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