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 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 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 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 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


I cant believe that its almost 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 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 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 I did. 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.´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.


Let it snow!....somewhere cause it´s sure not happening here! 
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 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 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 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. 

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 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 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., 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 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. 
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´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!!!