Monday, September 28, 2015

Is your picture on God's fridge or on His milk carton?

Oy what a week!!

I don't ezactly know where to start. First off I guess, transfers are this week. Our 3 pack is going down to 2, which we knew it would. I'm staying in Orangeburg with Sister Rymer and Sister Harvey is leaving us to go do..who knows what. Somewhere I can only imagine will be disappointing with disappointing companions. Just kidding, nothing is disappointing in the Lords work. It just will never be as grand as these last 6 weeks have been. We're really sad she's leaving. It's been so much fun. 

So some of the accomplishments of this week, I'm getting really good at catching bugs in the air with my hands. Soon I will level up to chopsticks and then go on to win the National Karate Tournament...or whatever it is. Also guess what? So you know my favorite class that I took in college? Atmosphere and Weather? Well it finally came in handy. We were talking about humidity levels and heat (because it's really humid here if you didn't know), and I could explain it all and talk about saturation levels and how the saturation level raises when it's hotter and stuff like that. Who woulda thunk you could actually learn stuff from college? It's amazing.

I would like to bear my testimony about prayer and fast offerings. So this last week I looked at my MSF bank account and I only had $10 left for the rest of the month. And I knew that my companions like to eat out a lot and I needed to buy groceries and all that stuff. So I prayed specifically that we would be able to be fed by the members of the ward this week so I didn't have to spend money on food. And I will have to send you a picture of all the food we got, but our fridge was overflowing with food all week. It was amazing. 

So these past few weeks, we've been finding lots of new investigators but they've all been pretty flaky and we've been planning to put them on date, but then we can never get a solid return appointment or they always fall through so we never can meet with them again to put them on date. So it's been pretty frustrating. So we were doing weekly planning, and I have been reading the book Drawing on the Powers of Heaven, and it talks about how you can set specific goals and draw on the powers of heaven and by your faith you can make things happen. So I suggested to my comps that we set a goal this week of finding a solid investigator of who we can have return appointments with and accept and be prepared to work towards baptism on October 31. We set our goal, then came up our resolves, which were what we were going to do this week to make this goal happen. One of them being that we were going to ask everyone we talked to to be baptized. Then we had to write out what we needed the Lord to do to make this happen, then we wrote out our commitment, or what we needed to each repent of so that way this could happen. So as soon as we finished that we had to leave to go to an appointment. We got there and the guy we had set the appointment with wasn't there, he didn't even live at the house we had met him at. So it was kinda dumb, but then another guy came outside and started talking to us. So I gave him a Book of Mormon an we started talking with him. And then we invited him to be baptized and he said yes! We were so shocked, we didn't know what to do. So we kept talking to him about it and then a little bit later we put him on date for October 31, and he said yes! We were just like...what the heck is going on? So we told him we were going to need to meet with him regularly so he could prepare and teach him more and he said "Alright, well I get off at 3:30 and I'm off on Fridays" and then we set up an appointment for the next day. It was just...amazing. We left him with Moroni 10 to read before we came back and he said he would read it. So that was a miracle. 

Ha but then funny story, so we go back the next day and there were lots of drunk guys out on his porch and lawn so we went to call him. Right as we're calling him, he called us and told us we should reschedule because he hadn't gotten back from work yet. So we were ok with that, but we asked him if he had read. He said, "Yes I did and I want to reschedule with you for as soon as possible because I have lot's of questions for you." We all got really excited at that. But then he said, "I read about all the people eating each other. And kidnapping the women." We were so confused and asked, "Did you read in the Book of Mormon?" and he said, "Yes, the place where you marked." So we were really confused but set up a time to come back. Afterwards we went to Moroni 10 and saw that he had started at the previous page which starts at Moroni 9:8. Go read it, we laughed forever. Luckily he still wants to meet with us.

But anyway it's time for me to go. But I love you all and hope you have a great week and continue to see miracles happen! You are all amazing!!!!!!

Sister Johanson Jr.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Without the bread of life, you're toast!

Friends and family!

It's weird for me to be writing you..I dunno why. I feel like nothing happened this week. When actually lots happened this week!!! We are moving apartments, so we've been having to clean that all weekend and they shut off our power this morning but we didn't have our key to the other apartment so we haven't been able to move stuff over. So it's been crazy and we are still in the process of moving over, that's what we'll be doing today. 

We had zone conference this last Thursday. Oh my goodness, it was so good. President is amazing. We talked all about using faith as a power, and the way we do that it by using and controlling our thoughts. He read from a book called Drawing on the Powers of Heaven, but did you know only 10% of our thoughts are actually used constructively? That is not very much friends. But I was reading in Ether this last week about the brother of Jared and I love that story. But I love how it talks about when the Lord starts touching the stones then the brother of Jared sees His hand. And it says it couldn't be kept from him. And it shows that that is how miracles happen. God didn't grant him the ability to see His hand, it was because of his faith that he couldn't be kept from seeing the hand of the Lord. So if we have enough faith, we can't be kept from having miracles! It's up to us to make miracles happen. They are waiting for us, we just have to call them down with our thoughts and our faith. Pretty cool I thought. 

Our investigator came to church this Sunday!! Yay!! It's funny..cuz every time our investigators come to church we learn something obscure in relief society. Last week we learned about the elderly and what they can do to be useful, then they passed out prunes at the end. This week we learned about the law of chastity. Man fun times. 

Lets see..I guess that's all. I'm getting to try more southern food so that's awesome. This week we had shrimp and grits which is a famous southern specialty. And then we also had country pudding. Which is not pudding, another name for it is liver pudding. THey said they only really make it in South Carolina. What it is is all the insides of a pig you usually throw away, thrown together and mashed up. Mmm..twas pretty tasty actually. 

Other than that pretty normal week. I love y'all and hope you are all having good things happen, congratulations to Ammon on being baptized!! I love you boy and am proud of you :) 

Everyone just keep being missionaries!! The Lord needs you
-Love sister Johanson Jr.

This is Sister Rymer and I with our face masks. 
Then 2 is us and our zone. 
The last one is of the sisters wearing the elders jackets. It
was so freezing in the church so president asked the elders if they
would let us wear their coats. So that was nice, and also kinda weird.

But warm :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Anything over your head is under God's feet

I must deeply apologize for my behavior last week as I did not put a title on my email. Twas inexcusable. 

But lets see.. this week was just buckets of fun. We had lots and lots of cancelled appointments, 14 to be exact. Ha I'm not bitter, I just like to say the number to give a dramatic effect. Except for it's not a made up number or exaggerated it's real. But this week really has been good!! 

I figured out what I'm doing when I'm home. I'm joining the air force. We went and knocked on this door and an older man answered. He was funny, he started out by telling us that he had called the cops on us and we couldn't tell if he was serious or not, but then he invited us in and introduced us to his wife. He was asking about our plans for after our future and then told us all what our plans were. Mine is to join the air force apparently. But we were getting ready to leave but we were leaving them with a Book of Mormon, and so I started bearing my testimony about it and said that I know Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us and then he got this look on his face like he had some miraculous insight or something but then he pointed at me and said, "air force!" So apparently the Spirit really impressed him to tell me what I'm supposed to be doing when I get home. And he made me promise I would go into a recruiters office and I said I would, and you can't lie as a missionary so I guess now I have to.

Sister Harvey got proposed to this week. We went over to a less-actives who had just gotten surgery and we helped clean her house and made her dinner, well Sister Harvey made her dinner hence the story that's about to follow. So later that night she called us up and told us that her husband and her brother really enjoyed the dinner and that her brother promised that he would give up smoking, join the church and give up all of the other bad things he was doing so he could marry her. And he promised he would be a faithful husband, so we decided we are gonna let her take one for the team. Baptism!! ;)

Things are progressing slowly but we are seeing progression. We got to teach one of our potential investigators last night and it was the most powerful lesson we've ever taught. It was completely by the spirit and by the end she was committed to reading the Book of Mormon. It was really neat because we've been trying really hard to teach with unity and we've all been struggling with how we've been teaching lately. So we were really gonna work on that this week but then we never really got the chance to teach anyone. But our last lesson for the week was just amazing. 

I love this gospel. I'm so glad I get to be out here in south Carolina sharing it. The Book of Mormon is my favorite. Shouldn't everyone just go on missions? I think so.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!! Have a blessed one (that's what they say here in the south)

Sister Ali Johanson

We found these awesome pants last p day and thought they were just so stylish.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Service Projects

Whale errybody,

This week has been quite uneventful. We did plenty of service projects
so that was fun! We helped a member of the ward clean the house they
were moving into. We are all pretty sure the people who lived there
before hadn't touched any sort of cleaning supplies their entire
existence In that house. I got the funnest job and got to clean the
shower! It really was fun cuz I got to see the magic of bleach :) hehe
and how a black piece of tile could be transformed into a white piece
of tile :) God is a God of miracles and after hours of work it was
finally somewhat clean ha.

We also helped a new investigator move out of her apartment, which in
retrospect was kinda counterproductive cuz she was moving into her
boyfriends house. But I didn't realize what we were helping her do til
later hat night. Sister Rymer said it will just be good practice for
us for after we teach the law of chastity and have to help them move
out. Hahaha sheesh....

We taught lots and lots of lessons this week, found lots of people,
knocked lots of doors. We are just having a hard time getting people
to church, which is frustrating. But one of our family's we are
teaching are finally gonna get married in a couple months! So that's

Something the mission is great for is to teach us patience. I know
things are happening and we are doing lots of good, it's just hard to
see sometimes at the surface. But sister Harvey is really good at
talking out how we are planting seeds. Making the connection of how a
seed was just planted and different ways it could prepare them for
future light and knowledge. So that's always cool. I love this gospel
so much. Our bishop is awesome! We had dinner with him and his family
last night and he told us about some ways they are gonna get the ward
more involved in missionary work and how they are gonna get us fed
more. So prayers are working!! But I love you all and hope you all
have a great week!!

Sister Ali Jo

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

God is Good

Okay. Here we are again. Another week is gone.

It's crazy cuz it feels like the weeks go by so fast but at the same time so much happens in a week that it feels more like a month has gone by. I must really be a missionary now cuz I've had a dream almost every night this week and they're all about missionary work: inviting people to church, giving out book of mormons. Haha
This week has been exhausting. Emotionally and physically. Cool story to start out with. So we had goals for last week for our key indicators and then Saturday night we were looking at our goals and we had a goal of getting 4 new investigators this last week; and we hadn't gotten any all week. So we said "Ok, tomorrow (Sunday) our goal needs to be to get 4 new investigators. We know that it is a God inspired goal so we know we can achieve it." So we went to the map, prayed to Heavenly Father to let us know which streets we needed to be on. Then we each picked 5 streets individually, then we came together and found ones that matched up with each others and prayed about when we should go to those streets. So yesterday our day ended up getting complicated. We had made a dinner appointment with a less-active but then they called us that morning and we had thought they cancelled. So we made a different dinner appointment with a member. After church we called up the less-active to see if we could still come over and give a lesson and they told us that they had been slaving all day to prepare this meal for us! So we were like ah! This is no good. So our schedule ended up being crazy and long story short we ended up with just a little over an hour last night to tract. And we still had no new investigators. We prayed which streets focus on, lo and behold 3 new investigators!! Prime investigators! In 1 night, in 1 hour. It was amazing. That story loses a bit of umph since it wasn't our goal of 4...but it was still an amazing miracle! We met a lady named Lamonica, and she hated her name. She said, "Man I hate my name. Lamonica. Why couldn't my momma give me a normal name. Like London?" Mmm..yes.

So I know that as long as we are in tune with the Spirit and have faith, miracles really happen. 
We ran into this one lady who the sisters had contacted a couple weeks ago. She's a professor at one of the community colleges here in Orangeburg. And she teaches a death and dying psychology class and invited us to come talk about our beliefs about the after life! So we handed a plan of salvation pamphlet and said, "Well this is what we would be going over". 

We went to a buffet restaurant this last week with a family in the ward and one of the girls wanted chocolate ice cream. They had those normal ice cream machines that you find at restaurants but they didn't have a handle to get the chocolate ice cream out, only the vanilla! So I was so confused but I thought "Maybe you just have to slide the lever from the vanilla over to the chocolate". But it ended up being a lot more complicated than I thought. So I ended up accidentally taking apart their ice cream machine...and the lady came over and got mad at me. And yes..apparently they just like you to look at the chocolate ice cream and never get it. I tried to explain to her and she just told me you can't get chocolate ice cream. So that was lummy..but whatever. Missionaries prolly shouldn't disassemble ice cream machines in restaurants. Oops.

But everything is going great here! I'm starting to love orangeburg more and the ward. I still love my comps so that's a plus! And I love my district they are all awesome and intimidating. Because all of the elders in our district are the ZL's, AP's and our district leader. But that just means they are all great! It is finally starting to cool off a little but that's just cuz it's hurricane season and we are supposed to be feeling the effects of Erica sometime this week! Woo hoo! Hurricanes!!

I love you all and hope the world is treating you well!! 

Sister Johanson

So this first one is of me and Sister Barnson on our last night in
Anderson. That's our area map behind us.
Then we went to Edisto Gardens and they had turtles and ducks! I knew
that we needed pictures together. But then my comps liked the idea of
turtle selfies and took some too hehe. (Last picture) that's us
leaning as far as we could over the bridge railing trying to get a
picture with the turtles.
Second picture.. Fun game. How many turtles can you see in the

picture? I'll give you a hint, there's at least 5 :)