Thursday, March 15, 2012

February 2012

Feb 6th - 2nd Degree
So. I thought I would start doing titles to my emails to get you all hooked! Is it working?
Anyways. Answer time: Grandma: 1)Yes, it's still the summer and will be until March. 2) We walk a lot! This area especially. We pretty much have to walk an hour in whatever direction to get to our investigators because the neighborhood we live in is all apartment buildings we can't enter without a name and we don't teach very much in our own neck of the woods. So, normally its leave home, walk an hour, lunch at a members and then walk around to our lessons and visits and then walk back home an hour. But we also have an area thats about 2 hours away so we plan 1 or 2 days a week we go there. Em fim, we walk a lot. :D 3) Yes! We have a fan in our house. Two actually! And I say my prayers and thank Heavenly Father for it everynight because I heard a quote once that said, ''What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday.'' And I don't want to be without a fan. It probably doesn't help that I ALWAYS sleep with the blanket my mom made on top of me. I can't help it. I love it! Dad: No. The SuperBowl is NOTHING here. I didn't even know who was in it until we had lunch with a member that happens to be in love with American Football. One member. That's how big the SuperBowl is.

This week was another hot one. I now have to be a nerd and stop randomly throughout the day to reapply sunscreen. I was just applying it in the morning (50SPF Sport), but I still sweat it all off and wound up with a 2nd degree burn on my nose...that was hot. So, we're bringing out the big guns. Not really, I'll just put on more sunblock more often. But I'll for sure die of skin cancer one day. 
We had a really good week spiritually and teachingly speaking (does that make sense?). But we didn't reach our goals...which I'm trying to tell myself is okay. We had a great lunch with a member that served a mission that gave us some great advice. She told us that this is the one time in our life we have to teach with power and authority and to promise blessings that Heavenly Father has for our investigators. When we have to take our nametags off the power is gone. Elders will have this power anytime they have a leadership calling in the church, so we have to take advantage of our time. We left that lunch with fire under our feet, ready to teach by the Spirit, and the fire stayed all week. We taught some amazing lessons, completely led by the Spirit. Super cool! Also, we found some great families that we're teaching and hoping that they'll make it all the way to the font. Finally, the ward is helping us too. We started really getting to know and to love the members during our one hour of lunch with them and it's really helping. Members come up to us Sundays and talk and joke and give us references. It's amazing! We also taught the lesson yesterday in RS about Missionary Work. Me and Grandma Bowen. It was really good! 
Yesterday night we ate pancakes at the Soneghet's house. The Soneghet's is a family you will have to meet. They are super old in the church. Both Kátia (mom) and Adilson (dad) served missions and Gabi is in Rio serving right now and Raquel (19) is getting ready to serve. I have never met a family that does more for the missionaries and other people than this one. We have lunch with them once, every week, and every Sunday we go over there at night and there's always a bunch of people there and a bunch of food. It's amazing. When Adilson saw my nose, he got all worried and kept checking up on me, like a dad. Kátia is always worrying about our lunches and stuff. I find a family wherever I go! But the Soneghet's are different. I knew them when I was in Itaparica because they are that awesome. They're like famous members of the church here. I love them.
Funny story. So it seems like all drunk men speak English and they always wanna talk to the American girls walking down the street. But instead of saying like, ''Hello. How are you? What's your name?'' Which would be normal...they want to say like everything they know in English, so its like, ''Hello. 1 2 3 4 5 7 Morning. Whats your namey? Beautiful.'' Its hilarious.
So. Thanks for writing me! DMaceemo, how are the papers coming? Now that you got your wisdom teeth out...its coming up! Jenna, everyone's dream here is to go to Disneyland or World. Its funny, because in the States its every kids dream too. Bowen, sorry to hear you were sick and now the kiddos. :( But, I love to hear you talk about going through the temple. I pray for you and Maliá every night! Dad, good to hear life is normal and lots of cool things aren't happening without me. How's the ward? Mom, you didn't write, but I love you, thanks for being my mommy! 

Feb. 13th - I've got Sunshine!
I've got sunshine every SINGLE day! Misericórdia! (aka: mercy!) They really say that here.

So, let's begin. I'm still getting blisters and peeling on my nose but I'm putting on more sunscreen throughout the day and stuff. I just know I will NOT walk with an umbrella. Lame-o! Mom, reading the Book of Mormon in personal study isn't hard, I understand it, sometimes when I have to read verses during lessons it gets hard to pronounce, but just reading I love it. Everytime you read the Book of Mormon you understand new things, but when you read it in a different laguage it opens up a new world of teachings. I love it! Bowen, thanks for your email. Its so good to hear it sounds like everything is going amazing in your life and it all comes from doing what is right. We finally got one of our investigators to understand that this week. Her son is on trial for rape and it sounds like he's guilty. He's 16 and the girl is 13. Yup. Welcome to Brazil. Anyways. She finally understood Thursday how the commandments just make sense and our lives would be so much better if everyone lived them and that's why we have the gospel! I'm so excited for you two to go through the temple and for you to be a policeman too! How cool. I knew you guys ate pizza and wings this week because I was craving them like crazy! Dallin, when you get back from your mission we're going to Brazil together home skillett! None of this Chicago weak sauce. Jenna, PDays are pretty boring. I like them like that. I like to write letters and sleep. Last week we went to McDonalds and my ''sister'' from Itaparica came and ate lunch with us. It was so good to see her and talk to her. But, thats about it. Other than that we hang out with Sister Araújo, that's ALWAYS entertaining. Grandma, yes, I get tired walked AND the time passes fast. So its the best of both worlds. I'm waiting for my body to get used to walking so much and so much sun...its taking a long time! My ''release date'' is October 27th, but I don't know if the transfer will be before or after that. ?

Mom, to answer some of your questions about coming and getting me. 1) I know its expensive and I know you put more value on experiences than on money so I will try to still love you if you don't come and get me....but it will be really hard to get me to get on that airplane alone. 2) Presidente Araújo LOVES when parents come and get their kids. I told them you guys are trying and he's all excited. 3) The church pays for my flight so they will put me on the same flight you guys take, I think. 5) I'll check about this timing thing of if they know when exactly we'd be leaving. But I'm praying that you guys have the resources to come and get me and I think every night this week I had a dream about maybe its meant to be and Heavenly Father will do a miracle! (is that right? do a miracle?....I don't speak English!)
So. Sorry. I'm already running out of time to write. But we are teaching a really great family with two kids! Cláudio, Ruth, Eduardo and Isabel. They are super awesome and we're fasting and praying a ton that they will get baptized this transfer. We've been fasting so much I don't even have to buy food again this week! Sweet right?! I'm learning the worth of working hard for something worthwhile. And if the worth of souls is great in the side of God then it will be a huge battle to help save them! You'd think it'd just be, ''Hey. We have the restore priesthood authority, a living prophet and 12 apostles.'' And people would line up to get baptized...but Satan is crafty...jerkface! And he winds the truth in with his lies in every other church.

I had a rough weekend. Saturday we didn't teach ONE lesson. Not ONE! We just walked in the hot sun from house to house. No one one home or every one was ''just about to leave.'' It was rough. I was exhausted. The next day, Sunday we got to church and our Ward Mission Leader gave the lesson for Priesthood and RS and a brother from the church raised his hand and gave ''constructive criticism''on the missionary work we and this ward are doing.  Just complaining basically. So after the Saturday I had and then having to hear that I started to cry. I felt very humbled. I also felt sad, but I know I have weaknesses and I know that the gospel will be preached by the weak and the simple (D&C 1:23) so it seems like I'm on the right track huh?! It was sad at the time...but you know me...I can't stay sad for very long. After church we actually had some great lessons! And because Heavenly Father still works miracles we happened to be at the right place at the right time and met a young guy named Felipe that seems really open to hear the restored gospel. Also, Sunday night I got to eat pancakes again, with syrup. Mmmmm! We literally ran to get to the members house. I ran for pancakes.
Anyways, sorry this email is a little messy. Hope it makes sense. I hope you guys can tell how much I love what I'm doing and how much it is changing my life. I pray every night that Dallin's mission will be the same for him. I understand now what people say about missions. The cliche phrases. ''Best two years'' and stuff like that. I'm serious. It will be really hard to get me home.
I love you guys. Thank you for all of your love, your prayers, your support, your emails, pictures, everything!!! I hope the Lord is blessing you as much as he is blessing me and that one day we will all receive the greeting of which Enos spoke: ''Vinde a mim, o bendito. Há um lugar preparada para ti nas mansões de meu Pai.'' Enos 1:27
PS This weekend is CARNAVAL....I'll let you know how that goes....I think we'll be staying with President a lot!
Happy Valentines Day! (Valentines day here is June 12th...waaa waaaaaaaaaa

Feb 20th - Yes Satan?

Oh. I´m sorry I thought you were somebody else.
So......I´m emailing from Presidentes house, so if this email is a bit random its because theres a lot going on and I´m not paying much attention. It was Carnaval this weekend and all the Internet Cafes are closed. What a party. Basically, this whole weekend we´ve just been hanging out at Presidentes at night and doing some slow visits during the day. I don´t even think the US has a holiday like this where everything just shuts down. All the rich people travel and all the poor people get drunk and party. So we played Scrabble with Sister Araujo, English and Portuguese. I won McDonalds.
Sunday we didn´t even have teachers so the member of the Bishopric asked us to teach...apparently Sister Peterson thought us meant just me because she sat down and I taught the class about The Holy Ghost. 3 new members and an investigator. I got a compliment at the end of how well I did, so I felt good afterwards.We invited part of our elect family to be baptized and they ACCEPTED! Woo hoo! We just need to get them to church and they´ll love it, they´ll feel the Spirit and not have a  problem! So, I have a lot of faith that all this work this transfer isn´t in vain. A lot of work! I hope I stay here another transfer...but, the Lords will be done, ne?
Thanks for your emails and your love. I loved what you said Bowen about gold....its so true! I´m handing out gold and people are like...nah, I´ve got brass, I´m good. Lame-o! But, I´m doing my part, right?! This mission thing is rough when you think you´re doing everything possible and NOTHING is happening. But, I´ll just keep on, keepin on...nothing else I can do. Can´t give up.
We have half the sisters sleeping with us tonight because we have Sisters Conference tomorrow! Woo hoo! Sleepover!!! Thanks for your love, support, emails, trying to come get me at the end of my mission.You are all the best!!! You don´t even know how much I love you!!
P.S. The date of my last day in the field is November 6th....if you need to know for plane flights and such. Also, dad, I´ve been using my card a little bit because we´ve had some problems with our cards here. Hope the government gives me a fat refund for all the work I did at SimonMed. Thanks for doing my taxes!

Feb. 27th - Murderer's Girlfriend
I love your emails so much. They are always so funny and entertaining. Its always good to know you guys are still living and having fun even though the life of the party is in Brazil....oh wait, Bowen is still here...hahahaha. Just kidding. I know I'm awesome. Haha. Sounds like the desert was awesome and Haiven's blessing was great too. Good job Bo. I'm super proud of you and all the great choices you're making right now in your life. All the blessings of the Lord will be poured out upon you that you won't even know what to do with yourself!!! I'm noticing it all now. Dallin is putting his papers in at the end of March? So we'll miss each other by like 3 months?! Misericórdia! Ah. I love you guys so much!

So. This week we had a Sisters Conference. Its supposed to be a training for the Sisters because we can't do splits with the Assistents to be trained...but....Sister Araújo was in charge, so the Assistants weren't even allowed to come. It was really awesome. Sisters are so spoiled. 4 of the Sisters came and stayed in our house for 1 day and 2 noghts At the Conference, Presidente and Sister Araújo spoke. We talked about our areas and our difficulties and our triumphs. Then we ate lunch. Then we had closing remarks by Presidente...then we had the choice to go home or stay and hang out or stay and watch a movie. Of course, 12 Sisters were piled in the living room of Presidente and we watched Tangled (Enrolada). (Presidente calls his living room with the television the apostasy room because its where he watches his soccer highlights) When Tangled ended we kind of sat there, all thinking the same thing and then blessed Sister Vieira said, ''Can we watch Enchanted?''  So...we watched Enchanted too. Hilarious. Its good to be a Sister. I should make a that rap song ''Dang it feels good to be a gangster''  ''Darn it is good to be a Sister''  Elder Spencer was jealous when he called that night and found out. Muahahaha.

Wednesday Carnaval ended and the real work began. Finally. After all the fun and stuff it was good to get back outside and do what really makes us happy! Missionary work!!! We're still teaching the girlfriend of an inactive member that killed somebody...he killed somebody...not her. She is amazing. Her name is Thyss (tie-ees). We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she loved it. She kept sighing, like happy sighs and smiling and saying. Wow. Cool. At the end we invited her to be baptized and gave her a date and she said she has always wanted to be baptized. When preachers in church invited people to the front to be baptized she always went, but never was baptized. She said, ''I think the Lord was waiting for me to hear this plan (of salvation) to be baptized in this church.'' It was so amazing. It was the fruits after a LOT LOT of labor. That was probably the best thing that happened this week.
Saturday our district came to our area and we set up a table in a square and talked to people and gave away pamphlets and Ensigns. Elder Spencer is hilarious. He likes to give all people walking holding hands and all girls wearing revealing clothes the pamphlet of Chastity. It was a special activity too because Maurício our teacher from the MTC in São Paulo is here. So we got to catch up and talk to him too. I love my mission. I can't tell you how many times a day I say that. ;)

Just one more thing that I thought of yesterday at church. I've been realizing the importance of the covenants that we make with Heavenly Father and how we have to do our part to fulfill them. At baptism and in the temple. I remember a talk from Elder D. Todd Christofferson that said, Jesus Christ didn't ask for a little...he asked for our very lives. I think we have to remember that we made promises to give all of ourselves to the gospel and to the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that when we give all we have, it still isn't enough, and that is when the grace of the Savior comes in. Also, when we are giving all, we forget ourselves and we are the happiest. We have to be diligente and obediente. Even Jesus Christ, after he suffered for us and died on the Christ, He, who above all, deserved some rest, immediately went to the Spirit World and taught the gospel and organized a missionary army and continued working and serving. He is our perfect Example and when we turn to Him we will recognize our weaknesses (Ether 12:27) and He will make them strong through His Atonement. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. It's so perfect.

Sister Kelsi Kate Johnson
Left to Right: Elder Collins, Turner, Spencer (woo woo!) McBarron, Pettitt

January 2012

Sis. and Pres. Araujo

Jan 2nd - Hello Everybody!
I think these were the funniest emails I've read on my mission so far. The cabin trip sounds HILARIOUS. Everyone bloody, broken, laughing and crying with Lynlee stuck on the ground in all her snow clothes. I can just picture it all. Hope dad's face is okay. And Bailee's wrist and everyone. Also, I will need a picture of Dallin and Mitch on the scooter...that has got to be the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. Ahahahahaha! 

So. Questions. Mom talked about Cathy Hulets lesson. I love Elder Holland's talk Safety for the Soul - it's my FAVORITE!!! I love the Book of Mormon. More on my love for the BoM later. Grandma Bowen, the tip I have for your lesson about Missionary Work is Moses 1:39. If God's work and God's glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, and we're all striving to become like God...shouldn't that be our work and our glory as well? I think the happiest people are the people that share the gospel with others. I also like the quote: Share the gospel at all times and when necessary use words! Hope that helps.
So, this week as far as missionary work goes was weird. I've never taught so little lessons but we marked 4 baptism dates! I also started teaching Presidente English. We taught about families and the names for everyone (brother, sister, mom etc.) and then had pai and mãe describe our families in our photos we brought. Presidente thought every picture of me was my mom and every picture of mom was my sister! Congrats mom! Sister Araújo also said dad is that's like 6 for dad and 4 for mom. I got good lookin' parents! We also had to tell them they can't say nigger because they just started throwing that word around. Then, we told them to say black or African American and Presidente said, ''Hey black, come here.'' Ah cultural differences are the best!
We had an awesome Zone Conference this week that was FULL of the Spirit that got me so excited for the rest of my mission and the souls I will help save! I'm a missionary!!! On our way to Zone Conference we went with Elder Spencer and Elder Wilson (DL and ZL) Elder Spencer, my buddy since São Paulo and I had a convo that went something like this:
ES '''Do you have an XBOX?''
Me ''My brother does.''
ES ''Does he have HALO?''
Me ''Yes''
ES ''Well, when we get home you have to set up an online I can blow your head off.''
I love my Elders!!!! We all still fake shoot each other with all kinds of weapons we invent. And Elder Spencer always tells me all the ways he's going to kill me. I love it.
So. My New Year was WAY better than yours! We went with Pres and Sister Araújo to a party at the Assistents and Secrataries house. Super fun. Elders are hilarious. Then we started home about 11:30PM. Sister Vieira asked if we could watch the fireworks with them and Pres made us vote...of course we all wanted too! So. We got to go to Presidentes and watch the coolest beach fireworks I have seen in my entire was like Disneyland fireworks. We stayed way up in the Presidentes fancy apartment house and watched out the window that overlooks the beach. AMAZING!!! Then, as luck would have it, they wouldn't let any cars leave because of all the people on the we had to sleep at Presidentes house again...gosh dang it! (sarcasm). Awesome sauce. 
Church was very good and very spiritual. I love testimony meeting in Brazil. Even Crazy Carmen bore her testimony and was actually pretty good. Sundays are the best days ever. It's so different on a mission. I hope not a lot of that changes when I get home. Anyways. Yesterday, for no reason at all, I just got all sad. I don't know why. Everything is going normal. I just got all sad. So Presidente gave me a blessing that was amazing. I won't write all of it but he blessed me with an ability to study the scriptures and learn from the great missionaries and leaders in the scriptures to become an ever better missionary. It was very special too because a lot of things he said are in my Patriarchal Blessing too. 
So, in the end. Everything is going good. I LOVE MY MISSION and I think you're going to have troubles getting me home. Thank goodness I still have 10 months! Woo hoo! Dallin. Go to mission prep you loser!

Jan 9th - 
Hi family,
Okay mom. That was the coolest, weirdst and awsomest email ever. (the e isnt working good on this keyboard so just figur it out). HELLOO!!! Are you kidding me?! My mom sang with Stevie Wonder?!?! I think I want to b a Hospic Nurse!
Sorry to har about dads friend. I'm so glad we hav th Atonement and The Plan of Salvation. I think if I was a missionary for another church whn Kristen died I would have come home, but because of the Atonement and The Perfect Plan we have, death is just another piece of the puzzle. A thing a lot of Brazilians say here about death is Heavenly Father knows when each pedal falls off a tree, so he definitely knows when a life is taken. I also remember Alma 17 when Alma and Amulek had to watch th innocent women and children be burned for their beliefs and when Amulek asked Alma to stop them Alma listened to the Spirit and knew that the Lord was receiving his rightous peopl. The Lord will nvr do anything to take away our free agency, but it is all being recorded and will be used for us or against us at the Judgement. I think this is why its so hard to see peopl rjct th gospl bcause thy're going to gt to th Final Judgement and have no xcuses. Thats why I nver want to do anything that will take away my Clstial Glory. I think something veryon can larn is to have an etrnal perspctiv. A mission helps with that.

Oh grandma....shes just falling mor and more off the rocker huh? Hearing about it all from another country its all super funny, but I know whatd b like if I was there so I hop all is well and everyone is loving ach other. Iḿ having this problm in our ward right now bcaus Carmen...crazy Carmen was baptized a year ago. No one in the ward...including me....thinks she has the mntal capabilities to be baptized, but now she comes every week and causes all kinds of problems and the whole ward, sav a few, ar fed up with her. This week as I sat in Relif Society I thought if Jesus cam here right now, Carmen would b the first person h would greet. So, I decided to love her and treat her like a child of God, bcause she is.
Ah. Ellee and Lynlee. How cute and how sad. I don't remember being their age, but I was talking to my companions this week and remembered that as teenagers Jenna would never let me go anywhere with her and her friends...Bowen too...but I always brought Dallin along with me. Yup. I'm a saint. Haha. Just kidding. I still love you Jenna!

So. This week. One word. ''RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNN'' I cant count how many times I said that like Uncle Jimmy this week and I've never been in rain like this. Things are always more complicated with rain...but it was good and fun. I called Presidente (who me and Elder Spencer now call poppa) to ask permission to swim home. He laughed. And then he brought me two packages! Thanks Katie and Cindy!!!! Everything I ever wanted. Seriously. Raincoat thing. Umbrella. MacandCheese. PEZ. TShirt! Woo hoo! Thanks!!!! I love people that are close to the Spirit that send me answers to my prayers...its literally a miracle every time. A FESTIVUS MIRACL!

We have some great investigators. One, Sueli, that was smoking 40 cigaretts a day and now shes smoking 12! Woo hoo! I tried to pull a nail out of Sister Vieiras shoe with my teeth and she pulled the shoe away from me and chippd my tooth. Just my front bottom one and its tiny. I'm not having any problems with it. Just a funny story!
So. I'm glad to hear from you guys. I love you. THanks for all of your love and support! Hope this week is better than last week for you...except for the Stevie Wonder thing. I'm still freaking out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Package from Katie !!

Jan 16th - Hi Family,
Let me apologize ahead of time that my email will be sloppy. I´m super tired. Sister Araújo came over this morning and we painted our house, then we went to eat, and now we´re finally emailing...its 4pm...and we have to leave for appointments at 6pm...I´m tired. But. I´m happy and I love what I´m doing. Just friggin tired.
First, hilarious video of Ellee!!!! I love it! ´´Grimace. Okay. Eat some toast.´´ and I could hear my little Lynlee in the background. Awww! Thanks for the pictures too. I love that that dorky picture of me is on the fridge. I´ll have to send some better ones. Did you guys get my other letter and pictures yet? I haven´t had time to write letters in like 2 weeks. Theres perks and pits to living so close to the President. Good = you´r there alot and I love them; Bad = they´re always at our house too and always PDAY. But, hey what cha gonna do. So. Anyways.....
What movie is ´´Yes William with the pigs, with the pigs.´´ Bowen?? I love Willow. When we´re walking down the streets here in Brazil, and not talking I just sing and quote movies to myself. ´´I don´t worship Sorsha I hate Sorsha. She kicked me in the face!´´ So. Yeah. That´s something that goes on. Our Ward Mission Leader said his favorite companion always quoted Brian Regan to himself, he thought it was hilarious.
Anyways. This week was good. Nothing too crazy or interesting happened. This area is super rough with finding good people to teach. We have a new Sister coming that was waiting for her Visa and serving in Salt Lake. She had 12 baptisims one Saturday. Poor thing, now she´s come to Brazil, where the real work begins. I´ve been praying for her. Hahaha. No. It´ll be awesome. This is the best mission in the world!
 This week. Alright. Let me think. My sandal broke so I´ll have to buy new ones. I taught President and Sister Araújo English again. It went much better. They´ve stopped saying the N Word. I love this couple. Have I mentioned that? I can´t wait until they come visit us in AZ after we all finish our missions. HILARIOUSNESS! We have two investigators that are pretty great. They´re sisters. 20 and 14. They live right across the street from the church and have a lot of questions about The Spirit World and the Plan of Salvation. I love investigators with questions. We´re still trying to help Suely quit smoking. She´s down to 8 I think but she also has depression and has a rough life and its hard to keep her animated for baptism. But, thats okay. I think they´re are elect people and people that need some help...but I´m always on the look out for the elect! This transfer is already ending next week! It went by so fast! Because we we´re working so hard!!! I´m going to stop working so hard...just kidding...but I love getting home every day super tired because I know I put in a good days work for the Lord. I emailed this to Presidente as one of my goals. Get home worn out every single day.
What else? Nothing adventurous or excited. Crazy Carmen said she was going to kill me. Then said she was going to die. Then said she was going to Indonesia. So. Always have her to lighten my day. :D I can´t help but love this lady!!! I´ll have to try and take a picture with her. I´m sad that maybe Elder Spencer won´t be my DL anymore. I love my Elders that came with me! Presidente always talks about what a great group we are, that all came at the same time. Three (including me) are training. One is going to be Exec Secretary. And Elder ´´Sneak McB´´ McBarron doesn´t really count. But the rest of us are AWESOME! Presidente loves us.
 So. Sorry for the rambling, crazy email. I´ll have updates next week on transfers. I think I already know what will happen because Presidente and Sister told me...but you never actually know until it happens. So. Thanks for you love and emails and support. I love you all super dee duper dee much!!!!!!!!! Hope mom and dad are alive. THANK YOU!!!!!!
P.S. Presidente is going to do splits with Elder Spencer this week. I told Elder Spencer to take videos and pictures because I wanna see this thing. So CUTE! Elder Spencer said, `´Don´t you ever call my companionship with Presidente cute. It´s the manliest thing ever!´´     It´s going to be so CUTE!
Jan 23rd - What's up fam? 
Thanks again for your emails and your love and your hilarious updates. First thing first. No, I did not know Anita was going to LA. Last I heard I was in Provo and she had colon cancer...thanks for keeping me updated. :p I love mission calls! I'm so excited for D Mac's! We were at a members house last night and a young man from the stake came with his call...he's going to Boston! Super exciting! They say more and more Brazilians are leaving Brazil to serve missions. Cool beans. Maybe Aunt Anita can convert some movie stars! I want to go and do splits with her if she starts teaching John Cusack! (Yes, I'm still me.) Second, holy cow, Liv's hair is so BLONDE! They're so cute. Thanks for sending me pics Bowen! My nieces are getting so big! Ahhhh! So weird. Third, save some names and stuff for the temple for me to do when I get home!!!!
Alrighty then. What's next? Oh. Transfers! I'm staying in JdP. Word. (random sidenote. We have some people that email Presidente in English to help him practice and he asked me and Elder Spencer what the word ''hood'' meant. Yes. An Elder used the gangster word ''hood'' to talk about his area in his email to the Presidente...ahhhhh Elders). Annnnyywwwaayyys. I will be staying with Sister Peterson and Sister Vieira will be a mom! She is going to train the new American Sister that is coming. Presidente wants the Brazilians learning English and the Americans learning Portuguese faster. This transfer is going to rock!!! (just another sidenote to tell you how cool Presidente is...he did a split the whole day with Elder Spencer this week...have you ever heard of a Mission Presidente doing that? I can't wait for you guys to meet these people.)
This week went really well. I had some great lessons and experiences this week that taught me I'm progressing and learning to teach lessons by the Spirit and help people understand the gospel and why they need it. We marked 3 baptisms dates with some really great people that are ready to move their lives and follow Christ. One is the mom of a recent convert, inactive. He doesn't want anything really with the church but she already knows the church is true and wants to get married so she can get baptized. That's another thing about one is married!!!! But, anyone. We also had to go find a woman that got baptized Christmas Eve and hasn't been to church to get confirmed. This is where things get complicated. Can she still receive the Holy Ghost if she's inactive? And stuff like that. So we found her, she's living with her sister. She said she has been here in Vitória a week and just didn't know where the church was...weird because I'm pretty sure Christmas was way more than a week ago. Anyways. So we taught her and her sister, committed her sister to baptism and they said they'd come to church the next day. We even got some members that were going to swing by and take them. 7:30AM Sunday morning. Siene (baptized/not confirmed person) calls and said they can't go because she has a headache. So....I got discouraged. I was thinking. If we can't even get a woman that's baptized to get to church and receive the Holy Ghost, how am I supposed to get investigators to go to church! So. We went to church, with no investigators, as usual. But, I received my spiritual upliftment during Sacrament Meeting. A girl named Raquel that's a good friend of mine gave a talk. She told a story about when me and her did splits one day. After teaching some lessons we went and ate a hamburger and I asked her if she was going on a mission. She said she didn't know. I told her she should because the mission field needs girls like her. Different. Fun. Funny. Real. She said in her talk she felt the Spirit strongly when I said that and now she decided she's definitely going on a mission. It was a testimony builder to me that it won't always be through baptisms and investigators that we receive blessings and fruits of our labor, but through helping whatever child of God realize their true potential.

So. That's the highlight of this week I think. I'm ready to work hard and be diligent, ''while in this tabernacle of clay'' to bring the children of men to God. (Moroni 9:6) Can you believe that the 27th I'll be half done with my mission?! It kind of makes me want to throw up! It's time to get to work. What have I been doing for 9 months?! Hey! Let me know about my little brother and his mission papers! What's going on there? So exciting! And Bowen and Maliá. Keep going. Keep pushing. The temple blessings is what we're all working for. Salvation is a personal matter. Exaltation is a family matter! Jenna and family, you're all awesome. Tell Jared to toughen up, and be a man!
Lastly, it would be super dee duper awesome if you could send me Chalula (or however you spell it) hot sauce for our Ward Mission Leader, Alexandre. He's awesome. You guys will love him too. He told me all kinds of stories about when his American companions would get Chelula and how they'd ration it and make oaths on when and how you could use it. So. That would be awesome.
P.S. We don't have PEZ here. And Crazy Carmen called a woman from the ward at 3:00AM and said she was going to go to Grace Church because there they can expel the demon from he aunts body...its funnier in Portuguese...
Jan 30th ~ 
First, as always. Question and Answers. Dallin: Yes. I got your email. Thank you! 1) Really, when you get on your mission your fears ARE we're not teaching enough people and all our baptisms dates are falling...but I know what you I think I have the most fear of teaching with members. Especially men that are returned missionaries, because I don't feel like a super awesome powerful missionary and I get nervous with them there. But, I just tell myself that I AM the missionary and I HAVE the keys to this area and to teach these people because these investigators can't get baptized without the lessons that we give. Other than that it's really all just a fun adventure. 2) Who are you? I can't believe you're planning a trip that will take you out of the front door! Have fun! Jenna: 1) I think we all would've lost it on Kermit if I was there. Awesome. I'm excited to do some with you guys! 2) In Brazil we use the real (hey-al). I think its about 1 dollar to 2 reais. Vitória is more expensive than Vila Velha, but I think a LOT of our food will be with members because I got the hook up here. But I will start charting how much things cost.Bowen: 1) I got the movie quotes, I just forgot to write the answers. How's the temple prep coming? 2) I've been thinking about Todd a lot this week. I don't know why. I wrote him a letter but never got one back. If possible, tell him to write me!
Okay. I think that's it...

Package: I would like the Family Calendar you told me you were sending. And Chelula for our Ward Mission Leader. Other than that? Chocolate? Snackage? My Women at the Well CD. I think that's about it. Surprises!
This week was really good and REALLY REALLY REALLY HOT. I'm so glad I was born in Arizona and I love the heat. We are still woking with Suely. She's still down to 5 cigarettes, but won't come to church! We're also teaching this older man named Moses that I love. He's very simple (aka: not very smart), but its perfect to teach him because he understands the Spirit and when he feels it. Only problem is his daughter doesn't want us teaching him, so we're going to give her a visit and baptize her too. How do you like that?! A man contacted us on the street and said he wants to visit our church and learn about it because of the things he's hearing about Mitt Romney. What's going on over there? Everyone here says Romney is going to win. It made me think of the revelation of Howard W Hunter that said the constitution of the US would hang by a thread and the priesthood holder would bear it up...or something. It would work really well if the President of the US had the Melchizedek Priesthood! Cool beans. In other exciting news I ate feijoada and rabada this week. Feijoada = beans, pig ears, nose, feet, tail. Rabada = cow tail. Delicious! Not really, but not horrible either. It kind of just sits like an angry rock in your stomach afterwards. We ate it at the going away party/dinner of the missionaries going home. It was really cool and really weird. I'm so glad I'm not going home right now. Elder Hall's parents came to get him, so they were there. It was really cool. They visited a bunch of members during the week and now they're in Rio. I also thought a random thing. I am Johnson and my companion is Peterson. Remember that legal group? Peterson Johnson 877 96 LEGAL! Yup. That's us!

Other than that things are great. I'm happy. Healthy. Doing the Lord's work and learning every day how to be more like Christ. I'm so excited for Dallin to go on a mission and have amazing adventures too! Me and Sister Peterson were discussing something though. We think that in the US. They don't have a lot of people that agree to baptism, but a lot of people that understand the message of the restored gospel. I think here, in Brazil. Everyone accepts the invitation to be baptized, because they all want to follow Christ; but people here don't understand very well the message of the restored gospel. So, that's just a random thought. Teach people, not lessons!
Let me lay it out about this Elder Spencer gossip. :p Me and 5 other Elders came from São Paulo to Vitória at the same time. Elder Spencer was our district leader in São Paulo and he's my district leader here. He's just funny! I don't know what else to say. It's like I came here with 5 brothers and there's only one that I'm allowed to talk to. So...yeah....
Anyways. Thanks for your emails. That thing about Lynlee, ''Why did you throw the brown ladies magazines away?'' Is going in the hymn book of art. I love you guys. You're awesome!