Elder Zachary D. Johnson's Mission

Elder Zachary D. Johnson's Mission
Elder Zac Johnson has been called to serve in the Brazil Santos Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and wants you to share in his adventure! "Take the leap with me."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Leadership Conference Photos (via Sister Cabral)

Elder Johnson and Elder Machado

Still doesn't want to get his hands dirty.  :)
Elder Johnson

Popcorn from the apricot tree?

Planning. Planning. More Planning.



Looks like your week was pretty normal with not much happening!  Mine was almost equal to this but I have some "happenings of biblical proportion" to inform you all about. 

So, I hope the missionaries in the ward have already talked about this but have you heard of the new church  program "He is the Gift"? If not, apply the Atonement in your life and get in the know! Basically, the Church is quickening the 2nd Coming and during this month will flood the Earth with the good news of the Gospel! Start by watching this video here: 

Please do all you can to participate in this program! The church has bought a ton of the TVs in Times Square and has also bought the frontpage of Youtube on Dec. 7. On that day, the youtube site alone will reach 220 MILLION people. Soooo use facebook  and other sites that I cant use to #sharethegift :D

Also, we received a media referral this week. Generally, these people dont exist or the addresses are wrong so  no one really gets excited about them. But the one we got was GOLD! Andrea has a LDS friend and has been  praying to find the true church. She had this old friend of hers that is LDS and she kept thinking about her. Well, she found Mormon.org and asked for a Book of Mormon. She lives in another city and we went yesterday to deliver the book. She was nearly crying the whole time and I have never seen an investigator with that much humility and faith my whole mission. I really could not believe that she was so prepared. She has a 19 year old daughter who has fought  bullying to become a model and she accepted everything too. The only downside was that we didnt get to talk to the husband but we will this week. So, Andrea and her daughter accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 14th! The only difficulty will be  getting to church because church starts at 9 and they live 90  mins away by  bus. But like andrea said "When the lord commands you have to obey!" I think having an investigator quote Joseph Smith is a good sign right? :D

Walking through the jungle.
I took some pictures of that city and just of Registro as well. It is way different and has some gorgeous views. We had lunch friday in a house in the middle of the jungle. I took some pictures of that too. So, you all have pictures  coming your way!

Local internet doesn't do so well with uploaded photos.
Austin - Congrats on the talk. I spoke there one time with Pres Neilson. I think it was with him anyway haha. You will tell all my mission stories before I come home haha my   homecoming will be the same as Jessicas! I have discovered that there are weird people in every single place in the world. My companion uses nail polish and wants to go to the salon later today. Help. Me. 

 Cam- email.

Lexi -  Since when do you use the word hype? That was really funny! I havent even seen the 2nd hunger games movie...  There are so many movies tht are coming out! I have never read the books but I think I know what part you are talking about. Not all stories can end perfectly! 

Love you all and like Cullen says:

Stay easy,
Elder Zac Johnson

Monday, November 24, 2014

The longest letter yet!

Dearest Family,

Alright, alright, I guess I have been slacking on the letters. Sooooo here are the fruits of my repentance.

Elder Machado walking amongst the dead.
First, why on earth would someone as saintly as I fight with a companion?? Well, while we were planning at the end of a rather disappointing day, he said "Elder, I feel like I am doing all the work alone." I thought he was joking and asked why he felt that way in a rather sarcastic tone (looking back, it wasnt the most Christ-like thing to do). But he  continued to tell me about how HE is the only one doing contacts and calling the District Leaders and all this nonsense. As he spoke I realized that he was serious and after a 25 minute lecture he ended on "The only thing you do here is get us from appointment to appointment. You know the streets well." 

After one whole transfer here he still cant find his way around. I dont think I have ever been so angry in all my life. I asked him if he was finished and he said yes. And that was the last time I spoke to him that night. I knew that if I had spoken with him at that moment I would have said very hurtful and anger-induced things. I waited until the next day to  talk with him. I told him my side of things about how I am the one who has to gain the member trust because the members dont like  him, about how I am the one who has to gain the trust of the zone because he has lied to the other missionaries numerous times, about how I have to teach the lessons because he cant teach a lesson to save his life, and the list went on. It really wasnt as blunt as I have written it here but at the end he apologized and said that he was just really disappointed about that day and let it out on me. But I told him things that he needed to hear and after that moment he has respected me as a leader. He didnt respect me sooner because I was a new Zone Leader. But the fruits of my labors are showing. The zone respects us and the branch loves us. :)

Having 2 new elders here is interesting. One is about to end his mission in March and the other one has only been a missionary for 4 months and already thinks that he will be a zone leader next transfer. His pride is mind-blowing. But the house is very clean because Elder Machado and I crack down on them. So, all is well there!

My area is extremely hilly. Like I am gaining the best legs in the world. Combine that with the 90 degree weather with 70% humidity and that is my world for now! I took some pictures of the graffiti and the river here which I will send today!

The difficulty that we have here is getting people to church. Everything is very spread out and with all these hills going to church isnt the most appealing thing. Unfortunately, the members here are kind of apostates so the people here have a lot of things against some of the members. It is all we can do to get them to come. Investigators havent come in  nearly 6 weeks. But I do have good news for you!

Remember Julio from my days in Boa Esperança?  HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE BAPTIZED LAST SATURDAY! Actually his wife and daughter baptized a month ago but Julio was baptized last week! When I got that call I was so happy! Thank you for the prayers and fasts on his behalf. God answers prayers in his time!

Not something you find in Temple Square
Also, serving others is a great way to share the gospel. We made a contact with this young couple and when we went to visit them they had forgotten that we had a set appointment. So the husband was leveling the ground to put cement down. We put down our bags and helped him. It blew his mind. He could not believe that 2 kids in white shirts and ties were helping him with such dirty work. But let me tell you, after we finished we had the full and undivided attention and trust of him and his wife. What a spiritual lesson! They were hooked! My only fear is that that probably  arent married legally and we know that they like to drink soooo it is a uphill battle. God really helps us out every day. 

Also, the Conference talk by Carlos Godoy (the brazilian) is perfect. I really enjoy listening to his talk and the one by Jorg klebingat (in portuguese of course). They have helped me a ton as of late!

Austin - Working with Mark?? That is what's up! What exactly do you do?? That  sounds so fun. Photography is the bomb! Is it still the same teacher as when I had it?  He is a strange guy but really cool. Be really creative and do bigger and better things each time and you will succeed in that class! Love ya bro!

Cam - email

It's all about finding the sheep...
Lexi - Looks like you forgot  to write again! Those rubber band bracelets have been a huge hit here. The  fad just arrived here in Brazil and all the primary kids are crazy for those bracelets. Thank you for bringing a smile to the faces of kids you have never met! Love ya Sis!

Have a great week every one and I hope you enjoyed the epistle!

 Love you all!

Elder Zac Johnson

17 November 2014


Well, yet another week has past and I find myself struggling to find something interesting to tell to you haha This week we had a meeting all the way in Guarujá. Actually, the meeting changed location 3 times. Sometimes I wonder... anyways, it was so great to see some of the friends that I have made here! I really love to see everybody. I am pretty isolated way out here. We learned a ton in the conference and President told me that he has changed the reason why he puts missionaries where they are. He said that when the mission started, he sent all the problem missionaries to Registro just to make things a little easier but now he is putting awesome missionaries here (the other ones - not me :P) because he knows that we are capable of doing well under the challenging circumstances that we have here. So I was pretty humbled to here that. 

And we have a ton to do here. There were 19 batisms here and only 1 is active. But the field is white (though slightly sunburned) and ready to harvest! This will be a great transfer and there are only good things ahead!

Austin - You cant like every single teacher that you have! Teacher problems build character ;) What will you be doing for your eagle? It better be better than benches... HA. Life in Brazil is the bomb, though pretty hot. I go to bed really tired every night :D

Cam - email

Lexi - Hey sis! I hope you are doing great and that school is the best ever!

Have a great week!
Elder Zac Johnson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

10 November 2014: A Week of Firsts


Well, I have had a week of firsts. 

This week I had my first "fight" with my companion. He was frustrated with our situation and decided to take it out on me. I literally said nothing back. I was pretty proud of myself. Though, I spent the night thinking hard about the things he said and realized that it was just a stress-induced mess of nonsense that he had said. So, the next morning, I sat him down and gave my side of it. I haven't really been able to see how much I have changed/improved (as far as character goes - portuguese I am basically fluent) but that morning I had an experience with patience that I was really happy with. We worked everything out and spent this week the most united we have been all transfer. 

The other first was that this has been my first transfer working directly with Sister missionaries. What a joy it has been! The power that follows obedient and focused Sisters is amazing. In other zones, the sisters have been iffy but this transfer has changed the way I look at sister missionaries. We have had 3 here in my area but one was transferred. So that brings me to the transfer news.

For the first time on my mission I stayed with my companion. So, it is almost guarunteed that I will be here until my birthday and I am actually okay with that. I love this area and even though we have a ton of challenges, it is a joy to work here. We will receive another set of Elders in our house (so 6 missionaries in one branch... yay) so the cleanliness of our house is about to take a severe blow. Hopefully there wont be too many problems.

Austin - There are better places to work than Maxfit :D Try one of the golf clubs. Driving around rich people in golf carts could be mad fun. That is what everyone in my grade tried to do. Or try to find something different and challenging. Enjoy the new COD. It is on sale here for R$500...

Cam - email

Lexi - How do your teeth look without the braces??? I never got to see you with braces in person... haha that is sad. You are going on a cruise? That is news to me!

Love you all!
Elder Zac Johnson

03 November 2014: HUMP DAY


I was glad to see that ou all had a great Halloween and were able to celebrate with the Elders of the ward. We had some crazy Halloween shenanigans (which was the cause of me almost throwing out my back... but that is a story for another time). Oh my word, that t-shirt was the best! One of the elders from my group (Elder haygood) got the same shirt from his family and so next time I see him, we are gonna wear it and take a picture together! Thank you so much!
Elder Machado, Sisters Rueda, Silva & Fernandez

Well this week we were not able to do a whole lot of teaching this week due to the massive activity that the Sisters planned for Friday. It was a ton! Nearly three whole days were dedicated to this Halloween party. We had a budget of R$1000 but we spent R$703 so I was happy about that. But we had to cut, glue, hang, inflate, tie up, lift, and slide a ton of stuff just to make it happen. I will send some pictures in another email.

But the party was a huge success. We had about 120 people there and about 85% were not from the branch or members at all. We had games, music, and a ton of food.
Hump Day Pizza

The night before the party, I hit my one year! We ordered a pizza and that was about the extent of my celebrating. I am such a party animal, I know.
Can you believe it?

Well, I would like to close this letter with a couple comments. I am super happy with how much I have progressed thus far, and I really have been blessed this past year. I was able to read my journal from my first 134 days and there are some big changes. There is still a ton that I have to improve on and that is the hardest part but it will happen. Being able to improve is one of the greatest gifts that the Atonement of Christ gives us. The Atonement is so much more than just paying the price of the sins of the world (though, that is a major part of it). Change is real and urgent!

One year down, one to go.... On to the next!

Austin - That is so lame. At least now you can get a better job and have the chance to progress! Unfortunately, you can't really "move up" at maxfit, but look for another place that has advancement opportunities. We all have bad weeks but they always come before the good ones! Keep up the good work!

Cam - email

Lexi - 4 teeth in 2 weeks??? You are almost toothless! Do better than I did with retainers... Actually use them:D It is really important, and although it is annoying, you only have to use them at night when you are sleeping! I hope you had a good week and eat a ton of candy for me!

I love you all!
Elder Zac Johnson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

27 Oct. 2014: A lesson on God's will

Hello Fam,

Well, this week I have learned a lesson on God's will. It is interesting because I had read multiple talks on the subject, and to see if I learned anything, God tested me. And the test is still going on haha. But more on this later.

This week we were able to visit the family who is sending a missionary to Montana. Let me tell you, it was the most spiritual lesson I have ever participated. We answered all their questions and after the first vision, tears were shed and a spiritual bomb was set off in that little room. The Spirit even gave the sister an answer right after we recited the first vision. We like to give a little pause between "Hear Him" and explaining the vision, and wow the Spirit does work in that space. It was a really sacred experience, one that you'll have to wait until a later date to hear about :)

The very next day, we taught a mother and a son who were obviously passing through some difficulties. And after another super powerful lesson, the Spirit did the rest and really changed the whole situation. Unfortunately, she is a school teacher and had to work the elections yesterday, butttttttttttt God knew that. So, we had lunch at the District President's house and he had to vote after we ate. He just so happened to go to the same school where this mom was working with the Sisters too. They talked to her, and invited her to the Halloween Party (yeah, it is called a party here not some fall festival nonsense haha) we will have on Friday. She accepted, even remembered our names, and called US this morning asking for another visit as soon as possible. Miracles are real.
My Zone
But, even after these super spiritual experiences, none of our investigators came to church. Not even one. So, we will not be able to meet the mission goal of every missionary baptizing this month. Yeah, I was angry and confused. But then all those talks on God's will came to mind along with the Mormon Message by Elder  Christofferson about the Gardener. 
The Branch

So, I am learning humility. Slowly but surely haha.

Austin - Goodbyes are hard, but now is your time to help some of these young men who really dont have anybody. Yes, you may not like them, nor do you have to. But you have to love them. It is the essence of the gospel! Please write Cullen every week. He may not have a lot of home support, so make the extra effort to write him too. Love ya bro.

Cam - email

Lexi - Hello favorite Sister! That movie is pretty popular here, did you like it? All the girls at my school read that book. What is it about?? You are going to be mom?? How scary ;) I miss Don! You cant be a picky eater in Brazil! You eat some strange things! Love ya!

I love you all! I hope you guys have an awesome week!

Live the life :D
Elder Zac Johnson

20 October 2014


Sounds like you guys have all had an awesome week! Full of parties and surprises! I hope YOU are keeping a journal. These are times worth remembering!

This week has been good, though very tiring. We have worked hard and summer is arriving very quickly. Wow, it is hot. Also, Elder Machado and I had to have a talk about time management and other small issues. We are getting along, but we are learning patience!

So the whole mission has a goal for every missionary to have a baptism and i'll just say that our faith is being tested. We have some possibilities but we are in need of a miracle at this point. And I think we were blessed with one.

Yesterday after the meetings a family walked in and nervously came up to me and asked me a thousand questions about the mission. They have a son who moved to Utah to live with his uncle, got baptized, and leaves for his mission to Montana in December. I answered all their questions, calmed all their fears, and this humble family thanked me profusely. They passed us their address (they live in another city in our area) and asked us to visited them along with a promise that they would come on time for next weeks service... all without me asking. I think they were the answer to our fast and prayers. We will see what we can do this week for them!

Be happy. It is the best thing ever :D

Austin - GO BIRTHDAY PARTIES. I am glad you had fun, and it sure sounds like you have some classy friends. That is a good thing! It reflects a lot about who you are and the impact you have on your friends. Congrats dude.

Cam - email

Lexi - I laughed so hard at your email! I love the way you word things. You need to write me every week! How are you losing teeth when you have braces?? I am a little confused on that point. But no, I dont know what it is like to "have 5 boys from school like me." Thankfully that has not been a problem of mine :D But you should learn to not tell mom about loose teeth ya goof! TRAVIS RAN INTO A POLE?? What a stud haha

So, I found out that my companion has silk pjs.  Then I discover that he had 2 pairs
There is nothing more attractive than Brazilian Silk PJs and Fake Hipster glasses.

Love you all so much! 

Elder Zac Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Leadership Training Meeting

Batter up!

It is outta here!!!

Ahhh...what is for lunch?!

Elder Johnson and Elder Machado

Zone Meeting: Teaching how to teach

Everyone is in Brazil!


Sounds like you guys have had a crazy week with Dad gone and Cullen leaving and Cameron giving boss talks! But another week has passed and now everything is back to normal! Normality is good... sometimes.

My letter wont be super long today. This week went by without anything super notable. Though we did have one day with the Assistants. We went to this one neighboorhood out in the boondocks and we built a house. Pretty impressive right? not really, this house was pretty sketchy but it was better than a lot of the houses I have been in. But way out there we ate sugar cane. Yeah it was pretty cool. It was like chewing on a massive sweetened toothpick. I had never tried it but you actually cant eat it. You have to chew it up and suck the sugar juice out of it. 

Yesterday was the primary program here in the branch. We only have 8 kids and one has special needs. They sang a ton of songs, or at least they tried to. They had to sing to tape recordings of the songs and it was angelic. I never would have thought that a choir of out-of-tune and out-of-time kids could bring such a powerful spirit. Almost everyone was in tears! What faith, what joy, and what a heavenly experience! 

Last night we had a mission wide emergency transfer and almost all the problem missionaries were taken out and we got absolute all-stars! I am really excited for the rest of this transfer and we will see some great success!

Also, two of the elders that were in the MTC with me and were reassigned to Tucson with me finally got their visas and will be here tomorrow! All Elders from my MTC district are now in Brazil! Took almost a year, but it happened! We truly have to work on God's time, not ours!

we had an activity and I was in charge of the treat... Banana, strawberry, and 3 plates of brigaderio. It was celestial. Look what you have to look forward to when I get back ;)

Also, this other pic was taken close to where we built a house for a service project.

Austin - How will you live without Cullen for the next 2 years??? I am super stoked for him and only have one thing to say.... YOU'RE NEXT. I would encourage you to start preparing in the non-gospel things now like laundry, COOKING, and playing the piano. Try to learn the hymns. Even when missionaries only know a little bit, the members prefer that than a recording that the piano has downloaded on it. Sooooo sounds like you have some talents to develop :D Good luck and have an awesome week!

Cam - email.

Lexi - SIS! I miss you! I hope you are doing well and that school is going well. Are you making new friends? Is the work harder? Are you too smart?? I hope you have a good week and keep being a stud! :D

Love you all,
Elder Zac Johnson



How did you like conference?? I thought it was pretty fantastic myself! Hearing the talk in portuguese was pretty insane, not gonna lie, and that talk was one of my favorites. Though I really enjoyed the talks by D. Todd, Uchtdorf (about the testimony), and Jörg Klebingat. So many answers and blessings were received on those two days.

So, this week has been kind of crazy. I got to meet all of the investigators here and we have quite severe cases of laziness and lack of physical ability. One is in a wheel-chair, the other has a prosthetic leg, and the other has had a broken leg for the past 6 months. We aren't exactly hitting home-runs in the physical department and they all have a lack of motivation to learn more about the church. So, we will be focusing on finding new investigators that dont have so many physical disablilities. These disabilities wouldnt be a problem if they were spiritual giants, but the lack of effort they put in to the appointments and reading really limit the spiritual progress. 

A MIRACLE HAPPENED LAST NIGHT. President Monson 's final comments really touched me. His blessing at the very end rang in my ears long after he finished. "For those of you who are far from home, I invoke Heaven's blessings so that when you return home, you will find everything in order." I was confused at why I felt the Spirit so strong when he pronouced that blessing. But I knew that I would benefit from it soon. Soon? 13 months is a long time!

Well, the District President asked us to lock up the chapel for him. We decided to stack all the chairs and clean up the chapel a little bit. Since this was a last minute decision, I left my bag on the floor in the lobby. This lobby is a small room with a front and back entrance. Both were wide open. I leaned my umbrella against the bag and got to work. We finished quickly and I decided to go get my bag. Before I turned the corner of the lobby, I heared my umbrella hit the floor. Turning the corner, I saw that my bag was gone and the umbrella was on the floor. My first thought was that one of the youth must have returned to the chapel and was trying to be funny, so I walked out the back entrance. Seeing a male-figure in the dark behind a wire fence (still thinking it was a member), I let out a laugh and said "I caught you!" This random man I had never seen before walked out from behind the fence and asked about the church and with a smile and a handshake, I invited him to the ward activity on wednesday night. He accepted the invitation, walked back behind the fence and, getting on his bike, left the chapel. I returned inside and asked Elder Machado if he had seen my bag. He hadn't and the Sisters gave me the same answer. I felt the need to go look behind the fence. When I got there, I found my bag on the ground, unopened and with nothing missing (i only had my scriptures in there). I had literally caught the guy before he had a chance to search it. 

As I shared my discovery and put the puzzle together about what had happened, President Monson's promise echoed in my head. Oh how I am grateful for a prophet and the Celestial protection that I have.

I know that Conference can answer any question that we may have. Remember the promised blessings and commandments that we received! That is God speaking to us today!

Austin - Powerful essay. Really made me think! Just do better with Cameron than I did with you.

Cam - email

Lexi - Congrats on your project and with Irish dance! Keep doing your best, and you'll be happy!

Love you all,
Elder Zac Johnson

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mission Conference September 2014

Zone Leader in Registro


What a week! I got here in Registro on Wednesday night at midnight... it was a long bus ride (one that I have to take again today!). But deciding where to start is going to be hard...

Basically, my area is 10 cities. Yes, 10. And yes, we have investigators in 4 of them. So, we have to be super careful about when we plan things and we have to use almost all of our money on bus fares. We have a branch here that is pretty weak but there are some awesome people in it. The branch president looks like Bro. Potter and his wife looks like Sis Bealer. But they are hilarious and freaking awesome so it is all good. This city was built by the Japanese and there are a ton of steep hills... Walking all day is very tiring. I will lose some weight here! 

This zone is known as the "punishment zone". Basically, you break the rules and get exiled here. Leading these elders and sisters will be hard, as they know why they are here and do not respect you. But I am really excited for the challenges and the necessity that I have here to grow and improve. 
View out our window

My Companion, Elder Henrique Machado, is pretty cool. Honestly, a little  "different" and kind of lacks in the social skills department, but that does not stop him from doing contacts and trying (TRYING) to make jokes in the lessons. He has already hit his year mark and really knows his Bible. I feel like we will be a good team though we will need some time to work out some kinks. We have a huge house and it is just us in it so I can't complain. Though, my comp managed to break the fridge, so we are limited in the food department. Just keep swimming!

We had a mission conference about Keeping the Sabbath Day holy... and I discovered that I didnt do a good job keeping that commandment at home. Many of my Sunday activities will change when I get back home. Learn what I learned by watching this: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-07-053-upon-my-holy-day?lang=eng 

Austin: Thanks for all the deets! Sounds like you are making the most of your time! Keep up the good work! I think I had Mrs. Smith as my english teacher... Sophmore year. If it is her, I hope she doesnt hate you because of me haha Those were some great Spirit week ideas! I hope you took some pictures! And all those bands would come to VA when I am in Brazil.... Oh well, I will see them when I get back! Love ya brooooo

Cam - email

Lexi - congrats on your quiz score! Are you still doing Irish Dance?? My new companion is pretty cool! He is short and kinda weird but he is chill. I hope you feel better and stop throwing up!

Love you all,

Elder Zac Johnson

Monday, September 22, 2014

LATE POSTING from 09/01/2014


Elen's baptism
Well this was an awesome week. It really was one of the best week of the mission. Elen was baptized on Sunday! It was such a special day. We had over half the ward there and it was the most spiritual baptism that many of them had ever attended. She was baptized by Diego, who is the best member the church has and she was confirmed by the second counselor of the Stake Presidency, President Arauju (from Enseada). I literally cannot describe (in English or Portuguese haha) what I felt during that sacred experience. 

There are few moments in life where you feel like you are touching heaven. Some I have already experienced and some will come later in life. But I dont think I have ever been so happy nor felt so much love. She is only 12 but her mom came back to church and was in tears the whole time. She calls us her "sons" and could barely get out the "thank you" after it was all done. I couldn't have asked for a better baptism for them. And really it was their day. There really was a party in heaven on Sunday.

Beyond the baptism, there really wasnt much that happened. I went on a division with Elder Richards again and I went on another division 2 days later to help another Elder with "lazy" investigators. The problem turned out to be a lack of effort on the teaching side. That was sad to see. 

Saturday night we went to a stake activity with all the ward choirs and it was awesome. I was able to see a ton of members from Enseada again and it was nice to hear how much they were sad that I left so quick. 

Also, I did the baptismal interview for one of Andrew's investigators that I met when I was in Enseada. He works at a store in Enseada that I went to a lot and I had a couple conversations with him about the church. Well, he lives in Andrew's area and the missionaries found his sister while tracting. He listened in on a lesson and that was all he needed! He was baptized on Saturday and has already asked to go on splits with the Elders. He is 18 and wants to serve a mission. He truly is one of God's elect! 

Whatever happens this week (If I am transferred or not) I will be super happy. We have some more people with baptismal dates for the coming weeks and hopefully the ward is more excited and willing to help us out!

On to the next,

Austin - Did you get one of those hipster haircuts?? I saw the ice bucket video and I thought u had that kind of haircut. Cool! I hope you have an awesome first week of school. What are you taking?? Send da deets.

Cam - email.

Lexi - Dont be a bum! send your email so that I can send you one too! Have a good week at school! 

Love you all,

Elder Zac Johnson

LATE POSTING from 09/08/2014

Hey there family!

What a week! We have been focusing on doing an activity for the ward... This ward hasnt had an activity in 3 years! No wonder everyone complains about not having activities. but more on that later. 

Igor is an investigator that we have who has a baptismal date for Saturday but we will change it to Sunday after church... Those baptisms always have a ton of people! But we taught him yesterday after church and we had the help of one of the youth who is about to send in his call and another who is less-active and is returning to activity! What a powerful lesson! The less-active had tears in his eyes as he testified of Joseph Smith. What an unforgettable spirit! We have increased the attendance at church every week this transfer and people are really liking us! It is awesome! A missionary will return home to this ward tonight and the ward is so antsy to see him. Hopefully this will spark a missionary spirit in the ward! 

But the problem in this ward is "Sunday Members." They come to church, TALK about doing visits, improving, being more loving, etc. But then they go home and before they know it, Sunday comes again and it is the same thing. My companion and I were lectured on how we dont work as hard in the Lord's vineyard as the members of the church... (Insert super humble and inspiring discourse on how they are right and that missionaries are prideful to say that they live the law of consecration...) "Living your religion" is the hardest part about about the church in Brazil. So when we live our religion we are being true disciples of Christ. We are being real members of his church (see this talk here)

I love this quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”

​With these two examples, one being one of the most doctine-filled quotes of all time, my challenge for you guys is to live this principle. Can we say that this description of Christ's disciples applies to us? "What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do.​"
I sure hope so.

I know that the sacrifice is worth it. The reward makes the sacrifice that we need to make appear insufficient. It is all worth it. Nothing that this world or Satan can offer is worth giving up on the gospel because "it's hard." 

Like Elder Holland says: "Salvation is not a cheap experience. The Gospel isnt easy because salvation is not easy." 

Austin - I cannot believe that football has started. I had a feeling that it would be an ugly season for the Cowboys... I loved APUSH but I took world geography and colored maps all day, so I cant say anything bad about your classes haha. Everyone deserves an "easy" year every now and then. Just dont let the easiness turn into an excuse to not do your best! I am doing good! Just working working working haha! Love ya bro

Cam - email

Lexi - SEND ME AN EMAIL GIRL. I hope school is going well for you!

Love you all!
Elder Zac Johnson

Scripture Mastery Pie Fight!!!

The scripture chase begins...

Guess who lost?

The face of defeat.

15 months ago, these two competed at seminary.  Who will win now?

Elder Richards' face says it all.
Here it comes.....!
Should have paid more attention in seminary!
How sweet it is!
Another great memory in Brazil!
Thanks to Sister Hale for the photographs!!