Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Lord Knows Our Hearts

Elder Johnson with Elder Wardell from Burlington, Wyoming.
"The year is coming to an end and over all it has been one of the best years of my whole life.
I started this year training in my first area. I know that dad always tried to teach me how to
work but I just learned how to make great excuses. In my first area I really learned how to 
work. I thought I knew everything, but I couldn't even speak Spanish. After training, I went to
my second area as a zone leader and I realized that I didn't know everything. Ha, the nice thing
about recognizing that you don't know everything is, that it lets you learn. I learned how to
trust in the Lord and that he could help me do the impossible, even when everyone else said
it couldn't be done. Then I moved to Los Olivos and had two Peruvian companions and really
learned to love the Peruvian people. Now I am here in Ventanilla and everyday I learn
something new. I had very big goals for 2015 and even though I didn't reach them number
wise, I never stopped working to complete them and I know that the Lord has seen what is in
my heart. That is one of my favorite parts of the gospel, that the Lord knows our hearts and he 
will be just with us according to the desires we have and the efforts we make.
I love you and hope we can all set goals for this new year and strive to complete them.
Have a great new year!"                           Elder Johnson


Monday, December 28, 2015

More Animals in Uganda

Elephants and lots of Giraffes in the Park and warthogs and baboons at our lodge.

How many giraffes can you see in this picture? Five?

The Nile River and Murchison Falls in Uganda

We took a boat tour to Murchison Falls
and saw hippos and crocodiles in the
river and baboons, birds, warthogs and
elephants on the shore.

Our first time to see the Nile. It has two major
tributaries, the White Nile flows North from Lake
 Victoria in Uganda, the Blue Nile begins at 
LakeTana in Ethiopia, and they meet in Sudan.

Senior Couples Conference

We went to a nice restaurant with an interesting menu of African game in Uganda. Then we attended a senior couples conference and had the opportunity to get to know the other missionaries and report on our missions. We had a wonderful time and learned a lot. We went to Murchison Falls National Park and stayed at Paraa Safari Lodge and a night at Chobe on the Nile River. We were able to see all kinds of animals and we saw giraffes for the first time. Here are photos from Paraa.
We tried the crocodile but we liked
the steak and pork chops better.

Male Kob



Hartebeest and Giraffe
Cape Buffalo
Baby Oribi
We couldn't find the lions.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Skype

Matthew didn't write much since
he knew he would be talking to
us but here are some photos.
"I hope you all have a fantastic
CHRISTmas!"    Elder Johnson

Matthew looked and sounded great on Skype. It was so good
to have the entire family interacting together even though we
were only online. It was a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2015


No photos this week so this is Christmas 15
years ago. Lacey holding Matt after singing
in church with the Choraliers. 
"I have been thinking about the true meaning of Christmas.  It made me think of how much God loved us to send His Son. It also made me think about the love Christ had for the people he served and taught. That made me think a lot about the love I have for the people I serve and teach. I know it isn't easy to be like Christ or love like he did, but it is a commandment and I know we don't have a single commandment which we can't keep.
I know that Christ was born, lived, died, and conquered death.  That He did it all because He loves us and He loves His Father.  I love you all and I hope that in these next two weeks we can think more about a the love of Christ and more than just think about it, we can put it in practice."           Elder Johnson  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Plenty of Exercise on Prep Day

I am an expert in cement

I asked what he did for exercise and he sent these photos. This was his transfer week but he isn't having any changes. He said," I am not a super smart person and I don't have a ton of life experience but somehow the spirit helps me to counsel people who are twice my age and have families. I don't understand how Heavenly Father does it but I am extremely grateful that he lets me participate in His work and i am grateful that he can use me as an instrument. I just hope and pray that I can be a useful and efficient instrument in his hands." "Also, I am excited to start the Christmas season and I hope that we can all remember the real meaning of Christmas from the start.  I love you all bucket loads!" Elder Johnson

Thankful For Thanksgiving

We had a delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner thanks to 30 friends, old and
new, from the United States. You can see Dale carving the turkey, before and
after, and the dessert table. We are thankful for all of our many blessings here
and for all of our family and friends back home and in Peru. We appreciate the
prayers in our behalf.  We are so grateful to have the restored gospel of
Jesus Christ in our lives and hope to share that message with everyone we can.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Patriotic in Peru

 Here are some flashback photos.
Junior High Elections in Elko.
2 1/2 years Later Still Patriotic
He passed out paper bow ties when he ran for student body in Utah.
"Here in our area, they are having elections for "Alcalde," more or less like mayor. The cool thing is that here the elections are more like student body elections. The candidates march through the streets with music and wave flags. They also go door to door meeting people and talk to them about their problems and what they want the government to change or do. They also hand out free stuff but  instead of paper bow ties they give out free watermelon and fresh fish! Another great thing they do is play bingo in the street with giant crowds and hand out money and food. A lady even won a baby pig. 
Today we had a district P-Day and so we had a Thanksgiving lunch. We all put in and ate a bunch. We had grilled meat (thanks to the Argentine) hot dogs (Chilean style) brown gravy (made by the one and only, Elder Johnson from packets I found in my last room) mashed potatoes, chicken and fries.
The work here is progressing. We are finding more people every week and working with the ward better every week as well. I love you guys tons and I hope you all have a good week. " Elder Johnson

Thursday, November 19, 2015


No photo this week so here is a flashback of
Matt as Flynn Ryder from a Halloween.

When I started my mission, I felt like Peru was just another country where people speak Spanish, but now I really feel proud to be here in Peru. The people here are fantastic and have an amazing history. I know I am working with the descendentes of Lehi and Nefi. I love reading the Book of Mormon and teaching it to the people because I can really testify to them that it was written for them more than 2000 years ago.

Just Another Day

Wake up, read our scriptures.

Mind the pothole.
Drive to the office. 

The view at the office.
Grind up some spices and

and pick up some vegetables for dinner.

Mow the lawn.

Say goodbye to a son.
We haven't put many photos on lately because we basically just do the same things here that we do at home. We are enjoying our time here and hope you all have good days there!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"We can be Completely Clean"

"First off, the epic story of the week took place in our room during weekly
planning. I was hungry so I ate an apple and it was super good but I was still hungry.
I started eating some chocolate and when I was about half way through, I realized that
my tooth was really sharp... I felt it with my finger and what do you know, my tooth
was broken. Haha, my tooth didn't break when I was eating chocolate, but it was the
tooth I broke during hockey and the fake part fell off. Don't worry, that was last
Thursday. Today I went to the dentist and got my tooth fixed, my teeth cleaned and
it only cost 13 dollars."
"My spiritual experience for the week was a baptism that we had in the district.When
I did the interview, I couldn't pass him and he needed another interview. I honestly
didn't know if he would be able to be baptized but we all prayed a lot that he would
pass. On Thursday, he passed his interview and on Saturday, he was baptized.
Watching him be baptized was something really touching because I know our
Heavenly Father has forgotten every sin and every mistake that he has made. Thanks
to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he is completely clean.
I love the gospel, I love the Savior and I love you guys!"      Elder Johnson