Saturday, July 7, 2018

Just a few random thoughts

Wow! Has time flown by! Just last week I hit my 3 month mark from my return from the Mission! So much has happened in that time. Let's see....... After weeks of searching I was finally able to get a job at the local Pizza Hutt as a Dilivery driver, I got my first car(2000 Toyota corolla), I have dropped my weight from 226lbs to 190lbs(36lbs) by swimming and eating right, I have been to the temple weekly, I am preparing to move out of the house on August 1st and start collage. Last but not least, my dear sister Lindsey left this last week for the MTC in Provo Utah!
  Like I mentioned I am preparing for school in August. I will be attending EAC(Eastern Arizona College) for the next two years before transferring to the UA(University of Arizona). The plan is to study business. In recent months I have been fascinated with the thought of starting my own business, buying and improving business, and buying  franchises. Yes, I know. It takes a lot of money to buy franchises and businesses. People keep asking me why I want to do something that requires so much hard work and that is challenging. Well, I love hard work and I like a good challenge.    

  Your not succeeding in life if your not learning.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The last week of my missionary service

Howdy All!!
Sorry that is has been so long since I have sent anything out. It has been a very crazy few weeks. On Saturday March 31st 2018 I returned home from my Full-time Missionary service, and the past few weeks have been very crazy. I will tell you all now about my last week of my missionary service.
  The week was a crazy one. We had the preparations for the baptism on Saturday. On Friday I had a Doctors appointment for my feet that ended up taking up most of the day. On Saturday morning, Stephano, and Mike were both Baptized! I had the wonderful opportunity to help in the conformations of both Mike and Stephano.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Week 72

Howdy all!

This is Elder Johnson! Of course it  is, who else would it be?
It has been a very crazy week this past week. A lot has happened.

First of all. The Modesto California Mission has now become a Facebook Mission. Yes that means that I have Facebook, and yes it is extremely weird. And yes you kind find me on Facebook under the name of Spencer Johnson. A note on that, you can become my friend, you can like and comment. But please don't be offended if I don't reply to your message. I will only be messaging to people within my mission boundaries.
 Now about the work. We are  currently working with awesome people that are improving very well. This week has been crazy! Not only that but the next 2 weeks are going to be crazy, crazy busy. 

Stephano, and his girlfriend are getting married, we have baptism interviews for Mike, and Stephano on Sunday. They are both working on getting over coffee. we have their baptism on the 31st and a ton of prep for that. 
Ashlee, has been understanding the discussions very well. She is currently trying to find a date to be baptized(her Boyfriend is in marine training at the moment and only gets 10 out of the next year off. she wants him to be here for that.)

So sorry about the short email. We had to take the car to get its 20k check up in Lodi(1hr away). It ate up most of our day. Not to mention a very early dinner with a member(4)
Love you all!! Have a good week!!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Week 71

Hello all!

This is Elder Johnson! This past week has been quite a crazy line. As always the work has been hard but worth every minute. Our mission had their long awaited smart phone roll out this past Wednesday. It was the first meeting that I have ever been to that didn't require us to wear suits! That was fun.  Anyway we were down at the mission office for 5 hours setting up all the programs on our new phones. It was a very crazy day.

Elder Maea and I have been working very hard this week teaching many lessons and helping investigators and members out.  It is such a blessing to be able to go and help members and investigators when they are in need of a prayer over their home or in need of a blessing. 

Ashlee is progressing towards baptism very well, she is enjoying the lessons and loving everything. She told us that the gospel principals book and everything we've been teaching her is answering all her questions that she has been trying to get answers for all her life. Fun fact- Ashley used to be a Jehovah's Witness.

 Our other investigator Stephano has also been taking the lessons and is very interested. He and his soon to be father-in-law set their baptism date for March 31st. Stephano and his girlfriend are not yet married but surprised us right before teaching the law chastity lesson just this last week when they informed us that they're going to get married! The Lord works in mysterious ways! 

 This current problem that Don has is actually turning out really well for him. I won't go into much detail about what the problem is but I will tell you that he has a deadline that he has to have some things done by or he might lose things precious to him. It's really turned him to the Lord- he's been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and then asking for us to come over and just discuss scriptures with him and just talk things out with him which has been really good.

He's kind of cracked out of his shell and is really talking about the gospel. This is really  working good for him. I've seen a lot of change in him the past 2 weeks, a lot more change then I've seen in the past 6 months which is awesome.

He told me on Saturday that he is no longer craving alcohol which is really weird to him. He said that he always thought since he was so hooked that he would always have the cravings, and that he would never get over his problem of drinking. He is coming to realize for himself that what we have been telling him all along is true. What we have been telling him is that if he were to fall on his knees and plead with the Lord to remove this problem from him, and then do everything that he can do to stop that it will happen.

Well he is doing just that. He has been praying and reading and then really trying. So we're still working with him. Please keep praying for him. Thank you very much for keeping him in your prayers because I've seen it working  this past week.  oh one more thing. Don said that he feels like the Lord is testing him and he doesn't know why but he's sure it's for a good reason. which is awesome.

Love you all! Have a good week!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Week 70

     You know, When you pray and ask in faith God will answer. History shows this happening over and over again. Pioneers, members, people not of our faith, and missionaries stuck in a snow drift without cell service and far form any other living thing. Kind of like what happened to me and my new awesome companion from Centerville Utah, Elder Maea.

     We were on what is known as Shake ridge rd. on our way to visit a prospective Elder. As we were driving up this wonderful road it started sleeting. A few minuets later it started snowing. Within 10 minutes the road went from a nice clean black road to a road covered in a good in or 2 of snow. Instead of going 55mph I traveled at about 20. As we were going uphill on a turn, The car uncontrollably decided to slide off the road into the snow off the right side of the road. We were stuck. We were stuck to the point that we couldn't move one inch in any direction. Not only that, but it was starting to get dark and we had maybe an hour of light left. We had no cell service, and we were a long long walk from any house or cabin that had someone living in it. At least we had our 72hr kits in the back of the car and 3/4 of a tank of gas to run the heater if it got too cold. At once we started to dig the car out with our hands. I then crossed the road and snapped a ton of branches off the pine trees and stuffed them under all 4 wheels. For about 30 or 40 minuets we tried everything that I could remember about getting a car unstuck(my companion has never driven, he has no license. He had no clue how to get the car unstuck). 

     It was starting to get dark and all we had been able to do was get the car to move about 2 feet forwards or backwards. The thought suddenly came to mind that I had not yet prayed for help (little did I know but my companion had just had the same thought at the same moment I later found out) I closed my eyes and said a prayer asking for help out of the snow(my companion also prayed about the same moment, only behind the car). After opening my eyes I noticed something that I hadn't yet noticed. We were stuck on a hill with the front of the car facing up. I told my companion that I was going to pull the car as far forwards as I could and then try to go backwards and hope that gravity would help put us up on the road. IT WORKED!! Well it must have worked if I am here to tell the story of it.

Proverbs 3:5-6
 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Good News!! Mike and Stephano committed to baptism for the 31st of this month!!

Love you all!! Trust in the Lord when you get stuck in Life!! Please Pray for Don!! His family is in a really tough spot right now. His family might lose their house and they are out of work!


Monday, February 26, 2018

Week 69 White Stuff, 20 mph and a bit of change

The week goes slow when you have to travel all over your very large area at 20 mph. Well that is the safe thing to do when you in an area with a mountainous terrain that is covered in Ice and snow. This last week over half of our area received 5+ inches of snow. To tell the truth, it is snowing at this very moment in time in this beautiful area. 

 I do not have much time today to email thanks to the fact that we received transfer calls last night and there has been a bit of a change up. Elder Powell, my wonderfully awesome companion of 6 months, brother, friend, man who gives awesome bear hugs. He will be leaving this area.

Funny fact, when President called us last night he told us that our new companions would need a little bit of whipping into shape(slackers). Our feelings are like 50-50 at the moment.  

 Both Elder Powell and I spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday. we were the only 2 speakers! I spoke for 20min on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Elder Powell spoke for 15 min on member missionary work. President and Sister Palmer were both there to see us speak(we have to inform the office every time we are given the assignment to speak). They were able to meet each of our investigators.

We had a lesson with Ashlee this last Wednesday. We invited her to be baptized and invited her to pray about a date. We are really excited!!! Well I have to go because we have a lot of things to do on this busy day! Love you all! Have a awesome week!!!

***Forgot to mention this little story. Elder Powell and I went up to one of our favorite vista points before the rest of our area got snow. I built a snow missionary man doing Yoga on a peak like dad likes to do. I put my name tag on him and snapped a few shots. As we were pulling into the house for the night I realized that I had forgotten to take my name tag off the snow missionary man. My name tag was still on a snow missionary man overlooking our area at 7000ft. A few days later after the big snow storm we went back to find it but never found it in the over 1 foot of new snow. I never found the tag or little snow missionary man. So I had to order a new name tag. 


Week 68

I will have to remind everyone that I haven't seen real snow since I lived in Virginia about 3 or 4 years ago!!!! SO CRAZY!!!!
My companion Elder Powell and I were going crazy!! 

The work in this area has been pretty good this past week. 
The Work goes great! We currently have 5 investigators that are more or less moving along pretty well(Don is the really slow one). The work as usual, is very challenging and hard.

We were able to teach Ashlee the Plan of Salvation this week. She also came to church for the past 3 weeks now and is loving it!

 I am once again dealing with another companion(my 3rd) who is going home soon(about 4 months or 3 transfers) and might be a little on the trunky side. No doubt about it though, Elder Powell is by far my best companion and best friend. He still has that awesome missionary vision and works hard, but he has his moments. 

I had a doctors appointment this last week. My appointment last Friday went well as expected. Dr. Talboe was impressed by how much more flexible I am. However, the boot has been moved to the right foot for the next 6 weeks until the next visit. My left foot was doing very well with little to no pain at all(Dr. Talboe was very happy to hear that and my foot passed all test that he performed to it). That was so until yesterday when I was going down our apartment stairs on our way to church and I missed a step, fell about 3 steps before catching myself and rolling my left ankle in the posses. My left ankle has been swollen and throbbing since this time yesterday. I am pretty upset about that darn stumble that I had yesterday. I feel like all the progress that I have made in my feet in the past few weeks kind of just went down the drain. Why can't I just be a normal missionary without problems? I just want to work without this annoying pain.   

 Other then that life is awesome!
Love you all!! Have a good week and Keep the Faith!!

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