Monday, April 18, 2016

Last Blog is Earth Shaking

This week was full of miracles. Unbelievable miracles. Again I can't remember the first half of the week because the second half was not only more eventful but also unbelievable. 
This will be my last email in Japan as a missionary and it is unbelievable to me how fast time has gone by. I am so grateful I had time to serve as a full time missionary and wish I had more time, but I will take the memories and the things I learned with me and hopefully use them as the Lord planned. The time I have spent with the Japanese people has only strengthened my own testimony and I know God watches over His sheep. That Jesus Christ lives and succors His people. The church has been restored through Joseph Smith. And that these are the latter days filled with angels who guide and protect.
I am sure a lot of you have heard about the Earthquake and are wondering about my experience. Here it goes.
I am not sure how much was said on the news nor how much you watched the news. I haven't seen any footage or anything but the earthquake itself was centered at Aso, a mountain in the Kumamoto zone area. The Kumamoto zone has two districts with four areas covering the main Kumamoto area. Nagamine, Kumamoto, Tsuboi, and Shimizu. I was serving in Shimizu.
When the first earthquake hit it was about 9:30 at night and we were in the middle of daily planning. When the apartment started to shake. At first I thought it was a car or a train because it started off small. Then I realized that we were on the 8th floor and it was an earthquake stood up and slid open our office door and saw that things were falling off shelves and things and realized it was a fairly large earthquake and quickly ducked underneath the dining table. It ended fairly quickly and then I heard Sato-Shimai say we have got to get out of here because after shocks will be coming. So we went downstairs and saw people on the street. Then it seemed like everyone was going back to their houses so we went back and packed a bag and went to the church because our apartment was a mess. Some members stayed at the church with us, but most of the members live too far and some went to closer schools or parks. All through the night we were waken up by earthquakes on and off through the night. The first earthquake was a 6.4.
The next day we called bishop and asked if the baptisms for Kiyomi-Shimai was still a go. He said that if she was okay with it then we would still hold it. So we tried to call her and at first no answer. Her baptism was supposed to be held at 1:30 with a pancake part, but because the gas was shut off we had to cancel it. But we were finally able to get a hold of her. And she asked what was happening today, we said if she was okay we would still like to have it. So we went to work, filled up the font. The water was green and yellow and we were able to fill it up before the water was shut off. Then she came and even during the service and talks there were aftershocks going on, the elders stayed down with the water to make sure it wouldn't drain with the shocks. And she was baptized, it was quick, sweet, but oh such a miracle and the best. For the rest of the day we cleaned our apartment a little and went and visited some less actives to see if they were all right. Another miracle is that we were able to meet a less active who wouldn't come to the door for 2 months opened it up to us and invited us in. We made sure she was okay and chatted for a while. God really opens doors, sometimes through stronger ways than I would've ever hoped. Some members came down to the church because they live in the more mountain areas and heard it would rain so came down because of mud slide dangers. So we went back to the apartment got ready for bed. The water was turned back on so some of the other sisters took a shower. I said a prayer of thanks and then a prayer of pleading that we would be safe tonight. We saw so many miracles!!!!
I remember waking up and just feeling everything shaking and it was pitch black. I crawled over to under my desk telling my companion to do the same. We were waiting for the opportunity for when the earthquake would stop and we could grab our bags that we packed the night before. We put on our shoes grabbed our bags and the water and mad dashed it down the stairs. The whole city was blacked out. The church being right across the street from our apartment we walked over. You could hear the constant shaking of the buildings and streetlights around us. We shined the flashlight down the small road which was pitch black not sure if we should go to the church or a nearby park. Two of the Shimai went in while my companion Masters Shimai and I held the bags. They came out saying that the members were there and everyone was okay. So we followed them into the church. I don't think I have prayed harder in my entire life. We knelt down in prayer all the missionaries and the members and prayed for the safety of us in the building and others in Kumamoto. We made a list of the members and investigators calling and texting making sure everyone was okay. Finally the morning came. We were rarely allowed outside because of the next 12 hours there was a possibility of another large earthquake hitting the area again. But man, have I never been happier to see the sunlight in my entire life. Literally it changed everything. I think that the gospel is a lot like that as well. Whether you know the gospel or you don't how the light of Christ makes such a difference. Especially in times of trial and tribulation. And how we take that light for granted in the peaceful and happy times. That we forget how depend we are on our Lord and Savior, whom without life would have no meaning. For the rest of the day we started gathering all the food and water we could to the church. Then we received a call from President that Elder Stevenson from the quorum of the 12 apostles saying that he wanted all the sisters in the area to evacuate immediately. So we went back to our apartment and packed. Then a member gave us a ride to the stake center. It took the mission home 5 hours to get here (it is normally a 2 hour car ride) and when they arrived we unloaded all the food and water they had for the members and the elders hopped in the car and took us to Fukuoka. We were constantly stuck in traffic as we watched millions of fire trucks drive towards the city. When we finally arrived in honbu we ate some soup it was about 3 in the morning and we all passed out. The next day we took showers, went to church, and moved to our temporary area Nakagawa in the Fukuoka zone. And our investigator was confirmed at church in Kumamoto!!!!!
It has just been a week full of miracles. I can't even believe it. This church is so true. God loves everyone His children and watches over them. Sometimes he calls us to repentance, both those that live there and the missionaries that serve there. Although I don't understand completely why I had to experience this. I am oh so grateful for the experience. I feel like a lot of things have changed and God wanted me to keep growing even until the very end. I love my family, my friends, and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Who through all of it never left mine or anyone else's side. I hope to not return to the person I was and I hope my testimony is as strong as the buildings in Japan, their foundation is definitely firm. I am grateful for missions.
Sister Johnson 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hey ya'll,

This last week went by in the blink of an eye! We had a wonderful
lesson with our investigator Kiyomi-San who is scheduled to get
baptized next week! We are so excited, but we still have some things
to teach her and still need to help her get there! Then we had a giant
bomb lesson where we taught her like 1/2 of the commandments and about
Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson, then we taught her the rest on
Sunday. She is pretty solid, tea seems to be a little hard, but she is
ganbaruing so hard right now!! We also had another miracle, we went to
her house Saturday. The first time we have ever gone to he house
while her mom was there. We were so nervous, her mom is very against
all religion (in Japanese hantai) so we didn't know what to bring. We
ended up buying these cute, but quite stinky flowers... So yep that
happened. But when we came in her Mom greeted us with a big smile and
so much love. She is a wonderful woman! Plus our member that we went
wit brought home made bread, that Sisters homemade bread can change
the world. Then the next day on Sunday when Kiyomi-San came to church
her mom usually nags her and kind of fusses about her going up until
now, but this time when she got up she told Kiyomi-San to hurry up or
she would be late for church! I can testify the gospel, and the light
of Christ changes lives! It was such a miracle. I love Kiyomi-San and
her Mom, they are the sweetest people ever! Kiyomi-San is so wonderful
we hope that she can have confidence in her testimony and get baptized
and continue progressing towards eternal blessings. Please pray for
her! We definitely are!
We had some other lessons and some great experiences. We also saw a
miracle with a Pl who would like to come to conference next week. She
seems amazing! I am so excited to hear from our Prophet and the
apostles. So ready to learn so much!!! This gospel is so true! I
really have been pondering Moroni 7:48. Really thinking about if Jesus
Christ was to walk into the room right now. What would I do and how
would I feel. If Jesus Christ walked into your room right now... And I
am just going to leave it at that. I know that the church is true,
God's love is real, as well as Satan's temptation. But through Christ
we can overcome all, and can always call upon His name. He is always
willing to save.
Love you all!!


We went to Hanami this weekend!! It was amazing!!! We went to
Kumamoto castle. Wish I had more pictures, but it got WAY dark! SO

We had a cook fight and girls won!!!! (Random members from the ward after us)

Junkai's!!! Me, masters Shimai, Sato Shimai, Ogawa Shimai, Weller simai, Millet Shimai!! Super fun!!!!

The sakura! ( cherry blossoms)

We had a chicken fight. In the apartment. Don't tell Kaichou.

Blog: Happy Easter

This week as crazy!!! And just like an old man (*cough cough* dad) I
forget everything as an older mission. But this week I was really
really really praying that our investigator who we were getting ready
for baptism would move her date up. So I called her to follow up on
her experience at church and she asked why we chose a day in May for
her and she changed her date to 4/15.....! Oh my goodness!!! It was a
miracle. I just cried and thanked God. Although I know the real work
starts from now on. We had a lesson today and she really is learning a
lot, but sometimes lacks confidence in her own testimony so please
pray for her because she is a fantastic daughter of God who is coming
into the fold. Pray that all goes smoothly.
Then we taught our other investigator Kanna-chan.  We are still Trying
to figure out her needs, but her 10 month year old son is SO CUTE!!
Never wanted to be more whomphaku in my whole life! We are going to
try and bring a member with us to see how it goes. Don't have a lot of
time, but today is super great love you all!!!!
The church is true!!!
Sister Johnson
We. Found a. Giant Kumamon!!!

The sakura's are coming out!!!

We had a shokuji with the bishop!! (Mizoguchi, Spencer, ishida bishop, ishida Shimai, masters, and I)

Us and ishida Shimai with the Sakura tree!

Monday, March 21, 2016

This week lots of weird stuff happened, but lots of good stuff too!!
The work is moving along. Sister Fugal I got the letters!!! THANK YOU
SO MUCH!!! NORTHFIELD 4th WARD for life!!!!!
Mission is the greatest thing on the planet. I know that relationships
penetrate the grave and our happiness is more than just this Earthly
life. The Savior lives and loves us, enough to cut us down and raise
us up. The church is true. We support and help and challenge each
other. God organized His church through a living prophet Joseph Smith.
And continues to do it through a living prophet. The powers of heaven
exist on the Earth today. I know that true happiness comes through the
Savior. So let's all find it!!!
No time this week!! It was good our investigator Kiyomi-San came to
church and loved it!! She has a baptismal date pray for her and others
that they can come to church and enter into the waters of baptism!!
I love this mission, this church, my family and friends in the U.S. Of
A and my friends here in the land of the rising sun, and my Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ!!! Joseph Smith WAS a prophet and WAS called of
the Lord and the Savior DOES live. And it IS important that everyone
knows this. I love sharing the gospel!
Sister Johnson
Some people's last day at Eikaiwa before transferring. Good luck! (Ngatai, Spencer, Connett, Tofa, Masters, Weller, Sato, Me, Satomi, Moe (satomi's daughter)

Our district Proudfoot-chourou, spencer, stanger, mizoguchi, hall,
tofa, Sato, me!

We had to make a. Video on companion relationships, and we were the bad example. We couldn''t hold it.  Together.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Blog: Friends Returning Home

GAAAH!!! I don't know where to start! I feel like so much has gone on
in just this little email hour!!! My head is spinning!! I seriously
love being a missionary, I love it so much!! I want to be one
forever!! It is full of so many growing experiences, pushing the
limits, heavy sorrow, and miraculous joy!
Today I read the emails from Jill and Maddie Giles who are now RM's.
And had left a little bit before me. I love you Hermana DeBuck and Gu
Jimei (forgive me on spelling)!! They are such good missionaries and
such a good example to me! I can't even believe how fast time has
flown. Continue on the otherside my friends!!
This week was just craziness and tiredness. We have been making so
many return appointments this week. and man it has been so great.
Hard, tiring, but great! We met that man named Steve again who wants
to see proof that God exists, and that was very interesting. But I
think he really does want to know it's true, but believing is pretty
hard. So I have been studying a lot about faith recently. Then we were
able to find a man named junpei san through calling people on dendou.
He was way cool! And said he would love to know if these things are
true for himself. We are excited to meet him on Friday again. Then we
met some of the coolest people housing yesterday! We met a young mom
and the last door we knocked on was this lady named Yuka who told us
she had thought of death and stuff before and would like to hear our
message! So that was super cool!!! We are excited to go visit her
We also met the coolest lady last night as we were housing. We were
walking down this dark street when we saw this lady on the side of the
road carrying a backpack. She was probably in her 80's and then she
pulled off to the side walk and then started pulling stuff our of her
back. So we approached her and she had a big bag of cat food in her
backpack and a can of cat food and water. And then we saw underneath
the vending machine a cat and a plastic bin full of water. We got
talking with her and when she goes home from work she stops at certain
locations and feeds stray cats. And the cats are always there waiting
for her, he came right up and greeted her. And it was just such a warm
feeling that this lady everyday as she walks up and down this hill to
and from work carries a backpack full of cat food and feeds the stray
cats. Just like Jesus Christ always feeds us, no matter how wrangly or
crazy eyed we may be. Christ will always attain to our needs no matter
what burden it has caused for Him. The gospel is everywhere!!
I love the church and the people of Japan. I know there is life beyond
death and that we will all rise again to meet our Lord and Savior to
feel his everlasting peace! I type these things in the name of Jesus
Christ, AMEN!
Johnson Shimai

This is our YSA/youth activity that I forgot to mention because my
brain is boggled. We got to do splits with some youth and YSA. And I
did it with Mana-chan and Saho-shimai. Mana-chan has such a strong
testimony, if all youth were like her. Planet Earth would be a
different place. She handed out a Book of Mormon and it was amazing!!

Us with our investigator Kiyomi-san (right). And Ishida-shimai (left). She is super cute!

Monday, February 29, 2016

 Blog: Leap Year

This week was kind of a blur. We didn't have a ton of lessons so we
did A LOT of finding, but it was actually really great we saw some
really cool miracles! We talked to so many people particularly the
first half of the week since we didn't have any lessons until  Friday.
We actually did have one Monday but she ended up dropping us that
lesson. So we packed up our Book of Mormons and set out to find Gods
elect! And we knocked, and knocked, and knocked. And weren't able to
make return appointments. Met a lot of nice people, but it's Japan
they're all nice people (mostly). Then Friday we invited two of our
investigators to be baptized. One was very confused and the other said
she couldn't decide right now. Nooo! So Saturday we had junkais,
splits, and Sister Beautichofer (spelling?) and I went high into the
mountain of Kumamoto and on our way met a wonderful young Mom who made
a return appointment!! Then on Sunday my companion (who was very sick)
and I went and dendoued and we found Steve who is an athiest, and
wants proof of God. So we are bringing him an English Book of Mormon
next Sunday :D! Then that night we had a shokuji at the Semba family
who just got called to a service mission that day to the next area to
be part of the branch presidency. She made us pizza and shared so many
stories of how the gospel has helped their lives. They are truly a
couple who relies on God and have seen so many blessings because of
it. It was so good! And the pizza was so good! That was pretty much
this week. Sunday we also read one of my favorite talks by
President Uchtdorf "Summer with Aunt Rose". We met a lady on the
street who was 83 and the genkiest (enegetic) lady I have ever met and she was
talking to us, not much about the gospel, mostly about her rich
grandchildren and hot springs. But then she said something that
reminded me of Summer with Great Aunt Rose talk she said, "The secret
to my genkiness isn't in anything that I eat, or exercise it is all in
the heart. Humans are all about the heart." And hit me so hard. We
face so many challenges and happy times, but if we don't let joy,
hope, and faith direct and guide our lives we can never trust in God,
who is a God of joy, hope, and faith. I hope you all look at the
pathway you're walking in life right now. I hope it is filled with
bright colors, and peaceful sounds. We can choose to be happy
eventually, or be happy now. Even in snowy mountains, and pouring
rain, God's hand is in it all.
Happy leap year everybody!!!! Thank the crazy lady!!! She also told us
she goes on walks with her Mom. Yes, her Mom. She is a 104 year old
lady in Hiroshima, haha!!!
Sister Johnson

Us taking a selfie at the Semba's house. Masters shimai, me,
connett chourou, spencer chourou, semba shimai, semba kyoudai

Us by the ume tree in bloom :)

Sister Beautachofer shimai and I on splits

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hey ya'll! This week was amazing!! Full of challenges and miracles!!
I think on Monday we just relaxed on P-day. Now I need to start
pulling out my planner to even remember what happened during this
week. Then we had a lesson with our investigator mitsuyo-san who is a
very kind and interesting woman. She is not sure if she can enter the
church at this time, but we committed her to read and pray everyday so
that she can feel the love and power of God and help her along her
path little by little. She also asked our joint of she was pregnant,
not pregnant, whoops! But the joint is super cool, so we dodged that
bullet. But one of the less actives in our wards wife is actually
pregnant (and she is a non-member ;)) and we went and visited her on
Sunday and gave her snacks for her other two kids and prayed with her.
She said she was going into the hospital on Friday and when we were
waiting for a PI at the bus stop we see her walking down the street,
and still very pregnant. So we were like "Why are you here?" Very
logical question to ask. And she was like, I am going grocery
shopping, I went to the hospital today but they said to come in
tomorrow and I am going to have the baby and rest there.  And she
wouldn't let us help her... classic Japanese. But one of our members
ended up calling her and the baby was born safely, so we probably wont
visit this week, but the next :)
Then this week we had one of the area presidency visit. Elder
Yamashita. And it. was. amazing!! Him and his wife are SO sweet! And I
learned so much from the taikai! We learned a lot about how to get
baptisms, and thinking big. It was so inspirational and I felt the
spirit so many times. I have been reviewing my notes, and it was just
WOW!! I wish I was better at describing this, but maybe it is just
something you have to be at. I learned so much and truly know that
these people are called of God!
Then after that we had junkais. Which has been changed up a bit in the
mission. Now the sisters come to our area to go on splits. So sister
Willson from Australia came over and we saw so many miracles!!! Had a
lesson on the spot with this man/woman (dont know the gender quite
yet) who prayed so fervently that their work would go better and
thanks for introducing him/her to the missionaries. It was awesome!!
Then we met some P.I.'s. Unfortunately on Sunday though, all the
people we had committed to come to church didnt show up :(. But God
gives us miracles to outweigh our trials! On Sunday night when we were
dendoing we went pretty far out about an hour away from our apartment,
and we got lost so it took us like 2 hours. But when we got there we
were having no luck. So we prayed and werent feeling the area and went
down the hill closer to the main street. We felt this other apartment
on the otherside of the road and dendoued it until about the last
floor. When we knocked on Sakamoto-sans door. Who invited us in talked
about English and his family then told us he loved Christ and we told
him our message was centered on Christ. He said fantastic! But he had
one problem... too busy this month. But we are so excited to visit him
in March!! #JesusinJapan! Then when we came back it took even less
time so we had some extra time to dendo prayed and felt to go closer
to the college. And we felt this one apartment, again the last floor
almost the last door and met Hikari-san! Who prayed with us and made a
return appointment!! So many miracles!! Trials and miracles!! It's a
heavenly combination.
That pretty much makes up our week. We also had a sandwich party.
There was corn bread. Not that kind of corn bread. It was corn,
mayonnaise, and bread, toasted. :) We thought it was very funny.
I know the gospel is true and missions are the best!!! The Lord is
truly blessings his servants and moving his work forward!! Serve
someone around you!

Johnson Shimai

Us getting ice cream for breakfast before the Yamashita taikai!

I got this from Masters shimai. I thought everybody would enjoy it.

Add caption

Us on junkais!! (me, sato, masters, weller, willson, millet)