Monday, June 2, 2014

This IS Real Life

Hello, hello!

Well, I am so excited it is p-day.  I don't know what is wrong, but I was soooo tired this week.  I kept falling asleep everywhere.  We didn't eat too well, so maybe that was why.  It will be nice to eat what I want one day... we get fed so much in our ward. 

This week was great though.  I went to the Johnson Home for the last time on my mission... we took Jason there since he didn't get his tour last week.   He really is so close to getting baptized. We prayed with him before we started the tour and I know that really helped.  It invited the spirit immediately.  He didn't talk too much, but he said that he was taking everything in.  I kept asking questions to try and open him up... he said he felt really good though and we said, that is the spirit and he just smiled. :)  We are taking him on tour in Kirtland next Tuesday and now he is really excited to go. 

We also took other special tours this week... there were these boys who came on tour from all over Utah.  You could kinda tell that their moms made them come on the trip, so that they would consider going on a mission.  We started the tour at the Sawmill and Ashery... they were not listening to anything we said and just joking around.  Well, by the time we got to the Whitney Store, they were still hyper and I was pretty blunt with them and told them that this could be a special experience for them, but only if they wanted it to be and I bore testimony.  They all got really quiet and by the end of the tour...  they were sharing their testimonies and some were even crying and sharing their experiences.  It was amazing to see how the spirit can work with people.
Another tour we took came up to me and said, "Your parents would be proud." and he started to choke up... it made me feel really special...

We went on exchanges this week.  We were supposed to go on 2 exchanges, but I really wasn't feeling well one day and we had to cancel.  I felt so bad... :(  On exchanges we went to Uma's house.  She is from Thailand and she is just the CUTEST!  We got there to do service because they just moved into their new home, but she said, "in just a minute we will do service because I am hungry".  So we taught a lesson and then she has a friend who is a chef from Indonesia who was cooking us food!  We had 2 giant dinners.... It was so weird because their dessert was a red bean pancake.  They don't use jelly and stuff because it's too sugary. No wonder they stay so thin.  But they sure eat a lot... we felt so sick.  We are going back tonight- her husband is a non-member and wants to take the discussions and get baptized.  It's wonderful.  Hopefully they wont feed us, but I bet they will!  They are too cute.

We seriously have so many cultures around us.  We go to Kirtland and it's all Utah and Mormon people, then we go to our area and we are the only white people.  It's the best of both worlds for sure!

Okay, continuing with Elder Holland.. did I tell you I cried when I was singing?  I was really embarrassed....  I really learned so much from him and I have been sharing my experience with everyone all week. (except for the singing, because I can't tell anyone in Ohio).  All of my notes are pretty much quotes.  I could put almost everything that he said and frame it. 

He said that they have a huge fear that missionaries are going to get home from their missions and He raised his voice quite loud and said, "Don't you EVER leave this church.  DON'T leave us.  How are we supposed to find the sheep when we are looking for the shepherds?  You can never go, not in my lifetime, you CANNOT run and you CANNOT hide.  Clint Eastwood is baby talk.  If you are hiding down a dark alley, don't you worry, I will come and I will FIND YOU!"  He was pointing his fingers and very serious. He told us to stretch to the very end, to the last moment.

He told us that he has a friend from high school who won 4 Gold Metals in the Olympics.  Elder Holland said that he went and asked him what is trick was and his friend replied, "It means I kick when I don't want to kick and I stroke when I don't want to stroke."

Elder Holland said that, that is how we should always be in life.  He said, "There may be a struggle or 2 but welcome to the mission, welcome to life."  "Don't say, 'when I get home from the mission and be in real life... This is the CLOSEST we are going to come to REAL LIFE, with a capital R and a capital L.  Understand that."

He said that salvation is not easy and we need to come home from our missions SO powerful that the little kids in the front row have their eyes wide open.

He said to think about this... "we are God's investigators.  Just like you want your investigators to be praying more sincerely... are you praying sincerely?  Just like you want your investigators to come to church with a question and read to learn, do you come to church with a question and ready to learn?   Just like you want your investigators to read the Book of Mormon with real intent, are you?" 

This all really opened my mind.  I told us that as missionaries, we are apostolic.  I do what the apostles do.  Their mission is for their life, mine is only for 18 months.  He told us to savor it all.  He said that he has looked back on his mission for the last 50 something years and we will too, so do all that we can.

One more thing.... Elder Holland said he prays for the 2nd coming every night.  I thought that was interesting.  I am going to start doing that as well.  We live in a corrupt world, but I know we will make it to the end if we work as hard as we can to the very end. if we "kick when we don't want to kick and stroke when we don't want to stroke."

I love this gospel.

Sister Johnson

Ps- I forgot to say I went to the Morley Farm as well this week.   It was my first time.... and they said, "It's just like the Sacred Grove and it was a Sacred Grove like experience."  We invited Karl Anderson for our training meeting to come and speak there.

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