Sunday, October 22, 2017

Week 50

TODAY IS DAY 365!!!!!!


OH YEAH!!!!!!! 1 Year in and one to go!!! I have loved every single second of the past year!!!! Every moment of sadness, pain, heartache, fun, learning has been worth it! Every day that I am out serving my joy and desire to serve seems to grow more and more!!! This week has been a very good week with lots of walking, driving, teaching, and pain. 

We have been working with a less active who came to church for the first time in about 12 years!!! we were so excited when she came to church with her husband who is not a member. We will be teaching her husband this coming Saturday at noon and are very excited. we both felt inspired to(my comp and I) to give her husband a pamphlet from the plan of salvation and told him that that was the message we would be sharing this next Saturday. Sacrament meeting turned out to be perfect! the Speakers talked about our purpose on earth and temple marriage!! The Bishop then got up and testified of the truthfulness of the gospel! 2nd hrs lesson was on the nature of our Heavenly Father, and then Elders quorum was about the leadership in the church and about the priesthood. Church couldn't have turned out better for the returning member and her investigating husband. 

 We were able to teach Shawn the Word of Wisdom this week! He has not been reading the book of Mormon and I testified to him of the power that the book of Mormon has and promised him that if he were to read it and pray about it not only would he receive an answer about the book of Mormon, but that he would be able to overcome his addiction to coffee. Shawn is really struggling with the coffee right now along with his scripture reading. I once again testified to Monica the returning member that if she were to read the book of Mormon that she would receive the strength to overcome her addiction to coffee and smoking. I love you all!!!! Thank you for your prayers!!!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 49 Faith Trust and a little Pixie Dust

Howdy all!!!

One week from today I will be hitting my 1 year mark from the time that I was set apart as a full time missionary, and in 9 days I will be hitting my 1 year mark of when I entered the MTC in Sao Paulo Brasil!!!

 I have done a lot of growing in the past year of my life. This past week I have found myself looking in my journal and a half of the past 12 months. I have changed in many ways. I have changed in ways such as; I have more confidence in myself, I have more determination to do things, I tend to be more selfless, I think a lot more before I act, I talk a lot less and say more of what needs to be said. I have little to no fear of what people might think or say about what I think or do that I feel is right. I find myself searching for ways to serve someone, or to make them smile and be happy. 
 Ya know, before the mission I was totally fine with just walking up to some random person and striking up a conversation with them and becoming their friend. Now when it came to church stuff I was a big fat Chicken! I wouldn't say much and would get scared of what the person might think of me after I shared what I believed. Yes I know that I am a missionary now and that it is supposed to be easy for me to just walk up to some person and preach the Gospel to them. Nope not true! The first few months of my mission I was scared to open my mouth and talk. I was afraid of what people might think or say about what I was sharing with them. The bottom line is, that I Feared man!! Well I got over that Fear of man. And just how did I get over that Fear of man? I put my Trust In God!

 Now one doesn't just decide one night to forget all fear and have perfect Faith and Trust in God the next morning. Now, with every ladder in this world, one must start at the bottom and climb to the top. 

 The scripture on the plaque in my home ward building is Alma 26:12. That is a scripture that became my favorite after my father showed it to me a few years ago. There is one line in verse 12 that has become so real to me.
 "For in his Strength I can do All things." 

I have had many trials in the past year. Trials with disobedient or hard to deal with companions, sickness, language, and my current problem with Plantar Fasciitis. Each and every one of my trials has strengthened my faith and trust in God. God really is there. He knows us personally. As one of my new favorite scriptures says (1 Nephi 3:7) God has a plan prepared for us, and he prepareth a way for us to accomplish that plan. 

I am now here in the Jackson Ward covering most of Amador County. I am very grateful to be here. I am very grateful that I am still able to be serving a mission. 
 I will now tell you all somewhat concerning an experience I have had in the past weekish. A Wise Old Man sent me an email and challenged me to memorize a new scripture every day. When I read the challenge I thought, "There is no way in the world that I can do one new scripture every day!!" I took the challenge. And I found that the Wise Old Man's challenge was possible with God's strength.

 On the first day I prayed and asked God for help. I explained the challenge and how much I wanted to be able to memorize one scripture a day. I explained to the Lord that in the past I had struggled with memorizing things. I then asked for the faith to be able to memorize a new scripture every day. I then went and tried my best! 15min later I was surprised to find that I had Ether12:6 memorized! And today over one week later it is still in my brain along with many other verses of scripture. We can do anything with the Strength of our God!
Love you all!! have a good week!





Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Week 48

Howdy all!!!

Two more weeks and I will be hitting my 1-year mark!!!!!
Man Time flies!!!!! 

I have been reflecting on the past year a lot this past week. Man I will tell you what, I have really changed!!!! A lot! In very good ways!!

I hope you all we able to watch General Conference this past weekend. It was Awesome!!!!! If you missed General Conference check out this link. --->  https://www.lds.org/general-conference?cid=HP_SA_23-9-2017_dGC_fBCAST_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng    .   

This past week has been a good week. Shawn, a current investigator of ours accepted the invitation to prepare to be baptized and is now preparing to be baptized on the 25th of November. Shawn is 25 years old and is a really skinny guy. He has had an interesting past life which includes 4 open heart surgeries, abusive foster parents, drug use, and now a search for happiness. He was introduced to the church by an awesome member who is his friend. He is improving well. It has been fun to work with him and we always have good discussions. 

I am so happy today. Conference was so good. I am brimming with happiness. the past 2 days I have received so many answers and so much new energy and motivation. 

I know that this church is true. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. I know that this church is guided by God himself, and that he will never take us astray. I know that there is a life after this life and that we have loving heavenly parents who love us and watch out for us. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and that he will give us his strength to accomplish what he has in mind for us. I know that Christ's Church was restored to the earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith and that all the keys to the kingdom of God have been restored. I know that death is not the end of us, but that one day we will rise again and live forever in happiness.

 I am so grateful for this great work that I am able to be a part of. It brings me so much joy to see the change in peoples lives, as I teach and serve. I am grateful for the knowledge that my companion and I are not alone, that we have the 3rd member of the Godhead with us to guide us and direct us.

 Lift up all your heads and rejoice!! We are all part of the greatest work that will ever happen!!! We are all missionaries! Both members and full-time missionaries!!!
I challenge you all to try to seek out opportunities to serve and be missionaries, and to feel the great joy and love that can and will come into your lives as you strive to bring others to a knowledge of their Lord. Give it your all!!

I love you all so very much!! Keep trying your best every day!!


                                                                ELDER JOHNSON
                                       California Modesto Mission
                                      
4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356
                                 spencerjohnson1@myldsmail.net







Thursday, September 28, 2017

Week 47



 Howdy All!!!

This past week has been a great week!!! So much has happened this week!! 

First things first!! The work is great!! We didn't have the best week teaching wise because all our appointments were canceled on us. Yesterday I felt inspired to call up one of our investigators that had been at church that day. We called him up and asked if we could come and teach him a lesson. He said that we could come on over!!! Man were we pumped!!!  Shawn is 24 years old and is living in one of the rooms of his uncle's hotel. He has had a difficult life. He is only 24 and has had 4 open heart surgeries in his lifetime. Last night we taught him the restoration! It went very well and the spirit was strong. Shawn already knows that the church is true and has been coming to church for the past few weeks. We have not yet got a date set for his baptism but he is really excited! We are currently working on getting him off of coffee. 

I had a great find this week. Every Wednesday we help out at a thrift store. As a reward we get everything half off!! Last week I got a pull-up bar for $2.50. It is in really good shape, and I have been using it every day. I also Got a really awesome REI brand Sleeping bag. It is a 15F bag called Shasta.

Now my area consists of all of Amador county. Our house sits at about 1500ft in elevation and the highest point in my area is just over 6000ft. So we went hunting for people to teach and decided to check out the furthest of the far reaches of the area. Well, we didn't find many people, but we did find beautiful views and snow!!!! There is a picture of me standing at a viewpoint. Every very bit of land that you can see in the picture is my area. 

Also seen in the Photos is a massive Ice cream sandwich that I made (about 6in across). I named it Diabetes and gave it to my comp. He loved it!

Love you all!!  Have a good week!!!












Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 46

This week has been soooooo awesome!!!!!!!!! I am in a new area, the Jackson California ward! It is a massive area!!! We cover most of a county (Amador). We are in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and are in mountainous terrain. It is sooooooooooooo awesome!!

Upon arriving in my new area (a car area) I received a new comp. His name is Elder Powell. I had the opportunity to teach a lesson to someone named Mekenna. She already had her bap. date set for the 16th and was very excited. Mekenna was paralyzed from the chest down 2 years ago in a car wreck. It took 3 people to baptize her and the spirit was strong.

We have been driving all over the mountains searching for people to teach. Last night  Bishop Earnest dumped sauce all over himself and my comp!! It was soo funny!! Everyone was laughing really hard. Bishop Earnest is awesome. We had a meeting with him about the work in the area, and it went really well.  

I have an awesome district and we are all here in the mountains!!! My comp has a sewing machine and is making district ties (and skirts for the sisters). 

Love you all!!

The older couple is the Hopkins. He is a Korean war vet. they live in the middle of the mountains, just the 2 of them.  64 years ago they built the 2 story part just after being married. Over the years they added on.  He has lots of stories.






Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Week 45

Hello everyone!!!

Last night we received Transfer calls!!! Both Elder Smith and I will be leaving the Modesto 2nd ward. Elder Smith is being transferreded to a city called Lodi, and I am on my way to a small little city in the mountains called Jackson. My area is massive and I will be having a car. Elder Smith is going to be my Zone leader. We are both really excited and stressed. 

I gave myself a haircut on Saturday night. A little while back my mother gave me a hair cutting kit thing and on Saturday night I tested it out. I think it turned out pretty good. I am not sure what the back of my head looks like, but everyone has said that it looks pretty good.

The work has been tough this week. we had several lessons set up, but in the end none of them were taught. =( I keep having people ask me how I always stay so positive and motivated, and how I can keep working so hard if I am not having any success. Well I just keep the reason that I am here for in my mind. I think of all the lives that I have seen changed and how happy I was when I saw them happy. It then makes me what to do better and I push harder. It feels really good to work hard. I am always so tired by the time that I get home that when I lay down to go to sleep I fall asleep almost instantly. the next morning when I wake up I feel just as tired as when I wole up and I get up and go anyways.

 I would like you all to read in Mosiah 2: 20-25, 41. I read that this week and it made me a lot more grateful for my life and made me want to do my very best each and every day. Love you all!! 

20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
My District 


Before

After

Week 44

HOWDY ALL!!!

This week has been a very good week. 

First of all, people are kind of freaking out over here. Some news given to us by some members said that a mag 10 earthquake has been predicted to happen in this area. The bad thing about earthquakes is that you can't tell when they are going to happen only that they will happen. So as the word goes, there is a 100% chance of this earthquake happening only no one knows exactly when it will happen. We were also told by a member that yesterday just south of Modesto there was a police shot and killed by his neighbor.  The story is really sad. This world is getting so scary. 

The past few days have been in the 100's. On Friday it was 115 and more than a little humid for my select taste. 

President Palmer asked that we be out the door by 10:00 to be out finding people. He promised that if we did so that we would be blessed. My comp and I have kind of struggled to get out on time and at times are 15 or 20min late. On Friday morning we made an extra effort to be out of the door at 10:00 and made it out of the door at 10:03.

 We headed off to an area that we have been focusing on and started going door to door. The second door that we knocked on opened and we had a good 20 min conversation about our church's beliefs and what makes our church so different. A few doors later we once again had a good conversation with an older father and his son. The father got really excited about what we were talking about and we set up a return date. On that same street, we talked to a man from Stockton who was doing some work for his aunt. He also got excited about what we talked about with him and we gave him a Book of Mormon. He said that he has a Mormon friend that invites him to one of the Mormon churches to play basketball, and that when he finished the Book of Mormon he would talk with his friend about it. 

Later that evening we taught the restoration on the street to a woman that we referred to the Assistants. She was really excited. At the end of a 45min talk on her driveway, she asked if she could be baptized. 

On Saturday we were out the door by 10:02 and almost had the same results.
On Sunday we had an investigator come to church. We also had a less active Youth(18) who told us he is going to go on a mission, and we were really excited when part of a less active family that we have been working on for the past few weeks came to church. We both feel that This all came about because of the extra effort we put in to being obedient.

-Elder Johnson