Monday, December 24, 2012

Today is Vespera de Natal, and I’m missing our family this Christmas Eve!  Although it sooo doesn't feel like Christmas because it’s the middle of summer here.  It’s 90 degrees and there is no snow in sight!   We´re going to visit a lot of people and sing Christmas carols.  I´ve heard from many people who served missions here, that this time of year is the most difficult to teach because many people leave out of town or like to party.  But I´m really excited to share with people Mensagems de nosso Salvador Jesus Cristo and the magnificent gift he gave by coming to earth and being the Savior of the world!

I´m so excited that I have the opportunity to serve Christ this Christmas.  (He didn´t open presents on Christmas either)  

We had our conferência de Natal last week!  It was really awesome.  Ahead of time, President Hall gave us scriptures to study on the Gathering of Israel.  It really is amazing that Abraham, Jacob/Israel and his seed were promised and told over and over again that the gospel would be preached to them in the last days.  And when they accept Jesus Christ, God remembers and realizes the covenant he made with them before.  It´s cool to know that we are the missionaries prophesied that would share the gospel today and help in gathering Israel.  Our work is so important! And Heavenly Father needs all of us to share His gospel in this dispensation to fulfill the promise he made with Abraham! I love this work, and I´m so happy to be here serving my Heavenly Father.  Each of us are so important in this role. :)

I loooove you sooooo much :) you´re the best missionary support ever ever ever ever!  Thank you for serving a mission and being such an example to me.  Thank you for all your amazing letters and your encouragement.   CAN´T WAIT TO SKYPE WITH YOU ON CHRISTMAS DAY TOMORROW!!!!  :) :) :D

Thankful to be in Cabedelo!

Monday, December 17, 2012

So we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in Brazil but I celebrated by listing 100 things I’m grateful for.  I’ve started doing this all the time now during some long, hot days, and it really works!  Thinking of all the blessings I have makes me want to serve others more.  I’ve been given so much, that I am happy to share this gospel with others.  I am only here for 18 months, and I hope I can learn Portuguese well enough to be able to express to these people how much I love Jesus Christ and His gospel.  The people here were promised that they would hear the gospel in their own language.  Então... this is what I´m doing, and it is such an honor.

This week was amazing.  One day started out not too good at first when one of our lunches fell through.  We have to pay Reals$ 5 to travel there and back and so we were bummed when the lady wasn´t answering the door.  We went to the house of another member but they weren´t their either. What a bummer!  Before returning home to eat we decided to stop by the house of a menos ativo.  She was painting and too busy to hear our message but she told us to visit her daughter who lived next door.  It was hot and we were hungry--but my companion wanted to visit this reference first.  Ok... let´s visit one last person.  

It turned out to be the greatest visit ever! The lady was super welcoming, her house was clean and she totally wanted to learn about the gospel.  And she is a cook for the people on the boat! Lunch was delicious! We totally talked to her and her 18 year old daughter  about how when we are following the Savior and God’s commandments in all things we are always exactly where the Lord wants us to be.  There is nothing that isn´t guided by him when we´re doing what´s right.  And when something goes wrong it´s either to for us to encontrar or help a person who needs our message/our light or some sort of learning experience we needed to have ourselves.

Cabedelo really is a beautiful port town.  Since I’m new here I still see something new and different that is different than in the United States.  This week I saw (and heard) a Volkswagen Bug truck with big speakers driving through the town announcing someone’s death and giving their obituary over the loudspeakers.

At one house we visited, the girls were watching Barbie pop star.  They sang the songs “Girls just want to have fun”  and “Perfect Day” in Portuguese :) it was really fun to hear it in their language :)

Love you sooooo much!  Thank you all for everything,  Love, Sister Johnson
I´m happy being a missionary and planting seeds of the gospel!  It´s so much more fun to think about how I'm doing good by being a representative of Jesus Christ, bearing testimony, saying prayers, doing service.  I love teaching people to do Family Nights, and how to grow closer to Christ.  And when people are ready to hear more, give them more.  But I always try to share what I have by testifying of what I believe in wherever I go.  I will do that more eu testifico!!! vou fazer isso! 

Irmão husband of Irmã played Sudoku with me!  Or well I taught him!  It was awesome!  They´re the older (60 or 70) year old couple that has us over every Sunday night-but we pass by a lot more than that.  I love them.  They told me and my companion, if anybody says that you´re invited over for Christmas Eve dinner, say that you have another commitment.  Todo mundo está na casa deles todos os domingos :) eu amo o la.  Onde eu sinto o mais amor. I made brownies for everyone Sunday night--it was really fun. 

There are many beautiful horses and donkeys roaming wild.

Also, next week is our mission Natal!!! (Natal means Christmas)  I´m so excited!  We´ll get to pick up more letters again! :) 

Tchau ! Tchau! I miss you like crazy, sempre!!!

Juntos Para Sempre!

We showed the video "Juntos Para Sempre" which means "Together Forever" to a family we are teaching, and it made me homesick for the United States and my family!  But while watching it, I also realized more my purpose for being out here.  Leaving our families for a short time, to help others be Juntos Para Sempre!

For Noite Familiar (Family Night) I taught a family how to play our Johnson game, Headbands!  We used clothespins to stick the cards on peoples heads.  It's still really hard for me to speak Portuguese, but I'm able to get across more and more each day.  It's super hot here - 90 degrees with high humidity, and the many mosquito bites are itchy, but then there's fun things like, sugar from real sugar cane - like the Bamboo.  You cut off a piece and drink the juices, Yum!

We encountered many people this week who were ready to hear the gospel.  One lady already had a Book of Mormon and when we entered her house she had a "pass a long card" in one of her picture frames.  Another man/boy (around 23 I think) rode up on his motor scooter and asked if we were from "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  He asked tons of questions because he had looked us up on!  Another man said he was Catholic and has felt there's "something missing in his life."   When we taught him about Joseph Smith's first vision, and he cried when we sang Joseph Smith's first prayer. 

One man that we have been teaching finally got baptized!  He comes to church and likes the restoration story and reads the Book of Mormon.  When we invited him to pray, he said he wanted to get baptized!  We invited him to get baptized on Sunday, and he counted on his fingers: 1,2,3,4,5 days...Ok!  So on the baptismal day, we forgot we had to clean the baptismal font.  So we ran over early, cleaned it and filled it up with buckets of water.  It usually takes 3 hours to fill and we only had 1.5 hours.  But nos consequimos!!!


Wow, I don't even know how to describe this place.  I live in Cabedelo on a should Google it!  It is super hot, 90 degrees and lots of humidity.  Luckily the showers are always cold, which feels good - most of the time.  I love the people here!  Everyone calls us "minja filha" which means "my daughter."  They are seriously the sweetest people.  This cute older woman, Luzimar, made cake on Sunday for us. 

Kim and her companion and the Mission President and his wife.

I'm able to speak Portuguese a lot better, and Sister Borges is working on my accent.  I'm usually able to pick out enough of what people are saying to answer questions and teach according to their needs.  The members of the church give all that they have to others, which sometimes isn't's really humbling to see.

Yesterday we ran into a group of eight Phillipinos who couldn't speak any Portuguese so we talked to them mostly in English. They saw our black name tags and said, "Mormons! Mormons!" It's way cool that they recognized our church and knew that they could ask us for help. :) Tchau! Love, Sister Kim Johnson

Kim leaves the MTC and arrives in Joao Pessoa!

Oí !!! 

This is the street Kim lives on.
I can´t believe I´m here!  Those first few hours all felt like a dream!  There were 4 other Americans and 8 other Brasilians traveling to João Pessoa (super nice that we were at the airport with Brazilians who could speak Português to figure everything out)  The flight was about 3 hours.  President and Sister Hall were waiting for us at the airport.  They are soo nice!!   

We ate paninis (I love them here!  I wonder how much they eat paninis because we had them in Sao Paulo breakfasts as well)   I´m with a Brazilian companion!  Todas pessoas Americano receberam Brazilian companions!  She doesn´t speak any English--so i´m going to learn muito rapido!  (I can understand when they are using gospel vocab--but when the conversation goes elsewhere i don´t understand) 

It´s funny mom because I remember when you told me about your first experience when you got to Spain and everyone talks about how "this is not the language I learned in the MTC"  Well... this is the same language and I STILL don´t understand it. hahaha :)  Mas eu vou!

Sister Hall made a delicious dinner for all of us!  Best I´ve had since being home.  By the way.. in the Nordeste area they don´t have a daylight savings time, so I think we´ll be 4 hours apart when you change.

I don't know how to even describe it here!  The city of Joao Pessoa seems actually relatively calm compared to Sao Paulo-the buildings aren't as tall and big, not a TON of people.  The sun sets here at like 5:30 and it's super bright at 6 am! The name of my city is called Cabedelo.  It's about 30 minutes away from Joao Pessoa.  So I think you're good sending mail to the mission home and it shouldn't take too long for me to get.

It is hot here!  My companion and I had companionship study this morning.  I just practiced teaching the whole time!  We switched off.  I think I'm ok haha.  We're teaching people tonight!  She says I'm doing it right in Portugues, so I think I'll be ok.  Trevor sent me a way to invite someone to baptism in Portugues.  I wrote it down and practiced.  Então muito obrigada Trevor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Tchau Tchau!   -Sister Kimberly Johnson

This is Kim's last week in the Missionary Training Center.


Loooooove you!! Brazil's daylight savings time was 2 weeks ago so now we're 4 hours ahead of the United States when before that we were 3.  And because we're going into summer and you're going into winter we have opposite daylight savings.  Soon We'll be 5 hours apart :P
Tell Vasha I love her so much and good luck! The MTC can be frustrating because of the language or because you want to hurry and get out and start teaching, but it's also filled with great spiritual experiences :)
Mom we had a great lesson the other day by one of the Sisters of a Senior couple that serve in São Paulo.  She served a mission in Denmark when she was younger and she talked about the decision to serve a mission.  She talked about how all you need is a desire to serve and that qualifies you for the work D&C 4.  You could share with your laurels that I didn't receive my biggest answer until I was set apart.  You don't need a momentous-earthquake answer in order to serve.  If you desire--SERVE! Just know that it'll be hard and it will stretch you :) (I wouldn't let someone be the one to talk to into it... but good thing we have our heavenly father to rely on for when we do need the strength to keep going)
We went proseltying on Monday! It was awesome! Before going out our teacher Irmao Israel told us that there would be 2 kinds of people: ones who will talk to you and others who won't.  Because of this advice it was really fun/funny just saying hi to everyone and seeing their different responses.  We could proselyte around the CTM boundaries, and because lots of missionaries do this every Monday... most people around here already have a Book of Mormon.  So.. we ended up sharing lots of little thoughts and handing out lots of pamphlets because they are "mais curto"!  The 1st lady we started talking to just burst into tears! She was older, and we found her sitting alone at the park.  I could not understand her!  But because she was talking so much, I could start to understand because I could pick up on parts of her story.  I could only understand words like droga... filho... sozinho... She already had a Livro de Mormon but hadn't read anything, so I shared with her Mosiah 24: 14-15 and a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation.  I promised her that the Lord could strengthen her through her trials.  Some other missionaries who passed by later told us that she was reading the pamphlet.  :)
Towards the end, we ran into a man who looked about our age sitting at his work.  People open up these garage doors and they work just inside. it was really hard to understand him, but he was new to the area so he didn't have a Book of Mormon yet! I shared with him our book and then he showed me his favorite scriptures out of my Bible.  I was trying to tell him about prophets but he kept talking about pastors, so I don't think he could understand what I was trying to say.  I told him that he could call the number inside the LM and other missionaries would come teach him, but he said he didn't want other missionaries.  He wanted US to teach him.  Umm... yeah I told him he wanted other missionaries because they could actually speak portuguese. hahaha
I love learning how the spirit speaks! God truly intertwines all of our lives so that he can reach all of his children! I could not be happier to be a missionary and share with others what I know about Jesus Christ!  He truly loves each and every one of us and God has given us a way so that we can return to live with him again! :)
Our Brazilian roommate left on tuesday. :(   I absolutely loved her! She is serving a mission in Lisbon, Portugal.  She helped me SO MUCH the night before street contacts, in how to teach someone you approach.  I practiced on her a lot before doing the real thing.  If she could understand me, there was hope that the Brazilians outside could too.  :)   She's from Fortaleza, so it was really good to learn from someone who would have the same accent as those in my area!
I love you sooo much!  You're the best mommma ever!!!  Thank you for all you do and all your love and support! Thank you for the wonderful example you have set for me!  I can't wait to hear about my first area in Joao Pessoa either. :P  I'm having such a great time! I'm learning so much on how to love and how to realize that we all have different strengths and shortcomings.  I'm learning how to just smile and go with the flow :)  I think often back on the wonderful people we know in Alpine and I try to emulate different people in different situations.
One of our instructors gave us some good advice for the mission field.  She said to learn the lesson that God wants you to learn from that situation.  If you don't learn it from that situation, he will give you that situation again. Enjoy every opportunity to become more like Christ :)
I loooooooove you!!!!!  Love, Sister Kim Johnson

Sao Paulo Missionary Training Center

The Missionary Training Center in Brazil is called the Centro de Treinamento Missionario so it's actually called the CTM unlike the one in Provo which is called the MTC.

Kim's brother, Trevor, just left the CTM two weeks before Kim got there, so a lot of people there know him and she talks about him in her letter below.  He is now a full-fledged missionary in the Brazil Salvador South Mission! They would have loved to have been there at the same time, but it was great for Kim to have Trevor go first and help her prepare for it.

Here are some excerpts from Kim's letters so far:

Ola Familia!

Oi!  Como esta fazendo?

Tudo Bem!  Starting out at the Sao Paulo CTM has been great!  I slept on the plane flight since we flew all night long and I haven't been tired at all.  We did have a layover in Dallas where I had my last American meal at McDonalds.  Well worth it.  2 snack wraps and a Rollo McFlurry.  Yum.  :)

 I really like the people here and we have a really fun district.  My companion is awesome!  She is from Orem and she is seriously the nicest person.  We wake up at 6:30 and study Portuguese and the Preach my Gospel manual.  All of our teachers are Brazilian.  I met one of Trevor's teachers!  She loved him!  She said he learned the language extraordinarily fast.  She said all the Brazilians loved him and they all went to his room to hang out.  She said he would be an amazing missionary because he is so outgoing and picked up Portuguese so fast. A lot to live up to!  :)

We've played 'Head Shoulders Knees and Toes' in Portuguese.  I run on the track and play volleyball everyday.  We get to go to the Sao Paulo temple every week which is beautiful!  Some things that are different from North America...I'm used to the first floor of a building meaning the ground floor.  Here you have the ground floor, and then the first floor is above it.  So when you're on the top floor of a three-story building, you're on the second floor, ha ha.  The showers have four knobs in them.  I usually just use the bottom two, but I'm starting to figure it out.  They have paninis for breakfast every morning that are delicious!  Lunch (almoco) is the biggest meal of the day.  The watermelon and mango are really good!  I caught a gecko yesterday!  It was about the length of my pinkie. :)

I got to teach Taylor Richards a practice lesson!  Apparently he taught Trevor when Taylor was new.  Our teacher warned us that if you don't teach your "practice investigator" to pray, they'll do some crazy stuff while you're closing your eyes.  After we taught, Taylor said he was disappointed because he was looking forward to waving his arms around, standing up and down, kneeling bent over on the ground, etc. because that's what Trevor did when Taylor was teaching.  :)

Taylor passed on to me all the flashcards that Trevor made and had given to him.  There are a billion!  They are super nice and helpful.  I'm proud to say Trevor is my brother around here.  He evidently worked super hard and was really fun with everyone.  (Of course!)

There's two ways to say  "I'm sorry" in Portuguese.  There's Desculpa = "It was me" and Senti Muito= "I feel for you."  So during a practice role play, our teacher was pretending to be very sad and she said her husband left her for someone else.  An Elder responded, "Desculpa"  and our teacher responded, "It was You!"  It was really funny.  I love our teachers, and our classes are so much fun!  Our district honestly  has a blast.

It was Brazilian Independence Day here last week!  The cafeteria was decorated in green and yellow and they had really good meat.  You have got to listen to the Brazilian National Anthem, it is awesome and everyone here gets super into it!

I miss you all and I love getting letters!  Write me!

Eu ti amo!

Love, Kim

Kim is in Brazil!

On August 28, 2012 we drove Kim to the Salt Lake City airport where she boarded a plane headed for Brazil.  We as a family love her so much and it was hard to say good-bye, or actually, "see ya in 18 months!"  We love this description of church missionaries:

"Missionary (noun): Someone who leaves their family for a period of time so that others may be with their families for eternity." 

Kim would love to hear from you!  You can write her using the addresses posted on this blog.


These are some of my other missionary friends!