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Monday, December 30, 2013

Hurrah For Israel!

It was TOTALLY AWESOME to talk with you all for Christmas. I was so happy to hear that all is well and that you are all HAPPY. Thats all that mattered to me. 
After we skyped we got straight to work...it wasnt hard at all like I thought it would be actually!! ...I was focused on Hermana Clark and how she was feeling so I made sure to do everything to help HER and I didn´t have any homesickies...thats the blessing of focusing on other haha. But that night I jumped out of bed having realized that you guys had sent a CARD!!! I´d totally forgot about it and so I read it right before bed....that was the closest I got to crying the whole day. There was just something different about getting a hand written letter from each of you! I also studied the scriptures lots and found two stories I absolutley adore...the one about the road to emaus...and I cant remember the other one. But I was able to look at the story in a variaty of ways and its so cool! Luke 24. 

Mom....that is not chilean spanish. That is normal spanish. Just so you know jaja. But that was so sweet of him. I really do love that family...they moved out of the ward but they are on my list to visit SÍ O SÍ!!! 

The 24th I spent with V*, J*, M* J*, y S*....we were able to be out late eating dinner with them and just laughing. Im so excited for you to meet this family mom!!! Shes a GREAT cook too:) V* is the gal who gives us lunch tuesdays and fridays...I think I told you that....

As for packages, please dont worry about that stuff so much. ITS STUFF. I´d perfer LETTERS any day over packages. dont worry about socks or leggings Im SO good on winter stuff. And the yellow shirt is pretty baggy....overall, Ive lost at least 12 pounds in the mission so ....thats probably why. but dont worry about it. Id love some more cute SKIRTS more than anything. But as for needs....Im thinking you should send some cheese its. and root beer candy. And....letters. 

This week was great. Yesterday I about DIED in church with all the investigators we had. ...we have a bunch of progressing investigators!!! This sunday we´re gonna have a baptism. Pilar!!! POR FIN! ...and Firday a family is getting baptized too.....I like to think of them as a ward family cause they just showed up on their own and I was able to pass them on to Hermana Dodds. but I´m so very happy for them. Also Soledad and her four kids came to church. We had a few great lessons this last week and it was so great to FINALLY get them to church. I asked Hermana Soto to help us out a bit and she totally took her under her wing for EVERYTHING. They talked it out and THEY planned when we were all going to get together to have lessons. It was amazing. 

To be honest, the progression Ive seen is this ward is miraculous. Its been YEARS since the ward has had a misson plan, OR has even been ABLE to go to ward council or executive committee.....and when I arrived itd been MONTHS since the ward had seen a baptism...now we have all of those things. We´ve also initiated a ward plan, dividing the ward in four sectors and putting leaders in each sector, and initiating plans for THEM to teach more less actives and for them to do more mission work...and its WORKED. The bishop trusts and confides in us.... I´ve just seen the ward progress soooo much!!! And it makes me happy...it helps me to know that whatever happens this change I will feel like I´ve completed my purpose in my ward. I´ve seen a change...and I´ve seen a dead fire, become a forest fire. LIGHT IT UP. 

With all the stuff that went on, I also had to go to a lidership meeting and I had to do LOTS of other work, but all went well. 

The other day we were doing LOTS of contacting, more than we usually do in one day, and I had NO IDEA where we needed to go. So I just told my companion that we needed to stop and pray. I prayed to be lead in a specific direction so that we could be guided to someone new we could teach. It worked. We both felt like we should go down a specific street and we did. We talked to many people....without much sucess. But as we continued with diligence and faith we passed by a house with a teen sitting outside. We were able to teach him part of the restauration, and he loved it. We have another lesson with him today. ....doesnt matter that the WHOLE time he was flexing his non exsistent muscles in a frankly embarassing matter, and I serioustly almost peed my pants....and died....but hey! The Lord guided us and answered our prayers! He could really use this gospel too!! Like everyone!

Yesterday we talked to a guy who hates americans. That was interesting....he thought we were literal spies and warned us that soon russia and chine were going to destroy us. ...whatever haha. 

Anyways. The work is going GREAT. Im excited and happy to leave the house everyday and talk to the WORLD. Everyone NEEDS this gospel....cuase its the ONLY thing that will really and truly bring them happiness and joy...in this world and the world to come. I{m so blessed to have the best family in the world...and the best mission!!!! 

Thanks for all the encouragement...and a special shout out to Hermana Scott who writes me EVERY WEEEK along with the other missionaries and litearlly MAKES MY DAY with her fun stories. I can seriously her her TALKING in her letters haha. 

Love you all!!!! 
Hermana Alex Johnson
"Hermana Bike Nerds!"


On Christmas Eve with a favorite family in the ward.



District class on Christmas Day.
Their Christmas Tree.

Their "Christmas Card". Check out the Elf on the Shelf  that they used for the tree's "angel" that I sent her! LOL! Looks like she colored and cut out her nativity scene too!

A family she loves and is teaching!


Apparently this is how their Wal-mart is. It's called Lider there.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

CHRISTmas

I cant believe that its almost Christmas....how quickly time has flown down here in Chile. I bet, as for Hannah and I, its at least a little weird for you guys without the whole gang, but thats okay. We´re all doing what we need to be doing. We just have to remember that the Lord is with us and he loves  us! 

Hermana Clark is doing great. Everyday her basic missionary skills improve. She is starting to get into the swing of things...bit by bit. 

Sunday we had the Christmas devotional and everything went well. Our song went great too....but more than anything I could really feel the spirit and the spirit of CHRISTMAS. That there is something just SO special about it. .....I love the season. FOR SO MANY REASONS, but there is so much to learn every Christmas, and it doesnt matter where you`re at. Seek and ye shall find. 

Yes. Sunblock is EXTREMELY expensive here. I have yet to use it...and I have yet to get burnt. I know God is looking out for me. 

My leg is doing better. Going out to excersise has really helped...its crazy cause I havent been taking lots of medicine or anything but every day I feel just a little bit better. BUT YESTERDAY. I had the double dragon haha. I exploded yesterday. I had a bad case of the flu.....and that really sucked. I slept ALL day long..and like every hour I had to throw up. It was horrible...and there was literally NOTHING left in my stomache, but I still was throwing up. Pretty sure I threw up my stomache acid. Literally. I even took medacine to STOP throwing up, and I threw THAT up. ....plesant right? But today I was able to eat a few crackers AND I was able to hold them down haha. I got a blessing yesterday too so that was good. 

This week was another great week....like EVERY week is here in the mission feild! 

Something we´ve been doing is more teaching. We`ll see someone sitting in the grass or on a bench and instead of just a contact, we´ll go right into a lesson or share a scripture and just take advantage of the opprotunity God has given us to TEACH. We´ve seen some really awesome miracles as we´ve done it. 

I´m still working on Creole and French. Its interesting cause I can only say some things in creole and then there are other things that I can only say in French.. but knowing a little more of the language has helped me to be able to teach our many investigators from Haiti. I wish I could just speak BETTER. I think Hermana Clark kinda tunes out in those lessons...which makes sense. She has to learn SPANISH. I think I´d get all wide eyed if I had to learn THREE languages too haha... Im so excited to learn a bunch more languages when I get home. 

P* is progressing for her baptism. We were gonna have it the 29th but I think we´re gonna change the date so that everyone feels more comftorable about it. ...for me, I would feel a lot better that she STAYED in the church than if she just gets baptized to complete a zone goal or something...this IS salvation we´re talking about here. 

This last week we had several great experiences. One day we were headed down the street and I felt strongly we needed to visit a family...turns out she'd been praying for lots of answers, and as we shared a short message with her, it was the answer that she was looking for. She cried...a lot. As we left I felt another strong prompting to visit ANOTHER family (and both of these families weren´t in our plans at all) and we visited them. Turns out they really needed a visit. They cried a bunch too. I guess we´re just good at making people cry haha. ....even in our contacts. We had several contacts start bawling to us this last week! It was pretty interesting...Oh yea! And one of our amazing new investigators, the one that could TOTALLY serve a mission, called us on Wednesday crying....we were able to talk with her and help her, and that sure helped us build more confidence with one another, but it was just a week of tears haha. 

We left the house one day and as I looked at our plans...nothing seemed right. I looked at my companion and told her we were just gonna do some contacts and go THAT way. We did.. and we came across a man whos father was the bishop for many years, it new to town, who wants to start fresh ...and start coming to church (since he hasnt gone in over 16 years) It was so cool to see the smile on his face ....as it literally SPARKLED: 

We had to let some investigators go this last week...and it literally made me cry. But I know that if I REALLY love them, then I will be able to do that. I will be able to let them go...so I did. 

Well....here we are in the Christmas season and I was thinking a lot about why I love it. I remember in college always getting made fun at a little bit cause I was always singing christmas songs, or I´d be counting down the days till Christmas from when we had 364 haha....I LOVE CHRISTMAS: and there are a LOT of reasons. Clearly I love it for the Christmas trees, the snow, the beautiful lights, the carols, the smiles and joy....the hot chocoalte and cookis....candy canes and all the fun christmas movies. Or even better, just being with family, relaxing, thinking about all the blessings I´ve recieved this year...but theres something even MORE important....a bigger reason why I love Christmas. ...it´s because during THIS time, EVERYONE thinks about Christ for just a second. Yes, there´s a lot of drama with a bunch of people that are thinking about presents and STUFF...but I know that for at least a moment, they are thinking about Christ. ...and it´s the season that eveyone is a little bit MORE like Him. TO LOVE. 
In third Nephi 27:27 Christ asks ¨What manner of men out ye to be?....Verily I say unto you, even as I am¨ For me....THAT´S the purpose of Christmas, just like everyday, but it gives us an EXTRA opprotunity to be able to remember Him and BE LIKE HIM. And to LOVE. 
I pray that we can all remember Christ and the sacrifice that he´s made for us.... he has brought peace on earch and goodwill towards men. He is the ¨prince of peace¨
Let us remember him in everything we do....

I feel so blessed to be in the mission during this time....for that exact reason. I remember him more, and I remember the sacrifice he has made for me. I know he loves us so much. ¨God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton son...that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.¨
I know, without doubt, that God loves us and that´s why he sent his only begotton son. As we remember Christ, and become more like him, we will also remember the other important purpose of Christmas, which is Charity, or the pure LOVE of Christ. We will remember.
It says in the scriptures that the whole world, and every creature suffered and cried when Christ died...if that´s the case, imagine how they rejoiced when he was born! JOY TO THE WORLD. 
I´m so blessed to be able to share this mission to the people here in Chile, and I pray that you all can enjoy CHRISTmas.....because that´s what it´s all about.

I LOVE YOU! 

Let it snow!....somewhere cause it´s sure not happening here! 
Love, 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Monday, December 16, 2013

Its begining to look a lot NOT like Christmas!

Its just so hot here...I think that the heat has actually helped me cause I forget lots of times that we are just 9 days away from Christmas!!!! 
But holy cow mom....you totally dumped me with questions this week haha. Yet have no fear! I will answer them all. Cause I love you. 
Skype session. Tell me a time ....if I dont hear back from you we´re gonna plan on sometime from 2 to 5 that day. We only have 40 minutes....super sucky. But whatever. Tell me what works best for you. 

Can you guys BELIIIEEEVVVEEE that I´ve passed my 10 month mark!?!?! Cause I sure cant....
FYI, I REALLY and TRULY am considering serving another mission. Just to put that out there...

 NO. I am NOT wearing sunblock. And I´m great haha! Still havent been fried! 
ANNNNDDD you`re gonna be the proudest mom in the whole world cause I HAVE NOT OPENED MY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS....ITS A CHRISTMAS MIRRRAAACCLLLLLEEE! ...but like it really is. We bought a little christmas tree and decorated it with ornaments. I put the Elf on a Shelf up on the top since we still havent made a star, and I put all my little gifts below the tree. They`re just waiting for me...kind of taunting me too, but I´m still on the nice list haha. (I bet this year I have the best "nice" rating that Ive had my whole life...) 

Things are going great con mi hija. Shes so sweet! She learns really fast and she actually doesnt get TOO worried about the language. I´m so grateful for that because the language never was a super big struggle for me, and I dont know how I would handle it...
Her homesickness is going away gradually as she loses herself in the work but she really does have a lot of excitement and motivation to work hard and I love that! 

Let me just say that the Christmas season is sooo different here....and yet it´s the same. It makes me laugh cause its SO hot here, but the still have santa clause with his FULL COAT and snowflakes and what not....like it honestly makes me laugh haha. They put up lights and trees like normal...but I have yet to see a Christmas tree that is REAL...BOOOO: Miss that pine smell...and cinnamon...and sugar cookies...and gingerbread...... (Im stopping that now cause Im fasting right now and its making me toooooo hungry haha)

We were able to have a great week this week...it was hard, but we are working hard to follow the spirit. We found a new investigator who is great! We were headed down the street on our little bicycles (just kidding...they`re ginourmous) and as we passed a house I got a strong impression that we needed to GO BACK. So we did. A girl came limping out with a big ol boot and cane and as we started talking she showed more and more interest. She's looking for life changes and ...I can honestly see her serving a mission. Shes 33. She has a leg injury....and so shes always in the house. She said she took it as a time to be able to reflect, make decisions and change, and thats magically EXACTLY when we knocked (or yelled) at her door. I love how God leads us...but its OUR responsibility to listen to him and take into account what he tells us. Just like the commandments! They HELP us, but we have to USE THEM. 
S* was impossible to find this week, but she has really received her answer...and some extra trials. But she just has soooo much faith! Shes so strong and willing to do everything. She loves her family and God and they REALLY are the two most important things for her. Its great. She had a hard week day and  we were able to help her feel peace and happiness as we shared another message with her... we shared Mosiah 2:14 and she loved it ..loved the promises it tells us we will receive by being obedient. 

Another one of our investigators, C* hadn't been reading or keeping lots of her compromises...and I feel bad to say that I started to loose a little hope and faith in her...but yesterday we knocked on her door and she came out with the Book of Mormon in her hands. She was happy and I noted a LITERAL difference in her. ...we told her that and she started smiling. She looked and me and said...and kinda screamed, "I READ!!!" And it was a miracle. As we talked about some of the scriptures she was more focused and she was able to understand better too. I know that God works through miracles ....and through our FAITH.

We sing great together...actually, the asked us to sing in the ward Christmas activity...and they asked me to do a solo. So thats cool:) But we ALWAYS sing in lessons to invite the spirit.

My left leg is holding up great. The pain has started to go down....I followed your advice and asked God to help me KNOW what I needed to do to help myself get better....RUN. Thats the answer I got. So every morning I play some bball and I RUN lines. I feel like its helping.

And no....there haven't been any more dog or bird incidents haha. Thanks for that...

Last thing. President talked about the scripture Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21 and about how EVERY blessing we receive depends upon the law that we keep. ...and I remembered that you always told me about NATURAL CONSEQUENCES. It was a brain blaster haha. 

Anyways!!! KEEP IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT! I LOVE YOU LOADS! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Monday, December 9, 2013

With Wondering Awe

This week has been great. Being a trainer is a WHOOOOLLLLEEEE new experience. ...and truly unlike any other, but hey. So far so good. 

My new companion is Hermana Clark. She is from Salem Utah. She studied dance education at BYU for a year and graduated in 2012. 19 years old. Shes really great. Shes willing to work and open to do practices with the wall...I remember that was always hard for me haha. She talks pretty well in Spanish, and really she understands a LOT. ...definitely a lot more than I DID when I got here. She was in the MTC here in Chile. Pretty sure shes really homesick and its a LOT to adjust too....I think going to the Y for almost 2 years really helped me...cause, to be completely honest, I really didnt have a hard time adjusting to the mission life. With some things yes, which is NORMAL, but I never really got too homesick or worried about spanish. I just did it. It was a really big blessing. Hermana Clark is having a little bit harder of a time with it, but I can see her determination to keep going ....to NOT QUIT. And that determination is playing well on her side. Oh!! She has 3 sisters and 4 brothers, like Dad´s family, and her parents are serving a member support mission in Hong Kong. Cool right? ...but hard. 

As for being a trainer....Its not to bad. Its a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of LOVE. ...but its not as hard as I thought it would be. That same determination she has, I do to. I´m determined to help her see her potential....to be the best missionary she can be. Im trying to help influence and teach her by example and LOVE....and Its helping a lot with our investigators. Its the same principle of how we need to teach them: slow down, explain clearly, help them do their duties and understand the WHY of everything, love them, have patience, hope, and charity....its the same purpose. And I really love it because I understand more and more every day God´s purpose. God is the greatest missionary. He has given all he has for us. ....and His work and His glory is to bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of man...THATS WHAT IM DOING!!! I love thinking about that. I know that missionary life, is the closest thing I will see to what REAL LIFE is. And I love that feeling. 

I got my first little sun burn, but it was just a little bit below my shoulders...on only one part of my arm haha. Im surviving the sun okay....and surprisingly. 
Im not gonna mention the tan line I have on my arm from my watch...cause its ginourmous haha. 

This week we continued finding new investigators. And we have several people with baptismal dates....
One of our investigators, S*, is a miracle investigator. We were able to extend a baptismal date yesterday and she accepted with open arms. She has had a very hard life... she lost her job...and her house...and has four DARLING children. I love her....with all my heart and soul. I really love every investigator, but I feel that there are some people that I JUST HAD TO BE A PART OF. And she is one of them. 

I have two great stories....a pretty hilarious one and a miracle. 

I was talking to a woman as she watered her garden, and helping Hermana Clark understand more and more about how to do contacts....and SUDDENLY I felt something on my arm. I look to my right side and there is a big ´ol white and brown line of BIRD POOP. ...one, that has NEVER happened to me in my whole entire life (so I guess it was my turn for a stroke of bad luck) but I didnt even know what to do...so while Hermana Clark burst up laughing, I calmly continued talking to this woman, who turned up being a MEMBER (as half of the people I talk to ARE) and noted her address, and ...stayed calm. THEN I washed my stinkin arm, but it was sure funny how it all happened. 

The miracle this week was SUPER cool. I had JUST told Hermana Clark that even though there are lots of dogs here, I´d never been bitten by one. We walked up to a house and yelled "HALO!" like we always do, and a dog started barking. Normal stuff. I yelled again, and as I leaned forward to do it this LARGE GERMAN SHEPARD put his ugly face (Alex doesn't like dogs) through the fence and bit my upper leg. As this all happened I literally felt his teeth go into my skin....lemme tell you...IT HURT. I was super scared as to what I was gonna see as a looked at my leg. I looked down and there was a large whole in my skirt. ...but as a looked, I didnt have a single MARK or puncture on my leg. Not even a bruise. I honestly couldnt believe it. I KNOW that I was BIT...and bit well, but I have a strong testimony of the power of my temple blessings.

But overal the work is going great. I´m pretty sure the ward wants to give me a calling since Ive been here so long...and its funny cause it IS a long time. I can hardly believe it, but Im really truly happy. It has its pros and cons. 

As for my leg...its still dead haha. But Im truckin along and everything seems to be going well even with the little bit of leg damage I have. 

Glad to hear that you are helping the missionaries....and that Hannah is doing well. She hasnt written me still...hoping for something too!!! 
But thats all. 
I love you all...and am jealous of your Christmasy weather. 
ENJOY THE SNOW FOR ME!!! 
Love
Hermana Alex Johnson

Pres. and Sis. Essig with Hermana Clark and Hermana Johnson
with Hermana Lattore!

Ho Ho Ho!

Her Zone

With her "Twin" Hermana Ceccon

Monday, December 2, 2013

So....I´m a Trainer

So ....everything is going really super fast haha. Let me start with what´s happened as of late:
Friday, President called me. He asked me what has been going on in my sector and if I wanted to stay in my sector or no...I told him I wanted to stay. 
Saturday, President called me again. ...and tells me I´m going to train.
Sunday night, my leaders call me and affirm everything. 
So I´m going to stay in Quilicura!!! Lo Marcoleta for LIIFFFEE! At the end of this change Im going to complete HALF of my mission in the same WARD. ...the weird thing is I´m gonna train. ...and I finished my training here. Its like one big ginormous circle!!! 
I´ll be getting my "daughter" tomorrow. ....CRAZY!
But I´m kind of freaking out to be honest....it´s a LOT of pressure to train. ...but then I got to thinking. I´m going to be training...Hannah is going to be getting trained. ....HOW COOL!!! I had the thought that I have to train like I want Hannah´s trainer to train her. Neat right?
Mom! Can you send me some old pics of the fam.....when we were young...and also some pics of all of us together? Thanks!
What else?
Oh. My tendenitis....well we went to the doctors office again and he told me that the other doctor had been practically doping me. FUN! ...he told me that my leg was like...dead haha. Cause usually someone will have tendinitis in a PART of their body...not their whole leg, but thats what happened!!! my whoollleee leg. But the elders came and gave a blessing to me as well as Hermana Latorre and it definitely helped. 
This week was really slow because Hermana Latorre and I ALREADY had health problems, and then she broke a bone in her foot and THEN she crashed on her bicycle...its been a long week. 
But I'm content about everything thats been going on. I'm happy I get to be here for Christmas haha! ...never thought it would happen but happy its going to happen:) 
And thats my letter.
Tell Hannah I say hi in your dearelder letter! 
Love you all!!!
Hermana Alex Johnson
ps. Started the elf on the shelf activity calender yesterday!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Here come cambios....



(About the Christmas package I sent her) The cds are great. helps with the christmas cheer!!! Ive gobbled lots of treats up already haha...and the glasses...are on my face. I LOVE the elf! for reals...I have her in my bag and I bring her around....the kids love her, so she`s doin her job:) I´m starting to get anxious about that package with a bunch of wrapped presents...but I´m going to resist opening it all the same. 
THANK YOU LOADS.

Well.....as you could read in this week`s title, here comes cambios....transfers is what them gringos call um haha. I feel like I`m gonna stay here for another transfer, I guess we`ll see what happens, but I feel pretty confident that we`re gonna stay together.  

Hermana Latorre is doin great. I don`t think she`s EVER gonna go to her real mission at this rate, but hey!! I`m fine with that since I love her lots! 

We went to the dooocccters this week...they don`t know what I have exactly, but I`ve got SOMETHING. Like always. Its on my outside left leg.....invisible pain!!! It could be a hamstring problem...but he pegged it, for the time being, as tendonitis. FUN FUN FUN! He`s dopped us on meds and told us to take it slow...but we were still of fire this week, inspite of all of that. Hermana Latorre also has problems in her knees, more assuredly tendonitis, but shes a hard worker. 

This week we were blessed by the Lord for our diligence, in spite the fact that we were just a little sick...or are....idk haha. We had to let G* go for a little bit. ...he needs to make some decisions. The A* family is progressing greatly. J* went to a baptism with us and P* and J* have a baptismal date. They are so receptive and great. 

We were also able to teach S*, the woman who called out to us in the street. We taught her the plan of Salvation and it really hit home for her. She`s had a lot of struggles in her life...with four kids, and her husband left her for another family....but she is ABSOLUTELY ready for baptism. She was prepared, and I know that the Lord needed to send prepared servants to his prepared daughter. We did what we needed to do, and that we were prepared for her and THAT is why God sent HER to US. Those are the miracles that we can expect as we follow the spirit, and walk by faith...humbly in His will and not ours. 

This week we were blessed by the Lord for our diligence, in spite the fact that we were just a little sick...or are still sick, but I know that the more we sacrifice, the more blessings we receive. And he blessed us with that. He made our burdens light!

I know how powerful faith can be, and the blessings we receive as we exercise it. I can see how the ward and sector are growing and I know we are doing our part because every night I can report to the Lord and tell him so...and THAT is the test of all tests. 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Send me more letters.
I love you!!!!!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!
......eat lots on thanksgiving like this little guy! THANKSGIVING feast....and double portions since Hannah and I aren`t there!!!! HEHE!
Love,
Hermana Alex Johnson
PS. Send me pics of everything and .....I don`t remember what else haha...TURKEY!!!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Another No Zoo Day

Well our pday was a bit of a bust this last week. For the second time we tried going to the zoo....and for the second time it was closed. ON THE DAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE OPEN....but just our luck that for just THAT day it was on strike....fun fun. hahaha. but whatever. We were able to chill a little bit and check out one of my favorite places in Santiago...PATRONATO. Mom, you´re gonna die when we visit it!! 
To answer some of your questions, my companion is waiting for her Visa to go to Venezuela.
G* is doing great. He has a baptismal date again, so we´re working with him in that. 
Gonna have to wait for the intercambios story sorry. 
And what do you wanna know about elder Holland? I don’t know what else to say!!! It made a real impact on me. HIT HOME actually. He was very powerful. 
So ....its been a really short week since the last time I´ve talked to you. Nothing too new has happened, and I don´t even have my cable to send you pictures. ...but whatever right haha. 

IT. IS. HOT. like...unbearable hot. ...well today is great, but the last few days were 33 celcius...and walking in the street all day in THAT kind of heat....its hot. ...I should probably by some sunscreen this week haha......but I still haven’t got burnt!! I’ve definitely tanned up a bit...on my arms and face. ...but the difference of color I have from my face and arms to my legs and stomach is SUPER big hahaha. 

We´ve had some great lessons this last week and we have a great family we are teaching....two actually. We were able to extend some more baptism dates this week, so that was super great too! 

We had lunch with the G* family, who is a 70 and we bought a pie for one of the sister missionaries in our ward. Went well!! I made a card...like mom taught me;) ....well not THAT good, but good for what I had haha! 

This week there was a woman walking in the street and she called out to us while walking with a group of like 6 kids. ...a herd haha. Well she asked if she could have a card of Jesus Christ....we started talking and she´s looked for a religion for a long time, and has never been able to find it. But I promised her that this is it. She accepted to meet with us...and she´s just TOO great. And with all the contacting that we´ve been doing, I´m expecting us to see lots of new investigators this week YEA! 

I´m happy.
I´m excited for everything that´s going on at home...and I love you all!!! Praying for you lots...extra, to compensate for the stress you all must have. Keep fighting the good fight :))) 

Love always, 
Hermana Alex Johnson


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

9 month mark!

I honestly and truly can´t believe what is happppeeennningg! Today I complete HALF of my mission. But hey, I can´t stop time. I can´t believe how quickly things have been going!

This week was crazy. We had intercambios this last wednesday and something super crazy happened...the story is wayyyy too long but you´ll just have to remind me to let you know when we talk this Christmas!!

This last week we were riding along on our bikes headed for an appointment, and I was praying for guidance (I´ve been working on the whole praying always commandment) and suddenly I heard someone YELL "Hermana Johnson!!" I thought it was a member, maybe an elder, but when I asked my companion she told me she hadn´t heard anything...so I turned my bike around and looked....there wasn´t anyone in the street....I kept going just a little ways and there was a woman painting her fence. I pulled off to the side and started talking to her. Turns out she had wanted to talk to us. ...she was interested in our religion. She said she had lots of questions and she wants us to teach her. I couldn´t believe it!!! PLOP! All cause I was listening FOR the guidance of the spirit. 

Yes. I´m still learning Creolé. And we actually had to TEACH a lesson in Creolé and Francé...(with a little Spanish of course haha) this last Sunday. It went well!! 

We have an investigator and we are planning for HER baptism. She´s nine and her family is less active...but the grandma went to church this last week....now we´re just trying to work with the mom! 

G* didn´t get baptized this last week. He´s worried about what his family thinks...but we´re trying to help him have a stronger testimony so that those things don´t matter. Other than that he´s doing well. 

Elder Holland was amazing yesterday. I took lots of notes...but...
long story short he talked about the importance of being part of this work FOREVER. being committed....finishing, not just starting. And the importance of the Book of Mormon. I was in the third row and it was amazing to see him. I KNOW he is an apostle of God. 

We had interviews with president and it went great. He told me he was happy with the work that we´re doing in our companionship. He also told me that he KNEW for a fact that I was doing the Lord´s will in all things and working hard. ...that he knew I was a missionary called here. 

ALSO please post that as a lonely little missionary down here in Chile I´m hoping to receive LOTS of Christmas cards! A little nice note through Dear Elder is all really....I just am really hoping for some extra letters. I don´t miss home to much cause I promise i¨m super focused, but I have a feeling that Christmas is gonna be hard and REALLY different here in the mission field! 

That´s all folks. Love you and keep doing great things....sorry you´re sick mom. You´re in my prayers...well, you´re always in my prayers...but praying more!! 
Love yooouuu!
Hermana Alex Johnson

With Hermana Ceccon

Quilicura Zone rockin it!

The sisters in our zone ...gone crazy!!


Having some fun with her companion and district Elders

 We´re goof balls and I LOVE it!!!! (With her Chilean companion... Hermana Latorre)

Some of the cool sisters here in our mission!!! Right after seeing Elder Holland



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Elder Holland is coming to Chile!

I still think I could save up two years to go on another mission....we´ll see how it goes I guess haha. 
AND THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE. (This is the "lost" package that I sent at the end of July!) Loved it of course. I shared the treats...just a little bit, but I shared all the same haha. I WOULD LOVE A WHOLE LOT MORE OF CHEEZEITS. Like really....I gobbled one of the bags up  WAY too fast. 

So I don´t like French very much....I like hearing it and I can read it...really well actually....just not SAY the words haha. BUT I´m learning Créole! It´s super interesting, and I can actually TALK it. It actually contains a lot of french too so that´s pretty cool. I´m learning lots already and I love it! We have lots of new investigators from Haiti and so we have to learn to communicate with those that are new here or who don´t speak very well. 

We are planning G*´s baptism....I can´t believe that we have less than a week to finish teaching everything and ....AH! lots of stress. But he´s excited. We had an FHE with a family in the ward and it went soooo well!! I´m stoked. I know the Lord blesses us because we were doing our part. And I keep doing just that and waiting for even more blessings. 

I´m trying to do all I can to listen to the spirit more....to hear it and then LISTEN to it....and to listen and ask for it´s guidance in all moments. To ask what I should do, even if I don´t agree or understand. The only thing I have to give, that he hasn´t given me is my will. My heart...and I´m giving it ALL to him. For example....we were doing street contacts and what not and I felt like I needed to just stay put. My companion was like...shouldn´t we do something, and I said yes....we need to stay here. She looked at me ...and all I said was I don´t know why but I feel like I´m waiting for someone. And right as I said that, a man arrived walking in our direction. As he continued walking I said, we were waiting for him. Turns out it was a recent contact from about a week ago....and he had the pamphlet we´d given him in his hands. Reading it. He told us he wanted us to pass by in the night time. It was a really neat experience that we had, ONLY because we were open to listening to the spirit. God guides us. This is HIS work and HIS glory...I´m just a part of it. So if I try to do what I want, I´m not GOING to be part of it. I have to give him everything I have....including my will and my heart.  I¨´m learning to listen. Really listen....and OH how I´m receiving so many blessings!!! ....Listen and do is all that´s required of us!!! Lets go!

My new companion and I are really getting along great. We work well together and our energy goes well together. We play off each other and we teach well together. It´s neat. 

We had lots of miracles. We found lots of new investigators and have seen a LOT of changes in HEARTS. It´s beautiful. Our ward is working harder to strengthen itself. 

Just know I´m happy. I´m blessed. I´m obedient and working hard. That´s all there is to it right!?!?!
OH! And Elder Holland is gonna come and visit us!!! I GET TO HEAR ELDER HOOOOLLLAAAANNNNDD!!! ....and FYI november 11th we have interviews, the 12th Elder Holland is gonna talk to us, and the 13th...WED, is my pday. FYI. A heads-up.  AND THAT is my ninth month mark...my half mark!?!?! I really just don´t want my mission to END! I really don´t. I´m seriously thinking about doing this for the rest of my life. It´s so FULFILLING!?!?! What´s more fulfilling than this? I don´t think there´s anything! 

I know the Lord sends prepared people to prepared servants...I´m trying my best to be one of them. 

I love you all. Sorry there´s not much to write this week...I usually plan some things to say but I didn´t today...but oh well. After the mission you can read my diary haha. 

Hermana Alex Johnson

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What a WONDERFUL Life I Have!

WELL! I have LOTS of things to say but no time to say it. well...I have a little bit of time, but super jumpity right now so that doesn´t really help. 
This week was great. We had transfers......guess where I went?? NO WHERE. I´m still in the same ward...but got A DIFFERENT companion! Hermana Latorre. She´s waiting for her visa....she´s from Chile. But she really is AWESOME. We´re a LOT alike...in too many ways haha. 

This week we were on fire...yet again. And without 2 days of working!!! .....yea baby. This week we AGAIN found 11 new investigators. We´ve seen so many great blessing from the Lord. My new companion is a hard worker and with lots of energy....and it´s great.  We hit the road running....and we´re in a marathon, going, going, GOING. And I´m loving it. I´m a HAPPY camper. Like for reals. 

G* is doing great. After district class this week we found him in the street with his pamphlets talking to the other elders......he read the pamphlet like 10 times. When the elders left he insisted in buying us lunch. We taught him lots this week, and are planning a FHE with a great family who lives close. He loved church. ..his baptism is comin up QUICK! He´s a sweetheart by ALL means. 

I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. Seems to me it went well, but it was my first time all the same....pretty neat to do it in spanish. But lots of people told me it made an impact on them so I at least did SOMETHING good. 

We found a total of 4 new investigators from Haiti. .....and they don´t speak spanish very well. SO I´m learning French. We had to talk a little extra time to teach them but they´re super great and super excited to learn....now I just gotta get my mind going again. I was able to teach about the Book of Mormon and share my testimony already so that was pretty cool haha! Just hard work..

We had AN AMMMAAAZING door contact that lead into a lesson. I´d knocked on this door before but no one every answered us. This time a teen come out to see us. He went and got his dad and we started talking to him. He told us initially that it didn´t interest him.....and I asked WHY!?! ...he didn´t say much but then I gave an example of a bag of cookies... That he had a bag of cookies and that I was willing to give him the exact bag, for free....so that he could have 2! No matter that it´s a little funny, I know it came from the spirit...and I don´t even really remember how I related it, but I DID....and he said "okay, lets see how good your cookies are" or something along that line and it was so cool haha....we were able to enter and I had a feeling we should teach the plan of salvation. Let me just tell you, it was probably the most spirit guided lesson I´ve ever been in....as we asked questions, shared experiences, and explained by examples he understood more, he asked questions, and we were able to understand more. We found out that he doesn't believe in God...or in the next life, but I was able to testify that if there was no life none of this would matter...and the Spirit made me say it in such a way that it really hit him. Long story short, he absolutely was NOT going to pray. His son prayed at the end of the lesson...but his son also said he wanted his Dad to pray, and with a little bit of encouragement on the part of the spirit...he DID. It was absolutely amazing the experience. AMAZING. I know that if we work through the spirit we will be trusted with His children and he will prepare them and help us to help them!!! We have a baptism coming up, we are initiating a new plan for our ward and working more with members, and my companion is great. I love being a part of His work! There is not a greater JOY! 

Is it weird that I´m thinking I want to serve another mission......like for reals. Us girls can do that right? 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Here Come´s the Sun ...."do do do do!"


This letter came while I was on my cruise...so it's up a week late.

Well to start off, I want to wish Hannah HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Formally. I honestly can´t believe she´s 19 years old...but hey. She has to grow up SOME day. Also enjoy the cruise.....thanks for inviting me ;)

As for my week, it started out rough. Not gonna lie...but we sure pulled through STRONG. 
And I´m sick of bad news and struggles so here we go with the GOOD stuff
This week we had a total of 11 new investigators. For this sector....it´s record breaking. We started working with the area binder more. I took notes and names and made lists of who we could visit and everything....that´s the short story. Well. We started visiting all these houses and BOOM. SUCCESS. 

Thursday: Before lunch, we visited one of the old investigators I´d written down and she happened to be a contact we did in the street 3 days earlier. 
After lunch we visited a reference from another elder. He was receptive and just happened to give us a reference of two professional basketball players of Chile...and show us where they live. Not too bad haha....
Next, we went straight down a street pretty close to visit some of the other people on the list. We knocked on a door and asked for a M*. The number matched up and everything....but they said that there was no M* that lived there. He pointed us to another house and said that there WAS a M* that THERE....okay. Not the house, but why not? We asked for M*....talked about the family, and were able to enter and teach her the first lesson. As we were finishing the lesson with her and her daughter, the daughter´s friend arrived. She asked if we could visit her mom who is waiting an operation and is pretty stressed out.......well OKAY. Don´t mind if I do! So as we left the lesson, the daughter went with us and introduced us to her mom and BOOM.....what. the. heck. 
A total of 6 new investigators in one day...I couldn´t believe it.
Friday we continued to have success as we continued with the lists of old investigators and contacts. We found four new investigators.....B*....and we didn´t even find the DAD that we were looking for! And all day Friday we were teaching....10 lessons in one day....I couldn´t believe it...but I´m holding ON to it. 
Saturday was a bit of a down day....till the end. We visited one of our investigators, José. We´ve worked with the kids a bit, and the mom is a member, but for the longest time has been inactive. Until recently, she didn´t even participate in the lessons...I didn´t even KNOW her! And now....now we´re teaching her and her husband. Her husband was in jail for a lot of years, so we´re teaching with caution CLEARLY. But I am so amazed at the small changes I see every. single. day. I know that THIS GOSPEL changes lives. Changes people...literally changes who we are, into what God wants us to be. Well we were able to talk to him and he confided a LOT in us. A LOT. 

Well. Sunday started out rough too. I sang in sacrament with my companion. hymn 208 in spanish....like 345 in english...I don´t remember. And Hermana Dodds gave a talk...it was a meeting about missionary work. Cool huh! ...during the whole meeting I was just praying to God that he could help us have SOMEONE in Church with us.....that if ANYONE could help us, He could. So why wasn´t he? And I received such a calm sensation.....such peace....even though we didn´t have anyone in church with us. I know that we had to go through this trial....I had to go through it. So that I could rely on HIM...and not ME. I didn´t know how he was going to bless me ...but I knew it was going to happen. 
....and it did. 

After a successful ward council meeting, and a new plan for the ward we made (it´s actually super cool and the Bishop is super excited....getting everything into ACTION..) we headed out to work. ...and then one of the lists I made got lost...It was for that day. So I had to write a quick one down really fast on the new one. Then we received a bunch of phone calls and I was freaking out because we were super behind! ....but right as we went to knock on a door an elderly man opened it immediately. We asked him how his day was and immediately started pouring out his life to us....we were able to enter to the back patio and teach him about the plan of salvation.....I asked him what he was willing to do to live with his family, and his wife (who passed away...) for all of eternity. He told us that he would listen to what we had to say. He said that he knew we were servants sent from God and that he would take all the advice we could give him. I felt strongly we needed to extend a date to him....and we did. He accepted the date immediately and thanked us for bringing him peace. I know that God brought us to him...that he was waiting, and that through God ALL things are possible. There are people WAITING for us and THIS gospel, His Gospel is the ONLY thing that will bring the world real peace and happiness. 
God works through miracles EVERY DAY. 

I love you guys and thank you for your constant prayers and support. 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Here are some fun p-day bowling photos...



Friday, October 18, 2013

8 months out!

Well. I´ve now completed 8 months in my mission. Right? It´s really and TRULY hard to believe. Time is going by so very fast.....we already have transfers this next week and I really am wondering what´s goin on haha. ...especially since the area presidency changed the day, for this transfer only, from a monday to a weeednesssdaaaayy...weeeiiiirrrdddd... 

I´m trying to find some answers. I feel like I´m DOING what I need to do...but lack something, besides success in this moment. Where am I failing? Why don´t we have investigators with us in Church? SOMETHING IS MISSING. And whatEVER I do, I´m gonna find it. I am going to keep looking, and keep IMPROVING....and he will have to give me an answer. After all, this is HIS work and HIS glory.  I¨m not doing this for me.....so that´s where I´m at with THAT haha. 

This past week president wrote the letter to all of my mission and put my experience about seeing the angels in his letter. It was cool to see that everyone was reading it....not cause he put that it was mine, or that everyone could acknowledge it....but it was almost like a confirmation that it really did happen. After all....President was THERE in that Stake Conference..

Speaking of conference, I´m reading all the conference talks I can get my hands on....all from the last conference in April, but they´re really impacted me. We also had zone conference this past Thursday and I learned lots. We´re focusing all of our mission in .....CONTACTS! 150 people a week.....at least. We´re focusing on finding new investigators...and it´s KILLING me a bit....we had to let go of lots of investigators, or with other people we can enter into their house once and then CHAO. never again...it´s KIIILLLIIINNNNGGGG me. I don´t get it...that´s where the whole lack of success situation comes in. I really don´t get it....but I WILL. I´m looking. 

Today we´re gonna go bowling...so that´s fun. 

Two day´s ago we were talking to some people in the street and as we left I had a feeling to look behind me. There was a group of 6 men from Haiti. We´d recently talked about trying to talk to more GROUPS than individuals...and I had a prompting. A prompting that was a little weird, but I went with it. I had a prompting to ask about a street that I "couldn´t find". So we stopped on the corner of the side walk and pulled out the map....they started to walk past, I said hi, they said hi, and then I hurriedly crossed the street after them waving my map in the air and asking for help. We then were able to begin talking about the gospel, the blessings that it can bring and the HELP. I was able to say something like "thanks for helping us with our map. As servants of God, we want to help YOU now...." and lead into our message. We were able to exchange information, and who knows??!?! Only God. 

Yesterday we ate lunch as planned with the members, we arrived at a lesson with new investigators at 3:00 pm, RIGHT after lunch, and as we entered into the house, they had the table ready for...LUNCH. I don´t know how I even ate what I ate...but somehow I did it haha. 

Thanks to a ward family yesterday, we were able to gather up a little bit more encouragement to find what...well what we´re looking for....that thing I don´t know ...but I WILL FIND haha.  I´m so blessed to have been a part of this ward for such a long time because they are really a great support. 

That´s all folks! Talk to you next weeekkkkk! 
Love always,
Hermana Alex Johnson

Silly Hermanas!

Heart, smilie´s, and star attack haha! with bonus SCRIPTURES. For Familia Legit.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Today´s Another Day

To start off, I´m FINE. I´m seriously doing great. Weeks just happen in the mission, and everyone has to face some trials is all. 

I have little time and lots of things to write, so I´m gonna give you the summaries!! 

A Jehovah's Witness knocked on our door while we were studying. You should have seen her eyes when she saw my nametag...but there wasn´t any contention. I just made sure to agree to what she said that was right and be quiet to what wasn´t....and then I testified at the end. Cool right?

E*, our investigator of gold, but of a different TYPE of gold, is doing great. He´s reading all of the book of mormon....in it´s entirety. But at this point he´s thinking that someone took the information from the bible and blah blah blah....I´m having to keep control of my companion in lessons a little bit cause she gets super frustrated with him that he doesn´t GET it. He doesn´t believe in men....or that there is someone that can talk/see God....but I feel so much love for him. Of all people that we´re teaching, he deserves this. He deserves to know this gospel and have his salvation.

I drank a mountain dew this week that A* and R* bought for me...the same people that bought me Dr. Pepper....they´re great. Just trying to help them get ACTIVE in the CHUUURRCH. 

We´re helping a less active family, R* and J* L*** (J* her son who´s 28 years old) well. We visited their house right before the priesthood session of conference and I could tell something was up with J*....so, using the spirit of course, we told him he needed to go to the priesthood session.....we talked him into it and he went. He called me afterwards and thanked me so profoundly....he went to all the other sessions on Sunday. He told me that he made lots of life decisions and I was so happy to see the change of LIGHT he had. He didn´t serve a mission...and regrets it. And now it´s too late...but he´s doing everything he can to move on and be better. And it´s great to see those changes. 

M*, one of our investigators came to the conference. She´s progressing little by little but it was a BIG step for her to go to conference. I was soooo happy! 

And speaking of conference, I loved it. Took lots of notes....AND I UNDERSTOOOOOOD THINGS this time haha!!! ...But it´s really not the same in English. I UNDERSTAND it...but it doesn´t hit me the same.,...don´t know why. Oh well. I´m gonna read it in English soon! 

I´m doing better and my companion and I are working great together. We´re happy campers.....cause we choose to be haha. It´s weird being senior companion, but she tells me that she´s happy and that she´s really learning lots and that I´m a great mom...even though I´m technically not her trainer (her mom) but hey! whatever works!!! 

Love you all to death and...oh and glad dad got the package. Pretty sure that really was all so don´t stress.

LOVE YOU!! 
Hermanana Alex Johnson

M* and E*....and a school bus haha

when Hermana Ceccon had to say goodbye

I´m gonna have to protect myself from the sun(not)....my marry poppins umbrella!! 

My new companion!!! Hermana Diaz from Honduras! 

J*! One of the greatest guys I´ll ever know:)

saying goodbye to Hermana Ceccon.... MWAH!