Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This all seems to be flying by...

Well another week gone by. I wish I could grab a hold of it all and just stop it. It’s all blended together. But anyways… this past week I went on exchanges with some elders, so I got to go with Elder Darling who I happen to be related to. So that’s rad.

Elder Macqueen is doing very well. He is willing to work hard. The adjustment is still hard for him sometimes and needs reminding it was and is hard for everyone at times. I’ve learned a lot about charity and love for my fellow man from him and feel blessed to have him as a companion.

This week we have been working a lot with a family that just moved here. The father is from American Samoa, the mother from Hawaii, along with another family who has a young child. I have really enjoyed working with families mostly because I realize how much this gospel can bless a whole family rather then just individually. I do hope to at some point on my mission teach someone who goes on a mission themselves.

I've been thinking a lot about a scripture (D&C 107: 99-100) and how important and how much of a blessing commandments are. We are commanded by God to do so many things in this mortal life and there are a lot of reasons why. But, most importantly, we do these things so God is able to give us things back… specific blessings. And the most great of all these blessings is to be able to stand before Him again one day.

Things are going well. The sun is coming out and that, surprisingly, helps me so much. I’m exited for winter and love to hear about everyone getting mission calls back home in Utah. What a great place to be from.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, April 20, 2015

It’s a different kind of happiness...

What a beautiful week in the Wa Tac Mission! The sun has been out and the birds sing. There’s been a few days this week I’ve made Elder Macqueen get on a bike and bike around instead of drive… since it’s so beautiful and we need to save on miles.

This week we had zone conference (as you've seen pictures of). It is always very enlightening and spiritually draining. We had some wonderful training on how to improve our studies along with finding. And a very incredible training on grace. I was able to learn a lot from it. I feel I have changed a lot on a mission but I also feel I have a lot more to change before I go home in little over a year. At zone conference we were informed on TIWI a device that goes inside our car. It tracks our information and reports back to president so he knows how far and fast we go. It also will tells us if we are going too fast or driving aggressively... ya it'll take a while to get used to. I don't like it but I think it will keep a lot of more people safe.

It was awesome to see so much happen this week. We sat down to weekly plan for next week and took a look at what’s going on. Pleasantly we saw that we have a lot of things going on. I felt very blessed to see so much happening and to be working with so many people at once. I really hope and pray to be able to help these people come to Christ in any way possible. It’s very stressful sometimes. I care so much about these people and realize the only way for them to be honestly happy is by coming closer to Christ. I hope I am able to help with that

I am very happy here. Like I’ve said, it’s a different kind of happiness. I don’t ever feel content anymore. I always want to improve and change to be better. But I’m so happy to be here… to have people around me I can help. It’s a real blessing to be so busy helping others not have time for myself. It’s something I’ve always wanted and it’s what I’ve been able to find here in Washington.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, April 13, 2015

What a long week, so busy all the time...

One very cool experience we had… We were knocking these apartment complexes. The second door we knocked on was the manager (or crazy dragon lady) and she was not happy we were there. She asked us to leave etc. So, as usual, we ignored her and went on to the next set of apartments. After knocking 2 doors she came out and I swear I saw fire from her mouth. Wow! Never had I seen such a small lady so upset. She came out yelling! Called the police, walked us off the property, etc. Pretty usual but it was elder MacQueen’s first time that happening. He was kind of shook up.

Usually we wouldn't go back after that. But, we felt a great sorrow for the people we were not able to talk to and share this message. So, the next day we decided to go back and we started from the back of the complexes this time. The second door we knocked on was a lady who had just moved up from Utah and was investigating the church there. So now were teaching her. Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it.

We’ve had a lot of good this week. 2 families showed up to church this week that we have been working with. We were able to give a lot of service this past week, which I enjoy a lot. I don’t know how good I am at teaching people but I’m all right with working with my hands.

I came on a mission with very few things I absolutely knew about the gospel. In fact, I can only think of one. It was "God is my father and He loves me." I believe I knew this being an only child. I always had great love from my parents and it’s easy for me to see God and His love for me. Don’t get me wrong. I believed a lot coming here. I believed Christ died for me. I believed a lot of things. And that’s why I was able to come.

But one basic bit of knowledge has pushed me through a lot since I’ve come out. I have come to knowledge the book of Mormon is true. I believed it was true. But when someone came to me and tried to prove to me it wasn't, the only thing I could have done was tell them I believe I’m it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s what I do all day, every day. But now, if needed, I can bear testimony and I can show someone why this book is true and all questions have an answer to them.

It’s a great blessing. I've come to a knowledge that there’s a difference in believing Christ and believing in Christ. I hope all believe Christ. We must know or believe for ourselves for anything to happen. Even if we have a desire to have a desire for ourselves, something will happen. It’s beautiful.

I hope all goes well this next week for you all… wherever it is. Thanks for the support. As always, I feel the prayers and love sent from friends and family.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, April 6, 2015

It was nice to have such a spiritual week...

Well, I know it’s only been a week but I feel like so much more has happened! I got my new companion on Tuesday. His name is Elder MacQueen from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He reminds me a lot of the Smith family that I’m related to in the fact he is very loving and passionate about what he does. It’s fun to be able to work around him. It’s unique to start from the bottom up again with a kid from the MTC (although he’s 21). We've enjoyed the time together so far.

We were in Tacoma for a few days this week receiving training. It was nice to have such a spiritual week with General Conference on top of the trainings. I especially enjoyed the Sunday sessions of Conference. Sister Wixon’s talk on faith was extraordinary.

But the one that perhaps touched my heart the most was Bishop Causse… about how often we go numb and need to remember the simple truths we are taught growing up. "I know that I am God’s child" is the foundation for me. All that I believe is based off of that simple truth. That is a truth that cannot be taken from me since I have that truth.

I have added a few more and my knowledge of truth has been growing very slowly. I can say I believe a lot of things but my knowledge of things is still very small. But I hope to grow and continue to know more.

I will hopefully write more next week. I’m sorry I have to keep it short again. This week were busy busy busy.

-Elder Johnson

Trainers waiting for their new missionaries.

A traditional welcome for new companions from the MTC.

Elder Johnson and Elder Mitchell (a cousin via the Smith family) 
Elder MacQueen and Elder Johnson watching General Conference
Playing games with members between Conference sessions.