Thursday, March 28, 2013
Hola from the MTC!
I've been here for exactly a month today, and have two weeks left before they ship me out!
Story about what I know about my travel plans. Everyone going to Argentina is having a super hard time getting their visas, and there are high chances that I will be temporarily transferred to somewhere state side until things get taken care of. If I get transferred in close proximity to Utah, please don't attempt to see me. I love you all and if I see any of you and cannot hug you due to mission rules it'll break my heart and that would suck! Anyway, due to this temporary reassignment I have the possible chance of serving in 3 missions! If I get relocated, get to Argentina before the split and then get called to the new mission that would be incredible.
It's Elder Creer's birthday today, and all of us Hermanas were super excited. We even got up early and decorated his desk with wrapping paper, and got him . . . . a few . . . presents. We hid to surprise him and the other Elders, but they took forever, and we couldn't stop giggling! The mission proved successful never the less.
So my Comp and Hermana Moris were discussing who would be what animal, and they said I was a bunny, crazy ya!? Seriously? Their reasoning was that I was cute and dainty, little did they remember the stories Hermana Goodrich told us the other day. Her family use to have pet bunnies, her brothers would hold them up to the neighbor's HUGE dogs, and they would scream! The bunnies would scream and sound like screamin children! This one time when Hermana Goodrich was about 5, she had a cute fluffy bunny that she took with her everywhere, she saw a patch of grass and thought, "oh my bunny would love the grass." This patch of grass was in the Compost Bin. She left to go on vacation for a few days with the family, came back and couldn't find thumper. She looked everywhere, and was devastated The bunny was next found dead in the compost bin. So now we have so many inside jokes involving screaming bunnies, and compost bins.
I was farther along in my reading than I said I was last time, and I'm working on memorizing Joseph Smith's First Vision in Spanish. I haven't been doing push ups lately, but volleyball's doing it's job. I'm usually the setter, thus I run everywhere. I love it! It's a ton of fun and now I remember why I loved it so much in middle school, and no one get's mad at you for messing up cause we're not keeping score. Unfortunately I've fallen into the trend of my injured friends. Mine isn't anywhere near as serious, and there's nothing I can do about it. I think I may have busted one of my toes from landing wrong after going for a block. I'll be ok :) don't worry. I think Elder Mecham, Elder Hafen and I should form a 'Busted Club' cause we can.
Dustin! Teleta! Casey! Taylor! Zach! Jake! and Emily!! Way to represent!! You kids rock!
I don't have a ton of time to read and respond to all the way I would love to. So if ya'll could continue to use Dear Elder or write me by hand I would love it so I can keep them and accutally think about what I want to say to you. I also sent a couple letters out, did they make it? Or am I broken and unable to corectly post letters? Haha just wondering.
So MTC Choir is the BEST! We're practicing a song for the Easter Sacrament meeting this Sunday, and It's absolutely beautiful. Dr. Elifson needs to know of it's existence (sorry, I probably spelled his name way wrong).
About this Sunday, one of the 12 is coming to preside over the meeting. There will be tables of bread and water for all of the missionaries and there will be 100+ Elders to pass it as we take the Sacrament to commemorate the Atoning sacrifice of our Savior on Easter Sunday!!! :D It's so cool!
So during TRC on Monday Hermana Bateman and I met one of the greatest old men I've ever met in my life! His name was Hermano Griffiths. He served the Uruguay on his mission, he also served in the Air Force for 6 years of active service and was on call for the next 8. I was so excited about that! We learned a lot form him even though we were supposed to be the ones teaching. He taught me to be confident in my presentation of the gospel and never to worry about the Spanish. He was also very patient with us, and laughed with us often. He said he comes every Monday and that next week we should stop by and say hello to him, I REALLY want to, he's my favorite so far. We also taught a woman named Hermana Mohrmon. How perfect is her name!!?? :D So fitting! "Are you a Mohrmon?" "Why yes I am, would you like to hear more?" Mwahahaha! She's been blessed with a missionary tool of a name! She's a very sweet lady, and lives in Payson. We taught about how to receive inspiration through the Book of Mormon, and testified of it's truthfulness and the promises inside of it.
Well I am way out of time, and I don't remember if there's anything else I need to say just now.
Working hard, and playing harder!
Hermana A. Johansen
I'm Almost Out of Here!! :D
and more importantly,
OUR SAVIOR LIVES!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A Few Random Facts About the Mission
Here are a few facts that you might not otherwise know about La Gran Mision Argentina Resistencia:
1. There are missionaries serving from 20 (soon to be 21) countries in the mission.
Everywhere from Canada, the United States, Spain, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Panama and New Zealand. We are waiting for a missionary from Australia to get his visa and arrive. It is amazing to think that Diane and I have hundreds of adopted sons and daughters from all over the world.
2. The missionaries speak more than just castellano (and english). We have missionaries who also speak Utahn (ok, that is just a joke), Portuguese, Guarani, Toba, German, French, Samoan, Russian and Korean.
3. Some of the missionaries were students before their mission, but we also have missionaries who have been engineers, teachers, musicians (one was even in a rock band), hypnotists, nurses, sociologists, chefs, models, contractors, tax preparers, warehousemen, lawyers (not just me, another one, too), etc., etc.,...my favorite is the missionary who was responsible for creating new ice cream flavors...a close second (only because I do not think that it was his full time job) is the missionary who was a ninja. We all thought he was joking until he did a 360 degree standing jump...yes, he jumped upside down from a standing position and landed back on his feet. We told him never to do that again while he was here.
4. You can not travel from one end of the mission to the other by car. There is a point in the Province of Formosa where the road ends. It becomes a trail and then just sand. When it rains you can not even get to where the road ends. For 200 or so missionaries there are just 2 cars in the mission both based in Resistencia. The Toyota Hi Lux that Diane and I drive and keep getting stuck in the mud. And, the Ford Ranger that the Assistants and Office Secretaries use and must have an invisible bulls-eye attached to it as it seems to attract frequent contact with other vehicles and scooters (19-25 year old drivers might have something to do with that).
5. We lease 98 apartments for missionaries and about 10 other buildings for small congregations. Guess who signs the leases for all of those? Yep, I am a pretty good friend of the notary publics in Argentina. Although we do not have official branches on the several indigenous reservations we still have several old wooden buildings that were built years ago on leased land. The Church owns outright many other buildings in the 5 provinces that make up the mission. We also have about 100 cellphones (the number is constantly changing as missionaries lose their phones by one means or another) and dozens of computers.
6. At one point last year we had 212 missionaries. As some missionaries have returned home and others have been scheduled to come we have actually decreased our number to 172 right now. But, we have about 40 who are in other countries waiting for their Argentine visa to come through so that they can enter the country. They come normally with two days' notice.
7. We have various missionaries who knew each other before the mission...some from the same high school...some from the same college...some from having competed against each other in sports...and two who are cousins and actually served together as companions for a while in the mission. We also have missionaries who have had relatives; parents, brothers, uncles, sister...and even a son (ours, Chris) who have served in this mission. It is a small world.
And, since our arrival in July 2011, we have seen missionaries return to their homes and finish their college degrees, start careers, marry, return to Argentina, travel to other countries to study, teach at Missionary Training Centers in at least 4 countries and continue to amaze us. Being with these missionaries really is a privilege and to see their lives unfold is one of the great rewards of being here.
POSTED BY RAY HEYMAN AT 7:45 PM
Hermana Johansen's mission President, President Heyman keeps a blog about the Argentina, Resistencia Mission. http://theheymansmission.blogspot.com
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thanks for the pictures of the dog! I was just gonna ask for them. I didn't even recognize that it was Kevin in the photo, he looks a lot like Steven in that one it trips me out, and the light makes him look a little bit blond . . . . ODD . . . . first thing I thought when I saw that was, "Who the spazz is that? . . . . . oh." And Steve, those are cool!!! Did you draw them on yourself or just find some random Celtic not drawings on the computer? If you did do those, nice job! Thanks for sending those pictures, they were great. Can we keep the e-mail pictures up and send some hard copies that I can look at when it's not P-day? My camera isn't lost, no worries. I'm taking pictures better than I have been the past few weeks, I'm trying to get some on the card so I can send the card home, I have another card in one of my bags I'll look for it today. I need to take a picture of me by the map by myself still, I've got ones with friends and family on their cameras. Can I get pictures of family with everyone's birth date on it? (FRIENDS if you could send some to me too i would love you forever) I want to be able to know when birthdays are so I can say it to them and not feel awful about missing it, that and pictures of everyone would make me a very happy missionary. (hard copy please :)
The Hermano Funk is not the same that served with Steve, if he was I would know, I talk about Steve all the time there would've been a connection made.
So! I had an idea!! I think it's beautiful. I have a CHALLENGE for ya'll. I would love it if everyone (family, friends, and such) could hand write their testimonies, and send them to me so then the people I teach will be able to know that it's more than just the missionaries with a testimony, and that people from all over the world know and love our Savior, and know that his Gospel has been restored. Your testimony can be on Anything, just make it YOURS. I'm also extending this invitation to the Primary, YM/YW, Relief Society, Priesthood, and Single's Ward. I'm really excited about this idea, and would love it if as many people as we can get to be involved.
Will someone tell me how Sterling Scholar turned out?? I don't know when it's supposed to be over, but I wanna know how everyone does, and who gets the positions next. Por favor.
That's cool that Elder Sanders is out and about finally! How's Kyle's prep going? When does he come in? I haven't found an Hermana Stone, but that's pretty awesome, thanks mom.
I'm glad you all had fun with Easter Choir, practices were probably better cause I was there, :) just kidding, I'm sure you all did great. I miss Pres. Harless, tell Sister Harless hi for me, I really hope that I can grow up to be like them.
Mike! When are you gonna send me some mission pictures and some stories that I can take with me? :) I'm really excited for those. Lexi, I have your drawings still, they're on the wall above my bed here, I'm sending mom a picture soon so you can see where they are. Braxton, and is it Parker that share the same birthday this last little while? I realized that I never told you happy birthday before I left, so Happy birthday enjoy growing up! :) Love ya!
Britney and Mikayla. You're both very amazing daughters of a very loving Heavenly Father who loves to hear from you, and guess what, I'd love to hear form you too :) Ya'll should write and tell me how things are.
Will someone get a hold of Hayden Stephens, I keep feeling like I need to write him a letter.
Missionary work is quite the experience. You really feel it when you know that your testimony has to be strengthened everyday for the benefit of other people. Especially for your comp and the people you teach. Remember that our Savior lives, that he suffered for our sins, sorrows, afflictions and pain so that he could know, so he could learn how to comfort us. He's the only one next to our Heavenly Father who will understand you fully. Remember that the Holy Ghost is there to comfort you when you need it and help you to discern what it is you should do.
I love you all!!!!
Until next time.
Hermana A. Johansen
Hola mi casa!!!
For all of you from the UK, CANADA and OTHER SUCH PLACES who happen to stumble upon my blog, "Hello to you from the Provo, MTC!" I've been here for about a month in training to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to the wonderful people of Argentina in the Spanish language, and it's been quite the adventure! I came in not knowing a lick of Spanish, and now know more than I ever have before, even if it is very little. If you've heard of the age change for LDS women to being allowed to serve missions at age 19, you'll probably be interested to know that, yes, I am a young one. If you know don't know much/anything about the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATER-DAY SAINTS and have the desire to know more, I invite you to search it out, it'll be the best decision you have ever made. Talk to the missionaries serving in your area, the Elders and Sisters love you, and have since they opened their calls from the Prophet. Hope you all have a wonderful day!
Hermana (Sister) Johansen
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
This last week's gone by super fast! The days have seriously begun to blur together. I'm starting to pick up a little more Spanish at a time, I don't know much, but I know more than when I came.
Thanks, Dad for the pen!! That's one I will never be able to lose, my abdominal muscles hurt so bad after seeing it. Which set of scriptures did you take with you to work? I hope you took my nice ones, those have all the good markings and thoughts from seminary that have helped me a lot.
STEVE!! You should've gotten a job teaching here! Maybe during the summers. Hermano Weist is so much like you it's crazy! How's school going for all of you? What's happening?? Thanks for the MNL in hard copy, Mom, I actually had time to read it last night, and for once it seemed like someone got more letters than Elder Hasleton for once. I felt so cool. There's a girl who works at the caf who's name is Amy, make me think of you.
Marci, Thank you so much for the package! I felt like a kid at Christmas. My Hermana's were blown away, and all I could say was, "My aunt loves me." I can't wait to use the stickers for the little kids. Love the journals and the sketchbook, I use them all the time. Sunday's are my release/doodle days, I love it so much. Love you!! (P.S. Family I love to hear from you, I don't know if I'll be able to write back to all of you but I will do what I can)
I don't know if I've told you this, but my district is the first Spanish district to have more Hermanas than Elders in it, as far as I know. My branch presidency is amazing!! The Prophet's nephew is the Second Councelor, and you can totally tell! His wife is le mejor (the best)! She comes in and tells us stories when she checks on us before we go to bed. I am the baby of the Hermanas in my district, the only 19 year-old of our small group of companion ships.
Our teachers are great! There's Hermano Funk, and Hermano Weist. Weist served in Argentina, and he loathes spiders with a burning passion! He doesn't even like to talk about it. BUT I will tell you the story his did tell us. (mwahahaha) So he and his comp were out beating down doors and they showed up to a fairly sketchy house that looked like no one had lived there for who knows how long. They shrugged it off. So Weist rings the door bell, waits for a little while, and leans up against the door frame for a minute. He looks up and there is a spider the size of his hands glaring at him and literally hissing at his face!!! They threw a rock at it to try to kill it, and all it did was fall to the ground with a thud . . . still living . . . just fell . . . with a thud. I'll bet you can tell who ran away first. Best story I've heard all week!! I laughed so hard! There's a spider story for the Primary kids. Tell them I say hi.
Anyway. We have a new investigator this week, and will be getting another on Saturday. It's crazy since our spanish is moy mal, but we survive. It's helped us to learn how to do the best we can to listen, prepare, and go in with full faith in the Lord. So glad to be learning a second language, if I wasn't I wouldn't be able to experience this kind of humility. Humility and Diligence are the attributes I've been trying to work on this last week and have been able to see how we're given the appropriate trials to allow us to strengthen our weaknesses. I can't wait to go out into the field and meet "real" people, which is why TRC is so great, cause you get to meet people from outside of the MTC and realize that there is still a world out there with people who need the gospel, who are looking for it, or who just need their testimony strengthened and need to hear what we have say.
My Companiera and I have been called to be the Music Coordinators in our branch, which I am really excited for! It's gonna be awesome. We have the best District and Zone, even the big kids don't mess with us. Gym is a blast! A ton of us all get together to play Volleyball, we all know I'm not exactly the definitions of a graceful athlete (or a good speller :) but they're all really good at noticing the good things you do even when you feel like you fall short. We get a little competitive at times, and it's such a blast! I've made so many friends here it blows my mind. I guess that's what happens when you are all united under a common cause, no matter what your differences are you grow to love and accept everyone cause you try to see them the way our Savior does.
Lately I've really liked D+C 122:16 where Joseph is experiencing some of the toughest trials he'll ever face, and God tells him that the trials he faces will be for his good if he endures it well.
Love you all!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Hola mi familia!!! :D
Thanks for the letters!! I love them!! They're so happy making. I'm looking forward to the journals. Jus so ja know . . . P days are on Wednesdays, sorry if I freaked ya'll out by not writing on Monday.
MTC life is pretty crazy, they like to keep us super busy. Emotional roller coasters are an every day thing for all of us, but I guess that's necessary if we are to understand the meaning of the happiness we'll find and to be able to know something of what our investigators go through as we expose them to the gospel. I've never felt so close to the spirit as much and as often as I have here, and it's helped me not miss home so much. I knew I wouldn't anyway, I'm pretty good at not getting home sick, but it's helped me keep my thoughts where it's supposed to be.
I have a wonderful zone, and the best district. We are the first district to have more Sisters than Elders in the history of the MTC. (6 sisters 4 elders) I have a wonderful comp. she's about 4' 11" and basically if Jack Black was a lovely sister missionary you'd have Hermana Bateman (Batman). She said that I remind her of Robin Sherbotski, she says that if I were allowed to have a nick-name it's be Hermana Sparkles. She's awesome, and we get along rather nicely. Neither of us have had any previous spanish edu, so that's an adventure to deal with and has taught us how to rely on the spirit while teaching our investigator We practically play sherades while teaching him due to our miminal spanish and his lack of english education. Funny story for Steven!! So you know how you had an Elder POND in our district???? Well there is an Hermana LAKE in mine.
I introduced my district to the light saber pictures, no one had any idea about them until I told them!! Turns out one of the sisters randomly had the right kind of maker for the job, so we're hoping to get those done soon. I'm not doing very good at taking pictures, I'm going to have to work on that.
I've seen so many people here!!! I've seen Colton Shelley, Carly Anderson, Melissa Lechner, Brayden Aims, Sheldon Shelly, Parker from my drawing class, Slade Roundy, Nia Ricks, and I think that's all of them I can't remember, there are too many to keep track of.
So I've had quite the experiences. We had our first teaching experience when I got here, and during one of the discussions we were talking to a Basketball player from Hawaii, who reminded me of Bear. We were all in charge of the discussion, and it wasn't entirely off to a good start, no one knew how to start it, and we were all itching for a particular thing to be said. I had an idea about families, and got the mic, and started talking. I tried to relate to him the best I could, and found out that his mom's his best friend, and his dad had died in a freak accident in a colission with a drunk driver. I flat out told him what I knew about the plan of salvation and what I knew about communication with our Padre Celestial and how life goes on after death. The Message really helped with what needed to be said. It was amazing!! and yes . . . . I cried, I always do. I cry during our discussions during the discussions with our investigator (who is wonderful and very patient with us) and we're speaking in 1 year-old spanish! But after I got done saying what I did, I sat back down and everyone's like "You'll make a killer missionary!" I just shook my head and said to myself "now I just need to do that in spanish." I knew it wasn't what I had to say, it's what the spirit had to say, it should always be that way, and those who really want to listen will hear not what I have to say, but what the Lord wants them to hear. It is his work, and I'm only to be an instrument in the Master's hand.
I love this work, I realize that with a new light everyday, and I can't wait to get out there. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BEEN A WEEK!! Feels like I got here yesterday.
Yes, I do love Dear Elder, gives me time to think of what I want to say.
Tell Brittney that I love her, and hope all is going well, I was going to write a special goodbye to her, but I didn't get to before I left.
How's life and the music coming all you siblings of mine? Any fun dates Steven and Sabrina? Kevin, I want to have all of the Styx songs masterfully played when I get back ;) Work hard, play harder and don't let people give you crap.
Tell the primary kids that I say hi, and to sing loud so I can hear them. If I see Austin S. when he gets here I'll let you know.
Time's almost out. I love you all, PLEASE stay safe (family, and friends, and especially Dad) I pray for you everyday, and hope all goes well. Please make it so that you're in better condition than how I left you. Write all the lovely hard copy letters you want, I may not miss everything like I thought I might, but I do love to hear from you. Send taken/drawn pictures you know how much I love them.
Missionary work is the best! Spanish will find it's way into my life, but we love a thing called patience. I'll get it eventually. OH! STEVE!! What study habit helped you the most while you were here???? Nothing's clicking for me! I'm getting phrases, but the grammar and conjigation stuff is killing me!
Love you! Asta Luego!
Hermana A. Johansen
P.S. Have fun. LOVE YOU!!!!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
While she is in the MTC DearElder is a wonderful way to get her a hard copy letter that she can read whenever she has time. Her time on the computer is very limited for reading and writing of letters.
When using dearelder her box#17 and the code-ARG-RES 0409. I don't know her departure date yet but that is optional and doesn't need to be listed. All DearElder letters to the MTC are free as well as to Argentina Resistencia Mission.
For postal mail here is her mailing address:
Sister Amanda Johansen
MTC Mailbox # 17
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
MTC Mailbox # 17
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
Thank you all for your love and support for Amanda choice to serve our Lord in Argentina.