Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Blessings

Alex’s Grandpa (my Dad) was in a pretty severe motorcycle accident about 10 days ago. He was hit by a car while riding. She refers to that later in the letter home. He has undergone 5 surgeries and has a very long recovery ahead of him.

Okay. First off...sorry that my letters have been shorter this last little bit...I know, I`m a horrible daughter, sister, friend, all that jazz....but I`m TIRED. And I keep forgetting to write down important points before hand and so I`m trying to remember on the spot...and that just ISNT working out for me hahaha. 

Shout out to my wonderful Easter Bunny!!! ...I got an AWESOME package ...that will last me till the end of my mission undoubtedly!

We went to the Temple today and it was absolutely beautiful. I realized I will never have to live without the temple for such a long amount of time...I whole year!! But I will never go that long again without the Temple. It was hard and I realized how much I really LOVE the Temple. Mom. Hope you`re excited to go to the temple here....and that you`re putting that in the plans. I saw Bishop Budini from Quilicura there today, since he works were they sell the garments and stuff. And he told me that Tania got baptized!!! I couldn`t even believe it. We are also visiting her. I am so happy for her!!! 

Training sometimes consists of meetings ...yea. But not like being a training leader. Which is great...cause I`m more of the "in-field" type of worker haha. 
Sister Nielson, my absolutely AMAZING companion is just fantastic. She’s really shy....but we seem to get a long really great. She really helps me be a fantastic missionary. I love her to death. 

I was really glad to hear that Grandpa is doing better. I had been praying for him lots. Sending love, hugs, and even more prayers to Tony and his family, Shannon, and Gramps. 

As for our investigators....the majority of them are on date...but the missions here are sooooo different. Its actually fairly easy to get someone on date the first lesson. Its actually asked of us...but helping them keep committed...thats the hard part. I dont know how to explain it but the culture is just different here. But its fairly hard to EVER help them progress well, if we dont invite them to make important promises with God in their first visit. I dont like "numbers" so I`m not gonna say how many we have that are on date, but I will say that its more than double for the mission average. Contacts are way above average as well. We are working hard and seeing fruits of that same work. 

J* will for sure be getting baptized the fourth of May. He has some minor disabilities...and I`ve never taught someone with disabilities the GOSPEL ...but he understands enough. ...enough that its important that he is baptized. His brother O* has a baptismal date for the fourth, but we will have to change it because he also has some minor abilities ...and smokes. And because of these abilities its hard for him to stop smoking. But we are doing everything possible to help them!!! 

This week I tried to think of ways to help Hermana Nielson not stress too much about teaching. She is such a doll. Its hard for her to teach and do contacts...but thats why she`s the most courageous person I know...because its hard for her and she does it anyways. But this week we were learning the plan of salvation. ...and we taught it to many of our investigators by ACTING it out. It was the coolest thing...and it was so much easier to understand! So fun. 

We found a TON of new investigators and it made me so happy...and not only that but many, almost all accepted baptismal dates. What a great blessing. 

Well. Easter really was great. I feel like I owe soooo much to Him. I loved reading Lucas (Luke) 24. ...the road to Emmaus. It really made me reflect on the atonement, forgiveness, the power of Christ in our lives...and so many things. I really loved feeling like His disciple. What a very special day it was. 
Remember Him. Love Him....that IS His greatest commandment after all. 

I`m happy. And I love you all! 
Hurrah for Israel!

Siempre con amor, 

Hermana Alex Johnson

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A New Missionary!

I´m not sure about the mtc here. In provo we received filtered bottles...but here I dont think they get them. 

Excited to get my package this week!!! WAHOO! 

Okay. So this week has a been STINKING CRAZY. 

Tuesday I went to Santiago to get my new companion...HERMANA NIELSON! She is an absolute doll! I seriously couldn`t have asked for a better companion. We had to go to santiago twice this week....and we lots about 3 and a half days of our week...and YET ...we worked soooo hard. And took out the dirt. We say many miracles as well. 

Yesterday we saw amazing miracles. J* AND O* both came to church. And they are doing well as they prepare for their baptisms! We lost several people with baptismal dates this week...and yet we kept working our best, and with diligence, talking with EVERYONE, and we were very blessed. Yesterday we found lots more one day...and all accepted baptismal dates. ...not just that they are EXCITED to read, and pray, and prepare for baptism. What a blessing...and I also noted that all the investigators that have baptism dates are MEN. Which is what the branch needs. Sacerdocio and diezmo. How God works in just WONDERFUL ways. 

Thats really all. Not much since we were out of our sector for half the week...but we are really working well together. And there are four of us (that work HARD) here in Santa Maria now so it will be PERFECT. We are gonna be able to help the branch a TON. 

The investigators that we were able to teach yesterday are amazing. Finding J*, S*, and E* was a miracle. Our first night together, I contacted S* in the street. He`d shared with missionaries beforehand...and somehow, I dont KNOW how, I extended a baptismal date...but right there in the street. Just contacting him. And he accepted. Bad news is I contacted him while he was buying drugs. (since I know all the hot spots around here...they are really obvious...and its nice to have the power to discern) Well anyways I had written the address down wrong to visit him later that week, and I didnt know what to do. I prayed to be able to find it if it was REALLY God`s will that we helped him and his family be baptized...and without knowing ANYTHING about that sector, the spirit guided me to go EXACTLY where I needed to go. Every street...I even had the NUMBER written down. ..and yet I found the house. I dont know how...but we continued on the bikes and suddenly I said..."this is it". His brother answered (e* ...also with a date) and bam. Miracles ...and blessings from the Lord. 

Thanks for all your prayers....please pray for my Grandpa! 

The Lord is on our side...this is HIS work. I dont have a single doubt in all my mind, heart, or should. LOVE YOU ALL!

Hermana Alex Johnson

Hermana Johnson and Hermana Neilson with Pres. and Sis. Essig.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Letter to the Anacortes Ward

We received a handwritten letter today from Alex for the Anacortes Ward but it's too beautiful to not share here ...

Terremotos y Transfers

Yes. I DID feel earthquakes this week. ..And they were a little stronger than the normal shake that is EXTREMELY common here in Chile. The deaths that happen, because of the earthquakes here, usually happen because of heart attacks, and they are usually elderly people...CHILE`S PREPARED FOR THE TREMBLES!! Which is super cool. (I did let her know that this one was a whopper at 8.2… and that the 2010 one that demolished Santiago was 8.8... and that there were crushing deaths. I think she was surprised and contemplative. She let me know that they do have an emergency grab and go bag!)

I haven`t received a package...dont worry. I wouldn`t open it early...but I do admit, I`m pretty sure Easter here is a week after you guys....just so you know. (Nope… mom just got seasonally confused because of all the early Easter crafting.)

As for conference, I loved it. I felt so inspired!!! I loved that they invited us to WAKE UP several times...I’M AWAKE! And ready to work EVEN HARDER. BUT, I dont remember lots of stuff...To be honest sometimes its hard to focus cause they translate it in spanish but you can half hear them in the background in I always get distracted. BUT I took lots of notes, and I will be studying them this week!!! I’m so very grateful for a living prophet and living apostles to guide us according to what we need NOW. Was the priesthood session available online??

AS FOR TRANSFERS!!!!! ........I´m stay here in Santa Maria!!! ANNNNDDDDDDD my prayers were answered. We are receiving another set of missionaries here! Hermana Thomas and I are going to split the sector, live together (and yes, its still like camping cause there´s no heat and you wake up like you would in the morning while camping...but my back doesnt hurt like Im sleeping on a tent floor so thats okay!) AND we are both training!!! Im stoked. Its exactly what this branch needs! God answers prayers:) 

This week has been incredible...I have seen many miracles as we follow the spirit. New investigators, answers to questions...and I really feel like this is GOD`S WORK. I love it. 

Dividing the sector will be PERFECT...I think this has got to be one of the biggest sectors that EXISTS here in our mission. And to be honest it was a bit stressful to manage it all. But WE`RE GONNA START HAULING THE TRUCK....VAMOS A SEMBRAR SEMILLITAS! WAHOOO!!! 

A* was able to come to the conference, and O* as well. We also had a ...well a contact decide that he wanted to go with us. And he did!!! That was really cool. 

But many of the recent converts are fading away...and I`m a little worried. Yet, I know that God will help us take care of them and keep them part of the fold. 

Love you all!!! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Photos from her Birthday!
I can't believe she's 21! Si, LOCO!

"I found a cat like Mozart and I just HAD to take a picture! lol."


"Thanks for the boots mom!!! They`re AWESOME"

"Cuan bello es Santa Maria!"

"FHE ..BIRTHDAY style!!! It was my birthday and then the 31st was Hermana Angelica`s birthday...FHE surprise. And we were able to teach her husband that night...a miracle!"

Heart attack ....gratitude for this AMAZING family!

"Pictures of the vinyards here dont do them justice!"

"They had a party for our birthday`s after district class:)"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Miracles granted

We had zone conference this week and it was great. I seriously needed it. I cant believe how this change has FLOWN by. Everythings good!! Im learning lots, but there is a definite need for a change. 

In conference we talked about repentance. I loved made me think a LOT. And I feel great about the work we are doing here in Santa Maria. 

We found a TON of great investigators this week. Several families too...and it made me feel really happy. 

My birthday was great. It really was. I cant think of a better way to have spent my 21st birthday than serving the Lord...and learning things that will not only help me for a short amount of time, but for my whole LIFE. I love this work....A LOT. I want to be with it for time and all eternity...alas, I cant marry it...but it will NEVER stop being a part of my life. I`m excited to keep working and finish strong. Its all about enduring to the END. With DETERMINATION. 

I was very blessed yesterday. We have been struggling to have investigators in church, and yesterday we had two of our investigators with baptismal dates come. We left to pick J* up in the morning...and he was almost at the church cause he`d left already and was on his way. We got there...and the number of people that assisted yesterday....well it was lower than it should have been. But SUDDENLY A*, the guy we`ve been working a lot with came in the door! Then suddenly...a less active woman came in! Then suddenly a random investigator popped in too....THEN another teenage girl who turned out to be less was like POP POP BAM!!! I couldnt even believe it. I strongly believe, and attribte it to the fact that we are working hard...but that I am repenting. And changing. To be completely honest. 

We had a family home evening yesterday with a great family, some recent converts, and A*. It went always. I love FHE`s here!! they are the greatest! 

Ready for more. 

Love always, 
Hermana Alex Johnson
ps. Hurrah for Israel!