Monday, February 29, 2016

Have you been let down by a donkey or an elephant? Try the Lamb. He'll give you rest.

This week I dropped a weight on my head. A good old 10 pounder while I was working out and down it came right on the smack top of my noggin. And if anyone says that prayers and faith don't work you can tell them they are wrong. Because I had a giant goose egg right after, and I prayed and it went down and I haven't been loopy at all all week so there ya go. (I told ya Sister Johanson has been quite the oaf lately. They now call me Albert Brenneman.)

Ah this week was great. We had interviews with president and it was great. He still reassures me every time he sees me that, Yes he does read all of my letters to him. Haha. We met a really awesome fellow the beginning of last week who told us he has never been baptized before (an uncommon occurrence here) but that sometimes he'll go to the river and he'll pray to God to ask to take away his sins and then he'll dunk himself in the water. So he's baptized himself quite a few times in his life. So we're gonna talk to him a little about authority and that good stuff. 

None of our lessons went through this week with our investigators but we did meet with one of our favorite less-actives. Ah he is so great and we are making some good progress with him. We had dinner with some converts of a year and they are just one of my favorite families. They were sealed last weekend, and they now found out that they can sick the missionaries on their friends but that we can just treat it like a door contact and their friends don't even have to know. So they are into giving us like 15 referrals every time we see them. It's awesome haha. And! A couple they gave us this week are super interested and we are really excited about them. 

Other than that, I have not a lot of time left which is lummy cuz I actually have things to say this week. But I guess that's for another time! So I love y'all! You are so great and you are all doing amazing things! Keep up the good work. Give Dressa lots more hugs for me. You all need to make up for 2.5 years worth of them so get going. :)

Be missionaries! Conquer the world! All the good things! 

Sister Johanson (still JR)

Elder Swingler broke his collar bone so is going home.
Us having a picnic in yet another church parking lot.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sorrow Looks Back, Fear Looks Forward, Faith looks Up


So erryone, how's it be? Pretty swell over here in South Carolina. Although the weather can't seem to make up it's mind. Last week it was sooooo cold! We had black ice on Monday night and they said that 100 people died from road slides and wrecks and stuff like that. We slid around a little so we were advised to just go home. 

But now it's as warm as muffins. So we dunno. The flowers keep blossoming and then they get killed. It's a cruel little trick mother nature keeps playing. I keep getting allergies every other week. 

We had some good lessons this week, and we are still working towards a goal. Sister Smith is so funny and said she was ranting in the shower one morning about our goal and telling Heavenly Father that we did not have any time to make this stuff happen. Cuz it wasn't like an investigator was just gonna waltz up and ask us about the gospel. But then we were in a lesson with one of our less active pals and we have to meet outside with him. And his pal strolls up during our lesson and sits down and starts actively listening and asking all these questions and wants to learn more about the gospel! So welp. Heavenly Father just had to tell us that He can do whatever He wants, He can certainly perform miracles. 

Another great goal we had this week! Haha is to make our WML laugh, because he is a good hearted guy who likes to make lots of jokes and we are pretty pals with him. But he never outright laughs. Just smirks or smiles or something. So we had dinner with them last night and we told them a story of Sister Johanson making a fool of herself in front of this guy who was not super nice to us while she is struggling with her bag and her scarf and then tries to unlock her car, yanking on the door handle when the guy has to come and tell her she is trying to get in the wrong car. So yes, Sister Johanson to the rescue with all the awkward stories. 

I've learned a lot about charity this week. I've seemed to find all the talks about it and it's so interesting. Because in PMG one of the Christlike attributes is Charity and Love. And so Sister Smith and I were talking about it and it seemed that charity and love was kind of redundant. Because it was like saying love and love? So what was the difference between charity and love? And the more I've studied about it and the gospel and relationships, the more I've realized that true, deep and meaningful emotions and feelings and relationships come out of being vulnerable. There is a quote I think by Sherri Dew. There was a lady who asked her one time, "I always reach out and try and try but I always get burned" and Sherri Dew responded, "Well, what's wrong with that?" And it puts into perspective so many things. Before my mission I listened to a TED talk about vulnerability and how the people who make themselves more vulnerable often have more fulfilled and happy lives. And I've always been bad at making myself vulnerable, I like to close up and show that I am strong. But when we allow ourselves the option of getting hurt we open up the door to a bigger and fuller range of emotions and blessings. Charity is the pure love of Christ. We can't really say we love someone until we've given them everything of us that we have to give. Giving them that option to destroy us but trusting that better things lie ahead and God will take care of our heart if we take care of His flock. And I've reflected on the times in my life when I have grown the most and the things that have truly/actually changed me. The person that I am. And it's always been times when I've felt charity. Always. There's a talk by Elder Wirthlin, "The Great Commandment" where he talks about this. And he says that charity is the transforming power of the gospel. Because what was the greatest act of love? When a father gave His son for His children. 

I love you all so much and hope you find a better way to love this week!! I love you!!! 

Keep smiling,

Sister Johanson JR

Hey Sam! Found this street and made sure to take a picture with it!

Monday, February 15, 2016

If hope is what you're looking for, your search is over.

Get ready for lots of typos, we are emailing on the iPad's today since the library is closed.

Well it's been a really great week! We had some really spirit packed lessons with our investigator Annie, it was awesome. Yesterday was just a whirlwind of emotions. So we have ward council at 7 so our plan was to get up at 5 because it takes us 20 minutes to get to the church and the member that was giving us he ride wanted us to be at her house at 6:35. So I wake up, roll over to look at he time and it's 6:21! I start yelling which wakes my comp and I tell her what time it is and she starts yelling. We got ready so fast and tried our best not to look like hoodlums.we only succeeded partially. For Valentine's Day we got to have dinner with our bishop and his family, which was fantastic! It was so great :)

Ha so we met this guy this week knocking. He opened the door and we introduced ourselves as missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he says, "oh ok. Well I'm a follower of Jesus Christ so a lot different from what you believe." Us: "...oh ok, cool" him: "so who is it that you follow or worship?" Us: "um Jesus Christ. We worship Jesus...:)" Him:"....oh! Really? Ok well I'd be happy to talk to you if you came back"

Oh goodness, these southern baptists. Just my favorite people :) Our goals are looking more and more impossible, which is great. Because a miracle can only occur when from a mortal perspective things seem impossible. So just, waiting on those miracles. Well waiting while out working our hineys off of course. So yes. I love you guys and I hope you continue to se miracles in your lives.

You're all so amazing!

Sister Johanson Jr

Sent from my iPad

We went to Fatz this week. First time..holy cow! It was the most
divine place ever. Sooo good.
And last one is of our zone, the Culleys (senior couple) are leaving

and we are so sad. They are the cutest.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Can Anything Good Come Out of Easley?

What a title right? That's the city we serve in, and that was on a church for about a day. 

Man oh man. This week was...well it was just that. It was a week. A whole 7 days. I can prolly count them all. It was pretty bland. 
Except for last monday, we've had some weird things happening in our apartment so the ZL's had to come bless it and so we could get rid of some stuff. Fun stuff! 

Ahhhh I don't know what to say to yall. If nothing else I love you!!! That much is true. We had some investigators come to church, we had some drop us. All the stuff that goes into missionary work. 

I've had some really good study sessions with myself! I've been thinking lately about Mr. Magorium, everyone just needs to go watch it if you haven't ever. Or if you have, watch it again. But I've been thinking about the line, "Do you have a sparkle?" which in the movie it's talking about something reflective of something bigger trying to get out. And we know that we have, in embryo, all of God's qualities. And that's our sparkle. As we are developing those qualities we have sparkle, and we're all just blocks of wood. (movie reference) If we just believed in ourselves God has given us the tools to make miracles happen. And miracles are the magic that we have here on earth. Magic is real. God says so :) Cuz what else would a miracle be? :) 

Ah I love you guys so much!!! I hope you know. And I hope the world treats you well. It might not but God will and so we can trust that good things will happen. Because He created it all. Have a magical week!!! 

Love you!
Sister Johanson JR

Katie came to church and she loves pictures
Me and my fresent! I loved it soooo much!

And then us at the missionary tour with elder Nielson

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ordinary Water?

Yes, the title has no cool story. Like I said at the beginning of my mission I try to do all my titles as marquees off of churches. For the majority of the time I've been pretty successful. This one...I don't know what it means. So yes. 

This week, I'm not sure if anything happen. I feel like I say that a lot more lately. I'm sure things happen it is just all being wiped from my memory. Umm..Elder Nielson, the head of the missionary department, and his wife came and did a mission tour on Friday. Ah man it was so good! I love his wife. We had a sister meeting in the morning, she talked all about the marvelous work we are involved in. How God really is hastening His work and we know that this is the last hour that God is sending in His laborers. It's like in the Book of Mormon when they went to war, when they were really desperate they had their women take up arms to defend themselves. And it's happening now! Women are being involved in major departments in the church and we have so many sister missionaries serving! Ah it's so cool. If you haven't read or listened to President Nelson's talk about True Millennials, you should. It's amazing. 
They also talked a lot about companions and people. And both of them talked about marriage...meh. We weren't sure what to do with that. But ok. 

We are seeing sooo many miracles with the ward. I mean..they are very small and most people wouldn't be able to notice them if you just came in and looked at it. But man, things are really changing. So cool!! 

Transfers were this week, and if you thought they made them suspenseful before they decided to up their game. They used to give us a voicemail with a list of the people that were leaving on Saturday nights, well now they do it Monday mornings. 2 days before you have to leave. It's crazy. Luckily! Sister Smith and I are staying. Which we kinda already figured that out, but yay anyway! This will make lots of new records for sister Johanson! The first time she stays with the same companion and the longest she's been in an area! Woot!

Needless to say, the work is still moving forward. We had some good lessons this week and Sister Smith and I made up a missionary version of the pirates who don't do anything. We'll have to sing it for you sometime. 

I love you guys!! You are sooooo great!!! Hope you have a miracle filled week!!

Sister Johanson JR

Unbirthday presents

Me and the Bradleys little girl. We are twins cuz we shared birthdays
and so we made her a name tag.

Jimmy Johns!

And our district leader with all of the sisters he's ever been
district leader to.