Monday, November 25, 2013

We All Can Have The Lord's Acceptance

Woah, I can't believe Kory is home.  That was fast.  I wish I could see all of you, not going to lie.  That will be a fun holiday for everyone at home!   Happy you all are together... We are doing missionary work on Thanksgiving.   Just no knocking doors.

It is so so cold here.  I honestly don't think my coat is warm enough.  I can pile on everything I have though.  There is a wind chill.  It's been about 19 degrees, but feels 10 degrees colder with the wind chill and very icy!   We were going down a big hill and I was driving super slow.  There were cars up at a stop light and then we hit black ice and I pumped the wasn't working.   We were going to fly right into the cars, but I turned and we went off the side of the other side of the road.   Did not want another black ice accident.
I also had a little accident this week.   I was working out... I am not as strong as I used to be.  I had a set of weights in a plank position and lifted the weight up and something tore.   It sounded like sticks breaking in my shoulder.  So now it is in a sling!   Me and Kory both tore something.
Brother Jeffrey gave me his really expensive model car.  It's a convertible and I am not sure what to do with it. haha  He gives me stuff every Sunday.  He even made me a mini wake board to put in the passenger seat ha ha.  I love him.  He called us and said, "I hope that makes you happy the rest of your mission."  He told me to show you when I Skype my family and tell you all about it.   He has no money at all so I felt awful for taking it :(  But he said the spirit told him I would need it this week.  He is the best.
Michael....well, lets just say.  He yelled in our lesson.  Good thing we had a member there :)  He really wants to know if its true... he gets so worked up. haha.  He has been texting us and asking us questions. 21 page text.. phew. at least it wasn't 22. ;)
We went to Lorenzo Snow's home this week.  It hasn't had much done to it so we were able to see the exact floors and walls and where there summer kitchen were and all that. The people that live there gave us a tour and they are strong Catholics, but they were reading us Eliza Snow's testimony.  Then the guy who lives there... he paused when we were about to leave and he said, "are you the sister who sang at the Johnson Home commemoration?"  I said yes... and he said, "I have never in my life heard an angel sing, but now I have." haha  They were freaking out.  I think they just felt the spirit.  They will join the church one day!
We took Al and Loretta to the Johnson home and then we went to their home to teach them the Restoration.  They had prepared for us to stay and eat to!   Good thing we didn't have an appointment.  They don't understand that we can't just hang out as missionaries.  After we finished the Restoration... Al said, So is lunch ready?  And nothing else.... when we were saying Joseph Smith's words during the 1st vision... the spirit was so strong.  We know they felt it.  They are totally open to us sharing, but don't really care. They are coming to Kirtland on Friday though for the lighting ceremony!  All of us sisters are singing and they are having a beautiful program.  That will be a place where they can feel the spirit again.  They said, "we are going to miss you girls when you get transferred."
Then the Stamms:) ahhh man.  We invited them to the Johnson home as well.  The Hale's invited them over for lunch and they the Hales and the Stamm's came to the Johnson home.  It was the amazing.  At first, it was a little rough.... they really liked the historical aspect, but as time went on, it got more and more spiritual.  Me and Sister Coontz sang a song in the revelation room.  Brother Hale (who I want to be like - has the strongest testimony) bore a powerful testimony that they needed to hear.  We talked about how we are spirit children of our Heavenly Father... Katherine's eyes lit up and said "that makes sense."  Then we talked about the three kingdoms of glory and how wonderful it is to have continuing revelation.  She wanted to know more.  So as they left.  Drew said, "call Katherine to set up a time so you can teach us".  What?!  They were so against it at the beginning.  Their hearts have softened.  I am going to be friends with them for the rest of my life.  While we were in the Revelation room I remembered my dream I had about them. They were dressed in all white.  I was there.  It's going to happen :)
Okay, Crazy story.  Sorry this is so long.  A lot happened this week!  So we were at sites.  The phone was ringing... I was going to just let someone else answer it and instead I just went and answered it anyways and said, "Historic Kirtland Visitor Center, this is Sister Johnson, how may I help you?"  Well, he kept talking and was trying to reach some sisters.... his name was Richie. I recognized his voice.  I asked if he was from Arizona.  I said I was Kelsi Johnson and he was like, you're on a mission?!  haha Anyways, I was literally shaking.  I was talking to a boy.  I am weird.  Now I know.  All the sisters ran over and heard me talking... and they were like, what is going on?!  haha it was a big thing. But I am pretty sure I am going to be weird when I get home if I was weird on the phone.  It was cool though.
Then we were calling referrals and people that we have talked to on chat.  I called a lady from a referral that we got in June.  It said that her son was an apostate and to be careful. So I called her to get more information.  She was really happy that I called her.  She said things had changed and he wasn't even speaking to her anymore since then.  I told her I had been looking at her card for a while.  She said, "you have?"  She started to cry....she said  "That just answered my prayer."   "Now I know that Heavenly Father loves my son and is aware of Him. Thank you so much."  We talked a little bit longer... and she told me she loved me so much and to call her back soon.  I sincerely loved and cared for her. Calling people really is so great.
Heavenly Father loves all His children.  He is aware of the ones who have even made poor choices and He still loves them unconditionally.
I was reading this week about how we can have the Lords acceptance.  I think about famous people and how they are always trying to gain acceptance from everyone in the world. But it wont last.  I think its natural for us to seek acceptance from those around us.  From friends and family.  But that isn't where we can find it.  The Lord doesn't care what our title is, he doesn't care how much money we make, he doesn't care if we are really good at things.  He cares about our heart and how we use the talents and things that we are good at for the good of others.  He cares if we recognize our weaknesses and want to improve.  He cares if we have a genuine love for others and true charity.  He cares if we are honest with ourselves and recognize that we are broken.

We can feel the most accepted and loved by the Lord, by looking at our heart, letting Him fix us and keeping the covenants and promises that we have made to Him.

The spirit will be with us and when the spirit is with us that is the ULTIMATE INDICATOR that we are accepted of Him.

We will increase in confidence, faith and happiness.

Seek for the Lord's acceptance.  He wants us to.  He loves you.  He wants to mold you.  He can make you stronger then what you think you can do by yourself.
I love you, love you.  Kory I hope you heal fast after surgery, so you can get back out.
Sister Kelsi Denae
I think I have already written this before.... but I still love it
Charity is, perhaps, in many ways a misunderstood word.  We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those who are less fortunate.  But really, true charity is much, much more.

Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself.  When the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again.  It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.  Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped.   Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us.  Charity is expecting the best of each other.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wrong Road

Hola como estas?
How is everything at home?  Good I hope!  I pray for all of you each and every day.
This week was fun... We were in Kirtland of course.  We basically didn't take one tour :(  That was a bummer.  It really is soooo slow right now, BUT starting the day after Thanksgiving, everything is going to get busier because the lights will be up with all of the Nativities :)  Ahhh can't wait!  We will be singing too.  They said they are going to assign some solo's, duets and group numbers.
I love having sister Coontz as my companion. I never want to switch companions again.  I feel like we are both growing each and every day.  Especially in our teaching.  I love being so focused in a lesson and the spirit takes over and we are able to help the person in coming closer to Christ.  We both have been digging deeper and deeper into our studies and gaining new insights.  I LOVE studies so much and I LOVE people.  I love making new friends out here :)
Michael has been reading the Book of Mormon every day.  He basically started over in 1st Nephi a week ago and now he is almost to Alma.  Or he is already in Alma.  I can't remember.  He asked us to come over last night.  We weren't sure what he needed to talk about, but he asked the deepest questions.  To be honest, they are things that don't really matter.  I was trying so hard to just listen to Him and I knew that the whatever I needed to say, would come as I opened my mouth.  I started to cry as I opened my mouth. He just stared at me and then Sister Coontz bore a powerful testimony.  Man, the spirit was so strong.  He has had so many spiritual moments.  He is just going to be one of those people who investigate for a while.  Now he wants to read the Doctrine and Covenants after he finishes the Book of Mormon ha ha.  One day, one day.
We also visited the Katherine Stamm this week.  Man, she is great :)  She was so excited to see us!  They said that they are going to come to the Johnson Home this Saturday :) We have been praying on what we need to say.... and already preparing for when they come... it is time for them to progress.
We also LOVE Al and Loretta.  They printed off the pictures they took of us while we were making cider haha.  We are taking them to the Johnson home tomorrow :)   We are SO blessed to have such a wonderful home so close to us and I feel so blessed to know the details about what happened there.  We are going to take advantage of it.  It is a place that can really soften hearts.  We know it will soften all of theirs.  I can't even describe.... can't wait for you to go one day :)
I feel like we keep meeting people who are not in our area.  We are giving referrals to every other missionary.  We were tracting and this cute 20 year old girl let us right in.  She said she is really open minded and we taught her the Restoration.   She said she wants to know more.  She has definitely been prepared... but she lives far away, she was just visiting her family, but we get to call her on the phone at sites and see how she is doing with the other missionaries.
We also just went in the other room a couple of minutes ago to make a copy of Sister Coontz's driver license.  The lady who works here is seriously so sweet and always asks how we are doing.  Well, we started talking and found out she used to take the discussions.   WAY back in the day.   Wow!   She said it wasn't the right time right then, BUT I said, "timing is everything.  If you ever want missionaries again, let us know".   She said she knew where to find us and she would let us know :)  She really seems interested...She said people always ask if we are nuns and she said she LOVES the missionaries and she always stands up for the Mormon's and missionaries.   What a sweet lady.   She isn't in our area either, but another one for someone else!   I love missionary work.   More and more every day.
We also taught seminary this week at 6 am.   There are 2 cute non-member girls who go to seminary a couple times a week.   There is one girl named Carly who comes to church a lot, but she avoids eye contact... we got to talk to her more at seminary and now becoming friends :)
Right after you read this, go to and watch "wrong roads".   Elder Holland gives and interesting thought that I know we can all relate to.
As I was watching it a couple days ago, I started to cry.  Why do we pray on what we need to do and sometimes we get an answer that we feel is the right thing to do, but it leads us down to a dead end, or a wrong path.

I feel like that has happened so many times.  I KNOW Heavenly Father can see the beginning to the end.  Sometimes it's so we understand more clearly why we should go down that path and why we should go on another one.   Maybe we were going to be unsure of our decision.   There are always lessons that we need to learn.

A couple of big ones stick out to me, why did mom and dad continue putting money into a company that wasn't going to do well?   Why did we move to California for a job that didn't do well?   Why did I move to Idaho when I didn't get credit?  Why do we do a lot of things in life where we feel right about and it doesn't work out? :(  We felt right about all of these decisions.   They led to a dead end, but we were able to learn so much because of it.

To be honest, I really don't care why I go through things anymore.  It doesn't matter.  Just look at every trial as a blessing.  Just think, "how much more wisdom, knowledge and strength are we all going to gain because of this trial?"   It is so much easier to endure.   As we look at it that way, then we do become stronger.  This is a test here on earth.  He is testing us on how well we can endure.
One of my favorite scriptures,
"My son, apeace be unto thy soul; thine badversity and thine afflictions shall be but a csmall moment;
 And then, if thou aendure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy bfoes."
Remember to watch the video. I know that this work is so important. These are the last days. The world is already wicked enough for the Savior to come again. Remember that. He is waiting for the members to become better.
I love you very very much and miss you more than you know.
Love always,
Sister Kelsi
ps~ everyone keeps saying the winter is about to begin...what?  Crazy peeps.  I thought it already did begin!
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience.”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How Do We Treat the Book?

How are you doing?

Well, this week was suuuppppeerrr long.  Don't even know where to start.

Good news!  I am staying in Hiram over Thanksgiving with Sister Coontz :)  I am so spoiled.  I don't know how I got so lucky to be in the best area and I have been here since July!  It is so great., but cold.   It's snowing this very second.

We were planning for Michael's baptism.  We had everything done and printed.  It was all ready.  He even had a baptismal interview with our zone leader and we all congratulated him.  Then Friday night, Michael said he needed to talk to us.  We talked for a very long time and he decided not to get baptized.  Not only that, but he didn't want to reschedule and he doesn't want us to meet with him anymore and doesn't want to come to church.  I said, "well can we will stay in contact?" and he said after a long period of thinking... "I suppose so".
Michael knows without a doubt that this is true.  Cool story... Sister Neslen, before I came on the mission, told me to read a talk by Elder Holland called, "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence".  I thought about it and thought that that talk might be good for Michael.  Then our ward mission leader said that he wanted Michael to hear that talk. We kinda brushed it off and didn't do anything about it.  Then I was studying last p-day and that talk was referenced... and I was thinking... maybe I should re-read this and give it to Michael.  Well, we get the mail later on in that day and Grandma Johnson randomly send it in the mail!!  Sign # one hundred.  So we had him read that talk.  (Thanks Grandma).  He loved it... he read it multiple times.  He said that he was praying all weekend and he doesn't feel like he has a strong enough belief yet.  He said he hasn't finished the Book of Mormon and he feels like he shouldn't join a church when he hasn't read the keystone to our religion.

He made us a 2 promises though.  He said that he never makes promises.  Well, he said he only makes promises to very few people.  He said he will read the whole Book of Mormon no matter what for the first promise and he said if we ever need ANYTHING from us... he will do it and be there.  Very nice guy.  So, we have gotten a few random texts from him since we said "bye".  He said he has been reading a ton of the Book of Mormon and has a lot of questions. So, we are going to be responding to him today.  Anyways, that was most of our week.  It was all surrounded by Michael.  It was sad that he didn't get baptized, but we know he will someday.

Twp less-actives are almost active again!  One said they are never missing church again. I was pretty sure that I was going to get transferred this week and so we went over to their homes to basically say bye.  Their daughters were writing me notes the whole time saying "you orent oloud to leave, I love you, I will miss you, you are my feverit." It was cute :) They kept trying to sit on my lap... which, is against the rules.  I was like....ahh I don't know what to do!

We lost all of our investigators this week.  Even Theresa (the miracle family) called and said not to come back again.  This week was definitely a test a faith, but its' fine.  We will find more people.  Are you being missionaries at home?   I hope so!

We have a few awesome potentials.  One gave us homemade soap this week and the other couple took us to Ruby Tuesday's last night :)  They So cute!

Have you ever had a time when someone gave you a gift and you were like ... uhhhh thanks and in your head you were thinking "I have no idea what I am going to do with this". Then the person who gave you the present is asking you if you have been using it and how you have liked it.  Then you feel so guilty?  But you know that the person put a lot of thought into it, they prepared and worked hard in order to get it for you.  BECAUSE they love you and they want to help you?

Well, I was thinking about a gift that we have all received.  This gift is better than any discovery that has ever been made in the Atlantic Ocean, it is better than space travel, cars, movies, technology, etc. It is the greatest gift.  That gift is the Book of Mormon.  Have you ever wondered why the Book of Mormon came before the revelations, Priesthood, church organization, etc?   Doesn't that tell us something about how that Lord views this sacred work?

This gift was prepared.  It was prepared for over 1,000 years.  For US.  The Lamanites and the Nephites never had the Book of Mormon.  We have it.  We live in a time unlike any other, where we have a strong attachment to material possessions and where the earth is flooded with info and technology.

Why is this gift that has been given to you so important?  You should study that this week and tell me why :)  I want to hear.

Sometimes I feel like we may have done the same thing with The Book of Mormon as  we have done with other gifts we didn't appreciate.  We might have said, "Why is it so important to read every day?  or It's just a book?  or It's not really "that" great or just have not even thought about the importance.  When we realize how sacred an important it is, we will treat it differently.

There was a story I read of these two missionaries who were bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon.  They were extending their hand out to hand the investigator a Book of Mormon.  They said that the investigator looked at the Book and just stood up and left the room without saying anything.  They were so confused why he just left.  The investigator came back in to the room and said... "we always wash our hands before touching such sacred things."

How do we treat the Book of Mormon?  Do we love it?  Do we cherish it?  Do not ever treat it lightly!  During the judgment day, I know there will be a time when we are asked if we read it and cherished it.  We don't want to be the one who forgot, or misused this wonderful Book that has been prepared for us.

I know this book is one of the most significant gifts ever given to the world and to me.  More so now than ever.  I know that the enemies of the church understand this.  They know that if they prove the Book Of Mormon false then Joseph Smith is not a prophet, then there is no Priesthood and no revelation and no restored church.  It does draw us nearer to God, gives us an increase of love and greater respect between our families and an increase in spirituality.  It's the greatest!

Love you!

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

"Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble, but by the number of times we stand up, dust ourselves off, and strive forward."  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Piano Practice Takes Time, So Does Becoming Like Our Savior

Hey :)
So I got to church and sister Leamy came up to me and gave me "your" jacket and a little Barbie with notes... thanks Kierra and Kaden. You are so right, I was very happy to have a Barbie stick thing. haha it was funny. Kolton where is my email? Kory is so good. he writes me every week.
We had four investigators at church on Sunday. The only thing is that... it didn't count number wise, but we got them there! Michael, Katee, Jesse and Aley. It was awesome. It was fast and testimony meeting and Michael was sitting by the Snow's and so after the meeting I asked how he liked it. He said he was super confused...oops We forgot to tell him what fast and testimony meeting was like.  Me and Sister Coontz both bore our testimonies in sacrament meeting.
Ha Ha! Funniest thing ever happened last night... I am still laughing about it right now while thinking about it. We were at the Hale's home eating last night and we were just talking away when all of a sudden I hear a big boom and Sister Coontz is laying on the ground with her leg up in the air. I said, "Sister, what are you doing on the ground?" ha ha then I realized what happened and her chair broke randomly and the leg of the chair went flying. She didn't think it was very funny. Her face was bright red... as she is trying to get up and fixing her skirt and she said "well at least I had a graceful fall"  but it definitely wasn't graceful. so I felt terrible for laughing so hard... I was in tears. I guess you just had to be there, but don't worry, she thinks it's funny now :)
OH! I was also at sites twosih days ago and I was talking to a lady and we were helping her set up the Navtivites for this Christmas (which by the way is BEAUTIFUL). She said she lives in the Perry ward, but she is originally Phoenix...and then she changed it to Mesa and I told her I lived there as well. She asked what my parents names were. I told her...and she freaked out and said, "ARE YOU KELSI? then before I could answer she said can I hug you! and then she just hugged me anyways. I was confused haha. She said she was way good friends with you guys...and that she loves grandpa and grandma Johnson. She said grandpa was her bishop and she was telling all the sisters that she has a picture of me and her son. She is also telling all of them that I was bald and had a little piece of fountain hair coming out of my head. Soooo the secret is out. ;) Jk
A sister i'm serving with was also in our Sanoma Ranch ward...her parents are Jill and Gordon Smith (lived right next door to Sorensens) know them?
We have been trying to find so much this week. Michael is getting baptized and Lisa and Jim are moving and everyone else ...we can't really get in touch with or are willing to be our friends and aren't willing to let us teach. SO we went and did service for this cute couple we met. They are like our new grandparents. For service, we made home made apple cider. Just like they did in the olden days. We were telling them that this was not service! Just fun. And they said...wait, there is more! So we go inside after we were done and they had plates and cups out with donuts and fed us. They are so sweet!! We hope their hearts are softening. They said, are we going to see you again and we said of course we are coming back! So we want to teach them :) The grandpa (Al) took pictures of us to send to our families haha.
Sorry, this is turning long. We saw Theresa. I don't know if you remember her... I had a random number in my scriptures that I don't remember writing down and then we called and over a series of events, we found out that she used to be a relief society president and was sealed in the temple. She has a 20,000 square foot home with 40ish people all around! She has a ton of foster kids and she also has her own children. Then I had a dream one night on what we needed to teach them and how we needed to teach them. So we went over and all the kids were in a circle while we taught. There were four kids and as time went on...there was about 12 people listening and asking questions. One girl started to cry...she said "I'm sorry, it's just so hard for me to believe because my husband died". I went and gave her a hug... They are all so sweet and said they can't wait until we come back :) It was not a coincidence that we met them.
One last thing, I was reading a story this week (you might've heard) and it was something I could relate too. It was about a piano student. Mom and dad provided piano lessons for me. They paid it all in full, so then they could turn to me and ask me something. They asked me to PRACTICE. Did I? Not so much.... :) ( I have to play every week out here) Not as much as I could. I couldn't see it the way my parents saw it or in the eyes of a mother or a father. The parents can see that if you practice, you can become something amazing. You can become an expert at piano. Sometimes I would complain and say, "I don't want to practice, I mess up all the time, I can never be good enough". Practicing is what makes your parents happy. I could gather up all the money to repay you, but it's already been payed for. Your joy would have come from seeing what I could become if I practiced more.
This is all so similar to what the Savior did. He payed everything for us. Not just a couple coins, but everything. He too has asked us to similarly practice. He has asked us to "follow him and keep His commandments". When we do this, he finds great joy and satisfaction :) He can see the big picture and see's what we can become. Just like our parents can see. "The Atonement is not just so we can live after we die, but so that we can live more abundantly. It is not so we can be cleansed and consoled, but that we can be transformed". "If Jesus Christ never required practice then we would never become Saints". I love this. In the scripture (Alma 40:26 where it says no unclean thing can dwell with God... it is so true. BUT no unchanged thing will even want to. Life is hard, we can hit the wrong notes and fail to be perfect, but it we don't keep trying, or if we ever become content to where we are at, then we will cease to become like Him.
Learning how to play the piano takes time... so does becoming like our Savior. Growth and development take time.
D&C 67:13- Continue in patience until we are perfected.
I am soooo grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He loves us and knows we will make mistakes, but we can always keep practicing to become better.
Love you lots.
Sister Johnson
"You've had an eternity to prepare for your mission, and you'll have an eternity to reflect on it, but you only have 18 months to live it."