I Have One Week Left and I’m Planning on Giving it Everything!

•June 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

May 23, 2011  Thanks for all the love and letters mom and dad for the pictures of Riley and his graduation stuff. Riley is a stud muffin! It also sounds like you are all having a blast and staying busy with a lot of activities and evens to be to. Travel safe to Utah! For me things are going great. This past week has been quite an eventful one let me tell you! (but it might have to be one of those stories for when I see you next week.) As I  wrote last week we had two baptisms for this past weekend but…. one of them didn’t go through and that is the story I will have to tell you because its strait nutty!!!! But the other one that went through was for a girl named Chanly Chan and she is a miracle! She was in the singles ward that we just got put into and it has been the best way ever that  could imagine for ending my mission with baptizing her. She has such strong faith and would just soak up all the lessons when we taught. She had to make some big changes in her life and after doing so she met the qualifications for baptism and now has a very strong testimony of it all! This next week we don’t have any baptisms unfortunately… but it will be fun to work hard and to set some more where I won’t be here for. We have several people we are teaching and doing our best to help them receive the restored gospel by building their faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repenting, preparing for baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have one week left and I’m planning on giving it everything I got. Thanks for everything and I’ll see you all soon!

 

I Wouldn’t Trade any Experience I had so far for Anything!

•May 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(May 16, 2011) Thanks for the package moooom things are going really good and it was awesome to be able to talk to all of you. Things are great right now. We have two baptisms for this next week – one in our family ward and then one in our singles ward. The girl in our singles ward is a miracle and I have been so privileged to be able to teach her. She has such strong faith and is making all the right decisions and doing everything to be baptized. Things will be great. Also this past week we found a new investigator named Tau and he’s 18 and super shy but is very prepared and we set a date with him for June 4th….. It’s said because the dates we are setting are when I’m not going to be here but that’s ok because it all still needs to happen with or without me. Also we set another date with another new investigator for June 4th but there might be some complications to that one and needs to meet with our mission president to prepare for her baptism. So life goes on and it only looks like this next weekend is my last two baptisms and that’s all we got right now. I love this work and I love the guidance of the Holy Ghost in my life. I have learned so much and I am seeing all the changes it has made for me. I wouldn’t trade any experience I had so far for anything because it all helped me learn and develop. I hope you all have a wonderful time as you all start to be crazy and busy. That is awesome that Denver got hit with snow!!!!!!!! wooooooo. thanks for the update. see you guys soon. love you.

Elder Johnson

I Couldn’t Imagine any Better Way to Leave this Mission than to be Baptizing Somebody

•May 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(May 9, 2011) That was the best birthday present I think I could have gotten mom was to be able to call you and wish you a happy Mothers Day! It was great to hear all of you and thank you for not singing to me! Your angelic voices would have been too spiritually moving for me to bear! This letter will be a bit shorter but last week we had the coolest experience with one of our investigators in our singles ward. Since I got put in this ward this particular investigator wasn’t very comfortable with elders teaching her and liked the sisters better but she allowed us to try to teach her and every time we have taught, the spirit has been so strong! The sisters have been working and teaching her for a very long time – like 6 months and they did a great job for preparing her. This past week we set a baptismal date with her and she has had dates before but never gone through with them but this time she is “determined”! So we shall see! We are preparing her for the 21st and it is a miracle and I couldn’t imagine any better way to leave this mission than to be baptizing somebody like her and with her kind of past history. It’s amazing how I get to be part of these people’s lives and to help them – they are fantastic and I have loved this work and will continue to work hard this next few weeks… I love you all and can’t wait to see you all!

Elder J

It’s Crunch Time if I want to Baptize Before I Leave!

•May 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

May 2, 2011) Hey family! Sounds like things are a blast down in Tucson! That would be so much fun to get caught up with all the old family!. I was laughing so hard when you told me the story about the fridge and the family calling it our fridge! .

Things went really well this past week. The highlight of the week was our Mormon helping hands day which is California’s service day. It was fun we went to lake merit as the Tongan stake and my group dug trenches and laid paths and rocks down through this garden thing. It was way fun but I got sunburned! And then right after we had a mission conference where we all get together and Elder Nelson and Bishop Edgly spoke to us and some other 70s. It was amazing! So good and yes I shook his hand. It was fun. And then right after we had a mission photo which I’m most excited about because that will be a good memory. Our teaching pool is doing ok. We are scrambling to pick people up and we have a lot of potential and it is crunch time if I want to baptize before I leave. Right now we had a miracle fall into our lap of a former investigator who had a change of heart and wants to now be baptized so he is preparing for the 21st. Other than that things are just kind of moving along as they usually do. I don’t think it has quite hit me yet about me only having 4 weeks but maybe it will when I call on Mothers day and mom starts flipping out and repeating over and over again about how excited she is to have me back home. I hope you all continue to have  a wonderful week and catch up with people in Tucson. Be safe and I love you all.

Elder Johnson

Members are Finders, Missionaries are Teachers!

•April 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(April 25, 2011) Hey one and all – things are great. This past week we saw a lot of miracles and we are being blessed for our hard work. We found several new people which is a miracle because when you’re in a language program, you don’t even have much of a pool to work from to start with. But this next week we will continue to see people come out that some members are working with. I have learned a lot about member work here and how important it is to work closely with them. It makes me realize how important it is that each family has somebody to work with and is constantly looking for people for the Elders to teach, because members are the full time finders and missionaries are the full time teachers. It makes it so much easier for us.

This past week our baptism went through and it was great. Her name is Vangana Halahingano and she is 14 and from a part member family. She has several siblings that we are going to teach and it will be a great way to finish my mission by baptizing the rest of this family! I’m so excited for this next week because we are having Elder Nelson come to our mission and then we will be taking a mission photo together so it will be a great memory. I’ll write more about it next week and what he spoke on. Thank you all for the love and thanks mom for the care package!!!!! I haven’t received it yet but I’m excited for it! I love you all and I know that this work is true and that the gospel of Jesus Christ will change our lives.

Love, Elder Johnson

I Stay Here in Oakland for my Last 6 Weeks!

•April 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(April 19, 2011) Thanks for your letter mom, I’m happy that you are doing well and it was good to hear about your experience teaching! I love to teach it is one of my favorite things! I think I like it the most because in all the preparation that goes into it the one that teaches gets the most out of it. And I have lived with you mom for 20 years and I know that you are an amazing teacher from your example and how you live the gospel. You have taught me a lot even though you may not know your teaching me. This past week was amazing! Things went off perfect with the two baptisms of Nafetalai ‘Aholelei and ‘Amanaki Tafengatoto. They are amazing and Nafe is my favorite convert ever!!!! Even though I don’t teach him because he is 60 years old and can’t speak a lick of English, I have come to grow and love this man. He has changed so much and I haven’t told you much about him but just know that he is a miracle and I have been privileged to teach this man. I won’t go into too much details, but at one point about 2 months ago we had to stop teaching him because he chased us away with an axe when he was in a drunken rage… haha don’t worry mom I’m ok and from that point we stopped teaching him but then recently he moved into a members home and completely gave up everything to change and come unto Christ. He gave up a 50 year smoking addiction (he’s only 60 so he started when he was 10) and he is a warrior! I will tell you more when I get home or maybe when I call on Mother’s Day (best holiday ever). Also this next week we have another baptism that we are preparing for so that should go well. We once again ran out of people to teach though and we are trying to get our teaching pool filled again…. I can’t believe this is my last transfer. time is flying by and I’m not ready to go home. I love it too much out here even though its hard at times. I have learned so much and I wouldn’t trade a single experience for anything.

As for my last area………………. haha get ready for this one… I’m staying here in Oakland- still in the Tongan program – still as zone leader and to top all of that my new companion is the one and only Elder Ahohako!!!!! haha the one that I trained over a year ago! haha so now we are back together and we are going to have a blast it will be fun. At first I was scared because the ward loves Elder Kalamafoni and I hate to lose him. But I have 6 weeks left to still work and I’m going to give it all I got and Elder Ahohako is willing to work hard. It is going to be crazy. Elder Kalamafoni and I were together for 6 months!!! crazy huh? I’m going to miss him a lot but he went to be Zone Leader for the Tongan zone in San Francisco because they need help…..  so I hope you all continue to pray for me because this may be a long “lepa” 6 weeks but it will make going home that much better! So I got the good news of BYU accepting me! I’m so excited and I have been working so hard to be in shape. I look forward to trying to play there but I understand it will take a lot of work. But I’m willing and ready to do it. I love you all and hope you have a great week. It’s good to hear trigger is still alive and kind of kickin. Love you. ofa atu. nofa a e

Elder J

It’s Time for my Final Transfer!

•April 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(April 11, 2011) Things are going great! It sounds like all of you are doing great and thank you so much Tara and Colby for that letter and those pictures. You have a letter coming your way so expect it at the end of the week hopefully. Thanks for your letter mom – I always love hearing how things are going with a blow by blow description!

This past week not much really happened… we are trying to get used to working in the singles ward here now and trying to pick it up and get it going, but it’s going well. We went to sacrament for the first time with that branch and I felt bad… there was only like 15 people there… it definitely opened my eyes and helped me be grateful in many different ways. As for our other ward, things are going great and we are planning on two baptisms this next weekend and then another one the following weekend on the 23rd. So this week will be busy for us to wrap things up with those two who are preparing and get their interviews done and all that fun stuff.

This is the last week of this transfer and on Saturday we will hear where my last area is . . . we shall see!  I hope I train, whitewash, and am district leader just so I can keep running to the end!  All of you keep asking me how my Tongan is – it’s really bad!  People say Tongan is the hardest language to learn from another Tongan and can only be learned from somebody who learned it as a second language . . . it’s tough!!!  I probably understand 15-20% of it (30-40% when it’s a gospel topic).  I can pray and bear testimony a little bit.  I think members are catching on to me saying the same prayer over and over.

Did I ever tell you that on April 30th Elder Nelson is coming to our mission and we get to have our first mission gathering with all 210 missionaries and what I’m most excited about is we are taking a mission photo!  It will be a good memory.  That’s about it….. I hope you are all doing well. I pray for you all the time and love you all.

Elder Johnson