Monday, May 26, 2014


Well, this has been the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE!  Where do I even start?  I have no idea... this was the most inspiring week of my life.  My FAVORITEweek of the whole mission.  Sister Newren and I were saying, "there is no way we can tell everything." Good news.... I wrote in my journal a few pages so I will be able to remember the little details.   Sorry if this is the longest email.... it will be good, I promise.

Okay, for starters. We took some great tours this week.  On Tuesday we took a mission president who just released, 2 BYU professors and my singles ward stake president from Provo!  It was so funny... because when I saw him and his wife, they looked SO familiar.  I was thinking that maybe she was on the general board of the church or something, but we started chit chatting and come to find out, I met with his wife a few Sunday mornings when I was the temple Prep teacher with the other temple prep teachers from the other wards.  It was so fun to see them, they were really so sweet.  Then I had to take a tour all by myself in Kirtland because there weren't enough sisters and it was a mission president who was just released.  I was so tired after that..  they had over 700 people here yesterday.  It's now SUMMER!

Because we have a shortage of sisters and we kinda set the schedule... we put ourselves at the JOHNSON HOME on Saturday! They needed a set of sisters and usually we wouldn't be allowed because we are too far, but we were going there that night with Jason for a fireside, so they let us take the bus tours!  It was the 2nd best day of my life this last week.   The youth were so cute.. the girls were saying, "can I hug you?"  "Can I take a picture with you?"  "I want to serve a mission now."  I LOVE taking youth groups and again there were so many people that I had take the tour by myself, but Sister Newren joined me on the last one (she went with Sister Smith because they both are learning) and she walked in right when I was telling a joke and lying to the tour... she told everyone not to believe me... ha ha.  I love teasing all the people. 

Okay, the next best thing.  Jason came to the fireside.  Guess who the fireside was with?  That's right.  Brother and Sister Dalton. The recently released General Young Woman's President.  Who did I hang out for 2 days with this week?  Sister Dalton.  No big deal. Ok, just kidding.  Not really 2 full days, but we chatted a ton, then we went and listened to them speak in Kirtland and then chatted again at the Johnson home and then after the fireside in Hiram.  Jennie Best was with her... we almost got a picture, but my companion said no because she didn't hear Jennie right. ha ha.  Oh well.  But Jason connected SO well with them.  Sister Newren and I kinda started dozing off in Brother Dalton's talk... he just has a soft voice, but Jason was so in tune!  We were so grateful. Jason said he felt as though they were talking to him. 

We introduced Jason to the Stake President.  The Stake President said, "why aren't you getting baptized, you are denying yourself blessings?"  He was way blunt and stern.  Elder Sorenson did the same thing.  Then Sister Dalton did the same thing and Brother Dalton started talking to Jason about the organization of the church and how wonderful it is!  He didn't even know that that was Jason's issue.   Then he told Jason he could bore him forever and Jason said, "probably not, you are a really good speaker." That was huge coming from Jason... he really wanted to meet this guy and Jason hates people.  The other thing is that both talks were on making covenants and receiving the Holy Ghost.  Jason is getting baptized now.  Finally.... he is praying about a date.  We told him that Lake Erie frozen over is not acceptable.  He's stubborn. 

Susan knows it's all true, has read Book of Mormon 3 times and wants to be baptized, Alexandria, Kayla and Jason are all progressing very well.  I love seeing results :)  We also had a great training meeting and we had an idea to report numbers at sites, so we are now in charge of that as well.

Another thing I can't forget is laughing.  I have never laughed so hard... Sister Newren and I have our lives planned out.  I am moving into her house in January by the way. :)  We are creating a work out studio when we get home.  It was so funny.  I grabbed the mustaches that you sent me and I put one on and we went to all the senior houses and said, "my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die." ha ha ha.  They thought it was hilarious.  Sister Newren taped me.... it was so funny.  We just like to be weird together.

Okay....... drum roll.... Elder Holland.  We were at the visitors center waiting for him to come and when he came, we were on our knees over the balcony eaves dropping on him talking to everyone downstairs.  Elder Sorenson called us while we were being sneaky and said, "Go now."  That meant that we needed to run to Elder Sorenson's house.  So by this time as we were quickly walking to his house, we were both saying, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe."  We were so nervous and then we saw a shadow and boom he walked in.  He said, "it's the musicians."  I walked up and shook his hand and then Elder Hallstrom was right behind him.. Elder Sorenson told him that we were going to sing before they ate. 

At this point.... I have never been so nervous in my life.  So selfish.  Elder Holland said, "wait before you start, where are you from.?  We told him and he said he knows right where Aliso Viejo is, and then we started.  I really tried hard to think of the words... my voice was a little shaky at the beginning. The General Authorities sat and listened.... you can see in the picture I send (sneaky Elder Sorenson).  The spirit was really so strong... I couldn't look at Elder Holland, but I looked at the others.  When we finished, he said, "wow, that was perfect.  Just like you two."  (We were told that we were perfect from an apostle!)  Then he got up and shook our hands and said, "aren't you glad that you listened to your mom and practiced?"  He said it was beautiful and then Elder Seldon (area 70) said, "you just set the tone for the entire day, thank you."  They said some other really nice things... as I was leaving I shook his hand again... he is beautiful and just such a wonderful person and very humorous.

Then we get to the meeting with the missionaries.  He remembered me as I shook his hand again and said, "hello again, thank you so much for singing again."   Elder Hallstrom said that as well and then Elder Seldon grabbed my arm and said, "thank you so much."  Sister Newren and I aren't allowed to tell anyone in Ohio about this experience, so we just felt so special.  We felt as though we were best friends with him by the end of the day. haha  He looked us in the eye so much during the meeting and even spit on us.  He got worked up ha ha.  He is so wonderful!  We learned so much from him.... this is way long, so maybe I will share what I learned next week, but as he was leaving... he said, "I love you. Now get to work." and he quickly walked out of the room.  I was crying... I don't even know why, but I just loved him and it was just powerful.  It was as if the Savior was saying that he loved me.

I will quickly tell you a story that Elder Hallstrom told us.  He said that he was working with President Kimball and he said one day President Kimball grabbed Elder Hallstrom by his collar and pulled him down to eye-level and kissed Elder Hallstrom's cheek. Then he told him he loved him.  Elder Hallstrom started walking away and he told him to come back.  He grabbed him by his collar again and kissed his other cheek and told him he loved him again.  Elder Hollstrom said that he had just recently purchased the biography of President Kimball.  He said he had the biggest desire to read it at that moment and he ran home as quick as he could to find it and read it.  He said... "why did this happen?"  "Because I knew he loved me and I loved him." 

Now, it is the same with our Savior Jesus Christ.  We know that he loves us.  We love him... so why don't I have a stronger desire to constantly be reading his bio?  The Scriptures are His biography.   He really loves us so much... I will definitely be reading and studying the scriptures even more.  I love my Savior and I know He loves me.

I love you, I love you.

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

Monday, May 19, 2014


Okay I have the biggest news of my life to tell you.  But, I will tell you about my week first. 

The Zoo last p-day was so fun.  It started down pouring and we were soaked and the elephants were super lovey dovey.... don't worry, I got it all on video. :)

It was great and great.  Jahred came to church.  It was soooo cute!  He asked if he could take 2 friends, so these "cool" 7th graders came.  They didn't want to stay for all of it, but they liked it, so they stayed for all three hours.  Everyone said they participated in class and they invited them to play basketball on Tuesday night.  The ward was excited.  Before Jahred left... he was doing back flips off the stage and he grabbed a baby and put the baby on this tall things and said, "jump!"  I felt like his mom... saying, Jahred... what on earth are you doing? haha   He was acting too cool for school with his friends yesterday.

We had 8 non-members at church yesterday. 9 including the Elder's investigator.  There is a lady who wants us to teach her boyfriend and so we said, BRING HIM and she brought him to church.  Then Alexandria, Kayla, Kevin and Kaden came.  Then Jahred and his two friends.  It was fun... and the Elder's investigator.  Sister Pickett also came!  She is starting to come now :)  We were SO happy to see her.  During sacrament meeting, we changed seats 3 times because everyone kept wanting our attention.  It was funny... just a crazy Sunday and so much to do. 

We had another meeting with President Vellinga and our stake President, President Haymond.  It wasn't as scary this time. There is always a little bit of arguing in those meetings... and I think I started one.  Just a lot of different opinions... :)

Funny story.... we went to an appointment with Jason.  He is doing good.  It was great to finally see him.  He is going to a fireside on Saturday with Sister Dalton and I am taking him, Sister Newren and the Taft's on a tour of the Johnson home.  None of them have been there :) It will be SO fun!  After Jason's we were running a little late... like 15 minutes.  Sister Newren put in the GPS "go home."  Well... I have a "Kirtland home" and a "go home."  We were in a different side of town, so we thought that is why it looked different, but nope.  We finally passed a sign saying, "Barrington Apartments!"  That is my old apartment in Hiram!  I was screaming.... ha ha. I was like, "we are in Aurora!" 45-50 min away from Kirtland :)  It was so funny, we were going to be so late for curfew.  Elder Gubler will probably be calling us for sure... then we were REALLY hungry so we stopped to eat at 10 pm. Ha just kidding.   We definitely would get in so much trouble... it was a good night.

Jason Mitchell from Salt Lake came and trained us for 2 mornings. He left and said tat there was nothing that we needed to do better. He said... "it doesn't seem like a group of missionaries here, it seems more like a family." It made me happy. We really are all so close in Kirtland. 

We had Zone Conference right after... we did a musical number.  An elder who played the violin has a twin who serves with Kory. Elder Taylor... So he played the violin, Sis Spong played the flute, Elders Toolson, Gates (who was sick), me and Newren sang and Elder Carr played the piano.  It was a disaster... When you don't have time to practice.... it really doesn't sound well.  The out of tune sounds are still in my ears.... we were going to just not do it, but everyone wanted the opportunity to be a part of it so badly.... 

Anywho...Sister Vellinga made a new packet for the mission.  She made a comment at the pulpit saying, "Kirtland bootcamp won't be around forever.... one day someone will have to go home."  Then everyone looked at me.  I have forever still, I don't know what they were talkin' about. 

I was reading in Ether and we can learn SO much.  In chapter 2 he learns how he needs to build the boat, then the Lord verse 16 & 17 he describes how they build the boat and that they made in tight like unto a dish.  In verse 19 he expresses that they can't breathe, so the Lord immediately tells him to make a hole in the top and also in the bottom. (he received instantaneous revelation-rare). Then Jared tells the Lord... we can't see, how are we going to see to get across the great waters and the Lord basically says, well what do you want me to do about it? ... Elder Hales talked about how this is a pattern and we should use it constantly if we want to see miracles in our lives.  In chapter 3 verses 1-6, we learn that he works hard, climbs a mountain and did molten out of a rock 16 small stones... that would not be easy.  Then in verse 2 he expresses humility and the inability to solve this problem that they are having.  He then explains his reason for petition, bears testimony and the Lord in verse 6 touched the stones and they became light... the Lord also was willing to grant even more blessings and showed Jared his finger. 

Now think, what is something that you want the Lord to light in your life?  Jared was doing EVERYTHING he could.  The answer to his prayer did not come quickly.  He had to put as much effort as he could, humble himself and then the Lord showed him more. It is such a perfect example and we can learn from Jared. ready for the news????   I am "on-call" this Wednesday morning, between 10:30-12 to go to Elder Sorenson's home. Sister Newren and I will walk in.... with Elder and Sister Sorenson, Elder Seldon (area 70), Elder Hallstrom (just spoke at conference) and ELDER HOLLAND.  Then Sister Newren will start playing the piano and I will sing... then we take a picture and then leave. WHAT?!  I might not be online next week. I might be dead.  That is the scariest thing of my life.  It's only a couple people in a tiny room.... Elder Sorenson really did set it up and he said, "you are not going to turn down a once in a lifetime opportunity are you?"  Oh man........ who gets to privately sing to 3 general authorities?  I don't know....we are both so scared. 

Anywho, I loooovveeee being a missionary.  We shall see how this week goes!  I love you all!  Go to heaven!!!

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

Sorry so long!

Monday, May 12, 2014



So...since I talked to you yesterday, this is going to be brief.  We had another busy week.  It's been fun! We are going to the Zoo today, and I have never in my life been so excited to go to the Zoo. :)
We made Mother's Day cards for all the Senior missionaries and some less-actives.  It was really good. Sister Frazier said that she is going to frame the card that we gave her.  It was so very cute :)  We love her so much.
We had Mission Leadership Counsel this last week.  It was probably my favorite mission leadership counsel.  When we ended... we sang our mission song.  I will attach it on the e-mail.  Listen to it.  After we finished singing it, it was silent and he said. "I consider you equal to Helaman's Army.  You are all amazing." It was so powerful.... I am excited for you to listen to the song we sing ALL the time.
We have a solid new investigator named Susan!  She has read the Book of Mormon 3 times and is reading the Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants and Joseph Smith history. Story... She met with missionaries 4 years ago... right when she started meeting with the missionaries, she got really sick and has had 16 surgeries and a ton of other issues.  She is JUST starting to feel better and willing to meet with us.  Last Monday night, we scheduled a time to meet with her on Thursday.  We show up Thursday and she was back laying on the couch.  I was like...oh no....what is wrong?  She had mentioned that every time she meets with the missionaries, she ALWAYS gets sick.  Turns out... right after we left her house, she broke her foot!  Good news, she is still willing to meet with us :)  She is awesome.  She knows it is all true already... then she said she would want to get baptized.  Alexandria and Kayla also know it's true.  They are getting baptized on June 27th... I love this ward/area so much.
Well, I have to run....the gospel is TRUE!  I love being a missionary.  It was fun talking yesterday... Mom, I hope you had a great rest of your Mother's Day yesterday.  Have a wonderful week.

Love always,

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

Ps- this week and next week are going to be AMAZING!  Training from Salt Lake, Zone Conference andnndndndndnd ELDER HOLLAND!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Singing for Elder Holland???


Well, it was transfers again.  I now am with Sister Newren.  She is the cutest.  We get along really really well.  She is from Utah, she has a beautiful voice, she's tall and has curly hair.  Oh and she wants to be a midwife.  She is probably the most humble person I have ever met... I hope I can learn from her a ton about humility.

President Vellinga really is the best speaker.  He told us this amazing story at transfers... he said his brother went on his mission to Holland.  He baptized 1 person.  That 1 person had a friend that he shared the gospel with and now his family are all members of the church.  In Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago, President Vellinga's brother saw a sister missionary.  He asked her where she was from and she told him that she was from Holland.  He told her that his brother served his mission there.  She asked what his brothers last name was and he said... "Vellinga.."  She said, "That is my new mission President's name!"   We go to transfers and she had just arrived.  President Vellinga said.... "my brother just saw one of the fruits from his labors a long time ago."  Now she is on a mission because of President's brother serving a mission and baptizing that one person.  How amazing is that??

It's so important that "we do something more that just dream of our mansions above."  President always says, "Do something.  Go to heaven."  And help others get to heaven.

So we have less and less time in our area now.  We decided one day this week to conquer as much as we could.  We planned 10 lessons in one day.  The goal for the whole mission (without sites) is 20 lessons a week.  We reached 9... and by the time we got home, we were so dead.  We saw a miracle that day... we have a new investigator, because the sisters left and she has a baptismal date.  I taught her a while ago on exchanges, but we wanted to just see where she is and what was holding her back.  A miracle happened and she said that she might want to get baptized sooner (she was thinking July) and now she thinks she could be ready.  Her daughter Kayla also wants so badly to get baptized, but she is just waiting for her mom.  She kept saying in the lesson, " I believe, I believe, I'm ready to get baptized."

SO many less-actives came to church on Sunday.  It was very unusual.  I don't think any of them had been there since I have been in this area... Sister Frazier (my favorite) came, the Roberto's (we are teaching their son so he can get baptized) stayed all 3 hours, the Holdaway's and the Avery's.  BUT none of our investigators came.  No Carmella, Tina, Jason, Laura, Alexandria, Jahred, Kayla... so we will get them there next week. 

We were actually in missionary coordination meeting yesterday and they said, "so where are you going to skype home?"  We were like, "for what?"   We kinda already have appointments scheduled the whole day.... and I have no idea when we are going to Skype on Mother's Day.  We both forgot... we just have a lot to do and so little time!  So we were thinking during studies which is 9 o'clock our time :)  Is that too early?

I have to tell you 2 more things I just remembered!!  Remember Gaey or possibly named Gary????  Sister Wygant and I stopped by and I asked him if he was gaey...well, I thought I ruined it.  The elders talked to us the other day and said they were teaching 2 guys in our area and we said it was fine... blah blah... and did not connect the dots!  They are teaching the same Gary!  His name isn't gaey and I didn't ruin it. haha

.. well you know how elder Holland is coming?  The AP's text and asked if I could sing with another elder and sister... we were thinking it was for transfers and I said, "I can, but maybe you can give someone else the opportunity because I have sang a lot the last little bit..."  He said. "Ok" without telling us what it was for.  Turns out, I'm really smart.  I turned down singing for ELDER HOLLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was almost in tears.  Elder Sorenson made me call them back.... so I did and nothing could be done. Elder Sorenson said  that he is having a private lunch with Elder Holland at his house and he said, "you are singing."  I said, "um no way".  I am not singing a solo for Elder Holland... no way jose.  Sister Sorenson thinks it's a great idea.... they are totally serious.  I am too hah.  I was nervous and red faced just thinking about it.  

Our investigator is having an issue with the prophet seeing God.  Elder Sorenson is smart and has worked with general authorities his whole life.. We asked Elder Sorenson if anything was really documented of that.  He told us a story.... he said it was while he was on his mission and some of elders were having a meeting with Howard W. Hunter.  They were recording him as he spoke.  Well, Howard W. Hunter told them all that he felt impressed to tell them about an experience that he had.  He asked everyone to turn off the recorders.  Then he said, "Are they all off?"  The missionaries did not turn off the recorders... they ran home to show some other Elders... they turned on the tape player... and you hear, "Are they all off?"  Then a long pause...... then you hear, "ok now you can turn it back on."  It did not record what he had said.  Howard W. Hunter told them of an experience that he had with the Savior.  It really was sacred... and something not to be shared. 

I know without a doubt that the Savior lives.  So does Heavenly Father.  They are so involved in our lives. 

Love you!!!

Sister Kelsi Denae Johnson

ps~ my companion is attatching my, so here is hers :)

pss~ Ya'll need to have a page! 

pss~ Listen to Elder Ballard's talk from last night at the CES devotional.  Amazing.