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, June 16, 2014

World Cup Craziness!

Hey there family,

Stuck in the apartment during the game.
Let me start with the World Cup. It is the coolest thing ever. All that morning, people were shooting fireworks and throwing bombs in the streets. It was craziness! And of course, the weirdos were everywhere! We talked to a man who was drunk out of his mind who told us that he was a member of the church since Joseph Smith and that he was in the States when he died. Lunatics. But when the game started we were in our house watching a movie and all of a sudden this huge roar from outside came! Our house was shaking! Literally the entire city was yelling. I have never experienced anything like that. It happened 4 more times (3 goals and one for the victory). Fireworks, guns, flags, bombs, glass bottles, super annoying horn things, just pure noise! The streets were literally dead during the game. No cars, no people, no buses. Just silence. And then GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! I will try to catch it on film tomorrow! It was super cool!  With the craziness of the world cup, you dont need to worry. there are no gunshots in my part of the city. I am in the "centro" so it is pretty safe as far as gun violence goes. The area of the sisters though... is a different story. 

So as far as the work goes, Luiz is progressing very well. He has no problems with the Law of Chastity or the Word of Wisdom and has kept every single commitment. We are just waiting on an answer! He is slated to be baptized this saturday (depending on the answer)! He is the most polite person I have ever met. He came to church yesterday and gave answers in the classes that were blowing members away! I am super excited for him. We'll see what happens this week :)

But we did receive some bad news from our Bishop. He told us that he has no goals for baptisms or number of people at church. His focus in on the youth, which is already crazy strong and stable. He could care less about missionary work. It is a set back and was pretty disheartening. But the Elder's Quorom president is a stud and is helping us out a ton. Literally we work with the Elders quorum a ton and they are the best. 

Can't stop our Brazilian pride!
Austin - Why are you so smart? You get good grades, then have to watch your money evaporate because of stupidity! Congrats :) But seriously, take Dad's challenge and read the BoM. Mark up your scriptures. I am rereading Helaman in Portuguese (I sped through it in english and didnt really get much out of it) and now it is my favorite book in the BoM! Helamã 5 is my favorite chapter. You will thank us later :)

Cam - email

Lexi - How did all your tests go? Did you cry on your last day? I remember you doing that last year ;) I hope you did well and are excited for the 5th grade! You are the top of your school now! Utah will be super fun and you will have to give Grandma a big hug and kiss for me. She has sent me letters here in Brazil and they are awesome!

Dad - I was going to write happy fathers day in Portuguese but I said it out loud and my companion just asked if America has a holiday for bread...(the plural of dad is very similar to the plural of bread...#accentproblems).

Boa semana pra cada um de vocês!

Com muito amor,
elder johnson 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chipped Tooth and World Cup Craziness

Hello family of mine!

So, I have had a crazy week. I went to a dentist, half my face was numb for a couple hours, found out about what we have to do during the world cup, had a stake conference, and found 2 of the elect here in São Vicente! 

The dentist trip... was interesting. Nerve-wracking really. But it is over now! Until next week that is...

We have picked up some new investigators thanks to the English Classes. And one of them introduced us to 2 of her sons and they have all accepted baptismal dates! The work is progressing but getting the investigators to church is our biggest trial. Sunday morning laziness is huge here. 

My portuguese is improving, slowly but surely. I can understand almost everything but talking fast and smooth is a struggle still. Telling stories are the worst. I need to get better!

The Cup starts on the 12th and goes until July 8th and we have to stay home on the days that Brazil plays. Literally all day. We can leave for lunch, but we have to go back home and stay there all day. We cant watch the games or listen to them on the radio. How fun is that? There will be a ton of boredom the next couple weeks.This place is going nuts. A ton of the streets are painted in gorgeous ways for the cup. I need to take some pictures. There are flags in all the windows and everyone is wearing the jerseys! It is exciting but disappointing because we cant participate.
Our stake conference had 2 General Authorities there and we watched a pre-recorded broadcast from Salt lake. Did you know that Richard G Scott knows how to speak portuguese? Well, he can and he gave his entire talk in portuguese. Though, it was like a speech by Obama. He paused after every couple of words and kept shifting around. It was pretty cool though. 

During the Saturday meeting of the conference, the GA sent everyone out of the chapel and into the street to make contacts with people for 20 mins. We recieved soooooooo many references. It was an answer to prayes for sure and really left the other missionaries in our zone incredibly jealous. It really helps when the entire stake does missionary work in your area :)

But some members brought two people with them into the meeting after the 20 mins were up. Luiz and his son Richard (spelled this way but not pronounced the same) joined us in the meeting then came back the next day for the broadcast! We have an appointment set up for tomorrow with them! Who knows, a baptism could be close!

Elder Dourado and I made a calendar thing that has everything that we have to do in a day to be EXACTLY obedient to every mission rule/goal. We have not been perfect, but we try our hardest every day and we are receiving the blessings for it!

That's been my week and I hope you guys had a great one!

Austin - 12 numbers?! PLAYAAAAA. But congrats on the grades and doing well on the exams! Your schedule is pretty good but I hope you realize that you do less work in APUSH than the other class :) APUSH is a hard class but it was my 2nd favorite that I took. AP GOV takes the cake! Keep doing the #NiceOGramFriday. You have no idea how much something that simple can mean to someone! Even if they write you a great thank you, there are some things that words cannot describe. Love ya broskie

Cam - email

Lexi - Are you sure that your teeth are white? ;) Congrats on being moved up! All your hard work is paying off! Who knows, you might just be an expert when i get back. I can dance too. The cha-cha slide :) I cannot believe that you will be in the 5th grade. I remember my teacher, Mrs Perger like it was yesterday! She was one of my favorite teachers there at Clara Byrd Baker. I went there when we moved to Williamsburg and now I'm on a mission. WHY AM I SO OLD?!?! Have a good week sis. Love ya!

Elder Johnson

Monday, June 2, 2014

7 Month Mark!


Monica and Dandars's Baptism
What a week it has been. We have had to leave some investigators because they dont want to get married. Oh, the excuses are pathetic. One lady told us that she doesnt want to marry someone with drinking problems but has lived with this guy for 15 years now and has had 2 kids with him (adding to the 7 she has had with 3 different men). Brazil right? We found a kid who is really looking to change though. Maxwell is 17, already and ex-con, smokes, and has a spirit of a 2 year old girl named Trovada (thundered in english) that talks to him. This. Place. Is. Nuts. 

But the work is progressing... slowly. The lack of effort from everyone is kind of astonishing. But that is just the way things go sometimes... 

We have had to help the sisters in our zone a ton this week so teaching has not been a frequent activity. Between interviews, blessings of comfort and health, playing psychiatrist, and other things, it is a miracle we got as much teaching done as we did.  

The world cup starts in 2 weeks and this place is getting crazy. Painted sidewalks, houses, churches, everything is green and yellow. It is going to be crazy and President still hasnt told us anything about what we can and cannot do. The suspense!

Thats really all the news I have for this week. Just crazy people and minor speed bumps. LIFE :)

Helped the father quit smoking, Reactivated the Father, He married the Mother, Received the Priesthood, then baptized the two most important girls in his life = one of the happiest days of my misison

Cam - emailll

Lexi - I am glad that you liked the pictures! I will try to take more and send them often! I hope you know that the kids here love your bracelets! They have never seen them before so needless to say, I have no more left to give! Thank you for all the hard work and best of luck at your recital :D

Austin - arrependa-se.

Have a good week errybudy

Elder Johnson

Sao Vincente Apartment Photos

The bathroom.  Yes, the toilet and the shower are in the same corner.  Efficiency at its best!  Notice only one faucet.

The Presidential Suite.  Zac's is the one under the window.
Just a washer...no dryers.......

26 May 2014

 Hey Family!

What a week it has been! It is my second week now in the new area and I love it! It is super cool and way different than Enseada, which I loved. Some things are better, some things are worse but the internet here is crazy fast so I can and will send more pictures this transfer.

Elder Dourado and Elder Johnson
 First, my companion. Elder Dourado is a stud! He is so funny, but he is a perfect companion. He is patient with me and is helpful in a ton of ways. It also helps that he is freaking hilarious. He says some of the funniest things. He likes to sing... a lot... in english... it is the funniest thing ever. Elder Bushman really liked him and  I do too. His 10 month anniversary was yesterday and it was great. is already number 2 on my companion list. Beating Elder Netane will be hard but he just might do it. 

 in our area our biggest trial is marriages. No one is married in this town! It is rather annoying and we have to play marriage counselor for half of our investigators. But the work is progressing! We found a family to teach and I am super excited for them! We will be giving them the first lesson this week and I am so stoked!

I am serving in Ala 3, Ward 3, here in São Vicente and the building is the stake center. That is why it is so massive. Cool fact, the cultural halls here dont have basketball hoops! It is so weird to not see them. They have soccer goals in the parking lots. Crazy huh? 

The youth in this ward are crazy... they all call me Tintin (well here its pronounced chinchin) (This is due to Zac's haircut resembling the hair of the main character in the movie "The Adventures of TinTin.")but they are all nice. There is something about American missionaries that everyone loves. I dont know. But we had an activity last night for one of the other wards and they all freaked out because I have "clear eyes"... Brazilians.

The members here are awesome and we eat really well. We dont have to take the bus a whole lot so we can buy more food. The 10:00 rumblies are the worst!

This week was the "Weekend of Baptisms" where President said that every missionary will baptize this weekend. We didnt. Most of the mission didnt. So there is a lecture coming for sure about how we dont have faith and personal righteousness. It is a bunch of bogus that I dont agree with but whatever! If the mission president says I dont have faith, then I guess I don't.

 It was hard to do anything productive this week because we were called at the last second to do interviews. Either that or the sister missionaries always needed us to do something for them. Sister missionaries are awesome but they are the most needy group of people ever. They called us for the smallest and least important things but we have to help them out.

Shoes worn out in the service of the Lord
 Life is such an adventure. I think that is what I love most about my life right now. Every time I walk out of the door of our apartment building there is always one giant question mark. What will happen today? There is something adventurous about walking out into the street and not really knowing what will happen. It is the greatest ever.

So, that has been my week! Not anything super exciting but it will get better!

Austin - I hope you had a great time at the temple! Last night President Cabral said that EVERYTHING in this church is here for the sole purpose of taking the family to the temple. Literally everything in this life, that has celestial importance, revolves around the temple. The blessings of the temple are the most precious and ones that you dont really think about until you are a missionary and your one goal is to get families there. Family is what life is all about. I hope you realize how special your opportunity was to be baptized for Penelope's relatives. It is a huge honor to be baptized for the family of someone you know. I still remember being baptized for some of Sister Plumley's relatives and how grateful she was that I was worthy to perform the ordinances. You never know the extent of the impact you have on people.

Cam - Getting taller! Dad sent me a picture of you and Austin at the temple and bro that tie is sick. Instant tie envy right now. I never understood the importance of awesome ties until the mission. Literally your tie is the only thing you can change in your day to day clothing. I hope you had a great time there. Honestly, the DC temple is the most beautiful and is MASSIVE compared to other temples. Count your blessings!

Lexi - You saw the book thief ! I am so jealous!  I bet it was awesome. I wish I had the book but I don't. It is worth the buy! Maybe it could be a late birthday present ;) I hope you did well at your irish dance recital! Are you still the best one there? ;) Have a good week sis :D

Have a good week everyone!

Nothing but love,