Wednesday, July 31, 2013

La primera semana ha vino y se fue!


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


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!


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


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 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


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