Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Week 58

Hello All!

I once again finished a wonderful week in the service of the Lord!! Once again I might add, this past week flew past! I was talking to my companion Elder Powell today about how our weeks seem to be only 3 days long. Sunday, Monday, Thursday. All other days pass in a blur! We found that the only way we could really remember what we had done the other few days was if we were to look in our planners or in our journals! Crazy!!

 Well my second and last Christmas in the mission is right around the corner! Last Christmas I was in Brasil!!! So much has happened since then! It is crazy to think that 2018 is just a few weeks away!!!! I go home in 2018!!!! Gasp!!! Lets not think about that right now! 

The work here in the Jackson ward is going smoothly. Our investigator Don is progressing smoothly. This last week we went to Don's house and helped him mud and tape his walls in a newly added area of his house. He has been trying very hard not to drink alcohol, and has been clean for about 4 weeks now!! He has been having some very bad pain in his lower back and one of his shoulders, and because he would usually self-medicate by drinking and smoking pot it has been a very hard and painful week for him. We were happy to go and do service by mudding areas that were too high for him to reach with all his pain. We then finished the service with a message and a prayer. Later in the week he(Don) had us over for dinner as a thank you for all that we have been doing for him physically and spiritually. Afterward we once again did some mudding. Later that week we helped him get some fire wood and install a pelt wood stove.

 As for Wayne and Shawn, our other two investigators. We will be holding off until January, when they will have more time and both said that they will start taking the lessons and coming to church again.

 We have gotten settled into our new house pretty well. We do have a few interesting and creepy neighbors. One of our creepy neighbors was trying to get us to let him into our house the other day. He kept coming up with excuses to why he needed to come in. We talked with him for a long while. After a while he started talking to us about religion!! Awesome!!!! We jumped on the question he asked about our beliefs and in the end gave him a Book of Mormon along with our testimonies of its truthfulness and power. He was interested in the book and took it saying that he would read it!!!

  Friends, family, let me tell you something!! The Book of Mormon has power beyond description! It has the power to change lives!!! It has changed my life tremendously and I have seen it change the lives of many others!! Once the Book or Mormon falls into your hand's your life will change! With each verse of the book one becomes filled with the spirit. One cannot read the book without feeling that it is right. 

Yes there are the people that say that they have read it and found that it wasn't true. But if you read it with real intent and purpose, wanting to know if it is true, and then doing as we are invited in the book of Moroni chapter 10 verses 3 - 5 (pg. 529) and pray and ask God if this book really is the word of God. He will make it manifest unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost.

 I invite all, if you have or never have read the Book of Mormon to do so. I promise that if you do read the Book of Mormon and pray with real intent that the Lord will manifest unto you the truthfulness of this book to you. I promise that you will find true peace, comfort, and joy in your life. And that you will also receive the needed strength you need to go about your day to day life!!

I love you all!! Go forward in God's strength doing good!!! Have an awesome week Lighting the World!!!


                                                                ELDER JOHNSON
                                       California Modesto Mission
4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Week 57

Howdy All!!!
Not sure what week number this is, but it has been a pretty darn awesome one!!!! A lot of things have happened this week!!! I will start with this morning and work backwards.

 This morning we went outside and saw that it had frozen overnight!!!! I was so excited!!! I can't remember the last time that I had to scrape ice from my windshield!!! I loved every little moment of scraping!!! 

Last night we received transfer calls!!! My awesome companion Elder Powell and I will be staying in the Jackson ward for yet another transfer together!!!!! We will be here for Christmas!!!! And we are both now Co-District Leaders!!!!! We are both soooooooo excited. Neither of us have ever been in a leadership position before and we are hyped!! Being district leader means that I will be able to help more people!!! That is part of what I love so much about the mission, the service! 

  Speaking of service, this last week has consisted of a lot of awesome service! On Tuesday, my comp and I were in a nearby city with our district leader doing exchanges. We received a phone call in the middle of our planning session in the morning from Elder Cornell, one of the 4 Sr. missionaries at the mission office. He informed us that the lease on our apartment was out. He said that we had a new apartment and had until Saturday to be moved in!!! WHAT!!!! Well this week has consisted of lots of not normal missionary work. We had to pack all our stuff along with all the existing stuff that was already in the house. Dishes, Area books, progress records, food, couches, beds, etc. 

 When it came time for the move everything turned out just perfect. We had 3 of the awesome members of our ward to show up(including brother Murphy the one I emailed you all about a few weeks ago). The sisters and elders from my district also showed up. One member had an 8' by 18' trailer that ended up fitting everything we needed to be moved. In about 3 hours we had everything moved out and moved into our new place!!! Later we had to go back and clean the old place and later today we have to go with the manager to get it inspected. 

Our new place is really nice. Our new place is so nice that our President and his wife both called us and told us how nice the place is and to make sure that we take good care of it. Well, if you really wanted 2 missionaries to take good care of a house they picked the 2 best!!! We both feel very blessed to be here and treat the car and the house our very best. 

  I would like to thank all of you that have been praying for the investigators that I have been able to work with. In the past 3 weeks, Don, has made more change to his life then he has in the past year!!! 100% of all the change has bee the works of God. First of all, Don has been Alcohol clean for the past 3 weeks!!! these are the first 3 weeks that he hasn't had a drink in years!!! Not only that, but he has gone to church 2 of those 3 weeks!!!!! He has told us that he wants to make change in his life, and that he has seen the hand of God in the past 3 weeks. He has felt Gods strength help him to avoid alcohol. He has been doing his very best to read the scriptures and say family prayer. His wife is starting to open up and talk with us more. she said that after she has her baby this month that she would be interested in hearing what we have to say. 

The change that can happen to a person is so real. Reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church can and will change people in miraculous ways. Don has gone from thinking that he could never fully get away from alcohol to knowing that one day he will be clean. It is truly amazing. 

 Please keep Shawn in your prayers. We are starting to lose him. 
It is becoming harder and harder for us to get into contact with him. He has become a good friend and a brother to us as missionaries and many of the ward members and it is really hard to see one you love so much start to doubt and drift. 

 Wayne has not been able to meet with us due to work. He has been finding it hard to find time to read the Book of Mormon. Come Jan 1st he will have 3 months off and wants us to continue to teach him and he will start coming to church again. 

We are all a little sad over here in the Hills District. The Sisters in the district are both leaving along with one of the elders. We are all like family and it really hurts to split up after we have become so close to each other.  

How are you all doing with Lighting the World?! Jackson and the other little towns around here have exploded with light the world. Fast and testimony meeting was so cool. People kept getting up and talking about all the cool things that they have been able to do or the things that have happened to them. Almost every day last week the other missionaries in our district had someone pay for their lunch before they could pay! They still have no idea who did it for them. Go Forward and LIGHT the WORLD!!!!  LOVE YOU ALL!! Please send me your  LIGHT the WORLD experiences!!! I would love to hear about them!!!!!

                                                                 ELDER JOHNSON
                                       California Modesto Mission
4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Week 56


I am really excited to LIGHT the WORLD this Christmas season!!! 
This is really important to me! I can't tell you how the spirit has testified to me lately about the LIGHT the WORLD project this year!! We didn't do it in Brasil last year so I am Pumped!!!  

Please watch these videos and share them with all your friends to help us LIGHT the WORLD this holiday season!!!! 

#LIGHTtheWORLD   This years Christmas video!!~

Help us LIGHT the WORLD!!!! Day1!  Day 1 of the LIGHT the WORLD project!!!

25-ways-25-days to LIGHT the WORLD!!!  LIGHT the WORLD Calendar! 



Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 55

My companion and I are like brothers. That is the only way that I can describe it. Let me tell you how brother like we are. For one thing the 2 of us have so much in common, and at the same time, we are so uncommon. We both love the Gospel, we love family, we love the outdoors(we have very different views on how you should spend
your time in the outdoors), we both love the work, and we both love to talk to people. I taught him to love music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and he taught me a few things about sewing. We even treat each other like brothers. We have had some pretty stupid heated arguments. When I say stupid, I mean stupid. Such as whether it is better to sleep in a camper or a tent, or if it is better to go the speed limit or 5 over, or if it is better to sleep in a cold bedroom with lots of blankets or in a hot bedroom sweating to death. All the stupid arguments end with a hug, and us laughing at stupid it was for us to argue about that thing. We also have very good companion studies and gospel discussions. we teach very well together. In the end, we are 2 brothers that love each other so very much who would do anything and everything for each other.

We have had a very good week this week. One of our 3 investigators came to church this week. It was the first time that he has been to church for several months!!! We were really excited!!! Don(our investigator), has made more progress in the past week then he has done in the past 13 months!!!!(thank you to all who have been praying). I think that a few weeks ago I told you all about how we were pretty blunt with him and told Don what he needed to do to get his life straightened out, and what he needed to do if he wanted to have us keep teaching him. Surprising to everyone(members and missionaries) he started doing what he was supposed to do. More then anything in the world right now Don wants to quit his drinking habits. In the past, Don has tried to quit, but he has never done.(I like to quote Yoda and say "Do or do not, there is no try") This last week Don did a lot of praying and started reading from the Book of Mormon( the perfect thing to do if you want to know the truth and quit the bad stuff) and on Sunday he was excited to tell us that he had been clean the whole week!!! The first full week in years!!!!! He plans on going to church again next week!!! 

I would like to share a scripture with you all!! I found this scripture in my before bedtime study last night. it is in 2 Nephi 26

23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.  
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
Remember that the Lord has his arm stretched out to you continually and the only thing keeping you from receiving a warm embrace from Christ is yourself! 
Love you all!!! Have a very happy Thanksgiving!!!! Don't forget to be thankful for and remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ!!! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 54

How are all you doing? I am doing AWESOME, as always!!
This week has been a very good week full of good service and a lot of hard work! 

I would like to tell you all about something that made me very happy this week. There is an old man in our ward named Brother Murphy. Now brother Murphy is a very kind-hearted old man in his 70's. He is all alone with no wife or kids and calls his ward his family and spends all his time doing what he can to tirelessly help others. He is an old Navy vet and because of old age he hurts in his joints and has already had many joint replacements. Even with crazy amounts of pain this man continues to serve with everything he has to offer. Almost every time we see him he is tired, but very happy. 

This last week we were called on by a member to come to the church and help set up for a wedding reception that was to take place that night. Upon arriving to the church we found that Brother Murphy and a few others had just finished putting up all the chairs and tables in the church gyms. Brother Murphy sat down on a chair and we pulled up one for each of us. He started talking about how much work he had to do at home but how at the same time he had some other people he had  promised to help that day. We asked if we could help, but he said that he would be able to do it. 

 Many hours later after going to Lodi Ca(about 1 n'a half hrs out of our area) for an appointment for our RAV4 that didn't happen, we decided to put on service clothes and go and see if brother Murphy wanted any help. When we got to his house we found that he wasn't home, but we went to work on what he had told us a few hrs earlier that he needed to do. Brother Murphy has a good size chunk of land that is wooded, and that is on the side of a hill. He had gone out to all the dead trees and cut them down and then cut them into 18'' pieces. He then needed to carry them up his hill and then pile them next to his splitter.

 Well, we did just that. With the help of our RAV4's big truck like trunk we got all the wood up the hill to his splitter. We were able to get all the work done before he got home.

 The next morning at a joint ward wood splitting activity that turned out to be great, we saw brother Murphy!  He at once came up to us and gave us each a big hug(as we do in this Ward Family) and told us thank you. He told us that he hadn't gotten home till after dark the night before and had gone straight to bed. The next morning when he went out early to get to work on his wood he saw the huge pile of wood. 

He told us that he couldn't understand how the wood had gotten there. He then noticed that his broom that was on the porch was out of place(we had used it to sweep out our trunk), he said from the out of place broom and the pile of wood he put 2 and 2 together and knew that it was us.

Later that day President Palmer and Sister Palmer took my comp and me along with the sisters in our district to lunch and we had brownie lasagnas (as seen in the photo). 

Love you all!!! 
Go serve someone and feel happy!!!!!
Be AWESOME member missionaries!!!!!
Love ya'll!!!!