Elder Austin J. Johnson

Elder Austin J. Johnson
Elder Austin Johnson has been called to serve in the Marshall Islands Marjuro Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and invites you to share in his adventure! "You will know at the finish line."

Sunday, October 1, 2017

An Answered Prayer

After watching General Conference as a family,  Austin's mother offered a silent prayer on behalf of our son, asking for some small confirmation of his well-being.  Roughly thirty minutes later, we received the following email:

"I just talked to Austin yesterday, so I figured I would just give yous a little bit of an update. 
5 weeks ago, he went out with Elder Joseph (a marshallese elder). ....he (Elder Joseph) came in this transfer and none other than Elder Koleni went out to be companions with Elder Johnson. They both seem really happy and like they are getting along well... He sent 4 letters with Elder Joseph so you should hopefully be hearing from him soon. Plus there is a mission tour in November so you should be hearing from him then too. 
They have had one baptism and now have 3 other people that have baptismal dates which is really exciting. They are really stepping up and showing their mettle. He has spent some of his time coming up with marshallese puns that had my laughing pretty hard. He is doing great and said he is losing every bit of fat on his body so when he comes back it's just going to be muscle. And I guess they are working with their land lord/member of the church there and they are taking people to church in a vehicle that the church is paying for. So that is progress that I didn't think was going to come for a couple more months, but he is way ahead of the game out there. 
I know he is where he is needed. I don't think anyone else on this mission could be doing what he is doing right now.

Hope you are doing well, stay safe. 

Elder House"

Thank you, Elder House, for listening to the still, small voice and answering a mother's prayer.

Going silent.


Over a year ago, while reading the blogs of other missionaries, I was confused over the large gaps of time where there were no photos, letters, or updates.  I figured that the missionaries (or their families) were too busy to attend the blog or perhaps the spotty Marshallese internet couldn't handle the browsers.  In all of this, I was wrong.  It is due to the remote locations that many of these missionaries serve.  On August 20, 2017, Austin was transferred to the outer island of Ailinglaplap.  Due to the remoteness of the location, the lack of internet and the lack of anything other than a small solar panel which powers the single lamp in their home, we haven't heard from him since.

Missionary work requires a lot of sacrifice and faith.  This has certainly been one of those times.  We appreciate your concern and prayers on his behalf.

-Shawn and Shannon Johnson

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Mother's Day Skype

Click on the above link (in orange) to view the video of Elder Johnson speaking Marshallese to his family on Mother's Day 2017.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Picture Time!

I will never complain of laundry at home again!


On the road again....

Nice man purse, Elder.

The joy of watching souls come unto Christ.

Elder Johnson and Elder Kendrick

Cinnamon rolls...Island Style!

Volleyball is my new favorite sport!

Elder Miva husking coconuts

Yes, that is a cooked dog.

Yes, the dog is dinner.....gulp....


The tan is making me look like an Oompa Loompa, right?

Elder Peterson and Elder Johnson

26 March 2017: Pow! Right in the Face...


What a week! Not a ton happened but it is all goods because just as I have a chill week you have a freaking hectic and busy week! Crazy how it just seems to work out.

So the sisters had an emergency transfer this week. Drama! That is the good side about the mission and the bad side. you see everyone every P day but we are so close that there is just considerable amount of drama every week!

But it is all good, because we got to keep the Fijian sister and she has cooked for us like three times this week. I love it. Curry and all that stuff it is the best.

The down side to keeping the Fijian sister is what happened on monday. We were just having a good time at our family home evening but I was teasing her a little bit and she said that she was gonna slap me. I was like no you arent you are totally not. She reached across the table and slapped my face as hard as she possible could and I had a handprint on my face the whole night. dont anger an islander...

Goodsell madness. She is the living breathing terror and still keeping our packages hostage. Elder Scott went to the office on Friday because he has been having headaches and his parents sent him a package with some glasses in it and Goodsell told him that she would cut into his package and give him the glasses only and he would have to wait to get the rest of it on pday.... like 14 days then she is gone! #Hallelujah #GodAnswersPrayers

The last thing was we got to take a trip to Ajeltake on Friday to see the baptism that was there! It was really nice to see Bernie and Elder Hansen again. This really old guy was baptizing the couple and it was his first time and he was so nervous and you could tell. He kept his eyes closed the whole time! Even while dunking. I will have to show you with body language but each of the dunkings was so odd and you would tell they thought it was funny..

Glad you had a busy week mom! It hasn't been a totally eventful week but the work moves on! Randy will be baptized this saturday so I will take some photos!

Love ya!

Elder J

19 March 2017: An Original Poem


The alarm sounds in the morning
its time to wake and rise
a voice says "hey, why don't you stay?"
As you start to close your eyes

Do you forget the Savior?
In a moment of weak defense
Satan did appear, but with no fear,
The Lord said "Get thee hence"

When you and your companion
Aren't off to a good start
Each word just grows closer to blows
There's hate inside your heart

Do you forget the Savior?
Us, the 'fruit of His loins'?
Remember the Son, 'cause he still loved the one
who sold Him for thirty coins

When times in your area
Are as hard as they can be
With every door; the failure's more
Your lessons down to three

Do you forget the Savior?
A man who had no blunders
With every part, He gave His heart
Yet his disciples got all the numbers

When your success is getting dim
As your finding His lost sheep
Do you just use this poor excuse
To quit and get more sleep?

Do you forget the Savior?
I wonder if you can...
'Cause with his Hand, when his words were banned
He served His fellow man

When you are being scolded
By a man who lies ahead
With a sullen frown, do you look around
at the next house with pure dread

Do you forget the Savior?
When for lying He was blamed
With every scold, He grew more bold
The Master, unashamed

Do you go to a lesson 
And the family isn't there?
And though they live, you won't forgive
And their salvation, you don't care

Do you forget the Savior?
Who was tortured by the Jews
Looked at the crowd, and said aloud
"They know not what they do"

When there's a rule that's hard
to follow every day,
You've tried every way, yet start to stray
You begin to disobey

Do you forget the Savior?
Who chose to stay than run
When through the more, our sins He bore
Yet said "Thy will be done"

Are days just getting weary
As you walk the same old streets
As you go home, you've only grown
in blisters on your feet?

Do you forget the Savior?
Who suffered for you and me?
And caked in dirt, I'm sure it hurt
on the road to Calvary

When you feel like you're wasting time
You think you can't progress
You know you've sinned, the guilt comes in
You know you've shirked your best

Do you forget the Savior?
And the strait road that he paved
Our sins He bore, bled from every pore
So that we may be saved

As you leave the mission 
You've packed your last backpack
The ticket's bought, but in your thoughts
You're wanting to come back

Do you forget the Savior?
Whose mission bought all sin
Do you think He may, be counting the day
'Til He comes back again?

When you head back home
You've paid the two-year price
You've so much grown, and have certainly known
about Him; Jesus Christ

Please don't forget the Savior
In your future, still unknown
'Cause like this time, think in your mind
How much He wants you home

Jesus Lives. Let His love be shown in you and through you to others

Elder Johnson

19 March 2017: A Horrible Experience...


Lets get straight into the week! What a week it has been! I made a killer poem that I will be sending in the group email. It took me 40 minutes to create. It was nice to rhyme again. 

So I love the fact that when we go to Less-Actives houses they act so different when they are around us. They try and hide EVERTHING when they see us coming at them. This one less active hid beetle-nut so bad and we were just like "bro we caught you" but apparently his wife is the reason he doesn't come to church. yeah... okay.

We are teaching this Baba whose whole family are members and his daughter actually just got off of a mission. They pray for him every day but he has been taking lessons with the missionaries going on four years now. Well, we are still working with him and hopefully we can get him close to baptism. The funny story is he has a one year old grandchild who is the most adorable kid ever. She loves the missionaries and knows all of our names. She was misbehaving during a lesson and the grandma was taking her away and she just turns around and says the Marshallese F-Word to her. We all dies laughing haha we were like who taught her. Funny times

So this week I had an interview with the Mission President because he just got back and he wanted to interview all of the missionaries. He is making me apply to BYU Provo soooooo... sorry dad. He said it is good that I apply now and ask questions later.. so if you could send my high school transcript that would be lovely!

Also at the Baba's house he made us Sashumi (raw fish) and I love it. Tell Cam and Lex not to complain about Salmon again haha. Honestly I would love to make yous some marshallese food but all we need is tuna and rice hahahah...

Another spiritual story is we picked up this golden investigator who is 14 and we just started teaching with him this week. He told us in the first lesson that he wanted to serve a mission when he is 16. I told him that he would have to wait until he is 18 to serve but in my mind I thought it was because he just wants to travel to another place. I asked him why he wanted to serve a mission and he said "to learn more about the bible and Jesus taught people when he was 12 so I think I should do the same thing. I was blown away. He will also be getting baptized on the 1st of April.

So Saturday we did service all day for a family in Rita. I husked a coconut with my teeth (will never do again but only did it to say I did) and our reward for our service was the family shot their dog to eat it. But they used a gun that is used to kill chickens. So the dog was whimpering and started to run away. There were a lot of kids there and so they took rocks in all of their hands and went dog hunting haha. What happened next is something I will never forget in my life. As the kids turn the corner as they are chasing a weak bloodied dog, around the corner amongst the kids carrying two huge stones is my Samoan companion, with wild eyes and a smile from ear to ear as he looks at me and shouts "MANE" (marshallese for KILL IT). I have never been so scared and yet so hysterically laughing at the same time my whole life. 

Well, the dog eventually died and we saw them gut it and cook it. Elder Miva ate the liver raw. It was a disgusting time. But the sad news is that it took ALL day to cook so we weren't even able to eat it.. I was a little bummed but it was all fun times. It was really sad to see a dog suffer the way it did.

So Sunday was one of the most exhausting days of the mission. I translated for a senior couple for sacrament, then was asked on the fly to prepare a sunday school lesson and teach it. Then I translated Elders Quorum... geez i was so drained by the end of sacrament haha...

Answer the questions:

I am great! I am surprised about how much I love my new area. The bishop is highly missionary oriented and he feeds us all the time. I did at the beginning of this transfer pick up the suitcase. So now I have more than 4 ties. :)Right now we have 8 solid investigators. It is crazy to think that we have more success in this half mile than I ever did in Ajeltake.  So all of the schedule now is our choice, and President Larkin doens;t decide for us. The members love feeding us! Actually this week we had 2 dinners in one night!

Good luck in your more schooling (does that make sense??) and work hard I know you are the smartest in the class!'

I hope the movie list is big haha but i am glad B&B didn't bomb...

love ya mom

Elder J