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."

Monday, January 27, 2014

Brazil: Week 1

Well this place is nuts. Too much has happened that can fit in this email. Since arriving i´ve had some of the best food i´ve ever had, sweat more than I ever have, hardly have drank enough, seen the worst poverty ever, seen the most humble people, been treated with unrivaled kindness, and have been so loved I can not adequately describe it. 

The people here have nothing. literally nothing. We had lunch (the big meal here) with the ward mission leader´s family. His son´s prized possession was 2 stacks of business cards. Every store he goes in, he gets a card. He handled it with more care than a mom does a newborn. BAM, humbled. I´ve had people who live in shacks give us glasses of cold water, that they save for weeks to buy. We work in the favelas (slums/shanty towns) and the people there are so humble. There is an investigator family here that I just love. They have an 7 year old daughter that calls me her american. Yesterday we had lunch with a member family and a couple nonmembers and there was a little boy who was 9 or 10 who realized that I couldn´t speak well and can only really understand when people talk slowly. So, that´s what he did. It wasn´t insulting but rather caring. He wanted me to feel like a part of the group. He showed me the greatest example of including others. we live right by the church building (one block south) with 2 other elders. one of them, elder lopes, is so awesome. He has really helped me a ton. My comp speaks no english so yes, this has been a long week.

My birthday  was the greatest one i´ve ever had. We spent all day in the favela, teaching people. We teach the first lesson every single day. It was so hot but i´m not sunburned (actually getting a tan WHADDUP). at night there was a concert here so the bus ride home took almost an hour instead of the usual 20 mins. But we got off a stop early and walked right past our street. I asked elder olivera what we were doing and he said that we were going to stop at a members house real quick. it was pretty late so i was like ummmmm okay. When we got to their tiny cramped apartment, the lights were off and there was a cake with candles there. The other elders had set this up during the day (easy to do when you can´t understand the freaking language haha) and they were there with this young family. it was a surprise party! Needless to say, I was speechless! I had mentioned that the 25th was my birthday my first day here and they remembered. In broken english, elder lopes asked me, ´´Did you think that we forgot your birthday?´´ This family had nothing, lived in a slum, and they made me a huge birthday cake. How many times can one be humbled in one week?!?!?!?!

I love it here. Slowly I am understanding more but it is coming very slowly. I get stared at a lot because I am the only american people have seen in a long time. Elder Goldade is in my district so that rocks. But I´m so happy to be here and i have nothing to complain about. my area doesn´t have any mosquitos so I´m still alive! Though, i wouldn´t mind some snow.

I´m super sorry about the short call. my flight out of tucson was delayed taking off. I´m pretty pissed about that. I hope you guys aren´t too upset at me. 

I´m doing really well here but the language is extremely hard for me. It´ll come in time. Oh, my 3 month anniversary is in 3 days! Isn´t that nuts?

Enjoy the cold weather!! miss you guys a ton!

Love you guys, 

Elder Johnson

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