Don’t Let Anything Pass by without Being Thankful for It

•April 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(April 4, 2011) Thanks for all the emails of support! It means a lot to me. CONFERENCE WAS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!!!!! I love it so much! Such amazing talks I don’t even know where to begin with what my favorite talk was… I loved priesthood session and I loved Bednar’s talk on revelation and then I loved Holland of course and President Eyring in priesthood, and not to mention Richard G. Scott about marriage! haha but that is a ways away right? So this week was also a great week. We found two new people and were to set a date with both of them so we are frantically planning and preparing all those people. We had to drop another one of our dates because he was just refusing to do anything… he has agency I guess…. also another person we set a date with – I can’t tell you the full story but make sure you ask me when I get home because it is strait nutty!!! But his name is Nafe and he’s a warrior! And it’s a complete miracle that he is preparing for baptism and he’s on fire right now! One thing that also happened was we got moved out of one of our wards and thrown into a new ward…. so now we have the Oakland 3rd Tongan and our new one is the Oakgrove 1st young single adult Tongan Ward (haha I just can’t get away from these single wards!) Things are still going very well with me. For this p-day we’re not doing much. I think that I’m going to go run around Lake Merrit here in Oakland which is a 3 mile run. Its way fun!  It’s been hot here this past week which is good. Hope you all are having a fun time and loving life! Don’t let anything pass by without being thankful for it, even trials, it’s all for our good and in God’s plan to prepare us. (That was a main thing I got out of conference) love you all! ofa atu

Elder Johnson

 

 

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It Makes me Happy to See People Keeping the Commandments

•March 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(March 28, 2011) Hey I don’t have much time this week to write and there isn’t much to write about. Things are going very well and yes mom the weather here has been miserable! Rain every day and it has been very cold every day – but we keep working I guess and it doesn’t stop it. Everything is going well with our teaching pool.  We set another baptismal date this past week and we had to drop another guy’s. So right now we have one for the 9th of April and anther for the 16th that we are preparing for. We also have another guy who we are working with that we will soon set a date with so no worries. This week at church was so good – we had so many people there! It made me happy to see people keeping commandments like that. Also this past week was our zone conference….my last one… so I gave my departing testimony with several other missionaries. It was sad! Our whole conference was focused on the doctrine of Christ and I gained a lot of new insights and understanding of the gospel. I love it! Thanks for all your encouragement.  Love you all bye!

Elder Johnson

 

 

I Have a Strong Testimony for Church Attendance

•March 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(March 21, 2011) Hey family!  I always look forward each week to hearing about your wonderful adventures and crazy craft shows and things that keep you busy during the week. I hope all is ok in the 303! Is it getting pounded with snow there? I sure hope so! This week it has been ridiculous! Rain every day and gross weather and hasn’t made it very fun this week but that’s ok. This week has kind of been a rollercoaster for us and our area, but things will only get better I think. We have seen a lot of miracles the past few days and it has been great. We found a new investigator and we are teaching him in English which is my favorite! So he is awesome and is progressing so well and even goes and researches all of these things on his own to learn even after we meet. He is very sincere and when we first taught him on Wednesday we set a baptismal date with him for April 16th so we are working towards that now. Also we set another baptismal date with another investigator named Matisoni. He is 19 and is the brother to a recent convert. He is strait from Samoa (but he’s Tongan) so he doesn’t speak a lick of English but that’s ok. We set a date with him for April 16th as well and things are going great! Except on Sunday when it was an hour before church we find out that his ride just left out of town so he was stuck at home, and then we call him and he’s asleep…. so we decide to run over to his home and on the way over we grabbed a white shirt and tie for him and when we got to his home he was still asleep so we went into his room and woke him up and threw the clothes to him and told him he has 5 minutes! haha so long story short, we got him to church and he absolutely loved it! I have gained such a strong testimony for the importance of church attendance and the amount of revelation that one can receive when attending church! It is amazing and I know that the spirit taught Matisoni when he was at church so know he has an even stronger desire to be baptized.

Just the normal adding and dropping of investigators are going on in our area and we are striving always to work well with the members to find more people to teach. Other than that not much is going on. I’m healthy and happy and I’m having a blast here in Oakland. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you all soon. Much love ofa atu,

Elder J

 

My Favorite Time is the Hour of Study into the Scriptures

•March 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(March 14, 2011) Hey family I don’t have much time today to write but thank you all for your letters and love and support– it really helps and goes a long ways! Thanks Riley and Kelsey for writing me. I loved hearing about what you are doing and all that fun stuff. The work here is going just fine. Our teaching pool is filling just a little bit but they’re not very solid people. Very flaky and unfortunately it’s all we got right now. We did set a date with this girl last week for April 9 but she hasn’t been able to meet with us for over a week because of her family not allowing her to…. so things are very slow still but we keep working hard. My absolute favorite time of the day though is the hour of study that I get to just get into the scriptures on my own and receive revelation to know what to do and how to help these people. If only I could have learned this skill of studying from the beginning of my mission (or even before for school…) than it would have helped so much. I love this gospel and it means so much to me! I know that it is true and that it is the only path that one must take to return to their father in heaven. My favorite quote from Preach my Gospel is, “true doctrine understood changes attitude and behaviors. The study of doctrine will change behavior quicker than a study of behavior will change behavior.” The atonement…. understood leads to faith and hope which provides us with the strong belief that the Lord will fulfill his promised blessings of keeping his commandments. As we give up our carnal desires and do that of the Father, he will bless us so much and I have learned for myself that that is true. I hope you all have  a fantastic week and never lose hope. ofa atu

P.S. I had another Tongan feast on Sunday and it was crazy! Blows my mind away every time! And then later Sunday night we got to go to a fireside where Elder Groburg and his wife came and spoke to the Tongan stake. Kolipoki is the one from “The Other Side of Heaven where he serves his mission in Tonga.  super cool guy and he speaks way good Tongan! He spoke on the need of companionship where man is with the woman and woman with the man. Kind of weird as a missionary but still very doctrinally based and I enjoyed it.

Elder Johnson

 

 

Be Prepared to see a Fat Kid Come Home!

•March 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(March 7, 2011) Hey family! It was so good to hear from all of you! It sounds like you are all having a great time and are staying busy with everything that life has for us.  So I bet you’re all wondering where I got transferred to…. well I’m actually staying here in the Tongan program again! haha its crazy! Me and Elder Kalamafoni are still together for another 6 weeks so mom I hope you are prepared to see a fat kid come home! Last night we had the most insane feast!!! I think every time I go to one it blows my mind away at how much they actually eat. I kept myself from eating a lot but it was hard! So another 6 weeks here and I’m actually pretty excited. It will be an adventure for sure I guess! I’m going to work a lot harder to learn the language better. I bore my testimony in Tongan in both our sacrament meetings -I was so nervous! But it was fun.

This past week we found a new investigator. She is awesome and we get to teach her in English!!!! wooooooo – so we taught her and set a date with her and tonight we are teaching her again. But it was an amazing experience. I’m really learning a lot recently about how important the atonement is of Jesus Christ. It blows my mind away at how deep it is and how it is the absolute center of everything. This new investigator asked us, “How do I feel the atonement in my life?” I don’t think I have ever had an investigator ask such a perfect question! This gospel is what opens the floodgates to accessing the atonement! I love you all and you’re always in my prayers. Have a wonderful week. ofa atu

Elder Johnson

 

 

This Next Transfer is Where I’ll Finish my Mission!

•March 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(Feb. 28, 2011) Thanks for all your love and concern! Things are going great here in Oakland but this past week the weather took a turn and was miserable! It was freezing and there was predicted snow in the forecast but I never saw any. The work is still moving along.  We have been trying franticly to find new people to teach. After our huge splurge of baptisms we had, we haven’t been able to fill back up our pool of people so things are a little slow right now…. what makes it even more difficult is since it is a language program we can only work with Tongan people and all the non member Tongans have all been visited hundreds of times and so all we can really do is continue to cycle through them and just do a lot of follow up with members. But this past week we saw miracles and were able to find several new people. The Lord is blessing us definitely and this next week we have planned to find even more. So keep me in your prayers because I’ll need all the help we can get!

This next week is transfers so on Saturday I’ll hear what’s going on. I’m thinking I’m going to train because 20 new missionaries are coming in – we will see. Kind of exciting because this will depend on where I finish the rest of my mission I think!  Crazy thought, and what makes it even worse is I got a phone call this week from the mission office and they are asking me questions like what airport I want to fly into and stuff like that so they can book the flight… I was really temped to tell them I’ll be flying to somewhere different than Colorado just so I won’t have to come home! I’m scared to come home. I like it too much out here and to help people really find how Christ has died and suffered for them. I know that this gospel is true and that it means the world to me. Thank you all for your great examples and for being diligent and obedient to commandments. I know that the blessings we have received in life are because of that. I love you all. Have a great week!

Elder J

 

 

He Had a Change of Heart

•February 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

(Feb. 21, 2011) Great week yet again. We had another baptism this past Saturday for a guy that I have been teaching since I have been here in Oakland. His name is Paula and he was off and on the whole time but recently he has had a change of heart and really wanted to turn his life around and keep the commandments of God. He is awesome and I loved teaching him because he would open up a lot and was easy to teach. Again my companion and I are desperately in the search for new people to teach. We have absolutely nobody right now…. we have plans to add several people this next week though so hopefully we will start to fill our teaching pool. This past week it has been raining sooooo much it was crazy! And this past week I also got pretty sick with things coming out of every end of me… if you know what I mean. I love you all and hope you have a great week. Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of all mankind. I know that it is by faith that miracles are possible and that it is Christ that can make them possible. I love you and hope you have a great week!

Elder Johnson