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