Monday, February 24, 2014

Look for the Eternal Perspective


How are you doing?  We have to hurry today, Sister Wygant only has a couple weeks left in the field, so we are going to Cleveland to visit the Cleveland Institute of Music.  She is really excited.  Did I tell you she plays the flute?  She will probably play professionally when she goes home and will probably end up at Julliard of something.  She is very talented. 

We had zone conference this last week.  It was great to have everyone together.  I didn't like that I kept getting called on though.  I was just glad I didn't have to teach a lesson right on the spot.  He had a ton of Elder and Sisters go to the microphone and he picked a lesson and they  had to teach it with another random Elder or Sister.  We had a leadership meeting after and I really learned a ton.  I came out just wanted to be a better missionary and realizing all my weaknesses. :)

We weren't able to see Jason this week, which was sad.  He just "didn't feel like meeting".  Sometimes people shouldn't go on vacation while they are meeting with the missionaries! ha, but we are going to see him on Wednesday.  He was teasing us again, so that is a good sign :)

Bob has been really sick.   Usually people struggle before their baptism, but Bob is really struggling after his baptism.  He is having surgery after surgery.  It's so sad... we made him banana bread this week and shoveled his driveway.  He has been scheduled to get the Priesthood for the last three weeks, but he has been so sick and we haven't been able to meet with him.   Good thing the ward is so great and there are a ton of people who are helping him, so he continues strong.

Remember those Book of Mormon videos we watched when we were little?   Well, we have been watching them with Kayla and Kia.   It has worked SO WELL.   They are starting to understand...but we only have a few.   Mom, do you know anyone who has them?   So we can use them out here?   It's really helping them understand and helping them "want" to read the Book of Mormon.   Kia's head isn't on the table anymore, so that is good.   She's a teenager ha ha. 

I went on exchanges with Sister Ahrednsen this week.  We had so much fun.  Guess who I talked to on the phone???? BROTHER GREINER and BROTHER ANDRE!   How fun is that?   We had permission to call.   He gave me the number for Brad Willcox and Robert Millett.   We called them and asked them to come and speak here.   Robert Millett is the greatest historian in the world, says Brother Greiner.   Brother Greiner was so sweet.  He told me to remember to sing... which, I was asked to sing in the Kirtland temple in two weeks :)   Kinda excited...but don't know what to sing!

Nitin is having us teach him American words.   Now he is saying, "cray cray, stoked and ya'll."   It's pretty hilarious.  We are going to teach him "totes" next week :)

I've really been trying hard to look at the eternal perspective of things and thinking about heaven.   I feel like that is what gets me through to the next day and to continue going.

Think about these questions...
What is your favorite thing to see?   What is the prettiest scenery that you have ever seen in you life?
Think of a time when you have felt the best.   Either the happiest, most at peace, comforted. 
What is something you love to hear?  Either birds chirping, the ocean waves, pretty music...?
All of those things will be in the Celestial Kingdom.   It will be even a million times better. 

Another thought that I have had is that we need to continue finding joy in this journey and live in the present.   It's so great to look to the future, but we can't forget... to look in the moment, prepare for the future and learn from the past. 

There was a story of this dad who was at lunch with his little family.  They were going to the Circus.  The dad received a phone call from his office and said that they needed him to come into the office.  The family was waiting for the disappointment to come.  They then heard their dad say that he couldn't come in.  He walked back to the table and his wife said, "The Circus keeps coming back".  Then the dad sad, "Yes, but childhood doesn't."

One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows.  It's important to make today the best day and be the best that we can be.  It's important to tell out loved ones that we love them and to choose to be happy and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

"Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today."
"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays." 
"There is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today and to live most fully today, we must do that which is of greatest importance.  Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most."
"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."

I love how happy the Gospel of Jesus Christ can make you.   I love the feelings that you can receive from service to others.   I love this :)

I love my family so much.

Sister Johnson

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Am Blonde!


How are you?  So remember our new investigator from last week?  Well :(  Sad news..... he moved into the Elder's area.  Yeah, we are pretty devastated.  It's okay, we are all on the same team, but we wanted him on our side... haha.  He was so confused.  He said he will move back just so we can teach him.  He was totally serious too. haha   We were talking to him yesterday and he was teaching us Hindu. "Namaste" means hello and goodbye.   We do it now with putting our hands together and bowing down like a yoga move.   It's so fun :) 

Laura came to a mission president's fireside last night.   It was so great!   Bob bore his testimony and she loved it so much.  President Vellinga is amazing. He met Laura and stared into her soul as well.  She was really taken back and kinda overwhelmed... maybe it wasn't the best, but we didn't think there would be another opportunity for her to meet him.

Jason watched the Restoration movie!  He says he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet and unsure about the Book of Mormon.  He went out of town this weekend to have a Thanksgiving with his family.  We told him he could only come back with samples from his Thanksgiving.  We hope he does.  It'd be funny.  He makes fun of us all the time now. 

So... Elder and Sister Packer, (my favorites) said, Sister Johnson, will we get sent home if we show you Alex Boye's new video?  Sister Wygant told them yes... I said.... WAIT!  Who made the video?  He said "go Big Films".   WAY TO GO UNCLE BRYCE!  Mom said it is going viral.  Wish I could see it.  Tell Uncle Bryce that he is awesome :)

I had a REALLY embarrassing moment this week.  So, we received a church headquarter referral.  We decided to go stop by.  We knocked on the door and a man answered.  I was thinking in my head I should just ask him if he was the person who referred us from  So, I say.  "Are you Gaey?" He has a really puzzled look and says, "What???"  Without realizing again what I was saying... I said "Are you Gaey" - even louder this time.  He says, "No!" And was closing the door.  Then it hit me.  I tried to explain that the persons name was Gaey and by that time the door was almost shut.  One soul lost to my blondness.  At least we know... Gaey does not live in that house.  (I told Kelsi, the "E" and the "R" are right next to each other on the keyboard.  His name is probably Gary.  she said "woahhhhh! we are totally going to try GARY!!!!!!! and go back!! haha")

Another funny moment!  So we went out to eat to this sub sandwhich place one evening.   We were talking to the people and this guy comes up to me and says, "oh you forgot your card."  It was a punch card for the place.  He said, "I put a few more stamps on it."   I told him he was so nice and I was so thankful. Well, that happened a few weeks ago and this morning... I was cleaning out my wallet and it totally had a note on it and his name and number!  haha I was dying during studies.  We are going to call him to share the gospel.  That guy did not know what he was getting himself in to.  ;) 

I was at the mission presidents fireside last night and Elder Sorenson kept pointing at me to come to him.  I kept shaking my head... I really wanted Laura to meet President and we were waiting to talk to him.  Finally I just went over to him and he took my hand and dropped something in it.  He said, "Don't ask questions, this person is anonymous, just take it."  It was money!  I have no idea who gave me money last night.   I didn't know anyone!   I feel so blessed.

Sister Wygant just received her flight information.  Weird.... You asked about boot camp and it is going great.  Every sister...every morning :)  We love it!   I love being in charge of it.   We also have been calling some amazing people at sites.  I wish I could tell you everyone.  There was this guy Robert who called in randomly.   He had questions.   Well, now he wants to be baptized ASAP and he says he knows that he needs to serve a MISSION!   He hasn't even met with the missionaries and he told us last time that he read about the Law of Chastity and he told his girlfriend he wanted to live it and she is really mad at him, but he says he feels so free!   He is SO prepared and on the most amazing people I have ever talked to.   We are like, where did this 18 year old Jewish kid come from???

I have learned so much this last week.   I just wanted to share some of my thoughts.

How would you like to see Heaven?   Streets paved of Gold and the blazing throne of God?   What if we could pull the curtain/veil open for 5 minutes and see what mansions are in store for us if we continue to be faithful?   Joseph Smith saw it.   He saw it for hours while he was here in Hiram.

Would you rather see this or see the Laker's play?   See the United States win the Olympic Gold Metal?   The last two might be good but wouldn't you rather work a little bit more to see something that you can see for eternity? 

Although we live on a BEAUTIFUL earth, We don't live on a Celestial earth, BUT we need to be living Celestial lives.

Speaking of Olympians, everyone keeps talking about them here.   I was thinking about how I can compare to the Olympians to our lives here on earth. 

What is the goal for the Olympians?  The gold :)  What is our goal?  Celestial Kingdom. 
What team do we have to help us?  Our families.
Who are our coaches?  God, Jesus Christ, mom, dad.   You can't show up to the game or even without the coach.   Neither can we.
There are rules in the Olympics.   There are rules in life, called Commandments.
Can the Olympians show up without training, perfecting and progressing?   Absolutely not.  Would the Olympian feel uncomfortable showing up and now having done their best?  Yep.   We will feel so uncomfortable too.   We wouldn't want to be near God or be in the Celestial world.   We will probably be disappointed in ourselves, but we don't need to be.

Go to the Celestial World.   Win the Gold.   Go to Heaven.   We are SOOOOO blessed that we all know how.

I love this gospel!

I love you mommy and daddy and Kory, Kolton, Kaden, Kierra and Kobe. :)

Sister Johnson

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow, snow, snow, snow

Snow, snow, snow, snow. 

It never stops.  You should see the icicles hanging in front of me right now.  They are probably 20 feet long, all the way to the ground. 

This week was a miracle week.   

#1.  We have come to realize that the miracles come when it is inconvenient for us.  It was about -10 degrees and we were freezing cold one night.  We went to see a potential who was not home, but right next to her door was another door...Sister Wygant and I looked at each other and were like, "should we?"  Well, we did and knocked on the door.  Now we are teaching a really cute new family. Kiesha, Cheyla and Dazia.  We loveeeee these people so much.  Cleveland is majority African American.  It's wonderful... such good people.  They want us to come back because of the feelings that they felt.  The mom is Kiesha, and she is a minister.  So far we have agreed on everything with what we have said.   The spirit is great. 

#2  We also have another new investigator.  His name is Litin and he is from India.  He actually just arrived into the United States a few days ago and is going to finish up his residency.  So we have another doc on our hands.  So, story on how we met him.  We walked out of ward counsel and MAGIC.  He was just standing in the lobby.  Turns out, he went to UPS and Brother Gupta (from India as well) saw him and said, "come to church."  So he came to church yesterday.  Now he wants to be baptized.  We were like, "what just happened?"  He even stayed after church and attended a baptism and we are meeting with him later today.  He said that after he was learning about the body in med school he kept thinking to himself, "there has to be a God and a creator."  He is Hindu and so Christianity is quite different for him.  He is really smart and he said he is so hungry to know everything because when he entered into our church building, he felt "at home."   SO COOL.

#3  Then Jason came to church.  We had another amazing lesson with Jason at the Winder's home.  We talked about keeping the Sabbath day Holy.  Then we said, "so how is reading the Book of Mormon going?"  Then he said, "Oh, I finished the whole thing a few days ago."  Our mouths dropped wide open.  He JUST started and already finished!  He has completely opened up and he said he has a new perspective on everything now and he really enjoyed it.  Except he didn't like 2nd Nephi because of the Isaiah stuff, but that is okay :)  It was so great because this little boy named Danny bore his testimony in church last Sunday.  He said he knew the scriptures taught about Jesus and he loved reading the Book of Mormon.  I guess Jason really liked that because he said, "I couldn't let little Danny pass me up."  That is why he finished it so quick.  haha. 

We are REALLY excited about our new investigators.  Kia, Kayla and Laura are also still reading and praying and trying to find an answer to know if this is true.  This girl who just joined the church a couple months ago named, Marissa is so sweet.  She reminds me of Kylie.  She and her boyfriend (who introduced her to the church) broke up this weekend.  I was like, don't worry.  I know how you feel.  So we brought her chocolate and told her we were sorry we couldn't watch a chick-flick with her.  ha   But, she is so sad, we need to make sure she continues to stay strong in the gospel. 

This last week was also mission leadership counsel.  It's always the best meeting ever.  I don't remember if I told you I sang with President Vellinga's wife the last meeting and this time... I got asked to sing with 3 other sisters.  I sang the tenor part an octave higher and the AP played the base on the Cello.  It was so pretty.

Well, it has been a week full of miracles.  Even when it is so cold and cloudy, good things still happen :) 

I KNOW the Lord's hand is in this and always with us.  He wants everyone to hear about this message.  This plan that He has made is only to help us.  As we learn more about it, we find greater happiness.

I know that there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression that is exempted from the Savior's Atonement.  We can always come back...  we will all experience trials and hardships.  We can only get through it with the help of the Savior.  Like President Uchtdorf said, "our burdens may become light if we not only believe in Christ but ALSO in His ability and His power to cleanse and console our lives."
We don't need to morn because of the things that we go through in this life.  It will ALL be made up in the Resurrection, IF we continue faithful.  I know this is real.  I know that the principles that I live by come from the Son of God.  That is why I do the things that I do. 

I.  love.  you.  forever.  Pray for you always and I miss you.........

Sister Johnson

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Child-like Faith

Hey family :) 

Mom, thanks for the package.  Best package ever.  Thank you... I like the Valentines love. 

It has been another transfer!  Sister Wygant are staying together one more transfer.  She is going to be going home the next transfer.  We were supposed to have transfers tomorrow, which is why we are having p-day today, but since a huge storm is coming in, they canceled transfers and it's going to be on Thursday!  The weather is so fun here.  It was at least 7 degrees this morning. SOooooo much better than negative. :)

I had an interview with President Vellinga this week.  He is the best mission president in the world.  I don't know how he does it.  He can look right into your soul and scan you. haha.  Elder Sorenson handed us the list of companionships with all the Kirtland sisters and said, "if you can play the transfer game and tell me at least 50% of where everyone is going, then I will tell you where everyone is going."  We tried... we got about 20% right. haha.  I said it's because we don't have the priesthood.  He just laughed. 

We have been stopping by "Best Gueros" (I think that is how you spell it).  It is a restaurant and not very healthy...  well, we made friends with all of the people there.  I love making friends with everyone everywhere we go.  We JUST had dinner and they brought out all this free food for us.  Cheese fries, cookies, etc, etc. Gross.  Well, we had to eat it.  We were so sick. Then Chris... the manager came over to me and said,  "Hey here is Serg's number (another guy who works there) and he wants to just show you around town and take you out."  I Was like .... uhhhhh I don't know what to do!  We took it and then I felt like it was going to be awkward talking to Serg.  So, I pushed myself to go talk to him and invited him to Kirtland.  We always talk to them about missionary stuff. I don't know how he got the idea about going out. haha.  He has a lot of potential... we just have to make sure to establish purpose. ha

We also called a less-active last night.  He goes to UVU.  We just got to know him and it was so funny.  At the end he said, "so address?"  Me and Sister Wygant just looked at each other... we were like what do you mean by address?  He is going to write us a letter.  He said, "all missionaries like letters!" haha so a random less-active is going to write us.  How fun!

Our investigators are doing GREAT!  Jason came to church again... he liked it and Kia and Kayla.  We are working on getting them to church.  Laura makes us dinner every Sunday..  Even when last Sunday, we told her no.  But when we got there... Steve and Laura were making us "Superbowl food"!  We didn't even know it was the Superbowl!  It was so sweet of them.  But we definitely had 2 dinners :( That has happened quite a bit lately haha. I love them sooooo much.  I hope Steve lets us teach him soon as well.

Okay, best part about this week.  I am now the work out instructor for the Kirtland sisters!!!  We do boot camp every morning now... well, 4 days a week because we can't on Friday's and Sundays and Saturdays- bc the guys play bball.  So we are all really sore right now, fat and out of shape.  It is GREAT!  We might wake up one day a week and get a full hour work out. haha.  It is soooo fun. All the sisters are becoming so much more unified.  I love it SOO much.  I definitely want to instruct when I get home.

I have been getting such sweet notes from some of my less-actives from Hiram.  I miss them.   I have to tell you!!!  So, 2 different ladies from my first area that we did service for have baptism dates! Me and Sister Joseph did not think that they were interested... but now the sisters eventually were able to teach them and they are getting baptized!   No effort is ever wasted. 

Jordan Wheeler sent me a talk this week. I read it... and read this really cool story about having child-like faith.  I loved it and so we decided to share it at a members home.

The story talks about this guy who was really busy.  He wanted to have the missionaries teaching people in his home.  He had set a goal for a specific date to find someone for them to teach, but knew it wasn't going to work out when he had so much going on.  Instead of giving up, he remembered that with God, anything can happen.  So he prayed and fasted specifically that someone would come to him.  A few days before the date that he had set a girl walked up to him and said, "I would really like to know more about the Mormon religion.  Don't missionaries come and teach people about it.  Can I come to your home and learn more?"  He said he wanted to cry because his prayer was answered!   He said it is all because I had child-like faith.  He didn't doubt that it would happen.

After we shared this story at the members home, we left and were like, "ehh that lesson was okay."  We went to church on Sunday and the member got up and bore her testimony.  She told everyone that story and said it had inspired her.  She said, "I am so busy just like this man, but it is so easy to pray."  She said that she prayed and knew EXACTLY who to give a Book of Mormon to. It made me SO happy. 

I know how important it is for us to all pray with child-like faith for missionary opportunities.  Those opportunities will come.  I can promise you that.  I feel like I've been transformed and truly humbled this last transfer.  Elder Sorenson always tells us how much power we have and it's hard to see it sometimes.  I'm grateful for him.  I am grateful to be learning to much and growing.  I am grateful for the hard times.  I know that we can always get through them with our Savior Jesus Christ. 

I love this gospel.  It is true.  It is real. 

Love you most.

Sister Johnson

"Without experiencing a gospel principle in action, it is more difficult to believe in that principle."


Dear Sisters & Couples,

A very rare snow flow has pounced upon us.  It is called the Ohio Snow Rollers.  It has happened because about 1 ft of fine power snow melted on the top and the right temperature and the exact wind speed caused the snow to create roller balls.  The news stated it was very rare and even most local people had never seen roller balls.  Enjoy.

Kindest regards,

Elder and Sister Sorenson