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, 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  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Elder Johnson's August 8, 2011, E-Mail

Elders Adams, Tui(?), Tonga (?), Lawson(?), Flynn and Johnson

Hi Mom,
To answer your questions:
Did you get your missionary cards?  I need a yes or no on that one and also whether or not you liked them.
Yes, got them. Thank you so much. They're great.
Did you bear your testimony in church on Sunday?  Just asking because it was your last testimony meeting in this area.
No I did not. The ward has heard plenty from me. I've bore my testimony millions of times to them. They've heard it all. No need for a glory round.
Next Sunday is your last Sunday in this area (since this transfer is over on the 14th).  At least that is what you said in your School of Proselytizers document.  Make sure you get addresses and phone numbers of members by Sunday.
I will.
I have your Book of Mormon, your video and your dictionary.  When do you want me to send them -   ASAP or wait until you are in your new location?
Go ahead and send them ASAP. The mission office will make sure they get to the area that I'm assigned in.
Tell me something funny that happened this week.
Went to Calvin Rocquemore's church on Sunday--a non-denomination church, Farm Loop Christian Center. After the service, I was approached and was called a Satan worshipper, that I was going to hell, and that I belonged to a cult. I smiled and thanked them for the enlightenment. I was very impressed with that church's fellowshipping. They certainly made us feel welcome.
Tell me the most wonderful thing that happened this week.

Our district found 11 new investigators and blew apart the rest of the zone in our new investigator competition.
Tell me the best and worst thing about the tracting you did this week (I know you guys were going to try tracting more, so I figured you did alot of it this week).
Found Mary Swishburn. From the doorway, complimented her blue trim on her house. Said it reminded me of my highschool jersey colors. Chatted with her. She let us in. We taught her about the restoration. She said she watched The Other Side of Heaven the night before and loved it. Her daughter asked her why there was so many churches out there. She didn't have an answer. We did and gave it to her. Got the return appointment. She's solid. Found a lot of solid investigators like that this week.
Elder Johnson

Check these out. This is E. Flynn (Senior) and E. Adams (Junior). Show these to the girls. They took these pictures specifically for Lauren and Brittany.
Elder Johnson
Elder Adams and Elder Flynn

Blue Steel

Monday, August 1, 2011

Elder Johnson's August 1, 2011, E-mail

See Brad's arm.  He is UNDER the glacier!

Elder QB

Hi Dad,

 Thanks for the e-mail. No sweat. I should be the one writing you more.
 Here's some pics.

Thanks for the update.

*Do you need anything at all?  *
 I'm doing great for now. I'm actually going to be sending you guys a few
 things. They're just books that I've collected, but very expensive books
 that are worth the shipping. I'll use my allotment money on them.
 *Where do you think your next area will be?  *
 I've heard rumors brewing. One of the missionaries in our district is good
 friends with the Assistants; sometimes he gets the inside scoop. They might
 send me to Juno or Fairbanks. But that's just rumors,
 and means nothing. I'll go wherever they send me. All that matters is whether you're working
 from 10 AM to 9 PM. If you're doing that, you're good. I've come to realize
 that none of this work deals with me. It's all the spirit. I might be a good
 salesman, but if I don't have the spirit, I'm nothing. And my converts won't
 be retained.
 *Have your buddies written to you lately?  *
Here and there. It's mainly my fault. I don't write anyone. It's a problem
I've got to fix. I'm just so busy our here.
*What do you enjoy most about your mission so far? *
I like teaching. It's the best part.
Elder Johnson
Hi Mom,
P.S. This Saturday will be the end of my 10th month.
Thanks for the update.
Things are going good out here. (See my attached Letter to the President for specific details about the work.) And other than the work there's nothing going on. I don't know what to write to you about. You'll have to send more questions if you want detailed letters.
Today I've consecrated some time to organized the wealth of pictures I have, so that I can send you this jump drive. It should only be a short time till you recieve some pictures, I think.
Thank you for everything. I can't think of anything else to write. Assist me by asking questions.
Elder Johnson

This is what Elder Lawson said this week about Elder Johnson: 

"we have a way tight district and Elder Johnson has really taken the lead as DL and gave us all callings so we can see each other for lunches and stuff....I am the "service and activities coordinator" so I just organize all the stuff we do together haha.... Elder Adams is the district chef so he gets all the food.... Elder flynn is the devil's advocate so we don't do something stupid.... Tui is the "mediator" so if someone is upset he deals with it! pretty funny! But yeah! things are good! "