Saturday, December 17, 2011

December

December 5th - Let me first answer Questions: 1) I can totally have a Calendar - in fact I really need one - I don´t know why my thing said I can´t so send it on down! Woo hoo! 2) The Elders are awesome! In fact, Elder Collins that came to Vitória from my district in São Paulo is in my Zone and he´s training! Thats how awesome he is. And the Elders are SO nice. The first thing they always do is shake our hands and ask how we´re doing. I love Elders! 3) Jenna - The Temple...the closest temple to Espírito Santo is in São Paulo about 15 hours away....so no, we don´t get to go to the temple and I am missing it so badly! I think I´ll have to start reading Moses every week. The members here have a caravan a few times a year and they go to the temple together and stay for a day. In fact, I´m learning a lot about the statistic of the Church with temples...our mission Presidents goal is to get a temple in Espírito Santo which means 10 stakes...we have 3....so we´re getting to work. But I didn´t know that the criteria for a temple was 10 stakes. Cool huh? 4) Dad - I´ve had 5 baptisms in this area, 3 were a family
 So.....sounds like we all got sick this week! I had to stay home Wednesday and Thursday and I just slept and slept and slept and read Jesus The Christ. I think it was the flu or a bad cold. But, eh, what´re you gonna do? So that was fun it´s Sister Owens dream to stay home and study and she got to do just that for 2 days. :D Friday and Saturday we just took it really slow because I still wasn´t feeling awesome and discouragement crept in because its awful to stay home for 2 days when you know you have poeple to visit and the gospel to share...but it doesn´t help being out in the rain making it worse.
Oh yeah, rain. It´s been raining for I think 11 days straight. Its crazy! I have a new umbrella thanks to my mission mom (its from the Elder that went home because he got his leg cut off by a train...thanks Elder Bagley!) so, I´m good now.
So. Friday we were walking to one of our appointments and passed by one of the thousands of churches *cough* (apostasies) that exist here. You know, walking normal and all of a sudden I hear ´Raaah!´ and bird swooped down and attacked my head! I squatted down at about 103.7 miles per hour and screamed. Just thinking and writing about it now I feel all, ´Uggghh´ Apparently this bird had a nest near by. So what did we do? Naturally, as missionaries, we stopped, grabbed Sister Owen´s camera and she did the same thing so we could film it. :D


video


 Saturday we were bummed out because one of the first things we saw leaving the house was Geter (our recent convert) smoking in his car. :( When I say bummed I mean depressed, thinking about it makes me sick, and it was hard to want to work seeing the fruits of your labors on fire....Satan is friggin good at what he does and I don´t like him one bit!
 But! Sunday testimony meetings in Itaparica Ward were amazing and we had a Stake Fireside about Missionary Work that was REALLY GOOD! And I got to see Elder Collins...so the Lord ALWAYS sends His angles when we need them!!!
Thanks for your love, prayers and support! I´m praying so hard that I WILL NOT get transferred for Christmas. I guess I better learn more about humility. But I will know next Monday about transfers and email you then!!!
It´s SO GREAT to hear that you´re all doing awesome. My week just got SO SO SO much better. I love you all so so so much! Thanks for all your love, support, emails, pictures, prayers, thoughts and for being MY FAMILY!!!

From Tues Dec. 13th (Kelsi emails on her P-Days which is usually Mondays)
Hi Family! 
Nobody panic. We had a different PDay thing yesterday so we´re emailing today. Yesterday we had a Chirstmas Party with the whole Mission and everyone that was transferred (including me) moved yesterday and we get to email today. 

First things first. I´m in Jardim da Penha em Vitória! It´s part of the Presidents area and I´m Senior Companion....I don´t know what Presidente is thinking. And Elder Spencer is my District LEADER!!! :D I will be able to Skype Christmas day but I don´t know what time still because church here is 9am until 12pm....so the time you guys want probably won´t work. But I (almost) promise I will know everything next week.
So. Yes. I was transferred. My first transfer and I´ve never been so sad in my life. By a miracle President told us Saturday morning so we had time to say goodbye to people. If not I don´t think I would have been able to leave. Saturday we went to the members houses and said goodbye. Cristiano was annoyed that Presidente did this, but trusts the Lord. Him and his wife Ana Paula joked that they won´t make lunch for the Elders and will send them away. Cristiano earlier this week wanted Presidente Araújo´s number and I asked him Saturday if he still wanted it and he said, ´´No. I don´t want it now. I´m annoyed with him.´´ Then we went and told Cristina and Sabrine. We were all so sad that we couldn´t even keep a conversation going. We´d talk and then get sad again. Then we went and told Isabella and Julia. Julia started to cry immediatley...which made me cry and Isabella was sad but understood. She´s going to miss me a lot and I her, but this is a mission...I´m learning...
Sunday we got to church and Bishop was the first person to greet us. He told us how sad he was and that we were great missionaries and the whole ward would miss us. When Ana Paula announced in Releif Society we were transferred everyone went, ´Awwwwww!´ and I cried through the whole closing song. Then in Sacrament Meeting Carol spoke (my recent convert thats 15 and was soooo nervous...Dallin suck it up and give a talk) and then I got to bare my testimony. Luckily all without crying. Sister Owens spoke too and then Irmão Jerônimo. Then Cristiano, who was conducting, got up and said how great of missionaries their ward was losing but that our church is a church of revelations and we have to trust in the Lord. By the end I was CRYING and some of the members too. After Sacrament it was just a big cry party. We had lunch and they went to say bye to everyone again. I can´t put into words all that happened but just know that I have a BIG family here that love me very much. More than any other missionary. I don´t even know how to say it in English. But I am loved.
Our last stop was Cristina. Cristiano and the whole Bazilio family was there (my family). We just sat around the table and talked and joked and made fun of everyone (JUST LIKE I do with you guys). Then Cristiano gave me an amazing blessing and I said goodye to my mãe and my irmã and my tio. As I was hugging Cristina (mãe) we were both bawling and when I let go EVERYONE even Cristiano was crying. It was harder to say goodbye to them than to you guys. I think because I prepared myself to say goodbye to you...I didn´t know I´d meet another YOU in Brazil. I love this people.

I´m hoping these feelings will pass. I was crying even yesterday during the Christmas Party off and on...Sister Nicascio kept saying. ´´I know how it is. Cry, my daughter. Cry.´´ And it would make me laugh and cry and Presidente and Sister Araújo kept looking at me like, ´´What are we gonna do with her.´´ Sister Powell said Presidente told her my Bishop even called and told him that we could stay one more transfer. My ward was NOT happy that Presidente did this right before Christmas...but Presidente transfered half the mission. I still call Itaparaica ´´my ward´´ and ´´my area´´ and I think it will always be. :D
The Christmas Party was awesome. Each zone did a skit of a scripture story. It was all SUPER funny...but not if I explained it. So just know that it was funny. And ... it was good ... but I felt lost and sad ... but laughed a lot too. 

So. Back to the world of now. My new companion is Sister Vierra. She is amazing. We are going to work a LOT! She is the only member in her family and her dad died a few months ago. She arrived in the field with me at the same time...I just have more time than her because us Americans stay in the MTC longer. Her mom is very Catholic and she said her mom is commanding her to come home, but she doesn´t want to...I think...but I will learn SO MUCH from her. I have no idea why I´m Senior. But the Lord knows what he´s doing adn I don´t have a single doubt that I´m supposed to be here in this area with Sister Vierra...its just going to be hard to adjust.
But. Onward, I guess. I don´t know if mom and dad are still planning on coming to Brazil to get me at the end of my mission...but if you are I don´t know when you´d have to start doing the Visa stuff and I DEFINITELY have a house for us and everything...in Itaparica. Cristina is already planning everything. So, let me know when you know you know you know.
So. I love you guys a TON! I´m excited to call you and see you in 12 days!!! Oh my gosh! And whatever time I call everyone better be there!!! Once in a life time yo. 
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson

P.S. Now send my package. :p

Fotografias !!



It's Summer here - Volleyball for P-Day. And yes, everyone wears Speedo's!


         

                     Some of the scary things.... The creepy doll and a GIANT Moth!


My Christmas Decorations


And the Thanksgiving that my Brazilian Family made.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

End of November

Hi Family,
 
I´m so glad to hear you´re all alive! I told Sister Owens last week that no one emailed me and I said, ´They better all be dead.´ But I didn´t mean it and I´m glad you´re all alive and well! Thanksgiving sounded fun, fight with Grandma Johnson included. Good to hear all the same things are still happening.
 
Let me answer some of your questions. Bowen: 1) Yes, I speak Português. I´m still learning every day, but if you left me on my own I´d be fine. Miracle huh?! 2) gangs...theres gangs and a lot of violence here but its only happens to people who are involved. Its funny you asked because a lot of people have been telling us to be careful because a man and a woman were killed right by our apartment...but they were drinking at 8am (which sadly isn´t too uncommon) and were involved in some drug deal. Plus I´ve got the Lord and if I die...its straight to the Celestial Kingdom baby! 3) No, we don´t have sacrament bread...we have to use Doritos...yes, we have sacrament bread and every Sunday its different, but its not like the sliced bread its more like sub sandwich bread...I don´t know how to describe it...but it renews my covenants! 4) part of my mission is part of the State of Rio but not the city. But my Brazilian family is from Rio and when I come back to visit we´re having a party down there! You´d love this family because its OUR family...complete with a grandma johnson. Jenna: 1) I don´t get really homesick to where I cry or am sad...just when I talk about one of you guys or something funny we do I just say, ´Que saudades!´ Which basically means I miss them. So far so good with homesickness. But I do love you and miss you and sometimes wish I could see what you´re seeing with the girls and HD and all. 2) If you want to Google Earth or whatever you´re doing I think you´d have to look up Vila Velha and I´m in the area of Santa Monica, Araças, Jockey, Coqueiral (where I live)...around there.... :D
 So, Thanksgiving they don´t have. But we were lucky enough to have lunch with my Brazilian Family and she made a chicken...like a turkey and went all out. It was perfect. And we stayed there and ate a little longer than we should have so that was my Thanksgiving present. :D I told Sister Owens the other day that I´m getting to know this area so well that I feel like George Costanza...I know where all the good and bad bathrooms are here. But, I´m still praying I stay for the Christmas transfer.
Mom: Set up Skype because I think whatever area I´m in I can Skype...but I won´t be able to plan the time until Dec. 12th and I know if I´m staying or going. And if you´re sending a package I just need Clean and Clear benzoyl peroxide. I´m emailing a picture so you know which one to buy. Thanks!!!
 
This week I´ve never walked through so much rain in my life. The streets are RIVERS here! I think I´m getting a little cold because of it too. For the most part Sister Owens and I just laugh at how drenched we get...its better than the heat...that I know is coming!
 My elect family is doing great. Geter is the new teacher in Priesthood and Sunday he gave a lesson on the Millenium - his first time! I know right?! Julia, their daughter, gave her first talk in church too! Tonight we´re having Family Night with them. Woo hoo!
 Our other elect family isn´t so elect anymore. We kept trying to visit them but they were never home and when they were home, she´d send her daughter out to say she wasn´t home. So....Friday we called and she said we could pass by 8pm. So, we grabbed Isabella and went to her house 8pm.....yeah.....she moved. There wasn´t a single thing left in her house. First thing Sister Owens said was, ´I think she forgot to give us her new address...´ Hahaha. I think so! Hopefully the missionaries will find her in her new home.
 So, other than that we´re still searching for the people prepared by the Lord to hear and accept the gospel. All this searching and teaching and no results is teaching me to be more bold and testify better. I think being bold is my mission goal, but still be polite and proper...but I think I´m starting to firgure it out. We were teaching a lesson the other day and the man asked what we think of other religions. I said all other religions try to teach good things and from the Bible but they´re lacking all of the truth, which leaves them teaches wrong things and through the restoration we have all the truth again. I think he understands better than a lot of people our message because the people of Brazil are very simple and many aren´t very educated that we have to teach at their level. So, teaching according to the needs of our investigators is priority and I´m learning every day!

True life Mason! Nov. 14th

Hi family,
 I guess I´ll still email you guys today...even though the only person to email me was my sweet grandma Bowen. (I hope nothing horrible happened or I´ll feel really bad). Anyways. I still love you all...for now. ;)
 So, this week was adventurous. I think my new favorite thing to do is find people to teach. We came across a lot of crazies this week and a lot of good people to teach as well, but the crazies seem to always stick out more.
 We went to the police station to return an ID Card we found on the street and ended up talking to a cop in the office for 2 hours. His name is Luis Manuel de Vilaça. He sang us gospel songs and told us how much he loved his kids and wants to meet a good woman of the gospel. When he started to sing, he told us he wasn´t embarassed and just belted it...he actually sang really well, but it was hard not to laugh at the whole situation. So...that was fun.
 DAD! I have the best story for you! I know a Mason! I true life Mason. He´s in our Ward. His name is Dimas. We had lunch at their house Saturday and it was the best lunch conversation I´ve ever had. Dimas and Ivone are so funny and so cool. They are a couple in our ward, I think they´re in their mid fifties. As we were eating and cracking up because I asked Dimas if he wanted to be the President of a Mission and he said, `No. I want to be Presidente of the Church´ And then he began to tell us his ideas..´if I were President of the Church...´  Super funny. Then his wife, Ivone said, ´Did you know we´re not sealed in the temple? And its not because we haven´t had the chance. Dimas doesn´t want to get sealed.` All of us laughing, I told him if they´re not sealed he can´t be a God one day, he´ll just be an angel and Dimas replied, ´An angel REALLY cool.` Hahaah. We were laughing so hard. Then Ivone began to tell us about a wedding they went to that was a Mason wedding and Dimas was dressed in his Mason clothes (don´t know what those are) and had a sword and Ivone just laughed and laughed the whole reception. She said she knows all the Mason secrets because Dimas talks in his sleep and answers her questions. How hilarious is that!?! Surreal?! I told Dimas my dad loves studying about the Free Masons and our forefathers and Dimas thinks dad is a Mason now. But he told us a few things about them. He said all the things we´ve heard about Masons and the Church is true. And that they only do good things. And a lot of their ceremonies are a lot like the temple. But the whole not wanting to be sealed thing is just Dimas. Ivone said when he dies she´s just going to get sealed to someone else and lock him out of the Celestial Kingdom. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. So...I know a Mason.
 We found a few great families we´re teaching and praying that they are the elect of the Lord. A few of our progressing investigators have dengue...so that´s putting things off course...dang dengue! I guess now is the season of dengue. Fun, fun. But, we´re just working hard and trying to follow every whispering of the Spirit. Super simple things like, knock here. Talk to them. And it seems to be working. I love being this close to the Spirit!
 Other than that life is good. It was cool and rainy this week. My umbrella broke so Saturday I got drenched, but Presidente and Sister Araújo had an extra they gave me of an Elder that left it. Miracles happen!!!
 Today our Zone is Hiking Morro do Moreno (Hill of the Brown Man, I think?) Hopefully its worth it. I just wanted to sleep at home, but Sister Owens wants to go....so, I´m learning every day how to be a better wife and mother. Good thing. I think I really needed it! Love you Guys!

November 7, 2011

Helllooo everyone!
 
I realize that a new baby was born but you can still send a quick email! Haha. Just kidding. I got the picture that Jenna sent me of baby Hayven. He looks like Bowen...I think. So cute. I can´t believe I have a nephew!!! Woo hoo! I´m so glad that Lynlee still remembers and loves me ... it makes an aunt happy. I also got a letter from Tommy and his family. It is so good to hear about them. I KNOW Bridon and Talon are GROWING...grandma sent me a picture back in September and it was ridiculous! It´ll be crazy when I get back. Its funny to hear about the cold there...what is cold? Haha. These past few days haven´t been too bad it was pretty cool and windy but I know the heat is coming. Its gonna be weird to have a hot Christmas - but hey, whatcha gonna do!
 This week was SUPER SLOW and we were super discouraged, just walking all day, knocking doors, no one wanting to talk to us...NO ONE! But, we fasted Saturday to Sunday and I know this week we´re going to meet the Lord´s elect! I KNOW IT! The Lord sees our efforts even when they bring no fruits. I love Sundays on a mission, they are the best thing ever. Especially when you´re fasting. Taking the Sacrament is really like being re-baptized. I also bore my testimony in my new ´Home Ward´. They´re all so excited I stayed again and me too! And with Sister Owens! Its the best thing EVER!!! We have so much fun preaching the gospel together!
 We´re teaching a few great people. We still have the elect family of Adriana and her son Igor (15) and daughter Dayane (8). We stopped by the other day and Adriana wasn´t there and we were just going to leave and come back another day, but Igor said, ´You guys don´t want to come in and pray?`  SO CUTE. So, obviously, we went in and taught him and Dayane about when Jesus visited the Americas and blessed the children. We´re also teaching the husband of a member and he´s preparing to be baptized. It is going to be really hard for him because he smokes, drinks a lot and never really learned anything about religion so we´re taking it really slow with him. But him and his family are so special, I´ve never felt so much love that I wanted something so much for someone as I do this family.
 Sister Owens and I also had a very special day with Carol...she was a 14 year old girl that got baptized two transfers ago. She did visits with us for a whole day and we learned so much about her. She bore her testimony in one lesson about how terrible her life was before the gospel. And it really was terrible. Her cousin that she lives with is horrible to her and Carol said she didn´t want to live anymore, that her life didn´t have purpose...and then she said we knocked on her door and taught her about the gospel and she started going to church and she was happy and she had friends and a new mom and it changed everything. Well, the end of that lesson EVERYONE was crying...including the investigator. It made me realized even more why I´m here and what a sacred work I am involved in. I wouldn´t trade it for ANYTHING...even the hard times.
 So, I got my Christmas package!!!! Thank you so so so so so much! We put up all of our decorations and I didn´t open a single present and I won´t until Christmas day! Are you guys setting up Skype so I can talk to you? I hope so! I´m so excited for Christmas in BRAZIL!!! Woo hoo! Thank you for my cards, the pictures (that are now always with me in my Português Livro de Mórmon), the presents, candy, PEANUT BUTTER, love and everything that you sent! A package means so much to a missionary! I LOVE YOU GUYS!
 

Feliz Dia das Bruxas! 10/31

Oi Família!
 
So, let me start off by trying to answer your questions. Yes, they technically have ´Halloween´ here and its called Dia das Bruxas (Day of the Witches) way cooler title than Halloween I think....but no one does anything. I think its just a thing they adopted because its such a big deal in The States. Answer to some of grandmas questions - they have McDonalds here but not as many as we have and its really expensive. A Big Mac Meal is like $12 or R$20 they also have a place called Bobs thats fast food, but its also expensive. We eat with members every single day and I´m not sure if its being a missionary or being a missionary in Brazil, but I think they think we are starving because they just force the food down us every day at lunch. I will eat to the point where you´re eating and throwing up at the same time and the members will still say, `You didn´t eat anything. Did you not like it? Do you want me to fry you an egg?´ I don´t know why they think we will eat more than them. Its really funny. We don´t really COOK that much because I will not use a gas powered stove - I´m too scared - and we don´t have very much time. I usually just snack on crackers and yogurt and the amazing fruits they have here that we don´t have in The States. Hope that answers your questions!
 
Yes, I got the photos of Lynlee and Ellee. SO cute!!! Love the spaghetti. I can´t believe how big they are getting! I only have one picture of Liv that grandma Bowen took in our pool. I printed it and put it in my Hymn Book of Art along with some of Lynlee and Ellee. I can´t believe I have a nephew coming!!! Woo hoo!!! Tell me how everything goes and send PICTURES for goodness sakes!!!
Mom, you sound like you are being a perfect missionary with your friend KB at work and she sounds awesome. I think the only next thing is to go with the Missionaries to her house!!!! I love visits with members. Its so much better. I´m glad to hear you and Dallin are studying together and I hope he gets his Patriarchal Blessing soon. That would help so much. It is really essential for a mission...I´m learning. Sister Nicascio is so funny. She is in the tribe Manasses and she keeps telling me she wants to be in the tribe of King Benjamin because she loves him from the Book of Mormon. I keep telling her they´re different people - but, what can you do. She is so hilarious. I love being with a person who only has 2 years in the church. We´ve learned so much together!!!
So it is HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT here. I can´t even describe it and it was only 32 degrees Celsius yesterday...its only the beginning. Blech. But even at night it started to rain and we were walking to a members house it seemed even hotter. It reminded me of dad. Every morning when he used to take me to school on his way to work and it was cloudy and rainy he said, ´I loved days like this on my mission because the clouds keep the warmth in the air.´ Well, I don´t love days like that on my mission. :D Haha. 
So, transfers are tomorrow and I´m staying again! I don´t know how I feel because I think, definitely I will be transfered next time which is right before Christmas...but what´re you gonna do? Follow the Spirit! Sister Owens is staying too and Sister Nicascio got transfered. Another 6 weeks of adapting, teaching and learning from new experiences. Wahoo! Missions are so weird. But AMAZING.
So, the crowning moment! Geter got baptized! Family complete! At the end he thanked me for being persistent. Haha. Bishop said they could go through the temple in one year...I´ll be just finishing my mission. How perfect! I can just see him baptizing his son in two years and going through the temple and being sealed to his family FOREVER! I love this work that I have the priviledge of being involved in. I´m growing and learning so much...even when I don´t know it. I passed my 6 month anniversary this week...one more year focused only on the work of the Lord! I better take advantage.
This week was full of trials and challenges, more than the other weeks if you can believe it...but it sufficeth me to say to you that you don´t need to worry about me because I KNOW that I have angels watching over me and taking care of me. Its undescribable the miracles that happen when you are an instrument in the Lord´s hands.
I hope everyone is doing good and excited for Christmas! I am! We have a phrase here to have a White Christmas...people dressed in white to get baptized!
Thanks AGAIN for all your love, support and your prayers. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What the ???? !!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

We had a Super P Day and got to watch RIO!

































Thanks for all of your emails! They were all really great to get! I printed out the good stuff and I´ll be putting it in my hymn book of art!!! Love the pictures Jenna, the girls are getting so darn cute and all the stories I hear about them are hilarious! I need to hear more about this personality that Ellee has! 
Mom, so my package. The only other things I can think of is a journal, peanut butter and I need pictures of Arizona...especially if you can find the ones of us at Fossil Springs on the computer. People always ask me what Arizona is like and all I can say is hot. I got nothing. :D My hand is fine. Sister Owens makes fun of me and says I have leprousy...but its all good. For Christmas when I call, I don´t know anything. All I know is we go to a members house and I guess you guys call me...but last year Sister Owens Skyp´d her family...which would be cool...but when I know, you´ll know. :D
This week was kind of slow. We´re still working with all of our investigators. Adriana is still elect and we´re going to start teaching her kids too. I love how perfect the gospel is and how it applies to everyone because its the gospel of the Lord! I´ve been learning a lot about the Children of Isreal, strangely enough, mainly because the Patriarch is in our Ward and he´s obsessed with Israel. If we have a lesson about charity, he teaches about Israel, if we have a lesson about honesty, he teaches about Israel...this week was special because the lesson was on...I don´t know how to say it in English...the reuniting of Israel? Coligação in Português. So this morning I read about Moses and the Children of Israel. Its so cool to learn about the deeper principles of the gospel...especially because we teach so simply every day. Sometimes its just nice to read Jesus The Christ and go deep. :D Patriarch Wilson says, The greatest proof that God lives is: ISRAEL! Hahahaha. Anyways....
Me and Sister Nicáscio got into a huge fight...I hit the wall a few times...I think I have a bit of Bowen in me...but being servants of the Lord we repented and forgave each other the next day. I decided what my problem is. I´ve discovered how important my mission is and how much it means to me, it´s really sacred to me and to see her just pack her bags and want to leave (because she did it again) makes me so sad, to just give up...but I figured it out, its her way to throw a fit (she packs her bags, I punched a wall). This might not be very missionary like to write home about but I´m trying to be real. But seriously. All is well now and I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I am learning how to have a better marriage and better family with this companionship. I´m learning more about patience and humility than I could ever learn another way. 
Something funny, that´s also not very missionary like, but it brightens up my day sometimes is Sister Nicáscio learned how to say, ´What the hell´ from an investigator that heard it in a song. We told her what it meant and she knows its not good, but she likes to say it and its always at the perfect time. Like when Sister Owens walks way ahead of us she´ll say ´Sister Owens. What the hell?´ Its terrible, but really funny.
Okay, sorry, enough of that. Everything is going good so far. I´m healthy, wealthy and wise and learning so much. I literally would not trade my mission for ANYTHING!!!! Everything people have said about missions I´m starting to understand. Its so true. The Best Two Years....but that doesn´t even begin to describe it! 
Thanks Carolee for writing me too! Its good to hear about your family. Bailee is dating? I can´t believe it!! She better not be married before I get home....we´ll see! Talon will find something he likes to do..I still don´t know what I like to do..besides preach the gospel of course! 
Dalls, get my email right! I need to hear from you too! Keep going to mission prep, even though you feel like the outcast. I felt like the outcast too. I went for a year and was the only girl, ever. Talk about outcast, always talking about Elders and the priesthood! Hahaha. No, but you´ll learn a lot! I was bummed that they didn´t put that new teacher in sooner!!! Cheer up Dals. 3 years isn´t that bad...especially when you´re on your mission. You won´t even be thinking about it...you´ll be way too busy! Just work on becoming a better you/future missionary every day! I love you and I miss you, but we´ve got a work to do!!!

Thanks everyone for your love and support! You will never know how much it means to me! (unless you served a mission...then maybe).
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson
P.S. for Lynlee: Love you. Love you more. You do. I do. Woohoo!!! 
P.S.S. JENNA. In those pictures I got in my package...what is the one with Lynlee on the elephant crying and Jared sleeping or something...I need to hear this story!
LOVE YOU!




 Every missionaries secret  :0)

My Desk vs...

My companions desk.

October 10, 2011 with Pictures!








Hi Family!
It was so good to get all your emails this week! Especially Bowen´s! It´s so good to hear from you, even though I know you are busy getting ready to have another baby!!! Woo hoo! I like Hayden Mac or is it Hayven Mac...either way...I like Mac better. But if its Heyven Dallin it would be HD and that is also Harley Davidson...soooo hmmmm. :D Holy crap. I can´t believe it about Layla, that is terrible! And yes, Jenna, I saw a newspaper about Steve Jobs. Its weird when I see stuff like that in passing and realize how detatched I am from the world. A member of our ward told me yesterday that a bunch of gays protested outside of BYU - what horror! Its funny in Brazil when you talk about the goings on of the world every one just says, ´Jesus is coming´. I love it! 
So. This week. We got a reference from a member of the most elect woman I´ve ever met. Her name is Adriana. She has a son thats 15 and a daughter that´s 8. We taught her Saturday and she accepted being baptized the 29th of this month. She came to church Sunday. Loved it (even with the class being about the Gathering of Israel). We taught her about the BofM Sunday and she´s already begging to feed us lunch. We told her that if a members lunch ever fell through we´d call her. She´s super excited and super awesome. My testimony of references is growing. We spent about 3 days knocking doors this week, in the hot sun, and NO ONE wanted to hear our message. But one reference, from one memeber and we have a baptism! Give references to the missionaries!!!!
It rained about 4 days out of 7 last week. It was really great, and cool, because summer is coming and its getting HOT! But I fell twice. First time was just funny. Second time, I caught myself with my hand and I have some weird blister infection...but its getting better! No worries! 
Its funny. You know how you have some days when you just can´t talk? It happens the same with me in Português. I was talking to a lady on the street the other day about our message of the restored gospel and she said, ´He´s the only way.` - - - pause - - - com in Português means with, we have two saying here. ´Com liçensa´ is like ´excuse me´ and ´Com certesa´ is like ´exactly´ or ´of course´ - - - I meant to say ´Com certesa´ but instead I said ´com liçensa´. Sister Owens and Sister Nicàscio were a little ways away cracking up as I tried to finish my contact without laughing. So funny. But, my Português is improving every day. I had a lady the other day that thought I was from Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil! Always a confidence boost!!!
I´m having a great time here this transfer. We´re learing to have fun and be joyful as we work hard! I love it! So many funny experiences and so many miracles too. Its amazing to see as a missionary how fast and easily our prayers are answered. Especially with lunch. It seems like every day I pray for something to eat...our members made it! Heavenly Father wants his missionaries fed good! But with summer coming I´ll have to eat less so I can walk in the sun and function. But its going to be awesome!!!
Thanks for your emails and your love and your prayers! I love you all so so so so much! You´re the best family ever. Isabella bore her testimony yesterday that she has the best family ever and I wanted to get up and say, Correction. I have the best family ever...but I figured it would ruin the Spirit. 

Thanks everyone! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson











































October 3rd, 2011

Hello everyone! How are you? 
(side note, the s and the e on the computer are not really working so if I miss a letter its one of those) :)

First, Conference was amazing right?! Yes, I got to watch all of the sessions and all in Português - it was so good. A lot about families and the Atonement and really, those are the to central points of this gospel. Families Forever and The Atonement. Did Jeffrey R Holland talk during Priesthood because I didn´t see him during the other sessions - sad, but all of them are great! What happened to Robert D Hales, it looks like him and Richard G Scott traded places. I love the spiritually fulfilling experience that conference is!

So, this week was a lot like last week. Lots of ups and downs, but thanks to my Heavenly Father I have a new perspective attitude and I´m doing my best through the hard times and I know I will be a better wife, daughter, sister, aunt and mom because of it! 
I carry a picture of my family in my scriptures and when we eat with members or teach invetigators sometimes they want to see my family, so I always have it. 3 times now, women have called dad ´´gatão´´ or ´´bonitão´´  They use gato here as like he´s hot and bonito is handsome - but when they use âo ending its like saying ´really really´ . . . so congrats mom . . . your husband is really good looking. I just wish they´d tell you and not me because I never know what to say....thank you? Haha.
We have an investigator that sells coconut water. Literally. They have stands here that sell you juice straight from the coconut. After our lesson she just cut open a coconut, poured it into a cup and gave it to me. I didn´t like it that much, but how cool is that?! I LOVE BRAZIL!
Sister Nicáscio did a contact the other day and after saying bye she told the lady, ´em nome de Jesus Cristo, amem.´ We have a LOT of hilarious experiences like that everyday. Its really funny. Me and Sister Owens currently can´t get through a hymn without cracking up....I don´t even know why! Ah, missions.
We had an awesome Sisters Training with the APs and Pres and Sis Araújo. It was really good. A cool thing that Pres said was I will not receive any blessings from my mission until I get home, because all the blessings I receive here will be for the work of the Lord. I though that was really cool. Also, afterwards...let me tell you how awesome of a mission dad I have. I was having a hard time that day and weeks ... as you all know ... so I asked Pres to give me a blessing. He led me into his office told me to sit down, asked my full name and blessed me with exactly what I was needing blessings for! I grew an even bigger testimony of the servants of God and how He will inspire them to help others in their time of need. 
Other than that the work keeps moving. We´re teaching a lot of husbands of members still and its going great. Its awesome because they already have a base of the gospel, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. The work keeps moving onward and I´m so thankful everyday that I am a part of it! You can imagine my smile in conference everytime somebody mentioned missionaries! Just to the The Prophet of the Lord is praying for ME! What an honor! My goal is to do all I can to make my Father in Heaven proud...and my family at home of course!

Thanks for your love and support! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! 
LOVE LOVE LOVE,
Kelsi Kate Johnson


  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

September 26th - New Transfer!

Thanks for all the pictures and the stories! They磛e really cheered me up!! So we had transfers Tuesday and me and Sister Nic醩cio are together, but I磎 in another trio! With Sister Owens. She磗 from Alaska and she磗 the best friend I ever had! I love her! She is always happy and funny and awesome and I need it with my other companion. This week was rough. I know missions have ups and downs, but I磎 pretty sure they磖e not supposed to be like this...but I磎 making it through with Sister Owens. I can磘 even explain it, Sister Nic醩cio is just really hard to live with and teach with...but I磎 praying as hard as I can every day for charity, patience and humility. It all came to a point (again) Saturday night when we got home late because I had to sing at a fireside and Sister Owens played the piano. Long story short, Sister Nic醩cio was REALLY REALLY mad and because she was mad, I was mad. But we got home, she went to bed and I just looked at pictures of Lynlee and Ellee and cried and cried and then went to bed and cried and cried, just wanting my mom! Its funny how when something goes wrong, the first thing we want is our mom. I came close to calling President, just so I could call you and talk to you...but I pushed through. I learned a lesson about the Spirit. I磛e always know how essencial the Spirit is in our work and if we don磘 have it we might as well not leave the house that day, but also, the Spirit drives my desire to work and the more I have the Spirit, the greater desire I have to share the gospel with others. Missions are hard, but I know if I push through I will be a better daughter, mother, sister, aunt, wife and child of God because of it! I磎 doing my best and trying not to complain...I磎 so greatful for a great and amazing family that loves me and prays for me and ward family too! Bispo Marcelo, here, said that he wants to have my records sent to his ward. I don磘 know if its because he likes me or because I磛e been here so long...either way...I love this ward too, but its my second ward family...not my first! ;)
Sorry, I don磘 have much to report this week. The week of transfers is always a little blah because it seems like the week doesn磘 start until Wednesday. But its been good. We磖e still visiting Volmar. He磗 so dang cute I wanna punch him!!! And we have a lot of other people we磖e teaching. We磖e also focusing on the husbands of wives who aren磘 members. I don磘 understand how they磖e not members. I don磘 understand how a husband can take his wife and kids to church every day, drop them off, and go home, without a problem in the world. Eternal families! HELLO! But, that磗 what I磎 here for - to figure out why they haven磘 been baptized and received all the blessings of being a member of the church and help them gain a testimony that its so true and so perfect! Its interesting everyday when we invite people to be baptized and they say yes and then you give them a date and they磖e like, Whoa, whoa...I don磘 know about that. But, eventually, with the Lords elect, they understand and they can磘 wait to get baptized and receive all the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every day I磎 learning more and more about how God works with His children and how he wants me to teach and share the Gospel with the people of Brazil.
Brazil is such a special country. So many people here have had dreams about the gospel and about Jesus Christ and it was their witness that the gospel is true and they want to be baptized. Its not very often that people have vivid dreams about the gospel, but in Brazil it seems very frequent. I love this country. They磖e so pure in heart and simple. Its such a different experience during Testimony Meeting, so many people bare their testimonies and conversion stories and its always so simple and perfect. I always think how much dad would love it because you don磘 have to worry about people speaking blasphemies. :) You can just sit there and listen to the speakers and feel the Spirit so strong. Its great!
I did get to watch General Relief Society Conference in Portugu阺, and yes, my notes are in Portugu阺! Pretty cool, huh? I loved President Uchtdorfs talk, in Portugu阺 it was about the flor : 创N鉶 esquece de mim创 I think its funny how, whenever the Apostles talk to the women they always say, Its okay. Calm down. You磖e doing great. No one is perfect. - Because its so true. I can totally tell the difference between Elders and Sisters. Talking with Elder Spencer at transfers was hilarious. Hearing all the stories of all the things the Elders do and then being a Sister and feeling like a slacker if you sit on a seesaw and take a picture. Haha. So funny.
I CAN碩 WAIT FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! I磎 so excited! I learned a cool thing to from a member of the ward. All the talks are pre recorded in Portugu阺 by translators. Except, Elder Richard G. Scott records his own voice in Portugu阺 so when he is speaking this weekend I磍l get to hear his actual voice! Every one in Brazil refers to him as the Brasileiro. (you can look up older conference talks of Richard G. Scott in Portugu阺 and hear his voice if you want) Also, obviously, the Prophet doesn磘 have a talk pre recorded, so there is a man that can translate very fast and he translates the moment the Prophet is speaking. I thought that was pretty cool.
One more thing, a member of my ward here has a friend that needs a place to stay for about 10 days in the US and practice English. Val asked me to ask you if you guys would be able to help. She said it would be in December, but doesn磘 know exactly the dates yet. Let me know if you guys would be willing to do that! Awesome sauce.
It was so good to see pictures of every one at my birthday party. Bridon and Talon are getting SO BIG! CRAZY! Oh! I got my package during transfers! Perfect!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!! You磖e the best family in the world, hands down and not just because of the package, but because you磖e my family!!!!!!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson

Things get interesting

Hi Family!

I hope all is well! No, Jenna, I will never get tired of the pictures of the girls. They are getting so big! But I probably don´t need ´Spin art of myself´. :P I can´t believe you´re saying things like, when Ellee walks in. I still can´t see that little bean curd walking!!! I loved the story of Lynlee singing...totally remember her made up songs. I love them! Ugh! I miss them so much, but, moving on.
Dad, air conditioning in our apartment? Hahahahahaha. No. We have one fan (like the old kind that you set on the floor or a desk and it turns slowly back and forth and you can do a Darth Vader voice, yeah, that kind) We only have one outlet in our room and its by my bed so the chord goes under my mattress to the fan right next to me and if I move AT ALL it turns off, then I´ll move again and it turns on. Its really funny. But its better than our last fan that I had to hit to get it to start spinning. Oh, Brazil. Its such an adventure!
So, this week was rough. I´m not going to lie and I´m not going to leave anything out. Are you ready?
Everything went normal, we just couldn´t get anyone to talk to us - but that happens sometimes, I wasn´t discouraged. Until Friday. We went and visited Phelipe my first baptism. He hasn´t come to church since he was confirmed. He´s back to breaking the commandments and living at his girlfriends house and he´s really unhappy. He was telling us all his doubts he has about the church. He read Mormon 8 to us how our churches shouldn´t be rich and lifted up and pride and then he printed off pictures of rooms in the Temple and said, ´Look. That doesn´t look rich? Everything is gold.´ Me and Sister Powell are pretty sure he´s looking at Anti-Mormon stuff online because he was reading the BoM from the beginning and to suddenly decide to read Mormon 8 is really random, and then to print off pictures of the temple and then he said he wants to visit the other Mormon (reformed) churches. So, I couldn´t hold back the tears, I started crying right in the middle of the lesson because a lot of things have happened with him that I know he is supposed to be a very influential person in the church, but because of the choices he is making right now he´s not on the right track. It just shows how twisted Satan is because Phelipe is basically trying to use the Book Of Mormon to disprove the church...there isn´t a chapter about that in Preach My Gospel. All we could do was telling him that Satan was working on him and if he wanted to know the church was true he needed to read the Book of Mormon and pray. His main problem is looking at other people in the church and their weaknesses and not his own. But he´s a member of the church now so its ours and the members responisbility to love him and help him any way we can.
Then Saturday. The day of Julia´s baptism. You think would´ve gone swell. Well, it was about 2 hours before her baptism and we were on the opposite side of town looking for a reference from a member. Sister Nicáscio was REALLY angry and frustrated that we couldn´t find this street. Me and Sister Powell were using it as an opportunity to do contacts. But, Sister Nicáscio´s anger boiled to a point where she was being really rude and angry and we just did not have the Spirit and Sister Powell had had enough and sat on the curb and just started crying. Then they started fighting, because when one thing goes wrong everything that has ever happened in the past comes up. So my companions were yelling at each other in the street and crying. All the while I was smiling and laughing to myslef because a 5 year old little boy on a bike was coming closer and closer to us to listen. He ended up so close that I could have reached out and touched him. I finally got Sister Powell up (who had been at the point of bawling that I had to tell her to take deep breaths like mom always told me) and we started making our journey to the chapel that was an hour away. Also in this moment I learned how much Português I know, because I had two companions with arms folded, not speaking, and me talking to people about which bus we should take and calling members (up until this point I haven´t used the phone because its really hard to understand people on the phone ESPECIALLY in Português), but the Lord helped me through it all and by the time we got to the Chapel Sister Powell and SIster Nicascio had resolved their problem. ***I will talk about the baptism last*** So, then yesterday we had transfers. About 9:30 Elder Espinosa called and said I will stay here and so will Sister Nicàscio. The first thing beloved Sister Nicàscio said was, ´I don´t want to stay here with you.´ So that was a big confidence boost. And that Sister Powell will be transfered. Needless to say, this next transfer will be the greatest learning experiences of my life. I know I have a lot to learn about patience and charity with Sister Nicàscio and I´ll be needing your prayers. Sorry, this email is kind of heavy, I´m just trying to be real. Do Elders have these problems?
***But, the baptism!!!!!!!! The Baptism was perfect!!! I actually cried. The first baptism I´ve cried at, but it was possibly a mixture of a lot of other things too. I got to help Julia change after she got baptized which I think is the best priviledge ever because you get to be the first person to hear how they feel. She was telling me how happy she was and it was strange because she felt really light. I loved hearing that. I told her she will never forget that feeling because I still remember how I felt! When we returned Carol (who was baptized last week) was bearing her testimony about how the gospel has already helped her so much and that the Lord sent 3 angles to her house (I´m one!) to teach her the truth. She also said she remembered how light she felt after her baptism. It is so amazing everyday to have your testimony strengthened of the gospel and how true it is. Then, Isabella got up to bear her testimony. That´s when I started crying. Isabella too. She talked about how happy the gospel had made her and she´d never felt such love among a group of people and that she knows this is the Lord´s church. It is so interesting to see Phelipe and how angry and unhappy he is and then see Isabella and her family is getting baptized and how happy she is. Who would you rather be?
Isabella even spoke yesterday in church. She talks and sounds like she´s been a member for years. Her family is truly a special family to the Lord. We were over there the other day and she was saying something about being a member of the church of Jesus Christ and her 6 year old son Lorenzo was at the fridge and he turned and said, with a cute little lisp, ´Dos Santos Dos Ùltimos Dias´ (of Latter Day Saints) It was adorable!

Oh! My birthday! I think Isabella tried to send you a video and pictures. We went over to her house Monday night for Julias Baptismal Interview with Elder Maxwell and Espinosa. I was the last to climb the stairs and as I entered the kitchen Isabella had a cake and everyone began singing Parabéns (Happy Birthday) and jumping. I started to cry because it was so nice to know that even though my family is so far away, I have other family here that loves me and cares about me. And that´s definitely Isabella! Then, Tuesday, my actual birthday, my comps relit my candles and sang to me as I was exercising and they filled my desk with treats and breakfast. It was really different to be away from home, but it was good. :D

So, today is a Super P Day because our Zone had the most baptisms so we get to watch Rio (in Português)!!!!! I´M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its gonna be awesome! Also, I get to stay in this perfect area and keep working with my other ward family to preach the gospel!!! My job rocks!

How are all of you? Grandma and Grandpa Johnson? Grandma Deen? Jenna, are you pregnant? Is Dallin doing his Mission Papers yet? How´s my mommy? My nieces? Nephew, Jerônimo? :D I hope all is well. I love you all SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!!
Com amor,
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson

P.S. Jenna, we have a couple here that have two of their grandkids here from the US. They´ve only been
here for 2 months and are speaking fluent Português. I can teach your kids if you want!

Still catching up... September 12th 2011

Oi Família!

Thanks for all your birthday wishes. I was thinking, this is my first birthday away from home, but it´ll be an adventure! My party sounded great. I got the pictures of the girls Jenna sent but the video didn´t work. Lynlee´s hair is so long and they are both getting so big! SO weird!!! I won´t know who they are when I get home. Its weird to think, I will spend my whole age of 22 years old on a mission. Kinda cool. Cool that Dallin got kept on. I knew he had the hard work gene somewhere! Its funny you mentioned calling for Christmas, mom. You don´t work on Christmas right? Because I don´t know how it works if you´re not home and I will need to talk to my mommy on Christmas! But, all will work out. It will be weird to speak English because I can write and type in English fine, but speaking is rough. Me and Sister Powell try to have 15 minutes of English to teach Sister Nicáscio and it is awful. We can´t do it. So funny.

I haven´t gotten the package yet, but I haven´t gotten mail this transfer because we haven´t had a Zone Conference or Meeting with the President and he is the one that distributes it...so maybe next week at transfers. Also, DAD, can you get me President Andersons address or email? I want to write him in Portuguêse so he can start practicing now! :D
I love hearing that people still remember me. That´s always nice. I can barely remember quotes from Dumb and Dumber. Its so weird. Its like not being able to use a part of your body. But its good for me. Replacing movie quotes with Português and scriptures.

This week was good. Its starting to heat up and become summer (varão). Scary. I have a wicked heat rash (put that in the blog!) But I love the heat, I just don´t love hugging people when I´m all sweaty and we hug every woman we meet. But. Vamos! Sister Nicáscio was looking at pictures that you guys sent me and said I have lost a lot of weight. I can never tell, but numbers don´t lie. So thats cool. I´m going to come home skinny and tan without even trying. :) But the food here is really good, its just not good to eat a lot when you walk as much as we do and with it getting so hot. I still haven´t really had to eat beans, but when I do they aren´t that bad. I was craving tacos with cheese sauce this week, so bad that my mouth was watering. Haha. Missions. Me and Sister Powell ate a X-Tudo (pronounced: sheess toodoo) its a hamburger with meat, tomatoes, cheese, corn, green corn, batata palha (basically Ruffles chips crumbs), lettuce, egg, bacon, and some sauces I´m pretty sure cause heart blockages. It was good, but a little much. I think just the X-Bacon is good on its own. Ah, Brazilian food is so good! I´m going to start taking pictures of more of the food I eat so you guys will understand better.

This last Saturday we had one baptism, for Carol. She is so perfect. We helped her change into her jumpsuit thing and as she was walking back to the room she started to cry, happy tears. I just hugged her and told her to remember this feeling forever. It was a perfect baptism. I don´t think there is such thing as an imperfect baptism. I sang a solo, I Like To Look For Rainbows (Quando Eu For Batizado) because the Bispo made me. This ward loves me and I love them! Transfers are next week! I hope I stay again, but whatever the Lord wants!
Another miracle happened. We´ve been teaching Isabella´s husband and daughter Julia. Geter is ready for baptism he just needs to quit smoking. But we´ve been having problems with Julia because she´s a rebellious 12 year old and I think didn´t want to get baptized just because her mom wanted her too. But after Carol´s baptism she told Sister Powell, ´Agora, só falta meu batismo.´ (Now we´re just missing my baptism). Sister Powell said What? And Julia said, `Sim, eu quero batizar. Posso fazer próximo Sábado?´ (Yes, I want to get baptized, can I next Saturday.) We of course said yes and Irmaõ Sylvio even announced it in Sacrament Meeting. I am so thankful the Spirit touched her heart and helped her make this decision that will change her life! Isabella was so excited when we told her, because Julia didn´t want to tell her. This family is so special. I can´t wait to see them go through the temple, because that is fullness of joy right there! I thought I had fullness of joy when I saw an Irmaõ in São Paulo that looked and sounded just like Nacho Libre give Elder Hanson an Anaconda Squeeze, but I think this is better.

Besides this my week was pretty normal. Normal companion struggles, awkward lessons, meeting elect people every day, doing the Lords work in Brazil. I love it!!!! Thank you all for your love and support! I love hearing from you every week. Its true what all missionaries say, even if they don´t respond they love letters! SO TRUE! It keeps us all moving forward! Sorry, this was kind of a rambling letter.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson

P.S. Be sure to tell me or ask me things you want to know and I´ll try to respond,
I never know what to say. :D