Monday, August 19, 2013

one month and true blessings

How all yinz doing!! Gee wiz, the mission is great! Can you believe I've been out for a MONTH?!?!?! Missionary work is such a blessing, no other work can compare with how sacred and special it is. Something I learned, That by doing all that we can to follow God, we are blessed. Like offering help, having a family and protecting your kids, withstanding the evils of the world and being as pure as we can be, All of these things have blessings that are promised with obedience. But missionary work, entitled us to ALL of those blessings. And I've seen it and felt it in my life. All of you are missionaries, you definitely don't have to have a name tag and a tie to be able to bear your testimony to someone, or offer a kind word. Missionary work is why we exist here, So that all of our brothers and sisters may partake of the fruit of this gospel. And as we do so, we will not only bless and lift them, but we will be lifted and blessed as well.
This week felt pretty crummy, almost all of our appointments cancelled on us, and one of our investigators called and said she knew it was true, but didn't want to change. Our hearts were discouraged, and we felt the full force of the trial of our faith. But it would be selfish to ignore the blessing that came toward the end of our week. We taught some of the greatest lessons we've ever had. The spirit was the strongest I've ever felt while out here, and we could see how special the light of the gospel was in their eyes.
A less active member said "Thank you for coming over, how did you know I needed this?" 
Heavenly Father loves us so dearly, He is so delicately placing opportunities in our lives. As we obey his commandments, and exercise our faith, we are qualified for the blessings He entitled to us. I love you all, thank you for being a part of my life, and for allowing me the opportunity to learn from your examples. 

Love Elder Johnson

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

mountain dew and pizza rolls

How all yins doing!! (That's Pittsburgh slang for "all of you")
The mission is grand! I'm learning a lot, and I can feel myself growing. It's weird to think I even had a life before this! Out of Elder Sparrow and I our motherhooding skills sum up to be a few pancakes and eggs. Other than that we suck at cooking. We tried heating up some meatballs someone gave us. And not knowing how to cook it. It managed to get heated in the microwave, frying pan, aand the oven. But hey, we're learning. We've enjoyed a lovely diet of mountain dews and pizza rolls. Luckily members feed us! Without em we'd die! You'll be happy to know my awkward clumsiness hasn't gone away. I was leaving a message over the phone, and while trying to push the hang up button, I missed and dropped it. So the message probably sounds a little something like this
"Yeah so call us back when you get the chance, see ya! HJJAOIFOHKKKKKSHHHHHH and then me yelling "Crap I dropped it!"
Oh well.

We found a lovely lady in her 60's named Diane. She's missing her front teeth so it's kind of hard to understand her. But she's so sweet and nice. We scheduled an appointment, and taught her last friday. The spirit was so strong, and Diane could understand everything. We bore our testimonies after the lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. She held it so delicately, like it was the most  valuable thing she's ever touched. And the biggest smile was stretched over her face. We invited her to be baptized. And silence followed, but I knew the spirit would bear witness to her. And in the smallest whisper, she said yes. Emotion welled in our hearts and eyes, and she could see how much we loved her. It was truly an amazing experience. She came to church that sunday and she loved it. She said all churches should be like that.

Anyways, I love you all, thank you for your prayers and for your letters of encouragement. The Lord loves you, and He lives, I know it.

The Lord has held you in reserve for these last days. Look for opportunities to share the gospel, I promise that as you do, you'll come to understand WHY
-Elder Johnson

Monday, August 5, 2013

first week in the pitt

Hey guys and gals!!! WOW! Pittsburgh is GREAT. Everything is so lush and alive! You could plant a shoe in the ground and it'd turn into a tree! It's so green here, and full of life. The air is clean and healthy, and fireflies come out every night! Everyone here is suuuuper friendly, it's really different from Utah. If I were proselyting anywhere else they'd freak out and get mad, but everyone here is respectful and declines very politely. So. I guess there's a bright side. They all suck at driving too, I guess it's a requirement haha. They'll tailgate your car suuuuper bad, but they'd stop miles and miles of traffic for a duck in the road. It doesn't matter HOW FAST a car is going, they will stop in their tracks and let you turn in. Kinda funny. Anyways, my companion is great, His name is Ashton Sparrow from Ogden. We're both goofballs so you can probably imagine the fun we have. But for some reason he still thinks it's weird when I burst into the room belting songs from Tangled....

Yesterday we taught those golden investigators that everyone talks about. He was super receptive to everything we said. It was amazing!! A few days before that, we flagged us down as we were tracting our neighborhood, and we scheduled a meeting. Jason (the guy) sure has been through a lot, and God has blessed him all his life. Jason has a  very strong relationship with God, and he wants to do all that he can to serve Him. Jason soaked up everything we said. It was amazing, I love him so much, and I'm so excited for him as well. 

Our area was split when I came, so the Sisters got allllllllllllllllllllll the investigators, and we got AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL of the less actives. Jason was the only lesson we taught who wasn't already baptized... Anyways, we taught a less active named Levi. He returned from his mission and everything, but he hasn't been to church in forever. I bore my testimony about faith, and trusting in the Lord. Being further guided by the spirit, I ended up telling him that he had the gift of Faith, and that I KNEW him, even though I had just met him. I said I knew that he had a testimony, and had one of his gift of Faith. Wow. The Holy Ghost IS the true teacher. That lesson truly proved it. The spirit did all the work, I just sat there and listened. :)

Anyways, I love you all. And I want to leave you my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the restored church of our loving Heavenly Father. Joseph Smith is his revelator, and through that love and spirit, translated the Book of Mormon and is the most correct book, of any kind on this earth. I have felt its indescribable power and truth, and I know that it can bless everyone, in every circumstance. I also know that I was called by God, to help the people of Pittsburgh understand this message, and that I am here to REMIND, my brothers and sisters of our Heavenly Father's divine plan. I love this church. I love you. And thank you for your prayers and letters of support.

 with love. Elduh JOHNSON! YAY YUH!

Andrew and his first comp, Ashton Sparrow!

There used to be a dog living in their house and it was full of dog hair!

Mission family tree. When someone trains you, they're your "dad," so here's a pic of my generations/grandparents.

Record breaking group of new missionaries

The city of Pittsburgh