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, July 25, 2011

Elder Johnson's July 25, 2011, E-mail and organizational skills!

Hi Mom,
Thanks for the e-mail and update. Short letter today. Elder Lawson said that he won't have an update this week, but you can expect one next week--he said he'll keep you updated on the things we do. Elder Lawson is my Activities and Service Coordinator in our district.
I don't know if you are updating a blog for me or not, but please make it very clear that it is you, my mom, who has created and is updating the blog--and not me. Please let that be known, because from some of the letters I've received, it seems as if people think I update the blog. That is not good.
Attached is my Weekly to the President (Updates on the Work contained therein), as well as a responsibilities sheet that I made for my district. The Elders really liked it. They are glad to have responsibilities and take an active role in the district. All this helps us be of one heart and one mind.
Elder Johnson

The following is Elder Johnson's "School of Proselytizers" organizational responsibility document which he prepared for his district.  Sounds like he would make a good Fortune 500 CEO!  Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

The School of Proselytizers:
We hereby affirm and proclaim that the following organization and responsibilities of The School of the Proselytizers, or District, shall be administered during the transfer ending 14 August 2011, within the Iditarod District of the Wasilla Zone, upheld by unanimous common consent of each member therein. While the executive and veto powers of the District Leader apply, overrule of vetoes can be enacted by a five-out-of-six majority vote.  Upon the end of the transfer, the organization will dissolve and the various responsibilities will no longer be legitimate.

District Chef:
All responsibilities with food or gatherings for food fall under the jurisdiction of the District Chef (Chef), who, as need arises, may delegate any of the tasks amongst other members of the District.  Specific responsibilities include:
- Cooking District lunches
- Providing snacks during District Meetings
- Working with the District Activities and Service coordinator to determine the frequency of District Lnches and times appropriate for such

District Activities and Service Coordinator
Logistics, whereabouts and organization of any event unique to the District is handled by the District Activities and Service Coordinator (Coordinator).  Responsibilities include the following:
- Arranging P-Day Acitivities - handling all of the logistics for travel and any other necessary preparation
- Arranging District Service Projects (i.e. Ensuring the District maintains its weekly presence at the Musk-Ox Farm, etc.)
- Arranging Morning Workouts
- Arranging District Tracts

District Photographer and Music Coordinator
The District Photographer and Music Coordinator (MC) holds duel resonsibilities as its title suggests.  Stewardship in this responsibility is over the photography at any District Activity and music during District Meetings.  Responsibilities include:
- Documenting all District Activity through digital photography
- Selecting music during District Meetings
- Acting as Chorister in each District Meeing

District Mediator
To ensure the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of each member of the District, the District Mediator (Mediator), is there to lift, encourage, support, love, synthesize, unify, and mediate.  Responsibilities include:
- Calling each member of the District each week - discussing feelings, worries, providing counsel, etc.
- Reporting on the overarching morale of the District to the District Leader each week
- Presiding over District Councils and resolving District Disputes

District Auditor
To maintain a system of Checks and Balances, the District Auditor (Auditor) provides an alternative perspective, an eye towards protocol, a wariness of appropriateness during all District Activity.  The Auditor's analysis will be respected and heavily considered.  Specific responsibilities include:
- Ensuring all District Activities are in accordance with the Missionary Handbook of Insutrctions, or Protocol
- Keeping close communication with the Zone Leaders, Assistants to the President and the Mission President - certifying and reporting that all District Activities are effective and producting
- Playing Devil's Advocate when an alternative viewpoint is needed
- Composing a written and signed end-of-transfer report, certifying that all activities of the District were in accordance with Protocol

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This is what Elder Lawson's blog said about the Lazy Mountain Hike

It was a funny week! Well yesterday came along and Elder Johnson and Elder Tonga wanted to go on a hike before transfers so we went up lazy mountain again... except this time 1/4 of the way up it started pouring and getting misty and just so so so muddy! so we kept going and by the time we got to the top the trail was soaked! SO CRAZY! So we started down and by 10 min into it we had all fallen on our butts multiple times! Elder johnson ate it hard and banged up his knee pretty good but he is doing fine! So we tried the slide down the mountain approach and Elder Johnson went first and he got booking down on his butt and it scraped up his hands pretty good! so then we went off the train and just walked through all the tall weeds and bushes... it scraped up our legs a little but was a lot safer than going on the trail! We finally got to the bottom and had to change REALLY fast and head to pick up our new companions.

Elder Lawson

Monday, July 18, 2011

Elder Johnson's July 19, 2011 E-Mail

Hi Mom,

Each week I attach my weekly to the President to your e-mails. If you read these, you will be completely filled in on all the progress the area is making.  You need to read the Weeklies that I attach.  (except he never attaches them)  Attached are the last month of weeklies that President Beesley received.

Jake Babcock is a great source of information. You can call him. He'd be happy to talk to you and tell you everything he knows. He can describe in great detail my new companion, past companions, things going on, etc.

District Leaders are responsible for district meetings and accounting for the numbers of the district each Sunday night. District meetings are usually taught following a series of lessons from a Simplified Curriculum that have been given by the Brethren. Our mission president follows this too, so all of our meetings follow the same outline, same scriptures, same role plays, same questions, same everything. We know the Simplified Curriculum back, right, up, down, with/without clothes, with/without make-up, right-profile, left, shifted 360 degrees and back to 180; we can recite it in our sleep; we're reminded of it every waking moment of our missionary lives. In short, we're bored of it. At least I am. So, I've decided to spice up District Meetings up a bit. I'll send you the recording I took of our last district meeting. You'll get to hear the entire thing. I'll need to download it onto the computer.

First off, the hierarchy of the district is typically:

                        DISTRICT LEADER

No one else has a responsibility. So, I've decided to spice it up. I've called, after much prayer and consideration, a District Chef, District Services/Activities Coordinator, District Photographer/Music Coordinator, District Mediator and District Auditor. The responsibilities of each calling have been set out and determined by the body of the district. Checks and Balances were established. We don't want any King Noah episodes. The language of each responsibility will be typed after I finish this letter to you. I'll send you what I have later.

We did a hike last P-Day. The mountain hiked was called Lazy Mountain. There's nothing lazy about this mountain. It was the most difficult hike I've ever been on. Pictures of this event will come next week. The trail went straight up the mountain, no switch-backs, nothing. No railing, no stairs, no support. When you get to the top, it's pretty cool, but we were in a cloud and couldn't see anything. On the way down, it began raining very hard. The trail back down is compact ground. The rain made it like wet clay, slick as can be. I fell. And fell. I fell so many times I was tired of falling. I took some hard falls. I was hurt. Injured. There were points where I didn't want to go on, but I was wet, so the promise of being able to take off the wet clothes was greater than the pain. Do you know when your legs get so tired you laugh because you're too tired to do anything else? I was there. I resorted to sitting on my butt and sliding down the mountain trail. It was dangerous because you go as fast as you would if you were on a sled. This made me very muddy.

We finally made it back down. I was too dirty to sit in the truck, so I sat in the bed. We made it back to the Cottonwood missionaries' apartment. We wanted to take off our muddy clothes in their apartment. Cottonwood was in a hurry to make it to transfers. We did not have to go because we were not getting transferred. So we were in no hurry. They left while we took showers. When we got out. I realized that I left the keys to our car in their car. Well, they were already in Anchorage. So Elder Tonga and I sat in our towels for four hours in their apartment while we waited for Cottonwood to get back with our keys, so we could go back to our apartment, change and then begin our proselyting hours of P-Day.

Thanks for getting everything organized with the missionary cards. Be sure to order a lot of them. Everyone in the ward will want one. How I'll respond to all of their e-mails I'll worry about later.

Elder Johnson   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Elder Johnson's July 13, 2011, E-Mail

Hi Mom,
Didn't get a chance to e-mail you yesterday. I was stuck, naked in a missionary apartment for half of our P-Day yesterday, so I was unable to e-mail, but we got permission to e-mail for a few minutes today.
Transfer News: Well, there really is none: I'm still in the Colony Ward! I was surprised. But when President Beesley extended the call, it went like this:
Elder Johnson, you've been in the Colony Ward for a long time.
Yes, President, I have.
Well, we need you there for one more. And I need you to be my District Leader there.
Yes, President.
You've done an amazing job there, and believe me, if we didn't need you there this transfer, I'd have transferred you out of there, but we really need you; Elder Tonga needs you for one more. However, in 5 weeks pack your bags, cause you're out of there.
Yes, President.
So I'm around for one more. This gives me a chance to perfect everything in preparation for the next missionary. We've got a lot of moving parts right now, so he'll need all the aid he can get.
Okay, we've got a lesson at 10:30 AM so we need to get out of here. I love you. Lauren is getting an awesome experience. Wow.
Please look into this website and get me these business cards so that I can give them to members and people who want to stay in touch with me. Shoot, I don't remember it. Just google it. It's really popular--every missionary has them except me. I think Heavenly Father kept me here so that I could make them. Google: lds missionary business cards, or ask some local missionaries what the website is. They're free, save the cost of shipping. You can make them and have them sent out to me. I'm not particular--do what you think looks nice. Just get the addresses right. If you need info, ask me next week.
Oh, and I'll explain why I was naked in a missionary apartment for half the day next week.
Elder Johnson

Monday, July 11, 2011

No E-Mail Today - July 11, 2011

No e-mail today, but ... maybe he got transfered!  I can't wait to hear from him!!!

In the meantime, instead of an e-mail, I am putting up three pictures that I have had on my phone for a while, but didn't know how to get them on my computer.  I figured it out, so here are they are. 

Sean Clawson sent us this one - Brad going into the MTC on October 6, 2010

Jake Babcock and Elder Johnson

Elder Johnson and Elder Collins
Putting together treats for a special
Sunday meeting put on by the the Ward Mission Leader

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Elder Johnson's July 6, 2011 E-mail

Hi Mom,
Thank you for getting those things so quickly. The mission address has changed:
Elder Bradley Johnson
3250 Strawberry Rd.
P.O. Box 221649
Anchorage, AK 99522-1649
To answer your question: Are you still working hard? Yes, absolutely.  I'm not out here to waste time. If I was, I'd come home and do something else. The most pathetic group of people I can think of are missionaries that don't work. I work my tail off everyday. I'm the hardest working missionary in the whole mission.
The Matanuska Glacier was fun--it was our p-day activity. Never having been on a glacier, I didn't realize it was so dangerous. We almost lost Elder Ule on that one.
How am I feeling? I'm feeling great. I'm gearing up to leave the area, however. I imagine I'll be leaving the Colony ward on Monday. So I'm preparing the area so a new missionary could step right in and pick up where I left off.
Elder Johnson

He doesn't say much, but it sounds like he is really making his time count.  Steve says "he sounds like me when I was on my mission." He says he was the hardest working missionary in his mission too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No e-mail this week

I used to love holidays, but now I don't like the ones that happen on MONDAYS!  So I waited through Tuesday to see if we would get an e-mail, but no luck.  We will hear from him next week.  We just have to be patient!