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 9, 2012

Elder Johnson's April 9, 2012 E-Mail

Hi Mom,

Did you get your box today?  (p.s.  I will try to make your birthday box better - not so much candy, etc. ...)

 I don't know yet. The mail hasn't come in. I'm sure if I didn't, it will be here soon.

Where did you eat for Easter Sunday?

At the Doyle's house. It was our first dinner with ward members for a week. We have two missionaries in the area, and we make sure they get most of the dinners. But the Doyle's invited both of us, which was a pleasant surprise Sunday morning at church. 

Did you eat anything traditional that Alaskan’s like to have at Easter?

 No, they don't do anything special beyond what most of us do for Easter.

I heard you guys had another four inches of snow and that a roof in a church auditorium caved in.  Was that one of our ward building cultural halls? 

Yes, we've experienced the most snowfall in Anchorage that has ever been recorded. There's a lot of snow.

Yes, interesting that you heard about the church auditorium caving in. To answer your question, no, it was not one of our meeting houses. 

However, interesting story about that: Sister Tupua, a Sister in our ward was picking up her car from the shop. The guy who owns the shop, who was handing back her keys and running the bill, who also is an assistant pastor at this church, got a call 30 minutes after the roof collapsed and was told about the event. He hung up the phone and told Sister Tupua about the unfortunate occurrence. 

Sister Tupua walked back to her car and, feeling unsettled about the event, called me to see if there was anything that we could arrange as missionaries to assist.  I called our Bishop and made sure I was following protocol, and then after receiving the go-ahead, I called the guy who was an assistant to the pastor 45 minutes after the building collapsed and offered up services from the 26 missionaries in our zone and from other members in our ward to help clean up wreckage.

He thanked us and said that we couldn't do anything on the property yet because they were waiting for the insurance company to inspect the damage. But when they needed help, they'd call us.

Since that time they haven't called us, but how's that for first-response?  

How has it been driving around in the snow and (I suppose) Ice?

 Roads aren't too bad. Most of us missionaries cruise around in 2011 Colorados with 4 wheel drive. However, mission-wide, we had 15 accidents last month. Some very bad accidents. Thankfully, no missionaries have been hurt at all.

How are you and E. Flynn getting along?  Is it easy to live with him?

 Yes, he's a great missionary and friend.

Tell me one thing that was awesome, fun, funny or cool that happened this week.

We had another wedding/baptism! I've worked with this couple since I first got into the area. The girlfriend was immediately excited for baptism, but she knew she either had to move out of her boyfriend's house or get married. They decided to get married. The husband, who has quite an amazing background, is still working on some things, but he's excited to get baptized soon.


Elder Johnson

Monday, April 2, 2012

Elder Johnson's April 2, 2012 E-mail

E. Flynn, E. Johnson and E. Tonga
Yes, I think Elder Lawson's hope was that you write him. You should send him a bunch of funny pictures of the family. He'd enjoy that. Have Brittany and Chandler do something funny over picture or something too. He's a cool guy. He complained that you hadn't written him back when we were in Soldotna this week. He's the zone leader there in Soldotna, and he and Elder Adams (both former members of The District) gave a great training for their zone conference.
Your questions:
1. Where you able to get a break from travelling this week or was it another rush rush week?
It was another rush week. We started with Chugach on Tuesday, Soldotna on Wednesday and Wasilla on Friday. It was good to be back in Wasilla for really the first time since I left. I had an opportunity to see Roger and Lisa Lehrman-Bon. Lisa, whose conversion I was blessed to be a part of, is going through the Temple for the first time this Friday. I will be attending that Temple session. I imagine it will be one of the great moments of my mission.

2. Any way you can put your camera in your pocket today and take a few pictures around the office or of your apartment or something? Not to nag or anything, just a gentle reminder.
Yes, Elder Flynn and I decided we'd make a greater effort to take pictures. Sister Beesley is really good at taking pictures and has taken a lot from all the zone conferences. I'll have to download some. But here's one she sent to the entire mission in her e-mail this morning.

3. Last week you had two baptisms and a wedding! Awesome! What’s going on this week with your investigators?
And guess what? We're going to have another wedding and baptism this week. NAME and NAME. Elder Witt and I found NAME and NAME right when we arrived in Inlet View. They've been investigating since. NAME's ready to be baptized; NAME needs a little more time but is excited for his wedding . [Please subsitute the exact names with NAME if you're going to put it on my blog. We've had problems with investigators finding out what missionaries are writing about them to their parents. A couple of times it's been bad.]

4. Anything funny, exciting or scary happen this week? Do tell.
Elder Flynn and I had a miracle occur. It was a similiar miracle that Dad had on his mission. And immediately when it occurred I recalled Dad's similiar experience.
Elder Flynn and I were driving back from Wasilla after our zone conference and spending some time with people that we know in the area. I was driving. About halfway through the trip, our gas-light came on.
We weren't concerned because Wasilla's only about 50 miles away from Anchorage. I figured that we would wait to fill up until we reached the gas station that was closest to our apartment; it most convenient and time-saving.
We didn't think about it again.
As we were approaching the right-hand turn to get into the gas station, the car died--completely shut off and started to roll powerless. I tried pressing the gas and received no power, so I didn't press on the brake; we wheeled around the turn quite rapidly, but after the turn, much of our speed was taken away. We were about 30 yards from the pump.
Luckily, our tank is on the left-side, and there was a pump open on the left-side--a near straight-shot from where we were at. We started yelling and screaming, encouraging the car to keep pushing, keep moving. Go! Go! Go! It started to slow at an incline in the gas lot. It was eeking forward. I just had my hands on the wheel; I didn't even want my feet close to the brake.
We rolled and rolled, and without pressing the brake the car rolled to a complete stop. I put the parking brake on and got out of the car. We were parked perfectly to get our gas. It was almost comical. The gas hose had a perfect amount of slack to be off the ground yet not too far from the car to make a difficult reach to our tank. It was absolutely a perfect park job, and I didn't even hit the brake to park.
We saw it as Divine support. Apparently, the Jeep we were driving didn't have as much reserve gas space as other cars do--we only went about 25 miles after the gas-light came on. We were simply obedient missionaries on the Lord's errand, trying to be efficient with the His time. Heavenly Father watches over us, and he used this opportunity to show us that he's there.
Elder Johnson