Friday, December 23, 2011


Wow, thanks for the e-mails! I opened up my email account and was suprised to see so many emails that I have recieved. Dont have a lot of time so I will start right out.
The ward I am in is the Los Pinos ward which I think means the pines. The ward members are very nice and kind. We get to eat lunch with a ward member all the time which is nice. Im still adjusting to the food a bit but it is very delicious. I was a bit worried if they try to offer me water but most everybody uses filters. But only when they drink water which is rare. Every body drinks soda which is mostly coca-cola. Im starting to contribute a bit more in lessons but I'm still more quiet then I would like. One of our investigators, Yolanda and her daughter Lupita are going to be baptized on the 24th if it alll goes well. Yolanda has a lot of kids and her kids are funny. They laugh a lot at my troubles with the language but they also like to help. We recieve a lot of references this week so we are going to follow up on that. This last week was a bit frustrating because we did not have as much time as we would like to do actual work. Elder Guevara is the district leader so he has to do baptsimal interviews which usually requires us to take a bus on account that our mission area is MUY GRANDE. But its good that so many people are ready to be baptized. We dont track as much but its a lot better then I thought that it would be, most of the time they usually say no but are willing to talk for us for a second and take a pamphlet.
I hitch hiked for the first time in my life. I had to go on splits with another missionary because my companero had a meeting to go to. That was a lot of fun. I also had my first rain storm in Tijuana, when that happens everything turns to mud and the streets are flooded. I was really thankful for the boots and umbrella. The shoes are working great too. We walk up a lot of hills and they are holding up great, but I fail to see how the last mission president before Carreon could have enforeced the rule of haveing all shoes shined. Mine are covered in dirt. :)
It shocked me to find out that our area was considered one of the more higher income areas. The neighborhood that live right next to us, its called colle 3 octubre, all the houses are built out of plywood, cement blocks and any bits of wood that they can find. We also need to leave that area after 7 since its considered dangerous at that time of night. A lot of the people here are very poor.
One of are investigators, Gracia was feeling very overwhelemed with all the things she has to do and frustrated. I shared the scripture Ether 12:27 (favorite) and she looked a bit better. Im not entirely sure though, couldnt understand her.
My companion speaks English, but all the information you gathered on him is right. He is from monterrey, Mexico and only has a little bit of time left in his mission.  He really loves american music and movies. He knows a lot about american pop culture which makes me laugh a bit at times.
 I asked around about the temple and the church is waiting for the government to sign some documents to start, Sorry I dont know why it started underling. Blake sent me mail? awesome! I have not yet gotten. I probably will get it later at zone conference. Tell Blake and everybody else I said HI!.Im probably going to call you guys on Christmas day after church. I have gotten mail from the family including grandma and grandpa. But I have not recieved letters yet.
Love Micah
 Yolanda and parts of her family
Elder Johnson with Yolanda, her family and companion Elder Guevera

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Family
This week I have gotten settled into Tijuana a bit more. I admit when I got here and we drove in Mexico traffic (filled with lots of moments of excitement) to our apartment and walked into our apartment, the first word I thought was...dang. But that feeling quickly went away. Since the next morning we went out tracking and I saw the state of how most people live here in Tijuana. A lot of shacks put together by plywood, metal and any building blocks they can find. I had an awesome first couple of days. My espanol is starting to improve a bit. Yesterday at church at a Christmas devotional they were really impressed with how far I have come along in 4 days. My first day tracting and the first door I stopped at was a member of the church. He took us to his mom who was not a member and now she and some of her daughters are now progressing investigators. Yolanda has accepted a baptismal invitation in about 2 weeks so I hope all goes well. We have also been teaching a family, Gracia and Santo. They love their kids and are a pretty happy family, we invited them to come to church last Sunday but they were not able to make it. sister got sick. But they are still progressing so I have high hopes. People here are extremely nice. I don't do a whole lot of talking in lessons yet but I am starting to more and more. Elder Guevara my companion knows English too so he helps me when I don't know a word or phrase.Every person we have contacted we usually are able to leave a pamphlet or a card. If they're not interested they usually say no but complement us. Ward members are really nice as well. One family I visited on are second day was a family that was recently baptized but had not been very active. When we walked in the mom was upset because the family was suffering a lot of stress because her 25 year old daughter is very sick. There was a lot of conversation I didn't understand and a lot of tears. After they were comforted a bit they realized I was there and got really excited since I was from America and they wanted to practice there English. That's really surprising me about Tijuana, more people then I expect know English. If they don't know they at least know a couple words or phrases. A lot work in California and just live in Tijuana
Its hard to believe the amount of differences and similarities there are between Tijuana and The United States. If I had to choose a couple of words to describe Tijuana it would be dogs, music and noise. There are dogs and cats everywhere. Most families have a couple of dogs and there are dozens that just roam around the neighborhood. Also you will be walking one neighborhood and the houses will be about a middle class look and the next neighbor hood will be very poor. We were walking next to some shops and we came across this really high wall with barbed wire on top. I thought it was a prison or something but when I looked it was filled with really nice houses. The super rich just live in a fortress together. There is a lot of music that people blare, including American music.
I think my friends would be sad to know that so far Tijuana has not lived up to the infamy that they thought. There are some gun shots at night and police lights blaring but nothing for a cause of alarm. I have been told that all the fighting has moved down south.
I also met the famous elder Stuart Mayo, he is in my district and is really nice. But I did not tell him that I read his blog.
What the other missionaries tell me though is that in TJ one religion that is really popular (besides Catholicism) is something called Santa Muerte (holy death). Its sort of a cult that has grown in popularity here that is kind of a bit freaky. But still nothing here like the news makes it out to be. Yesterday the police officer who watches over are building block came by and gave us a bill for 20 pesos. I need to go get some more today. I couldn't help but think though what would happen if we one week didn't pay him...hmmm. nothing good that's for sure. The food here has been pretty good. The big meal of the day is lunch, every day we usually go to a members house for lunch. They drink a lot of Coca-cola and Fanta instead of water. I have always been very careful of the water I drink.
 Can you also send me some ear plugs or something like that? my companion snores. Loudly. I've been loosing some sleep. I would really appreciate it. I cant wait to call you guys on Christmas!
Love Elder Johnson

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last week Maybe?

Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. Sorry but me and my companion have still not received our travel plans which has us worried considering we are suppose to leave on Monday originally. The travel office has told us that if we didn't receive our travel plans by Friday to come back and talk. If I do receive them I will let you guys know. We had to go to Salt Lake City for about 4 hours to visit the Mexican consulate to fill out some papers. It was kind of neat seeing a bit of the outside world after not leaving the MTC for weeks, but it turned out to be like getting a license renewed at the DMV, slow and tedious. Luckily I had a of  couple books to read. Three of the elders in our district left in the middle of Wednesday because they needed to fly to Boise Idaho and go to Mexico's consulate there since the one in Salt lake was full. This was a blessing I think for our district. The 3 who had to go have become very lazy, annoying and a hindrance when ever we have class, study time and language study. There not taking the work very seriously, which was surprising to the rest of us since one of them use to be District leader and while he was, he worked very hard but now has gone in the opposite direction. It was getting so bad that verbal confrontations were becoming a common occurrence outside of class. Because they left I think we will have cooler heads when they return.
Thanksgiving was great. We had a devotional from Russel M Nelson. He told of his stories as a heart surgeon and his efforts to bring the church in Russia. Very inspiring. We had a turkey dinner with pie. All that was missing was the bubblie. We did a service project putting together emergency kits for those in Sudan. We ended by watching the film 17 miracles, a couple of guys in are district hadn't seen it and there were a lot of tears.
A recent devotional we had though was from a member of the quorum of the 70 and his wife. Brother Yamashta I think, he also spoke in the last general conference. His wife's English was a bit slow but the message and spirit were strong. It reminded me that this is probably how we sound when we bear are testimonies in Spanish. Hard to understand but strong spiritually. Brother Yamashta talked about how we need to immerse ourselves in the culture and love the people. Thats a new goal now. I want to see people the way Christ See's them
Dad-hey I'm going to send the card back that had William Tolivn. I'm afraid I wasn't able to get to him till today. Last week our P day landed on thanksgiving and the week before that my companion wanted to do inititorys. sorry I don't know if I will get time for the card you sent. Do i use predicad mi Evangelio? only every day :) they were not kidding when they told me that you would use preach my gospel (Spanish and English) a lot. That's a piece of advice I would give to every upcoming missionary is to read preach my gospel as much as possible. With my companion there are times that I love and feel lucky to be his companion, other times I just want to get away from him.  But those moments are not very common. The only thing that has annoyed me is that he has not read the BOM, and I think its important because its hypocritical to ask someone to read the BOM if you have not. You also don't fully know the doctrine till you have taught it but he is also a very hard worker and is excellent with the language. I think that even the best of companionships have this problem. It was difficult at first because we have really different backgrounds and personalities but we get along very well. Oh I forgot to tell you last time. but I finished the BOM again, Jesus the Christ, True to the Faith and Our Search for Happiness. Right now what I'm really trying to work on in language study is preterit and imperfect tense. Keep up the letters okay? thank love Micah
Elder Micah Johnson

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Half Way!

Wow half way done with the MTC. Only 3 more to go.
To answer dads question, I'm not sure what is different about what we do, we go by the same schedule as everybody else, I think we have more investigators to teach then the other districts, 3 at the moment. I think the reason there trying 6 weeks is that other missionaries when they hit the 6 week mark their Spanish starts to flat line. Everybody who finds out that we are only here for 6 weeks though is pretty jealous that we get to our mission field before them.
This past week me and my companion have had our room to ourselves since our roommates left last week but now we finally got two new roommates heading to Japan. Along with them I also ran into Mitch Sutherland, its now become a common occurrence to run into somebody I know from Davis High or BYU at least once every week. I got to say I think I have the best Branch President ever, he is very relaxed, funny and not like many of the other branch presidents, after Tuesdays devotional he came in and talked to us about the frustrations he had when he had to learn Spanish at the LTM (language training mission) He told us that if you did bad enough in language there they would send you to some were else in a English speaking mission. So in other words you could fail the LTM. I'm so glad that has changed because I would definitely be more stressed at the prospect of failing. He luckily didn't fail but went to his western united states Spanish speaking mission. He told us that with in 90 days of being in the mission field we would suprise ourselves by having conversations with people in Spanish and not realizing it. I'm going to keep track and see if this is true. He told us of how he was the worst Spanish speaker in the LTM but was able to get through it. This defiantly helped me since I'm at the bottom of skill in Spanish speaking in my class. But that's okay.
Yesterday after teaching an investigator the teacher came in and talked to us more about having faith in the Lord that we can learn Spanish. One of the things he talked about and what I'm going to work on is not looking at the things I write and just read them back but struggle through what I want to say. When you do this I know the investigator is more likely to pay attention to what you are going to say and the spirit is more likely to be there when you say things that come from the corazon (heart, I'm may not have spelt that right) 
Dad-thanks for the name to do, I wont get to it till next Thursday because my companion wanted to something besides endowments. We have heard rumors that the NBA has cancelled the season, is this verdadero? (true). Yeah we covered ser y estar, right now we are working on por y para which is tripping up some people. We have covered verbs and infinitives such as: Gustar, Tener, Poder, Necisitar (i don't know if I spelt that right), deber. I can now testify, invite people to be baptized, pray, open conversations and ask questions in Spanish pretty well :)
Mom-thanks again for the package :) those cookies are the best and so were the candies. I shared some with my friends as well. Thanks for the Card as well.  
Clarissa-congrats on finishing the book of Mormon! there are guys in my district who still have not read it all the way through (my companion). Good luck with the auditions you will do great!
Aaron-how are things? write me sometime.
Shumway-That's is defiantly true, I will keep in mind that while I'm here to learn Spanish I'm also here to learn the language of the spirit as well.
Thank you for your letters
Love Elder Johnson

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 2

Hey family, I have a lot to cover so I will try to write fast
Its hard to believe that I have been at the MTC for 2 weeks, time here is starting to go by pretty fast. Im sorry if I make any grammer or spelling mistakes, last night my roommates had to leave at two in the morning to leave for the Dominican Republic so I didnt get much sleep last night.
One of the best things is Wednesday and meeting all the knew missionaries, we had 6 move in on our floor who are going to Georgia and Armenia, and I thought Spanish was hard, we have also met a lot of missionaries going to  Korea, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Dad asked me to tell you about some of the devotionals we had. Last sunday was my favorite, his name was brother Atkins and he worked for the church as a lawyer and used to be parterns at one of the worlds biggest law firms and went to Columbia University. What he spole about the most was the Churchs campaign to open up religious freedom in other countries, mainly eastern Europe. It was amazing to see how when ever a law was put into place that would severly stop church growth or missionary effort with in the country a loophole came out that was used so the church could stay. What was suprising to me was how much religious freedom was under threat from other religions or De facto state Religion. In 1997 due to pressure from the Russian Orthodox church one of the laws was that in order to do missionary work you had to be a registered church in Russia for at least 50 years back during the Soviet era. Through some miracle the church has been allowed to continue efforts in Russia.
The language is starting to come along I think. We are still teaching ""investigators"" the gospel in spanish which helps a lot. Except the last time my companion was a bit frustrated because we went completley off lesson because the investigator started to demand evidence about  Joseph Smith . With a mix of some spanglish we were able to testify that the evidence was in the book of Mormon and that if he Read and prayed about it he would know it is true. I felt pretty good about it afterwards but my companion Elder Doria was still a litte mad. But I cant help but feel that if I were an investigator I would have the same questions.
We also practiced teaching people who were already members. Thats a bit difficult since they already know a lot about the church. Afterwards we did an amazing work shop about teaching people not lessons, by getting to actually know the person and their needs, so we didnt teach a lesson but just focused on asking questions. We went around talking to people about life, religion, and trials and such. For them it was an audition to become actual investigator so some of the stories I heard probably werent true but there is going to be some body out there who has the same problems and trials.
I found out I cant send pictures to you over email but there is a place to go get them developed and I will mail them to you.
Love Elder Micah Johnson
Dad-Congrats on winning the Grid Picks! Tell Mark Congrats for winning the election.
Mom-Thank you for the snacks! I shared some of my M&Ms with my district but not those cookies. I ate half of them the first day I got them :) also thank you for the scripture.
Mariah-I can respond to your emails but I can only respond once a week. Keep sending me emails though they make me smile. Congrats for playing on La Roca. Now I have figured out that means rock. I probably should have guessed that. Getting grounded sucks. How mad were mom and dad? Keep me posted on the soccer and school.
Lydia-I miss you too :( I love you  so so so so so so much as well :) look forward to getting to chat with you on Christmas. Thank you for all the prayers.
Shumway-thank you for the letters I have greatly enjoyed the uplifting message
Friends-thanks for the letters, keep me posted :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hola! Como le va?
Hi, me and my companion just got back from the Provo temple and had a great time. :) A lot has happened since I last wrote so I'm going to try and remember the best I can.
It has snowed down here a bit which got my companion, who is also my senior companion,  pretty excited, being as he has never lived in such a cold dry climate. The dry climate has led to some issues for him though, he has gotten some bloody noses, dry lips, and red eyes but has taken it all in stride. I have my P days on Wednesday and yesterday we have gotten new missionaries, around 600.  It's weird that our district isn't the new guys anymore. Over the past week we have grown pretty close together as a district, there is another Elder Johnson and his companion Pathokas who are both going to Mexico Guadalajara mission. Everybody else is going to either Los Angeles or Oklahoma city. One person who everybody like is Elder George who is from Cody, Wyoming on a dairy farm. He keeps us pretty entertained with stories of farm life. Every district has a service assignment and our district does puts away the stadium and chairs after devotionals. There were a lot of rumors going around that Thomas S. Monson was going to be there but it turned out to be a member of the quorum of the 70 named Zwink. It was an amazing talk on prayer and the Holy Ghost. Part of learning the language here is teaching lessons to a investigator in spanish, what freaked me out was that we started doing this our 2nd day here. Now we are working on our 5th lesson and we challenged him to be baptized and he accepted. I know he is probably just a BYU student who volunteers or gets paid to do it but it still felt pretty good. Im lucky to have Elder Doria as a companion, he has picked up spanish a lot better then me. He was able to answear the investigators questions while I was trying to figure out what he said.
One of the things that is hard for a lot of our district is the classroom portions were we learn spanish, they last anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours  a day. But I have actually come to enjoy them pretty well. Im eager to learn this so when in the mission field I can help with the investigator more. Our teacher is hermano (brother) Hale and he is excellent. We can all say a basic prayer, testimony and opening  conversation. You definitly learn the language a lot quicker here then in school. The spirit is definitly helping me with that. Espiritu Santo (Holy Ghost) is very strong here. 
I wish I could have said happy birthday to grandpa, I hope every body had a good Halloween. 
Sincerly Elder Johnson

Saturday, October 29, 2011

first e-mail from the MTC!

Hey, this my first e-mail !
Hola! So first things first, my companion is named Elder Dorin. He is from San Diego and like me is going to the Tijuana Mission. He is into sports and working out and surfing. very cool. But it does take awhile to get used to having somebody go with you everywere 24/7 but with Elder Dorin its pretty easy. As soon as I came in and got settled in we immediatly started learning spanish. Everyone in my district is in the same program together. Basically all we do is speak spanish in the room. Im actually starting to catch on. We already have taught this "investigator" 2 lessons in spanish and its only been 3 days. So now I can ask some basic questions. Right now we are learning how to give a basic testimony and prayer in spanish. Its hard but fun to learn. Everybody in our district is excited for gym and our first partial P day. Right now I live on the 4th floor of our building with another companionship that are going to the Dominacan Republic, I feel bad for one of the them, he is from London so a lot of people on are floor call him govenor in a british accent. But he says that he thinks its funny. I wont lie the first days are proving to be difficult and hard. But the experienced guys say that if you can make past sunday things start to become better and easier. After that you have a schedual that stays the same for all the weeks that you are there for. The lessons here are getting me pumped up for going and teaching in mexico. The food is pretty good but just like Brother Frost said...starchy. Well I got to go so hasta luego!
Love Elder Johnson

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To the MTC

 We stopped by the Temple To say our goodbys and to get a few more photos of our new missionary.

Here we are at the MTC drop off.

  The drop off is pretty quick.  Personally I think it's easier on everyone this way. 
A great day!  Now we are anxiously awaiting his first e-mail!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting set apart today as a missionary and tomorrow I enter the MTC!!!!