Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

 Our "laketism" in Lake Zapata!
Hey Kimbo!!
I did get the little package the other day, thanks so much!! I found out I can get about any size of package here where I am staying for the future, so you don't need to send it to the mission office unless it is closer to transfers. My toe is doing well, it is sensitive a little when you touch it but mainly it is just one ugly toe!! It has been raining a ton here in Zapata, this is the rainiest time of the year and of course we don't get to use the car here so we get pretty wet most of the time! For general conference it sounds like we will be huddled around a laptop listening to it all weekend from what we have heard so far! Things here in Zapata are going good, we had another baptism in the lake this last week! It is a really cool experience having baptisms in a lake and this is the only place here on the mission that we baptize in a lake! So the family we found last week that are super cool, we found out that they aren't married so we started talking to them about getting married and they were super down till we found out that they are still both married to their other spouses that both live in Mexico. They have recently crossed the border to get here of course and so they can’t get divorced... They would have to swim back across the border, get divorced, then swim back up and get married then they could get baptized. It was super sad to hear that because they can’t get baptized unless they are married so we are going to try to baptized their kids and hopefully in the future they will get all that figured out so that they can get baptized also. They are a super cool family and have kids of the ages 12 8 and 4 so hopefully we can baptize the two oldest kids. We have found a lot of random members also in the area that we didn't have record of, that have moved here from Mexico or something which is kind of cool because they are usually lost after they cross the river till missionaries run into them and we have ran into quite a few here in Zapata. Things are going good though, this area is super different because we are over an hour away from everything and there are like no active members we meet with or work with like the other areas all have and our area is just super ghetto and super interesting! We are supposed to try to get out of a big part of our area around 8ish because it can get pretty rough when its dark, but usually the homies in that area always give us a yell or a peace sign which is pretty cool. I hope you have a great week Kimbo! I love you so much!
Love, Elder Johnson

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hey Kimbo, How are you doing?? How is everything going up there in SF? Jeez looks like Ty and this chick are getting kinda serious!! haha That is good that her family likes to hunt. :) I can’t believe that baby Brockles is wearing my number out on the field, I have so many memories and so many games from that field and that jersey. I have missed baseball quite a bit here on the mission and I think I am going to try to play somewhere when I get home. I might have to use my home card a time or two more this month because at that Dollar General things like milk and what not is super expensive and that is the only place we have to shop down there in Zapata. But thanks so mucho for keeping an eye on that for me!! I am glad you guys got that package, there wasn't anything to special in it but there is a cool little store down here that a guy has ran for like 50 years and he had some pretty cool stuff in it and that’s where I got some of the stuff, the calendar I got when I was down in Mexico though. The Tuachan sounds like it was a lot of fun! You know how much I love plays and all so shoot thanks for going without me ;) Sounds like St George was pretty calm but pretty fun though!  Yeah Brooke has been really good about writing me and it’s always good to hear from her. Things here are going good in this little town! We met a super cool family this week and the dad of the family is a smart guy and asked us about the priesthood and really wants it for his family he told us! They are super cool and they are what Zapata needs down here! We had like 20 people in church this last week, and that is like the most Zapata has had since missionaries have been here which is super exciting! We also had a baptism this last Thursday! We have been working with a less active family and they have come back to church and they had an 8 year old boy that we baptized. His family is so cool, but the dad of the family got deported a few years ago and that's when they stopped going to church. There are 5 kids in the family and when we pull up on our bikes they always yell "The Mormons are here!!" and come out and give us a hug! They are all under 15 but there are two little girls one is 4 the other 10 and they are the cutest little girls and just hug us all the time which is hard because we can’t really hug them back as missionaries!! But they are a fun family that is coming back to church! I have some awesome pics of the baptism in the lake from Thursday but this computer that I am using today I can’t send pics from it so I will send them next week, they asked me to do the baptism but I asked them if my comp could do it because he hasn't baptized anyone yet so he did it and I have some really cool pics of it all because the baptism was right at sunset in the lake! I will send the pics next week if I can. Other than that there isn't a whole lot new down in this little ghetto town! I hope everything is going great for you Kimbo!! I love hearing from you and love reading and hearing what you are up to!! I love you mommy!
Love, Elder Johnson

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Hey Kimbo

How is everything going?? Things down here are going pretty good, yeah we don’t get fed ever down here by the members but randomly when we ride our bikes people will yell at us to stop by and eat some bbq with them which is usually some kind of fish or something super different but it is always better than nothing specially when we are riding our bikes around all day! Sounds like Ty is spending tons of time with this Ashley, must mean he actually likes her! That is good to hear! What does she like to do? What’s her family like?:) Sounds like he is with her just about every night, I am glad mommy likes her too because that is the only way she is going to be able to stay around! haha That is super sad to hear about KK and his diabetes, how did they find out? Was he just getting sick a lot or what?  Sounds like going to St George with the Olson’s and Ballantyne’s should be a lot of fun! Things here have been going pretty good, we have found a lot of people to teach here and I think that it will grow really quickly here soon in Zapata. We have found a lot of new people this week that have really good desires and want to change their life. It has rained like crazy down here the last few days and have been flash flood warnings like every day and so people think we are crazy riding our bike around all day in it! We can’t use our car so we just ride in the rain and by the time we have been getting home we dump water out of our shoes and are just soaked to the bone. But Saturday night we were at a lesson with an investigator and we were leaving and I went to throw my leg up to get on my bike.... and I ripped a huge hole in the back of my pants... yeah I shredded that pair of pants!! And I was trying to feel how big it was as I was riding, my back and my hands were super wet because it was still pouring still and my one hand that was on the handle bars and my hand slipped off the handle bars and I went face first over the handle bars and crashed pretty good and there was like an inch of water cover all the streets here because it rained so much during the day so when I crashed I made a big splash too of course and scraped up my elbows and hands pretty good, so I rode back with bloody hands and elbows and a huge ripe in my pants! haha Let’s just say it was an interesting night! Things are going good here though and we had a baptism in the lake yesterday! I will send pics it was super cool! Super different though!! He was an illegal of course and there are cameras all over the lake because that is the border! But I got to go so I hope you have a great day mommy! I love you!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014

Kimbo!!!!! How is everything going Mommy? What have you been up to all week?? I just sat here and laughed when I read that you and Jenny went and spied on Ty and his party!! I remembered you guys always were able to find me and Colt no matter where the heck we were somehow! You guys would show up and whatever party we were at even if we didn't tell you!! haha I would act like you guys were dumb.. But really I always thought it was super funny though!! You are so funny, I love that you guys still have fun even if you guys are kinda old;)  Man, the dove a que, that is always so fun! I ate some habanero peppers the other day too!! So tell Lyndsay to quit his belly aching! haha they were so hot.. But after a couple hours my mouth cooled off! Well this week was good... but sooo different! We had church yesterday in the apartment next to ours, and it was fast and testimony meeting but after us 4 Elders share our testimony and the rest of the 2 members share their testimony we still have plenty of time for the rest of our first hour! So I had to give a talk and then also teach the whole lesson the next hour! There were our two active members there and we brought 7 investigators to church which was more than there has ever been down here which was super cool! SO the little apartment was pretty full actually! My comp can’t speak a word of Spanish so the lesson at church I had to teach the whole thing and the lesson we teach I have to say everything and then translate to him what is going on. And wow let me tell you a little more about church.  So we have one active member that speaks only Spanish and one active that speaks only English and our investigators were about half and half, so each week we sing our hymns in both languages!! It is the most hideous sounding song you would ever here! They are the same song but in different languages and I literally starting laughing during the opening hymn! We teach in Tex-Mex, I would teach all in Spanish and then say basically everything in English right after so that all could understand! So I am getting good at speaking them both I guess!! haha We have to drive an hour north to email and we played basketball today with our zone, and we are staying the night at the zone leaders apartment because every Tuesday we have our district meetings here and we don't want to drive back down and have to come back up in the morning! We shop at a Dollar General down in Zapata for our groceries so it isn't real expensive but let’s just say there isn't a real variety in food! haha but it’s all good! I use your conversion story a lot while I teach and talk to members because they ask us a lot if our parents grew up in the gospel too, and they all love hearing your story and about how you two went to the temple and everything!! The gospel is amazing and I absolutely love seeing the change it brings to people’s lives. The family I baptized in Brownsville, I found them the first week I was there and baptized them the last week I was there, I was definitely sent there for a reason. The gospel is changing that family’s life so much and it is so amazing to be able to see that change. Well I hope you have a great week Mommy!! I love you so much!!
Love, Elder Johnson

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014

Look how white!!!!! Now the Baptisms will be at the lake!!

Hey Mommy how is it going?? How is everything at home?? Jeez it is so crazy to hear about people my age getting married! haha Im not that old! How did you like the Happy sumo, did you try any sushi? What has the family been up to lately? Well sorry I didn’t email yesterday, I actually got transferred out of Brownsville already and I got moved to a little place in the middle of nowhere!! I am in a place called Zapata, it is in the middle if freakin nowhere. We are about an hour away from any other civilization, it is like an hour south of Laredo. They just barely put missionaries in here last transfer and there are just two companionships here in the little town. There are a total of 3 active members in the area right now.. yes I said 3:) and the church service on Sunday are held in the apartment next door to where we live because the church owns it too. We do the talks, and teach gospel principles and also teach another lesson at the end that counts for priesthood and relief society. They still do all 3 hours and it is all in Spanish and we do absolutely everything:) Also since there is no type of church building here, we baptize in Zapata lake!! We are having a baptism (or a laketism) this Sunday! I will get to baptize a kid out in the lake on Sunday! This place is just crazy.. and to make it all better I got a call last week before I found out where I was being transferred and I found out that I was training too! I went straight from being jr comp because I am still young in the mission and Pres called me and gave me the assignment to be a trainer so I am here in the middle of no where with a brand new missionary that doesn’t know two words of Spanish... I am super excited!! I had a meeting last week with pres because he has a meeting with all the new District leaders and zone leaders before transfers and I didn’t know hardly anyone at the meeting because they were all like 18 months into their mission and then there is me and I was younger than all them by like a year in the mission.. But it was a super good meeting and President Maluenda gives the best training on missionary work. So I have a new area, and a brand new missionary now so things have changed a little bit here! Things are going good though, we have to drive for like an hour and a half every up to Laredo and an hour and a half back for you district meeting every week so I will be doing a lot of driving. That is the only time we can use our car though, other than that we just ride the bikes like crazy all over this little town! Oh and this last Sunday we baptized so many people!! We baptized that family of four I told you about and one other kid, and there were two other elders that we lived with in Brownsville that baptized a family too so it was such a cool baptism! The family I baptized was so cool and they made me promise them I would write them letters and everything and I got to baptize 3 of the 4 of them and my comp baptized one of the boys of the family. We had a great baptismal service with them then I got shipped outa there:( It was kinda sad when I found out I was leaving but I really felt like I got sent to Brownsville just for the reason of that family then I got sent out! I hope you have a great week! I love you Kimbo!

Love, Elder Bear