Monday, January 27, 2014

Benidiciones galor

Mis queridos amigos y familia,

This has been a great week. Did I tell you all about Teresa?!?! Well, pretty much she is a miracle. So our roommates have been teaching her and her family forever now but they finally decided that because she spoke spanish and she didn't understand most of what they were saying, they should pass her off to us...wahoo!!! Well, she has so much desire to learn, she is the golden investigator. My companions and I all had this vision of their family going into the temple to be sealed together and I know that they can do it. It is going to take a lot of work because her husband doesn't believe in God right now. But the Lord is preparing him to accept this gospel. He had this super spiritual dream and it led him to wanting to meet with us!!! So we are teaching both him and his family...they want to do it separately right now, but that will change. :) I am really excited to see them progress. I know that the rate that they progress is completely dependant on our faith so prayers for them and for us would be awesome! Their families names: Teresa Herrera is the mom, Miguel Barrera is the dad, and the kids are Natalie and Sophia.

This week I just realized how much I am blessed. We sang as a choir at a youth fireside last night and it was super awesome. I love singing for youth because for some reason the spirit is just really strong when they are all together. But while we were there I realized that I am sooo blessed. I have been blessed with an amazing family, amazing parents, an amazing mission president, a crazy opportunity to lead a choir of 80 people at the age of 20, amazing companions, the opportunity to be at the front end of this last battle for the salvation of souls, and just with so many other things. Us, as members of the church are INCREDIBLY blessed!!! My challenge for you all is to write down all of these blessings, to remember them in hard times, and to help those around you to have them. Think of the blessings that we have that others do not, they need those blessings. I promise you they are searching for them. There are thousands of Teresa's searching for more happiness, searcing for the truth, and searching for these blessings. It is our job as members of the church to figure out who those people are. Pray for the gift of the spirit, for the gift of discernment, and pray to be able to put yourself in a position to be able to share these blessings with others. And then actively put yourself in positions where you will be able to share, don't sit around and wait for God to do it for you...cause he doesn't work like that. I love you all, I miss you all, and I hope that you take this counsel to remember your blessings this week and share them with those around you. LES QUIERO!!

Tu hermana, tu amiga,
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Some good turns and some bad turns

This week had both some good turns and some bad turns. We'll start with the bad.
We got a text from Benito a couple days ago that said that he didn't want to get baptized anymore, that he changed his mind. Ugh. We were like, what the heck?!?! It was super random cause the day before we had had a really powerful lesson. So we called him and talked to him about it and asked him what had happened. He kept making up excuses, that he didn't have enough time, that he was still meeting with the Jehovah Witnesses and they were hispanic and he liked that better, and other stuff that really didn't make any sense. So i spent a LONG time on the phone with him trying to figure out what was going on and bearing my testimony. Finally at the very end of the conversation he told us what his real concern was....he really liked a girl from the Jehovah Witnesses church and she told him that she wanted to marry him. HAHAHA!!!! Are you joking me? That was his concern, which was completely valid because he is like 45 and lonely so I understand that that would be hard, but he didn't want his family to be in 2 different religions. SO...he didn't want to meet with us anymore. Try as we might, he wouldn't let us. We were suuuper bummed. Fast forward a couple days. We call him and he confesses that he feels terrible and that he thinks that this is actually the true church because he has felt terrible ever since then and and didn't feel like that when he was meeting with us. So he does want to meet with us still!! So it really isn't that bad of news, but he won't be able to get baptized this Saturday...we don't think. We are going to see him tomorrow though. PRAY FOR HIM!!!!

But also this week we had an AMAZING training! We had some people come down from Salt Lake to train our mission about a new way to teach. They showed us how to use pamphlets and questions in a very simple way to bring the spirit in every lesson. They showed us how to have the investigator receive revelation immediately on the spot during the lesson with the way that we teach. It was AWESOME!! It was an all day training and we learned a lot, but the spirit was super strong there. It was a very spiritual experience and one that has helped out in our teaching a lot. We have used the new method almost every single method and have gotten some really good results. I am excited to see what will happen as we improve in our ability to teach it.
Also this past week we were able to find 6 new investigators, which we really needed!! They all have a lot of potential so we are really excited about that. Their names are Teresa, Miguel, Natalie, Sophia (not 8 so not really an investigator), Ernesto, Teresa, and Fernando.
Anyways, I love you all and I hope that you are all doing amazing!!
Con amor,
Hermana Johnson 

Monday, January 13, 2014

El poder de la oracion

This week has been amazing! First off, me and Hna Bullough got another companion and her name is Hna Roos. She is from Idaho falls and is awesome!!! She is super prepared to be a missionary. She is on the ball and has a really good memory, which is a perfect combination because I definitely dont....runs in the family :) But we have had some really cool experiences this week with just feeling the spirit. We have had the spirit almost 100% of the time just by being diligent in our studies and staying focused on the work, it really has been an awesome experience.
And good things happen when you have the spirit....Benito is going to be baptized on the 25th!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a solid date this time, he is really excited about it, he has started living the commandments and he told a couple people about his baptism. And he FINALLY came to church yesterday!!! WAHOO!!! We were extatic. But we had some really powerful lessons with him and he is really starting to change, it is super cool.

I had a really cool experience this week in learning the power of prayer. I have received a couple blessings in the past that have told me that it is really important for me to focus and learn about the power of prayer and I never really understood what that meant, I'm sure I still don't understand all of it. But this week I had a cool experience that grew my testimony. In choir we had practice and it didn't go over how I wanted it to, I didn't feel like we were ready to perform on Sunday (yesterday) like we needed to. So I prayed a lot about what I needed to do. As I prayed ideas popped in my head of things I needed to do, but none of them had to do with choir- they were things like read the scriptures, pray for this, and y the scriptures at the bottom of the himns, but not like tell the choir this or do this or any direction in that sense. But I did what the spirit told me. Yesterday morning I felt the spirit super strongly and I felt really strongly that the only thing that mattered about me conducting was if I had the spirit or not. If I did, the choir would, and then the audience would feel it. So I focused and prayed for the spirit, and it was amazing! I could feel by prayer being anwered as I was conducting. I knew what needed to be fiexed and I knew how to do it, and my conducting was a million times better. The lord answers prayers, he does, and he can do it immediately if you have faith in him and in his plan for you. I love this gosel, it is true. It can and it does change lives. It changes your life too, remember that. I love you all, and I miss you.
Kevin and Jessica, FELICITACIONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am soooooooooo excited for you!!! I want to see a whole bunch of pictures!!
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Johnson

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cambios, como siempre :)

The theme of this week could be summed up by a quote given to us by our Relief Society President....but I can't remember the quote exactly so here it is the jist of it. :)

God never gives us bad gifts or blessings. He is always waiting to bless us with the very best that he has. But sometimes we don't want to choose those blessings, we would rather continue doing what we are doing and receive the same blessings that we are already receiving than to change to become better and to receive the blessings that God wants for us. Forced change is the way that God blesses us with the things that we would not choose for ourselves, but that he wants to give us.

Forced change is AMAZING!!! And this week was full of it. :) On Tuesday night, New Years Eve, I received a phone call from Elder Risk. It went something like this. "Hermana Johnson, how are you doing today?" (me) "I'm doing pretty well, how about yourself?" "Great. Now hermana I have a question for you, do you have any experience conducting a choir?" Me, fumbling in my brain trying to figure out if I do or not. "Um...not really, I have lead some VERY small groups in doing choir things....but not really, um. no." But I would love to learn!" "Great, well then, you have been selected to be the co-conductor of the Irvine Mission Choir." Me, smiling, freaking out inside, not sure what to say, trying to figure out a response, and then he continued. "Conducting can be learned, but we feel like we need to have somebody who can take control of the choir, who can lead them and that they will respect, and we all felt very strongly that you would be the one for the job." Me, mind blown. "I would love be the co-conductor, what do I need to do?" AHHHHHHHH!!!!! yeah, the next day I got to lead 2 songs and figure out what to do with them and everything. It was crazy. I had thought about maybe trying to be the conductor one day because Elder Risk is going home soon (oh yeah, he is the conductor right now) but I was thinking that I would have to go tryout or something, I was not expecting that phone call. But I am really, really excited about it. It is going to be a very humbling calling, but as it says in Ether 12:27 if I come unto Christ, he will show me my weaknesses. BUT he gives me weaknesses that I may be humble. And his grace will be sufficient for me as long as I humble myself unto him and have faith in him, and THEN will he make my weaknesses become strong unto him. And I know that this is a true principle for you all as well. We are meant to have weaknesses, there is a reason that God called me to this assignment. He knows that I will grow and learn and be able to fulfill what he has for me. And I know that through him my weaknesses will become strong unto him. And I know that will happen for you as well.

Well, that isn't the only thing that changed this week. Tomorrow is transfers!!! I thought for sure I would be leaving and be moving on to other things, but it turns out that you never know what God has in store for you. I will be training again!!! But I will keep training Hna Bullough at the same time that I start training the new one! I am super excited for it. God has something great planned for this transfer for us, I can feel it.

As for investigators and everything, this week was a little bit slower of a week. But we had a great lesson with Benito and with Christian and his family, actually mostly his wife. Neither of them were able to come to church :( but we were able to set a baptismal date with Benito for the 25th of this month, so prayers that he will make it are gladly welcomed! :)

Thank you for all your support and your love, I love you all and I hope that you have an amazing week!
Les quiero!
Hermana Johnson