Monday, February 29, 2016

I kind of had a midlife crisis...

Wow! it’s funny how after a week that I don’t feel I have much to write is always a week with too much to write about.

Well I’m getting transferred to a whole new area, Bainbridge Island! If I’m not mistaken we will be the first elders in the area since my trainer closed it almost 4 years ago… when he got done training! I will also be covering the Poulsbo 2nd Ward! So the elder I am going to be with (Simkins) has been in that area for 6 weeks. I am really excited about this. I’m looking forward to applying everything that I’ve learned on my mission to one new fresh area! I’ve never been more pumped to find, teach, and baptize people.

Last night was another fireside… this time in Silverdale. I kind of had a midlife crisis on the way back home. We drove through my first area. I got to see the streets I was on my first transfer in the mission. It was kind of emotional for me to think back and see where I was and realize that times have changed. I now have less fear and more faith in my Savior. I loved that trial God gave me though. I love all the tough times. It only helps me grow closer to my Savior. And I look forward to the trials that lay ahead and growing from them as well. I don’t want to leave this great land of the Wa Tac.

This week was stake conference as well. The visiting General Authority was Elder Sitati. He had some wonderful, great advice and I received some great personal revelation on what I need to change in my life as a missionary and a person. So I liked it a lot.

I am so happy to be here where I am at. I love life

-Elder Thomas Johnson

ps.  long story but there is a member here who's done lots of studies.  This is a replica of Nephi's boat, He has a book written about it called "voyage of the book of Mormon"

Monday, February 22, 2016

Time seemed to have flown by fast...

Last week of this transfer! I will find out Saturday what is going to happen to me. :)

As for this past week… it’s been pretty good! Time seemed to have flown by fast. While we were busy teaching a lot of different people not much seemed to have happened!

We did have a wonderful musical fireside last night and I look forward to the one this next week in Silverdale! I look forward to going back up to my old area to sing. At these musical firesides we sing some classic hymns but our version of them. Hymns like Amazing Grace, Called to Serve, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the EFY medley. Recent converts also bear testimony during the fireside. It really is a powerful thing to be a part of. During the song Amazing Grace I always feel so humble for all I have received from my Heavenly Father.

This next week is stake conference. I’m excited for that as well. We seem to have a busy week in front of us. Days and nights are full of scheduled appointments. I feel like I’m finally getting a hold on how to do missionary work a little bit. haha

Although it’s been a busy week I don’t have much to report from this week, I love my mission so much. These missionaries I serve around have become my best friends. I love them. I love the people of Gig Harbor. Each and every investigator I devote all my time and efforts to help them get closer to Jesus Christ.

-Elder Thomas Johnson

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How cool is that...

I wish I could pick a highlight for the week but I don't know if I can. I’ll start off with the bad news. We had to see another Brother go home this week early. I had the chance to go on exchanges with him the day before he left. The short time he has been in the mission field has changed his life as it would change anyone's. I do look forward to seeing him come back on a mission soon.

One of the great blessings of being an only child I’ve found on my mission is having the ability to love my missionary friends like real brothers. I don't know what having a brother feels like but I imagine it’s something like the feelings I have for these great men I serve with out here. Sometimes they drive me up the wall. I feel like I’m babysitting them and sometimes I feel they are babysitting me. But in the end whatever we don't agree on is of no big importance. I love these kids I love meeting more of them each transfer but I hate leaving some each transfer as well. And I dread the day I have to leave them all and go on that plane home.

Pretty cool story of the week though! We have been working with an investigator for a little while who seemed waaay solid at first. Had lots of contact with the church in the past and we really looked forward to teaching them. As time went on however we found in tough to get in contact with them… near impossible really. This past week, out of desperation to get in contact with them, we randomly stopped at their house. As we got to the door and was about to knock both me and Hastings paused a little, confused as we thought we heard angels singing. As we listened closer from inside we heard the mother and the daughter (8 months old) on the piano playing and singing along to "I need thee every hour." What a great uplift to mine and Hastings spirits. Needless to say we were able to get inside and have a great lesson with hem.

I was pretty much in the same meeting my family was in on Sunday!!!! How cool is that?!?! There was a regional broadcast and when I heard Hawaii was tuned in my heart beat for joy. I had to take a small moment and close my eyes and picture my mom and dad sitting right next me as I listened to the conference. Don’t get me wrong, I love this mission more than anything before but my heart aches for my parent’s souls. I love this gospel. I have an eternal family and because of repentance I’ve been able to help others make covenants with God and make their families eternal. I love my brothers out here. I love my brother Jesus Christ. I love My Father in Heaven. I feel his love though Christ. Repentance is real. The atonement washes everything clean.

-Elder Thomas Johnson

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I hope this note will make your heart swell with pride...

Note: The following message was sent to Elder Johnson's parents via Facebook. (and parents love to brag about their children)
Hi, I live in Olympia 4th Ward. I'm sure you recall that your son served here for a very short time. He did great work, planted some seeds and moved on. I remember being touched when you wrote to our ward page to thank us for our kindness to your son. I thought it was such a nice gesture. 
So today, a woman visiting from the ward he is currently serving in, asked her to look up a few people from our ward. For the life of me I cannot remember her name but her daughter is in Oly 4th ward. Anyway, he wanted to know how I was doing. Of course I remembered him and shared a few things with her that came to my mind about him. He also asked about a few people that she did not know. None of whom were at church today. I gave her updates to send back to him.
What an amazing son you have. He has such a sweet heart, a great memory and incredible sensitivity to those he serves. I plan to write a note to him as well but I wanted you to know that your son is every bit as delightful as you think he is. What a pleasure to know him. I have a daughter currently serving a mission. I long for every tidbit of information I get from her and about her. I hope this note will make your heart swell with pride. You've raised a good man.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Being able to see the change someone has made...

Well… this week Elder Hastings and me weren’t able to spend much time in our own area. On Tuesday we were out on the KPN (Key Peninsula north) working with 2 elders who are both new to their area! It was a beautiful day to be out there though! There are many lakes and a lot less houses then my area so it was a breath of fresh air.

Later on in the week we got to go out near the same area to do a baptismal interview. I always love doing those… being able to see the change someone has made to get baptized. It's probably one of the things that makes the mission so so wonderful!!

We had MLC (mission leadership council) this past week. It was one of my favorite MLC's I have had the chance to be part of. The focus was on the Spirit and the power of it. The fact that the Spirit is not a tool we use rather we should be tools of the spirit. We do so by being obedient and sensitive to it. We got to teach elders quorum on Sunday. It was kind of nice to practice the training we plan on giving our zone on Wednesday.

Most Sundays you can find me in with the Priest quorum though. I remember being at home and loving having the missionaries coming into class. I try my very hardest to help them do missionary work for themself and get a greater desire to go on a mission for themselves.

-Elder Thomas Johnson

Monday, February 1, 2016

A week with no interruptions...

A week with no interruptions to the work are the best kind of weeks! Although nothing crazy has happened, it is always satisfying working hard.

I would sit hear and tell you about this less active member we found one day but his story written in the Ensign is told far better then what I could say. It has been great working with this man. Rekindling his testimony has helped mine grow more as well.
The famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Man, I love this mission thing. I really do! It’s so hard every day. I miss home. I don’t like being wet and cold day in and day out but I still love this mission! I don’t think I know perfectly why I love it so much but it might be something along the lines of Matthew 16:25. It’s nice not having to worry about myself at all really! I wish I had done it more when I was at home! I know that as we focus on others we no longer think about our well being as a person and become happier all together.

-Elder Thomas Johnson

Living in the Gig house is really nice for a lot of reasons. First, it’s right across the street from our church so there is a certain peace seeing our church every morning. Second, I love living with a lot of people. It is just plain fun sometimes.