Monday, April 29, 2013

The day after my Mother's day call home...

Hey Family,
I don't have much to say today since we talked yesterday.  But what I can say is that I love my family.  The fact that I do miss you I hope shows you all how much I love and appreciate each of you.  It was so fun to be able to skype with everyone at the same time.  Technology is pretty amazing.  Lets see, Mom, Dad and Jill were in Logan, Amy in India, Katie and Sam in Idaho Falls, Janae in Ogden, Brooke and Garrett in New Mexico, and Ken...where were you at?  Ha ha but really, it is amazing that we could all see one another and talk together at once.  One big Family reunion. 

Sunday was a great day!                                                                                                      April 29, 13

 Jason Riecks baptism was super nice.  Since his family has been in the Branch for a year, everyone was there to support.  You could just feel the love from the branch to them and the spirit was so strong.  They invited us over later that evening to give us food, and want us to come once a week for dinner to help them understand the book of mormon more. It's fun because everytime we go over there, their family has written down some questions they have, and we get to discuss them together.  They keep asking how we know this, and it makes me realize how blessed I am to have this knowledge, to have learned it in my youth. 

Funny Story!

 So we always see Sister James on Saturdays because she can't get out since she lives in a nursing home.  So she sometimes asks us to get her stuff while we are out.  She wanted ice cream from Dairy Queen.  We were glad since that gave us a good excuse to get ice cream too.  We were running behind, so we pulled into the drive through.  Ten minutes later we suddenly realize we have been sitting here and haven't moved.  Sister Jones says, "Are you sure this is a drive through?" I had seen it before so I was sure there was one, then she says, "Are you sure these cars aren't just parked? Are there even people in them?"  Ha ha, I get out and check and the two cars were parked and empty!  The drive through was around them.  Ha ha, I'm sure we looked pretty silly there.  We could not stop laughing.  Sister James got a pretty good kick out of it too :)

Omar's baptism

This weekend was a busy one, but a great one.  Thursday we went over to Faith and Omar's, the night before the baptism, to show him the suit he would wear to get baptized in.  He was so excited and could hardly hold it in! He threw it on and came out and modeled in it, ha ha, it was great! He is such a great guy and so ready for this gospel.  They have noticed a difference in their home and in their relationships just because they read together and pray together.  I love it! The baptism was simple and nice.  They did as much of it in spanish as possible, but what made that so cool is that I didn't understand any of it, but I could feel it. I love that family!!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

After a trial of faith, the blessings do come!

     Wow, where do I even start!  It has been a wonderful week!  A busy and tiring week, but every minute was worth it, even the bad ones.  As I look back now, I know that success came because of the many prayers from all of you.  Thank you all for the prayers and the fast you did for me last Sunday.  I know that God heard all of you, because I am feeling and seeing the affects of it.
     First off, we got in so many lessons this week and we were busy busy.  We had 26 lessons...I have never seen that before.  That includes less-actives as well.  I don't know if there is just a more fulfilling feeling when you are busy, even if it is tiring. 
     Sunday we had four investigators come to church.  Omar, who is being baptized FRIDAY!! Oh he is doing so good.  His wife Faith, who is less active, we have been teaching as well, and she has just been growing so much because of Omar.  Omar would always refer to Faith as "My woman" and all gangster like, and now he says "my wife or my spouse" and it is incredible to see the change in his life.  They are both already in 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and we got to discuss all together what they read.  I have never seen it first hand, the gospel pull a family back together.  I honestly cannot wait for the baptism.  I love that little family :)
     Jason Riek, whose whole family joined the church a year ago, is also getting baptized this Sunday.  He had to face so much to join.  His extended family is so against it, but he is doing so well.  
     Sunday we also taught Jodee again.  She is going to be gone this week, which makes it hard, so we needed to share the Word of Wisdom before she left.  She smokes and we knew it was going to be a touchy subject.  So Sister Jones and I role played it at the apartment a few times before we went over there.  We wanted to role play it together not just to each other, so we had a picture of the Savior we were going to teach to, but we decided that was WAY too intimidating. So thanks to Brookie, she had sent me pictures of Baby Estee Scout!! So we put a picture of her up on the table and we taught her.  It was so funny, at first we couldn't even start because as soon as we did we just bursted out laughing.  It took us awhile to finally start, but thanks to Estee we got to practice and we got a good laugh, which is always needed.  Thanks Estee! Thanks Brookie! 
     Well It's been a good week and I am feeling extremely grateful.  The work has been going so well and it's exciting.  My only worry is what is going to happen after all of these baptisms? How to we keep this going? But I know that it takes time, patience, and work. I hope you all know that I love you.  I hope you are all seeking missionary opportinities.  One thing our branch is working on his having each family create their own mission plan.  Each of you should do that.  Create goals as a family: give out a book of mormon this month, pray for opportunities to share, invite nonmembers over for FHE or dinner.  It is the members that get the missionary work going. FACT!
Love you,
Sister Johnson

Does it get any better than this!!!

This is what we do everyday, get the snow and ICE off of our car!

We got nailed with another snowstorm, haha and it's April!

This week we have been focusing on Jodee. We got onto this great discussion and the spirit was so strong.  Sister Jones had her read Mosiah 18:9-10 that talks about baptism. It says right in the verse, 'if this be the desire of your heart, what have you against being baptized?' So I asked her, "Jodee, is this what you want?' and she said "Yes!" Then I asked if this was the desire of her heart, what did she have against being baptized and she said, "Nothing." Then I asked her if she would be baptized on May 11? Jodee said, "Do I have to wait that long?"  It was incredible and I was so overwhelmed with the spirit and excitement!

Friday, April 5, 2013

A couple of funny stories

      First there is this old lady we visit every Saturday, Sister James, she is a member, but lives in a nursing home and can't get out much.  After a good visit with her and a short message, we usually help her with something like ordering things online, moving things for her, etc.  Well she told us that the people usually come and clip their toe nails every six weeks or so, but they haven't come for awhile and she says that hers grow really fast and she can't reach down for that long to clip them.  So she asked if next week if we could clip them for her.....ha ha I almost laughed out loud when she asked. First...I absolutely HATE feet..Jill you know from experince that touching my feet, especially poping my toes will make me SO mad!!  Ugh, I hate feet so bad, ha ha, but of course we said we would absolutely love to do that for her :)  I was wondering if Garrett wanted to fly out here and take care of that for me? 
     Also we had some great tracting experiences this week.  We were tracting a street and this house must have seen us coming because when we got to the door there was a note on it that said, "Don't even think about ringing my doorbell!! Stay away from here!!"  Ha ha, no joke, that is exactly what the note said.  You got to love it!  Then we also knocked on this door and the lady that answered must have had a hangover or something...but we started talking to her.  We could tell family was important to her, so I said something like "I can tell family is really important to you and one unique thing about our message is families can be together forever.  Is that something you would want?"  She pauses and then saids "Eh, when I die, I'll be ready for a break from them."  Ha ha, and then she just busted out laughing.  It was pretty funny, but we knew that was going no where. 

This is my Easter Basket from home

Thanks for everything!  I love you all!  I hope you had a great Easter!!!
...we loved the masks!

Me on a buffalo

Here is an awkward picture of me on a is a lot harder in a dress!  What would I do without tights!  I never thought in a million years I would say that.  (Haha)

Moving Day

We helped Violet move.  It is a little sad.  She is a great woman, 
but quite the character!

Letter Home to Mom - written March 18, 2013

This mission experience is definitely making me trust in the Lord, which is good.  I read this article in the August 2012 Ensign called "Treasure in this City. "Two quotes stuck out to me.  "When the Lord wants to mold a person to play the noblest part, He makes him lonely so that only God's high messages shall reach him."  I feel that is what God is doing for me and I want to hear those high messages.  The other thought is found in D&C 111:2.  "I have much treasure in this city for you."  It was written during the early church history, but like the article said, I knew that we would be fine in this town.  The Lord has sent us here for a reason!  (Interesting that I came upon this article - I think it was written just for me.)

Armor of God Teaching Props!

     Making The Armor of God - special effects for teaching the Session's children!

Baby Steps

Yesterday we were trying to teach a few new investigators, but we didn't get in with anyone and we were really down about it.  There is this family we tracted into a few weeks back, but everytime we go back they do not want to see us.  They are very intimidating and Sister Jones didn't want to knock on the door so we didn't, but as the night went on I kept feeling like we should go back.  I couldn't tell if it was really the spirit nudging me or not.  Finally I just said let's go try it, we have nothing else to do.  We knocked on the door and we were shut completely down, ha ha. We decide to knock on the door next to them just because we had no where else to go.  This young single mother opened the door.  She let us in.  Her name is Rachel.  We mostly just listened to her.  She has had it very rough and has an autistic (is that how you spell it?) son who has ADHD as well.  She is very sweet though and we got to share an uplifting scripture.  She said we could come back on Thursday and gave us her number so she could be a great potential.  She is afriad to bring her son to church because he could have a behavior problem and possibly hurt someone.  I hope we can help her and her son come to church.  I know that God prompted me to go back there.  I am glad we decided to listen.
Also do you remember Violet? She is the awesome lady that thinks she is black ha ha.  She moves this week, which is a bummer, but this past week we went and visited her and I felt like I needed to be bold with her. Our mission president sent out a letter telling us to be bold and tell people what they need to do in a loving way.  So I did just that.  I told her she needed to come to church.  I tried to do it in a loving way and after we left I honestly didn't know if I had gotten to her.  Sister Jones kind of let me take the reins on that one so I didn't feel like she was sure of my decision to be bold.  Violet has a lot of physical pains that don't allow her to do much, so sitting in church is painful for her.  I started to feel guilty for what I said...but Sunday morning, Violet came to church!!! She hasn't come in so long.  It was such an answer to my prayers.  I knew that Heavenly Father had my back on that one!! And being bold worked.  She came and partook of the sacrament.


 The baptism was Saturday night.  I will send you a picture. It was such a great experience.  Even though I didn't really teach her much, I got to be a part of something really special.  Most of the Branch members attended as well and I think it really helped Deb to feel part of the ward family.  She was so so nervous, but when she came out of the water...Wow I had never seen her smile like that. She is a very "to herself" kind of person and has a lot of walls up, but when she came out of the water, you could just see it on her face.  I also really enjoyed that evening because I finally feel like I am getting to know the Branch.