Elder Brad Johnson is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the ALASKA ANCHORAGE MISSION. This blog will include many of the e-mails Elder Johnson sends to his family each week. It will extend from October 6, 2010 to October, 2012.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Elder Johnson's December 25th PHONE CALL!!!

On Christmas Day we had a wonderful telephone conversation with Elder Johnson!  He is enjoying his current location in North Anchorage and gets along great with his new companion, Elder Witt.  He got his Christmas box and promptly took the two Nerf guns with 100 foam "bullets", which I had sent for part of his present, and used them as incentive to help the missionaries sing Christmas carols.  Not sure how he used them, but I think the loudest singers got to play with (or keep) the guns!  He says he liked the rest of the box and was very appreciative of what was sent.  He had 7 items of business that he needed to go over with his dad which basically included the need for the new shirts, new pants and what we need to do to get him ready to start back to ASU in the spring of 2013!  He has been out 14 months and his last 10 months are going to fly by.  We got Marcus on the cell phone and they talked phone to phone for a while, then we called Isaiah and they got to talk for a few minutes. He didn't want to bother trying to find someone in the ward to Skype with because he and his companion are both new to the area and they didn't know who they could impose upon to use their computer.  But, as it turned out, it worked wonderfully just using the speaker phone.  The only thing is we couldn't see him.  That will be rectified by next October!  He was happy and must be working hard since he decided not to e-mail us on Monday!  Back next week with a new post and hopefully some more great informtion from Elder Johnson!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baptism of Katie Lewis

Mom and Dad,

I needed to e-mail you tonight because I would not get to otherwise.

We've had an amazing week. Out of the blue, Katie Lewis, an investigator that Elder Record and I began teaching decided that she wanted to get baptized before I left. She determined all that she was holding out for wasn't important and that she just needed to take the step of faith. She was baptized yesterday--the service was amazing. We had an amazing week of teaching as well. I think Elder Norris and I broke a mission-wide record of teaching 18 lessons to investigators with a member present.

I received my new call as well. I am going to be serving in the North Anchorage Zone as zone leader. It's the largest zone in the mission with 12 or 13 companionships. I don't know anything else about the situation.

Last night I saw the northern lights for the first time on my mission. I have pictures that were taken by Brother Hirsch on his camera. I will send them to you soon, along with a wealth of other pictures in the mail.

Elder Bradley Allen Johnson


Hi Mom,

We're here in Juneau waiting for our flight to Anchorage, and our prior zone leaders, Elder Witt and Elder Greenwell, took us to finish e-mails since last night was so short. Conveniently, Elder Witt, my former zone leader, will be my new companion, serving with me in the Cook Inlet Ward. It's in downtown Anchorage; I'll find specifics later.

What is your area?
Cook Inlet Ward in Anchorage. Elder Record and Elder Collins will also be in our zone, so I'll get to be around them. Elder Record is doing so good in his new area that they made him senior companion. Elder Collins continues to be awesome.

What are the cross streets to your apartment?
I'll find out for you soon. Maybe I'll just tell you on our Skype conversation on Christmas Day.

Who is your companion?
Elder Nelson Witt, my former Juneau zone leader.

How did you get to Anchorage? and was it fun?
We will fly into Anchorage tonight at 7:50PM. We already flew from Skagway to Juneau--a short flight. I have 5 bags of luggage and spent $80 some-odd dollars in over-weight charges. President Beesley promises to reimburse any baggage expenses. I put the charge to my credit card.

What are the details of your new zone leader assignment?
Nothing as of yet. Again, the largest zone in the mission. In very close proximity to President Beesley: his ward is in our zone.

Tell us one funny, dangerous, spiritual or exciting thing that happened this week.

Today, for our last hoorah in Whitehorse (which, by the way, I'm going to miss Whitehorse; that was a special place) we were invited to a local sled dog breeding/training farm. It was amazing. These dogs are preparing for the Iditarad. Google it. It's got something to do with Balto.

Anyways, we helped feed them, which required de-meating beavers. I cut up two huge frozen beavers, got the meat and fed it to the dogs. Then, after the dogs were well-fed, we went dog sledding. I have video and pictures. I'll send them soon.

Christmas Plans:

Thank you for letting me know your availability. I'm not sure about anything regarding when the new ward meets, but after 11AM sounds good.

The big news, however, is that we have permission to Skype. Now, I imagine this is the preferred mode of communication for you guys, right? If not, it's cool; we can have a phone call. But I'll see if I can find a member who has Skype, and who'll allow us to use it.

I'll make sure to find a way to let you know specifics. Maybe I'll have Sister Campbell call you guys to let you know all what I can do this week.

See or talk to you soon.


Elder Johnson

Elder Johnson's December 12, 2011 E-Mail

My encounter with a wild fox

He's a cute little fella


That performance was epic. That was so funny. I think Dad could make some money with that performance. The William Hung of So You Think You Can Dance. All of you were awesome. It was a perfect performance. I hope you showed this the the guys. Hopefully, they came by and visited with everyone.

1.    Do you know if you will have to take the bus or get to fly (either one is a dangerous undertaking at this time of year.
 We actually might drive. We may use one of the trucks up here, and then the other missionaries will trade us when we get to Anchorage, assuming we're going to meet at Anchorage for the transfer.

2.    How does your ankle feel this week?
 Feels great. Played basketball all p-day last p-day. Going to do it again.

3.    Are you getting all the phone numbers and addresses of the Whitehorse people you want to send future mail too?
 Yeah, I'll make sure to do that. I need to send a Christmas letter to Grayhawk Capital! Can you find their address for me? I think they may have moved office locations.

4.    Does your visa expire or are you just leaving because its "your time" to go?
 Both. President Beesley said I'd be there for 3 transfers when he told me I'd be going to Whitehorse.

5.    What investigators are you leaving for Norris and Duncan? (remember to forward President's letter to me!)
 We have a good pool of investigators for Elder Norris. And we have investigators who are progressing, who will be baptized next transfer.

6.    Tell me one thing either interesting, funny, spiritual or frightening that happened this week.

We were coming away from a family's house and saw this beautiful fox. There are a lot of foxes here. Gorgeous animals. Anyways, I started running after him, and he was just toying with me. He'd run a little way, and then stop and wait for me to run at him again. Anyways, I held out my glove to him and shook it. After a little time, he came up sniffed the glove and then took it from my hand. Elder Norris took a picture of the exchange, which I will be sure to send to you soon.

I'm going to spend a little money to buy some blank CDs and maybe a jump drive this week to save all the pictures from everyone.


Elder Johnson

Saturday, December 10, 2011




Brittany (Singing)
Donna and Steve (Backup Dancers)
Lauren  (Choreographer)


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Elder Johnson's December 5, 2011 E-mail

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the e-mail update. I look forward to getting a picture of Dad's black eye. Hopefully, it doesn't hurt too bad. I like the thought of him risking his body, though, for the interception. I'm sure he's one of the few leaders in Church history who've gotten a black eye playing with a bunch of Priests. Joseph Smith certainly had the demeanor to do so, but as far as I know, I don't think it happened to him. I'm sure the Priests love him and think he's awesome. Tell him to keep playing with them. It's really cool.

My Ankle

As for my injury, the Branch thought I was faking it. I show up to Church last Sunday, hobbling around on a crutch, wincing from discomfort, and then the next week I'm running around the halls doing things. Last Monday it felt a little tender, touchy enough to not desire to play sports. Tuesday I was walking without a crutch or wincing--still a little weak. But on Wednesday I felt no restrictions. Today, Monday, we're going to play basketball at the Canada Game Center. It's all better.

Weather Update

The weather has been very temperate, actually. It's warmed up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It looks like Spring break-up. Mud, slushy ice, dirty cars, wet shoes and pant cuffs. It's been warm enough to waltz around in just a suit--no gloves or head gear.

Coolest Experience of the Week 

We had our Zone Conference this past week. They had us drive down to Skagway and then take a plane to Juneau. It's a beautiful trip as I mentioned the last time we did this. This time, they had us stay in the houses of local members. Me and Elder Norris stayed with Bishop Kearns of the Juneau something ward.

We traveled Wednesday, had zone conference Thursday, stayed in Juneau Friday and then traveled back on Saturday. On Friday, they were struggling finding things for us to do, so we had the opportunity to watch Fires of Faith--that three-part series on the coming forth of the King James Version of the Bible. It was a great documentary.

Thursday night, after Zone Conference, while President Beesley was doing interviews, Sister Beesley took us out caroling. She's pretty funny. We sang in Juneau's Nugget Mall until they kicked us out at 8 PM due to closing. Then WalMart decided they didn't want us singing in their store, so we just loaded up in Sister Beesley's car, and she cruised around the parking lot with missionaries jam-packed, singing Christmas hymns out of the windows, creeping stalker-esque behind folks as they looked for their cars and loaded up their groceries.

Afterward, she took us to a local convenience store to buy us all hot chocolate and insisted that we all put a dollop of ice cream in it.

This week we will be back in our area for a full week. The Branch is having a Nativity Display, so we will help out significantly with that.


Elder Johnson

Monday, November 28, 2011

Elder Johnson's November 28th E-mail

Hi Mom,

1. Have you been warmer this week?

Yes, I had to purchase appropriate headgear and some glove liners (Roughly $45). I was given a pair of boots from a member that will be very sufficient during the rest of my stay in Whitehorse.

2. What did you and Norris do about the beds?  He wasn’t comfortable because of the top bunk?  What was wrong with the top bunk and why wasn’t he comfortable and why didn’t you just take the top bunk?

Nothing really. There's not much we can do because our apartment is too small. Yesterday, however, a less-active sister gave us a twin-size blow-up mattress. Elder Norris slept on that last night. 

3. How tall is that kid? You are 6’1” or 6’ 2”.  What is he? 6’4”?

He's 6'4''.

4. Your letter to Elder Flynn was funny.  You crack me up.  I had to look  up Sisyphus.

Oh, yeah.

5. Also, how do you keep your door locks from freezing?

We borrowed a space heater from the other Elders to keep on during the day. And we no longer lock our door.

6. Was it scary when you couldn’t get in the front door?

Not really. Brother Moore lives next door to us. He'd be tickled to death if we wound up having to bunk in his place while we waited for someone to come open the door.

7. Make sure you send me the president’s letter and/or tell me anything noteworthy (or scary or weird or funny) that has happened this week.  And tell me how you are getting along with the new guys.

Sent the Letter to the Mission President.

Funny Experience:

It's nice to have Elder Norris as a companion because he likes to play basketball. And we can get competitive games going with him around. Saturday morning, during our workout time, we had a pretty competitive game of 21 going. I dove for a ball and in the process completely wrenched my ankle. I rolled it like I've never rolled an ankle before. But consistent with my response to rolled ankles in the past, I walked it off. And I played another two games, then we went to help a guy in the Branch clean out a storage unit. The whole time the ankle was a nagging pain but not too much to cope with.

After the move, we had to run the Family History Center, which is a very sedentary activity. After 30 minutes of sitting, I tried to stand and could not. The ankle hurt so bad. It was swollen, I realized, and beginning to be discolored. We had a lot to do that day, so for our lunch break, we went to Walmart, and Elder Norris pushed me around in a wheelchair so I could buy some ankle wraps and ice packs. That's why I had a $40 expenditure at Walmart.

So I was on crutches for Sunday. But today it's better. I'm off crutches. I should be back in full commission next week.


Elder Johnson   

Monday, November 21, 2011

Elder Johnson's November 21, 2011 E-mail 40 below!!!!???

Elder Johnson and Elder Norris

Hi Mom,
  I'm in a rush. We have a scheduled haircut appointment in 9 minutes. I
 will come back and write something more detailed in a little bit. There's a
 few things I must mention.

   Hopefully, you sent the shirts to my Alaska address and not the Canada
 address. Your package will not get to me before I leave Whitehorse. This
 transfer ends in 4 weeks.

   I am freezing my tail off. It's freaking cold up here. It got to negative
 40 degrees Celsius, which is negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That's not
 including the windchill. I need to buy a hat and a face mask. And probably a
 warmer coat--but I'm not sure yet. I'm sure I've got at least 50 bucks in my
 account. That should be fine for the head gear. If I need a coat, I will
 call the office and have them call you and tell you to transfer however much
 money it will cost into my account.

The following are the updated District Duties:

Elder Norris: District Auditor, District Activities Coordinator,
District Womanizer

Elder Duncan ( District Chef, District
Photographer, District HAZMAT Specialist, District Fondeler (They
thought that rang better than District Hugger.)

Elder Bowes ( District Music Producer
(DMP), District Wingman (Includes assisting all of the
duties--especially District Photographer and Activities Coordinator.),
District Comedian

So who is the new person responsible for pictures?

Elder Duncan and Elder Bowes are combining efforts to ensure
consistent and quality pictures. At the end of the transfer, we will
combine all of the pictures in our jump drives. Which, by the way, if
you want me to be able to do that, you must send the jump drive that I
sent you back to me. That's the whole point of sending the jump drive
to you.

How does Elder Norris like Whitehorse?

He says, "I love America." North America, that is.

Are the Whitehorse winters harder than the Anchorage winters?

Yes, very much so. I'm sure you've already gotten my first e-mail.
It's extremely cold.

Will be get to skype for Christmas or only telephone?

I'm not sure. I will find out. Expect just a phone conversation.

Picture please of Elder Norris and you.

Okay, Elder Bowes just took the picture, and he will send it to you.

Bishop Barney says Hi, as well as Bethany, Annie and Jenny (sp?) "Hatch"
(she has a little boy now).

Tell them I said hi. Tell them I've gotten their letters, and I will
respond soon.


Elder Johnson

Monday, November 7, 2011

Elder Johnson's November 7, 2011, E-mail

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the e-mail update.

Transfer Update:

Yes, you are correct--I am staying in Whitehorse again. President Beesley said this was my last transfer in the area. After that he'll give me another challenging assignment.

Elder Bowes' new companion will be Elder Duncan. My new companion will be Elder Norris. I do not know much about him. It is assumed, however, President Beesley mentioned, that he will take over as District Leader when I leave. President Beesley asked me to make sure their was a smooth transition.

I am certainly going to miss Elder Record. It was a joy serving with him. He's got a fun assignment ahead of him, which entails eating a lot of food and learning Samoan.

 As for your questions:

1.    When do E.Record and E. Hartman actually leave?
 Actually, our Branch has a temple trip planned this weekend from 10 Nov. through 13 Nov. President Beesley wanted the Whitehorse missionaries to go on that, thinking it would be beneficial to get to know the members better and also give the missionaries an opportunity to attend the temple.

The way it all worked out is Elder Record and Elder Hartman will be staying in Whitehorse until we leave on Thursday. They will drive down with us. We're getting rides from members. For Elder Bowes and me--our new companions will be arriving in Anchorage, AK on Saturday. They will then drive back up to Whitehorse with us and the members. So the temple trip is also our transfer.

2.    I don't envy them the 18 hour bus ride back, do you?
 They get to avoid that bus ride. We'll all cruise in a car with members and save the additional five hours in takes the bus to get to Anchorage.

3.    What will you do on p-day without golf?
 Anything my companion wants to do. I've found a great way to avoid stress in a companionship is to be open to activities on P-day. I did, however, request to Elder Record that he allow me one hour each Monday to hit a bucket of balls. We did that from 10 AM to 11 AM--the rest of the day was up to him.

4.    Are you using your missionary work out book I sent?  Do you need anything besides the book?
 Yes. Yes, I need new shirts--badly. My neck size is 17''. 36/37 length. Please send those ASAP. Preferably this week.
I also need new pants.
5.    Give me the full name of your companion so I can add him to the companion list.  Add any details that you know as well.  We would love to know a little about him.  Maybe it will be E. Flynn!

Elder Something Norris. I don't know a thing about him.


Elder Johnson

Monday, October 31, 2011

Elder Johnson's October 31, 2011 E-Mail

Here are the answers to your questions:
1.   Who do you think will transfer out next week?

Elder Hartman and either me or Elder Record. I get the sense that it will be Elder Record. I feel like they will make Elder Bowes District Leader, and they will send me a missionary who can take over the area when I leave the transfer after.
2.    Do they have Halloween in the Yukon?

Yes. We carved pumpkins the other day. Check Elder Record's blog for pics.
3.    Have you had any snow?

Yeah, it snows most days. Started snowing on 9 October 2011.
4.    Did you get your package and how did you like the contents

Oh, yes, I did. Loved it all. Thank you so much. Also the Whitehorse Warriors got all their stuff. They loved it.
5.    Where you proud of your sister and Chandler for the package they sent?

Very much so. It was hilarious. Elder Hartman and Bowes are in the process of preparing a rebuttal. They totally loved it, though. Thank Brittany and Chandler.


Elder Johnson

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Elder Johnson's October 17, 2011 E-mail

Elder Johnson said it would be a short e-mail - and it was. So instead I have attached this fun video so you can see what missionaries do to let off steam and have fun. This was taken a few months back when he was in Wasilla. This is what Elder Lawson said about this activity:
"Thursday we started out the day with yet another genius and enlightening district meeting from our fearless leader elder Johnson... So we talked about resolving questions and breaking down barriers with people when teaching and the lesson was way good. I like that he actually tries to have fun when he teaches the subjects... the zone leaders came to it and it turned out good. Right before we drove to it he called and told us to only park on one side of the building so we didn't ruin our "surprise". So after the lesson for district meeting about "Breaking Down Barriers/ Spiritual Fighting" He took us outside and he had a giant blow up jousting thing set up.... it was sweet! so we fought eachother for like 45 min... It was sweet! So much fun!"

Thanks for the quote, Elder Lawson!

More Pictures of Wasilla:

Elder Johnson and Elder Tonga

Our Eskimo man

Elders Tui, Johnson, Tonga and Lawson


Monday, October 10, 2011

Elder Johnson's October 10, 2011 E-Mail

Hi Mom,
1. Did you get the gedcom Grandpa Miller sent? 
Yes, and I e-mailed them back the next Monday, telling them that I did. But since they didn't get the e-mail, I said something like:
(See the e-mail I forwarded to you.)

2. What is date is transfer day and will Elder Hartman leave early because of his visa?
6 November 2011--There will be plenty of time for the package to get here.

3.  We are off work on Monday because of Columbus day.  (yea!) Do you have a holiday on Monday?
It's Canada's Thanksgiving holiday this weekend. They've basically--and they're quite open admitting this--copied our Thanksgiving holiday. The reason why they have theirs earlier than ours is due to their earlier harvest season.
They do not do it like us in that they don't have one specific day for the holiday. It's just Thanksgiving weekend, and they'll have Thanksgiving dinner on either Saturday, Sunday or Monday. I don't know whether theirs a day-off work or not. Maybe it is, not sure. Doesn't make much of a difference for us.
Sounds funny that you're having missionaries over so much. I'm sure you guys are pretty cool members. Every missionary has a favorite member family. How does it work with missionaries there--do they cover stakes or wards? And if you wouldn't mind, would you ask them what their Standards of Excellence are for their Top 5 Key Indicators? Just curious to see how they compare with our mission.
Okay, I promised a synopsis of my mission thus far. I wish you had some questions that might fuel my comments, so I know what your interested in knowing, but since I have nothing to work from, I will answer these questions, which I think you might find interesting to know:
1. What have I learned on my mission thus far?
2. What do I hope to learn this next year?
3. How do I feel I have changed?
4. What will I do differently in my life when I return from this experience?
What Have I Learned on My Mission thus Far?
The mission experience is difficult to describe or summarize. The best answer I have for potential missionaries wondering what their mission experience will be like is: There's no way to describe it to you to give you a full sense of what it's like. You won't know until you get out there. Just go with a good attitude, and it'll be the greatest learning experience of your life.
Likewise, I can't sum-up everything I've learned. I don't know all that I've learned. After this experience, I'll probably keep finding out things that I've learned for the rest of my life. I think for most of what's gained on the mission, one finds out in the moment that they use it. It's only then that they relate that ability or habit or sentiment back to the mission.
But, for the personal growth I am currently aware of, I have learned the following (I'm going to list out things, and I'll give explanations if I feel they're needed):
I have learned how to develop and break habits.
I have learned how to set goals and plan to accomplish them.
I have discovered the principle of tolerance.
I have learned more of the diversity of the world.
I have learned how to listen to people.
I have developed a greater capacity for patience.
I have developed a model for resolving people's concerns, helping them work through their difference in belief
or opinion and aligning it more closely to mine.
I have learned how to engage people in quality conversations.
I have learned how to approach people I don't know.
I have increased my desire to be obedient.
I have learned more about my innate personality.
I have learned more attributes that good fathers have.
I have learned how to have good, wholesome, appropriate fun.
I have developed a greater understanding of what a good leader does.
I have a greater sense of what King Benjamin was talking about in Mosiah 2:20-25.
I have developed the ability to find and focus on what's important.

What Do I Hope to Learn (or Learn More of) this Next Year?
I hope to learn how to pray more fervently.
I hope to learn how to identify the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
I hope to develop a greater love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I hope to learn how to ask good questions.
I hope to enhance my spiritual sensitivity.
I hope to learn more about appropriate humor.
I hope to become more unashamed of the Gospel.
I hope to learn more about attributes that good leaders have.
I hope to learn how to communicate my spiritual feelings better.
I hope to learn more about the kind of person I want to marry.
I hope to enhance my desire (or lessen my reluctance) for marriage.
I hope to enhance my capacity to create analogies for spiritual or abstract ideas.
I hope to learn how to become an engaging teacher.

How Do I Feel I Have Changed?
Well, this is kind of a redundant question. (See question one to get a sense.)
But, in an attempt to answer briefly, I have developed greater self control in all aspects of life. This has increased my consistency and productivity. Because of this increased self control I feel like I utilize my time more effectively.
I have developed the ability to find and focus on what's important—in all aspects of life. This will probably make me a more focused individual and maybe more productive in less time, more efficient.
I don't know. This is pretty difficult. I'm really going to have to consider this more. This is taking a while.
What Will I Do (or What Do I Want to Do) Differently in My Life when I Return from this Experience?
This self-introspection thing is quite draining. I don't really know right now. I'll have to think about it.
How about we do this. Look at what I've written—at least for the first two questions—and if you are interested in getting an explanation about something I've written, ask me questions in accordance with that topic. Specific questions will garner a more specific answer.
For instance, a good series of questions for a specific topic you want to learn more about will be presented like this:
I have learned how to develop and break habits.
What habit are you most happy you've developed? Broken?
Have you been able to develop the habit of studying your scriptures each day? If so, how will you go about maintaining this habit when you get home? What might you suggest to someone struggling with that habit?
Describe a habit you are currently working on developing. What steps are you taking to see that it becomes a habit?

Or something like this:

I have discovered the principle of tolerance.
I don't quite know what you mean by this. Will you give me an example where you applied the principle of tolerance in real life? Or maybe you might give me an example of a situation where you have seen this principle working, seen evidence of it.
I've always considered patience and tolerance to be nearly synonymous. How do you distinguish between the two? Do you think they're linked in any manner, or do they function independently of one another?

Or, maybe, consider presenting a question or comment in this way:

I hope to enhance my spiritual sensitivity.
By spiritual sensitivity, do you mean developing your attentiveness to the Spirit? Or do you mean you'd like to enhance your capacity to feel the Spirit.
How has the Spirit communicated with you in the past?
How would you describe the feelings of the Spirit?
I'm the same way when it comes to Sacrament Meeting. I'd really like to enhance my ability to feel the Spirit during the meeting. I'd like to make Sacrament Meeting as spiritual of an experience as it is for me when I listen to General Conference. I don't see why it shouldn't be. While the messages in GC might be better phrased and more beautifully arranged, the principles discussed are the same and the Spirit is the same. I feel like I can do this by yada yada yada.

You will greatly assist me in my self-introspection by asking questions to help me focus on finer points that interest you.
Elder Bradley Johnson

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Elder Johnson has been on his mission for one year as of this past week, specifically, October 6, 2011!!!!  CONGRATS ELDER! 
Here are some pictures from one year ago this week!  ENJOY!!!

Dinner at Denny's
Yes, the Stake President called him "the bearded one" since he hadn't shaved before being set apart.
He came home from his last day of work at 9:00 and his appointment with the Stake President was for ... 9:00.

Well, Lauren looks good...

Last meal at Denny's ... Brittany was there too!
Nice packing job

At the airport

Got his ticket

Marcus was the man!  He was there to the end!

Last picture with the fam.

Getting in line!
Soooo Exciting!!!!
Final look back before boarding!

One year in the mission and still going strong. 

Elder Johnson's October 3, 2011 E-Mail

How did you enjoy General Conference and how was the potluck?

General Conference was awesome. I've got 20 pages of notes in my Missionary Notes 1 study journal, which I won't share with you now for sake of time. You can read it in a year, maybe sooner if I decide to mail it home--I've only got 10 pages left in it, which isn't that remarkable; I'm not much of a writer.

The potluck was wonderful. A communion, a feast of hearty food after being spiritually fed. I like attending GC at the meetinghouse. It takes away the casualness experienced at home, makes it more meaningful.

How did you like the plane ride down to Juneau?  Was the plane super small?

It was probably awe-inspiring. The grandeur and beauty was probably breathtaking. The water was probably remarkably blueish-green. There were probably whales the breached the surface of the sea. The islands were probably green, the perfect form of green, the kind of green that Plato would say, Now, that's green. But, honestly, I was unmoved by it. When you're on your mission, your attention is elsewhere. You're concerned about the Work. Your brain's working internally. So I can't really say to be quite honest. Couldn't give you an accurate description, or really much of a description at all--check Elder Record's blog; maybe he's got something.

The plane, a little single-engine thing, fit about 10 people comfortably, was loud enough that you had to yell at the person sitting beside you to have a conversation. It went up, and then it went down, and we were in Juneau.

I will, however, and this is a promise to you, Mom--Dad, too, if he wants to come--I will have to take you on that plane flight sometime if I ever get a job and some money. We'd probably really like it then.

How crazy was it to stay in the Sister’s apartment during Zone Conference?  (Found that out on Hartman’s blog).  Did you sleep in their beds?  Did they know that you were coming?  Where were the sisters?  Was it weird?  Was everything all girly?

Three nights before the flight to Juneau, Sister ***, a sister who was in the MTC with me, called at 10:50 PM at night, which I thought a little odd;  apparently she had permission from the ZLs to call me. And she threatened me and the rest of my District that if we were to touch anything, go through anything, or even think about going through anything, that she would kill us. I was obviously highly offended at the pre-accusation. We, of course, would've never thought about doing anything like that, but it was a fair warning. So I said, "Okay."

The sisters were gone because they had a doctor's appointment to make in Anchorage.

Yes, we slept in their beds.  It was definitely a girl-version of a missionary apartment. Lots of trinkets and stuff.  We slept like babies.

I'll try to make more time for e-mails next week, and I'll give you a more comprehensive discussion of me as a missionary as a year out. What I've learned, what my goals from here are, etc. So look forward to that on Monday. I'm sorry. I'm not the best e-mailing missionary in the world.


Elder Brad Johnson

Monday, September 26, 2011

Elder Johnson's September 26, 2011 E-Mail

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the e-mail.
I think it's neat to hear about Dad and all his new experiences. I'll jump right into your questions.
 1.    Shirt size?
I'm a 17" neck and the length of my arms are the same size as Dad's. Dad should know for sure.
 2.    Why weren't you smiling in the zone conference group picture?
I was trying to square my jaw, and I ended up looking like I was mad. But
I most definitely wasn't. I was in the presence of a General Authority; that
was cool. Got a lot of notes that I won't share with you now, for sake of
time. You can see them in a year.
Do I look like I lost some weight?
3.    What are your thoughts on Brittany and Elder Flynn?
I think it's funny. I wouldn't mind Elder Flynn and Brittany. She'd like
him, because I like him. But again, Mom, they've never met, so it's just
silly hoopla for now. Don't get too emotionally attached. He thoroughly
enjoyed her package, though. I hope she's being creative and not spending
3a.    Does Elder Flynn forward my e-mails to you?
Most of them, I think. I read them.
3b.    What are your thoughts on my e-mails to Flynn?
They're hilarious. Elder Lawson said he wants to write you now--simply for
the sake of receiving your funny letters as well. You should shoot him an e-mail:
4.    Do you think Elder Hartman will leave on the next transfer?
We just finished our transfer yesterday. And Elder Hartman is staying for one more transfer, then he will have to leave because his visa expires. Either myself or Elder Record will leave with him.
5.    How long will the South Whitehorse Warriors be a companionship?
For one more transfer. Please tell the girls to send their deal ASAP. I assigned Elder Bowes to be the Creative Coordinator for the District. He decided to make shirts. He designed them, and they're getting them ordered today. They'll be relatively inexpensive. $25 each.
6.    How did you like golf?  You know, I think you should take it up when you get home if you liked it.  Finance guys should know how to play golf.
I've been playing golf for the past 5 mos. on P-day. My swing is outta this  world. And, yes, you're correct. If you want to make it on Wall Street, you better know how to play golf. Well, not really, but it certainly doesn't hurt to know. That's why I'm learning.
Plus, Isaiah's really into it now, too. We're going to play when I get back.
You should tell Dad to try the driving range at Fiddlesticks with Brittany
and Lauren. Do it for FHE next week. You could take pics and send it to me.
Driving range is dirt cheap.

7.    Getting cold?  Getting Dark?

Colder, yes. Darker, yes. It won't come full-blow until the end of October. That's when hell freezes over.

8.    Excited about Conference?
Conference Weekend on the mission is the best time. I can't wait. Been looking forward to it since last conference.

It's going to be fun here, too, because the whole branch goes to the meeting
house to watch it. In between sessions, we will have a big huge potluck of a
lunch. I feel a lotta of luck with this potluck.

By the way, I approve of the girls' name. Mid-Chandler Missionary Mailers is decent: got good alliteration and all. I'm sure they can figure out something better, but if it's going to take extra time to send a package, then tell them to go with what they got and get it out here. I've got
missionaries that are expecting some written support here.
Please find out Vann's address for me. I'd love to hear from him.
Please relay this information to Dad ASAP.
I've had to spend a lot of money the past few weeks. Reasons include the following:
1. Zone Conference: We had nothing to eat but what we purchased. And the zone planned a big eat-out at a restaurant that was not cheap. I also had to purchase, for the first time, shavers and a few other necessities.

2. I've run out of allotment money for the month of September. This was
due to the increased costs in Whitehorse. President Beesley just began
giving us $40 extra dollars per allotment dispense. This will begin for the
month of October.

3. Eating Out: We get fed very rarely. There are times where it is not
feasible to drive back home to make dinner, b/c we're busy with another
lesson or trying to save miles. So there are times when we have to eat out.
But I am being extremely conscious of my expenditures. My debit card should
be very low. My credit card should have a balance of $70.24, plus the $20 I
spent on groceries today. All necessities. The cheapest cereal I could find.
Bread for peanut butter sandwiches. I promise I'm not living it up here. I'm    trying to be very frugal.

Please forgive the amount of money I've spent recently. I am watching my
expenditures closely. Please tell me what my balance is on my debit card so I can make sure my accounting is equal to the actual.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elder Johnson's September 6, 2011 E-Mail

New Companion Elder Jason Record

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the letter.

In your last letter, you asked if there was anything I needed, like shirts and stuff.

My white shirts are tattered and graying. If you could send me 7 new white shirts, the same ones from the Distribution Center would be fine. That would be terrific. Also, my pants are quite worn as well. Please ask Dad if my suit-pants came with any warranty. Some of them have holes in them,  etc.

I have not been able to because the computers that we use here do not have Microsoft products. So no Word.

I'll see about getting mine to you today.

Also, we use the Church computers in the Family History Center. So I was worried about money and got on to see if Dad responded, which he did, which was good.

Thank you for everything.


Oh, by the way, here's another great set of missionaries who would like introduce themselves to Brittany. They request that Brittany send another glamor shot of herself and, due to their increasingly busy schedule, write a letter to their companionship as a whole.

South Whitehorse Warriors
68B Teslin Rd.
Whitehorse, YT Y1A-3M6

Basically, they are amazing. Elder Bowes is the brunette, Elder Hartman is, well, the other one.

Attached for your perusal are a couple pics of them.

E. Bowes and E. Hartman

Elder Bowes

Elder Hartman

Such nice boys ....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Elder Johnson's August 29, 2011 E-mail

Hi Mom,
Thank you for the e-mail.
I've got to be quick. We've had a busy P-Day. We actually hardly had a P-Day; we worked most of the day.

As for your questions:
Do you live in the double wide mobile home?
Yes, we do. The one Elder Record's dad has on his blog is the one, apparently.

Do you have the whole double wide for yourselves?
For now, soon there will be a member living in the unit next to us.
What are you driving?
We have a brand new 2011 Colorado truck. It's probably one of the nicer cars I've ever driven.

Are you and E. Record working out every morning? 
No, it's getting quite cold in the mornings now. We are, however, up every morning at 6:30 AM. That's been consistent throughout my entire mission, by the way. Not once have I awoke late.

What work out do you do?
We work out our brains. Sometimes, however, we will run. We have a goal to run twice a week.

Do you still get a lot of snacks from the members?
No, the Branch is not equipped to feed the missionaries all that often--especially because there's two companionships in the area.

Do you wish you had a package of almonds and jerky and healthy stuff?
No, I don't need any food. I'm good. I promise.

Or what about peanut butter and stuff that is expensive for you to buy?
No, it's not too bad up here. I'll be okay.

(p.s. your package of two books and a video will be sent this week.  It got all boxed up on Saturday)
Thank you.

Tell me one funny thing that happened with you and E. Record.
We had homeless people swarm us in front of the Salvation Army center in the Downtown district.

Tell me one hard thing you had to do this week.
Nothing's hard. Work is work. You go out; you do your best. You come home happy you tried. You go to sleep.

Are the members in Canada feeding you every night?
No, we get dinner Monday, Wednesday and Friday--That's because the other missionaries get the other days.

How is your ward mission leader?

Absolutely wonderful. So is his wife. They're a younger couple with three wild little girls, but they are terrific.

Oh, one more thing. Elder Record has quite a background in genealogy work. So I've encouraged him to use that as an approach when we go tracting. We've seen success from it. It's garnered enough interest that we decided it be best to revamp our dormant Family History Center. We've gotten permission from President Beesley to do so. And he asked that I catch up with Elder Record in genealogy know-how. He told us to take all of the consultant training sessions online and read all the handbooks, etc.

So I'm learning a lot about genealogy, and I've even got our Family History on We have some lines that literally go back to Adam and Eve--no joke. I don't know how legitimate it is, but we not only have royal Hawaiian lineage, we also have royal ancestry through your mother. Through her line, we are related to Marcus Antoniius Aurelius--you know, the guy who was killed by his son in Gladiator? Also, Julius Caesar. Through Grandma Maile (and this is very legitimate), we have Portuguese ancestry.

Also, I noticed that you've reserved Zelma Lee Cox to do her temple work for her. Please tell me about that experience when you do it. Also, Russell Allen Newton Jr needs his Initiatory and Endowment. That does not appear on There is most likely a duplicate, though, which I will have to change.

Also, will you please tell Grandpa Miller and Grandpa Jack to send me their PAF files of our Family History? You can have them e-mail my missionary address. Also, you can tell them to e-mail me at this address. It's okay if I correspond with them through this e-mail now.

Please tell Dad to watch my account. I've spent a lot of money lately. But I will no longer need to for a time. I've had low funds for the month of August, but I will be back up. Please also tell him to send me an accurate balance on my account. I'm going to keep closer track of my finances. I'm going to track them in Excel. Also, please have him check the balance on my credit card. They do not accept debit up here, and imagine all of my expenses have gone through as credit. Please ask him to pay these off. It should not be too much.


Elder Johnson

Monday, August 22, 2011

Elder Johnson's August 22, 2011 E-Mail (from Whitehorse)

Hi Mom:

As to your questions:

1.    What is your area compared to Elder Hartman's (I read his blog) area?  Physically, I mean.  What part of the town do you have and what is your district called?
 My area is identical to Elder Hartman's. Whitehorse is very small, but there's a lot of people. We're around each other almost every day. They took the southern portion of Whitehorse; we took the north.

2.    What is your new companion's name and where is he from?
 My new companion's name is Elder Jason Record, and he's from Spanish Fork, UT. You can follow his blog at You can even add your e-mail to his e-mail list, and you'll be notified when there's updates. His dad is a computer guy, and he's responsible for the updates, so it's updated very quickly and often.

3.    What was church like?  Are the Canadians more or less friendly?
 Church in the branch was interesting. Very small, maybe 20 people when sacrament started. Only one Aaronic priesthood young man, so me and Elder Hartman blessed and Elder Bowes and Record and the young man passed. 10 minutes in, a wave of young adult Abercrombie and Fitch look-a-likes walked in--apparently, they are security salespeople from another portion of Canada. They're leaving in a week, though. Typically, we'll have roughly 60-80 people at church.

Canadians are much more friendly, immensely more. We've done a lot of tracting this week. Every door that answers is willing to talk. But they are so accepting that they have problems making commitments. It will be a struggle, but we will work hard and have faith the Lord will bless us.

4.    Brittany wants to know if the Canadians have good bacon .....    :|
 Haven't tasted any yet. I've seen it, though. And they do have bacon, and it's Canadian bacon, so we've not been deceived all our lives. They accept the States currency as readily as they accept their own--probably unique to Whitehorse I'd imagine because it's so close to the border. But I know that places in the border near AZ won't accept pesos, so it's nice they do it here.

5.    How was the flight into Whitehorse?  How did you fix the handle on your carry on?
 No flight to Whitehorse. A long, 18-hour bus ride on a very bumpy road. We survived, and I've got that to look forward to in four-and-a-half months.

6.    How are you e-mailing us?  Are you in a library or what?
 We're in the church genealogy library. They've got decent computers. No Microsoft Office. We're going to explore our options at libraries downtown next week.

7.    Well, anything you want us to know would be awesome!

Canadians are interesting. Almost everyone here is stylish, especially in the small downtown area. And everyone is very pretty and petite. French, German, Phillipino, Hispanic, Spanish, Indian (dot not feather)--the area is extremely diverse because of its favorable immigration laws. It's a very nice community. They've got a lot of respect for the Native people (which, here, they are appropriately called "First Nations," not Natives).
Nothing else to tell you now. A lot of work to do--going to do it. Ask me more questions next week. Research Whitehorse, read those missionaries blogs. You'll be filled in pretty good on what's what.
Elder Johnson

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elder Johnson's August 15, 2011 E-Mail

Hi Mom,

I'm currently watching about ten missionaries crowd around Elder Flynn's computer, laughing at your letter--as Elder Flynn goes back-and-forth from your letter to Brittany's picture. Whoa, she's way cute, dude, I here. Anyways. Funny letter you wrote.

Glad to hear about Sean. It's all crazy. Call him and tell him to e-mail me.

Oh, yeah, so about my area. They are sending me to White Horse, Canada, to white wash as a trainer--yes, trainer again (Apparently, it's unheard of to train 3 times in a row)--and district leader. There's a new curriculum produced by the church for trainers, and President Beesley wanted me to be apart of the first round of trainers under this new methodology. He's very serious about having good trainers. So serious that he pulled 4 ZL's out of their leadership positions to train other missionaries. Apparently, they determined the name for Canada by throwing out random letters--C N A D A. A? I will miss the Colony area but am excited for the new challenge. White Horse won't know what hit them.

And also, please tell Dad to watch my account. I hear I won't get as much bang for my buck in Canada. I will be extremely frugile--only the bare necessities, but I will need to spend money from my account for the next few weeks.

Also, I'm sending a few packages home of a bunch of crap. Within the big box, you will find a smaller box with a few trinkets, etc. Also in this small box will be two jump drives full of pictures.

Elder Johnson