Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 67

Howdy all!!! 

This week has been a pretty darn good week!! Man, I love my district!!! 
Anyway, let me tell you all about a few miracles that happened this week when on exchanges with the zone leaders.

 Elder Smith (my old companion from my first 6 weeks in the states) and I were companions for exchanges in Lodi CA. As we were knocking doors we were able to witness many miracles that come from working hard and giving our best. 

One door Elder Smith and I were able to knock on, when the person opened the door she said that she couldn't speak English very well but that she spoke Portuguese. Before I knew what happened I had introduced ourselves as missionaries and given a 30-second version of the restoration. It was awesome! She was very surprised as she was shutting the door and I started speaking Portuguese. We talked for a good 5min as Elder Smith just stood there kinda flabbergasted not understanding a word. We talked about her short life here in the states and all the trouble with life. She was taking care of her mother and her daughter's children and how life was just crazy at the moment. She said that if there were any missionaries that could speak Portuguese, that they could 
return in a few weeks. Man! I never thought that I would have to use my Portuguese stateside like that. (We'll see what happens, because there are no Portuguese speaking missionaries in this mission, and she is outside my area).

We had 3 investigators come to church this week!
The only investigator that we were able to work with this week was Don. He is really struggling right now. He really wants to drink and is suffering from some pain from a dislocated shoulder. 

I love you all!! Please go forth and bring people unto Christ!! 

Mama Karchner wanted me to take a picture of her.

Exchanges with Elder Smith





Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 66

Howdy all!!

This week has been a very successful week full of a lot of hard work, sad news for the mission, and summer-like temperatures. 

First. We were all informed this last week at Zone conference that our mission come July first, will no longer exist. The Modesto California Mission will be dissolved and the northern half will become part of the Sacramento Mission and the southern half will become part of the Fresno Mission.All missionaries within the Modesto Mission will receive a reassignment to one of the two mentioned Missions. 

The temperatures have been in the upper 60's and low 70's. Not normal for this time of year around here but very nice for the missionaries who are working. 

As for investigators, we have had an awesome week with several very good lessons and 3 new investigators.
Ashlee, is a young woman in her early 20's. We got her information from Salt Lake. We were able to teach her the restoration and give her a Book of Mormon. She came to church on Sunday and has made several friends at church!
Mike, is the brother-in-law of a member who approached the member asking if he could receive the lessons and be baptized. We were able to teach him and his returning less active wife the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation after dinner at the members house. Mike has been attending church for the past several weeks and is an awesome person!
Stephano is Mike's soon to be Son-in-law. He is about my age and is very interested in the Gospel. He has been present in the lessons with Mike. He asks questions and comments during the lessons. Before we could offer him a Book of Mormon he asked for one. 

Elder Powell and I like to have the lessons be discussions, not us talking to a brick wall. The lessons are always very full of the Spirit and the members present do a lot of the teaching. 


                                                                ELDER JOHNSON
                                       California Modesto Mission
                                      
4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356


                       

Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 65

Well, I almost saw snow for the first time in a few years this week!!! I mostly say a ton of hail and sleet! This week has been a long painful week! A lot of very hard work! But it feels good to go to bed each night hurting so bad that you can hardly walk. I am not so much a fan of being so tired that I can't sleep. That is the only downside to the last week. 

I don't have very much time today because I have to go pick up the RAV 4 today(I hit a deer 6 weeks ago and it just got out of the shop last Wednesday). The RAV is in Modesto, a good hour and a half drive away and I get to use most of my preparation day to clean the car we have now, drive to Modesto, pick up the RAV, drive it home, wash it, and they try to get everything else we have to get done today done. 
 
A little update on Don. We have been working real close with him as he came to us almost begging to help him get off of Alcohol and Marijuana(smoking for pain). He wants to be clean so that his family will stay together. He doesn't want his 4 little girls to grow up with the life that he had. He is a good father with big dreams for his little family. Like most people in this world, he has his own big challenges that he is trying to overcome. 

 We all have challenges big and small that we are trying to overcome one day at a time. Though it may seem like it at times, we are never alone. Christ is there to lift us up (go to last weeks email). He has felt our pains and our sorrows and knows how to nurture us and help us. All he asks is that we recognize his outstretched hand and take the steps to accept his help.

Love you all! Open your hearts and recognize Christ's invitation to you to come unto him! Have an Awesome Spirit-filled week in finding ways to bring people unto Christ! 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Week 64

You know, some people may say "Just another week in the mission", but to me every week is a special week!
To tell the truth there is not much to report on for this week. We had no lessons :( We did find a few potential investigators. We were not able to get into contact with Wayne or Hedi. But I will say that we had a good hard working week. A ton of door knocking, a ton of talking to people, and a ton of being a happy, hard working, full of the Spirit missionary.

There are 2 major things that happened this week.

1) Don, relapsed and drank for 3 days before becoming clean again. We are still working with him. He is a really great guy, and we love working with him.

2) We did a service project for Sister(Ma'ma) Karschner with a few members. Sister Karschner is 95 and is sharp as a whip! She has been really needing some help with her yard(splitting huge fallen trees and burning brush). So with the help of her son and 2 really good members(President Lyman, and Brother Murphy) we went and got all the work done in a very short period of time. She was so happy for what we had done. Man do I love her. She is a very lonely old lady. The only people that ever go visit her are her son, and every once in a blue moon, us the missionaries. I wish that you could all go visit her! She loves us so very much as do we her.

 Brothers, Sisters, Family, Friends please go forwards in faith. By the strength of the Lord all things truly are possible. If you are struggling with your testimony of this you can lean on mine as you find the truth in this. You know the Lord is out there for you. He is waiting for you with outstretched arms. He is waiting, always waiting! The only thing left for you to do is to reach up and take him by the hand. There is a picture that I love very much, it is by far one of my very favorite.

Christ in red and white robes, knocking on a plain wooden door with a small window showing warm light inside.

I want you all to look at the picture and notice that there is no doorknob on Christ's side of the door. The doorknob is on the other side of the door. It is on your side of the door, you have to open the door and let Christ into your house, into your heart. 

Love you all have a good week!!!!




Sunday, January 21, 2018

Week 63

Howdy All!!! I hope that all of you have been having an awesome week!! I Have been having an awesome week I can tell you that much! First of all last night was Transfer calls!!!! DUN, DUN, DUN,DUUUUUNNNNN!!!!! Drum roll please!!!!!!! And Elder Johnson is.....................................
STAYING IN JACKSON!!!! WHOOHOO!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!! At the end of this next transfer Jackson will officially be the longest area I have ever been in!! Also, Elder Powell is going to continue to be my companion for yet another transfer! He is officially the companion that I have been with the longest. We will continue to be co-district leaders for this transfer.

Wow! This week as far as missionary work goes has been crazy. We have done a ton of door knocking, have done a ton of contacting referrals, have done a ton of referring, have done a ton of service, have done a lot of teaching. Missionary week wise it has been a very good hard working week. 

Wayne, one of our investigators has been kind of difficult to contact. He told us to get back with him in January. The only thing now is to contact him when he is home or has his phone on.  

Shawn, Elder Powell and I are both saddened by the fact that Shawn hasn't been able to be contacted for the past few weeks. We have gotten to the point that we can't really do much more then we have done. We are placing Shawn into the hands of the Lord. The really awesome members of our ward have been really good at working with and fellow-shipping Shawn. He has many good friends among the members who are still inviting him to church. when he is ready he will come to the fold.

Don, he has been clean from alcohol for 2 months now. It has been to 2 best and worst months of his life. While he has struggled a ton with cravings, he has been good at turning to the Lord for help (Reading a verse from the Book of Mormon, Praying, working on his house, us following the spirit and popping up at his house at the right moment in time). We have done some service at his place and talked Gospel with him.

Hedi, is a mother with  3 fatherless kids. She works nights and is hard to get into contact with. Her poor little 12 year old daughter is pretty much raising the other two younger children as mom (Hedi) works nights and is drunk during the day. She wants to change her life and get away from alcohol. She is looking for a church that won't judge her for her problems but will help and love her. She is looking for a church that that will help her children know God and do right. We are excited to work with her. Please pray that we will be able to get into contact with her again and that she will be sober.
I hope you all have a good week doing good and bringing souls unto Christ!!!! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 62

Well I hope that you all had a good week this week. I am sure that you all have heard of the passing of our dear and beloved brother, friend, and prophet, President Monson. 
This week while flipping through my new little hymn book that I got for Christmas, I flipped to a well-known hymn to the church. Hymn no. 19 We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet. I started to sing the hymn. As I sang the hymn my mind was flooded with reasons I was grateful for a prophet, and in what way(s) my life has been blessed with the influence of a living prophet. At the end of the song, I started over. Only this time I sang the song and took out the word "we" and made it like this ( I feel that this has more meaning).
  1.  I thank thee, O God, for a prophet
    To guide me in these latter days.
    I thank thee for sending the gospel
    To lighten my minds with its rays.
    I thank thee for every blessing
    Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
    I feel it a pleasure to serve thee
    And love to obey thy command.
  2. 2. When dark clouds of trouble hang o’er me
    And threaten my peace to destroy,
    There is hope smiling brightly before me,
    And I know that deliv’rance is nigh.
    I doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
    I’ve proved him in days that are past.
    The wicked who fight against Zion
    Will surely be smitten at last.
  3. 3. I’ll sing of his goodness and mercy.
    I’ll praise him by day and by night,
    Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
    And bask in its life-giving light.
    Thus on to eternal perfection
    The honest and faithful will go,
    While they who reject this glad message
    Shall never such happiness know.
I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this Gospel. I know that this is the one and only true church upon the earth today. I know that President Monson was a prophet of God. I know that even though President Monson has passed we are still guided by the 12 Apostles that God has on the earth today. I know that God will continue to guide and direct us and will never leave us alone. 
I love you all! Have a good week!!

                       ELDER JOHNSON
                                       California Modesto Mission
                                      4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356








Monday, January 1, 2018

Week61

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!!!!! HAPPY 2018!!! 

I tell you! Time really flies when you are working hard!!!

I cannot believe that 2017 is already over!!! I mean it just started like 6 months ago!!!

This week was a very good week! It involved a lot of hard work. My good friend Don(investigator) needed some emergency help this week getting some walls taped, mudded, textured, and some tile laid and grouted! He has a new baby in the house(not quite 2 weeks), and the family of 6 was living together in a bedroom and living-room while Don fixed up the other side of the house. They are now living comfortably on the new side of their house.

I only have about 9 months left!! so crazy!! So hard to think that a year from now I will probably be starting school!! It is so weird how fast time goes by. It really shows how precious each and every day really is. An older member of my ward was telling my companion and me that it feels like it was just yesterday that he was getting home from his mission. Now he is in his early 70's. He has lived most of his life, he has been married, had kids(now had grandkids), worked his dream job, retired, and he looks back and wonders how life has gone by so fast. He told us to live our dreams and to work hard because tomorrow today will be gone and we will never get it back. 

I had a WOW moment when he told us that. It is true what the scriptures say about time passing in the blink of an eye. I still can't believe that most of my mission service is already behind my back. For years I never thought that the day for me to grow up and serve a mission would come. I have heard many stories of my father and grandfathers serving honorable missions and have always wanted to be like them. Now today I am living that dream, and am doing my best to make sure that I can look back on this time with pride and satisfaction.

 I really do love my life. I really do love the time that I have had and the time that I still have to serve as a missionary. Family and Friends!! Please live your life to the very best that you can each and every day! Live today in a way that you can look back tomorrow with satisfaction of the good work that you did.

 Remember, that this life it a time for men to prepare to meet God (Alma 34 not sure what verse). Let us look forward and do our best to do better this year then we did from this last year. Let us do our very best to bring forth good works and Light the World in each and every act throughout each and every day for the rest of this year and for the rest of our lives! 

I love you all!! Go forward doing good and your best!!! 
           

                                                                ELDER JOHNSON
                                       California Modesto Mission
                                      
4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356