Sister Christensen and Carol!  Love them so much!
     Some of our recent converts went to the temple in a big caravan with all the church members here and they came back just beaming!  I am sooo happy for them.
     This week we had a great lesson with a lady where I felt the Holy Ghost working really strongly with us.  She said she wasn't sure if God exists.  She has never felt Him working in her life.  As we talked with her, I asked her questions about what she wants for her future, and she said she would like her marriage to last forever.  I asked what "forever" meant to her.  We started talking about life after death and where her grandparents are.  I felt question after question coming to my mind and each one lead to her opening up and allowing us to testify of another gospel principle.

She was happy and I loved feeling the Spirit and seeing how well the Spirit was able to work through us to teach a daughter of our Heavenly Father.
     Wonderful friends made us delicious great bbq, churrasco, for lunch!

Abolicao, Mossoro

Us with President and Sister Soares
Life is good here in Abolicao, Mossoro. I know it's Jesus Christ directing this work and I'm so happy to be a part of it. I'm training a new girl from the United States and I'm really excited to share with her all the cool culture things of Brazil and be able to laugh about the differences too. It's so odd that I've forgotten what things were weird for me when I first got to Brazil. And when I do remember some things, like I was terrified of drinking the water, I wonder if she's thinking the same thing.         Here's our scripture of the day with fruit to share:
"And as I partook of the fruit it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit." 1Nephi 8:12 The fruit of the gospel!

September 2, 2013

Olaida was baptized and it was beautiful.  And she's going to go to the temple with her husband for her 50th birthday!  At her baptism, we asked her husband to give his testimony of the gospel.  He was baptized a couple of months ago.  He got a little nervous and asked us, "How do I bear my testimony?"  We just asked him to share how he felt at his baptism, when he felt the Holy Ghost prompting him to follow Christ, and how he felt now watching his wife get baptized.  Foi lindissio!  It was so sweet and he bore such a great testimony.  So proud of him!  He's been in charge of all the service projects here.

Tomorrow I'll be going to Natal for Conselho de Lideranca, Leadership Council, which I always look forward to.  My favorite part is the training we get from President and Sister Soares.

I can't believe I've been on my mission now for a year!  I feel like it's just flown by and I know it will continue to fly.  Truthfully, I didn't want it to be my year mark.  I love my mission.  Good thing I still have 6 more months.  I'm going to make these last 6 months the best 6 months yet.  Best next 6 months of my life!

I had never learned so many things in one day as I learned the 29th of August.  1) Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  2) Our Divine Nature  3) Priesthood Keys  4) Don't wrongly judge others.  I'll write more about it later.  But for now...Ate mais!   Tchau!   Ate ja ja!   Ate um pouco!   Carinhosamente, Sister Johnson 

July 22, 2013

I really love reading in the Book of Mormon in Alma 26:1-2 where he rejoices in all the blessings that we all have.  "Do we not have great reasons to rejoice?"  I think of all my many blessings that I have as a missionary.  The Holy Spirit that testifies to us and the people we teach.  My wonderful family that loves and supports me.  The amazing church members here who help us.  The time I have every morning to feast on the scriptures.  The knowledge that I am where Heavenly Father wants me right now.
Sweet girls made a picnic for us!

Yesterday we had a meeting with the leadership of our congregation, called Conselho de Ala.  The Bishop asked questions they had about callings, etc.  A question came to my mind:  How can we as missionaries serve the church members better?  I was afraid to ask, my fears being that we would get a backlash of complaints, of things we could do better.  I tried letting the feeling go, but I felt like I should ask.  My heart pumped faster and faster as it came to my turn.  I asked, and the response was incredible!  All the people present, at the same time, started to list all their family members who aren't yet members of the church who they want us to teach.  I couldn't keep all the names straight as I wrote in my planner as fast as possible.  I'm super happy about the trust and confidence they have in us and the chance to work so closely with their families.

I love this work.  I love this gospel.  I love being Heavenly Father's servant,  Con amor, Sister Johnson
I love my mission!  I get teary-eyed just saying that.  I love the good, the bad, the spiritual highs and lows, the love I feel for the people, the intense growing and stretching periods, I love it all.
  The baptism photo is of the father of the second counselor of the Bishopric.  He has been trying for years to bring his father into the gospel.  We're now teaching his wife.  The baptism was gorgeous!  When the baptism program started, it started to downpour with thunder and lightening!  It's an outdoor baptismal font, so everyone huddled beneath umbrellas and others carried church chairs over their heads.  After he came up out of the water, he and his son gave each other the biggest wet hugs, standing in the middle of the rain.  It was beautiful.  You know that picture depicting Jesus Christ and John the Baptist hugging just after his baptism that we both like?  Yeah, well it was just like that. :)

I know my Redeemer lives.  I'm so grateful for the sacrifice He made for each one of us.  I'm so glad Christ did his mission he did on earth and left behind the Bible and the Book of Mormon that we can now read, study, and learn to become better missionaries ourselves and learn from His example.  I love being his servant here and trying to do what he would do by building up his kingdom here.

Love this work.  I love this gospel.  I love being Heavenly Father´s servant.
Com amor,  Sister Johnson

Dia 8 de Julho, 2013

Our new Mission President Soares is awesome!!  We had a training on Tuesday with all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders.  It's me, Sister Borges and Sister Christensen!!!  It was really fun to see Sister Christensen again.  Presidente Soares is super (the translation doesn´t quite work in english but) he speaks with power and also lots of love.  He gave us a training in D&C 4 about how it´s faith, hope, and charity that qualify us for this work.  Just these simple 3 things.  Moroni 7 in the Book of Mormon tells us that the most important of these three things is Charity.  I love Moroni´s promise that we can pray to our Heavenly Father to feel this charity and He will give it to us (Moroni 7:48)  I have really started trying to do this lately--pray everyday for Charity.  

We´re hoping for an upcoming baptism this Sunday.  He´s the dad of a counselor in our Bishopric. Saturday, he cleaned the chapel with the other church members and he loved being with all the church members.  Irmã Lourdes got up Sunday to bear her testimony.  In the middle of her testimony of Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ she started crying, talking about us and how much we´ve helped her.  And Irmã Ivalda keeps inviting us non-stop to stay with her and her daughter P-day.

When sacrament meeting started there were only 34 church members there.  It was sure a shocker after last week´s 135 people!  But more and more people trickled in as the meeting started.  

I was reading in the Liahona Magazine about the cucumber to pickle analogy.  When people are first baptized, you can start to see the first changes on the outside of the cucumber.  But it´s not until after time in the gospel, associations with members, daily scripture study that we become PICKLED!

God is accelerating his work!  He lowered the age for missionaries, created and called more missions and mission presidents than ever before, and he´s calling all members to get involved with the work.  Which also means Satan is stepping up his game as well.  He´s working harder and harder to desanimar the members and dissuade our baptisms.  Satan has plans, but WE have plans too!!  We´re stepping up our work, intensifying our prayers, and working well with our leaders.  I could not be more excited to be involved with missionary work during this time.  I´m so happy to be a part of the Lord´s TEAM during these last days!  I testify that our Savior lives and that He loves us.  I testify that we are literal sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us. We can pray to him at any moment to receive peace and comfort.  I could not be more grateful for my wonderful family.  Thank you so much for always supporting me every step of the way.  I LOVE YOU!!

´´God will be with you.  Doubt not, fear not.´´ 

Love you with all my heart!

Sister Kim Johnson

1 de Julho

Kimberly's Mission Split into two missions, and she is now in the Brazil Natal Mission.  Until her mom figures out how to change her address in the right blog column, This is Kim's address for the rest of her time in Brazil:

Sister Kimberly Johnson
Brazil Natal Mission
Av. Interventor Mario Camara, 2066
Dix - Sept Rosado
59062-600 Natal -RN

Our new Mission President for the Brazil Natal Mission gets here today.  I was just called as Sister Training Leader for the Mission.  I get to meet the new President tomorrow and eat lunch with him at his house. :) I meet with all the training sisters of the mission, give them lessons, and go on splits with them.  So I'll be traveling a lot!  I´m really excited to meet the new President tomorrow.

This week was great, we´ve had one baptism since I got here (almost a transfer and a half) and he´s the son of a Menos ativo, but we got her coming back to church so that was awesome.  Right now I´m just working on the people who have friends we can teach who aren´t members.  I planned like 4 family nights this week (We'll have to re-schedule one because now i´ll be in Natal) but I´m excited for the rest.  The members have been getting excited about missionary work... I have to run with the fire they´ve got while they got it :) :)

It's been a challenge communicating with my companion from Peru because of  our language barrier since she speaks only Spanish, but luckily she's learning Portuguese fast!

Sister Kimberly Johnson

The New Brazil Natal Mission

We are getting a Chapel!

Sister Christensen and I have been having a blast in Mossoro.  It was just announced that this town will get a new Capela!  We've been meeting in a little house, but now there will be an actual church building built.  The bishop announced it through tears from the pulpit on Sunday.  And everyone was so happy they started crying.  After the meeting, we took a big picture together.  It makes me realize once again one of the many things I took for granted growing up in beautiful Utah.  I'm so grateful for everything I've had, but I'm also so grateful for the wonderful opportunity to serve a mission where the church is growing!  I'm grateful for this opportunity to help in spreading God's Kingdom here on earth, to share the gospel to people who have never even heard of the church before. 

Batismo de Luiz!  After his baptism I asked him, "Como se sente?  and he responded, "Sinto que entrei as portas do evangelho." (I feel like I entered the doors of the gospel).  What made the baptism special was when his dad walked in five minutes before he was baptized.  His dad was baptized a long time ago, but has been away from the church and avoiding us every time we went to teach Luiz.  I love the way the gospel ties families together. :)

 I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary!  My favorite moments ever have been when we're teaching the gospel and I can tell that they're getting it!  My second favorite time is the treasured time we have every morning to study the scriptures.  Yes, there are sad times when people won't accept Christ into their lives, but I am grateful for this time that I have with no other distractions or restrictions on my time than opening my mouth and sharing Heavenly Father's gospel with His children.

Com Carinho,
Sister Johnson :)

May 9, 2013

I got transferred north to Mossoro!  But first I want to tell you about Queimadas because I love the people there with all my heart!  Most recently we baptized Milena's mom and Cacau.  It was during stake conference and everything looked pretty.  I love how the gospel changes peoples lives.  God is truly working miracles there. 

Tuesday night is called Noite de Integracao and once again we were in charge of it.  We had Tiago start the Restoration movie while Sister Matos and I ran home to make popcorn and juice.  We had the members practice sharing the Book of Mormon with their friends and then we played Backwards Charades (a game I learned from Shea Moon :))  I didn't know I was being transferred yet, but as we ran to grab Chocolate Tapioca for perhaps the last time that night, I had a feeling kind of leave me like this wasn't my area anymore.  

I didn't want to leave the people in Queimadas!  But I am ready to learn new things in Mossoro.  My new companion is from Kansas!  

"Missions are a whirl!  I had no idea that it would be such a humbling,
 life-changing experience!"

Miracles in Queimadas

Wow!  This past week has been one of the best weeks of my life.  I love the quote from Quintin L. Cook, "Peace comes from knowing we're doing what God wants from us and knowing that He knows who we are."

This Sunday we had a baptism!  I had the opportunity to find and teach the sweetest girl, Milena. (I´m starting to really like that name.) She´s one of the purest girls I´ve ever met.  She´s 13 years old and went to conference with some of our investigators 2 weeks ago.  Last week, she went to church and told our Young Women´s leader that she had a feeling she needed to be baptized.

Monday night was our first lesson with her and 3 youth from the branch.  Wednesday night she said her first prayer with us.  I´ve never heard a sweeter prayer in my life! She thanked God for sending ´´the sisters to my house´´ and she thanked Him for the transformation she´s had.  (It was also one of the longest prayers I´ve ever heard).  On Friday night she prayed that her aunt could get married, so she could get baptized too.  She is a gem!

The day of the baptism was ´´corrido´´.  After buscando pesquisadores, gathering people to come to church in the morning, entertaining 15 primary kids the first hour, teaching Gospel Principles class, we were able to get ready for the baptism.

The baptism was beautiful.  All of her family came and watched.  So, we ended up having ´´14 investigators´´ at church.  I asked Milena how she felt afterwards and she responded, ´´Eu sinto como uma nova pessoa.´´  "I feel like a new person."   Happy day! :)

We found and visited a new family of members that moved into our branch from Campina! We´ve almost reached our goal for the church to build a capela here.

It´s been raining here like crazy.  And during the ´´epoca de chuva´´ or rainy season,  millions of ants come out from under the ground.  One species has a body 2´´ long + giant wings,  "Icas".  Sis. Matos and I were surprised to find out that the people EAT THEM!  You pluck off their rear end and fry it in oil.  A delicacy!  Mmmmm Protein!

We found a família muito linda last night.  Maria do Socorro (who was baptized a month ago) has been growing immensely spiritually.  I never knew I could feel such joy watching her and her family progress in the gospel!  Her husband (also a recent convert and 2nd counselor in the branch presidency) gave a Book of Mormon to the husband of this family.  Sunday evening, Maria brought us to meet the family. The lesson was full of the spirit! I don´t think I´ve ever felt so much light inside my chest. Sister Matos and I walked back to our apartment last night overwhelmed with joy!   I hope we´re able to help them progress, if not, it was a marvelous step in helping them come closer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Another perk to the week: We now have running water throughout the day!! And we have an option to make the water.... WARM!  Wow I´m so glad I wasn´t a pioneer.  I´m so grateful for running water.

I love you all so so much! I think the biggest thing I´m learning so far on the mission is how to serve.  At home when I got tired, I just wanted time to myself.  But here my capacity to keep going is growing.  Even when my legs, back, feet are aching, we walk up one more hill, teach one more lesson, make one more street contact.  I´m learning how to go the extra mile in my service to God.  I love Him so much and I´m so grateful for the Spirit that does ALL the teaching in our lessons.  I´m just working on being the clean vessel, so He is able to work through me.

Also, Queimadas has a shortage of water.  We were able to get the baptismal font completely full!! God is working miracles here in Queimadas.

Bringing Familes Together

From the moment Sis. Matos and I first got to Queimadas we started teaching Maria.  Her husband is a Counselor in the Branch Presidency and was baptized in the Fall last year.  Missionaries had already tried teaching her in the past when they were visiting her husband, Carlos, but she had never been truly interested.
Teaching Maria in and of itself was a learning experience.  She doesn´t know how to read, so her comprehension is low.  We had to learn to teach very simply, like we were teaching a child.  When we invited her to baptism she said, ´I´m already baptized´.  We had a hard time teaching about proper priesthood authority.  

We finally had her committed to baptism the upcoming Sunday, when we visited her Thursday.  When we arrived, she said once again, Í don´t want to get baptized anymore.´ We invited her to pray and start a fast Friday (She was going to visit the temple grounds Saturday with her husband. Yes!) and end while she was at the temple Saturday.  We invited her to fast and ask God if she should be baptized.

Saturday, all the members were gone at the temple, so we went to clean the church with another member who stayed here too. (Lack of $$, he´s 20 and is our ward mission leader ).  We cleaned and got the baptismal font all ready.  But there wasn´t any water to fill the font.  (the city runs out of water every day from 7 am until 4 pm.)  Tiago said he could return in the evening to turn on the water.

6pm we get a call from Tiago saying the water still hadn´t come back! We got over there at 7pm.  We found a hose extension cord to pull water from another source, but the hose had holes!! While Tiago bandaged up the hose with plastic bags, we resorted to buckets.  This was going well until the water source for the buckets ran out!! And slowly the water from the trickling hose ran out as well.  (9:15 pm) The font water was about mid thigh. Nooo!!!! 

We had to go to bed, but Tiago woke up at 4:50 am to start filling up the font again.  We got to church at 8:30am and the font was waist high.  Yes!! Church started and our 1st counselor announced that there probably wouldn´t be enough water for the baptism and Maria´s husband agreed.  But when Maria looked at that water she announced that there was enough water and she was getting baptized! :) 

At 12:30 our baptismal program started.  Carlos and Maria in the jumpsuits climbed (literally) into the font.  They had to squat together and then she leaned back, but she was completely submerged. :)  I´ve never seen a family look so happy together.

After the program was all over and she was walking in the parking lot, she turned and gave me a back-breaking hug.  I asked, ´Como você sente?´ She responded, ´Me sinto livre.´ (or I feel free.) :) :) :) :) Happiest moment ever.

It was a lot of prayer on our part to even help her have the desire to get baptized.  Little did we know it would be a battle with the font water for her to actually be able to get baptized.  But watching that family walk away together all holding hands was the greatest joy I could possibly feel.  It was a lot of hard work, but knowing that I was the Savior´s instrument in bringing that family together was incredible!

Hi!!!! :)
So all the transfers took place.  I stayed in Cabedelo and my new companion is a North American named Sister East.  Adoro-la!  We´ve been having so much fun together and I´m learning SO much!  I´m so excited to work with her.  Oh my gosh I love her so much!  It´s so weird being able to speak English in our house!

Sunday night, when we got to Luzimar´s,  Irmã Carina walked out and said, "You have people waiting for you."  My thoughts were ´what??`´ and then out of the house walked four other sisters!  It was a party!  Luzimar made dinner for all of us and then all the sister missionaries had a big sleepover with all the mattresses on the ground in our apartment.

Happy Smile!
Monday we went teaching with 4 sisters!  It was so awesome.  It was so cool teaching lessons with all 4 of us together.  It was so cool seeing how everyone teaches and everyones different testimonies.  All the girls are so strong and so awesome but all in different ways! :)

The next day we had a conference with our whole mission!!!  It was with Elder Christensen and Elder Mazzagardi!  Sooo awesome.  Elder Christensen talked all about Spiritual revelation and the Holy Ghost.  He said that first the spirit just talks to you in yes and no´s.  Then as you try to get closer to it you can hear words, then sentences.  He said that one prophet told him he gets paragraphs and sometimes pages.  Elder Christensen said, ´wow that´s when I realized I need to study more about spiritual revelation´´.  He said that sometimes we think the prophets have it easy.  Like the prophet wakes up with a list of things to do that day beside his bed.  Nope!  They spend hours and days praying in the temple to receive guidance and spiritual revelation.  He said we have no idea how much time they spend.  It made me think, wow!  I really want to grow closer to my Heavenly Father so I can get more guidance from him!

We took a ferry to Lucena!  Lucena is a vacation place with lots of palm trees and gorgeous beaches.  I felt like I was in Jurassic park arriving at this island with a whole bunch of trees.  It hit me again, ´Wow! I´m way out here in Brazil!`´ 
It felt like our bus was arriving in Jurassic Park!

I love you!  Love, Kim