Sunday, July 26, 2015

 Blog: Temple Trip

So this week was kind of crazy. I would tell you about last week as
well, but to be honest I don't remember much about it. Because this
week we were able to go to the temple!!! How much I love the temple,
and the peace you can find there. We took a huge bus with the branch
which was way fun, and we did like a Kagoshima-ben quiz thing and I
had no idea what was going on. I was just saying words in English that
rhymed with whatever they were saying. But ya it was just the best.
Then this week we had quite a few appointments fall through, but we
have this lady right now with a baptismal date who cancelled on us,
but then she rescheduled for the same day and we were able to teach
her an awesome lesson on the law of chastity and the word of wisdom.
She has some troubles with the word of wisdom, but we are confident
that she will be able to overcome her challenges!
We also had the great opportunity to visit a less active to lives kind
of far away. Some members were able to get in contact with her and
then asked if she would be willing to meet with the sister
missionaries as well. And she said YES! We were there for like 5
hours!!!! It was crazy! Very long, but we were able get in a message
and she really opened up. She is still unsure if she can come back to
church or not, but she said she would come to eikaiwa which is way
Then we had some pretty cool miracles yesterday. We were housing and
people were home, but nobody seemed to be answering. So we decided to
switch up the area where we were dendouing and try and move further up
this hill to some danchi's (lots of big apartments that look the
same). And we ran into this lady who apparently received baptism like
20 years ago! It was kind of late so we weren't really able to talk to
her, but she gave us like a bunch of drinks from her fridge which was
nuts! Then we ran into this other lady who knew who we were because
she had gone to our English class like 20 or 30 years ago. It was kind
of a crazy night, but way awesome! We also got to meet one of our
potential investigators and teach him a small lesson on prayer. He
seemed skeptical, but we said a prayer with him which was pretty cool.
He still seemed skeptical and weird about it, but we got a few laughs
from him as well.
All in all a really awesome week full of cool miracles! We got to see
all of our recent converts go to the temple! We even got to watch one
of them receive baptisms for the dead! The spirit was so strongly
there and smiling upon her. I could just feel it! It was the BEST
experience! The temple is truly the Lords house and He abides there
and I felt His love and comfort so strongly, just love the temple. If
you haven't gone this week, GO!!!! That's all I gotta say about that.
We also had a small typhoon yesterday, my first typhoon! It as really
small and not the real deal apparently, or so people tell me. But I
will keep my eyes peeled for some stronger winds in weeks to come :)
It was an awesome week. I know that this church is true without a
doubt. Trials may come, I may question why a lot, but I know that in
the end that the Lord has a plan and I am trying my best to figure out
what that is, haha! But now more than ever I know that the Lord loves
all His children and He has restored the church through Joseph Smith.
And that through Christ anyone can receive forgiveness of any sin they
have committed, and always be comforted in trials and know that they
can and will receive eternal life if they turn towards their Savior!
Church is true my friends. Missions are hard, fun, and awesome, but
hard. However, the person I was before and the person I am now have
been worth every single day! Love you all!!! Enjoy the last bit of
your summer! That went by FAST!!!!

Sister Johnson

Our recent converts surprise birthday party! Who we also had the great pleasure of watching her receive baptisms for the dead! She is awesome!

Us and our awesome selfies on the bus!

Our member who wears an old missionary helmet and goes biking around! She love the missionaries and Gods work!

We heart attacked a members door! For his birthday!

Us at the temple!!!!

Blog:New President
So this week was a very exciting week. I went on splits for the second
time in my whole mission, and it kind of made me nervous at first, but
then it was just wonderful. And we got to meet our new mission
president! Who is the BEST!!! Him and his wife seem way awesome and I
had a great first interview with both of them. They are really great
people, and am excited to continue my mission with them. I, of course,
miss our last mission president, but we will work hard to continue his
So this week we had some ups and downs. The first half consisted of
meetings and such. We also got to go shopping with one of our recent
converts who was re-activated in May, and will be going with us to the
temple on the 20th. I am SO EXCITED!!! This does however mean that I
won't be able to write this next week. We will be taking a bus at 4:30
to go to Fukuoka. It will be our whole district going on this trip. So
we will just party it up on the bus, and then all pass out on the way
back. But I am way excited to go to the temple with all of our recent
converts!! I will let you know how that goes the next p-day.
But yes, I got to go on splits with one of my best friends from the
MTC Wilkinson shimai! We just had the best times on junkais, I love
that girl to pieces. And she is an amazing STL! This week we also got
to teach quite a few lessons, but for some reason they were all on one
day. We had like 5 lessons on Friday, it was tiring. But when the day
was over I realized that, Yes, this is missionary work. We are called
to teach and preach. I look forward to the day when missionaries have
so many lessons to teach that there is no time to find. Because
although finding is important, if the members find so much so that we
only have time to teach. I cannot even imagine how many people will
come into the fold of God. It's every missionaries dream, I'm tellin'
ya. But the lessons went some awesome, some lesser so. So one of our
investigators told us that she doesn't really have any interest
anymore. But she still wants to come to Eikaiwa, so maybe one day she
will realize that there is more to life than learning English, haha!
Then we had another investigator tell us that she wanted to work hard
to receive baptism! We are planning on setting a date with her this
week. I really think she is prepared and can be baptized soon. We just
have to pray that she continues to remember why she is taking the
lessons and who is always on her side to help her. But she is awesome!
Then we had some typhoons coming up this weekend. So one of them
missed us for the most part. But the other one I think is hitting
right now. On our way to the church it was like zero rain and the
church is only 5 minutes from our apartment. But then all of a sudden.
Pouring rain!!! We couldn't go another two blocks before we were
soaked so we had to pull over and put on our rain suits and continue.
It was pretty crazy. Like hitting a wall of rain. Craziness. But
interesting, my first typhoon. But yes that was our week. Things
happened, but it all just seems normal. But I am learning things
everyday and just loving the things that I am learning, even if they
are hard sometimes, haha. But God gave us weaknesses to be recognized.
So try and face that inner monster and then beat it! That is my advice
for this week. Love you all!
Sister Johnson

Our recent convert who is going to the temple with us!

Ping Pong night. Everyone ready for action!

When we went shopping with our recent convert they told me i looked like someone that came from a previous Japanese era, and then we found this picture. It's the spitting image of what I look like dendouing.

              A time lapse of our ping pong night. As you can see I didn't do much moving, haha!

Monday, July 13, 2015

 Blog: Eternal Families

Well this week is going to be short, because I ran out of time. But we
had a lot of really cool experiences this week. We decided to focus on
teaching everyone about eternal families. People on the street,
lessons, everybody. And the response was absolutely fantastic! It is
so crazy that to me it is so normal, and that so many people don't
know about this absolutely wonderful blessing!!!!! Families really can
be together forever! and what a wonderful blessing it is!
But ya, we also set some pretty high goals for this month. And we had
a goal yesterday to get at least one person to church. And it happened
in a way I wouldn't have thought possible. So that lady that suddenly
dropped us and told us to delete her number showed up on Saturday and
told us that she wanted to go to church tomorrow. What the?!? She said
that since she dropped us that her life hasn't been going as she
planned and I think she wants to take the lessons again, but I think
we will have to set out some expectations and things to make sure we
aren't wasting her time, but helping her receive her own greater
blessings. But ya it was really cool to see how God helped us
accomplish our goals. When we work hard we really can see the fruits
of our labors. Then we had a harder totsuzens that night with this
lady who said she wants to change, but doesn't believe in God and
never will because of some hard experiences. She told us that as we
talked to her that she also didn't feel anything as well. Even though
I felt like I was really trying to testify from the heart and help us
all feel the spirit, her heart was hardened and didn't want to feel
the spirit. And the spirit cannot enter the heart unless we let him.
So it was a really frustrating experience, but I learned a lot. And we
also saw that her daughter behind her was listening quite intently,
and didn't do the usually laugh and walk away. So we prayed and picked
up some extra courage and went back and knocked on her door again.
  Re-offering her the flyer and asking if her daughter had any interest,
knowing that the mom didn't. She seemed even more angry, haha! But I
walked away knowing I did everything I could and all that the lord has
asked of me. I walked away letting go of those feelings of
frustration, and absolutely no regret. Because I think no matter what
I would've said, she wasn't willing nor ready to change. She lacked
the real intent. You can say you want to change all you want, but
until you do something about it, then the Lord will help. People only
learn when THEY are ready to learn. It was a very humbling and cool
experience. Gotta love the mission!!!! But yes, I know that this
church is true, without a doubt. I see Gods hand in my life everyday,
and know that this is his true church. And that there are so many
things he has wanted me to learn from coming out here. And I have
learned a lot, and learn more everyday. Oh how my testimony has
grown!!!!! Watch out Japan, the church is coming to you!!!!!

Sister Johnson

Croutons in my ice cream!

 Blog: New President

This week was a week full of miracles!! Just like every week as a missionary :)
It is the funniest thing when you set goals. And the most miraculous
thing when you set them prayerfully. This last week was also transfer
week, we had transfers a bit earlier because our mission president
goes home this Wednesday! Crazy, right?! And we will be getting a new
mission president, president Egan (I think that is how you spell it?)
And I am very excited, he seems awesome! I am sad that our current
mission president will be going home. He was very determined and
awesome to help the people and missionaries of this area. And I will
never forget the kindness he always shared. But I am sure he is very
anxious to see his family like all returning missionaries.
But yes, anyways week full of miracles. So many that my head starts
spinning when I try and think about them all at once. That is another
thing about missionary work. Is that you think a lot more than usual.
And you think about a lot of things all at once. So sometimes it feels
like the world is spinning, sometimes out of control, but then it all
falls right into place. Sometimes I wish I could see the future and
just do exactly what the Lord needs me to do, but then I wonder if I
would do it. And that is why effort and faith are required. But yes, a
very powerful lesson I learned this week was about inviting people to
come unto the fold of God. I was reading the power of everyday
missionaries, and watching videos of missionary work on the gospel
library. And I came to realize that I really should be focusing on
those who DIDN'T come to church. Sometimes I get so caught up in
trying to greet and love those who come to church weekly (which is
also important) I should really focus on those who weren't able to
feel the eternal love of their father in heaven. I learned a very
powerful lesson from the members here in Taniyama. We went with a
member to visit a less active who can't come because of work. And
although I am not sure if there was anything I could've said or done
to get them to come to church. They always felt the love of the
branch, having never been forgotten. There is a member in our ward who
calls everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, on their birthday. And although
this member can sometimes be the butt of the joke, everyone loves him
because he decides to love everyone. And we found out another sister
spends some time on Sundays to call people and ask why they weren't
there at church and just to chat with them. These are things I never
even thought of doing before my mission. Reaching out to those who
didn't come, whether it be less actives, non-member friends or family,
or a neighbor you have never met. If we take small and simple steps,
great things come to pass! And I have seen that through our branch. We
also got a referral this week! A very awesome lady who came to church
and wants to learn with her husband!! It is so amazing to see members
do missionary work! It is THE BEST way to do it! I could talk to 800
people and teach 20 lessons and get maybe a person to come to half a
meeting. But members can really make all the difference. It was a very
humbling experience indeed!
Right now our investigators are improving slowly, but improving!! Love
them all so much. Sometimes it is frustrating when they can't see how
the gospel can bless their lives, but they will see. And I just hope I
can be a tool in that process!!
But I guess one of the biggest excitements is preparing our recent
converts to go to the temple trip on the 20th! We are so excited and
it has been a long journey for some of them, but it is also the best
to watch these people change! The 14 year old boy who got baptized in
April passed the sacrament to me last week, and we are going to get
that young man to the temple for sure! He has been such a blessing to
his family, and I can't wait to watch them get sealed in the temple
for time and all eternity! What a blessing indeed the gospel is. Even
through times of trial, happiness, and every moment in between. We can
always turn to a loving Heavenly Father who will help us. Even if all
we need is a hug :)
I know that this church is true. And although I am not great at
sharing the gospel or teaching or Japanese. I am great! And I can
help. I know Christ is our Savior. And that we are being guided by Him
through a living prophet! Best Church Ever!!!
Sister Johnson