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.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Elder Johnson's April 25, 2011 E-mail - Just Doin' what Missionaries Do -- Work.

Talofa lava Mom, (Samoan Greeting)
Thanks for the e-mail. I haven't received your package yet. But I am, oh so, pleased to hear that you did make things that I can give to my investigators. That will be great!
Jake's way funny. He knows mission rules, so anytime he's calling, he's away from me. So I can't hear you.
Not much to update you on the mission front. Elder Collins is greatly progressing in his skill as a missionary, and I'm happy to be a part of it. I wish I could get more pictures for you, but it's tough to do when you're trying to work. All I'm focused on all day is missionary work. I will try to do better. I will try to get Jake to take pictures, though. By the way, we are not allowed to take pictures during proselyting hours.
For mission information, please see my attached Weekly to the President. Again, this is sensitive information, so please don't copy or tell anyone anything that I write in these Weeklies.
Elder Johnson
Hi Dad,

Thanks for the e-mail.

I thought you already sent the flashcards to me. If you send the flashcards,
 that will suffice.

I will try to take more pictures. It's difficult to focus on pictures when
 you're trying to do the work. I'll see what I can do.

The week went well. Still teaching up a storm and trying to get some of our
 investigators over the hump. We'll see what happens this next week. Please
 see my Weekly for more information.


Elder Johnson

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Elder Johnson's April 18, 2011 E-mail - New Companion!!

Hi Dad,

 Thanks for the e-mail. Funny story about Brittany. (Brittany was in a talent show
this weekend and Steve told him about it - she was awesome and funny!)

 Really busy today, helping Elder Sione Collins with all of his e-mail
 stuff. He's from Samoa, and English is his second language. I'll see if I
 can't respond a little more in detail, but you can call Jake Babcock, and
 he'll tell you about Elder Collins. He's been trying to call
 you and mom and text message you guys. Also tell Lauren to respond to his
 Facebook message. He's just messing around with her, trying to be her
 friend. She needs to respond quickly to him. He's way funny and cool.

 But my new companion is way awesome.

 Elder Johnson

Hi Mom,
Elder Collins is taking forever to write his e-mails, so I do have a little more time to write something substantial.

He's very loving and respects the heck out of me. I feel awkward sometimes with his praise and adoration. He blesses the ground I walk on--literally. As his trainer, I've made it a goal to make him the best teacher in the entire mission. We role play every day for hours. We role play always. It's funny: when speaking to people and teaching, he says the same things I say. He mimics everything I do. Sometimes he tries to walk step-in-step with me.
He loves rice. Eats mainly with his hands. I had to explain that people find that unpleasant here. He's learning a lot and has already improved greatly.
He's, as you should know from my first e-mail, from Samoa. Western Samoa, not American Samoa. He can climb a coconut tree without straps or anything, just by running up.
The members of the ward have really taken to him--they love him, and he's quite social and funny when he breaks out of his foreign shell of insecurity. He's a breath of fresh air.
I'm loving every second. Please call Jake and tell Lauren to respond ASAP. If she ever feels like she's too busy, it's because she's unorganized. If she planned her day out and stuck to a schedule, she'd have no problem. I work 17 hours a day, and I'm not too busy. She's not too busy.
Elder Bradley Johnson
1.    Who is your companion and what is he like?
Elder Sione Collins. He is straight from Samoa. He's awesome. Very humble. Not very big like you'd expect for a Samoan. Smaller, skinnier, good looking dude. They call us the good looking Elders.
2.    Where is he from?
See Q1.
3.    How does it feel to be a trainer?
4.    What special information did you get on your 2 hour trainer's meeting?
Nothing much. Just encouragement and the such. I'll let you look at my notes when I come back.
5.    Should we not expect and e-mail next week since you will be in your week long meeting?
No, no. The leadership training meeting will be later on, and it will not affect e-mails.
6.    Who will your companion be with since you will be gone for a week?
He'll exchange with another companion in the area, whose companion is going to the leadership training meeting.
7.    Elder Piiparien has a blog and I can follow him.
Good. He's cool. Nice guy. Elder Bird's new companion. Former AP.
8.    Tell me about any investigators that you want us to pray for.
You just pray in general for investigators and for success in the AK ANC Mission.
Sorry. Helping Elder Collins do his e-mails and Letter to the President.
Please call Jake Babcock on the number that I gave to you. You can talk to him and ask him questions about my companion.
Elder Johnson

Monday, April 11, 2011

Elder Johnson's April 11, 2011 e-mail - Still in his beloved Colony Ward!!!

Hi Mom,
Thanks for the e-mail. I've got to be quick, but I wanted to update you. Technically, this is not our P-Day, but we won't have a chance to do e-mails tomorrow, so we're doing them today.
We got our transfer call:
I'm staying in Colony for another transfer! I don't know who my new companion is yet; however, I have been called to train a new missionary coming into the field. There are only two new missionaries coming in this transfer, so it was cool to be chosen as a trainer amongst such a small batch.
Elder Bird will be going to Anchorage, and his companion will be Elder Piiparinen, who has been AP the past two transfers and was my ZL for the first two of my mission. Elder Piiparinen will be senior companion, Elder Bird, Junior.
Tomorrow, we will travel to Anchorage, and at 10:30 AM I will have a trainers' meeting, where President and Sister Dance and the Assistants will council me and the other trainer on how best to do our new responsibility. The meeting will last two hours. Also, the third week this next transfer, I will be attending the week-long Leadership Training meetings in Anchorage. So it's a neat responsibility. I am excited and ready to keep working hard and making this new missionary the best in Alaska.
Elder Johnson

Monday, April 4, 2011

Elder Johnson's e-mail dated April 4, 2011 - Splits with Jake Babcock and Conference

We (the family) got a call Sunday night from a young man named Jake Babcock from Alaska - he said he was with Elder Johnson and he just wanted us to know what a great missionary Elder Johnson is and how much he enjoys going out on visits with him!  Wasn't that cool? We had a great conversation with him.  And our Elder was close by ... :>  Brad told us in his letters about Jake Babcock.  Enjoy the e-mails!!!

Hi Mom,
Thanks for the e-mail, and I'm glad to hear that Dad is sending another flash drive; I'll take some more pictures.
The Jake Babcock Call:
Here's how it got started: Jake's the man, so we try to take him to lessons with us a lot because he's an awesome teacher and a former AP in the Riverside CA Mission, so we tear it up together.
Jake was sitting up front in the car while we were going to a lesson (Up front, because I offer my passenger's seat to all of our guests who we take to lessons--a courtesy thing). And Jake was turned around talking to me about something, and then he goes:

Elder Johnson, did I ever tell you how unbelievably good looking you are?

I tell him: You're making Elder Bird jealous.

He goes: You got a picture of your 19 year-old sister?

No, but I could probably get one.

Do you know her cell phone number.

No, but call my mom and ask.

So he calls you and as you answer we pull up to Joe's house. Elder Bird and I leave to go in, and Jake stayed outside for a second to talk to you.

So, technically, I was in the same care while he was talking. There's nothing in the rules that say members of our wards can't talk to our parents. Shoot, most missionaries have their companions call home for them and ask for stuff and what-not. I think that just totally spoils the experience. But I thought that you thought it'd be funny, so I told him to call.

He wants to talk to Lauren, though. And he needs her cell phone number. So will you please call him back or text him and give it to him? Tell Lauren that she's not being disloyal to David if she talks to a Jake Babcock from Alaska. And tell her also that he's way funny. So I want her to talk to him on the phone once or twice. Jake's just messing around; he's not a weirdo or anything. A very, very good teacher.
I do like what you write. I take it all in. I don't comment on it because I don't have much time to write you. But keep updating me. It's good to hear what's going on.

You asked:
 Where did you guys watch conference?  Give me details like “the ward house on so so road. “  Was there a large crowd there or does everyone have BYU tv like us?

We watched them at the stake center and had 5 investigators attend different sessions. Conference week is the best week for missionaries. No, not large crowds--most everybody has BYUTV.

Elder Johnson
 Hi Dad,
> Thanks for the e-mail.
> Who said I was being transferred? I could very possibly stay in the area
> another one.  It's very possible I'm in for another one unless you've heard otherwise from President Dance, which is unlikely. But I put in a request to stay another transfer, so we'll see what happens.
> Jake is effective because he's funny and personable. He knows his scriptures
> and knows how to explain things in entertaining ways. He tells stories when
> he teaches, uses analogies. He's just wild when he teaches and people love
> him. I've modeled a lot of my stuff off of his. My teaching skills are
> greatly improving. I could get up and speak for 15 minutes in sacrament
> meeting on just about any gospel principle without any preparation, wouldn't
> be scared a bit. I've already taught the Relief Society and the entire
> priesthood about missionary work.
> I gave mom all of the information to my ASU ID and Password. She has it. But
> it should be: ***************--please note the capital "S".
> Please check my account and make sure there is a little extra cash in there.
> If I do transfer, I may need money, so please make sure there's about $100
> to be safe.
> Thank you for everything and for funding this amazing experience. I'm loving
> every second of it.
> Love,
> Elder Johnson