Tuesday, March 31, 2015

But they still trust in God fully...

Well another transfer has flown by and we received transfer information personally this last Saturday when we went over to a members home for lunch on the day transfer calls were happening. We walked in and there was Sister and President Blatter. It turns out the member are cousins with the Blatters so they thought it would be a good idea to have them over for lunch with us. Me and Elder ward, though pleasantly surprised, still would have had liked a heads up. But we all got a good laugh out of it and had a very enjoyable lunch with the family. After President told what would be happening this next transfer. Elder Ward will be going to Toledo with Elder Hansen and I will be staying and getting a new kid. We are both excited although a little sad to be leaving each other.

This past week has been very busy. We went on an exchange with some other elders and it went well. It is nice sometimes to switch things up to meet new people and learn from others.

I recently had the opportunity to interview a few people for baptism. It has been some of my favorite times to be able to sit down with people, learn about them, and how they have a peace brought into their life by giving their agency to God. The last man I interviewed had been investigating the church for a very long time. To be able to hear his story and the things he has done was very inspiring.

We have a family that was recently baptized from the Middle East that moved here almost a year ago, leaving everything they had behind. The father had been a doctor for over 20 years in his home country. Yet, here in America, they do not except his schooling. He is having to start all over. The mother has had to start school all over as well. The child has been sheltered for obvious reasons while escaping their home country. The stories they tell are heartbreaking and nightmarish. Yet, their faith in God has never wavered. They do not understand why it is still all so hard for them. And there is no light at the end of the tunnel any time soon. But they still trust in God fully. It is remarkable to see. I have, perhaps, never met anyone with as strong faith as this family.

I hope all is well at home that people are safe and happy. You’re all in my prayers. Thank you for the support I have received coming here.

-Elder Johnson

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I was able to receive peace which is as good as an answer for me...

The weeks really have been flying by. It’s crazy to think that this is the last week of the transfer. I am more than likely staying in the area since I’ve only been here for 1 transfer.

This week we got the opportunity to go to the temple as a mission. They only took 1/3 of the mission at a time. What an incredible experience, It being my 2nd time going through the temple! I was able to learn so much. And to be able to be inside the temple and look around and see 80 or so of my friends around me. All of us focused on the Lord. While I went into the temple with questions in my mind, I did not receive the answers. But I was able to receive peace which is as good as an answer for me.

Since I am still new to the ward, I have been trying to meet all the members. So whenever we have a few moments I’ll pull out the ward list and look where the closest member is and visit them. We were able to find a less active family with a few members who are not baptized. So we have been working with them a lot. They have a cute 3 year old named Jo Jo who is the sweetest thing you'll meet.

I also went on an exchange this week with Elder Haynie. He is in my district. We were able to have a lot of fun together. We have a lot in common and I was able to learn a lot from him.

I love you all it’s been a great week. I’m sorry- I’m short on time today. Computer limit of 30 min in new library.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lots of great spiritual moment this week...

There are a few I’d like to focus on first is our zone meeting on Wednesday, in which we focused on "go and Become." I talked a little about that last week but we also focused on how we need to work with ever person we have contact with individually. It was a very eye opening experience and I hope to keep improving.

Next was the baptism of my main man Chantz. It was such a spiritual experience there was over 15 missionaries and a lot of his ward.  He is such a loved kid. I’m so happy to have gotten to know him. The baptism was said by many missionaries to be one the spirit was felt the strongest at. The next day was the confirmation and that went good as well. That night we had a recent convert fireside where the missionaries sung and we heard from some recent converts. The music was incredible and the talks equally so.

A concept I've been tussling with lately in my head is agency and, more specifically, how everyone has it but some people let others effect their happiness. As we learn in life we are affected by others agency in many positive and negative ways. It’s a wonderful thing but I see many people who let others peoples actions effect someone's happiness. It’s very hard to see this happen. My wish is that people realize the only happiness you need comes from the Lord and that is always there. That is someone who will always be using his agency in a positive way to help others.

-Elder Johnson

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

We share as humans… share what we love.

Well, it has really been feeling like spring this past week. The sun was out, trees were in bloom and daylight savings hit us yesterday. We are all enjoying the sun we are getting

The week has gone well. We spent a lot of time “finding” in a few different ways but with very little success. Where we did find success was in the strangest of places… It was the simple yelling across an apartment complex to see if the guy 25 yds. away wanted to know about a modern prophet or going to see at 8:45pm the less active member who no one in the ward had ever heard of.

We do have a few people who do keep getting closer to Christ that we work with. There are two 11 year old girls we are working with who are progressing really fast. It’s wonderful to see them grow closer to Christ and become happier.

This past week we had a few members of the Quorum of the Seventy came to visit and give trainings. It was very enlightening. One of the focuses that made was the relation between fear and faith, how if we, as missionaries, have fear we won’t open our mouths. We won’t be as eager to share with people. And the way to overcome this fear we might have is by gaining faith.

John teaches the exact same principle just thousands of years ago. If we recall in John 4:18 "Perfect love castith out all fear". What a true principle! When it comes to anything if there's something that makes us happy in life we share it, whether beliefs or a book, movie, sport. We share as humans… share what we love. Look on Facebook! We only share what we love. IF I as a missionary love my beliefs honestly, I will want to share it with people. I will want to share what makes me happy. It is when I don't honestly love what I believe when fear sneaks in and a desire to share will go away.

I am grateful to be here on a mission. I am grateful for the gifts God has given me and for the gospel. I have learned that there are answers that make sense to every question in this gospel. It truly is the fullness of Christ’s church. I hope everyone's week goes well and you all stay safe.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, March 2, 2015

This week has been full of knocking doors...

Since there weren't all that many scheduled appointments this week, we decided to focus on finding. The way missionaries find in the WA-TAC is by knocking. So that's what we did this week. We knocked and knocked and had a lot of success. We were blessed to find quite a few new people to teach and this next week is very full with appointments. That's great to see. It was especially satisfying when we were able to find a family who is interested and ready to hear the gospel. I am excited to meet with them and share the knowledge we have been blessed with.

 I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Rasmussen this past week and it went well. Since we had ran out of miles for the month, we were on bike for the day which I enjoyed. Most the day we spent knocking. I think I was able to learn a few things I need to work on so it went well. We spend most our knocking by lakes because we are able to get a beautiful view while doing the Lord’s work.

This is what I expected Washington to be like when I first got my call. It’s very wet, beautiful, and cloudy. I am enjoying very much. Maybe not somewhere I would live but it is a cool place.

Elder Ward and I have been getting along super well. He is a very hard worker and always wants to stay busy. We have similar personality which make it easier to get along with each other. We have a lot of fun while knocking doors.

 I love you all. Its wonderful hearing about so many people back home getting their mission calls… your all in for the adventure of your lives! Thank you again for the support I receive from friends and, most of all, family. I love you. You’re in my prayers.

-Elder Johnson

Photos are from the Elma Missionary Music "Why I Believe" New Convert Fireside.  Compliments of President and Sister Blatter's blog. http://calledtoservewa-tac.blogspot.com/