Monday, November 23, 2015

Jesus is coming. Are you going?


I just want to start off by saying all the things I'm grateful for. I'm so grateful for my wonderful friends all around the world who are just great examples to me of serving the Lord no matter what they are doing or circumstance they are in, but that they always strive to do exactly what the Lord expects of them. It's so great to have amazing friends and knowing that everywhere around the world people get to meet my amazing friends and experience their love and talents. 

I'm grateful for my family, all of them. The crazy ones too and for showing me why and how to raise a righteous family in a world with shifting values. Everyone feels so lost and scared because of how crazy our world is right now. But I'm grateful that Jesus Christ is at the center of our home, and that He's there because my parents had wonderful parents who taught and raised them in the gospel. I'm grateful that I have people to miss while I'm out here on my mission.

Okay, I'm cutting the list short cuz things could get really out of hand here. But I'm grateful to be on my mission being able to share the good news of this gospel. There is no better spirit found in the gospel than when you share that spirit with others. I'm convinced. This work is great, and it's hard because it's great. Man..I just love things and people and the Lord. Isn't life fantastic?

This week, we got people to teach! Isn't that great? Cuz before, we had nothin! So it was a really good week. We found some crazy people, but also some really great, humble people. Our new investigator, as we were walking up to our lesson he was sitting outside. He sees us coming and says, "Here comes the two girls who are gonna change my life!" Man he is so great.

I think my favorite day was yesterday tho. First off, I got a potato. From my friend, Taylor and kinda from Zack but not really ;) Did you know you can just put stamps on a potato and send it in the mail? Yeah well neither did I, but somebody did and that is what I received this week. The APs and the ZLs got a real kick in that one. As well as the mission office did I'm sure. Haha I'll show some proof. 

But yesterday at church one of my favorite families from Anderson came and visited!! I was so happy to see them and they were happy to see me too!!! So that was great! And they said that they are prolly moving into that ward in a couple weeks!! Yay :) And then my favorite investigator from Anderson, turns out moved to Greenville and the elders have been teaching her! Well her grandkids came to church yesterday and remembered me :) I was asked to go bear my testimony during sacrament so when I got up there, all these kids were smiling at me and waving. It was a great sight to see :) 

Things are gonna be a little challenging in Greenville and definitely different from my other areas, but it will be great! Heavenly Father has something planned. Also, as much as I love Orangeburg and Anderson, I think if I were to move to SC I would live in Greenville. I think it's the safest place and it's very pretty. But I love you and hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Tods ziens to ya! (is that even how you spell it)
Wait..that's not me ;)


Sister Johanson JR.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

When your heart is filled with the Holy Ghost, it leaves no room for sin

Hello friends and family, 

Alright, we'll start out with a couple of shout outs. 
Shout out to Morgan Thurston! Because my new comp reminds me a LOT of morgan. I love her lots, she is so great! And crazy!! ;)

Second shout out is to the Finch family. Cuz one of the Spanish elders in my ward (his name is Elder Finch) is cousins with the Finches. So yes..important things going on.

Alright, so I'm back upstate. I am in Greenville, which is guess what? Right next to Anderson! Like they are next door neighbors!! Tender mercy of that. They send out baptism texts to the zone when missionaries put somebody on date; and we got a text the other day of the Anderson sisters putting someone on date. And it was my first investigator I found!! The one with a million grandchildren who was my most favorite person to teach and I had some of the best experiences with. She and her daughter and some of her grandchildren are getting baptized in December!! Yay!! So cool :) 

So anyway, Greenville is soooo different from Orangeburg. Orangeburg was very humble, and very poor, a little bit sketchy but was sooo great. Greenville is a bigger city and lots of well off people who don't feel like they need very much from missionaries. So...yeah. Take me back to the ghetto!! Just kidding. But the ward is so great!! My comp is so great. The work is a little bit slow here, it will be a little bit of an uphill for a while. But what else is new right? 

Got to Greenville on Wednesday and then Saturday we had mini missions! Which is where some Laurels from another stake came and were missionaries with us for two days. We had two girls, so we basically just went on splits for two days. It was crazy, because my comp just got out of training and I just got to the area so we had no idea what we were doing and these girls had no idea what they were doing but it all went smoothly and we are just praying that it didn't make them NOT want to go on a mission. That would be bad. 

I really don't know what else to say...we get fed a lot! That always makes me and my tummy happy :) I guess that's it! I will try to send pictures, I don't think I'm a real girl. Cuz you'll notice in funny pictures when girls say funny picture they do some cute "silly" face that just makes them look more adorable than silly. And then Sister Johanson does..something with her face that can't be explained. So yeah..but anyway. 

I love you guys!! And hope you have a great week filled with the spirit!!

Love Sister Johanson JR. 

See what I mean

Monday, November 9, 2015

Things may be bad but God is good

This week...I dunno. 

First off, some cool things of this week. We taught a college class!! We got an A+! Ha, so I told you guys a while ago how we got asked to teach the psychology class? Well we did it finally. It was a class on death and dying, so we were asked to talk about funerals and how our view of the afterlife affects our funeral and burial services. So we taught the plan of salvation. It was really really cool. We showed "Because of Him." The spirit was soo strong in that classroom of like 40 kids and a college professor. There were quite a few kids who were really engaged, this one kid who was asking a lot of questions and was really intent on everything we were saying. I picture his face a lot and pray for him. We got to hand out plan of salvation pamphlets with our number on it and the address of the church. Some good will come of it, maybe not today but definitely in the future. 

We had ZTM and it was really good. We learned different ways to approach people which is just to testify as soon as you talk to them. Like this.."Hey I'm Sister Johanson and I know God loves you!" and then your companion will teach and then you ask a question and then testify again. And then boom! You find the elect. We went and tried it, really cool experience. This really neat lady that we met. 

And then I guess the other news of the week. I am being transferred..again. What's going on? I'm not sure. Not just transferred we're being whitewashed. I guess I just keep ruining my areas and so the Lord needs to start from scratch. Sister Rymer is staying in Orangeburg though and being put into a 3 pack with the the sisters and transferring elders in. So it is I, the lone ranger off into the unknown. It's ok, I know it's what the Lord wants. He needs me somewhere else. We'll see what happens.
This weeks been rough, if you could all pray for Donald, he could use a lot of prayers right now. Please and thank you. Sorry not much writing this week. But I love you all!! It's very reassuring to know that God's hand is very much a part in our lives. Especially as a missionary. Hope you all have a great week!!

Sister Johanson Jr.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The devils trick is no treat

Whats up everybody!!

Well, why are weeks so weird here? This week, it feels like nothing happened but then all these wonderful great small things happened that just made this week seem like it was great. I went on an eternal exchange! Because of scheduling conflicts we exchanged Monday night and then unexchanged Wednesday afternoon. I went to Irmo with Sister Swanson. I love her. And it just felt like I was there for an eternity, I'm pretty sure I just thought that Sister Swanson was just my companion. But it was really good and I love exchanges. nothing really did happen this week. But! Well first Saturday was halloween. We got put on lockdown after dinner because everybody here gets drunk and it's not safe to be out, also it's very unproductive. So us sisters had a halloween party! Sister Rymer and I carved punkins and the other sisters painted theirs. They are super cute. And we dressed up, I dressed up as Sister Rymer just cuz I was lame. But she gets super cold so in the morning she wears like 13 jackets and 5 scarves so I dressed up as her in the morning. Was funny...but really hot. And of course we ate like junk loads of candy. Not a very good idea. 

Sunday was the best day of all. Church was just so good. 2 of our investigators came. One of them is getting ready to be baptized next week (please pray for him this week. He needs lots of Gods help). But he is just so prepared!!! We taught him about fasting this week, and then he started teaching us! He already has a testimony of most of the things we teach him. I'm pretty sure I never really understood fasting until he explained it to me this week. He just wants to be as involved as he can be with the church. Man what an awesome guy. Sister Johanson's tribute to the mission is her firm handshake, because every male I ever shake hands with always comments on it. So our investigator always shakes hands with me twice. Then our other investigator who we've been trying to get to church forever!! Finally came :) She is so cute, and funny. But in Sunday school, she started talking about a miscarriage she had a long time ago and a dream that she had about it. She starts talking about how in it there is this ice cream truck and inside of it there are all these dead babies hung up!! Oh my gosh, I did not know what to do when she started telling that story. Actually I was pretty vocal about my feelings...but, she ended up really liking church. Especially after Relief Society. So that's awesome. 

And!! We had an awesome testimony meeting. You know how the first presidency made that announcement yesterday about the immigrants and refugees? Well one of our really outspoken brothers in the ward went up to bear his testimony and started talking about how he was really surprised about the announcement. Because he is a conservative and all the things he's heard about it. But then he said, "So I have to make a choice. Do I listen to the worlds voices and what they're telling me these refugees are? Or do I listen to the prophet? I think I'll follow the prophet!" It was really neat. 

Guys listen, this gospel is just the best isn't it?! Don't you just want to shout it from the rooftops? Don't you just want everyone to have all the blessings you have? I do. I'm so glad I'm on my mission :) I hope you all have a great week and find time to think about all the things you love about this gospel and that it motivates you to share it. Happy fall y'all!

Love, Sister Johanson :)

I was Sister Rymer for Halloween. She's always super cold so this is

literally how she dresses in the mornings.

Mine is the small punkin.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

God so Loved the World

Hola Amigos!

So what to say to you all. This might be a short email...this week was just amazing!! We had so many lessons!!! And we had many mighty miracles and we are teaching just the most awesome guy ever. I was really worried for him cuz the last lesson we taught him he got upset at us for asking him questions during our lessons and told us not to ask questions. And so I was praying a lot, because asking questions is so important in discussions so you can help them understand and know what you need to teach. So I prayed a lot a lot about our next lesson cuz I wanted to help him progress but didn't know how to do it if he wasn't going to open up to us. But lo and behold we taught him this morning and the spirit guided us in what to say that got him talking and opening up without even having to ask questions. It was awesome :)

We found these two guys this week...we were going to visit one guy we taught last week but his grandson and son were outside. So we started talking to them and the grandson was a former who had met with the elders a couple years ago. We were asking him what he remembered, and he remembered a lot! He started talking about the plan of salvation and 3 kingdoms of glory. But then his uncles who had been sitting in the car not really paying any attention to us started getting mad. He was saying there was no middle ground, only heaven and hell. Soon enough he started bible bashing, but not with us he started bible bashing with his nephew! And we just sat back and listened cuz we didn't know what to do. But it was so cute, his nephew would say, "Well that's what I love about the Mormons. They're all about the straight and narrow path. Don't look to the right or the left, just the straight and narrow path." Then his uncle pulls out the bible and has his nephew read it. I think it turned into a sermon.. Hell fire and brimstone was being called down and he was yelling and getting excited. It was interesting. But we wanted to meet with the nephew again, so we said we had to go and I shared a scripture with them and bore my testimony and asked when we could meet with him. The uncle jumped in and set up an appointment and gave us his number. We tried getting the nephews number but he said we could just reach him on his uncles yes. Later that night when we were tracting a car pulled up next to us and rolled down the window to talk to us. Lo and behold, who was it but the uncle!! Ah! He was everywhere. But we have yet to meet with them again..but it will be interesting I believe. 

Anyway...back to spiritual matters. I have been able to see the power and importance of the atonement this week. It's the basis and center of this gospel. I'm so grateful for the knowledge and power of the atonement. I'm learning why it needs to be at the center of all our teaching. Because it's the one and only way. 

I hope you all take time to read from the Book of Mormon everyday and think about the atonement. What better time than..Halloween time?! I think Halloween is perfect for it ;)

We are gonna carve punkins this week and since we'll prolly be on lockdown halloween night we're gonna trick or treat at the other sisters apartments and role play door knocking! Yay missionary fun :) Happy Birthday Daddy-o! How old are ya now? Like 62? Hope you don't feel that old, eat lots of ice cream and cake for me. Maybe I'll do it myself; thinking about you in the south end of the country!! 

Love you all! Have a grand one.

Sister Ali Johanson