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."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Email Drought to Begin

Dear Family and friends,

In case your Marshall Islands missionaries forget to tell you when they email on Monday, we have received word that the internet in the Marshall Islands will be closed down for at least one week, beginning Monday, October 31 which is also their regular day to email home.   Please do not be concerned if you do not hear from your missionary for a week, or even for 2 weeks.

To the best of our konwledge this will not include Kiribati.

Thank you,

The Marshall Islands Majuro Mission Staff


Hey Mom!

Indeed another week gone. I hit my 3 month mark in a week! That is crazy that I am more than 1/8 done with the mission. Kendrick and I get along well. I wrote in my journal my list of accomplishments so far in the mission and I am really proud of it. Training in 5 weeks, Translating sacrament meeting in 6 weeks, 2 whitewashes first two transfers. Honestly white washing is the worst and I hate it. Finding here is really hard. Uliga is a lot different from Delap even though they are right next to each other. I have had some really close encounters with dogs lately so I don't think I need to go on that Jack Hanna's Wolf Experience thing at Busch anymore. But honestly next package I was advised by someone older in the mission to either get a real police baton, or what is called a "dog taser" its like a small box that when the button is pushed makes a high pitched sound not heard by humans but dogs like hate it and run away. So either of those would be lovely! 

So we are actually staying in that small apartment which I am completely okay with because I love the fact that we have our own washer and dryer and no bugs:). The laguage is picking up. The hardest part for me is understanding what other people are saying. There are two different dialects and they slur their words a lot and they speak really softly. I didnt really think I was progressing until the new intake came. I started speaking in Marshallese to my companion and he was like "first, I have no idea what you are saying, and second, I can't even hear you cause its so soft." so now I know I have progressed a little since leaving the MTC. I understand about 50-60% of what people are saying. So the new people that have come in all got trainers who have been out for a year or more and then there's me. My comp thanked me last night out of the blue and said that he really appreciates all that I do for him and for helping him in the language and being obedient, because all of his friends say that the old trainers don't do that with them and they hate it. It made me tear up a little bit :)

Believe it or not I have actually been cooking! I cooked my own chicken recipe and everyone loved it! Other than that its expired cereal and ramen because expired stuff is cheap! Everything is good with my body. I haven't been sick yet and I still maintain 158.6 pounds. Frick, I didn't even gain anything in the MTC! I do burpees every morning so that when I come back my cardio isn't totally shredded. There are 3 main stores in Majuro and they are all in my area so it is fantastic! All of the kids here call me Elder John Cena because they can't say my name right and they all love wrestling here. 

Lately I have been thinking about home. It was probably a pretty low point so far. It was a bad day and I just counted how many days I have left and how many transfers etc. But I think its all goods now. How are you doing? I am excited for Dad and Cam and that injury looks like it hurts! Cam driving a CAMry :)

There are two places I email,

CMI (college of Marshall Islands library) slow internet, but free internet, no places to send pics (I am here right now)

NTA (national telecommunications authority) slow internet, $5 an hour, you can attach pics but you risk freezing the cpu and restarting. 

I will try to send some pics out at NTA one day but if not I am taking a lot of pics and we can look a tthem when i return home :)

Much love mama

Elder J

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A change to P-Day

Hey Mom!

I received the B Day package! Thank you so much! With food and money being tight it is hard to share with everyone haha. But it is because this past week we had 9 people living in our 4 person apartment. My dad (trainer) wanted all of his sons to live with him for the meeting. So every missionary in the Marshall Islands came to Majuro this week to have a mission conference with a 70, president Haleck. He taught us some good things and now he is gone. We switched p day to today and are having another one Monday. My comp is from Jordan Utah and i will take a pic with him. The Transfer info has come in and...

I am training. I will be receiving a son. His name is Elder Kendrick and I can't really remember him from the MTC. And turns out that I am the ONLY one in my MTC district training. What humbling news that was that I was chosen. Kennerly is working with Turnbow, Sevison with Scott, Ross with Thiel. But everyone experienced (6 months or more) is getting to train. Except me because I will be training too. I will be working in Uliga which I am happy about because I love the Bishop and I worked in that area before my trainer came and I dont have to leave the house!

I ate some weird things, half raw chicken (dont worry i didnt eat the bloody part), a whole fish, and I ate a FISH EYEBALL. Cameron would have thrown up for sure. Gonna have dog today apparently so I will tell you how that is. 

The language is going better my vocab is expanding and I am able to understand more of what people are saying. I am not ready to train langauge wise but I know that nothing is impossible through God. I find it an honor to teach after one transfer and I am excited. I have been working in Delap with Elder Sheffield while my dad has been out making bad choices. 

I got on today and had 46 emails if that answers your question :)

I just need food :) I love it so much. I already have two Marshallese recipes that I am trying when I get home :)

So I also heard that we leave early when we come home to fit with the transfers. So we did the math and that most likely means that I will be coming home on the FOURTH OF JULY!

Love you mom and miss ya (I can wear the hat)

Elder J

Monday, October 10, 2016

Our First Strike-Out

Note from Parents:

Well, it happened.  Sooner than we had expected.  Our first week without any form of contact from Elder Johnson.  This is where we lean on faith and trust our Heavenly Father to watch over him.

My Birthday

LATE POST: Letter from 02 October 2016

Thats right, ya boy is 19.

Its kinda weird to think about but we are celebrating by buying 12 dollar ice cream because that is how expensive it is here! Quick update before I let all of ya go.

The Work: Is really picking up. We had 31 lessons this week and most of them were kids, we will have most of them baptized on the 15th. I dont know where I am going for the next transfer but I do know that I am training someone who just came from the MTC. I am really excited about that! It is really nice my bday is on a pday so we can play volleyball to celebrate.

ZL LIFE: Is going really busy. We picked up Lae from the airport (the elders who were working there) and the plane came two hours late. But i wasnt complaining because we got to watch sportscenter for the first timie in 3 months :). I love all the missionaries that work here and they are so cool and fun to be around. I have been taking the lead in lessons this week and I think people can understand me. We teach first about God and Prayer, then Prohets, then the life of Jesus Christ, then we extend the baptism invite and go from there. More airport pickups are happening this week as we await the appearance of a 70 to open up a new stake and we will have a mission conference. 

The people: So nice and they love white people or they hate them. So I am better recienved in certain areas than others. Kids cry when they see me but 6 years and up they love me and my magic tricks. 

Me:I have learned so much about the life and mission of Jesus Christ in these last few weeks than ever before. Although the mission language is a struggle. I dive deep in the english doctrine and learn more about myslef and the savior. I encourage you all to do the same. 

YOu all: I love and appreciate all of you and the emails you send. I wish I had more time to write bigger letters to all of you but the internet here is iffy and really bad. I also commend all of you for being able to read this email although it is rigged with spelling and grammar errors. I love all of you and pray for all of you and I will talk to ya next week :)

Elder J