Monday, March 31, 2014

Crazy Week

Dear family,

This has been one of the craziest weeks.  I keep saying that, but this week might have topped it all.  Sister Frankenberry was sick this week.  She had the flu at one point and then after that was over with, she woke me up at almost 2 in the morning and we ran to the Emergency Room.  We were there until about 7:30.  We had talked to a nurse on the phone and she told us to go because it could have been her appendix.   It was a fun night.  I love being in hospitals.  She is fine, no appendix issues.  Speaking of the middle of the night, I got up for a second last night.  Sister Frankenberry saw me up and she got ready and put her workout clothes on.  It was 1 in the morning... so funny.  Then I randomly woke up laughing so hard.  I don't know what is wrong with me. She heard me and said something that woke me up.  I was laughing in my dream, so I wasn't conscious,  Then we both were laughing.  That happened multiple times last night.  So weird. 

We had a lot to do this last week.  We decided to make a video for training meeting.  I made so many videos for school and thought we should do it for the Sisters.  We filmed missionaries talking about the key messages in Kirtland, then we had them say what they knew to be true in 1 or 2 sentences and then we put it all to music with pictures and bloopers.  It turned out really well, but kinda stressful putting it together when we were out sick.  We are doing one for the seniors this week.  We are having them say, "I love my hunny because..."  We had them take prom pose pictures too.  It will be so cute.  Their video will be on Christlike Attributes for the Training meeting.  We have a very busy week.  That family we taught really wants to know more, so we are having another meeting with them this week, as well as 3 training meetings that we have to train at and we don't have time to plan anything because we will be on exchanges.  So lots to do... it never stops.

We took our ward mission leader, Nitin and our Zone Leaders on tour this last week.  It was such a great tour.  Nitin is very intellectual.  He is like a computer.  When you talk to him, he records everything into his memory.  Serious.  He has a hard time feeling, so we really focused on that in our tour.

We also took Kayla to Activity Days.  They went to the Cleveland Art Museum.  It was really good that we were able to go with her.  She is really shy and has a hard time branching out.  We hope that she will be able to find some friends.  All the Activity Day girls were about 4'3"  and Kayla is about 5'6".  She looks 17 and she is 11.   So we might take her to Mutual. She is too mature.

We were also able to teach Latasha twice.  She promised us that she would be at church on Sunday.  We even bought her Chipotle they day before to remind her and get her to come.  Did she come?  No. :( We were pretty sad.

It was a great week.  We just kept going and going and going.  We loved being able to sit down and watch the broadcast for all the women.  We are especially excited for General Conference.  I am grateful to be on a mission.  I remember being so excited to receive my mission call.  I couldn't wait.  Literally.  I opened my call the second I had it in my hand. (Only because dad pressured me...;)

I recently heard a story of a boy who was preparing for a mission and awaiting his call.  As he was anxiously awaiting his call, he got up in Fast and Testimony meeting and told everyone that he had, had a dream.  He said that in his dream he was in the pre-existence and he was talking with a friend and they were both waiting for their calls to earth.  He said a man had appeared to him and gave him a letter.   The letter stated that he would be born in a place of religious freedom. The letter also told him that he would be born into the true church of Jesus Christ.   It stated a lot more about his life.  It was also like a Patriarchal Blessing.  His friend then received his call.   It said that he was going to experience a lot of trials, not going to be born into the true church and will be born in the country of Costa Rica.   His friend looked up and said, you need to come find me while we are on earth.  The two friends cried together and he woke up.  Later, the young man preparing for his mission received his mission call, to Costa Rica.  One year later he wrote a letter to the ward saying, "I found my friend."

I know that we are here on earth for a reason.   We are here to help all those around us.   We don't need to be on full time missions. I want to always be so grateful to be born in this true church.  I love this gospel and how much it truly can change us.  I also know that as we are doing things that the Lord has asked of us, we will have the spirit with us more and will be led to those people who are searching for truth. 

Remember to watch General Conference!   I am so excited to hear from the Prophet!

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My New Companion, Sister Frankenberry


Well, transfers have hit again.  I am now companions with Sister Frankenberry.  She is so cute, a very hard worker.  She is also from a small town in Pennsylvania.  Everyone keeps asking her where she is from and she receives the same answer after every time.  They say, "That's not far!" ha ha it gets funny.  I started making tally marks of how many people say that.  We are in the 30's. :)  She is 4 hours away from home, so no, she is not far.

I have been seriously so exhausted this last week.  I don't know how I am still moving.  We literally have been running from one thing to the next.  Transfer day was... a little overwhelming.  I sang for transfers... we practiced a few times before transfers, I sang, "I am a Child of God".  Sister Wygant played her flute, Elder Chapman played the Cello and Elder Barnes played the piano. It was pretty music all around. 

When we got to our area after transfers, our appointment fell through.  Sister Frankenberry and I started walking down the street and we were about to give some boys cards and she stops and says, "Jared?"  She saw a boy that she taught at the very beginning of her mission.  He had a baptism date and everything.  So she knew, right when she got to the area that she was meant to be here.  We are going over to their house tonight. 

Guess who is coming to our mission?  Ellllddddeeerrrr HOLLAND!  I am so excited.  We get to be with him for 6 or 7 hours.  It will be so great :)

Have I told you much about Robert?  Sister Wygant and I taught him.  He really is the most prepared person we have ever met. He is from Washington and randomly called into the visitor's center one day asking if the Book of Mormon talked about faith.  He is Jewish and has no Christian background.  Well, over a period of months of calling him, he is now getting baptized.  He is sharing his testimony to everyone around him.  We were about to get off the phone the other day and he said, "Wait!"  We said, what do you need?  He said, "I know this is true.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet.   I know God lives..." He went on for a few minutes bearing testimony.  He told us that he wants to serve a mission.  He said he has been watching youtube videos with people opening up their mission calls and he can tell that it is important and that it is something he knows he has to do too.  SO COOL.  He has read all the Standards for Youth and told his girlfriend he wanted to live the Law of Chastity.  He really is a person who has a strong gift for feeling the spirit.  He knows what the spirit feels like and he has grown to have a strong testimony.  He is a miracle. 

We have pretty much 4 new investigators from this week.  We had a lesson with this guy named Andrew.  He is pretty cool and already believes most of what we believe.  We also had a lesson with Latasha and she cried.  I am just REALLY sad... because she isn't showing up when she says she is going to show up.  We can't get her to go anywhere :(  We also had an amazing lesson last night.  A member in our ward has been talking to her friends at work.  They have been curious about Mormons and so she said, "can the missionaries teach you more?  Come over to my house."  So we went and had dessert last night at their house and had a veeerrrryyy long discussion.  They asked so many deep questions.  It was a really cool experience and they want to meet again. Two of them are in our area :)  It was a powerful experience.... the spirit was strong, I had goosebumps :)   I loved it so much.  Sister Frankenberry kept talking about how amazing it was.

I know that this gospel is true. I know that we can always become stronger and regain strength through the Savior and His Atonement.  I know that we can change.

Sister Johnson

Monday, March 17, 2014

When You are Diligent, You See the Blessings


How are you doing?  I love you and miss you family. 

This week was probably the busiest week of my mission.  I am so tired... our ward mission leader is AMAZING!  He calls us non-stop and people in the ward call us and ask if they can come to our appointments.  It's pretty amazing.  We had a ward missionary conference at President Stacey's house.  It was fun.  We just ate and practiced teaching.  Sister Wygant and I had to leave early for the Elder Seldon fireside last night as well.  It was crazy bouncing from one thing to the next.  I also got to teach the primary kids in sharing time yesterday. It lifted my spirit.  I LoVe little kids.

So guess what happend?  We went to see Cheyla and Dazia.  I was really sad... Cheyla said, "I have a really bad feeling about the Book of Mormon." Then she told us she wouldn't read it.  I have never had anyone say that before.  We both just bore testimony, not really sure what to say after that.  We tried to understand why, but I honestly think that she is just saying that.

Jason came to church!  Yay!  He is moving soon :( So we need to find more.  We have a ton of potentials, but it's just hard to meet with them. Remember when I told you that he was inspired by a little boy to read that Book of Mormon?  Well, we told the little boy's mom.  I called her and she was crying.  She said she wrote it in his "baby book" and has been telling everyone.  She was really touched. 

Laura came to a baptism with us this week and guess who was there?  BOB!  He is back in action and was at church and even went to the Stacey's, as well as the fireside with Elder Seldon.  I love Bob.

We took 2 amazing tours in Kirtland this week.  We have seriously been so busy and the tours are starting to come again.  We are calling so many people all around the world right now and teaching them the gospel, I will miss calling them all the time, but i'm super excited to take more tours!

We first took a tour of a group of young woman who saved all their money for a year to do a church history tour.  They were sooooo prepared. One of the Young Woman said that they had decided on our tour that they wanted to serve a mission after watching us.  So cool :)

After the tour, we were spiritually drained.  It lasted over 3 hours... it was awesome, but really long.  After the tour, we went upstairs to start on some of our other responsibilities.  Well, then the Senior couple called us and said, "we have another tour for you."  So we went downstairs to take another family.  I don't know why we were soooo tired, but we were.  I told myself that I was going to push through, be diligent and really try my hardest.  Well, as we took this tour, the spirit became really strong.  We focused on the needs of the children.  They had 3. One was a baby, then a 3 year old and a 5 year old.  As we walked into the School of the Prophets, we told these two little girls that Heavenly Father and Jesus were in the room.  We told them all the stories.  While we were talking, the 5 year old took her dad and whispered in his ear.  He said, "tell the sisters."  She wouldn't tell us, she was embarrassed, but he said that she told him she was feeling the spirit and it was making her really happy.  Then the little girl came and whispered in my ear, she said, "I closed my eyes and I saw Heavenly Father and Jesus."  Then the 3 year old came and whispered in my ear and said, "I am going to obey mommy and daddy more."

How cute is that?  I about died.  When you are diligent and do all you can to, you truly will see the blessings.  I love Kirtland.  It is one of the greatest missionary tools.  It brings the spirit, because it is true.  Joseph Smith really is the prophet and he was there.  As well as Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.

I love missionary work.  Since being out here, I have seen a change in myself.  I know the Lord can strengthen us in all things... sometimes it just takes time.  I love my family.  Be safe.  Be good.  Be happy.

Love always,

Sister Kelsi Denae

Ps- transfers are this week!  My companion, Sister Wygant goes home.  I know who my new companion is.  She goes home in 6 weeks, so I am going to kill 2 sisters!  (my new companion is in front on the left with the black jacket).

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Holy Ghost is Vital to Our Salvation

Hey y'all,

How are you doing?   Hope all is well at home and I hope you are enjoying the weather.  Good news, it is warming up!  It has been in the thirties the last few days.   Much better than 0.   When I was on exchanges this last week with Sister Mertlich, it got up to 47!   Warmest day since October, but then it went right back down.   It was so weird, my body couldn't handle it... we went to a nursing home and I started to feel really warm and then slightly nauseous and then while we were talking to a lady, I leaned over to Sister Mertlich and told her I was going to throw up, so we ran out.   I'm not sure what happened there. Drastic weather changes!

Exchanges were really fun.   I learned a lot from her... she "could" be my new companion.   I am playing the transfer game.   She was in my singles ward when I lived in Ventana and we have all the same friends, we were not friends, but now we are!   I can't believe transfer breakfast is this next week.  While on exchanges we went to teach Cheyla and Dazia.   Their aunt kicked us out and told us they were busy... and while we were walking out, their neighbors door swung open and then closed.   So I knocked on it and this guy named Andrew opened the door.   His uncle was drunk.. they asked us where we were from and we told them.   Then, Christopher (his uncle) said, "you get the California one, I'll get Utah."   We were like... oh no... maybe this isn't good.  Andrew just laughed and then Lefia came.   She is so sweet.   She invited us in and told us she LOVES Motab.   We were able to give them all copies of the Book of Mormon and teach them.   They have been texting us.   They really want to come to church this next week and Andrew wants to bring his "girl".   He's engaged.   So all four will be coming to church and they are reading the Book of Mormon!   Not sure about Christopher... but the others are :)   It was really great.

Then, last night we went to see Vincent... he wasn't home, but his son opened the door.   His name is Chaz and we talked to him about how the message we share makes us happy.   He grabbed a piece of paper for us to write down our number.   He was pretty brief, so we didn't get his number :/   We were walking to the car and said, "do you think he will call?"   Well, right when we got home, he called!   He said, "I have been going through a lot of things and it's been really hard.   Can you tell me more about what you are talking about?  You caught my interest."   We are going to teach him on Saturday. :)   From both of those stories, you can see that the work is truly hastening.   We couldn't get anyone to listen to us when we first got here.   It's really amazing to see.

Do you remember when I wrote and said my Stake President was told by Elder Ballard that a lot of blessings are about to come to this area and a lot of hardships as well?   I believe this is it.   The ward is going to be pretty busy balancing their lives and going teaching with the missionaries and helping fellowship all of our investigators.   People are seriously ready to listen, it's amazing.

Workouts are still going well.   Sister Rigby came in our room the other night, I asked her if she felt anything from working out.  She just stared at me and said, "are you kidding me?"   I was like what? haha   She said, "YES I AM SORE!"   I said, "oh great!   Where are you sore?"  She stared at me again, and screamed, "EVERYWHERE!" haha it was so funny.   She said, " I can't move after every work out!"   It's the shortest workouts... doesn't do much, but it's better than nothing. 

We had Mission Leadership Counsel.  They talked about working out... we went around the room saying how much everyone in the zones were working out percentage wise.   It's about 40 percent of the mission.   President said, "Not good!"   He got to us and we said, 100 percent in Kirtland :)  Sister Sorenson said, "Sister Johnson is the inspiration.   She has everyone doing Zions Boot camp!"  I might be making work outs for the mission.  haha   It was so funny, I feel like I am helping now.

President Vellinga also read my letter to everyone that I wrote to him last week.   He asked me permission, I wasn't sure what I wrote about!   We talked about listening to the spirit.   We also had Zone Training Meeting and Sister Wygant and I had to give 1/2 of it.   It was all on the spirit.   We talked about the roles of the spirit, how we prepare to have the spirit, feelings of it, how we feel when he leaves, etc, etc.   We talked about the word Holy Ghost.   When we were teaching Nitin, he said, "that is contradictory, Holy and Ghost."   I really thought about that.   Who was the first to create the word?   The world or God? God was.   The world sees the word "Ghost" as spooky. 

The Holy Ghost truly is a member of the Godhead.   He knows all.   He knows as much as Heavenly Father.   Alma 17:13.   He is working alongside with two perfect people.   Do we realize how valuable He is?   Do we thank Heavenly Father for Him?   If we didn't have the Holy Ghost, we would not have the testimony that we have today.   We wouldn't be warned of danger and we couldn't progress.

I remember when I really wanted to go on a trip to Utah.   The car was packed and as I was walking out of the door, I had a thought, "you shouldn't go."   But, I thought back, "But I want to."   So I did... on the way, I got pulled over twice after never getting pulled over before, I got in a car accident, etc etc. and my life was going in a different direction.   Heavenly Father knows all and knows why even if we don't know why.   I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. 

You don't always remember what you see, but you can always remember how you felt or feel.   That is what kept me coming back on the right path, were because of the feelings I felt from the Holy Ghost.   He's vital to our salvation.

I love you all more than you know.

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

Ps- we had our training meeting in the Kirtland temple this week. :)  It was pretty amazing.

"Repentance diminishes the distance between you and God."

Monday, March 3, 2014

Take Our Spiritual Medicine

Hi Family :)

This week was just great. We had a ton of miracles and the most "other" lessons that we have had in a long time.  I was happy. 

Firstly, Bob.  I don't know what is going on...  haven't heard from him and he wont talk to us or anyone in the ward.   Please keep him in your prayers. 

We went on exchanges this week.  I went with the brand new sisters to their area. One sister, she was a little nervous, but she did great. :)  A lot of their appointments fell through, but we had some great service moments.  We went to a soup kitchen and we met a lot of really great people.  One lady said her son was Mormon and she just wanted to keep talking to us.   She said she loves the missionaries.   We made friends with these teenage boys and ended up giving them a card before we left.   I gave a Historic Kirtland card to a boy and told him that he should go to Kirtland. I said, "Did you know God and Jesus Christ appeared there?"   His eyes got huge and he said..."did you see them?"  I said that there are testimonies of men who did see them and I have felt it.   I told him that when we are there, we can feel that they left their love there and I told him that it would change his life.  He said, "did it change yours?" I said, "yes."  He said, "I really want to go there."  He said it in the most calm and sincere voice.   Wow.   I loved talking to him.  The spirit testifies to these people that it's true and that it did happen, they did appear. 

We also went to this ladies house...  Her name is awesome; "Jancousky", sounds like, Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc.  haha.  I kept saying that over and over. she looked at me and screamed really loud when I first walked in the door, "HOLY SMOKES! WHO ARE YOU?"  I told her I was just there for the day and she told me that she used to run a model agency and said I should model and stuff.   She made me feel good the whole time I was there.  Some of the things that she said were hilarious and not true. 

We met with a girl named Latasha before and her family... they were never home when they said that they would be home.   But the other night our appointment fell through and the thought came that we should stop by Latasha and she wasn't even on our back-up's.  But we went... and she answered the door and told us to come in.   She said she was praying all day for the Lord to help her and then we came to the door.   She said it was an answer to her prayers.   She told us that she was going to break up with her boyfriend because he doesn't want to support their little family (they have a cute baby Lanaiya).   She is overwhelmed with all the things that she needs to do and she said she needs God more than ever right now.   We met the boyfriend and he kinda scared me.   His pants for one were all the way down to his knees.   Not sure how he walks.   Anyways, it was so cute... Latasha said, "one second, let me go get my Bible."  She came back and she had a Book of Mormon.   She told us that she started from the beginning and she loved it so much.   She said, "So what time does your church start because I am coming."   We are seeing her again tonight.   She is sooooo cute. 

So everyone keeps telling me that I talk in my sleep.   When the other sisters come over, they all try to talk to me.   Not nice. ha ha.   I actually woke up in the middle of the night this week and I was laughing out loud.   I think something funny happened in my dream... I could not stop laughing.  I looked around to see if anyone was awake and then I went back to sleep.   Yea, totally normal.

We met a wonderful lady Virginia this week who let us right into her home!   She was really sweet... she thought we were someone else coming into her home, but no worries, we taught her about the Restoration.

I also was going to sing in the Kirtland temple... but decided not to.   My voice is not the same when I don't practice... :/  I am singing with Sister Wygant at transfers, but I don't really care for the song.   It's by Brett Stewart.   It's just very "choiry".   It just doesn't fit my voice, oh well. :)

You know when people get a heart transplant, the doctors take out the heart and put a new heart from an another person and stitch it in?   The body doesn't know the new heart and thinks of it as "foreign object" and so the body rejects and attacks the new heart.   In order to stop this from happening, the patient has to take medicine.   They have to take it every day and take it with exactness, so that they will be safe.   Some people become casual and say, "oh I feel great, I don't need to take my meds anymore."  But that is putting them in harms way and they can have a shorter life span. 

The conditions of the heart need to be monitored.   Now think, What is the condition of your heart right now?

Just like we can physically receive a new heart, we can spiritually receive one as well.   The Lord can give us a new heart.   The tendency of the natural man is to reject the spiritually changed heart. 

It's so easy to say, "I feel good." or "I don't need to read my scriptures and pray everyday".   When we become casual like that, we are putting ourselves spiritually in danger.   Not only are our mortal years at stake, like with the physical heart, but our eternal years are at stake. 

I know I did this all the time before the mission and still sometimes on the mission, where I become "casual" in taking my "spiritual medicine".  It's so easy to go through the motions or even go through our busy days without stopping to feed ourselves spiritually. 

Satan really, really wants us to become casual.  I have felt that so much as a missionary.  I can tell that he really works on missionaries.  I am tired of him working on me... but I just know that I need to continue to take my daily spiritual medicine, so that I can become stronger.  We need to maintain faith in Jesus Christ by praying, studying, partaking of the Sacrament and having the Holy Ghost with us.  It's easy to become casual.   Remember to always fight off the natural man.   Take your medicine every day, okay?   Okie dokie?  :)

I love you dad, mom, kory, kolton, kaden, kierra and Kobe. 

Sister Kelsi Denae