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 



Week 44


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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 43


Guess what?!! I am more than happy right now! Ask me the reason and I won't be able to tell you! I don't know why but I am in a really good mood this fine Hot humid day!!! I love it!!! Life is more than wonderful right now!!!
Hmmmmmm, what should I tell you all about today?!

Oh Boy!! I have had a full week! First things first. On Tuesday we did exchanges, and for the first time on my mission, I was the leader of the day. I was more than a little nervous. I had a missionary who is very quiet and never talks, so that meant that I would probably have to do 100% of all the talking in whatever ended up happening that day. I should have learned this a long time ago. A missionary need not fear for God is on his side. After the first 2 doors, the rest of the day was like running a cube of soft butter over with a car. 

On Friday I went to the doctor and I was given a boot. I am starting out with the boot on the left foot and will have it for the next 6 to 12 weeks. I will then switch over to the right foot for the next 6 to 12 weeks.  (To treat plantar fasciitis in both feet.)

Love you all!

Week 42

Actually to tell you the truth I think that it is kind of cool. Here in Modesto we were supposed to have an 83% - 85% Eclipse, and let me tell you. It was very noticeable! It got quite a bit darker outside. It was kind of cool, there were no clouds in the sky but there was less if not the same amount of light that you would have on a cloudy day. As missionaries we were told not to look at the sun or do any of the paper things or other things that one might do to look and see the moon do its thing.

I had the opportunity to once again return to the temple with a recent convert!!! It was sunny and there was very little haze over the San Francisco Bay, so I was able to get some good photos. That day in the temple I once again got to be the voice for confirmations and later as I prayed about some choices I am trying to make I received some good solid answers. 

My comp and I have really been trying hard to find people to teach. Last transfer right before I arrived here in Modesto Elder Smith and his old comp baptized all the investigators that they had. So when I arrived there were no investigators to teach and we had to start from ground zero. We have been doing a lot of praying and a lot of tracting, and lots of really really hard work. We are talking with everyone! We have knocked hundreds of doors in our area have talked to tons of people on the streets, and invited tons of people to come to church.

 In my now 3 weeks here in CA we have taught one lesson to an investigator! Last week we decided to start asking members if we could come and teach them to stay in practice, and we were able to go and have some good lessons with the members. This last week has been very difficult but very fruitful. We currently have 6 potential investigators!!!! We did all of our work out of a car this week.

 My feet have not been my best friends this week. We had to call in to The mission presidents wife to come in for the rest of Sunday night because my feet were swelling up and bruising. Yesterday was a very hard painful day. My zone leaders came over last night and gave me a blessing that brought great comfort and strength.  I am so blessed to have some humble hardworking Zone leaders like the two I have . 
Love you all and thank you for your prayers and fasting.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 41

Crazy, crazy week!!

My first full week of missionary service and work here in California has been absolutely insane. It has been a week full of lots of pain, lots of very hard work, a temple trip, one lesson, 2 new investigators, and not enough sleep.

First of all, Thank you all for all the encouraging emails. I opened up my email and saw that many encouraging emails had been sent, and I was so happy and grateful.

 Once again things are not going here as I thought they would go here on the mission. I am trying to make desicions that could change the rest of my mission. I was given a bike to use until I am able to get one of my own, and to kind of test my feet out to see if I could work. I peddled the way that the Doctor said to and have been doing everything the very best I can. I stayed within my bounds and didn't feel very much pain the first few days of biking. It felt so good to be able to move again!! I have been stuck at snail pace the past few months. The bad part is that Saturday and Sunday I was forced off the bike from the pain and could hardly walk.

 I am not sure as to why I am going through this at this point of my life. I will say this, I may be in pain to the point that I can't sleep at times and can hardly move at others. But the Lord put this into my path for a reason, and my trust and faith in him is strong, and I am doing my very best to be happy and enjoy every step of the way. 

The Coolest part of the week I feel was this Wednesday when we were able to go to the Oakland temple(outside the mission) with some one by the name of Luri who was baptized 3 weeks ago!! She had done some family history and had a few family names prepared for the temple, including that of her younger brother who had passed away a few years earlier. 

I was very excited this last Sunday. I kept Tucson Az in my thoughts all day because of the temple dedication!!! I am soooooooo excited to think that my wonderful city now has a Temple or the Lord!!! Sorry it is so short this week. Here are a few pictures from the week.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Week 40

Howdy All!!! This is Elder Johnson!!!!! I am no longer in Missao Brasil Londrina, but am now in Missao Modesto California!!!

Life has beeeeeeen Craaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyy!!! On Monday I left beautiful Brasil and spent a total of 21hrs 5 min flying, had 11hrs of layovers, traveled almost 8,000 miles, met with angels that helped me through the Sao Paulo and JFK Airports, saw the world trade center and the city I have always heard about but never seen off in the distance, enjoyed the wonderful feeling that comes with takeoff and landing, had some good missionary experiences, and didn't sleep a wink.

 Upon arriving here in California I found that my new mission President had not been informed of my foot problems, and on the 1 hr long car ride from Oakland to Modesto I got to tell him myself. I had been informed in Brasil that I was being sent to a Car mission and was very excited to get to work. As I expressed how excited I was to get to work President Palmer(more than a little surprised at what I had just told him) said that the Modesto mission was and is not a Car mission and that no one had informed them of my feet.(Oh Great!) He said that, yes the Mission had been a car mission but that he didn't want the missionaries driving cars and was in the process of sending all the cars home. He said that the missionaries biked or walked. 

Well, both President Palmer and I had our share of being shocked and surprised that day. I have been going through quite the culture shock the past week. I didn't expect that I would forget so much in 9 1/2 months. For one thing, I am used to sirens from emergency vehicles sounding like someone inhaling and exhaling on a harmonica. So that is something I have had to get used to. 

There are many many other things that I have had to get used to, such as the streets being so nice and orderly. There is never anybody out on the street trying to sell things, and the homeless people are dressed better than the some of the poorest people in Brasil!!! I was not used to the fact that we have to pull over to let them by if a Police or emergency vehicle has their lights flashing since in Brasil they drive with their lights flashing whether it is an emergency or not.  

 At the moment we don't have any investigators. We have done a ton of work, and have knocked several hundred doors. We were able to get 2 lessons set up for later this week. We have been visiting a ton of less active people and perspective Elders. When knocking doors on Saturday we went to 4 houses in a row that had signs on the doors telling missionaries not to knock there!!!

 I am really not used to members not helping out when it comes to member missionary work. The members have like 0 desire to help us out. It has been very frustrating. I was asked to stand up in church and ask the members to help us out with member missionary work.  I stood up and told them all how important Member missionary work is and how missionaries can't do this work alone and how without their help missionary work is very very difficult. I then invited them to think of some people in their lives that could use the gospel and to let us have their information. They were all nodding their heads like they understood, but when we went around to ask for referrals not a single person could come up with a friend that could use the gospel. I noticed that when asked they became a little uncomfortable. I thought back to what it was like before the mission. I know for a fact that before the mission I would have been very scared to talk to people about the gospel or invite them to church. 

 Hey people Let me tell you all something. I know how you all feel about talking to your friends about church or the gospel. It is hard! Is is scary! But you all have to get out there and do it!! Us missionaries in your ward, in your stake, we can't do it without you!!!! 

This week Please invite someone to church with you, and then do your best to get them to go to church!!  I promise you that if you do that not only will it become easier for you to ask again, but you will receive blessings for doing your part. Every Member a Missionary Has been preached by each of aour 16 Latter Day Prophets!!! It is every member's responsibility to do their very best to strengthen the church by being a missionary!!!

Love you all!!! And Please bring someone to church this week!!!!

           California Modesto Mission
4300 Dale Rd Modesto CA 95356
                        United States