Monday, July 27, 2015

To be able to finally work without interruption...

This was the first whole week we've had without any special meetings this transfer. So that was nice… to be able to finally work without interruption. I feel there hasn’t been many other times in my life I've worked this hard and it was frustrating not to see as much success as I was expecting.

But this morning God decided to give a huge blessing. After my personal study, I got a text from someone who was investigating the church about 6 months ago. I had never met her but the text read, "Can me and my children be baptized?" I of course told her yes. The next text explained she had a dream that she talked to the bishop and was then baptized with her family. So this all leads to them being baptized as soon as possible. What a great miracle! I am so lucky to have this happen to me.

I do not think this is a "reward" I believe this would have happened no matter what me and Elder Irava would have done this transfer, whether we strayed from being perfectly obedient or not. God will not change someone’s agency just because someone else used their's righteously. I feel this experience is simply more rewarding because we did work hard all transfer if I hadn't worked this hard I think I still would be exited for the miracle but it wouldn't have meant this much to me. So needless to say I’m very grateful.

I was able to give a talk yesterday in one of my wards. I spoke on missionary work and the power the atonement can give overcoming fear. I thought it went well. A month ago I gave a similar talk in Tumwater so I think it went better the second time around.

We had an incredible thunderstorm yesterday. It scared the crud out of me. But I know Washington desperately needed the water. It made for a beautiful Sunday. It made me think of baptism and how something so small and simple can change so much in someone’s life.

I hope everyone week goes well I’m grateful for all the support I've received from all of you it means so much.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, July 20, 2015

We had zone conference this week...

We had zone conference this week. It was wonderful. I was reminded of mine own conversion to the Book of Mormon by some of the training we revised. It is always nice to have a large part of the mission together.

We had been teaching this lady who has wanted to join for a while but her husband wouldn't let her. So me and Elder Irava had been praying that, some way, we would be able help her get to church. Well, last week her husband passed away. It’s sad to see the sorrow of death come into her life but she is glad she will be able to attend church and join. I wouldn’t call it a blessing but it is a good thing. She will be able to feel the joy of the fullness of the gospel.

We also got to have a beautiful baptism in the Puget Sound this past week it was really beautiful and unique. The baptisms in the sound have always been my favorite. Always the coldest as well. I would invite all of you to find time this week to reevaluate your testimony and see what you haven’t refreshed for a while. I’ve found that without reevaluating our lives then acting on the information found there can be no progress or growth. I also urge all of you to follow the advice that Elder Packer gave years back and leave whatever you are holding onto alone. Bury your swords of rebellion.

I love you all and are grateful for many of you but even more so I’m grateful for my loving Heavenly Father.

I will be sending more letters by hand since the time here is so limited.

-Elder Johnson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Silverdale has been very good to me...

Hey! So it was a great week as usual up here in the Wa-Tac. Me and Elder Irava got to celebrate our year marks on July 9th by knocking doors all day. Silverdale has been very good to me. I’ve enjoyed it up here so far. On a clear days we can see the Olympics from our area and it reminds me just a little of home. It is comforting. The weather this past week has been good. At first it was way hot. I was able to get my tan back that I lost this winter. Then the weekend was cloudy and it even rained a bit yesterday. All in all it was nice.

We had zone meeting this past week where the whole zone gets together and a training is given by the zone leaders based on the training they received at MLC (mission leadership council). I think it went really well. As a zone we set a goal to have 11 baptisms in the month of August and I look forward to striving for that goal. The training was given on casting stones and the power of charity.

We went on a few exchanges this week, one with a district leader in our zone. I went to Poulsbo and it was so beautiful over there! Nice small town on the sound. It was great! The other is the AP's came and did an exchange with us which was fun. We got to stay in our own area and have 4 elder working in the area for a day instead of just 2.

I’ve had a wonderful week here I’m sorry it’s so short we have things to get done. I love you all. Thanks for the support.

Elder Johnson

Friday, July 10, 2015

1 Year * 365 Days * 4380 Hours

From Elder Johnson's Parents...
Dear Elder Johnson: 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 Washington Tacoma Mission. You should report to the Provo MTC on Wednesday, July 10, 2014. 
Has it been one year already?  Can time be that fluid?  Is it fast, is it slow?  There have been days when it has passed by very, very slow. We miss Elder Johnson every day. We trust in God more than we ever have.  We appreciate the care, guidance, and love given by President and Sister Blatter.  We thrive on letters and photos to get our 'Elder Johnson' fix.

So, to celebrate one year, a collage of photos...  Then and Now


Driving to the MTC
A special bond, Elder Johnson and his mother
July 10, 2014
Now.... Washington Tacoma Mission: North Conference Picnic.  July 6, 2015

Making up for his years without other siblings
Shoulder Angel?
Captured on film
Glad to be serving with other great missionaries
Elders Ariva (Fiji: current companion) and Tani (from Hawaii)
In a lot of ways, he hasn't changed

Monday, July 6, 2015

We've had a busy week, full of meetings...

Elders Johnson & Irava
Weird week. So, we've had a busy week, full of meetings which is great. But also kind of sucks because were not out talking to non-members as much. We do have a chance to learn and grow so we can share more with others.

One meeting really stood out to me this week. President Blatter gave a training on charity and what it means to us as Latter Day Saints as well as missionaries serving God. It was very enlightening. Charity might be the thing I have struggled most with on my mission. I have the hardest time loving someone who persecutes me. But, without charity, I am nothing. So I’ll be working on that by continuing to learn more and more on the Atonement. It’s funny how everything really does circle back to those last few days of Christ mortal life… so beautiful.

Elders Irava, Tani, Johnson
As for the 4th of July… we were asked to do our 2 hours of knocking before the normal 5-7pm. Then we had to be home by 8 and try not to agitate people as much as possible. So after we knocked, we visited the members in our wards. It was odd to experience the 4th of July with someone who had no idea what it was. So I got to explain to Elder Irava why we celebrate the day. It made me very proud to be in this blessed country.

This past week we got be a part of a marriage! Yeah, it was awesome. There is a family here where the father is not a member. He had decided he wanted to join so they went on a week long vacation this week and got married. We look forward to teaching him the last 3 lessons and then seeing him join his family in membership in the church. I look forward so seeing them sealed in a year. I've been so blessed and often don’t understand why but I am grateful to be able to witness this great miracle.

-Elder Johnson
Mission Leadership Training Meeting

Apparently Elder Johnson likes cookies