Monday, December 26, 2016

Come inside and receive your free gift...Jesus.

Oh won't you all miss all the good southern Church marquees? They are the funniest! 

Oh goodness, I hope you all had such a good Christmas! I just love mission Christmas's. They are the funnest ever! Friday we went to downtown Charleston and went caroling with our zone. It was the funnest thing ever. We split up into smaller groups and we just roamed the streets and would stop at different places and sing Christmas songs. Oh everybody would just love Charleston. You all need to go there. I'll go with you! But we had lots of random people just stop and take pictures of us or video record us. We prolly got put on a lot of My stories on snapchat :D haha

Yesterday was great, we had lots of different meal appointments since members can feed us on Christmas and everybody just wanted us to stay forever. I love this ward, they probably have some of the best people I've ever served around! They are awesome. We have been fully stocked up with treats and goodies until next Christmas rolls around. Last night we went to a members house named the Poston's and they are so fun. They fed us some good ole southern food. You know I can't remember the name of what we had, but they just have a giant pot filled with corn on the cob, shrimp, sausage and potatoes. And they just throw seasoning in there and mix it all together, throw it on the fire and then throw it on your plate and into your tummy. It was yummy. Brother Poston made sure to steam half a bushel of oysters for us and showed us how to thoroughly shuck and eat the oyster. Just bite and swallow. Although Sister Goettsche just kept chewing which is probably why she didn't like the taste as much. 

I think my favorite part of Christmas though was getting to go to church Christmas morning. It was so cool just being gathered together with all of the different members or nonmembers there. Being there and knowing that whatever everyones conversion or testimony or understanding of the gospel was; we all knew Jesus Christ enough to choose to celebrate the day of His birth worshiping Him and partaking of His gift of the atonement. I'm grateful to be surrounded by so many disciples of Jesus Christ who are all trying to follow Christ to the best of their ability. And that's all that we can do. Isn't is so amazing that all across the globe you could've seen the exact same thing? I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him and am glad we can continue to celebrate His birth through the way we live our lives. I love you guys and hope you have a great week!

Sister Johanson 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

God sent Him, Mary wrapped Him, will you let Him in?

Merry Christmas everybody!!! 
Hello! I hope you are all very ready for Christmas. The saddest part about Christmas being so close is that it is going to be over very soon :'( so sad. 

This last week was so fun; we had Christmas zone conference. We learned all about how to be healthy and not get sick from the mission doctor and then we learned about how to hit the standards of excellence by our AP's. Man oh man, life is so fun isn't it? You just will never stop learning and having ways to improve. I feel like I should have things down by now and just know everything! But alas I do not. Sorry to all of those that that probably comes as a shock to you :) But I'm grateful for opportunities to improve otherwise I would just be stuck! Haha we also watched a hallmark Christmas movie called Christmas in Conway. It takes place in south Carolina! So fun :) it was very good and cheesy just like Hallmark videos are. But there were a few parts where the married couple kisses and all us awkward missionaries are just cringing and squirming in our seats. But besides that it was good :) 

Let's see...what else happened this week. We had some ward activities, we had a relief society activity and we made those cute snowmans at the bottom of the page, and our ward Christmas party was last night. We are all stocked up on sweets and food for the rest of my existence. So blessing or a burden..I'm not quite sure. 

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning in 3 Nephi, right before the signs of Christ's death. And it talked about the different groups that the Nephites split themselves off into and how they weren't united with each other but were "at peace" in the sense that they decided to mind their own business and not go to war against each other. And it made me think of this goal that everybody is trying to come to of world peace and how the world just goes about it in that way. They feel like if they can quit all the wars and just separate from each other and promise not to fight against them, someday we will have peace. But recognizing the difference in what we learn later in the book of mormon after Christ comes when for a few hundred years the people lived in complete peace imparting of all their substance one to another. That this Christmas season reflecting on who Christ is, that He really is the Prince of Peace. That is what He came to bring. So there is nothing in this world that will bring ultimate and lasting peace without the use of Christ Himself. Like one of the latter day prophets have said, the only thing that will save the world from it's calamity and self destruction is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that's what we are doing! We are saving the world. One person at a time. I'm grateful for this Christmas season and what I get to be doing during this time of year. I love you all and hope you have a great week full of love and service and Christ filled activities. 
Merry Christmas!!!!

Sister Johanson

Monday, December 12, 2016


Hello there everybody! Greetings again from the south. 

Holy cow, can you even believe that Christmas is just right around the corner? It's just sneakin up on us isn't it? I LOVE being a missionary around Christmas time. It isn't always how you picture it tho. They tell us all the time that people are much more receptive because it's Christmastime but it seems that lots of people want us to wait till all the holidays are over to come over to their house. But despite the challenges of the season there are definitely so many miracles. There was a quote that I read this week that said that miracles are the natural result of the Messiah's presence. No wonder there are so many miracles around this time of year because presence of Christ if filling the earth. And I love being able to feel like I am on the Lord's errand helping to bring those miracles to pass by testifying of the Savior. 

We had a really good week. We had ZTM on Friday on which I got to give a talk on overcoming trials of faith. Gee wiz Heavenly Father sure likes to give us topics that we need to learn more about. It's been so good learning about faith while on my mission. It is an ongoing battle to understand fully how to use my faith to cause miracles to happen and how to trust God in no matter what circumstances I am in and to have full faith in His plan for me and for His children. But I have definitely learned that our faith, to have a full impact in our life. cannot be centered on any goals or people or situations. But that it is centered in our Savior Jesus Christ, who is perfect and who we can always turn to for more and more and we will never hunger or thirst but receive freely. 

I am grateful for this gospel and for this upcoming week. It should be really good! Yay Christmas and yay the gospel! Hope you all have a good week!!

Sister Johanson

look pictures! 
I found some gnomes..which I love :) 
also some gator places
and Charleston!

and us at the parade last week..yeah they made me wear little dingle hoppers on my head

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christ died for you, what have you done for Him?

Hello everybody! Happy December!!! Yay december!!!! 

We've kicked the month off right. Yesterday we were in our city's Christmas parade!! It was so fun! It was us and our elders and the WML and ward missionaries. Ah it was so fun. It was pretty cold and wet but luckily it stopped raining before the parade started. We stapled 4500 pass along cards to candy canes this last Wednesday and then handed them out during the parade. Only had one lady try to reject the card but then found out it had candy attached so she let us give it to her. A lot of people would get a card with the temple on it and go, "Woah! That is a really  nice church!" hopefully they don't go looking for that one around here because then they will never find us. We then went to our stake Christmas Carols and Cookies. It was so fun! They had each ward in the stake perform a series of musical numbers and then everybody brought cookies! So good. 

It's been cool this last week how much the Lord has blessed us. I've tried getting back into my greenie attitude I had at the beginning of my mission of when all of our plans would cancel and I would get so excited and go,"Sweet! That means we are supposed to be somewhere else today". So I tried that this Saturday and it worked! We had an awesome day, and if our plans had went through there are some really prepared people we would have never met. Obviously there are a lot of things that just happen because of peoples agency. But Heavenly Father knew before hand that it would happen so He prepared something else for us to do. 

Man, it's been a pretty eventful and stressful last 6 weeks, but it's been so cool to be able to draw closer to my Savior. I've always wondered what it felt like to feel His grace supporting me. I knew He could enable me and help me through my challenges, but I never felt like I knew how to unlock the power of grace to help me. Not saying I have all the answers now and like I've never felt the Savior helping me before, but it's just been cool these past few weeks. I have felt very lonely sometimes, or like I didn't know what to do or lacked the motivation to continue and so I would just kneel and pray very sincerely for Heavenly Father to just help me to do what He needed me to do. And there has been a tangible source of strength that has been given to me each time I have done that. And it's just filled me with light and the spirit, and I know that it's what's helped me to keep going. And it get's me excited to be a missionary and to serve and to be alive and to be here! I'm so grateful for Heavenly Fathers constant care for me and for the Savior and the Holy Ghost. Definitely grateful to be here and to help people to gain access to the atonement, the enabling and redeeming power of it, in their lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all! I hope you can feel God's love for you too. 
Have a great week!

Sister Johanson

Monday, November 28, 2016

The way to God is a broken heart.

Hello hello everyone! 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving week! Ours was pretty swell. We ate 3 days worth of food so we're all stocked up for winter. Just getting some insulation you know. 

But it was really good, and we were able to still go out and teach people in spite of the holiday. It was pretty cool we have this one investigator named Marty who we have been teaching for a while. She didn't set an appt for this last week because her work schedule was so busy, but each week we pray about people we feel we need to go visit. On our list was a name that lived at a members house; we knew he didn't live there anymore but we felt we should go stop by. So we did, and guess who was there! Marty! So we were still able to have a lesson with her and a member could be there with us. So cool. Heavenly Father knows :)

As for Thanksgiving it was so good. We ended up not having a pie appt which turned out to be really good because I think I would've gone into a coma if I had inhaled any more food. Needless to say the next day I felt like I had Thanksgiving hangover. But yet missionary work goes on. 

I'm not sure much else happened this week. My scars are healing. Both emotional and physical ;) so the atonement must be real. 
But I love you all! I hope you are all getting into the Christmas spirit. Yay Christmas! 
I love you guys! Have a great week

Sister Johanson

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey  yall! What a weird week it has been. Lot's of strange things. But it's been a good week too! Lot's of success! We finally got our less active friend to church this week and the entire ward rejoiced. Seriously, he was trying to stay inconspicuous which is hard to do in the Moncks Corner ward. So he got hugs from everyone. He hasn't been in over 30 years! Cool stuff :)  

We had a biking incident this's not even been too long. It was dumb decisions on my part and the car. I was trying to not hit a trash can and then realized a car was coming. He almost hit me so I swerved to go back on the sidewalk but hit the curb and then splat when Sister Johanson. Well it was less of a splat and more of a skid. I will show fun pictures of my battle wounds. It's been pretty painful all week. I wish I would've taken a picture the night of because it looked so awful then. But the pictures I have will suffice. 
Poor Sister Goettsche is sick and so she curses me even more when we have to go bike. But alas we must do it, because we have no miles. (don't worry, we are still smart and I am not killing her) 

Our ward made sure to get us fed this Thanksgiving as they can feed us without less actives or investigators present on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So they took it upon them to fill our entire day up with food appts. Happy Thanksgiving. 

We also had interviews with president this week. That man is my favorite. When he came out after interviewing the person previous to me, he looked at me then he kind of staggered back against the door and yelled, "I've been waiting for this all day!" Haha, it was a good interview. 
Sad news of the day, an apostle is coming to our mission! Elder Stevenson, 2 days after I come home. And then they are having another mission tour the end of January. I told President I was just going to stick around for a little while and he said ok. 

But I'm just so grateful for so many things! I love Thanksgiving! Someone gave a talk yesterday and mentioned how we as humans have a tendency to take things for granted. I'm pretty sure Pres. Uchtdorf said that this last general conference too. The more often we have something in our life, the more casual we become towards it. I don't want to stop seeing the the magnificence of this gospel and the restoration. Think of the small things we take for granted! We taught gospel principles yesterday about temples and family history work. Just the fact that we are alive, we take for granted! We can participate in saving ordinances. Those beyond the veil have to wait for others to do them for them. I love thanksgiving, and I love all of you too. Thanks for emailing me and supporting me and praying for me. It makes such a big difference. Wouldn't be the missionary I am right now without each of you. Love you guys! Have a great week!

Sister Johanson

finally the head spin! This is Allen.
My battle wounds
Sisters at Mepkin abbey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Work for Jesus, the retirement benefits are great.

Hello everybody!! 

Man what a week, it has been crazy.

Lot's of stuff fell through, which is always sad. But it's given us a chance to figure out our bikes. Which has been an adventure. We've biked almost everyday this last week. Oo wee. The first half of the week was a struggle, oh man. I just did not know what I was doing and how to plan with bikes and be effective. But, we are getting the hang of it and it's gotten a lot better. I think the biggest struggle was just figuring out how to get our bikes on our bike rack. We were out in the parking lot trying to figure it out, we called the elders and they said they would call us back (which they never did) and this guy pulled up and was trying to help us. None of us knew what we were doing, so it took a solid 30 minutes flipping the bikes this way and that trying to get them on the thing and then we finally got them on there. And the fasteners are like immovable. They are these rubber thingos and it takes the strength and stamina of 10 horses to get those buddies fastened down. Good thing we now have the strength and stamina of 10 horses so we can get those things on and off all day :) 

But other than that, the week has just flown by. We finally got a bout of coldness yesterday but it is wearing off. I don't remember if I told you guys about Brenda last week, the bible referrals relative that came to book of mormon? Well we met with her on Wednesday and she asked us what she needed to do to get baptized. So we were like, "oh well you know, we can teach you about that" and she is just awesome. And gave us referrals for all her family members and friends. 

I think one of my least favorite phrases people use in the church and other people use in general is "God doesn't give us anything we can't handle". I think that is false. I mean I guess it goes back to what you mean when you say handle. It's true that most of the trials we face in life, will not ultimately kill us or ruin us forever. But when I think of handling something I think of still having composure, having a sense of peace and control over yourself and the situation. There have been in a lot of times on my mission and lately where I do not feel like I have control over myself or my situation and are able to deal with it in a peaceful and calm way. But saying that, when those feelings of peace and stability and reassurance do come, it is always when I turn to the Lord and give Him my load. Because, maybe I'm just a lot weaker than the rest of mankind (which is highly likely and possible) but I just don't feel like I can handle everything God gives me. But when I take what He gives me and turn it over to Him and allow Him to become a part of "handling" it, then it turns into something manageable. Maybe still something uncomfortable, but something I can live peaceably with and continue on with trust, and hope in the future. So I'm grateful God gives me things that I can't handle, because it allows Him to become a bigger part of my life as I allow myself to be yoked alongside Him. 

I'm grateful for this gospel. It still is true, and I hope you guys all have a great week! You are in my prayers. Love yall! :)

Sister Johanson

Monday, November 7, 2016

Life is fragile; handle with prayer.

Hi there everyone! It's good to speak to you all again. 
This week has been so good! Things just keep getting better and better here in Moncks Corner, SC! Missionary work is still the best :) 

I forgot to tell yall last week about the service stuff we get to do each week! Every Thursday we go and serve at a Monk monastery! We work in the gardens, this last week we raked and hedged some trees and bushes and bamboo. It was pretty cool :) I'm becoming a master gardener. There is a lady named Ursula Wells that takes us each week and she is awesome. She gives each of the missionaries names to go by...for someone reason I guess they don't like us going by our last names. But my name is Charlotte! It makes me feel like a little kid where you play games and come up with what your name is. It's fun :) 

This week we had lots of cool things happen, and met lots of cool people! OH oh! Elizabeth and Alyssa got baptized in Spartanburg. Obviously I'm not there anymore, but just thought I'd let you know that the Hmongs are still going strong. I also have a video of Allen doing a headspin which I got before I left, so I'll have to send it to you guys. 

We are now biking sisters! Ha well not full fledged. Dressa prolly thinks I'm silly because she just biked her whole mission. But us weak sauce missionaries with's quite an adjustment. Especially cuz nobody is here to tell me how to do it. Luckily, it's pretty easy to pick up. Just like riding a bike...literally 😁 haha but yeah, we are working on biking more. And I like it lots! It's so fun! Woo hoo! Biking! 

We had one of our investigators...well we just met her once but she came to Book of Mormon class this week and she just loved it! At the end she told us that she was going to her sisters house to tell her about it and telling all of her family to come to church on Sunday. Unfortunately not all of them came, but she did with her daughter and a couple grands. so pretty kewl! 

This week I had a good little learning experience about repentance. Which is just change. And you know, change is really hard sometimes. It's crazy that what we are doing as missionaries is literally just asking people to change almost everything about their life! So much sacrifice! But God knows that it will only benefit us. And there have been some things this week that have required me to change, and at first it just made me feel guilty but as I finally just accepted it and said the Lord would help me and accept the small progress that I make each day, I finally was able to feel enabled and like the Lord could help me. And the change just ended up happening, and it was good and I felt and do feel great! It's all about small silly stuff, but even those kinds of things the Lord enables us to do. He asks us to change but provided the means to do it. I'm grateful for the gospel! I'm glad to be here sharing it! I love all you guys and hope you have a great week! 

Sister Johanson

Halloween party! 

(It's fine, just me and my comp dressed up. No hurt feelings, or egos) ;)

Ward BBQ and Cake Auction

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Your attitude is your aroma of where your heart is at. If it stinks your hearts not right.

Well this email is gonna be lame, but I'm out of time. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN tho everyone :) !!!!!

This week has been much better with adjusting and getting to know the area. My comp and I are good pals and have seen lots and lots of miracles. Today is Halloween so they put us on lockdown after 6, which means we basically have an all day p day. So exciting news of the day. 

We met some really cool people this week. I created my first road kill. I hit a raccoon this week in the night...poor guy. I think I freaked out for a solid 12 minutes afterward. Sister Goettsche just thought it was the funniest thing ever. But yeah, I saw him yesterday on the side of the road. It was pretty sad. 

Sorry none of this is missionary related at all. But I promise I'm doing good and the work is moving forward. Something that has helped me most this week is just trying to take away my own expectation of myself and realize what God expects of me. Because He knows perfectly well what we can do and what we are capable of. 

Haha I get really excited about key indicators and missionary work and stuff. But my GREENIE told me that sometimes I remind her of Elder Calhoun. So you know #missionarywin. 

Love yall! blessings from the South! 

Have a great week,

Sister Johanson

Monday, October 24, 2016

Life in the Corner

Hey everybody! It's me again, Sister Johanson. That title might as well be called life in the growth zone, or life out of the comfort zone. 

I am down in Moncks Corner (it's about 30 miles from Charleston), whitewash training. Meaning I know nothing about the area or the people here or my companion. Well actually I do know about her now. Her name is Sister Goettsche (pronounced get chee). Ha she is so cute. She is from Alpine Utah and she likes singing and loves being a missionary and loves South Carolina. So all pluses. We've had a pretty good week, met lots of good people. 

We went to book of mormon class on thursday and had a good study with all the old timers in the ward. My favorite part was when there was a mosquito flying around and everyone was trying to smash it. Brother Singer stands up and starts smacking the table, it's getting all the way down the table so he's just slapping as hard as he can all the way down til he's almost on top of the table smacking on the opposite end. But he got it so that's all that matters. 

It's definitely been a roller coaster week, lots of ups and downs. But we're slowly getting the hang of things. Had a ward trunk or treat on saturday so that was a good chance to get to know some members and get some candy. 

There is so much work here to do! We had a lesson on saturday with a less active and his wife and we taught the restoration. He wants to come back to church and she wants to get baptized so you know, we're good with both of those things. 

I dunno, I'm just excited to be here. It's amazing to see how my hope has grown throughout my mission. I just have a lot of hope for the good things to come and know that the Lord is just going to bless us and the members here in this area. Still love being a missionary. 

If you have missionaries that you can see or help, go reach out and help them. They prolly need it ;) 

Love you all! Hope you have a good week!!

Sister Johanson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Keep your eyes to the Son, and everything else will fall into the shadows.

Hey there pals! What a week! Are yall tired? I am

It's been a really good week! The week of meetings. But the great thing about this week is that even though we had lots of meetings, we were still able to go out and teach and find a lot. Which is always really good because when I get trapped inside all day I get really mopey. I asked Sister Hill if that would wear off when I go home. Just having to go out and share the gospel otherwise I feel lummy. Hopefully it does somewhat but not to the effect of taking the pressure off to share the gospel. I hope that stays.

We met lots of cool people this week, had some cool experiences. But it was all trumped when President called and told me I was getting transferred. You would think that since I have been here forever it wouldn't have been a surprise but yet it was. I am leaving Spartanburg to go whitewash train somewhere in a distant land. I don't know where yet, I find out tomorrow so I'll let yall know next week :) but I am excited! As well as sad, I was convinced I was going to die here. All of my Hmongs will just get baptized without me here. Allen didn't even show me his headspin :/ although, we went to have a lesson with Bao and Seng on Friday and they showed us a video of all 3 of the Lor brothers doing breakdancing. While we were watching it a giant black cockroach crawled next to me on the couch. I tried to shove it off but it crawled behind sister Hill. So all of us besides Sister Hill ran into the kitchen. She stood up and it just is crawling down her back. Man oh man, I think we all had a heart attack. She just swatted her body til it flew into the kitchen and Seng kicked into the other room. Fun fun times. It's bug country over here. Hate that. We also found a bunch of baby cockroaches crawling all over our bedroom floor. Bleh. Luckily leaving that apartment before I have to find the momma.
So that's my fun story of the week.

The work is so good in South Carolina. Who would've thought that it would just be the best place on earth? I'm excited for all the things in store the next several weeks. I hope you all are doing well and continue seeing miracles in your own lives. God is just such a good Father who wants to give good gifts. I'm glad I'm able to see them in my life and lives of those around me. Being a missionary is just the greatest! Hope you all have a good week!
Love ya!

Sister Johanson

Monday, October 10, 2016

A positive anything is worth more than a negative nothing.

You know, I'm not exactly sure what that title means, but it sounds like it could be profound..?

I hope you all have had a great week and are enjoying the wonderful fall weather. It's been really nice the past week due to the hurricane on the coast. Us upper state people only benefit from the hurricanes, which sounds really shallow to say (was that a pun?). But we're all safe and dry and everything is ok. Hope tay han is surviving down in Florida? Prayers are definitely needed though for the residents of SC as well as the other places Matthew hit.

But the work is going really well as always. Continuing forward, which is what we like here. Our friends Allen and Chue are cleared to baptize their family members at the of the month. Allen will be ordained to be a priest either next sunday or the following. Woo hoo!!

Highlights of the week include: food. Got fed legit, the fanciest meal I've ever eaten in my entire existence. We were fed lobster, lamb, and greek salad for dinner on Wednesday. Holy cow, I felt so fancy. And then yesterday the Hmong people invited us over for a party and they just know how to eat. We had fried chicken, meatloaf, lasagna, yummy noodle stuff, complete with 6 different kinds of cake. (6 different people had birthdays recently, they all have to have their own cake!)

Other than that, I'm just still excited to be a missionary. Does it ever get old? No it doesn't! Never! That's not saying there aren't things that I won't miss when I go home but being a missionary and teaching the gospel is just the most rewarding thing you will ever do. We're just line in line with God. Our purposes are the same! Hope yall heard Elder Oaks and Anderson's talk at conference last week. Time to get on with member missionary work ;)
How many times have you heard that from a missionary.
But I really I hope yall know how much I love you and appreciate you. Oh oh!! I forgot! Jannie finally got enough money so her partner can get divorced, they can get married and she can get baptized! Woo hoo! Haha good stuff.

Anyways, I hope you each have a good week and try to find a miracle in each day. Even if it's small, but God is constantly pouring out good gifts on His children. When we take time to recognize them, He will give us even more.
Have a good week!
(this email is kinda long!! :D)

sorry these ones are kinda blurry, our picture taker wasn't so hot

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

He Lives!

Hey everyone!

Did you all just love General Conference! Ah I just loved it so much! I don't know if it was just because I'm a missionary or what but I just feel like they chose almost all of their topics out of preach my gospel. Just focused so directly on the basic doctrines of the church: restoration, plan of salvation, gospel of Jesus Christ. Man oh man. It was really neat because the whole time I just kept getting feelings like, "You know this is true!" and I felt like I could just be up there with them. Just the fact that they all knew of their testimony and were able to declare it to the world. I just feel that way. I know my testimony is sure and I know this gospel is true! It was cool just to feel like I was on the same team as the general authorities. That these aren't things that just the missionaries are going out and teaching, this is what the apostles and Prophet of the Lord is teaching. We teach the same things! Because that's what is going to help us the most :)

It was a good week, full of lots of exchanges. I didn't really get to be in my area a whole lot this week so it was interesting. Still good. I love the sisters, I just learn so much!
Got to be with my greenie again, Sister Smith. Love that lady!

I hope you are all feeling the joy that comes from living the gospel. When everything else seems to be going wrong, we can rejoice in the fact that we have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ filling our lives.

Love you all! Hope you have a good week!!
Sister Johanson

Pictures! Me and sister smith, evidence of sister hill's and my grocery list each week, my failed attempt at hootenanny's in the south.

They turned out last conference I don't know what happened :(

Monday, September 26, 2016

Our problems are temporary, God is eternal.

Hello my loyal subjects! I hope everyone's week was really, really good!

Mine was fun :) You don't always get lots of those on your mission but it really just was a fun week. We had zone conference on Thursday, ah it was so good. I just love missionary meetings. There is nothing like them. All the missionaries coming together to learn and be taught by the spirit, united with one purpose: to bring souls to Christ.

Also, that evening we went out to Outback Steakhouse with a less active family in our ward. That was my first time eating there, holy cow. I think I ate 2 days worth of food in that meal. We had some good bread to start us off, followed by an appetizer, entrée, and 3 desserts! Man oh man. was good. So that's all that really matters right? Ha just kidding. Won't be doing that again.

The rest of the week was really good, we had Bao's baptism on Saturday! Oh it was so good :) Her husband baptized her and they were just so great. A lot of their family came so the entire room was filled! They also brought some tasty homemade egg rolls for us to snack on afterward. But they just looked so happy. One of the coolest parts about it was that Seng's brothers and cousins were just watching it all and taking it in, and telling their wives to pay attention because that would be them next. Allen and Elizabeth got married this week so Allen should be able to baptize Elizabeth next month :) ah families. Ha I told Elizabeth a while ago that I wanted Allen to teach me how to do a head spin, because she told us he knew how to do one. So at the baptism I played the piano, and afterwards Allen came up to me and said he thought I played the piano really good and he told me that if I taught him how to play the piano he would teach me how to do a head spin. Haha so just be ready for that when I come home.

One of the family's little boys had a birthday party yesterday so we went and ate some fuh. It's an Asian noodle soup. It's pretty good. You just have noodles and broth and then just add a bunch of meats and vegetables to it. So I just started throwing stuff in and unknowingly stuck a handful of jalapenos in it. My mouth just started burning a few bites in, and I just started stealing everybody's water around me. But, I still enjoyed it despite the spiciness.

Ah I just love being a missionary! I loved the Women's session Saturday night and how they taught all about the doctrine of Christ and faith. It's so amazing what we have. We have a tendency as humans to see all the things going wrong in the world and our lives and get discouraged and depressed. But we don't need to be. Because we live in the fullness of times! The gospel has been restored to the earth and we have the power of the atonement to work in our lives! We have the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for it and for the power of the spirit. Thanks everybody for all of your support. I love y'all so much!
Hope you have a blessed week!

Sister Johanson

What, pictures?!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Peoples opinions do not change the mind or essence of God.

Hey there! Short email sorry!

This week has been grand! We are still staying busy as ever. This next week will be just as packed! We have zone conference and exchanges, and womens session and Bao's baptism! We are now starting the procession of the Hmong village baptisms. More to come in the future :D usual my mind just draws a blank. It's always so hard to remember the things we did because every week is so different!! But they are also all the same. So by the end of your mission your weeks just don't seem to vary very much. Unless you really go back and look at all the things you have done.

I guess this week you just get to know that I'm excited to be a missionary! This is the best work on earth and the best place to do it! I hope you guys have been striving to do missionary work in your lives. Simply because I know that life can be stressful and I know that it can be hard and so missionary work will just bring you some of the best blessings and the fastest and easiest to recognize. I love you guys! I hope you have a great week!!

Love Sister Johanson

ps. I'll try to improve on my emailing next week.

Friday, September 16, 2016

God wants full custody, not weekend visits

Hey everybody! Another short email this week but you should know that I am doing great!! The work here in Spartanburg has never been finer. Neither has it been in South Caroliner.

First week taking over the other sisters area, was pretty good. Not too stressful. Oh! We got to teach my recent convert John Williams this week. No worries, he is still my favorite human ever. They are doing solid and we just unloaded on him all the things he needs to work towards: Melchezedik priesthood, patriarchal blessing, temple baptisms, temple sealing etc... Luckily he was just stoked about it all.

Yesterday we had a linger longer at church, all thanks to the ward missionary department. Just got to eat plenty of food after church and talk with members, which is just my favorite thing ever. As well as we got plenty of leftovers so that's always a plus.

This week we visited a less active family and we talked about the importance of the atonement. And one of the family members said, "Without it all of this is pointless" and it just struck a cord with me. Because it is so true. Like one..or several of the general authorities have said. Everything in our church is centered on the atonement of Jesus Christ, everything else is just appendages to it. The plan of salvation is only possible because of the atonement and so our very existence would be pointless if we didn't have the atonement. And I came to the conclusion that our lives are meaningless if we aren't using the atonement in our lives everyday, and the reverse of that is: our lives are the most meaningful when we use the atonement in our lives every day. I've seen that so much on my mission as I've learned more about how to use it each and every day. And I just feel like I'm accomplishing my purpose here in life when I'm using it to overcome my shortcomings and weaknesses and faults and to repent of all my mistakes. I am just grateful to have the gospel in my life so that I can use it.

Love you all! Hope you have another fantastic week!

Sister Johanson

Monday, September 5, 2016

Does life stink? Well God has a pew for you.

Hi everybody! This week has been cracy! Sooo much going on. It's okay tho, craziness is fun while it lasts. And now it is over and I'm glad of that. 

We are again the only set of missionaries in the Spartanburg 2 Ward. So it'll be an adjustment to again be taking over the other area. But it will be fun. I am excited because now I get to teach my recent convert John Williams again! Yay :) 

Transfers are this week but guess what? I am staying in Spartanburg with Sister Hill. Going strong. It's good because we are planning on seeing some major miracles the next few months so we have to stay together for that to happen. We started teaching some more families in the Mong family so that's been cool. Everybody is getting set on the idea of getting sealed in the Oakland temple in a year. Sister Hill and I are stoked because then we can just road trip out to Cali and go see all of the Lor family get sealed in the temple. Will definitely be the best day ever. Will most likely be more excited for that than my own wedding day ;) 

Today's email is gonna be short. But something that I have been doing lately is studying all the talks given by Pres. Monson since he has been the prophet. I got the idea from some talk I was reading a few weeks ago. It talked about the different role each of the prophets have played in the church and what they have taught us. I also read a talk the other day that said that the most important counsel and scripture for us to study is that of our current prophets most recent address. So I've been trying to read all of his talks since 2008 and highlight the different themes found throughout. And I just love Thomas S. Monson. He has really taught us all about having an attitude of gratitude and being grateful for our blessings and for our lives. He has taught us how to be happy throughout our lives, because that's what this life was made for. God wants us to find joy in the small miracles and moments that happen throughout each day and each week and each year.

Quote from Pres Monson: "If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues." 

That is probably the biggest thing I have learned to cultivate from being with Sister Hill. She is such a good example of that. I'm so happy to be with her for another transfer in Spartanburg. Ah! So many  miracles coming. Woo hoo! 

Love you guys! Hope you have a great week! Keep your chins up! Life is grand :) 

Sister Johanson

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Our attitude can make or break our destiny.

Hey friends and family! And maybe some other random people :)

Love you guys! Just throwing that out there early in the email. But I'll probably say it again at the end of this baby. Just so filled with love..does that mean I've developed charity yet? Ha just kidding. Still praying for that one :)

This week has been awesome! So many awesome miracles and blessings and craziness. This next week will be even crazier, can already tell that. But, craziness is what makes missionary life fun! Man, loving it.

Miracle of the week! We did a service thing on Saturday, we helped out a part member family with a walk that they were in charge of that was funding for kids with apraxia. And so they had lots of games and treats and raffles. The raffle tickets were $1 and we went to look at the raffle prizes and one of them was this small bag with some gift cards in it. One of the gift cards was to...Jimmy
Johns!! We looked in the little raffle box to see how many people had bid on it and guess how many? 0 people! So I ran to the car to look for my wallet and I looked and lo and behold! It was completely empty (ohhhh). But then I ran back and there was this lady I had talked to at her booth and talked to her about the church. And she was buying some raffle tickets and then said, "and I'll get one for the girl over there with the yellow ponytail" And that was me! So totally won the Jimmy johns gift card..for free! Woo hoo! Testimony of fast offerings! Pay em! The Lord provides.

Oh! Oh! Seng got the priesthood on Sunday!! WOooooooo!!! Well..advanced in the priesthood. He's gonna baptize his wife!!! Holla! It was so cool, because they opened the back curtain on Sunday! One of the speakers was giving his talk in sacrament and he is about in his late 30's or 40's. And at the beginning of his talk he says, "I have been in this ward since I was 15 and I have never seen the back curtain get opened." It was so amazing. And there weren't even visitors, it was all less actives and investigators coming to church. Faith is a power brothers and sisters.

This area has been so cool for me to be in and I've been so blessed to be with Sister Hill the past two transfers. She's been such a good example to me of having an attitude of gratitude. I've used faith to make things happen other times in my mission but since I've been with her she's helped me see how to use it without making it feel forced. And it just all comes back to being humble and having a grateful heart. President Monson says, if ingratitude is one of the worst of sins, than gratitude is one of the most heavenly virtues. I've seen how much gratitude has changed my experience as a missionary and changed the way that the Lord has provided me with blessings.

Things are just moving along here, enjoying every other second of it ;) I hope you guys continue to see miracles in your life. Expect them, the Lord wants to give.

Love you!!

Sister Johanson 

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's hot outside, but hell is hotter.

Hello everybody out there! Time for my weekly report. Things have gone really well this week. Did I mention last week that our area exploded? Well it did, we don't even know what happened. But we are glad it did.

Oh cool thing! So a few weeks ago, Sister Hill and I were talking about how we just don't really have any youth in our ward and so we wanted to bring some more youth in. So we have been making a plan to go to each families home that has youth in it and teach them the restoration and help the youth get excited to share the gospel for the upcoming school year.

Also a few weeks ago we were getting our boundaries changed for the wards in our stake. Preparing for it we were hoping we would get a lot of families coming in because we really don't have a lot of families in our ward. I kept praying that we would get some families and then when the ward boundaries changed we ended up just getting cut a lot of people out of our ward and we weren't added any. So I was a little disappointed.

But then! The Lord, within the last couple of weeks has moved in 5 new families into our ward, also in mine and Sister Hill's area. With! Several youth :) Man the Lord just has a plan. All we are required to do is take our desires to him with faith, and do what we can to make things happen.
We really can't do a lot, but the Lord takes it anyways and then dumps blessings on us.
I think there is a talk by S. Michael Wilcox (my favorite guy) and he talks about his son one time wanted to give him a present. So he put together a small pencil holder made out of macaroni. Then he borrowed 2 dollars from his dad and went and bought some pencils to put inside. That was the present he gave his dad and of course his dad loved it for what it was and also because he knew what his son would be capable of in the future. And God is so much the same. All we really have to offer are our pencil holders made of macaroni, also having to borrow "money" from Him just to be able to make our gift complete. But He takes it with so much happiness and satisfaction for what we've given Him, knowing what we can give in the future. What have we to boast of? Everything that we have is given to us from God? If we are successful it is because God has blessed us with the circumstances to make success. If we are blessed than God has given us those blessings. I am just so grateful to be indebted to a merciful and loving God.

He has blessed us so much this week. Our mong family continues to progress, Seng got interviewed for the priesthood this week and will be ordained to a priest next week and will be worthy to baptize his wife in the coming weeks. I've just seen so many small miracles and large in this area. I'm just so grateful to have the gospel in my life. Greatest blessing ever :)

Ha awkward Sister Johanson moment of the week: we knocked into this one guy who was super friendly and he invited us to come back and share more. So as we were setting up a time to come back he mentioned he had to work so I asked him where he worked. He answered that he worked at Jimmy Johns and before the words were out of his mouth I started freaking out a little bit. So did sister Hill and we just had to reassure him that I just really liked Jimmy Johns. He was a little caught off guard by these girls who were so ecstatic about where he worked. And so to top it all off, we went to leave and were walking down the stairs. I tripped, almost face planted but gracefully got myself into an erect position. Waved goodbye and gracefully exited the premises. 👋 thank  you thank you. I'll be here all week...and a little while longer.

Love yall! Hope you have a great week!!!

Sister Johanson

Monday, August 15, 2016

We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.

Hello again world!

It's been such a good week! Update on the Hmong family. They all came to church yesterday! Woo hoo!!! "There will be mirrrracles!! When you belieeeve" #princeofegypt But yeah it was so awesome to have them all there. I just love them :)

As far as news of the rest of the week, oh goodness. I just don't know. It's been really cool because Sister Hill and I have been a little upset with how solid the people have been that we have been finding and we just have wanted to get more solid people and less actives to teach. So we decided to change the tactic of how we count our key indicators.

Brief lesson! A key indicator is a number that represents a certain amount of something. So like how many lessons you had during the week with an active member with you. How many less active people you have taught that week. How many new investigators you have gotten. Okay..briefing over.
So we decided that we wanted our key indicators to represent more solid people, so we decided we would only count something if it was completely solid. Thus our key indicators suffered last week, meaning that they were pretty low. But we knew that if we showed the Lord that this is the kind of people we are counting He would bless us with those kind of people to teach! And lo and behold He did!

Now how can we apply this to our every day lives? ;) ha

Well I just think it's so amazing to see that Heavenly Father really is going to grant us according to our desires, and we show Him what our desires are by how we act. I read in Mormon today about miracles and how God is an unchanging God, and that He has been and always will be a God of miracles, and how He always works miracles by our faith. Well if we really want to have faith to produce a miracle we really have to come to know the person that we rely on the miracle for. And that's what I have learned. Is that we don't have faith in the miracle produced but in the Being that produced it. I know that as I've come to know who really is my Father in Heaven, then I come to know that He is a loving, kind and gentle Heavenly Father who delights in blessing His children. And it allows me to really trust that He really does want what's best for me and He wants to bless me to have miracles in my life. I know that for certain. I love you guys so much! I hope you continue to see blessings in your lives. They are always present. Sometimes God waits to give us more until we decide to be grateful for the ones we already have. I hope you choose to do so.

I love you!

Sister Johanson

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Don't just be yourself, be someone nicer.

Hey guys, this week has been eventful but uneventful. We had lots of meetings again, which just happens every first week of each month. But I just don't think my brain is ever mentally prepared for it. We also had to move out of our old apartment and into the Spanish elders apartment (they moved out, it's ok). So needless to say our proselyting time was very limited. But within our proselyting time the Lord blessed us with lots of miracles which was of course great.

At the beginning of the week we drove up to Columbia and slept at the sisters apartment in Irmo with them and the Seneca sisters. And then the next day all of the sisters before MLC got up and played volleyball. To say the least I was one of the best players there which is not super impressive because I'm really bad at volleyball. Hahah so not a lot of hitting the ball went on during that game. That's okay, it was fun nonetheless and next time we'll have to try something different. But I just love being a missionary. It's so great! I have a hard time letting myself do fun things because I just have in my head that I'm supposed to be suffering at all times. Luckily Heavenly Father placed me with Sister Hill who helps me a lot with that kind of stuff. We are a good balance for each other.

Last week I told yall about that member, Papa Lor, that passed away. Well, his funeral was this week and I think it was the neatest experience ever. All of his family was there, which took up the entire chapel! He had 8 kids, among which 2 are active, and then I think like 47 grandchildren and 30 something great grands. A lot of people. But it was so neat to see them all in the chapel. Because they are all Hmong so they have certain ceremonies and traditions for things. But before Papa Lor, before he died, told his family that he wanted to have an LDS funeral. So Saturday  morning they we were and there they were in the chapel. And some of the kids who were active gave talks about their dad. This was a man who moved to Spartanburg 19 years ago, didn't speak a lick of English, and yet never missed church for 19 years since living here. Even though he couldn't understand what was being said. When asked why he would go he always answered, "Because it is true. Why go anywhere else when I have found the truth? I found the good spot and so I lowered my anchor" and there he stayed. What a perfect example of a true disciple of Christ. It was just so neat to be able to sit there and have the spirit testify to me as well as to his family, that he was definitely dwelling with God. It's so amazing to have the eternal perspective that the gospel brings. That death truly is just a step in our eternal progression and how short our time is here to prepare for that day. I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the ability to be cleansed of our sins. That's what it's all about. That's why we are here.

Mmm..missionary work :)
I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!!! Good luck with school everybody  and with life and stuff.

Sister Johanson