Monday, February 24, 2014

Cool things!!

ALOHA!!!....that is how we start every meeting here in Irvine California. I guess that's what happens when your President was the president of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii for 16 years. :)

This week was awesome! I don't know if I mentioned anything about the Evening of Music in any of my other letters, but it was this past Saturday, the 22nd. It was sooooo cool!! Pretty much one of the Senior couples in the mission put together this concert for us so that we could invite all our investigators to come hear us sing, and so that members could invite their non-member friends and have them come to the church and feel of the spirit. It turned out really well, we weren't sure how many we were supposed to expect, but we ended up filled the entire stake center. There was about 700 people there! And at least a couple hundred of them were non-members. It was AWESOME!!! Afterwards we had an open house so that people could go check out the church building and everything too, I am not sure how that went cause after the concert I was talking to a whole bunch of people. But it was super cool because I felt so calm and confident conducting and the spirit was really, really powerful. Oh and they put the whole thing in the newspaper. So me and Elder Risk along with President Orgill got our picture taken and I had to speak about the choir in the paper too! Crazy. It was Elder Risk's final hurrah before he left for his house, in fact I think he is on the plane right now heading back home. I am really excited for the challenge to be the head and solo director right now. At times it is super overwhelming, but I have received many witnesses that this is my calling and that I will be successful at it as long as I use the Lord in every part of the calling. So let the journey begin. :)

Another cool thing that you remember Antonia? Yeah, she kind of fell of the radar, she was about to get baptized and then her family got in the way and she stopped talking to us. Well....she came to church yesterday!!!! We were soooooo excited!!! She wants us to come over tomorrow and teach her! I am super excited because we had a spiritual confirmation that we were going to baptize her so we haven't stopped praying for her, and it paid off!

Oh yeah, yesterday we also sang at St. Mary's Episcopalian Church! It was super cool, the preacher heard us at an Interfaith thing that we sang at and wanted us to go to her church to sing. Something really interesting happened that grew my testimony a lot. The church was gorgeous and the accoustacs were amazing, and the choir sang fairly well. But the spirit wasn't super strong like it usually is when we sing, it was strong, don't get me wrong, but it was just different. It was a testimony to me of the truthfulness of our church. It was just super cool to feel the difference between the night before, when the spirit was overpowering, and then that morning.

And one last thing.....I was called to be the sister training leader over the Spanish sisters in the mission! I am really excited about it. It means that I kind of fulfill the role of a Zone Leaders but only for the Spanish sisters. It is going to be super fun, I get to go on exchanges with all the spanish sisters...which is awesome cause I have been companions with all of them except for 2 :)

Anyways, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!! We have some awesome goals set this week to teach 40 lessons so pray suuuuuper duuuper hard that we will be able to reach that and find those that are searching for us to teach them the gospel!!

Con amor,
Hermana Johnson

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Story


Well let me start by telling you a story. Once upon a time 3 sister missionaries were weekly planning and realized that this could possibly be the last week that they were together (because transfers were coming up in a week) and that they really wanted to work really hard this last week and teach a lot of lessons, be exactly obedient, and see miracles happen. So they prayed and made a promise to God that they would be exactly obedient this upcoming week so that that could happen. Then the next day one of the sisters said "oh man, you know what else we should do for our last week together? We should all dye our hair!!" The other 2 missionaries replied, "What a great idea?! That sounds like so much fun!" So off they went with their day talking about what their new hair color would look like and about how much fun p-day was going to be.

Then Monday arrives, and they decided that they should probably get a hair cut too because their hair was getting a little unhealthy. So they call up a member and went over to her house so start off their super exciting day. They only needed a trim so they figured it wouldn't take a super long time...1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours later they are STILL there!! The trims turned into hair cuts that not really any of them wanted. And p-days are only so long and they had some important hair-dying business to do! But they shrugged it off, ran home ate, emailed their families, bought the super expensive 8 dollar boxes of hair dye and walmart, and began the process. Immediately before they started, they all had a sinking feeling in their stomach warning them that what they were about to do was possibly not the greatest idea, but hey, it was going to be fun! So all 3 ignored the feeling. They started with a sister named Hermana Bullough, she was going to be going blonde. The other 2 sisters worked as fast as they could to get all the dye in her hair as possible because they only had like an hour and half till they had an appointment. As they were putting the dye in, she read the box. "As you turn to ash blonde you will find that it will help get rid of the red tones in the hair, etc." Oh no, she thought, why would it say that? My hair is going to be red!! The other 2 quickly responded and calmed her telling her that that was ridiculous, her was going to be a very pretty blonde. She was calmed and then it was time for the other sister.

This sister's name was Hermana Johnson. Now Hermana Johnson chose to go darker. So with very little time left the other sisters quickly put the brown dye in her virgin blonde hair. Although she was nervous, she was excited to see what the outcome would be. After both these sisters went there was not time to do the 3rd sisters hair, but they decided that they would finish with hers the next p-day. So excitedly and nervously they both took showers and started getting ready, for they had an appointment in about 20 min with an investigator. They got out of the shower, blow dryed their hair, and did everything they could to keep the tears from coming out. Hermana Bullough had an orange halo on the top of her hair, and hermana Johnson's hair was BLACK-an emo looking black!! AHHH!!!! What were they supposed to do?! They had to leave! Oh, they had an idea...Sister Drinkwater, a professional hair person who just happened to be serving in their mission. The phone call went something like this, "Sister Drinkwater, we need help! Hna Bullough has orange hair and Hna Johnson's hair is brown!" Her response, "You are all DEAD!! You dyed your hair?! Oh man, this calls for an emergency sleep over...I'll be there at 9:00" So then they cleaned themselves up, did what they could with their hair, and left for their appointments...although they did get their a little bit late. So much for the exact obedience thing, haha. They came back that night and sister Drinkwater came over to save the day.

Yep, that's how our week went. It was actually super funny. It was a good lesson on listening to the spirit, if we all had of payed attention to the super duper strong impression we all had to not dye our hair, it would have saved us a lot of trouble. :) So that is the lesson for the week, the spirit is working, make sure you listen.

Despite all that, our hair actually turned out really well after Sister Drinkwater fixed it up a bit. I'll send some pictures so you can all see. I have brown hair!! Besides that our week was actually very good. We repented for not being exactly obedient and we ended up teaching 31 lessons with almost all members! It was crazy, we are going to see a lot of success with helping our members invite their friends to be taught, we are really excited!

Well transfers are this week, there are no changes for us which is AWESOME!!! We were sooooooo excited when we found that out. I love you all and I hope you are having an amazing week!
Con amor,
Hermana Johnson


Monday, February 10, 2014

El poder de los miembros

Hola a todos!!

So this week was super good. I definitely have the best companionship in the mission and it makes a huge difference in the everyday missionary life. This week we worked hard and had a ton of fun, I love it! At the beginning of this week we had a training on how to use members better in our finding and how to strengthen them as well. Our ward is mostly converts, like 95%, and a good part of them were baptized in the last 7 years, so that combined with a whole bunch of other stuff just means that our ward needs a lot of strengthening. SO i was thinking about what we could do and we decided that we were going to focus almost solely on the members in our ward. We dropped a lot of our investigators (except for our really good ones like Teresa) and gave some of them to other missionaries as well and we have been focusing on the members and less actives. It has been soooo awesome! It's crazy cause we still have a TON of work. And I am really excited to see how many referrals we are going to get from working through them instead of by our own finding means.
We have been meeting a lot with Sarai Cervantes lately. I don't know how much I have talked about her, but she is the mom of Kimberly, the girl who got baptized when I was first in this area. Sarai is sooo awesome! She really wants to go to the temple and we are helping her prepare for that. I am hoping that she will go through before I go home from my mission!

For choir we are preparing for an Evening of Music on the 22 of this month. I am suuuuper excited about it. One of the Senior couples (fun fact: his name is Elder Loyd and he worked with Derek Marquis for years) in our mission scheduled this concert for us for the purpose of bringing non-members to the concert. It is going to be huge! There are so many people coming. Pretty much everyone in the mission knows about it and they are told to bring their non-member friends. Our goal is to fill the chapel and all the way back to the stage with non-members. Then we are going to sing for an hour about Jesus Christ and the Atonement mainly and our mission president will speak for a little bit. It is going to be CRAZY!! Crazy thing to is that it is the night before Elder Risk goes home so it will be his last concert and then I am going to take over the choir!! Ah!!!!
Oh and we sang at a ward yesterday and we all got a text that said that one fo the investigators or non-member friends that was there at the performance decided to be baptized during sacrament meeting!! So cool!! The choir works!
I am doing great, being on a mission is such a fun time of your life. I love the people, I love my companions, I have soooo many blessings, and it has been such a good experience to share my testimony with members and non-members alike. Transfers are next week and I have ABSOLUTEY no idea what will happen, but come what may and love it, right? :)
Les quiero bastante!!
Hermana Johnson

Monday, February 3, 2014

I love being a missionary!

Hola a todos!!

I love being a missionary!! Everyone in the world should take the opportunity if they can to serve a mission. This week really wasn't anything spectacular, nothing crazily different happened. But I really have spent a lot of time realizing the amazing opportunity I have right now to be a missionary, a full time servant of the lord. I have the opportunity to spend all of my time learning how to listen to the spirit so that I can better be his servant and find the lost souls around me.
I have such a great love for the people here in this area, I never want to leave. We had a couple really powerful lessons this week with some less actives and active members who are struggling. We read D&C 121 with them and felt the power of the knowledge that our trials are only going to be for a short moment.

We found a solid family yesterday. Their names are Isabel and her son Alan. They are one of those families that just have a light about them. Alan has a TON of awesome questions, he was very open in our lesson and the spirit was really strong. We are probably going to pass them off to the elders though because he is 17 years old and the elders in our ward would just be the perfect people to teach him. We have become quite the distributors of investigators lately...this is like the 4th person that we have passed off lately, and we have another one of pass off, haha.
Ok one of them is actually a super funny story. So we started teaching this guy named Glen. He was super awesome, accepted a baptismal date (I think I talked about him a while ago) and really wanted to come to church. We started helping him apply for a bunch of jobs so that he could change his work so that he could come to church and everything. So we were super excited about it. About the time that we were helping him with the resumes and everything he started acting super weird, we didn't trust him, and we could tell he was pretty much just interested in us and not in the message. So....we passed him off to the elders. They had a super awesome lesson with him and then we said bye and that was it. Then the elders called him, texted him, called him again, texted again, and he wouldn't answer them. The funny thing is that we would NEVER call him to set up appointments, he would always call us and schedule them. Hahaha, super funny. So yeah, we have been passing off some investigators after that, we don't really want that to happen again... :)
Teresa and Miguel didn't come to church :( We have been really struggling with getting our investigators to go. That is our only focus with them this week. Tons of prayers so that they come would be awesome!!
I love this work, I love the gospel, its true, and the lord has a plan for each and every one of us. Even if we don't understand it, don't like it, or are having a hard time seeing what the plan is, God knows what he is doing. Trust him. Les quiero bastante, y espero el dia en que los vea otra vez!!
Hermana Johnson