Monday, January 27, 2014

Short letter...

This week is gonna be a short letter for reals. 
I´ve done a lot of intercambios, and am learning lots. 
Its been hard this last week. I´m frustrated with lots of things, but I am working hard. I know that God has a PERFECT plan, and even when I dont understand certain things, he does.
I feel a little useless as a missionary right now, and I havent felt this way in a very long time. I´m praying to feel the spirit and feel the comfort and peace that we can ONLY feel through him. 
Im fighting the GOOD fight and even if I dont have ALL the reasons, I dont need them. I know that I am doing His will. What a privilage! 
Praying for you all! 
Lots of LOVE, 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Monday, January 20, 2014

Am I in Chile?

So I´m in sector Simon Bolivar 4....even though I´m partly NOT in the sector. This week I started with all the intercambios (exchanges because she's a STL) I have to do...I was only able to do one this week. But I have to do 2 or 3 every week. Its going to be exhausting, but oh well. I am learning LOTS! 

My companions are great. Its different cause we all already know how to do the work, so we just DO it. What IS hard, is that we´ve all been in charge before and we have to work together to combine "how we do things" cause its different..but things have been going well. Its not easy. The first day was hard...I was criticizing everything in my head....then I realized that I needed to FOCUS on others, to forget myself, and my pride. ...and I´ve been great ever since. It’s not a game, its not a competition....THIS IS HIS WORK, and if we dont work together we´re not going to be able to do it well. So yea! ....I have put on my glasses that only let me see things with a positive attitude, and look at things more like the eyes of Christ and its been great. Im HAPPY actually! 
What is not knowing the ward, the people, the sector......the NORMAL stuff for all the other missionaries...but for me no haha. Its been a while, but I know that I need to learn LOTS. Its a process. 

Something about this sector: ITS EASY. Honestly the work here comes EASY. I feel like I worked my BUTT off in Quilicura and it was hard. I can see now that it is NOT an easy sector...but I know that I was able to be an instrument in the Lords hands to bring about GREAT things. 
But here. ...anyone can do this work. The people here WANT to hear us and we dont have to CONVINCE them. I work hard, AND can see the success in outstanding ways. ...but I know that ANYONE could do this work. Anyone could do what we do. All we do is open our mouths and invite. ...But as for numbers, I´ve never seen some of these in quantity. Its freaky cause Im struggling to remember some of the INVESTIGATORS. Theres sooo many. But its great. we NEVER dont have anything to do...and when plans fall, we whip out a ton of contacts. AND I LOVE IT. 

But this sector is pretty.....ghetto. Not gonna lie. We barely teach chileanos. Almost everyone here is from Peru or Columbia. ...NO JOKE. I literally feel like Im in ANOTHER country. 
...And sometimes I cant even BELIEVE the conditions that they live in. The majority of the people live in rooms. Like theres a community shower, and patio or whatever and theres this run down area where they´ve put up boards and stuffed in a bed and a tv or something....its crazy!! ...some are better than others, but Its just crazy to see. We are teaching more people from peru and columbia than from chile....actually we only have about 5 investigators, MAXIMO, from Chile. 

This one house, theres like 80 columbians that live there. And there are some GREAT investigators....(actually this is the case in lots of situations) but there are also some other people that live there. ...
Lets just say there is LOTS of drug trafficking. Ive never been around so much marajuanna in my whole life. We dont teach the people that are walking about doing it, but to get to our awesome investigators.....we have to be in there room. And everyone around them is hard.
But its seriously a different culture here with all the people we meet. Its honestly have to see it to get it. I really cant explain it.  

Also, during changes (long story short) we left the office and I was missing my small duffle. I didnt know if someone had robbed me or someone had made a mistake...but it sucked cause along with all the music, creams, jewelry ....that bag had ALL MY GARMENTS. But I felt calm that everything would be for reals. I wasnt stressed at ALL....and I realized that its just stuff. It wasnt important, and it was cool to really LEARN that. well anyways on Friday we went to the temple to buy more garments. GUESS WHO I RAN INTO! Bishop Budini from Quilicura! I couldnt believe it. I felt like God really blessed me...just something small, but he knew I needed to see someone FAMILIAR and feel that everything is okay! ...and thats what happened! And another Elder in my mission, whos one of my buddies, he went there to! It was awesome. 
OH! And the greatest part, 2 hours later, my bag was found. (An Elder had it)

We went to a funeral veiwing of a less active family. The ward did a devotional for something...the culture is WAY different for how they do funerals here. But while sitting there I realized how blessed I was to KNOW that I WILL see and BE with my family forever. ...and how sad I was for the people there who didnt know it. ...but it made me want to share the gospel with even MORE people to make sure that they never felt so sad.

Yesterday I was EXHAUSTED. I dont know why, but I really was dying. But I was also determined to keep working and not let the Sunday Sleep get me....We tried contacting some references and it didnt work. We'd passed our contact goals by a TON for the week and I was praying for energy...then I prayed that God would help us TEACH someone. As soon as I asked, I had the thought to talk to people by their door...we entered into a house looking for a reference (you enter into a house but it doesnt mean anything cause you have to find the ROOM where the person lives...) But anyways, we got into the house and the first contact we did...N*. Hes great!! We extended a baptism invitation, and he accepted. His family in another part of chile and peru are members....And his wife has a tumor. I felt so blessed to be a part of it. And I also realized even MORE the importance of prayer. God answered me IMMEDIATELY. I know that he was just waiting to give us one more blessing. 

And lastly, our progressing investigator, Hermana I*. We stopped to help her pull her shopping cart home. She works in the feria... or the little flea market where they sell stuff. The cart was heavy, but her burden was heavier. She doesnt know how to read...her kids make her sad....and lots of things. 
we taught the lesson and we also invited her to church. She works sundays...but after promising blessings, she decided to give up working on Sundays and put God first...and she did it. She came to church yesterday! Ive NEVER seen someone do that in all of my mission...what great faith!. 

But yea. Thats my week. Its been great, Im happy and Im working hard. Im learning a TON too. ...I am so greatful to our all powerful God and his infinite love. We are SO BLESSED! 

Hermana Alex Johnson

Monday, January 13, 2014

This too shall pass

HEY! Good job on your spanish mom. IMPRESSIVE.

Imma start by answering your buisness questions right away....New years was weird. We didnt do much but years eve we had a part intercambio and on new years day we had zone conference. Its different being missionaries, but we left outside banging pots and pans and screaming at the top of our lungs for a 10 second countdown. Thats it haha. But its nothing our house. They just chill and eat dinner with the family, and relax. But you have to remember thats all I KNOW cause I wasnt looking for a party or anything. In Valparaiso I know they have AWESOME fireworks, and I know theres some awesome discotecs haha. But normal. 
My leg is great. Health is great. No worries there at all. I know the Lord was trying me and my faith, but it helped me grow.

AND DEAL ON THE BOOTS. Awesome. ...but you dont have to send them quite yet. In like a month Im thinking....definitely not even gonna WANT to use them in this heat lol

The weather here is still in the extremes, but Im surviving. It was great to have had the bikes and what not. They bring a LOT of awesome wind...but you know how I HATE helmets. So that wasnt too fun lol. but whatever. We rocked them all the same. 

Well. ...This week was interesting. P* was confirmed, we found MANY great people who are going to progress splendidly, and I have seen this gospel change the lives of MANY. ...but after nine months, the Lord felt it was time for a change. AND QUITE A BIG one to say the least. ...

You got it. THEY TRANSFERED ME!?!?! ...and its weird. Its like I ended my mission and Im starting another for reals. I realized today just how LONG 9 months really is. (its really not...but for the mission yea) I seriously couldnt believe it. ...I didnt have to get used to things like streets, I didnt have to pack...I NEVER had to say goodbye....It was just DIFFERENT. ....but the Lord has decided to try my patience and my humility this change. I have a feeling it will be a VERY trying transfer, but Im determined to make it GREAT. I AM Alex the GREAT ...and terrible haha. 

Yea, but I am in the CITY. THE CIIIITTTYYYY. In Simon Bolivar. Its close to Quinta. Normal. ...thats what they tell me at least. I still have NO idea. 

My companions: Hermana DIAZ and Hermana SHAW. ....we are in a trio. And Im a Sister Training Leader. President has a unique system of doing things. The first lider is the lider (I think she means leader) who BAPTIZES a LOT. with lots of baptisms. Thats hermana Diaz. Then its the second leader, the leader who has to do at LEAST 12 intercambios every change...thats me. And then theres the other hermana that is great and stabalizes the sector but isnt a leader. Thats hermana Shaw. ....Im almost positive I will only be in this sector one change. Lets see what happens, but Im putting my money on it now. Im going to work in A BUNCH of different sectors this whole change. Im kinda freaking, but everything happens for a reason. 

Hermana Clark stays in Quilicura so I feel good that she will take care of my loved ones there..

But yea. Yesterday was a pretty heartbreaking day. I havent slept the last two at all. I couldnt. But I figure Ill get tired enough that itll come eventually. 

Also, we`re on the 16th an apartment. ....Im praying that I can finally stop being scared of heights, cause I ALSO have to sleep on the top bunk. ....Im high up haha. So pray for me in that sense pleas! 

But thank you for your prayers and your love. I know this is His work. And Im so blessed to be a part of it...."I`ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord..."

Love you!!! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

While she was online I sent another email about Hannah... since I had just received her letter... Hannah was getting an additional companion... so she's in a trio. This is Alex's response. It was cute.
"its just so funny how these things happen.....
i became a trainer and when i got my daughter, she BECAME one ...
NOW we are both in a trio...
sorry I just think its amusing lol"

They also have transfers on the same week... always. That's pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


First off, I need to send a shout out to my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and practically perfect in every possible way MOTHER!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I thought about you lots on Thursday...well not too much cause I was focused on working and everything, but I did think about you and the influence you´ve made on me a little more than I usually do (cause I remember that at least once a day) but I just want you to know JUST HOW grateful I am for you. And I want you to know that you are my BEST FRIEND.

Secondly, WHAT THE HECK? I cant believe we are in time just FLIES. ...I go HOME in 2014...and I dont like that thought one little BIT. But as we think about it, time never goes slower or faster..its constant. Only our perspective changes. 

Also!!! WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!! It went SPLENDIDLY. Saturday was the interview and I always get how horrible would it be to think that they were ready and then see their face when they leave the interview cause you forgot to teach them something ...or ..I dont know, But seriously. that would seriously suck. So yea. But no...we´d gotten to the church and shed been waiting there! ...she´d been waiting there all anxious like...and as we waited for the elders to get there, we ended up teaching about baptisms for the dead and the work we do in the temple. She really loved that...her parents died when she was like 3 months old so she doesnt know them. And then she went into her interview and we waited...and waited...and she came out with a GLOW and TWO THUMBS UP! It made me giggle!! She´s 56 years old...her name is P*....and the baptism was amazing. We did lots to make the service go well...and Im kind of a freak to make sure everything is perfect and what not...but I was almost MAD cause at least half the people that were suppossed to show up for the baptism, didnt!! ...and then I looked at P*. She didnt even CARE. She was glowing, laughing....and to see her come up out of the water with a non-stop was almost exhilerating haha! I loved it...and I learned a lot...Ive LEARNED a lot from P*. How to really help someone progress and teach to THEIR needs. ...also It´s extra cool cause shes the first person that, through doing my part and being an instrument in the Lords hands, I was able to talk to her grandson in the street and we were able to go teach them ...and bam!! Little by little she arrived at her baptism. Theres just something extra cool and special about that. And the ward is helping lots. I feel confident that she´ll be fine when I leave.....eventaully.

We werent able to find S* and her family all week...but guess what? she just showed up where we´re using right now! BAHAHAHA....sorry but the Lord works in funny ways sometimes. 

The training is going well. We are working a lot with the members and its been great. Ive seen how shes grown in every aspect during this short time period on her mission, and I´m proud to be her "mom". 

One of the people we are teaching is a very interesting woman....I love her so much though. When I first entered into her house, with Hermana Latorre actually, we had felt bad spirits...I had felt something, but Hermana Latorre felt something more. And then when the dad came out....thats when it hit us hard. I know hes a bad man...but anyways we´ve been teaching her for a while now. Something I´ve learned is that shes ...."sensative" to things. Like for example, when the spirit is there ...its there STRONG, and when she FEELS something, she feels it in a very strong way. Also, her son was baptized-....suppossedly, but I dont know for sure. I cant find a record of it, and I´m almost positive they were the imposter mormons that are around here, but she has lots of family in Jai Jai, and I was gonna pass the reference to them cause we´d taught her son and he wanted to get baptized! ..but anyways. During these last few weeks, she was gone. And on Friday we were teaching her and she got all excited. She told us that while she was visiting her family in Jai Jai, that the missionaries knocked on the door. She was nervous that they were imposter missionaries because one of the sisters had forgotten her tag and just made a quick paper one or something haha. Well anyways, they ended up entering and teaching the family ...and as they prayed Hermana C* (as she told me) literally felt that I was there, and how I smelled (this is what she said) and she said that she knew they were from the same church cause she knew that I was there. As she told me this I realized that God must have known she was hesitent and what not, but he was wise in just helping her understand that everything was okay. But anyways...after this story she started telling me there was something extra special about me...and how there is someone who looks over me...and I immediately thought of God, Christ, the spirit...and Grandma too. ...I know that they take care of me. 
But anyways was an interesting but cool experience. 
...but still weird...and hard to explain. ...she has different dreams too. ...but she´s awesome and progressing more and more!!! More than anything I want her to be able to have the SPIRT with her, to guide and protect her....thats my biggest vision. 

Anyways. I love you! I´m happy that we´re starting a new year...I love making new goals and working hard! Lets do it together, especially when it comes to missionary work. ...its His work and His glory! Lets be a part of it!! 
Love you all!! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Boots: this place is like the US. id put my money that itd be better to just buy boots than to replace them. or repair them...cause its the zippers, the souls AND the leather that is all trashed. holes in the souls and the zipper doesnt work ...and theres lots of ripps in the leather...i dont see much of a repair option to be honest haha. But I know ill be able to find boots here. 
and I probably wont use earmuffs....not sure obviously, but it all depends. 

hermana dodds is in Jai Jai..thqats common there. here no. fyi but yes. Im healthy

random things I thought of that you could put in my christmas (I think she means Birthday) package...
lots of pics and letters
ctr ring
flossers....for my retainer or whatever.. dont have um
ouchless rubberbands
blond bobbi pins my ipod is dead now...and the cable for the speaker. ...trying to figure out what Imma do bout that...

Hermana Johnson with Hermana Clark at her Zone Conference
P* Baptism welcome sign

With P* and her son before her baptism

Looks like a beautiful day...

And a fun day...

even a silly, but joyus day!

Hermana's Zone Activity