Monday, July 14, 2014


#JesusSalva  (Jesus Saves)

For those of you who didn't know this past week was the last week of the soccer World Cup and let's just say it didn't end too well for the people down here.  It's a rule that we can't be out on the streets during the game so all six of us were chilling in the house. The neighbors were blasting the Brazil vs. Germany game on their televisions so we could hear the whole thing.  Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany and boy did we hear it.  Every time Germany made a goal there were many cries of rage to be heard in the streets. Apparently losing the game 7-1 qualified to be "The Most Humiliating Loss in The History of Brazilian Soccer."  People were outraged at Brazil's humiliating loss, that was all we heard about for the rest of the week.  All of the comments on the road were such:

"Hulk lost every ball that was given to him!  How embarrassing!"

"Julius Cesar failed 7 times to save the ball!"

"Who decided to let Fred play for the Brazilian selection?"

These comments were reduced to much politer terms than what people really said.

Needless to say, no one was very happy with the whole ordeal.  After the game there was much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  There was also a severe lack of fireworks going off that night.  I wasn't the most excited person for work the next day because everyone thinks we're German.  It also doesn't help that my companion is basically half German and roots for Germany.  We were protected though; nobody accused us of being German so all was well.

There were other things that happened this week besides the World Cup.  We were able to work rather well this week with what little time we did have.  It was a whole lot of contacting because we don't have a lot of members that live in our half of the ward. We did find a few people to teach and we ended each day exhausted.  There were, however, some very interesting people we spoke with, so lets talk about them!

We knocked on this one door looking for a recent convert that supposedly lived in the house.  We knocked on the door and someone told us that this guy didn't live there because in this house, only women live there.  There's just one thing though, this "woman" who answered the door, obviously wasn't a woman, but a man dressed up as woman.  It would've been a little more convincing, if s(he) didn't have a little beard, a fake high voice, and the overall masculine appearance.

There was also this guy walking his dog we talked with this week on the road.  We said hi to him as we were passing buy, when he said, "Who was Joseph Smith?"  That obviously, was not a very good indicator of how the conversation would go down.  He then told us that we were on the wrong path because Joseph Smith's name isn't in the bible, that we added to the bible, and the usual nonsense that people hear from the pastors.  We told him that he had been wrongly informed that we had answers to his questions, but he really didn't want answers to his questions, he just wanted to be a tool.  I told him that God personally showed me that this was the right path through divine revelation.  He told me to tell him of a spiritual experience and I told him that Jesus taught us to not cast pearls of great price to swine and that I wouldn't tell him anything that was sacred to me.  (Yeah I know it was a bit rough, but I was kind of ticked at him because he was being so ornery and mean.)  In the end we told him we'd see him at the second coming and that was that.  Ornery guy on the street 0,  Mormon missionaries 1.

We did however, meet a very nice man this week.  We knocked on his door and he told us to come inside.  He then gave me and my companion a glass of water and told us that we wouldn't be able to talk right now because he had a huge event to go to (the guy was really rich).  He told us he'd like us to come back and teach him and his family another day and he gave us his business card.  He then gave us a sample of some cologne and sent us on our way.  It's nice to know that there are people who really do practice their religion and the teachings of Christ these days.

So this wasn't something that happened to me, but it was a conversation that one of the other Elders had when he tried to call a referral he had received.

ELDER:   Hello is this so-and-so?
REFERRAL:   Yeah, who is this?
ELDER:   It's the missionaries from The Church of...
REFERRAL:   Yeah!  I got a question for you!!  What was the name of Jesus?
ELDER:   um..... Jesus?
REFERRAL:   No!  It is Yeshua!!!  You don't know anything.
ELDER:   All right have a good day.
REFERRAL:   If you come over to my house I will DESTROY YOU!!!!!

So there's this one recent convert in our ward, she's an older lady and let's just say she's not all the way there.  We're trying to help her stay firm in the church, but she's being rather resistant about the whole ordeal.  She's been going to church for about 8 months and has yet to learn the bishops name.  She asked my companion and I to find a husband for her.  She also called me ugly and told me that my companion is a lot better looking than I am.  She asked me for my pen so she could kiss it repeatedly.  We have very interesting conversations with her.

The crazy things Joel said this week:

1.  ME:  Hey Joel, do you want to go do baptisms for the dead?
     JOEL:  If you give me R$1000 I'd be baptized as many times as you want me to.

2.  I had a hard day.  I went to go talk with one of the brothers from another church and he told me he
     never wants me to bring the  missionaries over here because they're all spies for the US.

3.  I don't have any support in the other churches, whenever I try to say something during one of the
     meetings, they knee me in the groin.

He also came up with the plan for us to "speak in tongues" at one of the other churches.  It's very popular for churches down here to speak in tongues and Joel wanted us to come with him to one of the churches to speak in tongues on the stage and to basically make fun of them.  We thought it wasn’t probably the best idea in the world, but I did get to practice having a conversation with Joel in tongues.  It was pretty funny.

So ever since I've gotten to be with good ol' Elder Rutledge, we've been doing some serious exercises in the morning.  I know, you probably thought that you'd never hear the phrase "Elder Johnson does exercises" spoken out loud before and believe it or not it is true (stop laughing).  It's great because Elder Rutledge really pushes me and it's actually starting to pay off.  I have muscle for the first time in my life!!!  It ain't a lot, but I can't complain.  I've never had muscle before in my whole entire life.  I've actually really started to enjoy it and it's paying off a bit.  As of right now, I'm no Matthew McConaughey, but hopefully one day my whole body, and not just my legs, will be worthy of that of a Greek Deity.

All right, I've written enough, hope all is well back home.  Try not to wreck the car again mom, you're running out of transportation options.  Anyways, love you all and have a great week!

-Élder Johnson


Brazilian road construction (and you think it's inconvenient in Utah.)
Me parting the road.

This lady walks down the road selling Sururu (tiny mussels like oysters).  She carries it on her head
 and strangely yells "oooOOOOOOoohhhh SURURU!!!"  It's a very big distraction during study time.

Protected 24 hours by God

This lady said we were going to Jesus for lunch and I didn't understand what that was, lo and behold
 it was Guaraná Jesus, the famous soda from the Brazilian state of Maranhão.  You can really only
 get it there and it tastes nothing like Guaraná, but more like bubblegum.  It was good
though and probably the only time in my life that I'd be able to try it, so I was happy. 
We drank Jesus.

The power went out so I took a picture of our candle.

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