Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Elder Gazelle

Ryan loved Elder Johnson's nickname in the MTC, Elder Gazelle, and thought we needed a picture to go with the name. So, he went to work and this is what he came up with...pretty good! If you notice in the background is a cheetah, I'm sure Elder Johnson's dream would be to have a cheetah as a companion so maybe he can have a good run or two while on his mission.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Bonus email...Be careful what you pray for :)


Hey! I have a minute or two to write so ill tell you about a kinda funny experience I had yesterday. I was having a pretty hard day, I felt really down and really missed weber, friends, and family. I had so many thoughts of wanting to come home, although that isnt the path I knew I needed to take so prayed asking to be refocused and strengthened and I got my answer. About two hours later I was in sacrament meeting preparing for a musical number our district was performing (i got to sing... it was Be Still My Soul) then when I got to sacrament meeting I was asked to bless the sacrament and I agreed. I was thinking, man Ive got so much I need to do for this meeting but little did I know I hadnt even been given the scariest responsibility I would be given. after blessing the sacrament I was randomly called up to the pulpet to give a 5 minute surprise talk on prayer. I was shaking the entire time I was up there I had no idea what I should say but I think it sounded alright, atleast the people I talked to said it sounded good! The lord has weird ways of answering our prayers but being given so many responsibilities really was able to refocus me and help me to progress as a missionary. Have a great week! leaving to Arkansas in like 10 hours!!
Love, elder johnson

Friday, December 27, 2013

MTC Week #2

Since Elder Johnson was in the MTC on Christmas, we didn't get our Christmas phone call :( We did get a short email...
 "I don't have much time to write at all today, they allowed us just like 20 minutes to hurry and write friends and family today so I wanted to just send a quick email today wishing everyone a merry Christmas! Christmas here in the MTC is so great! Lots of people would always ask me if I was sad I was gonna miss Christmas and I thought I would but I dont feel like im missing anything, Christmas here is such a happy thing. It is all focused on the savior and his birth. We even have a general authority coming to speak with us in an hour... they wont tell us who though so ill have to send another update on Friday! Love you all, hope you have a great day! Love, elder Johnson"
So I guess my Christmas came on Friday with a much longer email and some pictures, plus I was able to email back and forth for a few minutes...all is well with Elder Johnson and I love his new name, Elder Gazelle

 "I only have like 4 more days till I fly to arkansas, Im pretty excited to get out of here and start teaching real investigators. the classroom study here becomes really long and sometimes boring, I cant wait to be able to start using all my hours of studies to serve the lord and the people of arkansas. we are in the same small classroom for probably 8 hours a day along with atleast one other meeting every day. Its a lot of work here, I think one of the biggest things going into a mission is to be ready to work hard all the time because there is no rest out here at all. Christmas is a great experience in the MTC, we started the day being able to email family and friends, which is one of my favorite things to do, its so great to here from you guys. following email time we had a talent show and a special devotional where Elder Bednar came and talked to us. They handed out 200 phones to the audience at the devotional and asked us to text a certain number questions we wanted to ask Bednar and they would pop up on his ipad as he was speaking and he would answer them. He had so much great advice for us, he is truly a servant of the lord. we were so blessed to be able to hear from him. That was definitely the highlight of christmas but we also go to watch a church christmas movie and a jazz band came and played music for us. I got my flight plans the other day but I have no idea what time I will be able to call, im pretty sure im leaving here really early in the morning.. I guess you will just have to be ready for a call anytime tuesday from 3 in the morning to noon... I have no idea how it all works. I havnt had a lot of time to workout this week because of christmas and all so I have only been able to run twice this week but eliptical every other day. all the people in my residence hall now know me as the Elder gazelle and all make jokes about gazelles and what they should eat, act, and almost everything else about them. I have now been taught a gazelles mating call, how I should eat and how I should act. I love all these guys gonna miss them all when I fly out to arkansas. I also met Elijah Armstrongs sister here and we have become pretty good friends she is going to Virginia next week. 2 of my 3 roommates are also going to Arkansas and they are pretty sick its gonna be great! I want to thank everyone for all the mail and packages I have received, receiving mail is like the greatest thing ever, it always make your day so much better. Hope everything is going great back home, have a great new years eve! Love, Elder Johnson"

Friday, December 20, 2013

1st MTC email

so apparently friday is our P day in the MTC.  It has been a lot of work so far.  after I was dropped off within 10 minutes I had gotten everything into my room and was in my first class working and it hasn't slowed down since then.  It has been a great experience so far.  My first companion is Elder Ernst.  He is from Cedar Hills Utah.  He doesn't like to run much but I convinced him we were gonna go everyday, people make a lot of jokes about me working out all the time, but I don't car, might as well take advantage of the small amount of rest time we have and work harder.  I am excited to be here and I am doing well, the food is great and I have stayed away from every dessert they have tried to give me.  The classes are long and with the limited amount of sleep, I get really tired but I have definitely done my best to work hard and be an exceptional missionary.  Our branch president challenged us all to be exceptional missionaries and not average missionaries and that has become my goal for the next 2 years.  I want to be up before 6:30 everyday, run everyday, study during study time, and work the hardest I can while talking and finding investigators.  President Stice also called me to be our sacrament meeting coordinator of the time we are in the MTC.  The other day while I was studying ELder Schauers passes out onto me...that was kinda interesting.
Thanks for the letter, it was nice to get something.  I believe grandma sent me a bunch of desserts as well, it just said from the Wilcox family.
Have a great week!
Love,   Elder Johnson

BITTERsweet!

What a perfect day!  Elder Johnson was all smiles and he had such a peaceful demeanor about him...he was ready!!!  As for mom, not quite so ready, I was actually getting a little mad at Elder Johnson for smiling and looking so happy while his mom was crying.  Truthfully though, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Elder Johnson and his companion (his dad) started the morning off with a run in the smog, of course his companion and Kelto were on a bike so they could attempt to keep up with him. One thing Elder Johnson is ready to leave behind is the smog.  Then after a nice breakfast at Denny's with his free missionary meal plus a nice couple anonymously gave us their free birthday meal, double bonus, we were off to the temple for pictures and then for our final goodbye.









His last good-bye :(




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

See YOU in TWO!

Elder Johnson's farewell was on his 19th birthday!!  What a great day for a farewell.  He did an amazing job on his talk and will truly be an exceptional missionary.  Thanks to all his family and friends who have supported him over the years and have been such wonderful examples.  Please continue to support him, I hear missionaries love letters :)





















Saturday, December 14, 2013

Great Night at the Temple, despite all the snow!!

Even though the weather outside was frightful, it didn't stop us from attending the Temple with Preston. Great night, need I say anymore?...So thankful for my family and the blessings of the temple, not so thankful for all the snow!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Where's Presto...going?



It's been a quick 3 weeks...from the time Preston realized a mission needed to be his next race in life to today, to the day we're waiting anxiously for the mail.
It's amazing how the Lord helps us realize the road we need to take in our lives if we humble ourselves enough to listen. We are blessed that Preston was willing to change his road for now as the call came to serve. What an amazing experience Elder Johnson had that helped him realize his next race in life was not with his coach at Weber State, but a different coach in a much different setting. What faith it takes for a missionary to leave their family, their comfort and the loves of their life (in Preston's case, RUNNING) behind and serve the Lord and help plant seeds in the lives of those they serve.

Friends and Family gathered for this great event on November 6, many people who have influenced Elder Johnson and many people who Elder Johnson has had an influence over, were anxiously awaiting the WHEN and WHERE.
video
"You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You are assigned to Labor in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission...You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, December 18, 2013"

SO SOON!!  We've got a lot to do in such a short time, but soooo excited for this new phase in Elder Johnson's life.  He will be great missionary because of his determination, mental toughness and work ethic that he has learned through running.  Good luck Elder Johnson as you embark on the best and hardest race of your life!