real intent and thinking of others and their needs instead of always thinking
about ourselves. This week I was able to do that(really focus on others and their
needs0. When I started, it looked like everything was going worse, but I kept
going. When I finished my fast, it still seemed like everything was going bad,
but I prayed that I was fine with whatever outcome, but I just wanted to know
that it was the Lord's will. Later that night, things really turned around and we
finished the week strong and were able to help lots of people. I know the Lord
loves each of us and when we entrust ourselves to his will, He can use us as
instruments in his work. I love you all and hope you have a great week"
                                                                               from Elder Johnson's email

Monday, February 29, 2016

New Companion

"My new companion is really good, his name is Elder Vaca.  He is from Bolivia but lived in Spain for 8 years. (The other day, we talked about the Basque people and the running of the bulls). I am really excited to be training because I feel like the Lord blesses new missionaries a lot.  This week a lot of great things happened in our area and we found a good young married couple."
                    "I love you all and I hope you have a great week"                     Elder Johnson

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Camels in Ethiopia

On one of our trips, it seemed to be the season for baby camels to be born.
Babies were everywhere, even very close to the car and crossing the road.
We live in Addis Ababa and have a branch close by in Megenagna but we also visit the missionaries and the branches of the church in Bekulobet, Debre Zeit, and Hawassa. We always love to see camels as we drive.  Here are photos of some we have seen lately as we have traveled.

About 100 camels crossed in front of us on the road to Hawassa. You can see one of the herders keeping them going after they crossed with his stick and his yellow jug for water. There are huts in the background and a termite hill in front.
There were about 100 camels walking through the fields between Addis Ababa and Debre Zeit from the expressway to
the hills.

This one lives on a hotel compound in Hawassa.
He couldn't stop chewing his toenails.
Can you see the camels peeking over?

Camels Eating Cactus
The Grass is always Greener on the Other Side
There is a little baby lying down in center.

Peru Transfer Time

"This was the last week of transfer and now my companion is going to another area.  We have been working hard and have been able to help our area progress a lot.  We have been together for four months and they have been really good.  I am going to stay here in our area, and this change, I am going to be training and I am still a district leader. I love you all, hope you have a great week!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bucket Brigade in Peru

"So the story of the week was most certainly the baptism of Jose Luis. We had a baptism Saturday in the afternoon and we were going to baptize Jose Sunday morning because he works really late.  So we left the font with water in it so we could show up Sunday and start the baptism. What happened though is that the other set of missionaries who share the chapel with us forgot we were going to have a baptism so they drained the baptismal font...  Ha, we showed up early Sunday to make sure everything was ready but when we opened up the font, it was dry. The baptism was going to start in 20 minutes but it takes an hour and a half to fill the font. We turned the water on and found 2 hoses and a couple of buckets.  We hooked up the hoses and started a bucket brigade and the font was filled in 30 minutes! After everything, it turned out good and another one of our Heavenly Father's children was able to make a covenant with Him. I love the work and you guys!" Elder Johnson

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Its Never Too Late

"I interviewed a couple to be baptized that are more than 90 years old!!!"
"This week was pretty awesome! We had a lot of time in our area and we were
able to find lots of good people. We also had a zone meeting, district training,
and interviews with President. I have been learning a lot in these last couple
weeks." Elder Johnson

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Gorillas in the Mist

Beautiful misty morning on the way to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
We started with traditional native dancers and orientation before trekking up
through chrysanthemum and potato fields, bamboo forests and steep slopes.
Then when the trackers located the Agashaya family group, the guides hacked
 through trees and vines till we caught up to them. We were surrounded by 20
gorillas but we couldn't see them all because of the foliage. We were able to
 spend an hour watching and following them. You can't touch them but they
can touch you if they want. We learned to make the gorilla welcome sound. 



Suddenly, this big silverback(Agashaya) slid backwards down a slope like a child sliding down the stairs then brushed against my knee as he passed by. He was followed by a female with her baby on her back. It was amazing, we had a great experience! 

Letters on the Sabbath

"This week in church, we watched the video of the round table discussion that the apostles had about the sabbath. I really liked a lot of things that they said, like how on the sabbath, we should be with our families, maintain a reverent attitude, eat food together and write letters to missionaries. Ha, I remember that mom was always telling us to write letters but I just never got around to it...I think I feel a little bit of carma now. Also, I was thinking about the spirit and how sometimes we think that it is an instrument that we have but really, we are instruments of the spirit. Sometimes we also think about the church and the work of God in the same way. We ask what the church can do for us or how can the work help us but we are completely turned around. I know that we are here on the earth because Heavenly Father gives us that opportunity."  Excerpt from Young Elder Johnson

Genocide Memorial in Rwanda

We went to the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda.
It's hard to believe that people could spread hatred and commit
such atrocities. It was only 20 years ago.  It was even difficult to
walk through the memorial. The amazing thing though is that
people forgave their neighbors. Anyone we met over 20 years
old, experienced it and lived through it.
 They all said the only way to live, to have peace, was to forgive. 

Beautiful Gardens where 250 thousand people are buried.

They left the gunshot holes in the Parliment Building in Kigali as a remimder.

Monday, February 1, 2016

From Ethiopia to Rwanda

We had the opportunity to go to Rwanda for a few days. It is a beautiful, very
 clean country with a thousand hills. We ate dinner in this restaurant, "Heaven". 

There were fantastic views from the hilltops. This view is from Heaven.

The church has only been in Rwanda for
two years. We went to Rwanda to meet
a young man that has been a member
for two years and was prepared to be
set apart and serve a mission.  

We stopped at a market and bought
this tiny fruit. The dried packet opens
and it tastes really good, like citrus.