Tuesday, October 29, 2013

keeping the word of wisdom

Hello friends and family!!!! 
Pittsburgh is getting FREEEZZZZING nowadays. Okay not that bad, but pretty darn cold. I started training Elder Birrell last week. He's such an awesome missionary. He has a strong testimony and such a strong desire to serve the Lord! We're not quite used to each other's personalities but hey! It's a fun learning process! He's a goon, and he's awesome.
Today's I wanted to share a little miracle that the Lord blessed us with last week. Lately we've been teaching H, she is so prepared!! She's so hungry for knowledge of the gospel! We originally planned for a member to come and help us teach, but he got sick and couldn't come. For some reason J came to my mind, so we texted him and he said he could give us a ride and help us out. That morning we prepared to teach her the Restoration again. We saw her sitting on the porch as we drove by, and she had pulled out a cigarette and sat there puffing away waiting for us to arrive. She saw us and recognized it was us in the car and jumped out of surprise! She scrambled to throw it away. We walked inside and she was sitting at the table trying to look innocent. I pointed my two fingers to my eyes then glared and pointed back to hers. It was funny. We ended up teaching the Word of Wisdom, even though we had already made a lesson plan, the spirit told us to teach something else. It was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever seen or been a part of. The spirit was so incredibly strong. We all cried, including me ;) I told her "You've tried to quit smoking by yourself, and it hasn't worked, but now you can quit with God on your side" The spirit was so powerful.
The member we brought bore a powerful testimony of how he learned to live the Word of Wisdom. It brought the spirit so strongly. After the lesson ended we gave her a blessing and left. On the drive home, J turned and asked "How'd you know I was on vacation?"
It was a miracle. I'm so blessed to have been there to witness the power that God has to change hearts. I invite all of you to pray and ask the Lord to change your heart. Ask for help in becoming more like the Savior. and I promise you, from my own experience with this, that He will help you, and I promise you will feel God's Love. 
I love you all, thanks for being a part of my life. This work is true! There's no way I could deny the miracles that happen every day! 
-Elder Johnson

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

pierced even to the very soul

How yinz guys doin!
Pitt sure is getting chilly! The leaves are turning, and it's SO PRETTY! Transfers are comin around, and Elder Sparrow's leaving to be a district leader. and I'm training a new missionary! I hope I know enough, oh well! a sister told me that the Lord always qualifies those who desire to serve. What a wonderful promise! If we get a scary calling, or even get asked to go on a split, be not afraid. Only believe. The Lord will qualify us for anything He needs us to do. And by all means, if the Lord asks me to do something. I'm going to do it! Only blessings come from following the Savior! 
Last week we taught a members sister in law Holly. This sister has been trying to get Holly to hear the missionaries for over a year. We were the ones who got to teach her. The spirit was so thick, no one could deny it was there! She told us of a dream she had years and years ago. She was sitting on her bed, and Jesus was sitting next to her, whispering in her ear. She was told to type out all of these words as she heard them. The words appeared on a large television screen as she typed. I felt prompted to share Helaman 5:30. She read the verse. And tears fell from her eyes. These words touched her heart, and pierced even to the very soul. In all of these years, no one has been able to help her understand her dream. Not one could answer her question. And she finally understood the voice of perfect mildness.
Brothers and sisters. I love you all, the Lord DOES qualify us, and DOES answer our prayers. This wonderful daughter of God waited for years, but she did get her answer, and it changed her life. I invite you all, to read the scriptures every day, and pray for understanding and enlightenment before you begin. Ask for the Holy Ghost to be with you. I promise you, that you will feel and see the Lord's hand in your life, and that your eyes will be opened to something you didn't understand before.
With love. Elder Johnson

One of our investigators, Brandon. He's awesome.

Monday, October 14, 2013

chewed us up and spit us back out

How all yinz doing!
I've been doing well here in da Burgh. We went to a mission tour and a 70 came. He chewed us up and spit us back out.
AND IT WAS AWESOME! WOW, such a spiritual powerhouse. Missionary work is such a blessing! I hope all of you can feel the missionary fire! It's so amazing seeing one of our beloved brothers and sisters come into the fold of the savior. One of our investigator's named brandon is progressing so well. He's so enthusiastic about the gospel, and he's so hungry for this knowledge we can barely keep up. I've never seen someone with such a passion for following our savior Jesus Christ. Last week he said he was going to write up a huge talk and bear his testimony during sacrament. And he actually did! This tall, black, lanky 18 year old made his way up to the pulpit and began reading scriptures to us. It was amazing to see him express his feelings about the importance of the relationships we hold with our Heavenly Father and with those around us....He also spent a good chunk of time talking about the law of chastity. But! It was an awesome testimony. It was so great seeing him bear his testimony. He hasn't missed a week of church in 2 months straight. The power of testimony sure is amazing. The very books we read from, and should be reading from every day, contain testimonies of Christ. Some, witnessed for themselves the very coming of Christ. Some have touched his hands and feet, and have heard his voice. Our Latter Day testimonies are no different from theirs. Live true to the knowledge of the gospel. It only brings us joy. That's why we have it! I invite you all, to share with one of your close friends, WHY you are a member of this church. Bear your testimony to them of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I promise, that the words you speak will be given to you in that very moment. I promise that those words will ring a familiarity in their ears, and that you will feel the greatest Joy there is on this earth. Our Heavenly Father's Love.
I love you all, thank you for your love, and for your prayers. I'm so blessed to know you! 
-Elder Johnson

Elder Sparrow pointing at his parents who sang in conference.

The baby's name is Mathew, he has a lot of health problems, but he's super cute.

A GIGANTIC rubber duck, that some guy in europe made, and it just sits there and floats in the river. this year pitt got it! we went to a zone conference so we saw down town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

ending our declaration of faith with an exclamation point

Hello my friends and family!
This week sure has been a spiritual power house! Conference was amazing! We're so blessed to have the inspired counsel of prophets seers and revelators to guide us in these Latter Days! I don't know if you could tell, but every sentence I said ended with an exclamation point! Just as a counsel given to us about the excitement of the gospel, I want to speak of the talk given about ending our declaration of faith with an exclamation point! You can't help but get excited about missionary work. It is such a blessing to hear about how the gospel has changed the lives of those seeking the truth, but an even greater blessing to be there, and be a part of it. Missionary work is most definitely not limited to a name tag and a tie, but can be LIVED! Our Father in Heaven knew that these last days would be filled with calamities, disasters, and growing moral decay, which is why we were sent to live at this time. We were handpicked to live here on the earth, because the Lord knew we would be strong enough, and brave enough to stand as Latter. Day. SAINTS. Live with joy and praise! There is no better calling then helping your brother or sister come to know of the truthfulness of this church. Exclamation point! Enjoy life, live this time that the savior has given you to the fullest you can. And live your testimony as you do. Because you may never know who will grow from your shining, pure, and loving example. After all, there are many, who are kept from the gospel, because they know not where to find it.
I know this church is true, I know that we are all brothers and sisters, created by a Heavenly Father who so dearly wants us to succeed and be happy. I know God lives.
I love you all, thank you for your optimism and joy, and your enthusiasm about this work. Thank you for being a light to me.
-Elder Johnson
Here's a pic of our neighbors birthday present. We wrapped a bom in newspaper, and threw in some mints and crackers into a box haha. She liked it, but she's oober catholic and tries to convert us

We did some service for the Zebroski's after watching conference with them and found those masks. Oh, and I parted my hair ;)

A caterpillar I picked up.

Elder Sparrow with my glasses.