Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Many go to church, but few go to Christ

Hello people!

How is everybody doing? This week has been a really interesting week. It's had it's ups and downs. But you know, when does it not?

We met some really cool people, and some really crazy ones. There's this guy we met earlier this week who said we could come back on the weekend. So we went back and he told us to come back later cuz he was sleeping. So we left and turned the car around and as we're driving by he waves us down, goes inside, comes back out-motions us to follow him. We go up to him and he invites us inside. We talked to him briefly and got his number so we could come back when another woman was home. He then texted us for the next 2 hours 14 messages at a time. All about how "Jesus has given him great power" and "We can lead others to His way, truth and light" and "have you ever wondered what color Jesus is? Because spiritually it doesn't matter but physically the world denies Him". It was great. People here get really caught up in what color Jesus is.

But we are teaching some really awesome people!! Lots of part member families and less actives and all that good stuff. We had 3 investigators at church yesterday, which is actually the first time an investigator has come to church at all since I've been in Spartanburg. And it was just so cool to see the ward go to work and just get in there and fellowship and support. Was really awesome :)
Ah I just love people. Crazy or normal. But I mean it's the south, so they're all crazy here.

Well, I just love the restoration of the gospel, and I love commandments! It's been so cool that we've really been focusing on teaching towards commitments and committing people to things at the beginning of the lessons, as to establish expectations and separate the wheat from the tares so we can spend our time more wisely. And it's just so  cool because it helps so much as we teach repentance. That that's what we are focused on as missionaries is to cry repentance. That when we don't read our scriptures every day or we don't pray morning and night, that we are breaking God's commandments. But He's given us commandments because He really just wants to bless us. I mean He commands us to pay 1/10 of our income and then promises us the windows of heaven to be opened so we don't have room to receive it. God is so loving and so kind. That's why He gives us commandments. To keep us safe and protected, and any revelation we receive for ourselves is a chance for us to receive blessings from God and should be treated as such. But I know God is just a loving Father, looking out for His kids and giving us ways in which we can gain greater peace and happiness in this life. But I love you all, and hope you all have a very blessed week.


Sister Johanson

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No Title This Week

Good weeks, good weeks! Yay!! This week was really good. We did lots of running around and planning and just crazy things. We had MLC this week, which is so cool. And then we had ZTM which was really spiritual and awesome!! Ah!

So even though we've been running around like crazy, God has really been taking care of the work and just letting us be busy and see the people we need to see. We met some really awesome people this week that we've just decided are gonna be baptized. So we're gonna help them decide that too ;)
But it's been so cool this past week seeing how the Lord has really been guiding us and showing us how we can be more successful in our missionary work and do what He wants us to. Our zone is becoming a lot more united and I just love the missionaries here. They are so cool.

We had 8 less actives come to church on Sunday, which was really cool! And I think the coolest part about it is there was this one less active family that had been visited forever by missionaries and they just weren't progressing and we didn't know what to do for them. And Sister Bird and I just felt like we needed to drop them. So we went in and prayed very hard during the lesson and it was just all led by the spirit. And the spirit told us and then we told them that basically we were holding them back by constantly visiting them because they had the tools they needed to to progress and learn more. So we left it in their hands. And then they called up a member in our ward and came to church the next day! Woo hoo!

The spirit is so cool and it's amazing what happens when we just let the Lord do what He needs to do. It's never about us, just about what God can do through us. And sometimes we just need to get out of the way to let things happen. But I love you all so much!! And I hope you have an amazing week! 

Good luck in all living situations whether you be a missionary, student, parent or whatever. I love y'all!!!

Sister Johanson :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The power of satan is no match for the power of Jesus.

Heeey Everybody!!

Hey it's me :) Sister Jo jr. Well..this just in, in the city of Spartanburg...nothing really new. Went on some exchanges this last week. They were pretty good. Definitely felt the influence of the Holy Ghost and power of Christ helping me out as I was feeling not quite sure of what I am doing and why I am where I am. And it's just interesting because lots of people say they feel humbled by their call to serve. I wish I was humble. Lots of times I just feel crummy, but then being able to just remember that it's not about me and what I can or cannot do. My job is to be a vessel for God to work through.

It's was a rougher week to start out, not a lot of stuff was happening. And sister Bird and I were kinda in the same boat. But then we both went and got blessings and a line in mine just said, "Remember that faith precedes the miracle" So after dinner we were driving and I just decided to have some faith. And guess what? We had an awesome evening! We taught some really cool people and had some awesome lessons! And then church was really good and I really love this ward! Man, things are gonna be okay. Heavenly Father just keeps telling me that. You think I would just stop having to be told and just believe it. Dang human.

But I'm going through the discussions with myself and working on building my testimony more. So I'm trying to ask myself inspired questions and stuff like that and this week I was studying about God is our loving Heavenly Father, the line about how God is sad when we are sad and feels joy when we feel joy. The question came to mind to record when I had felt that God had been being sad with me and been happy with me. And all of a sudden I realized, I hadn't ever taken time to recognize it. I always thought that when I turned to God during times of hurt, that He was just there to comfort me and say "yeah but it's going to be ok". Which He does do. But first, he takes time to be sad with you. He never diminishes how we feel. Like when Martha and Mary came to Christ and told Him that Lazarus had died. He didn't diminish how heartbreaking that was. It says that Jesus wept. That's so powerful to me because He knew that Lazarus would rise again and that it would all be happy again. But He truly took time to mourn with those that mourn. So when we say Christ and God live. They truly live. They live WITH us. When we live, they live it too. I just invite you all to take time to ponder when you have felt God mourning with you and celebrating with you.

Well I love you all so much! Hope you have a fantastic week!! 3 cheers for the gospel! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

1 Cross, 2 nails, 4 given (except it was actually 6 nails, but what you gonna do?)

Ok, hello world!! It's so good to talk to ya! Are yall there? Can you hear me amidst all the craziness going on and noise of celebration and whatever loud noises yall are making?

Ok, whew! This week! Has been so good. Ah I love being a missionary. Sometimes I forget, but I didnt' this week and I just really love it. Went on exchanges this week with a sister who is actually from St. George! Woo hoo! Represent. She was really cool. But they do this thing every Thursday where they take a class from one of their investigators, they call it yoga day. So he made us climb the rope. Which I did, pretty proud. Made it...pretty much to the top. But..unfortunately you have to wrap your leg around the rope to use for stability and so I did. But I got a super bad rope burn. I thought it would be fine but my leg has gotten swollen. It was starting to get infected but now it's ok. Sister Bird says it looks like I got bit by a zombie! So pretty sick :) besides the fact that it pretty much hurts a lot. But thass ok.

Oh yeah! Happy April errybody :) April fools I really wanted to do something but Sister Bird did not, cuz she feels super bad. But at the end of the day I talked her into it. So we pulled a prank on the sisters in our apartment. It was pretty good, we got one of the AP's to help us out. They were a little salty about it at first but then they were fine and it turned out to be really funny.

Hm...I don't know what else happened this week. Oh wait! Yes I do!...(drum roll) General Conference!!! Ah it was just the best thing ever. Pretty sure it was my favorite general conference of all time. And I don't say that every time so you know this is legit. The whole thing was just so good. It was really cool, because I really wanted to get something out of general conference so I prepared the best I could and set a goal to get revelation from each talk given. So by the end of the sessions I was just spiritually exhausted. But I learned so much! The choir was so on point. I loved when they sang Come Thou Fount at the end of the first session. It was so powerful and to see that they were really feeling the spirit too. First session was really powerful. I loved President Eyring's talk. And Elder Hollstroms.

It made me really sad the fact that we are seeing the book of Mormon unfold today in real life as people stray from the church and object during the sustaining of church officers. But it just brings such a strong testimony when we get to raise our arm to the square and sustain our prophet and apostles. And being that President Monson is getting weaker each time, the spirit was so strong when he spoke and you could feel the unity of the church as those sustaining him were praying for him and we could hear the message from our modern day prophet. I am so grateful for the knowledge of knowing that we have a prophet on the earth today and that Thomas S. Monson is that prophet.
I also loved President Uchtdorfs talk, and Elder Hale's and Elder Oaks and of course Elder Hollands. Man, weren't they all just so good? I hope you all got as much out of conference as I did. I hope the questions you had were answered. If they weren't go back and read the talks. Because God is aware of every single child. And He is aware of every single need and every thought and concern. So He inspired His leaders to answer your questions and help build your faith. I know that we received such great counsel and guidance during general conference. We just have to be willing to open our hearts to the things that were said.

Whoa, this is a long email. That hasn't happened in a while. Well I love you all so much! Congrats to Dressa and Jacob! Yall are crazy but I love ya! Hope you all have a great and blessed week!!!

Sister Johanson

Ali's new companion

Ali watching General Conference