Tuesday, June 28, 2016

No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.

Hello out there! Well what happened this week...? It's all a blur.

Well Shelley got baptized this weekend! That was really awesome. She was just ready for it. It's been so cool working with the Bass family for the past 2 months. What a change it's been. Shelley started out very skeptical of the church, brother Bass claimed to be a Wicken. (although he was a member of the church already) and Tyler was just very quiet and wouldn't really engage in any lessons. And now they are all members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints and Shelley and Larry want to be sealed in the temple in a year from now. She got interviewed for her temple recommend yesterday so she can go do baptisms. They have already started on their family history and the ward has just welcomed them in. Shelley bore her testimony at the baptism and talked about how she was not interested when we first started coming over but as she listened and kept meeting with us, the spirit helped her know that the things we were teaching were true.

I just love the gospel. It's so true. I love being a missionary, getting to share the message of the restoration and bear my testimony every day. There is this article in the June 2016 ensign that talks about bearing our testimonies and there is a very bold statement that says that we can't expect our testimony to retain it's full value if we go over 3 months without bearing it. How about that for motivation to bear your testimony.

We had a lesson in Sunday school last week about obedience and we talked about the reasons for why we are obedient. And we know that the reason we should be obedient is because we love God. So I've been pondering that a lot this week and really evaluating how much I really love God. And as I've been praying about it, Heavenly Father has really been able to show me places where maybe I'm more selfish and how I can truly love Him more. And I think that that really improves our relationship with him. Because I was thinking about my own Dad. That I thinks he is the best dad out there, and he is just so wise. So if I want advice, I'll go to my Dad and I just trust that whatever he says is going to help me. And it's because I know he loves me, and I feel like I know that more because I love him. And so I just encourage you to ponder on your relationship with God and how much you love Him, but how much more you Could love him. He will help you and He will let you know. And I know that that will help us trust in God more fully.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week!!!

Sister Johanson

Monday, June 20, 2016

Give God what is right, not what is left.

Hello everybody!!!

Ah what a good week!!! John got baptized!!! Wooo hoo!! Ah it was just the best weekend ever. There were so many people that showed up for the baptism. Everytime I asked him how he was feeling he would just say, "ready." Which he totally was. Probs just baptized a future bishop, God has so much in store for that guy. A lot of his family was there; his brother in law flew in to baptize him. His mother and father in law gave the talks and his wife said the prayer. We asked him if he wanted to bear his testimony after he was baptized. So he got up there and he talked about how everything has come back to the feeling that he gets. Something that you can't describe, but it's this feeling. He got really emotional in the middle and you just knew that he understood what he had just done. After that we sang I am a Child of God and the spirit was just so strong. I have never been so excited for someone to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. But I knew if anybody would appreciate the feeling and blessing that comes from receiving that gift, John would. And you could tell he did after he stood up from the chair and was sustained a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is what it's all about is bringing families together, and I just can't wait til him and his wife and 3 little kiddies are sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. Ahh! Love the gospel!

On another subject, I got my new compy. Sister Hill! She's from AF Utah and was my STL in my last zone. We had always said we wanted to be comps someday, look at that. God is kind :)
We're looking on to big and greater things. Real excited for things the Lord has in store!! I hope you all have a good week and remember to not take for granted the blessings of the gospel. It's the greatest gift we've ever been given. How lucky we are to live in the dispensation of the fullness of times. Love you all! Happy week!

Sister Johanswaggin (nicknamed by the notorious Sister Bird may she RIP) ;)

Monday, June 13, 2016

It is never too late to start over.

Hello again guys. Here I am again.

So this week...I'm just not sure. We had plenty of meetings again. Always my favorite. Had MLC and that was great and interviews with pres as well as ZTM. Which actually they all went great. So hooray. And we didn't even have to spend all our time inside planning :) Woot woot!

John is getting baptized this week. He's just so cool. Love that guy :) And the Bass's are doing awesome. I feel pretty silly writing this email because I just don't think there will be lot's of contents in it but next week there should be some more.
Oh! I did teach a white witch this week. That's pretty kewl.

At least I can say that I know God lives and hears our prayers. That's a definite truth. And man I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and the early saints. They were so faithful and I just want to be as faithful as them. I love you all! Hope you have a great week!

Sister Johanson

(Thanks to a ward mission leader for sending the pictures!)

Monday, June 6, 2016

In a world of change, we can trust in an unchanging God.

Hi guys!!
How is summer treating you? Lemme tell you, I'm starting to remember the reason I hated South Carolina when I first got here. (don't worry I love it now, and still love it) It's just getting really humid, and hot. And buggy :P all my favorite things. But anyway, on to bigger and better things.

We had a really good week! So many miracles!!! I don't like writing much in detail so I would tell you all about them but it just takes too much explaining. But don't worry, it's really cool ;)

Tyler is off in Florida now for a little bit visiting his dad so we sicked the missionaries on him and his family while he's down there. Also! Our investigator John, bore his testimony in church yesterday. For actually the 2nd time. The first time was before he started taking the discussions. He's just the coolest cat ever! Love that guy :)

Sister Bird is ready to fly the coop (hehe no pun intended) and head home next week. So we're ready to get her out of here. Just kidding actually, it's pretty sad. We've worked really hard together and it's been amazing to see that when two people have the same righteous desire and are willing to do anything and give up anything to achieve it, then miracles can happen. And we've seen so many miracles happen here in Spartanburg. It's just booming. It's awesome.
Had some pretty neat personal spiritual experiences this week. Had a good heart to heart with God about some stuff that have been going on, and guess what? He really humbled me. It's just been really cool on my mission realizing how God talks to me and how He talks to everyone else as well. He can be pretty blunt, but because it's God it doesn't hurt. Unless you let it. But he's pretty open with me and I'm glad about it, because I know that I'm going to be able to fulfill my calling so much better when I listen to Him and let Him correct me when needed. And I really love this church. It's completely perfect, even if the people are not. I love you all lots and lots and hope you have a great week and take some time to talk to God; and take some additional time to let Him talk back. Love you all!

Blessings and love ;)

Sister Johanson

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind.

Happy Memorial Day everybody, I hope you all have had a fantastic week. From the looks and sounds of it lots of,you have. Yay for time and all eternity and marriage :)

So! This week was crazy. Our part member family we have been working with had some crazy issues going on all this week and that was just emotional all over the place. But all in all it was a fantastic week.

Tyler was baptized!! I'll have to send proof next week cuz we don't have access to puters right now. Ah man, it's been so cool working with him and his family. They are awesome :) So I'm just gonna take you through a little bit of a journey of the last 6 weeks/11 months. So coming to the mission we have focused a lot on using the power of faith to make things happen. There is a certain process that goes into it to be able to call down the powers of heaven to have faith cause things to happen. So from the beginning of my mission I've been setting faith as a power goals (that's what we call them). Of telling the Lord things I'm going to do to have my goal and desire realized and to draw on the powers of heaven to make it happen. I've seen a lot of miracles happen because of it, but it's also been one of the most frustrating things on my mission and the most disappointing. Because I hadn't seen any of the overall desires achieved.

And so since I've been with Sister Bird (who goes home in 2 weeks) we've really wanted to baptize. Our zone has been in a rut for the last 3 months, but prolly more like the last 6 months and there just haven't been any baptisms. And so sister bird and I decided that if the zone was going to change, we
had to start first. So we set a faith as a power goal to baptize by May 28. We were working with awesome people, it looked like it was completely possible. But as time went on the people we were working with became less solid to be baptized on the 28. So about 2 weeks ago we sat down and analyzed every person we were working with and what we would have to do to have someone be baptized by the 28. And then we just treated everyone like they would be baptized then. On the 16 of May we still didn't have anybody on date to be baptized. But we had been meeting with Tyler and his family for about 3 weeks already and he was reading the BOM and had come to church a couple times. And so we pushed him all week to pray about the 28 of May. He was really hesitant to pray and just kept not doing it, but we knew that if he just prayed he would know to be baptized. And we knew he would be, because we had promised the Lord that we would do certain things to have someone be baptized and we had been doing them, and so a miracle was going to eventuate. And on May 20 we went to his house and he said he prayed and was going to be baptized on May 28!! And his mom is following shortly after next month to be baptized while his dad is working to be active in the church and work to get the Melchizedek priesthood. (That is the super watered down version of it all) But The Lord has allowed us to be agents unto ourselves and become the kind of people that cause things to happen through our faith. And it's amazing the power that we have access to in our own personal lives. The church is true brothers and sisters ;) But I think y'all are great and I sure miss ya and am proud of the things you are all accomplishing. But I'm sure of where I am and what I am doing and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I love y'all! Have a great week :)

Sister Johanson