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Monday, December 30, 2013

P-days...

HOLA!!!

Como estan?! It was soooo awesome to talk to everyone this last week! It felt like I was home as soon as I started talking, but then when I hung up it just felt like a dream...that part wasn't quite as cool. But it was so good to meet all the new folk in the family!! Everyone looks so good and I miss you all!

So you know how Satan always tries to take something good and make it into something bad? Haha, well he seems to always be able to do that on P-days! Haha, last night we were trying to listen to some voicemails and all of a sudden our phone just turned off...all the way off!! And we couldn't turn it off! I don't know how many of you have tried to be missionaries in this day and age without a phone, but it is pretty hard. So through using other people's phones we were finally able to get a hold of some missionaries who told us we should just go to the mission office the next day (today) and bring them the phone so they could get us a new one. So we did that. But as we got it our car to leave, our car wouldn't start! HAHA!! We tried it a bunch of times and finally got it to start, so then we were off to the mission office. So we get there and we call the phone people and apparantly they just changed the whole system of how everything works, so we had to figure that out and it took, guess how long.....yup, 3 1/2 hours!! Oh, man it was super funny. We actually had a great time, it just took up our whole P-day, but what do you expect! Oh and we are going in tomorrow to check up on our car, haha it was such a funny day.

Oh one story that I forgot to tell you on Christmas. I ATE A BUG!!!! A real life leaf bug, taken straight from Mexico. Aparantly people eat them there all the time, they sell them like they sell candy just in little bags. SO GROSS!! So Hna Bullough dared me to eat one a couple weeks ago and I said I would if she would. So we spent like 20 minutes trying to prepare ourselves to eat this bug, it was hilarious! We actually have the whole thing on camara, its probably too big to send though so you'll have to see it when I get home. Anyways, so yesterday we are back at that same families house and she tells us that she made a new salsa and she wanted to know if we liked it. So we are eating and enjoying ourselves, and then we started talking about how we ate those bugs. She just starts laughing histarically and tells us that we are eating them again and that they were in the salsa!! I lost my appetite. I smelled the salsa and it smelled sooooo gross! It was super funny though.

Anyways, sorry I didn't have much time. The missionary work is still going super well here. I absolutely love the members and this area! Benito is progressing a ton but is having a hard time coming to church so pray for that to happen!! I love you all! Feliz ano nuevo!!

Hermana Johnson

Monday, December 23, 2013

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!!!!

HOLA!!!!

I can't believe its almost Christmas, this is crazy!! This past week was super fun. We had an awesome Christmas party in our ward, we had a super good final Christmas concert thingy for choir, we had a mission christmas party with all the missionaries in the mission, and we almost got attacked by cayotes!! It was a very full week!! Haha, maybe I'll tell you the cayote story when I talk to you in 2 days. But it was a very full week and we still taught 23 lessons. Oh yeah, we also went on 2 exchanges this week. Sheesh. But some great things happened! First, I'll start with the bad news....Antonia did not get baptized this week. BUT, I actually think it was what needed to happen. She isn't ready, and doesn't really understand what she is doing at this point. Her husbands family came into town (all of them are against her getting baptized) and so she didn't want to do it while they were here. But we had a very spiritual lesson with her and I feel like if she will let us meet with her more often then we will be able to help her be ready to be baptized in January.

But the good news! I don't remember if I ever told you about Glen. He is a referral that is soooo awesome! He wants to get baptized!! He reads everytime we teach him and he asked us to help him apply for a new job so that he can come to church on Sundays. SOOOO awesome! So pray for him that he will be able to find that. Benito is doing well, he came to our Christmas party and he really liked it so that was awesome.
We also found this other family. Christian, and his familly....that's embarrasing I can't remember the rest of the names....but they are sweet! They invited us over to eat with them tomorrow night for Christmas eve so that will be way fun! He has a lot of really good questions. He is Catholic, but not practicing, believes in God but just doesn't understand things super well. And is 8 year old daughter is full of questions as well. We are super excited to start teaching them.

Anyways, all of the parties were super fun! You should be getting a recording of some of the stuff that our choir has done, it won't be as good as being there in person, but it is still pretty cool. :)

I love you all and I hope that you have a suuuuuper amazing Christmas and I will talk to you in a couple days!!

Love,
Hermana johnson

Monday, December 16, 2013

The spirit of Music

This week was yet another crazy one. We were sooooooo busy, trying to balance 2 wards and choir. But there were a couple really amazing highlights! First of all, Antonia's baptism got moved to the 22nd, this Sunday. Please pray for her!!!!!! She has committed to stop drinking coffee but it will be something hard for her because she has grown up with it her whole life. We weren't able to see Benito this week, which was really sad and we are a little worried about him. So prayers for him would be awesome as well.

This week was had the awesome opportunity to participate in some really awesome things for choir. Yesterday in the morning I got to go and sing in an octet up in Newport for a Sacrament meeting and it went really well. Then the whole choir went and sang in the YSA San Clemente Singles ward.....my old ward!!!!!!!! I was sooooo excited you have no idea. Shannon was there, Hermana Garner was there (she just happens to be visiting right now), Nick was there and he gave an amazing talk, Tabby was there (she is going on a mission!!!), Missy, BreAnn, Steve Hazy, you guys don't even know who most of these people are but I almost cried I was so excited. And the spirit was SOOOOOO strong there! People were in tears, it was probably one of the times I have felt the spirit the stongest on my mission. Then that night we had the opportunity to sing in an interfaith Christmas concert. It was also amazing. There was a TON of people there, it was at one of our Stake Centers and it is was completely full to the back. It was cool cause we did a flash mob. We had one person sitting in crowd all of a sudden stand up and start singing Joy to the World and then more people joined him, and then our whole choir, 80 people, started pouring in from all the doors and we all lined up in the front and finished singing the song, it was super cool. We shook the whole building, again there were people in tears. Afterwards everyone came up to us and told us that we touched them so powerfully, that we were a defining point in their life, that they have never in their life heard something so moveing as to hear 80 missionaries sing with the power of God, and they said that we were way better than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir....sorry mom :) But seriously, yesterday was possibly one of the best memories of my mission so far. Oh and Tino came as well, that was really cool.

Oh, speaking of Tino....we dropped him. :( I have full faith that he will get baptized one day. He still came to church and that choir thing, and we will still be in contact with him. But we felt very strongly that as long as we kept teaching him, we were holding him back from receiving his answer. It was really sad though, I thought he was going to cry. We have been teaching him since my companion Hermana Johnson started her mission...like 5 months ago. So it was time.

Anyways, I love you all! I can't believe it is almost Christmas, this has been the fastest 9 months of my life!

Pray for Antonia, and I will be praying for all of you, I love you! Les quiero!
Hermana Johnson

Monday, December 9, 2013

Caroling, Caroling

HOLA!!!!

This week was full of events for Choir and we have a whole bunch coming up throughout the rest of December. It has been a really cool experience to be a part of it during the Christmas season because we have been able to bring the spirit really strongly and a couple people have been able to pick up investigators from it even! We sang during sacrament meeting yesterday and the spirit was soooo strong, I loved it.

So we had some awesome lessons with Benito this week!! We moved his baptismal date to December 28th so everyone pray that he will be able to make it! He is doing really well, he likes meeting with us, he just needs to receive an answer that he can recognize that this is the true church. Also Antonia is set to get baptized next Sunday, but she has been reeeeally hard to find at home and to teach so we haven't been able to teach her all the lessons or make sure she is prepared or anything. But she comes to church every week still, so pray for her too!!

This week we also found Juan Carlos again. He is a less-active that we found in a Window a long time ago but then lost contact with afterwards because he couldn't pay his phone bill. But we found him and he has been struggling a ton and has a super hard life. He has strong desires to come back to church though, so we just need to help him be able to get work off so that he can come to church next week!

I wish I had more time to talk, but time was short today! I just want to let you all know how much I love this gospel and how much I have seen the blessings of it in my life. I LOVE my companions and I love being out here on a mission. I am learning a ton about myself and about who I want to be and the steps that I need to take to get there. I challenge each of you to ask God who he knows who will become and what you need to do right now to start the process of becoming that person. I have a testimony of this gospel, of God's love for me, and for the joy that comes through endless service and positive thoughts and actions towards others. I hope that everyone has a great week and is enjoying this Christmas season as much as I am! (We've gone caroling like 3 times already...way fun!)

Les quiero y que Dios les bendiga!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Johnson

Monday, December 2, 2013

MI HIJA!!

HOLA!!!!

This week was great!! We got a kid, and she is AMAZING!!! Her name is Hermana (Sara) Bullough and you'll never guess where she lives.....yeah, OREM, UT!!!! She lives right off of 2000 and grew up in Justin's ward. Crazy. Justin, you know her!! So it has been crazy because we have so many connections from people that we know and even our personality and stuff. Actually she really reminds me of Michelle. But yeah, it has been super fun. She was the perfect personality and person to come into our companionship, we all get along really well.

Thanksgiving!! Thanksgiving was fun, we went over to our Peruvian member's house and ate there. I was really excited to have a Peruvian Thanksgiving, except when I got there I realized that Thanksgiving is an American holiday and that it is the time for all the hispanics to eat American food. So with a couple small exceptions we had a normal Thanksgiving dinner, haha :) It's ok though because I like Thanksgiving dinner.
This week went by like a blur, I can't even think about what happened. I am really excited for this transfer, I think our companionship is going to work really hard. I told you that Antonia is getting baptized on December 15th right? WAHOO!!!! Please pray for her to make that date and that her family will be ok with it and everything!
I love you all, sorry for the short letter...we ran out of time today :)
Les quiero!!!
Hermana Johnson

Monday, November 25, 2013

WHAT THE?

Man, so this week has been crazy, to say the least. Suuuuper good, not so good, and everything in between. Mostly really good though. So we had 2 amazing miracles this week! I think last week I talked about some miracles that happened when we received some member referrals. Well, both of them are super awesome! One of them, Benito, is really interested in learning about religion and his member friend is super awesome! He accepted the idea of getting baptized and that all of this might be true, so we are excited to see him progress. The other one, Antonia, has been an investigator of the elders. When we went over there we taught her the plan of salvation and when we invited her to be baptized it was just like yeah, when can we do it? So awesome!! I really like her a lot, she is super sweet. So we are really excited about these 2 investigators, pray for them to be able to reach their baptismal dates and have strength to get through the trials that they will have!

So transfers are tomorrow!!!! Transfers are always a stressful, but very exciting time, especially in the Irvine mission where we see all the other missionaries in the mission on a very regular basis. But we found out that neither of us are leaving!!!!!!!!! Such a huge relif, I thought I was gone and I was super sad. And we also found out that we are training!! I am suuuuuper excited! We are going to be in a trio again, way fun. :) We also found out yesterday that we are going to be taking on a new ward. There is an English ward in our area that is trying to do an outreach to their Hispanic less-actives that used to go the English ward. They are looking for help doing that and they also want to have sisters in their ward because there are a lot of single women who need support and people to go visit them, so...president has asked us to cover both wards. I am pretty excited about that too because I kind of miss having 2 wards. You ALWAYS have something to do, so its pretty fun.

Hermana Garner went home this week. :( But it was actually super fun, we honestly have the best mission president ever. Because she didn't go home on a transfer she was the only one going home that day. Usually all the people going home go to the mission home and have dinner, spend the night hanging out and then they all go to the airport the next morning. But because there was no one else to do that with, president said that she could invite people. So she invited me and Sister Drinkwater (her companion after me) and we had a sleepover at the mission home. It was sooooo fun!! He even let us take her to the airport the next morning with him, before we went back home. It was sad though because I will really miss her.

Anyways, a ton of changes coming up for the next week! I'm pretty excited. I love this work, I love being a spanish missionary, I love being in the ward I am in, I have made some really close friendships and I will be really sad when the day comes that I have to leave....good thing that isn't for a while :) I love you all, I miss you a ton, and I hope everyone has a super good Thanksgiving holiday!!!

Love,
Hermana Johnson

p.s. FELICITACIONES MAMA!!!!!!!! Estoy muy emocionada y orgullosa de ti !! Caleb sabia que iba a lograrlo!! (make it)


So I actually just remembered 3 more things...

1. On saturday we had a very successful ward thanksgiving party. It was sooo fun! I have a ton of pictures and videos :) As missionaries we put on a play about Alma the younger and how he changed his life, and then we related it to being grateful and missionary work. Everyone LOVED it and there was a ton of non-members there. And then afterward there was a live hispanic band that came and DJed while we ate dinner and afterwards danced. Oh man, it was soooo hard for me not to dance and just be in the middle of the party. :)

2. So we have a mission choir. And it is going reeeally well. We have a lot of performances in the coming weeks because everyone is starting to hear about us and it is Christmas time. But we went to a Methodist church yesterday and sang for a multiple faith thingy and it was awesome! There was a ton of non-members there, obviously, and they were all saying that we sounded like the Tab Choir! Then afterward there was at least one person teaching someone about the first vision and they exchanged contact info and everything. It was soooo fun!

3. We have a mission website page and facebook page! It is irvinemission.org and facebook.com/IrvineMission On these I think there are pictures and other cool info and stuff about the things that go down here in Irvine California :)

Love you all a ton!

Me and Hermana Johnson with Hermana Mosquiera, one of my favorite members. She is from Peru and I think I am going to move there one day and live with her.



The other best member, Hermana Marquina and her daughter Diana



Andrea, the best recent convert. She is sooo adorable and we see her a lot



All of the hermanas in our district. We got super close and so we got a bunch of pictures right before transfers.


 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Un Dios de Amor

HOLA!!!
 
Como estan todos?! Wow, this week was awesome. Actually, it started out a little rough but had a fantastic ending. Something that I learned this week was that God knows what he is doing, and that as long as you trust in him, keep his commandments, and try your hardest to do everything that he has told you to do, then the things that may seem hard right now will pass by and you will realize the reason behind the trials that you have. So my trial wasn't really that hard, but it taught be an important lesson. Over these last couple weeks we pretty much lost every single one of our investigators and we almost dropped Tino as well (the one we have been teaching FOREVER). On Saturday we had nothing to do, that has never happened to me on my mission and I didn't really know how to handle it. I was getting really frustrated. But we had a window of heaven set...man I love those things. I was frustrated though because we got there late and then we couldn't find parking, and we ended up having to walk forever to get to the place we had previously picked out. But like I said, God knows what he is doing. So as we were walking, we stopped and talked to this lady. As soon as we said hi she was like, "Oh, I'm glad you guys stopped by, I was just saying the other day that I needed the Mormon's to stop by cause I have a question for them." So then we talked to her for a super long time. Oh boy is she hilarious. Her name is Ilene (we think, but she was kind of hard to understand). She was a hard-core heroine addict and has since then changed her life. She LOVES the bible and knows it pretty much by heart. She loved talking to us and after explaining what the Book of Mormon was and everything she said that she was going to read it and that we could come back to visit her! She was awesome, it was just what I needed to brighten up my day. If there had of been parking, then we never would have run into her, and she is the person that God needed us to see that day. So sometimes we just need to trust in God even when we don't understand.
 
So that was Saturday. Then that night there was a baptism in our ward from some of the other missionaries. While at the baptism we received 2 member referrals!! One of which we have an appointment set up for this week and he came to church yesterday and to the baptism!! Then on Sunday we had a choir performance in one of the English sacrament meetings (I can never remember what I have written, but just in case I haven't told you...we have an Irvine Mission Choir! It is super fun). After the sacrament meeting was over we were introduced to a hispanic family that had just shown up at church because the husband lost his job and they lost their house and they have been sleeping in their car for the last couple of days. The Relief Society president gave them some food, took them to church and to all the classes, told them a little bit about the gospel, and gave them some money to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights. So we are going to go over to their house tonight and give them some more food and see what we can do for them and see if we can help them find another house and see if they want to keep coming to church! So amazing!!! Then when we were at church we talked to one of the investigators of Elders in our ward and she said that she doesn't like it when they come over because her husband gets mad that there are 3 men coming over to visit his wife. Haha, so...we are going to teach her now! She is super cute, and her name in Antonia. (oh the dad's name in that family is Fernando) And she told her friend (Kimberly's mom Sara-the one who got baptized when I was here) that she wants to get baptized!!! So hopefully we will be able to help her do that.
 
I think that was everything that happened, I don't really know. But it was a crazy ending to the week. I know that God looks out for his children, he answers prayers, and that this church is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary. Transfers are next week and I am praying soooooo hard that I don't leave. I LOVE my area and the people here. They are so humble and so loving. I couldn't ask for more in my life right now. I love you all and I miss you! I hope you have an amazing week!
 
Love,
Hermana Johnson

p.s. These are the people we are teaching right now. Thank you for all your prayers for them!!
  • Tino (our eternigator :D)
  • Antonia (the one who told her friend she wants to get baptized)
  • Benito (a referral from a member. the one we are going to meet on Wednesday)
  • the family- Fernando and Citlali and I don't know the names of the kids)
  • David
  • Sully
  • Fransisco (Jehovah Witness-a member's husband)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Frustrating week

HOLA!!!!

Well I guess every missionary has to have at least one frustrating week in their missions...this would be that week, haha. Ok, it really wasn't that bad, I felt pretty happy most of the week, just a lot of craaaazy stuff happened. Where to start?

Well monday morning (last week) my companion woke up with a super sore neck, then as she was getting ready she sneezed suuper loud, which followed by an immediate, "OU, OU, OU, OU, OUCH!!!!" All of a sudden she couldn't move her neck at all, it was super bad. Really funny, (cause it was a sneeze) but not really that funny at the same time cause she couldn't move :) Fast forward. Wednesday it was pretty bad so the nurse told us to go to the chiropracter the next day. We get there, he was like what the heck did you do?! After a good while there he banned us from missionary work for the next 24 hours. I was like, "WHAT?! Are you joking me?" But he was afraid if she kept moving her neck that she would get a hermiated disk...so we listened :) we canceled everything and went home. To be honest I was annoyed at first, but then I actually really liked it. She didn't cause she had to lay on the floor without any pillows or anything...but I just got to read scriptures for a long time and do all the things you want to do as a missionary, but you just don't have time for. So then the next day we went to the chiropracter again. It was waaaay better and he allowed us to start working again. Wahoo!!

Fast forward. Friday night. It had been a frustrating day, we had some frustrating lessons and we had some frustrated non-lessons :) We get home to start planning and my head is itching super bad. I am used to this, I have dandruff. But as I was in the bathroom I decided to check my head because it was itching unusually. I looked at my hair to see hundreds of little black dots all over my head, and I was like, what the heck? Then I looked closer....yep, a little insect crawling on a strand of my hair. Just the thing to make my day, I had lice! I told Hermana Johnson that I was pretty sure that I had lice and she was like, "What?!" Haha, we called the nurse the next morning cause it was super late and I didn't really want to deal with it then :) But the nurse told us what we needed to do to get rid of it. So we went to the store, got all the stuff and then spent the next 3 hours getting the little critters out of my head! Hermana Johnson kept cracking jokes like, "This is true missionary service, giving a home to the homeless." Haha, it was pretty funny. But NO WORRIES we got the lice taken care of and we are all doing good now. :)

So needless to say, we spent most of this week inside of our house and not really doing missionary work, but this week coming up should be a lot better! Oh yeah, and we got kicked out of a complex for contacting people on the street. Haha, it was right after we had spent 3 hours getting the lice out of my head. It was actually kind of funny just cause it reminded me of selling security and getting the cops called on you or having people threaten to call the cops...but I don't think Hermana Johnson liked it that much. :)

Anyways, lots of crazy stuff. We are at a weird point in our teaching right now that we really need to find new investigators. So that is what we are dedicating this week to! So pray for us that we will be able to find those that are prepared to hear the gospel at this time. There are prepared and elect people all over the earth!
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Johnson

Monday, November 4, 2013

MILAGROS!!!!!

HOLA FAMILIA!!!!!

Ok so the coolest thing of my entire mission happened this week. On Thursday we were helping Luz move (So sad!!!) and while we were waiting for her to arrive we were kind of standing in the middle of the street when a truck stopped in the middle of the road. He waved us over and said, "Son misioneros?" I said yes, and he said, "Tienen folletos o una tarjeta o algo asi?" (Do you have a pamplet or card or something like that?) I said yes, and started to give him a pamphlet. He had been driving around for a while so I asked him if he was looking for something and he said that he just wanted to hear more about God. So we got his contact information and then he drove away. It was crazy, we were like, What the heck just happened?! So then we help Luz move and we go home and start weekly planning (this was on Friday). As we are planning we decided to call him, his name is Augustine. We called him and he asked us if we could meet with him in an hour. So we rearranged some of the stuff that we already had and we set up an appointment to meet with him at 4. We met at the Library, and there is this spot that is really peaceful that has waterfalls and a lot of greenery and no one is over there, so we decided to meet there. When we got there, he started telling us that he didn't really know why he was there, that he just felt like he needed to talk to us this morning and that he decided he should listen to what we had to say. He said he needed more peace in his life, that he has a super crazy job and he is just looking for peace. So from the very beginning we were already super excited, like that's what we do!! So we started teaching him the restoration. It was the best lesson we have ever taught, the spirit was so strong, the words were just coming to my mouth, Hermana Johnson talked a ton and sometimes she has a hard time talking a ton in spanish, it was just really good. So then we get to the part where we were sharing the first vision and afterwards we asked him how he felt about it. He said that he couldn't see the light like Joseph Smith could, but that he kind of could. He held up the picture in the pamphlet of Joseph Smith seeing God and Jesus Christ and then he looked at the setting that we were in, and it was really similar. He went on to say that he could feel something and that he just felt really special and everything. It was CRAZY, the spirit was super strong. So then we kept teaching him and we invited him to be baptized. He was like, well what does that mean? Do I have to take lessons with you guys? Do I have to come to your church? What do I have to do after baptism? And tons of other questions like that. We started laughing and we were like, Slow down! We explained that we would help him be ready for it and that we would do more lessons, he would come to church and stuff like that. Then we finished the lesson and taught him about the Book of Mormon. Afterwards we asked him if he would say the final prayer and if he would ask specifically if the Book of Mormon was true and if this was the right thing for him. Ok, we usually ask people to do that, and they NEVER do it! I don't know if they don't understand us or what, but he did it! Word for word, is the book of mormon (Libro de Mormon :D) true? It was soo cool! After the prayer he looked at me and was like, "Peyiscame" (pinch me) Then he was like, "Ok, this is real." He said that as soon as he started praying he felt like all the tension that he had, all the discomfort, went away and and he was filled with a ton of peace. That he went into another world kind of where everything was perfect. He just kept saying how amazing he felt and all this stuff. Then after a while he was like, "I don't know anything about this book, about what you guys do, what you will teach me or anything. But I feel it." Then he stood up and said, "This is book is true," as he held it in the air. IT WAS CRAZY!!!!!!! SOOOOOOO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously I don't think I have ever been so happy in my entire life. I didn't want to leave, he just looked so happy. We haven't been able to meet with him again yet, because he works a lot, but we should meet with him tomorrow and we have been keeping in contact with him and stuff. MILAGRO!! It was the best day ever.
So yeah, besides that super awesome story, not a ton of other stuff happened this week. Oh yeah, it was Halloween! That was fun, we got to go home at 7 and we watched some church movies. They were kind of lame...but hey! We got to watch a movie! Sorry, I don't have much more time to write and I can't think of much else that happened.....oh wait. Yeah, guess what I did. Dropped the phone in the toilet! Dead serious, haha! It was hilarious, except for not really at the same time because now our phone is having some serious issues and it didn't work for a good couple hours....
Pues, no tengo mas tiempo. Les quiero muchisimo y espero que todo este bien alli! Estoy case en la mitad de mi mision! Ah! No lo puedo creer.
Con amor,
Hermana Johnson

Monday, October 28, 2013

Call Home!!!!!

Hola Familia!!

Funny story, so recently we had some roommates move into our apartment with us. But when this happened they only gave us 1 parking space and not 2. So we have to drive around and try to find an open space to park our car. Well we drove around forever last night and couldn't find anything. So we decided that we would park in our old parking space (cause we had just moved). We figured that no one would have moved in yet cause we just barely moved, and we went up to the apartment and there was no furniture in there or anything. So we decided to park there....yeah, bad idea. This morning we got up to exercise and we went over to where we parked our car, and a different car was in the spot! Haha, so now we have to go all the way down to Laguna Beach (it really isn't that far away) and pick up our car. But because of all of this, the mission office let us call our parents to make sure we had enough money and everything to pay for the towing expense! It was AWESOME!!!! Hermana Johnson almost started crying when President gave us the permission, haha. It was really good to talk to mom to see how everything was going, we really couldn't talk for that long but it was still fun.
Other things that happened this week. Oh yeah, we got roommates! I already said that, but it has been super fun. Except it does make it a little harder to do things like write in your journal and get anything else done at night or in the morning cause we always end up talking.

Luz is leaving this week :( We are really sad. I can't believe that she is leaving. We had a lesson with her a couple nights ago and we were all pretty much in tears because we are going to miss her. Hopefully she will get baptized in San Juan. PRAY FOR HER!!!!!! I love her so much, and I know the thing that will help her in her life is this church.
As for other things in the week, I don't really have that much more time to write, but there wasn't a ton that happened I don't feel like. We are doing good at getting a lot of lessons every week, we are pretty much always teaching, but we aren't super good at helping people progress towards baptism. So that is our goal this week, to help our investigators progress and to get new ones that will.

Les quiero bastante! Y espero que todos tengan una buena semana!
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Johnson
p.s. Congratulations Mike and Lindy!!!!!!!! That is sooo exciting!

Monday, October 21, 2013

President Orgill

HOLA!!!!!!

Wow, it's already P-day, how glorious :) This week went super fast! Not a ton of new things happened this week though. But one thing that was super fun was our Noche con los Misioneros. I think I talked about the last one that we did. We do one every month, and because we didn't have a huge turn out last month, we decided to do the same thing again this month. But for some reason it got combined with our annual Halloween Party that the Primary puts on. That probably wasn't that good of an idea, haha. The party was super fun, and all the kids came dressed up and went trunk or treating, and we ate, and had a pinata and all that fun stuff, it was a blast. But right in the middle of that we did our noche con los misioneros thing....bad idea. All the kids were eating their candy, crying, laughing, and frankly just weren't that interested in Joseph Smith and the first vision at that time, haha, but it went alright and we now know that you shouldn't ever combine a primary activity with a missionary activity.
Hey but both Luz and Tino came to the activity! But funny story: Felix, Luz's son, while running around eating candy and doing a pinata and stuff, he threw up EVERYWHERE. Ok, it really wasn't that funny, except that afterwards he was even more hyper, it didn't stop him from playing, that's for sure.
Another super cool thing that we had this week was a mission conference. Because our mission is so small, we get the opportunity to do mission conferences ALL the time, sometimes too often, haha. When we found out about this one I was actually really mad because we were going to go help a member move, and had to reschedule it, but then I ended up really liking it, it was exactly what I needed. It was about how to deal with stress and this book that they want all the missionaries to read everyday to help us know how to better deal healthily with the stress that we have. (I would suggest it for anyone who feels stressed, it is written for missionaries, but the principles are the same for anyone) The thing that made this meeting amazing though, was President Orgill. He his seriously the most amazing man I have ever seen in my life, he compares with the prophet. For those who believe your mission president is the best, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but that just can't be possible. Every time he speaks, it is exactly what I need to hear. He brings the spirit so strongly, he is so humble, yet so amazing, he has so much love for everyone it is unfathomable, and I seriously feel like I am in Christ's presence when I am around him. He talked about his mission and how hard it was (he went to Tonga and served underneath Elder Groberg) and I just realized how easy of a mission I have. I am so blessed to be serving where I am and to have the mission president that I do.

I don't have much more time, but please pray for Luz, Tino, Sully, and Andrea! As I am getting more and more into my mission, I am developing more and more love for the people here. There are so many sad things in people's lives and it makes me so sad sometimes. Pray for them that they will be able to get over all the things that are holding them back from progressing in their path to baptism (or just in their life for Andrea cause she is already a member). Les quiero!!!

Con amor,
Hermana Johnson

p.s. Lindy I am soooooooooooooo excited for you to have your baby!! I want pictures! :) oh and by the way, I LOVE the name

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Windows of Heaven

HOLA!!!!

Como estan todos?! Todo esta muy bien aqui en California!!
This week was awesome!! We had a couple super cool things happen. First: we started doing our Windows of Heaven program again because we are in need of more investigators (I told you about that right? Pretty much we just pray to ask God where people who are ready to hear the gospel are and then we go and there for at least an hour) Well anyways, we did 3 of them this week. For the first one, both me and my companion thought of Rocio, a member in our ward, but it was confusing cause she is like the only hispanic person that lives where she lives. But we went anyways, and as we were praying before we started both of us thought that we should go to her house and see if her husband was there cause he isn't a member. So we did that. About 2 minutes after we got inside the house and were talking to her and her husband, someone knocked on the door. Isabel, one of our formers who we have had a really hard time getting a hold of came to the door. It was awesome. So we got to make contact with her, help her with some things she needed, and then afterwards we were able to teach Rocio's husband and we are going to start teaching him today. So cool!! We were definitely guided to go there.
Second one: We thought of Via Lomas, which is like where everyone and their dog lives. It is literally a mini Mexico. We got there, I was not in a super good mood and I didn't really want to do it, but we had promised the Lord we were going to be there at that time and talk to everyone we saw. So we did. It was crazy, like the second person we talked to was a member from Guatemala who has been looking for the church since he got here 5 months ago and he doesn't know anybody. He said that the night before he was talking to the bishop and prayed that he would be able to find someone from the church to help him, and then we showed up. So cool. But that's not all, his friend was next to him and we talked to him about the first vision. He pretty much started crying and told us that he had never felt like that before. Like he has always been confused with which church was right, and we have a return appointment with him. The Lord is amazing.
Third one: We went to a different complex and were talking to people for a while. We were almost on our way out when we ran into an 18 year old. He let us sit down and teach him the first vision as well. He is going through a whole bunch right now, but he wants to meet with us again as well. So awesome. Three new investigators in one week when you ask the Lord where you should go.
Also this week Elder Falabella (a member of the 70) came and visited us. It was super cool! He was awesome! Him and his wife are from Guatemala so we got to talk to them in Spanish. His wife doesn't know very much English so she spoke to us in Spanish and an elder translated for her, but it was pretty cool to be able to understand her in her own language. It was even more awesome because afterwards we were talking to President and we told him one of our miracle stories and he had us go over to the Falabella's and tell it to them in Spanish. I felt so cool talking to a general authority. :)
One more thing...I'm running out of time. But we had an awesome lesson with Tino yesterday. Well it was all Hermana Johnson. One of his friends was there at his house and so I talked to him (and we are actually going to start teaching him!) and Hermana Johnson taught Tino. I was so proud of her! She did the whole lesson by herself and she understood everything he said! And he is hard to understand sometimes. But she said the spirit was super strong. She talked to him about baptism. He said he had a dream where he was Joseph Smith and he was reading the Book of Mormon. He was confused why he needed to be baptized again if there is only "one faith and one baptism" but she explained to him that he needed to be immersed and by the authority for it to count. Then she committed to stop taking lessons from the Testigos de Jehovah and he said yes!!! He is getting closer and closer to baptism it is so exciting! We told him that he has 6 weeks to do it cause there is a chance one of us could leave in 6 weeks, and he is actually thinking about it. So cool.
Anyways, I am completely out of time. Sorry I didn't write yesterday, the libraries were closed. But I love you all, I miss you, and don't forget that God loves you too!
Con much amor,
Hermana Johnson

Monday, October 7, 2013

La Conferencia!!!

Buenos dias!!

Como estan todos?! Como les gusta la conferencia?
Conference this week obviously was the highlight of the week. It was amazing! It was pretty fun cause in our mission there are so many missionaries and such a small area that there were about 25 or so missionaries watching it in the same spot. One of our investigators Tino came to every single session!! It was awesome! He got a ride to the church at 9 in the morning on Saturday and didn't leave until 7 at night after the priesthood session, and then he did the same thing on Sunday too. So awesome. He loved it. In between sessions on Saturday we had a lesson with him and he said he liked the talk that Elder Uchtorf gave about how it was ok to have doubts, but that we should come anyways. So he said that although he still has a lot of questions he has faith and believes these things and he said he knows that the spirit will tell him when he should join this church so he is just waiting for that conviction. He is pretty awesome.
Also Kimberly and her whole family all came to watch it on Sunday. It was pretty fun cause Hermana Johnson made a conference game notebook things for Kimberly so that she could do like crosswords and other cool games like that during conference but still pay attention. She loved it, it was super fun.
One of the many things I learned from conference is the need to study things out in your mind before you will receive an answer from God. It is a principle I have always known, but that I feel like I keep learning. Sometimes we feel like if we are living righteously then God should just give us the answers when we pray, but really we must pray to have the strength to study by ourselves and then ask God if the things we learned are correct. I think we can always do better at this principle.
Another crazy thing that happened this week is that we moved!! Just to another apartment in the same complex, but it was pretty fun. Our apartment now is huge! But we are going to be getting roommates on transfers, which is in a week. And we also found out we might be getting a third companion too!

But right now it is just us 2 living in a nice and large apartment so that is super nice :) Oh and we found out that Luz is moving too. :( That broke our hearts, she has really been struggling and hasn't been focusing as much on church things lately. Pray for her!!! We really want to help her realized the importance of this gospel in her life!
I love you all. The work is amazing, there will always be bumps in the road but never give up. God loves you all, he loves me, and he has sent me here to preach the gospel to the people in Mission Viejo, CA! And I love it!

Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Johnson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bautismo!!!!!

HOLA!!!

Como estan todos?!

It feels like it has been forever since I have written! This week our p-day got switched to Wednesday cause we got to go the the temple today! It was awesome! And last week my email didn't work so I didn't get to email last week either! So it feels great to sit down at the computer today :)

So there have been a demasiado amount of things that have happened in the past 2 weeks and there is no way I will have time for all of them. But the most important is the Kimberly got baptized!!!!!! It was super good. After a whole bunch of changing around the dates because of meetings and relief society general conference stuff, and all sorts of stuff, we finally got it to work out for Sunday night. But because of general conference she won't be able to be confirmed for 2 weeks, so she is still technically our investigator :) But she was so cute. Her whole family got all dressed up in white and everything.
Oh but obviously, the day before I get a call the bishop and he asked me to give a talk on the same Sunday as the baptism! I think I have spoken in church on the same day that my converts have gotten baptized every time but once! Haha, that was my 4th talk and I have only been out 7 months!

Tino- So we did this awesome thing called Noche Con los Misioneros and Tino came to it. We pretty much put on a play of the first lesson about the restoration. It was awesome, everyone loved it! He loved it and has really started progressing since then. Oh, funny story. So we went over to help him move to a different apartment, and we got there and our blonds selves didn't realize that we wouldn't be able to go in his house cause there aren't any girls there. So after searching for another girl to come help us, we resolved to have him bring us stuff outside and then we packed it in boxes. We felt like this was working out great, but then all of a sudden he started calling random people. We didn't know what he was doing until he told us that he had some girls coming on their way to help us. So we were like, hey sweet. All of a sudden, 2 girls show up in skirts, 1 of them had a baby in a stroller, and they were definitely Jehovah Witnesses out doing their preaching as well. It was sooo funny!!! They showed up but they had no idea what was going on, he just asked them to come over to the house but didn't tell them that they would be helping to to move, haha! So both of us are just standing there kind of awkwardly and Tino was like, Ok, these are my Jehovah witness friends, and these are my mormon friends, ok lets go. And then he just walked inside the house. HAHA!! It was sooo funny. We explained what had happened to them and they were super nice and it wasn't awkward at all, just super funny.
Luz- So Luz is doing pretty well also. There is a chance she might be moving soon so we are trying to help her want to get baptized before that :) She was reading the Book of Mormon a lot until she got to the stinking Isaiah chapters and now she is having a super hard time understanding them and so she isn't as excited to read. Stupid Isaiah chapters! But she has really started progressing again as well.

Miracle! We got a referral from the English elders for this girl named Sully. We got it a while ago, but we haven't been able to meet up with her until like 2 days ago. She is awesome! She has a crazy story, but she really has a lot of real intent. She also came to our English class that she teach and she really liked that, so I think that she has a ton of potential! Its exciting cause we are running low on investigators and need some help building up the pool again.
Well, I love you all and I hope everything is going well!! Me encanta estar aqui en mi mision, me encanta el idioma de espanol y me encanta la cultura hispana tambien. Les extrano, y espero que todo este bien! Les quiero!!

Hermana Johnson

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weird Week

Hola!

This week was a weird week. One of those where it seems like everything is falling through but then in the end it turns out to be a really good week. Probably the biggest thing that happened this week is with Kimberly and her family. She is going to get baptized on September 28th for sure!! It was going to be on the 21st, but we realized that was this Saturday and nothing was ready, and we haven't taught her everything and no one knew about it, so we decided to push it back a week. Last night we went over to her house and did a Noche de Hogar with her whole family. It was good cause we haven't been able to really get to know her parents cause they are always working every time we go over there. But last night was amazing! We played some really fun games and just showed them how to have fun and learn about the gospel at the same time. The mom, Sara, was really appreciative and started crying as she explained to us why she wanted to come back to church and that she wanted her children to grow up well, not like she did. It was really good. This family was a miracle family, just placed in our laps. So amazing! I am really excited because we are going to go over there every Sunday night to do a Noche de Hogar so I feel like we will grow a really strong relationship with them.

There was also a wedding this week for a couple that is going to get baptized this Tuesday, the other sister's baptism. I love the Spanish culture. When there is a party, everyone comes. They loooove to party. It brings such a sweet spirit of unity and love, I love it.

Honestly not much else happened this week that was out of the normal. We are working on finding new investigators because we have a couple really strong ones...but no others, haha. So we are working on that.

Sorry for the short email today, but I love you all!!! Que tenga buena semana!
Hermana Johnson 

Monday, September 9, 2013

MISSION VIEJO!!!!

Hola familia!!!!!

Hello everyone!! This week has been awesome! I was transferred to the Mission Viejo 5th ward and I am in the best area! Seriously in the Carlsbad mission, it was known as the coveted area because it is so awesome. It has some parts of our area that are pretty much like a mini mexico, haha. And it is awesome because in this little place, it is called Via Lomas, there are like 7 members! It is so different than my last area where there were like 10 maybe members in the entire area, but here we have the majority of the members in the ward and they are all awesome! Oh and I have a new companion. Guess what her name is?.....yep, Hermana Johnson!! Haha!! It is pretty fun, we get a lot of jokes about it. People are always like, oh Johnson and Johnson, like the soap, or like the oil, or like the lotion. Haha, but the best one that we got was, "Oh, Johnson and Johnson, like the butt cream!" Haha, we laughed pretty hard about that one. I love my companion, we get along super well. She just barely came out into the field with Hermana Velarde so I am technically still finishing her training. And unlike Hermana Velarde, she is not native, so she is still learning how to speak Spanish. She is pretty good though, and she is a very good sport about not getting too frustrated when she can't understand and stuff. I remember getting really frustrated with that. But I feel like in this last week my spanish has improved a ton, my confidence in what I know has grown a ton. Because she can't understand everything and because she has a harder time speaking, it forces me to always pay attention and make sure I know what is going on and it forces me to talk more often. And it is really nice being only in a Spanish ward. I actually feel like I am a spanish missionary now.
Ok so our investigators. We have some pretty cool investigators. Luz is amazing, she is someone that the missionaries before us found and she loves the church and knows it is true, but everyone around her, the people she lives with and especially her husband are super against it. So we are working with her on that.
We are teaching the cutest little girl! Her name is Kimberly and she should be getting baptized this month. She is 11, and her parents are members and were baptized a while ago. But with work and other things they stopped going to church for a while. But they decided that they want to start coming back to church and they came yesterday! Kimberly really wants to get baptized and she really likes reading the book of mormon and stuff like that. She was a referral and we just barely started teaching her, but we are really excited about her.
I am really excited to be in this area. Other than it being super hot right now it has been amazing. I love the members and I feel like I was sent here for a reason, I feel like it will be a really good place for me to learn and grow and improve as a missionary and that we will see a lot of miracles here. It should be a good transfer.
Congratulations Kirsten and Mark on finishing your house!
Les quiero!
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Translados!!!

HOLA FAMILIA!!!

So......today is transfers!! Our p-day was switched to today (tuesday) because yesterday was memorial day and the libraries were closed. So its pretty much like 2 p-days in a row! Writing emails and transfers! So I don't know exactly where I am going yet cause I won't find out til 4, but pretty much I know, haha. Because there are only 3 spanish areas, and 6 spanish sisters, it makes transfer guessing pretty easy. So I will be going up to Mission Viejo in the ward up there, I don't know who my companion will be yet, but I am super excited!! We thought that I was going to be the only one leaving and that my 2 companions would just stay together but Hna Hodgson is leaving too, so we are both going up to Mission Viejo! Hermana Velarde is super excited to take over the area and have the challenge, I'm really excited for her, I think she will do really well.
This last week has been a little bit crazy. To be honest my motivation wasn't quite as strong cause I knew I was leaving which made it a little bit harder to focus. But we still had some amazing things happen! First of all, Ener. I know I have talked about Ener before. He is amazing. So he came to church this last week and he told us before church started that he needed to tell us something afterwards and it wasn't good. So we were like freaking out in church, praying that we would say the right thing to help him and that everything would go well cause he is our strongest investigator. After sacrament meeting he ended up just giving us a letter that he had written, and he stayed at church with some members and we went to our other ward. The letter was awful. It pretty much told us that he can't meet with us anymore cause his wife is going to divorce him if he does and that everything in his life is just going really bad. So yeah, we were super sad. Then we go over to his house the next day, yesterday, for a lesson. We talked to him about the situation and he told us that he stayed for all 3 hours of church and in the last hour he told all the men about his situation and pretty much all of them said that the same thing happened to them and that he should just keep going. So he is!!! And he is soooo solid! He was like, "It doesn't matter, I'm going to keep going." So good! He is going to get baptized on September 28th and I will come back to see it.
Another miracle. We were contacting at like 8:35 on Sunday night and we ran into this 19 year old who looked super sad. We asked him if we could do a 20 minute lesson with him right then and there and he said yes. The spirit was so strong. We talked about how God loved him and a lot about the atonement. When we left he had a big smile on his face. It was so cool to see the instant change in his persona. We are going to teach him again today, I'm super excited to see what happens with him.
Well I don't have much time, but I love you all and I will talk to you next week!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cambios!!!

Familia!!

Hola familia!! Tengo otro sabrino!!!!!!! Estoy MUY contenta, y no puedo esperar a verle :) (I have a nephew! I am soooo happy and I can't wait to see him!) Sometimes I just wish everyone spoke spanish, haha. I am so happy for you Alyse!!

I don't remember if I told the people who sent me stuff for my birthday thank you, if not..THANKS!!! It was a great birthday! It is weird being 20, I still tell everyone I am 19 on accident.
This week was awesome! I don't even know what the highlight was. We didn't have anything like super amazing happen, but it was just an overall good week. Its funny though cause at the same time it was kind of a rough week. I found out for sure that this upcoming week is my last week here i am getting transferred next week!! Usually people don't know these things until the saturday night before transfer day (next week) but Hermana Garner happens to be a Sister Training Leader and she pretty much knows a lot of what it is happening and she told me, haha. I am going to leave and go up and serve in Mission Viejo. And my companions are going to stay here in San Clemente, but they are only going to have the spanish ward, they are taking YSA away from us and giving it to new sisters. So there are a lot of changes coming our way! It has been a little bit sad to think that I am leaving really soon cause I really love the wards that I am in, but at the same time I am ready to go. I have been here for a while and I am ready for something new. And I am suuuper excited to go up to Mission Viejo! We went up there for a baptism and the ward is awesome! Way exciting!

Oh actually the highlight of the week is probably Ener! He is sooo awesome! So we have been teaching Ener for a while, almost since I got here. But there was a long time where we didn't teach him because his phone broke and he worked a ton, etc. But we finally got in contact with him again and we started teaching him, and he is doing sooo good! He used to be athiest, but he is definitely starting to believe in God. He reads the Book of Mormon a lot and he always has questions. He came to church yesterday and loved it!! He fits in really well with the people in the ward. He has really started making progress recently so we are really excited. He made a comment in the gospel principles class in church about how he really liked going here and how he fits in here, but he didn't at the catholic church. So sick!
Another really cool part about this week is that we are helping a less active couple stop smoking! It has been soo fun! We have this packet that is awesome to help people stop smoking in 7 days and we presented it to them, like gave them a lesson about it, and they are so stoked. So last night we went over to their house again and we commited them to do the program! We crushed all their cigarretes, took all their lighters, and everything else that had to do with smoking. It was really fun and the spirit was really strong, cause they were just pumped to do this.

Anyways, hopefully that wasn't too scatterbrained but I love you guys!! And I am so excited for you Alyse!! When things slow down a little bit I wouldn't mind seeing a couple pictures :)
Good luck in school Caleb and Andre!! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDRE!!!!! You are almost 18!!!!

Les quiero y que tenga buena semana!
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What a week

What a week. The highlight of this week is probably Maria! So I don't know if I have even talked about her. But she is someone we have been teaching's daughter. We went over to teach Lupe (her mom) and she wasn't there so we decided to just teach her. She is 17 and has a lot of interest in religion. We taught her probably the worst lesson we have ever taught together about Joseph Smith, but when we shared the first vision we could feel the spirit and she liked it. She told us that that was really interesting and that she was interested, so we started teaching her instead of her parents! From the fireside last week we learned a lot about questions, so we had her write a list of her questions and then we taught her the plan and answered some of her questions as we were doing it. And that one was probably the best lesson we have ever taught together as a companionship! :) The spirit was so strong and she was completely engaged because we were answering her questions! Then the next day there was a baptism in the stake and she came with us. It was really cool, and the spirit was really strong. At first I was nervous because there were so many little kids crying that you couldn't feel the spirit and it just felt like caous. But after the baptism there were some really powerful testimonies given, and a gorgeous song and the spirit was really strong. She said it was a little different cause she has never seen a baptism by full immersion, but that she liked it. Then about 2 hours later she left to go camping for a week, and that is where she is now. We were a little nervous, cause we just had a training on how we need to be seeing our investigators every other day and contacting them everyday or they just don't progress towards baptism. Because "Satan is contacting your investigators everyday. So should you." (that is one of my favorite quotes, haha) So we decided to make her a little kit. We wrote down all the questions that she had and then we found a whole bunch of scriptures from the book of mormon that answered those questions. Then we wrote her a note with step by step process of how to pray and study using those scriptures to see if the book of mormon is true. We are pretty excited about it. I hope she does it while she is camping, cause she has a ton of potential!!

The second great piece of news is that we think that Jason will be baptized here pretty soon. We don't want to get to excited about it, but he has made a lot of progress lately and we are going to meet with him at least 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks and see how we can help him! I am really excited about him.
We had a really cool experience as a companionship this week during weekly planning. Weekly planning is so long and often dredurous that even though you are supposed to have the spirit with you while you are planning, it is hard to cause you get so tired. But we have been learning a lot about the spirit and we decided to make sure we were guided by the spirit the whole time. It was really cool...and really time-consuming, but that's ok :) But this week I am really excited about the goals we set, I really believe that we can reach them because we prayed about them! One of those goals is to get 2 baptisms before I leave! (which is most likely in 2 weeks!) It is a high goal but we are counting on Jason and one other. So PRAY for us!!!!!! We really want to do this before I leave.

Ni modo....les quiero muchisimo! Espero que todo este bien alla! Quiero que Alyse vaya a dar luz esta semana!!! :) :) Adios!

Hermana Johnson

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Windows of Heaven

HOLA!

Ok we had a lot happen this week, and also not a lot happen. We don't really have anything different from last week investigators wise, but we had like 3 really awesome meetings.

The first one was zone training. I love zone training. We talked about the reason we are all here on missions and how the reason we need to be doing things is because we love God and we love the people here. We did a really cool practice. To start off, before we had even started talking about love or anything, we did a practice. We were in groups of 4 and 2 of us had to teach the other 2 about the restoration of the gospel. That was all we knew, so it was just a normal zone training practice. Then we all came back together and we learned about love and how we need to love everyone like Christ loved us and all this super cool stuff. Then we split back up into our groups and this time one of the missionaries chose somebody that they really loved a lot, a family member or good friend who was struggling in their lives right then. Then they told another missionary about the situation a little bit and the other missionary had to pretend like they were that person. Then they chose a gospel principle and they taught the "person that they loved" about that point. It was so cool, such a spiritual experience. I was the one pretending to be another missionaries brother, and he taught me. As soon as he started talking to me he started crying, more like bawling, and he just had so much passion for his brother. I instantly started crying and he just had our whole group in tears. He didn't even really teach me a gospel principle, he just bore his testimony, and he didn't tell me what his brother was going through, he just loved me (his brother). It was so powerful. If we could love everyone as much as that missionary loves his brother, everyone (well a lot of people) would come to know the truthfulness of this church and they would understand that God loves them. We have to love people!!! So cool!!

Ok second meeting. Mission conference. President Orgill just happens to be suuuper cool, and knows a lot of really awesome people. So he had this lady named Joyce Tan come and talk to us for 2 hours about how to find more effectivley and how to use the spirit more to do it. It was AMAZING!!! By using the technique that she taught us, she had a baptism just about every week for the last 6 months of her mission. Pretty much you tell the Lord that you are going to be here at this time and at this place (you pray about the time and place) and you go and contact there for at least an hour. She taught us how to contact very simply and how to weed out the elect from the not-elect (haha). We tell people that we want to share a short lesson with them that has changed our lives and if they let us sit down right then and there, then we teach them. If not, they aren't elect. So cool. So we decided to try it. After a whole ton of praying and talking with companions and stuff we went to this park that was in our area and we started contacting. 3rd person we went up to was sitting in a truck and he was awesome! We did a lesson right then and there (for our first time it was pretty good, but our lesson wasn't prepared at all. When he told us yes, all three of us were like, oh shoot what do we teach him?! Haha, but it was awesome. We will see what happens with him. His name is Robert, but we won't be able to teach him cause he speaks english...but hopefully he will still get baptized!

Third meeting. We had a fireside with Clay Christiansen last night. It was sooo good! He talked about questions and how if you don't have a question you cannot recieve revelation, because revelation is an answer to a question. So we need to figure out what people's questions are, and if they don't have any questions we need to help them have them, haha! There was so much more to that fireside, but I am running out of time so that's all I'll say. But it really was a great week, with a lot of spiritually uplifting moments.

I love you all and I hope you are all doing super well. Congratulations on the wedding Celinda!! I wish I could have been there, but I am soooo happy for you :)

Les quiero!!
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Few Pictures

 
Sister Johnson and the Cooks
 
 
 
 Sisters Garner and Johnson just before Sister Garner was transferred
 
 
 
Sister Garner, Shannon, Sister Johnson, and ?
 
 
Sister Johnson, Giovani, and Giovana

 
 
Giovana and Sister Johnson
 
 
 
San Clemente




Milagros!

HOLA!!

So everyday in the mission is filled with miracles, you can see them everyday. We had a couple miracles this week that were super awesome. It was Friday and we had been in the house for a long time because it was weekly planning, when we received a call from a random number. It was from a lady named Gloria. She said, "Hola, ustedes me dijeron que iban a pasar. Cuando van a pasar?" (you guys told me you were going to come over, when are you going to come?)  and I was like, wait, you are you?? And then I remembered, Gloria. A lady we met in the street, a contact. WHAT THE?!? A contact actually called us! That never happens. So we told her we would come over that day. When we were at her house she told us that 12 years ago she took the missionary discussions and she was going to get baptized, but then she moved and the missionaries changed and we think some other things happened, and it didn't end up happening. But I guess she was reading the Bible or something because she was feeling a little down, and she remembered that she had talked to us in the street so she gave us a call and asked us to come over! Crazy! So we asked her if baptism was something she wanted to try to do again, and she said "Si, pero toma tiempo. Hay un proceso." (yeah, but it takes time, there is a process) Wahoo! We were really excited. She will have to get over some addictions and some other things, but if she is willing and if it is something that she wants, then she can do it. We were so excited.

Another good thing happened, actually that same day with Jason. I don't remember how much of Jason's story I told you guys but he is on a tour of the church history sites right now and we had our last lesson with him on Friday before he left. The hope is that by the end of his trip he will decide if he is going to do it or not. But we had had some iffy lessons with him and we really wanted to make our last lesson with him good before he left. So we talked about God's love for him. The spirit was really strong, we really hope he felt it. We helped him realize that he needs to understand the significance that God loves him and that because he loves us so much he sent Jesus Christ down here to perform the atonement for us. He admitted to us that he doesn't feel God's love and that he often rejects love and he doesn't know why. He told us later that the lesson really impacted him and made him think. So we are hoping that something on this trip will help him learn how to accept God's love and that he will finally stop rejecting the spirit so he can feel it!! Please pray a ton for him!!!

Oh yeah, and we have also been teaching the cutest family for the last couple weeks. We taught them about the restoration and we were kind of nervous because we knew that they were very religious and that they attended the catholic church all the time and they just had a lot of light in their eyes. We were nervous to tell them they needed to change religions. But shared Joseph Smith's story, and the oldest daughter, Evelyn was super into it. She told us that she really liked it when we came over and that she always learned something and that believed all of it. She liked that we answered her questions and stuff. Then her mom told us that she really liked it when we came over, but that she wasn't going to change religions. Which is fine, and honestly it was what we were expecting, but Evelyn is super into it and wants us to come back and keep teaching her! Miracles galore!

So all in all, this week has been really good. A lot of really good things happened. I love you all, I miss you all, and I know Chaidee already challenged some of you to do this, but for those who don't know Chaidee, I challenge you to count your miracles this week! Miracles happen every day!!

Les Quiero!!
Hermana Johnson

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

La primera semana ha vino y se fue!

Familia!

Well, this week has been super crazy, stressful, and pretty good. The major news is that I now have 2 new companions! They are both spanish, thank goodness, and so far it has been pretty good! One of them is a greenie, Hermana Velarde, and she is a native speaker!!! I was suuuuuuper excited about that. I have already learned a lot from her and my goal is to be able to speak purely spanish with her during this transfer. It is going to be reeeeally hard, but I want to do it. She is also very prepared to be here, its awesome. She has so much enthusiasm for the work and she wants to learn and know about everything! My other companion is Hermana Hodgson (you pronounce it hodson), and she is super sweet. She has such a strong testimony and she is a ton of fun. She loves What's Up Doc!!!!! I freaked out when she told me that was her favorite movie. I will admit that we have spent a lot of time quoting it since that amazing discovery. This will be a really good transfer with them though, I am excited. It has been a little sad not to be with Hermana Garner anymore though cause we got along really well. And we worked together really well too. It is kind of weird figuring out how to work with different people, and 2 people.

So yeah, this week has also been really stressful. I am the only one that knows the area, the people, and Hermana Velarde doesn't know anything about missionary work yet. It is hard to teach her everything that she needs to know and teach Hna Hodgson the things she needs to know at the same time. But I feel like we have done pretty good so far. And we are getting along so far also, so I am really excited for this trasfer! They both have such good spirits.

This week we set a baptismal date with Ana Mendoza again! She has been really hard to find because she works soooo much! But she is really excited to get baptized. She hasn't been able to come to church yet because of work, but she wants to. We are working with her on that.
Oh we also picked up another investigator in the YSA ward. His name is Jason and he is awesome. So he has been investigating for 3 years. Yeah. He actually has a calling in the ward to teach Gospel Principles and he goes home teaching regularly. But he isn't baptized. He lives in the Elders area so we haven't been teaching him, but our ward mission leader really felt impressed that we should start teaching him. He is going on a trip to see all the church history sites and essentially he wants to have made his decision by then. Either he is going to get baptized, or he is done. He is so awesome though, I am really excited about him. We are going to teach him as much as possible before he goes on his trip to try to get him to recognize the spirit and know for sure that this is all true.

Les Quiero mucho!!!
Hermana Johnson

AAAHHHH!

AY! This has been such a crazy last couple of days!! So to start, transfers are today. I should be like super full of emotion right now, and I kind of am, but there are so many changes that are happening that I don't even know how to feel. But the biggest piece of news is that Sister Garner is leaving me :( It is going to be really sad, cause we get along really well and we have so many really good relationships with people here as the two of us. It will be wierd to have a different companion, I feel like I will have to start over a little bit. Oh and speaking of my new companion...I'm going to be in a trio! And I will be co-training! AY! We don't know who they will be yet until transfer meeting later today, but yeah I'm co-training. There are so many changes coming in the mission and it is really hard to explain all of them cause I don't have that much time, but because of all of these we are pretty sure that one of my companions will be English. And Sister Garner is going to English work too, we are pretty sure, because she got called to be a sister training leader! And she is co-training too :) There are going to be a ton of trios in the mission because we don't have very many areas (cause our mission is tiny!) but we are getting 31 new missionaries. Anyways, moral of the story is that today and these last couple days have been crazy getting ready for transfers, saying bye to everyone for hna garner, rearranging our house so that 3 people will fit in there, etc. I am really excited though! It could be kind of hard, but it will be super fun at the same time! Living with 3 people will be super fun!

So yesterday we got to see the coolest thing. I think I told you guys before that President Orgill was the President of the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) for like 13 years or something like that. So they are touring on the mainland right now and he had them come and welcome him into the Irvine mission and put on a show in Mission Viejo. The YSA ward hosted it and it was our FHE and all the other missionaries in the mission were invited if they could get investigators or less actives there. It was soooooo cool!!! They did their whole fire dancing thing and everything! We were told that we were supposed to leave and be home on time even if the show wasn't over, so as all the missionaries were leaving, one missionary came running to all of us and was like, "NO! Wait, President said we could stay!" Haha, it was super funny, and our President is sooo awesome! So we stayed and didn't get home until like 10:15. It was awesome, because it was the last time hna garner got to see a bunch of people in the YSA ward and it was just really fun.

Well that is really all I have time for today! I will let you know how this next week goes with my new companions!

Les Quiero muchisimo! Y que tenga buena semana! :)
Hermana Johnson

p.s. Brian, you're in the mission field!!! Sooo exciting! Haha, making phone calls in Spanish was the worst part! I would always put it on speaker so Hna Garner could help me, cause I never understood anything. I still don't understand a ton of things on the phone, so we'll see how training goes! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Muchos Amigos!

Familia!

This week was awesome! Our work with our investigators has slowed down a little bit, but I have just been so grateful this week for all the friends I have and people I know here! I just felt like every lesson we had, wasn't a lesson, so I almost felt like we weren't doing missionary work. But that every lesson that we had was just a really good conversation with a really good friend. We have so many really good friends here, especially in the singles ward, and it is so fun to be able to be a part of their lives!

We did have a really awesome lesson though this week. We were actually thinking about dropping one of our investigators, Ana Mendoza, (I think I have talked about her before) because she is really hard to find at home and she just didn't seem like she was super interested anymore, and she would always say she was going to come to church and then she wouldn't, ect. But on Friday we had dinner with a member who lives right across the street from her, and then we took that member over to Ana's house right after. It was a miracle! She was there! So we sat down and had a lesson. Having that member there was soooo awesome! Ana had brought up a concern in our last lesson about how she had already been baptized and that she didn't understand why she needed to be baptized again to receive the spirit cause she thought she already had it. So this time we taught her the restoration, which for some reason we hadn't taught yet, and we explained to her about the authority. She was paying attention super well, which she doesn't usually do. After we shared the Joseph Smith experience, she told us all about her son and all these problems she is having and all this stuff. She started crying, and the spirit was really strong. Hermana Valencia (the member) was perfect and went and sat by her and comforted her and all this stuff. She told us that she didn't understand how she could know which person had the right authority cause everyone says that and it is just really confusing. We told her to pray about it and to ask God who had the authority and she said she would do it. She also said that she just feels really good every time we come over and that we always come over when she needs it and when she is struggling. It was awesome. Hermana Valencia promised her that God had something awesome for her if she would follow what we said. It was sooo sweet!!! I am really excited for her. I can definitely picture her being a strong member of the church. I am really excited to see what happens in her life!

Sometimes on a mission you have doubts. I know, it seems contradictory because it seems like you should just have a super strong testimony all the time. But there are so many people that try to tell us that we are wrong and try to get us down, and sometimes it works just for a little bit. But God always helps us and our testimony will grow and be strengthened if we just put our trust in him and don't give up. I had a cool experience this week through a blessing where it was very apparent to me that what I am doing is right. I know this is the true gospel. I know the priesthood is real. I know God works by faith and that he wants me to be here at this time and in this place. I know that we are all his children, literally! It was such an awesome testimony builder for me. This is true, and don't ever forget it!

Les Queiro!
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Orgill Time

Hola!

Highlight of the week: WE MET OUR NEW MISSION PRESIDENT!!! It was actually really exciting, I just really wanted to see what he was going to be like and what was going to change, what was going to happen, and all that. I wasn't nervous to meet him, but just super excited. So on Thursday, for the 4th of July, we had a 'introduction to the Irvine mission' meeting where we were able to mingle with all the missionaries from both missions that we didn't know, eat lunch, and hear a little bit from our mission president. He is soooo awesome! He brought the spirit really well and would be talking very reverently about how we are here for a purpose and all this stuff, and then 2 seconds later he would be cracking jokes and telling us about how he met his wife, and then again he would all of a sudden change to being reverent. It was really funny. I really really like both him and his wife. Oh yeah!!! Grandma and Grandpa Skousen, they know you!!!! Their daughter is in your ward (something Bunker) and he was the president of the Polynesian Cultural Center for 13 years! They have been to your house and the said you would know them for sure, their name is President and Sister Orgill. So cool!! Sister Orgill said she really liked your garden Grandpa and that she just wishes she had one like that :) Catherine, you might know their daughter too cause she is in her 30's and she has been in that ward for a while. Anyways, yeah I am really excited to have him as my president. He has the biggest smile and he loves people. We had interviews with him as well, and he took like a half an hour to an hour with every single missionary in the mission (117 missionaries). So yeah, super excited.
This last week was a little bit slower because all of our investigators just got baptized in YSA, and no one is home because of the summer. So...its been kind of hard to find people at home. But it has still been pretty good. I have realized a lot this week how blessed I have been in my mission. I seriously have had the best mission so far, I have an awesome companion, I am in a gorgeous area, we have been super blessed with baptisms, the YSA ward is awesome, I have made a ton of awesome friends, etc. I could go on, but pretty much the idea is that I feel really blessed. This week I swear like 10 people from the YSA ward gave us their schedules and they want to come help us out and all these things, and a couple of them even speak spanish! They are so missionary minded, its awesome!
Oh and we had a lesson with Shannon this week about missionary work. And she is soooo awesome!!! She really wants to do missionary work, she is trying to invite a bunch of her friends to church, she invited her brother to break the fast, she just asked us to bring a book of mormon with us to our next lesson so she can give it to a friend, she is just so cool.
Ok I feel like this letter has been really scattered, but we don't have that much time today...so sorry about that. I love you all and I hope that you are all doing well!
Les Quiero!
Hermana Johnson

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Picture from Shannon's Baptism

Just got this in the mail yesterday. Hermana Johnson (Marci), Shannon, and Hermana Garner.
They look great! 
 
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

IRVINE!!!

Pues, esta semana fue fantastico!! First of all, we are officially the Irvine mission! Our mission president is here and we are going to meet him on Thursday. He looks really awesome, I am really excited. It honestly doesn't feel any different yet. Our last mission conference with President Cook was a little sad, but now I am just really excited to meet my new one.

Tabby got baptized!!!! It was such a good baptism. Tabby was bawling literally the whole time. Her family all came cause she grew up mormon and her whole family is mormon, she just never got baptized, and so there were a ton of people there. Everyone kept saying how they never thought this day would come, and that Tabby has always been so against getting baptized and so against the church, that it was really amazing to see her changed. Which was kind of crazy for me, because by the time I got here I felt like Tabby was all about getting baptized. But she really has changed A TON in her life. She was so happy, it was awesome. Before the baptism started she was jumping up and down and talking to everyone about how she was so excited and everything. :) So she asked me and Hermana Garner to give a talk about baptism. As part of the talk we used her favorite talk "Forget Me Not" by President Uchtdorf. She LOVES this talk. So at the end of our talk we gave her a Forget Me Not necklace and told her to never forget the covenants that she is making today and no never forget to lean on the lord and a whole bunch of other stuff. She was soooo happy! She started crying again :) Then we gave her one of those book of mormons that I made for my team (TraceCe and Autumn made me one, Thank you!) and we wrote our testimonies in that and gave it to her too. Tabby was just glowing, it was so awesome.

So now all of our investigators in the YSA ward are baptized. But its ok, because the Lord is just full of miracles and all of a sudden we have 3 more! One of them, Selina,  just showed up at church last week and apparently she has already taken discussions before but her parents are super against her getting baptized so she wants to wait until they are ok with it. Another one, Nancy, was passed off to us from another set of sister missionaries. And the other one is Jake, Tabby's boyfried.

So this is a cool story. Before Tabby's baptism yesterday we were all sitting at church together in sacrament meeting. It was me, Hermana Garner, Tabby, her brother, her boyfriend Jake, and some of Tabby's friends. Sacrament meeting was one of the best Sacrament meetings I have ever been too. The talks were sooo good. Shannon told her conversion story :) and then 2 returned missionaries spoke. But I looked over at Jake towards the end of the last talk and he was bawling. Then he sat there are cried all through the last song. After sacrament meeting Tabby was talking to a bunch of people and he just sat there on the bench, so I went up to him and talked to him for a while. He felt the spirit super strong and he is just going through some really hard things right now. We talked for a while and I asked him if he wanted missionaries to come teach him. (he is Lutheran and his family is VERY anti-mormon) He said yes, he said he knew this was the right thing, but he is just really scared. It was awesome! I mean not really, cause he was waaay sad, but he totally felt the spirit. Then at Tabby's baptism he bore his testimony while she was changing and said that he wanted to get baptized in this church! :) So awesome. So he lives out of our area...actually out of our mission now. But we are going to see what we can do to teach him, cause he wants to come to our ward. So awesome!

Important information! Send everything here!
My new address:
23 Lake Rd
Irvine, CA 92604

Anyways, I might have more information on the changes of the mission next week. But I love you all and I hope everything is going super well!

Les Quiero!
Hermana Johnson

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Officially, almost...

HOLA!!!

The day has officially come!!! Well, almost. Today is Monday and we get to email today even though P-day is tomorrow because tomorrow we are saying bye to President Cook!! So we got transfer calls on Saturday and we found out that we are going to stay together again and that we will both be Irvine missionaries for sure! Crazy. So tomorrow we will have one last transfer meeting with everyone as a Carlsbad mission where people who are going home will leave and only a few people will be moved around to fill in the spots of those going home. Also at the meeting we will say our last goodbyes to President Cook and all the people in the Carlsbad mission that we wont see again. Way sad! But then after the meeting we will officially be the Irvine mission. What does that mean? Well, there are only 2 spanish wards in the Irvine mission: San Clemente and Mission Viejo. There are 2 areas for Hermanas in the Mission Viejo ward, so in total there will be 6 Spanish Hermanas in all of the Irvine mission, and only 3 areas. So if I don't ever get switched to English work, which I hope I don't, I will spend my entire mission in 2 wards! Kinda crazy. At first I was kind of annoyed by that, but now I am kind of excited. I will get to know the members really well, and I will get to know the 6 Hermanas really well too and probably be companions with almost all of them. Its going to be wierd though because I will pretty much be able to guess what will happen to me for the rest of my mission, transfer guessing won't really be that fun! But its ok, I am super excited for all of this and i am really excited to meet my new mission president and stuff. Oh yeah, and it also means that I will go home 3 weeks earlier (cause their transfer schedule is different) than I would have if I stayed in Carlsbad, which will be kind of nice cause it will give me a little bit more time to figure out where I am going to school and stuff before it starts. So yeah, there you go. I am an Irvine missionary.

Ok so this week was awesome!! Highlight of the week. SHANNON GOT BAPTIZED!! It was sooooooooooooooo good!! Seriously I can't put enough ohs in so to explain to you how good it was. Elder Belnap gave a talk (one of the other missionaries who taught her) and he was crying like the whole time. The spirit was so strong. Then we had an amazing musical number by another missionary, where again the spirit was really strong. Then after the baptism and confirmation we had a couple testimonies that were also super awesome. I bore my testimony and I almost started crying cause I looked at Shannon and she was bawling. Then Shannon finished us off with an awesome testimony. It compared to Grace's baptism, so good. Then afterwards we all went to Baja Fish Taco's and ate lunch together. While eating, I was just so happy. Those moments are really what a mission is all about, being surrounded by friends, all of us doing our very best to follow Christ, and having a good time. So good. Shannon is one of my favorite people I have met here, I know I've said that about a couple people, but really, we get along suuuper well. We are going to do yoga by the beach next tuesday! I am so excited! :)

Other highlight of the week. The world-wide mission broadcast from the first presidency yesterday!! As a missionary, that was like the best thing that could ever happen. Really members are the best way to do missionary work. In a district meeting a couple days ago we all thought about our converts to the church so far, and not a single person that we have converted has been baptized without a member friend in the church! In fact, 95% of them were refferrals from members! So that is definitely the best way to get baptisms! And it is super awesome cause we got a call this morning during studies from a guy in the singles ward, and he asked us to come to FHE tonight and talk to the ward about what they can and need to do to help us out. Man, I love the singles ward. They are awesome! The only bummer part of that conference was that no one in our spanish ward heard it...and they are the ones who need the kick in the pants. They didn't announce it to our spanish ward, so no one even knew about it. But that's ok, we can still use it to help them help us so that we can improve the missionary work here!

I love being a missionary! This is a great time to be on a mission! I love you all and remember this promise from an apostle, "There is always someone in your life that is ready to hear the gospel!" So I invite everyone to look for those people! (oh boy, I'm such a missionary)

Les Quiero!
Hermana Johnson