Monday, July 1, 2013

The Free Book

Ahhh yeah. Here we go.

Have I ever told you guys I love to write?  Well, I do. Adore it!

It is amazing how as a missionary I get to feel such love: it actually makes me very protective of my investigators when I contemplate transfer... I remember thinking to myself, "If the new elders even think about messing up with the Rodriguez family, whoo boy... I'm not sure what I'll do, but it won't be nice." As if that were even a problem. Its such a funny thought that popped into my head and an emotion that can develop in such a short time. 

I've got a scripture for you guys: Proverbs something or other: "Even a fool that shutteth his mouth is esteemed a man of understanding." Close enough. But that has been one of my take aways for this, my first transfer. You see, I learned that I want to be so very obedient that it can escalate tension. 

It's all about picking your battles, and being content to be obedient by yourself if needed. For instance, if I want to be in bed exactly at 10.30, I will only make others mad if I tell them they need to also. 

I learned from my momma that we can't change other people, and that we can't try to solve other people's problems.

Another thing that I've learned is that this is about doing your best, then being content with what your best is.

I came out here on the edge of my seat, anxious TO share the gospel, anxious WHEN I shared the gospel and anxious IF I didn't share the gospel. Just one big sweaty ball of anxiety. People noticed, and I would get very embarrassed. And then, I would say something stupid. 

I remember during one of my exchanges I was taking the lead. We were visiting with these guys and all of a sudden the exchangee said "Well, Elder Johnson has a message to share with you." 

This caused me great anxiety, as I did not have a message to share. I stammered through an awful pulled together thought, then ended with an invitation to read the Book of Mormon. Red faced and sweating, I tried to find good words to put a cap on this unprepared, awful situation. These are the words that came out of my mouth:
"Would you like a Book of Mormon? They're pretty much the only free book that nobody wants."

Ah. I'm not sure what part of my brain thought that would be a good way to alleviate embarrassment, but I will tell you now that it only served to exacerbate my shame. 

The other Elder gave me the, 'Shut up Elder' sign and as we left, I felt stupid.  Out of hearing range the Elder asked me how I felt. I told him, "Embarrased. Duh."

He told me that it was actually a great visit, and that my little outburst was more of a funny dumb moment than a lifelong shame. 

"Yeah right I thought."

He told me that once he had an investigator who, when he decided to validate, conveyed the following (straight faced):

 "Don't be afraid to ask questions. Questions are like farts. If you let them build up and never release them, you will be in pain and unfocused, and it will stink really bad. But if you just let it out, than we can move on in happiness."

That really helped me to hear, and I finally relaxed.

I love you all.



Monday, June 24, 2013


This morning I read Helaman 5-12, and it was amazing.  We are still teaching C. S., that awesome Czech guy that we talked to. Because of him, I am reading the Book of Mormon with my imagination. It is so much better because of it. 

As you guys can imagine, one of the hardest things for me to be bereft of is my books. Oof. I read Jesus the Christ a little too fast, then I memorized every poem that was from general conference, and finally I was left alone. My eyes needed it, and my spirit did too. In desperation (this makes me laugh) I thought to myself "The Book of Mormon? Yes! YES!" I cried, my eyes manic and frenzied, "That IS a book! AH HAH! I HAVE BEAT THE SYSTEM!" I started to tear through The Book of Mormon as a starving man would through a feast. 

Instead of long (and sometimes boring) doctrine and random stories, I started to realize that this all really made sense- I started to read it as a history, a story book of a people long ago. I read Alma 43 to the tune of one of the battles from the Lord of the Rings, and I actually got goose bumps. I am not saying all of this to prove to you once and for all that I am insane. But I am saying this to tell you of how blessed I am to finally read The Book of Mormon the way I normally read a book. 

To stop and digest ("To read without reflecting is to eat without digesting") about what I actually read- to imagine what it would like to be there. To have an inner music playing along with the words, to try to imagine what the author was feeling.

I legitimately love the Book of Mormon. I am increasingly convinced that the Book of Mormon is (without a doubt) the word of God. It is beautiful. The book reads wonderfully. It is full of poetry and description. Each author has his own distinct voice that leaves the words with his individual spirit. You can feel who each person is. The Bible is a wonderful book, but it takes a lot of work to decipher what the heck is going on, which stuff is relevant and which stuff is just Saul or David just killing some tribe that stands in the way. The Book of Mormon is abridged and contains only the stuff we need to hear.

So I am going to go get a replica of the first copy of The Book of Mormon after this library time and read it through as I would any other book. I am so excited to do this. No sane person should be this excited to read the Book of Mormon in a novel format.  

Last Tuesday, when we taught a lesson with C. S.  (He is the bomb) We taught the Plan of Salvation. He is answering most of his own questions with doctrine, and at one point (to our astonishment) he answered his friend why we need prophets. I am so blessed to watch him move towards the gospel. I am just the lucky guy that gets to watch as he starts to take in the truths. Beautiful. Beautiful.

 I wrote in my Journal the other day: "Imagine a place where people wake up at 5:30 and play basketball for an hour. One might rightly call this place hell. If I told you that they do it willingly, we might call it an insane asylum." This is morning sports, and as you could tell, I was a bit frustrated with sucking at basketball every morning.  (Just thought I'd include for a laugh.)

I love you guys so much. Hurrah for ISRAEL!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

We Thank Thee In The Long Run For Chicken Fajitas 6-20-13

Elder Johnson, a servant of the Lord, by the will of God.  To my family, my dearly beloved family:  Joy, hope, charity and peace.

Paper letter the first...

The dinner we ate last night was SO good,
6:00 a.m. we went to play sports with the zone...( you may need to edit this for delicate audiences) a troubling thing started to happen...  chicken fajita gas out of both ends.

7:00 a.m. we are home, both of us were feeling rather sick.

12:00 p.m. we were in bad shape...i.e... RATHER SICK

We received counsel from El Presidente to rest, and so we came home and napped with much caution.

2:00 p.m.  bodily evidence it was clear we were going nowhere.

Evening... I felt determined to make it to our lessons, but my poor companion wasn't moving he seemed to be worse off so I found someone to go with, Elder T--- a kind and good teacher and another man from the ward.

I realized I could ask these men for a blessing.  For a moment that stands in bold, I wondered if it would help.  I then realized all the miracles and blessings I have felt, I was called by a prophet,  I would be healed,  I knew that by the spirit and I fixed it in my mind with all the determination my blond eyebrows could muster from the Holy Ghost.  I knew that by faith we are blessed.  Receiving revelation is easy.  Believing and acting on it is the hardest part.  That is, we are blessed with free will, and we are given time to see how we use it.

They blessed me, and though I was still burping fajita, I was able to make it to the lesson.

All our trials can be for our gain.  This morning I was reading "Our Heritage",  I was quite surprised that as I was reading I honestly began to cry.  I was reading about the mobs, the massacres, and I remember thinking, "What Infamous Cowardice!"

I don't normally speak as if I were a 90 year old, but this morning, as my companion was sleeping, I cried on my reading chair.

Now, I'll admit this may be a stretch or sound really stupid, but those fajitas (Or the blessing from the trial of the fajitas) ended up giving me a strong testimony of the Lord's hand in His people's life.

I love my family so much.  Thank you Brynn & Davis for the letters, Thank you Bruce! Thank you Eliza!  Thank you Alida!  I love you SO much!  Thank you Zac, I reread that pink letter!  Thank you Mom & Dad - you have blessed my life from the beginning!  Send a thanks to Uncle Mike and Aunt Roxanne!


Elder Johnson

p.s.  I've noticed that generally Washington drivers are the worst.  But then I moved to Utah, and they were the worst.  Las Vegas follows this pattern as does Boston and Lousiana.

I think this is less about geography and more about the fact that everyone else is an idiot.   ;)

Alma 26:37

*editors date on letter, but best guess- written on or about 6-15-13 received in mail 6-21-13)

Best Friends and the Mob Boss 6-17-13

I am increasingly aware of the fact that my family is a rarity, a treasure. 

This is funny, but everybody I've lived with since I first left home has been measured up to Zac. I know this is unfair, but when you live with your best friend then all a sudden have no one to make Lost references to, an-- acute sense of loss fills the soul. 

So when I got Zac's letter it made me laugh so much. I wish he could meet Elder --- who, incidentally, caught a pigeon by hand. That was pretty hilarious.

We got sick last Tuesday & Wednesday, but on Thursday and Friday, we were blessed (or rather, the Lord was blessed?) with 6 new investigators. 

We had a wonderful lesson with the M family. She was bearing her testimony most of the time.  It was amazing.

Then, Chen. You would all love Chen. He has studied much philosophy, religion, etc. Long hair, from the Czech Republic (but completely American), played baseball. At different times throughout the lesson, he said things such as: 

"Oh. Yes! (throws little foam pad across room) I am learning something! This is good!" 

"You mean three dead Jews just showed up to Joseph and were all like 'God told us to tell you to baptize people'?"

 "The Book of Mormon is some gruesome stuff. Like, Nephi was all like 'there's that jerk that won't give us the gold scriptures' and God's all like 'Pop his head off!'" 

and Nephi's like 'I don't know man...' 

and God's like, 'trust me, do it for your kids.' So he cuts the dude's head off and wears his bloody clothes and steals his stuff! God seems like a mob boss."

It was the greatest lesson ever..

We also met two other great people we will be working with from the singles ward, it's looking like President is going to be sending us just to work only with the singles ward, because of the huge amount of work coming from it (Last week we filled a progress record).

I love you so much. I memorized invictus is like 10 minutes. It is my encouragement. I'm going to buy a replica of the first Book of Mormon to trick my brain into thinking I'm reading a long divine story, rather than the verses. 
I love you so much Mom. I will send pictures and stuff soon.


Elder Johnson

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Feast - No Famine 6-9-13

Oh, I love those pictures!

It is marvelous to be a missionary. A lot of the time, I'm really quite tired. 10:30 comes and I'm out like a light. Bizarre. 

Everyone here has something with missionaries and food. I can't figure out if they're terrified that I will starve, or if their is some mother guilt thing going on, or whether people in Vegas just love having good dinners, but we are getting stuffed full.

It has been a bizarre revelation to the other missionaries that I do not get a sugar coma or a sugar rush at all. People keep sending us home with dessert, and my companion won't eat any of it, as he is a self proclaimed health guy. I have been sacrificing my sugar tooth. lol. Send me some info on how to prevent early onset diabetes. 

It was 113 the other day, which was... rather warm. We have a game, as there are many stupid missionaries, it is not new, although we thought it was.  The game is called Sahara. 

We get in the car (only when we are in non-proselyting clothes) and turn on the heater. (Except last time we played, the heater was cooling the car down.) 

So we just sat in there for a good 35 minutes. 

I also love the poems that you sent, because those were the best. I've been reading them over and over. I love poetry. Soooooooo much.

The work is moving along. We are the busiest missionaries ever. Ever. In the world. We have been teaching, trying to contact the long list of referrals we keep getting, trying to remember faces, eating a ton... phew. 

We taught a guy named *** who is a really nice guy. we were worried that he only wanted to get baptized because when we commited him, he said, "Yeah. I mean, its just the next thing after going to church, right?" Worried, we taught the next lesson at a members house, and  watched the restoration. I remembered what you taught me about identifying the spirit, and as we did, and he told us he felt such a good vibe in the house.  We all felt it, and it was beautiful.  What fools we mortals be. It was great.

I have been wearing the tie Dad gave me from Grandpa Johnson.  I hope he (grandpa)  is helping me.  I can remember all of the beautiful stories that you've told me about him, and it inspires me to be more like him.  I loved that people gave me ties that were sentimental to them.
As I've been out here, I've been maybe a little too anxiously engaged (grinning) and in my effort to try to work my tail off, I've been a bit over-zealous. This work is not about sweating and working like crazy. 

That is a part of it. But this is an intensely social work, and I have learned that to be the best missionary I can be, I need to relax. That way I can use my natural charm and winning smile to help people open up. :) Where I can work the hardest is in studying for our investigators, by truly getting to know them and see what they need. In that way, this work is a much more beautiful and intriguing work.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Muggle Mail

On June 3, 2012 at 10:52 A.M. Colton Johnson wrote:

I've been grinning widely as I have received the same letter about the garage door about... 5 or 6 times.

 It brings to mind Molly Weasley and her letter entirely covered with stamps. The postscript was something like: "I do hope you receive this letter, as I wasn't sure how to use muggle mail. I hope this was the right amount of stamps." It made me laugh. :)

What an amazing mission I've been called to. God has truly led us to people prepared. We picked up a former investigator who we promptly set for Baptism on the 15th. We were talking with a family named the------ their son, ------ 11 years old, at the end of our lesson said he wanted to show us a new family he was friends with. 

We (as in mostly me) were surprised, and we went over to this family in the apartment complex. We meet this woman who is a recent convert.  

Her daughter comes up as we're introducing ourselves and listens in. She then proceeds to tell us she went to a Christian church, and had "a beef with y'all not being Christian." Then she says that that was before she actually read the Book of Mormon and received a witness of its truthfulness. 

"Doink. Oh, uh- that's uh, pretty great"! 

She then asks if she can retake the lessons, cause she missed one, so she can be baptized!

The last person we showed up to. whoa!

 Ok, so if you look at ---- Cr. on Streetview, you can see our house, the little cottage attached to a grey house. Two houses to the right there was a barbecue. Everyone there  is Mormon (everyone here in this circle is Mormon, it's amazing, like Grandma Johnson's land - *Barnwell, Alberta) 

We talked with -----18, who mentions she is a convert, and her mom is not a member. My missionary senses tingled.

 My companion is talking to somebody else, but I ask what her mom thinks about the church. She said, oh, she loves it. She called her mom over, and she came,  we laugh and talked, and then she wanted to set up lessons. WHAT?!?   So cool.

This whole experience of being a missionary has  been a huge testimony builder. 

I thought my mission was going to be hard and unfruitful, and only by hours walking and tracting we would find people. This is not my work though, it's God's, and He loves these people. He is going to help them, and I am a lucky vessel that can help deliver his gospel, the bread of life.

One more thing! (said in Jackie Chan Show imitation) We are covering a Singles Ward and a family ward, and as such, have been incredibly busy. When out with the YSA, a returned missionary was out and about with us. 

I asked him what advice he had. 

He told me the Lord had called ME on a mission, and I was to be the best version of myself, but Colton Johnson was called (and I would add, not a cheap imitation of John Groeburg). That hit me really hard, as I needed to hear that.

Also, a chef named T-------- payed for our meal at Maccaroni Grill- we payed a tip. But Crazy or what?

I love you so much. SO MUCH! Your poems from General Conference sustain me. Also, I see the need for music. I went crazy till I bought Lower Lights. 

I love your letters. 

Share the good news.

My family, and my mom, is the best.

Elder Johnson

PS Alma 56.48


Same day, 

(add on in answer to  Dads email)

Well butter,

I am being fed here until I drop. I have had an abundance of food. It is ridiculous. Everyone here thinks I am going to starve, and an oft repeated theme has been resurfacing, the call to "get some meat on them bones."

Unfortunately, I've got no letters yet. It's funny, because the only letters I've got so far (And I mean I've got no letters since I arrived in Las Vegas has been the one Mom sent me. It brings to mind Molly Weasley, sending a letter covered with stamps everywhere, and a postscript: "I do hope this makes it to you, I wasn't sure how many stamps to put on it." I have received that letter 6 times.

I really love you dad, and it's been marvelous out here.

We knocked on a door and a 13 year old girl bore her testimony on the Book of Mormon and expressed her desire to be baptized. Talk about a shocker.

Hurrah for Israel!
(Would you read these two to Bruce and Eliza?)

I love you buddy. Missionary work is amazing. How are you? What have you been doing? Have you read Redwall? :) Any good Nonfiction?

So excited to hear you get deodorant. Ever since you've been a wee lad, you've wanted to steal ours, and me and Zac always got a good laugh. :)

I love you dearly. You can just write me through email if it's easier. Love you


I love you! You are the best. I loved the first letter I got from you, and I shared it with everybody. It made me laugh. I saw a sign yesterday that had Alpha and Omega!

 How's everything at home?

Teach Tipper any tricks? Any good books?  I love you darling.

 If you want, email is easy, so you can write me here. 

Love you

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Oh I love my family!

I haven't got any paper letters yet, but oh well. I got to read the emails, and it was fantastic.
I flew in last Monday, which seems like ages. Milena. I found out that I went to Sunday school with Elder Heidinger when I was a kid. He's from Stirling Alberta, and he was born it Barnwell. Is that crazy or what? 

On our last day, we were handed pass along cards, and tasked with the heavy burden to give them out. The one non-LDS man in the plane was sitting next to me. He caught on to me as we were starting to leave, and was hurrying to get earplugs ready as I started telling him about missionaries. He went to sleep, and right before the plane landed, I gave a pathetic attempt at giving him a card. I was all "Would you like a card?" and he was all "No thank you." and I was all "Ohofcourse-thatstotallyunderstandableIjustwantedtoshareamessageyouknow..." So that wasn't my finest hour.  

 We got here at around 10 Pacific time. I came down the elevator and saw President Black and a host of missionaries, illumined by a billboard advertising "Coco's Peepshow!" What a stark contrast. 

We came, left, ate some food, watched 3 hours of training videos, then they shepherded the new missionaries into a partitioned room. The gym was right behind. They called our names individually and then we would go out and the entire mission would watch and clap as each missionary ran out and was hugged in more and more spectacular ways by their new companion. I got Elder Lee.

He's 5'7". He loves sports and is quite the health nut. He has been out for 3 months, just as his trainer was before him. We're in the Sandstone Zone, which is six weeks old and has 10 missionaries. The first thing he said to me (besides where are you from, how are you, etc.) was "We have got such a busy day. We've got dinner, then kickball. This week is going to be great!"

You see, we've got two wards, the YSA and a tiny ward called the Westcliff ward. We have got so many investigators. I asked if we ever tract, and he said we just don't have time. We've got a car, but we use our bikes for our family ward, because the YSA ward uses our allotted miles quickly. My second day out, we met ---- an investigator, and also a ---- and ----. We offered service to ---- (I did, booyah!)

He said no and his wife said yes. We came back on Wednesday and found that this man was a hoarder, and he was being evicted. 

The smell in that place. Oh. Eye hath not seen, nor nose smelled, the abomination we saw.  So it was pretty interesting. :)  It was good to help!

This is in reality a wonderful area.  That ----- bless her heart, is a single mother with --- kids, and her next door neighbors are dealers.  She has it tough.  

There are some really nice things all around here.

We had so many lessons we were going to teach this last week. All of them fell through. All. I felt legitimately sad to miss them, though I knew none of them.

This weekend I went on exchanges with Elder ----- , a young elder from Tonga. I love his accent. I got to know him, and my testimony was really strengthened by him. We spent almost the entire time serving, and the area they live in is very rough. It looks really cool.  I went out contacting referrals with him. It was the best. I got some pot stuck on my shoe. :)  He is a great guy.  Fun adventure.  

I've got 4 minutes left before this stupid computer logs me out.

Brynn, that is so freaking amazing. I am so pumped. Being a missionary is the best.

Mom, I love your emails.

Dad, I really want to see your letter, and I hope it didn't get sent to the MTC.
Everyone, look up ---- on google street view. I'll tell you more about it next time.
That's where I live.  Great place, great people. 
Ever since I've been out on my mission, I have felt this insane love bursting through me. I know I've been called by a prophet of God, and I know this is his work. I am so blessed to be here. I have felt so strongly here that Christ lives, and he is our redeemer. Because of him, all things are fair, and all can be saved. I love you so much. 30 seconds. I Love You.

Elder Johnson

Letter Home 5-20-13

This is a letter we received via mail written on Mission Stationary from the Vegas West Mission home with greeting letter From Mission President and his Wife and a photo enclosed :)


Dear Family

There is a man in Antarctica.  He has suffered his entire life with cold feet, and extremely dry feet.  This man had a revolutionary idea.

That man made my shoes.

I arrived in Las Vegas.  Crazy!  We woke up at 3:30 this morning.  I wrote a sappy letter to our district. We then left, and my life moved on to the next phase.

Las Vegas is a gigantic sprawl surrounded by hundreds of miles of an exact replica of Mars.  Inside of Las Vegas I can see mountains and sky, and guess what?  (Read this in your best Junie B. Jones voice)  It's actually rather nice here.  It's cool in the shade, and nice in the sun.  It's 73 out, though its supposed to get to... 88 today *oof :).  Apparently that's nothing.

I've been nervous and excited all day, I even tried to give a gent a pass along card.  He spoke to me as politely as possible, making it clear that he was watching for the moment he could be offended.  I could see it in his eyes.  We still had a nice enough conversation.  Booyah...

It's 2:10, At 6:00, I will have a Senior companion, an area, a lesson, and maybe an anxiety attack... lol, I am totally kidding, that just sounded like the perfect thing to put there.  I love you SO much.

O.K. Bye.

Colton Johnson

Monday, May 27, 2013

An email from the Landlords!

I think Mormons are marvelous!!!  I got this today from Colton's Landlords/Bishop&Mom of the ward where he is serving.  Today is a holiday and the libraries are closed, so we were prepared for the sad two week delay of news.  

I know it isn't something I should mope about, but knowing that I shouldn't mope didn't seem to have any impact on my heart decision to mope anyway. I felt my brain try to comfort my heart with its knowledge that Colton is Captain Adventure and I know his brain is all "home where???" "family who???" & 

 but I'm a mommy and my heart wants what it wants... AND I wanted a letter!  

So today I kept checking my inbox, hoping for something!  


I got this today and it warmed my heart.  

"We are happy to have Elder Johnson join Elder Lee.  This is Elder Johnson's  first p- day in the field and they are doing laundry. Elder Johnson already gave his first sacrament meeting talk. We love his happy energetic smile. He is dedicated to the work.  We look forward to getting to know him better.  They are living in our little Cottage ( converted garage ) 

From Bishop * & Sister *

Feel free to contact us at any time. We enjoy having the missionaries so close. "

(I'm leaving specifics of names and places for people's privacy.)

It makes me want to go take pictures of our awesome missionaries and email their mommies the updates of how much we love them and what good they are doing for the people in our area!   I'm going to play this forward!!!  

New Pictures From Sister Black!!

Oh How I love Mission Mom's!  Colton can't get a letter out this week by email because libraries are closed today, but "Where God closes a door, somehow he opens a window?" (break out Sound of Music soundtrack)  and Sister Black updated the blog with some pictures including Colton

She states:

 The new missionaries have been here for a few days now and hopefully
had a few missionary experiences.
As we see them, we see they are a little more at ease.
They, along with their companions, came together again
for a review and for a discussion as to how the
first 12 week program is going. 
 This is Elder Colton Johnson and Elder Lee his trainer who is From Monroe WA.  In his latest email, Colton wrote very briefly that his trainer came out in Feburary.  They look pretty happy, However Colton omitted the part where he tells us what city he is serving in...Ah, well.  From the paragraph he wrote he sounds happy, and that we can expect a letter from him next Friday!  
 I see here Colton (front left center with striped tie) is holding court and already enjoying telling some fun story.  That is a fun familiar sight!!

I found out Elder Black his mission President is a Dentist!  I think its a sign!  He's in good hands!  Colton, Papa is watching out for you from heaven!  

And again...His wife takes pictures and posts them!!!  Hurray! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Colton's Mission Mom Keeps a Blog - and a Picasa Web Album!

Hooray For Mission President's Wives!  Sister Black Posted pictures of the new missionaries ... I don't complain, I'm just grateful for the pictures that we have received from a cousin, a best friend and a Mission Mom!  Hurrah For Israel! (and Blogger!)  This is the link to the misson blog and the first day arrival of the 22 new missionaries.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

ColtonMail#3 5/16/13

I Love you guys, 

I found a way to get in one last letter. I just went to the temple again, and it was amazing. I love you so much. Invictus has been running around my head all day. 

I started out this day a tad irritable. It was the first morning I have felt anything less than stoked. Things were getting on my nerves. I was grumpy and some elders were getting on my nerves.  A quote from Master & Commander has a description quite applicable: "I have never met a man (men) who so thoroughly enjoys such a small amount of wit." 

See how grumpy I am?  All this waking up early is finally making it tough for me and my mood. Luckily, I said nothing I would regret to anyone, and instead lapsed into moody silence that needed to change.

At the Laundry room in the time I mailed you, I had been reading 3rd Nephi, and I got through 2-17. I realized that I needed to stop taking offense, like Eliza. It doesn't matter, and I am big enough to not let such small things hit me. When we got to the temple, I realized how great each one of us are, and the noble potential we all hold. I am not mad, and feel disappointed at how petty and small I can be sometimes. However, I am excited,  because through Christ, I can become so much bigger, so much better.

I don't know if this works or not, but I prayed for Christ and Grampa Johnson to help me feel Charity. Is that right, or just a nice sentiment poorly applied?

I can't write again for a while, as I leave on Monday, so next time I hear from you will be the Monday after next.

I wrote today that   "Wit is only honesty cleverly put."

I also have realized that memory is a legitamate skill and shows great intelligence. I want to be better at it. Everyday I look at the "I give men weaknesses that they may be humble." I think this is inspiring to me.

At the temple, I felt a great courage surge through me. I felt like I am beginning a great new adventure. God will look after me, and I am so excited to go to Las Vegas!

Uncle Marc sent the best letter to me. It was powerful, and inspired me.

I love you so much.


Letter #2 MTC 5/16/13

Dearest Family,

I love you guys so much. Mom, your letters are inspiring, and I love that envelope/ envelopes.

Alida, it was a rubber duck, and it is sitting on my desk. Eliza, send me a picture of you in that hat, cause I can just imagine you with your attitude and my hat. Bruce, I am taking very good care of the lego guy. Zac, It is hecka hard to write letters, and I too am not really sure what to say, but thanks for writing. I kind of like handwritten letters better, because I can look at them all of the time and treasure them, but email is way faster and cheaper, so either way is fine. I'm not actually supposed to write letters any other time than p-day, so I got thirty minutes to get what I'm thinking on to the letter. 

The MTC is amazing. Truly amazing. It's also rather hard. 6:30 a.m. is the devils time. If the spirit goes to bed at midnight, it doesn't wake up till 8, cause I haven't heard a peep out of it till then. I leave this place on Monday, which is just shocking, because I feel like I just got here. You guys, sending me beano, was absolutely hilarious. 

My first day here I walked to my class and met my companions, Elder Heidinger and Elder Alsdorf. Elder Heidinger is from Canada, or as he likes to say "Sow-thern Alberta." He says things like "Raymen Noodles" (which I don't even think is a Canadian thing) and washroom. Elder Alsdorf is from South Dakota, and I was quite disappointed to say that he had no accent at all. During the first couple days we were waiting to be called as leadership, and Elder Alsdorf kept laughing and saying "Elder Johnson, we all know it's you!" I just smiled, because I know how callings in the church actually work. Elder Alsdorf was called as our District leader an hour after, and has been losing sleep since. 

These people are quite humor starved. I got them to cry telling them my story about getting my tooth pulled by papa. Pretty much all of lunch was spent by them rocking back and forth and letting out strange shrieks. We have a Sister Lane in our district. She told us that someone had once complimented her on her eyelids, and so I started going like "Hello! I am down here!" and closing my eyes and doing my best Zac impression "Is this what you want? Huh? Is it?" I showed everyone Bruce's Lego, I told everyone about "I got the looks for the moves!" I am constantly using Mom's lessons.  I showed everyone Zac's selfies, and I read aloud Alida's letter. And of course, I used Dad's mission stories (particularly the ones about the grenades and such). 

Russel M Nelson came here. That was amazing. Absolutely amazing. But what really got me was Sister Nelsons five minute talk before hand. I have been so excited here, and I didn't even write down her name when all of a sudden, the spirit hit me like a watermelon smashed on the highway. Whoa. It was powerful. She said to ask for our ancestors to help us, and they will come, and I cried a little. Out of nowhere. It must of been important, because I wasn't contemplating my ancestors at all. They said that the family history guy is one of the missionaries best friends, which I had never considered. 

I am learning so much. We talked to an investigator (sort of) named Javier. I have found that my previous experiences with getting to know people is one of my best assets as a missionary, because once people open up, they listen. Javier is a professor at UVU and wanted to investigate mormonism, so we agreed to meet him. I am sorry to say that I was pretty much the only one talking. Anyways, we talked to him about the need to have a restoration, and priesthood authority. He said that we were so right. Then he flipped to Matthew 24.22, or around that area, and said the restoration would happen in the second coming. Our faces fell almost as fast as our wits. I went through the topical guide and he wanted only new testament, so we went through. Elder Hiedinger said he was about to stop me when he felt the spirit say no. He said "One more scripture only." and we flipped to Revalations 14.6 and it was amazing. He wanted to read the scriptures. 
Mom,  What is next on the list of books?

Alida, don't follow my example as a procrastinator! You've got the moves like me (I used one of them today) and the good taste in books, but don't follow my worst habit! Go elder!

Buce, I love you. Don't miss me. I am on a huge adventure! I only get two years!

Eliza, you are the bomb diggitdy. I love you. Alpha and Omega!

Zac, you rock. Write me about how corey is reading the book of mormon (jk).

Dad, I love you. Would you write me your testimony of the savior?
I love you, All the elders really want me to get off the computer so they can write.
ps, Mom, that Invictus touched me. Thank you. I need more books. I am reading Jesus the Christ because I need to read. lol.

Letter #1 Sunday May 10 2013

Hey Mom, Dad, family,

I am alive.  And oh-so-hot and sweaty.  I love you guys so much.  You are wonderful. 

DO NOT MISS ME!   You have sent me to the best mixture of Hogwarts, Conference, and Church... and cub-scout day camp - given the preponderance of sweaty boys with gargantuan enthusiasm and no knowledge.

If you want to writer a real fast letter, go to

This is an amazing work.  God is entrusting me with real precious souls.  I can't mess up.

I'm with Elder Heindinger (from Alberta) and Elder Aldorf (from South Dakota).  11 days left.  Guys, I have to memorize a ton.  Woo!

I can't call, so I am writing, No mothers day, I'm sorry!  I love you guys so much.

I don't have much time!  I love you!  Goodbye!

Colton Johnson