Monday, August 31, 2009

Re: RE: bank card‏ Wed 8/26/09

I will do what I can.

I'll have to get permission to use the phone. Ughhhh what a mess.

Love you, thanks for doing all you can.

LOVE
Cami

Sister Johnson arrived!‏ Wed 8/12/09

Dear Brother and Sister Johnson,

I wanted to let you know your daugher has arrived safely in Taiwan! We thank you for your role in preparing Sister Johnson to serve the Lord in Taiwan. In a few days, I will send you more information on your daughter’s first assignment and a picture of her on her first day here.

In the meantime, would you mind taking a few moments to write me an email or letter regarding your daughter? Specifically, I am interested in her strengths and weaknesses and any information that you feel might be important or helpful as we serve with her these next one and a half years. (Please be assured your letter will be kept completely confidential. Send to Michael.Hoer@ldschurch.org)

Thank you again for your prayers and support of your daughter and all the missionaries of the Taiwan Taichung Mission.

Warmest regards,

President Hoer

Taiwan!‏ Wed 8/26/09

Hello!

Sorry about the not-really-an-email last week. We had a lot of computer problems but still only had limited time to use the internet.

I hope everything gets sorted out with my bank card soon; I've been having problems with the mission card too so... I may have to change some of my emergency cash. Ugh xinku wo.

Taiwan is great. I've done so much I can't even begin to catch you up in the next 23 minutes. I've been in an earthquake, rode through rice patties, been to a Confucian temple, stood on a box in the middle of Taichung's night market and Dan Jones style called the people to repent. I've had one baptism, two more in the works and have big goals for 7 by the end of the move call (6 weeks). I've become an expert at chopsticks, at ignoring the fact I sweat like crazy all the time and learning to talk to everyone. It's been a big couple weeks.

I am assigned to work in a city called Douliu and my companion's name is Sister Killpack from Utah/Michigan. We get along really well and she is a good trainer. I thought that Douliu was very big until I went on companion exchanges yesterday and went to Zhonghua which is much bigger. I guess to an Elko girl everything looks big! Granted, we live on the 13th floor of our apartment building, so to me that smakes it seem very urban. Our apartment is on the top floor and so I jokingly dubbed it The Penthouse. It's not a bad apartment but it had Elders living in it for too long. It switched to a Sister's apartment just a couple days before I moved in and it is still a work in progress. Sister Killpack and I are bound and determined to scrub the place clean and fit for living though; we just don't have much time to do it.

My biggest problem in Taiwan is the fact that I didn't realize how bad I am at bicycling! I have not hit any cars but every day I am afraid I will. Getting on and off I just...frequently hit my legs on the peddles / completely fall over (lol.) Yeah, I don't know what the problem is. Over the last two weeks I have accumulated over 40 bruises on my legs; I counted the other night! So anyway, pray my ability to ride my bike will improve hehe. I look like a battered woman married to a dwarf.

Oh, and about the earthquake, it wasn't a big deal, I guess they have them all the time and normally no one notcies. However when you are on the 13th floor the shaking is a lot more pronounced. It was kind of cool.

Yes, I already had a baptism! Her name is Song shao yi and we were so excited to see her get baptised. I guess the first time she was contacted was in January. In Taiwan, most people get baptised more quickly I am told. They feel like it was a long time if it takes over 2 months instead of a few weeks. This is happy for a missionary.

We eat on the street for lunch and dinner everyday because it is cheaper than buying groceries and saves time. The food is great; my body had more problems adjusting to the food at the MTC than here! I still don't know why that is. This means I won't learn how to make Taiwanese food, which is unfortunate.

My mission president is really really cool. He reminds me a lot of Daddy actually. Their family has been literally everywhere and he doesn't do easy vacations. They went to India once to look for tigers. The stories about him are legendary. He is really into getting us to believe that we can and will do anything that we set our minds to. He also has an exercise regimine we have to follow which I appreciate. We have to run 3 days a week, weights 2 days and one day of our choice (Sunday is rest). It will be very useful for when I have companions that otherwise wouldn't want to go exercise.

Anyway, P-day is almost over so I've got to go.

FML

Cami

Sunday, August 30, 2009

bank card Mon, 17 Aug 2009

email erased> bank of america card eaten in machine> check folder upstairs for credit card info> please send new bank card

fml

cami

family‏ Mon 8/10/09

Hey I am allowed to call from the airport so I'd like to talk to everyone. I will be at the SLC airport and can maybe call around 12:30 SLC time. If you don't hear from me then I will try to call from LA - maybe around 2 or something? I'm not really sure what time I'll be in. But I don't know Daddy's new cellphone number, I just know the home phone and Mother's. I may call Amy and Shelly and Tina too. I'll try home first, but Mother try to have your cell phone on so I can talk to you and get Daddy's number if he isn't there.

FML

CAMILLLLLA

Last full day at the MTC!‏ Mon 8/10/09

Nihao family!

Well, it is my last day at the MTC! Today is Preparation Day so we have been running around, doing laundry, going to the temple, etc. I still have to do about half my packing but I'm going to go finish right after this.

This week has been good. I'll be honest though; I hate the time right before a big change. I am always fine once I'm in a new place but a week full of goodbyes and "this is the last time we will..." is exhausting. Let's get this show on the road!

On Wednesday we hosted new missionaries. They changed it now so that the families just drop them off on the curb and they get wisked around by other missionaries to get their nametags, take their luggage, etc. I think it is way easier on everyone. But I'm glad that our family got to see the inside of the MTC because none of us had ever been. Anyway, hosting was nice but sort of a waste of time. They had too many sisters hosting so I only helped 2 in an hour and a half. I don't mind serving but I felt like I should have brought my Chinese so I could at least study. I'm not used to having down time where all I do is wait. Eugh, what a week. We keep having these goodbye things, goodbye firesides and goodbye to our branch president and goodbye testimony meetings and I'm ready to go. The only people I will miss that I won't be seeing are my two teachers and the Elders in my district who are going to New York, California and Australia. The MTC has been a great experience though.

The TA on Saturday was great. We taught another real investigator and it was amazing. The sisters before us taught her to pray and she cried when she did. She said she had never felt that way before. We decided moving on to the Plan of Salvation would be too much and we didn't want to repeat the exact same thing she just heard so we just answered her questions and committed her to read the Book of Mormon. They didn't have a copy so we ran to the Bookstore really fast and bought her one. It was the best part of my week.

Well, I'm off to go pack, I love you all, travel safe!

Also, in Taiwan I am allowed to email people besides my family, so if anyone is reading this on the blog that wants to email me,

my address is camilla@myldsmail.net.

LOVE!

Sister Johnson

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 8, 2009 oh hej nihao‏

Guess what everyone, I leave the MTC in just 8 days! I am so excited. It is going to be crazy.

It has been a good week, we are all trying to put in our last best efforts to prepare before we leave. I know that my Chinese is probably still incomprehensible, I will be in intense culture shock and missionary shock (getting used to working harder than I ever have in my life), plus the heat, bicycling, etc but I am excited. It will be great.

At the MTC I experienced more kinds of tired than I ever knew existed but now I am adapted and thriving like I've always worked this hard on this schedule. I know the first months in Taiwan will *ahem* kick my lady-like sister missionary sitting down area but I am excited. Because after the exhaustion comes strength. Some Elders already left for Hong Kong today.

I have been trying to be very good and obedient and receptive to the Spirit and today I was able to see a blessing of it. We were at the temple, waiting for our turn, and I was reading the Book of Mormon when Christ quotes Isaiah in 3 Nephi. A lady sat down next to me and I had the sudden prompting that I needed to share a certain scripture with her. I didn't want to because it is a quiet place where you ponder and probably shouldn't have conversations but I knew I had to; the impression kept coming. So I whispered, "Can I share a scripture with you? I'm a missionary." She said yes, so I read her 3 Nephi 22:10 - "For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Then all I said was "I just want you to know how much God loves you and cares about you." She was weepy and just said, "Thank you for listening." That was all we said; I was called in within two minutes after. It was amazing! I was so glad that I was able to listen to the Spirit to be able to be an answer to her prayer. It made me so happy.

Oh, guess what else was awesome! On Saturday we got to teach a real investigator at the TA - usually it is just members volunteering. It went well; they actually showed the video of us to another district as an example. It's funny that everyone thought we did so great because we left with mixed feelings - we invited her to be baptized but she declined. However it went well and I think we were able to resolve some of her concerns. She goes to BYU was was concerned why women have to stay home and can't have careers. So I told the story about you and Daddy, when you were deciding if you would work while Daddy went to Medical School. How you both sat down and figured out than in 10 years the amount of money you made wouldn't make a difference but raising your children was of eternal importance. The investigator totally clicked with it. She said "So, what you are trying to tell me is family is more important than personal achievement?" And we were all awestruck at her perfect eloquence of what we were trying to say but couldn't quite get at. It was great.

So anyway, life is great, the gospel is true and if you want to be happy start listening to the things God is constantly trying to teach you.

I love you!

July 27, 2009 Chinese culture‏

Nihao!

This week I have been praying for Charity for the Taiwanese people. I knew if I felt that love for them it would only motivate me to work harder to prepare to teach them. It worked - I already am beginning to love Asians like crazy!

Everyone tells us how the people in China are so ready, and when it opens it will be the new South America, etc. I am convinced that because God loves me, He is sending me to Taiwan. I am excited to work with non-Christians (no Bible bashing), and to be with people for the first time they ever talk to their Heavenly Father through prayer. They just love and honor family so much, Oh I can't wait!

And the characters (their written language) are really hard to learn but it so cool. I mean, the characters are thousands of years old and even though pronunciation may change, they created a written language that has lasted literally thousands of years. So yes, it is difficult but it is really...spiritual as well. It was an inspired language.

The MTC has been really great, but I am so excited to get to the field. Today we are starting our preparations - taking clothes to the dry cleaner, scheduling haircuts, etc. So I am doing well. My companionship is better than ever, the language is coming along, and I'm happy as a clam.

On Tuesday Elder Groberg (Emeritus member of the 70) came and talked to us - (you know, from The Other Side of Heaven).

FML
Sister Johnson

PS - I had to retake my typhoid vaccine this week because I was on that antibiotic for my skin the first time and probably killed the previous vaccine. The MTC didn't even charge me for it - it falls under their "insurance for the absent-minded" program, haha.

Having companions has made me realize I AM a bit absent minded. How often I forget things is thrown into sharper contrast when I have to bring two people at their inconvenience, because I forget something. Oh well!

The Countdown