Tuesday, July 14, 2015

We are SO spoiled out in Utah.. We could probably travel to a dozen temples in 3 hours!

Hello friends and family!

Well. take all the emotions known to the human mind and shake them up in a liter bottle......
that's how I feel! haha. So many mixed emotions!

Sorry, but not sorry, I'll be sending a few emails this time! I've got loads to say!

Going to the temple was WONDERFUL. Oh goodness.... I was FLOATING that day! I received so many answers to prayers! Even things that I asked at the beginning of my mission! It was so wonderful! Here's some pics!

The drive to the temple took THREE HOURSSSS!!!!!!!!!
That's a whole session of CHURCH! But with DRIVING!

We are SO spoiled out in Utah.. We could probably travel to a dozen temples in 3 hours! We are so spoiled! I sure hope we all take advantage of having temples so near. I know I surely will never take for granted the unique pure beauty and peace that can only be found in the House of the Lord. I plan on going at least once a week until I die! 

Anywho. I felt so many answers to prayers while at the temple. As I was praying in the temple I realized SO many things. But i think this one is okay to share.

I realized the IMPORTANCE of the family! I always knew deep down that family was important, but in the temple I realized it is the core of all we do. The family is the PINNACLE, OF THE PLAN of salvation!
It is all possible through Jesus Christ, but the point, is the Divine Nature of the FAMILY. 

It's so much more important than I realized.. Seriously! Please ponder the importance of your family! 

"Only the Home can compare with the Temple in holiness"
From the bible dictionary under "temple"

I have a ROCK solid testimony that this Church really is true. God is not a nice thought, He is a tangible being and "has a body of flesh and bone that is glorified and perfected." More importantly though, He LOVES us with the Love that a Father does for His Child. We are God's most important Creations. We are not little monkeys running around to see if we're pleasing to God. We are God's entire Life and Purpose. He loves us. He didn't make the universe and then suddenly decide to put people on it. We ARE God's universe. We are His EVERYTHING. He loves us so perfectly that we can't even comprehend His perfect and overwhelming Love for each individual child. He is perfectly patient and forgiving, He loves us, and desires our happiness. All He cares about is our Happiness.

I truly know that Jesus is the Christ. And I testify from my soul, and unflinchingly declare that Jesus Christ LIVES. He is not a nice figure in literature. He is an actual being that truly walks this earth, and He, in reality did die and suffer for our every pain, sorrow, and sin. He truly paid the price for our sins with His life, and has the scars in His palms to prove it. 
The Atonement is indeed REAL. I've felt it's power each and every day of my entire Life. It and He, are real. 

I know that this church is true. I know it is the ONLY true church in the entire universe. I know that there is no other church that holds the priesthood keys, or has the fulness of the Gospel. This Church truly is led by God and Jesus Christ, and not of man. It is God's Kingdom that we are a part of. And He will help us reach our Divine Potential as Heirs of God.

The Book of Mormon is indeed the word of God. I did not sail with Nephi, I did not proselyte with Alma and Amulek, I did not witness the Savior Himself personally minister to the Nephites, But without restraint I bear my witness that the Book of Mormon is the very word of God and comes from Him and not of man. I truly know it. I have prayed and asked God, and He told me so. And My life has been CHANGED! I am infinitely more happy knowing these simple truths.

I love my mission. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I know that God is real, and so testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

See you at the AIRPORT!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

MY HEART JUMPED TO THE MOON and landed in Niagara falls! Oh my goodness I was so happy I could've DIED.

Hello there friends and family!!  It's long but worth it!

AHH!!!! I have until wed the 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then I'm DEAD!!!! Missionary language for going home!! Ahhhh!!!!!! I'm freaking out!!!! But not really, but totally....
I have learned so stinking much! Where do I even start?!?!?!
Okay! Miracles #1!!!
CRAIG! Craig is a members boyfriend and he is SO AWESOME!!!!! Go Alaina for being a missionary!!!!! (she is also planning on serving a mission! pray for her that it all works out okay!)

We followed up with Craig to see if he got a testimony that the Book of Mormon was true. And he said "Every time I pray and read I feel that comforting feeling you guys keep talking about, and sometimes I hear a voice in my head, it says "I love you" and I see an image of Jesus in my mind, ya know the one in the front of the Book of Mormon?"

MY HEART JUMPED TO THE MOON and landed in Niagara falls! Oh my goodness I was so happy I could've DIED. The Spirit was so strong when we taught. WOW. I'm pretty sure he now understands the priesthood, covenants, ordinances, and dispensations than most members of the church! JK, but it was such a good lesson!
Also, I have come to know why I'm here on my mission. I know why I'm here...wow, God totally knew what He was doing, which brings me to my next point!
My mission president asked what I was learning about my mission, and I sent him this, I thought you might like it too :)

Hey President!
Wow, it has been such a roller coaster! Have you ever been to Lagoon in Utah? My mission has been a Spiritual SAMURAI. It has thrown me in so many directions. I have been whipped back and forth and thrown here and there, yet God's grace has kept me strapped in my seat even though I felt at many times that I'd be launched into outer space and never return! haha

It has been so difficult! But, with every maneuver it has strengthened my testimony that God will never let go of me. Even when I'm spinning in a million directions and I can't feel which way is up or down, I know God is there. Even when it feels like the safety bar is invisible and I'm going to be flung into Alberta Canada I'm still there in my seat, Thus I know that God's hand is there and I know He has never let go of me! And when the ride is over I realize something amazing.   "Wow, Heaven WAS in charge!" (quote from Sis Bednar)

It's beautiful the Order that is still in place, even and especially in Chaos! Oft times those very moments of difficulty and opposition are wonderful eye openers to see the value of having a safety bar at all! That safety bar is God's hand which is "outstretched still", and we will realize that "the Lord hath redeemed [our] soul[s] from hell; [we] have beheld his glory, and [we are] encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."

Not to mention we can now help others who are struggling to hold on and have faith!
If I could give advice to anyone about missionary service...I would say this...

"Hold on! And have FAITH!   For surely everything will work out!"

 "There are always happy endings! If it's not happy...then it's not the end!"

"Life has a beautiful tendency of ALWAYS working out."

"God's Love for you is unconditional, it never changes. That Love neither magnifies or minimizes based on what you do. It is simply and stubbornly there. The only thing that changes when we DO feel God's love, is not that His view of us has changed...but rather, our view of HIM has begun to change over time :)  "

I testify to you that I know God lives and loves us. I know He weeps when we weeps. I know Jesus Christ really is Alive, He did indeed die that we may live. The Book of Mormon is indeed God's word. This Church IS true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

More news!!!
I get to go to the temple this week!!!!  My LAST week as a missionary and I get to go to the temple with my 2nd son (greenie) Elder Redd!!!! my comp already went so I'm going on exchanges so Elder Redd can go too!!!!
I never have been to the temple as a set apart missionary, now I GET to on my last week...
What  tender mercy..   much love!   

This is craig!
Flowers in my opinion are one of the most hopeful creations God has ever made. They ALWAYS face the Sun…

At the 4th of July party they bought a rain gutter & used it to build ice cream sundaes!!!!!

Elder Johnson

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I am not crazy, and it doesn't matter what this man says or thinks about my testimony, no matter how much he tries to demean truth, Truth is STILL truth. and NEVER changes!

So my whole mission I've been very very blessed!
Heavenly Father knows that I do not like contention!!! And I do not like contentious people!
And alllll of my mission I've been blessed with not having mean crazy people hunt me down and bible bash!Cept........................last week!
It wasn't really that bad, but I found this man very absurd........here's why
So we're super late to district meeting and we're walking around and this man stops us and says "Oh mormons!" then he starts telling us that we're wrong and we're misled and he said

"You are absolutely absurd to believe what you believe! You'd have to be absolutely insane to think you're right!"

He went on to name off a list of some of our beliefs but exaggerated and defiled them. He said some very terrible things that I wouldn't dare repeat. He told us this list of things we "believe"

I was very tempted to say some nasty things back but I knew better. I was pretty proud of myself though! As he was spewing these anti mormon things I could think of billions of Scriptures to debunk every lie. It was pretty cool! But that's not the point.

I knew he wouldn't listen, my companion and I tried to defuse these lies but he just was not listening... and I knew there was no point. not to mention we were super late!

I learned something very powerful from Preach My Gospel that has blessed my entire mission. So I've never been a scripture wiz, everrr!!!!! Before I came out I couldn't name all the books in the book of mormon! But what I can do is bear my testimony!

Our testimony trumps everything, It is difficult to battle a sincere and heartfelt testimony shared by someone and then the confirming and powerful witness of the Holy Ghost also brings feelings of love and Godliness. But only if the other person is receptive...he...was definitely not!

But I stood there and raised my hand, he let me speak, and as sincerely as I could I bore a short, but powerful testimony of my witness of Jesus Christ.
I said "I testify to you, that I KNOW Jesus Christ Lives!.................But we're very late and we have to go!"

The man laughed with us and we were able to leave on a good note. 
I don't think he felt anything from that witness. But I sure know that I did. I felt the Spirit so strong as I testified to this man. And I know that I am not crazy, nor am I absurd. I am not crazy, and it doesn't matter what this man says or thinks about my testimony, no matter how much he tries to demean truth, Truth is STILL truth. and NEVER changes! 

My companion later told me of a funny analogy of that experience with that man. He compared it to a pet owner yelling at his cat. "DOG! you are a DOG!!!!!!!"
No matter how hard that person yells....it's still going to be a cat!
And that's how God's Truth is! and His Promises! They NEVER change! and I know that God is real and Alive! 
So is the Savior Jesus Christ, and I testify He loves us and LIVES. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Johnson

We helped someone move... and we found cool pointy things!!! Just kidding, it wasn't pointy at all, but we still had fun! it was SAFFFEEE!!! don't worry :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I have used this promise, and I know it is true. The Holy Ghost told me so and I will never deny what I know.

Hello friends and family!

When people find out you're going home in a few weeks they freak out and ask you a billion questions about home and whatnot. And my first thought is "why do you hate mee!!!!!"
Just joking though, it's just really sad to think that my mission is coming to a close.

This last week was my last Zone Conference, during a missionaries last ZC they are asked to give a final testimony in front of the other missionaries. 

When I went up 99% of it was just pure laughter hahah. Some lovely ladies from Relief Society came and helped prepare our lunches and as I was testifying there was an eruption of laughter from down the hall. So I was standing bearing my testimony.

"And I know. That God loves each of us!"

I pointed over to the hall.
"And so do THEY!"

hahahahahaha. It was really funny. The Spirit was super strong though when I got serious and testified. The Spirit was super strong.

So, I wanted to share my testimony with you.

From my heart, I testify that I know Jesus Christ really and truly does live. He is a real person, and He is real. I know that God is real. I know that He loves us more than we can comprehend. I know that He wants us back home and has brought forth the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help us do so. He called Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God to be that messenger. And as evidence to the truthfulness of the Restoration God has also brought forth the Book of Mormon. One can read and ponder its message and pray and ask God in the name of Christ if it is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will receive a witness by the Holy Ghost that it is indeed true.

I have used this promise, and I know it is true. The Holy Ghost told me so and I will never deny what I know. 

I know Jesus Christ is the ONLY way back home, He IS the way, the Light and the LIFE. He is truth. And He will never leave us comfortless. Ever.
I know this Work is true, and it is real. I know it, and I know that God knows it.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Johnson.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What is the difference of fear and courage?

This week was fantastic!!!!!

but any who, I wanted to share a neat insight that I got from my studies!
Okay, so this is similar to my moldy peach analogy!

Without confession we cannot receive forgiveness.
The Atonement is like rain. Hiding our sins and not confessing them is like throwing a tarp over them.
The Atonement can only touch the sins that are confessed.

Fortunately, even if we are afraid, the Atonement will help us UN hide our sins and confess them too. The Atonement will pour into us the strength and courage needed to face our fears and come clean. 

Coming clean is one of the happiest joys one can feel because of the infinite availability of the Atonement of Christ.

What is the difference of fear and courage?
Courage is still feeling afraid, but choosing the right regardless :)

Love you!!  have a great week!    

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

We do not need to be worthy to pray, or read, or go to church. It's the OPPOSITE. Those very things help us BECOME worthy.

Hey there!!!!!!!

So! Elder Watkins has been transferred to Lancaster! And my new comp is Elder Jake Story! From Orem Utah. 
He's been out for 17 months!  He's super high energy and very friendly and optimistic!  Okay. I know this is long, but I PROMISE it's worth reading!

So this Sunday at church there was a woman that came that I've never seen before. I greeted her and then didn't think anything of it. After sacrament I was headed toward the door to go to class, but the back area was too crowded, I ended up cutting through the middle section of benches and bumped into her again. I felt a prompting that I needed to speak with her. We talked a little and I asked her if she normally attended at this building. She told me that she hadn't been to church in a long time and was currently going through very difficult things.

 It broke my heart to hear of the pain and burden she was carrying. I encouraged her and told her she could do it. She ended up coming into Sunday school with another woman, who I later discovered was her visiting teacher, who brought her to church. I'm confident that were it not for her visiting teacher this less active woman would not have chosen to come to church and ask for help. As we were walking to Gospel Principles the teacher came by and said they had to leave church, he asked me to teach......talk about being thrown under the bus! I silently prayed that the Spirit would guide me and teach those in the class what they needed to hear. 

This less active woman and her visiting teach were already sitting in class and a few others as well. We began with a prayer and I started to read about final judgment. As I taught I felt impressed to share something and I somehow managed to connect it with judging haha so it was smoother but anywho. I said "It frightens me when people think they are not worthy to pray, or read, or go to church. It frightens me when they think they are not worthy to feel God's love or receive His blessings. Yes, there is a standard of worthiness, and we are oft interviewed for those purposes. the bishop, stake pres or whoever is ordained and given that authority to judge and determine our worthiness. He is also set apart to help us make correct choices. But it is all in love. 

The bishop or whomever doesn't yell and scream at us that we're failures, rather he hugs us and encourages us to make correct choices and I'm confident that he too is praying for your success and for guidance of the Spirit to know how God would like us to receive help. That is Christ's way, and Christ is no different with what He thinks of us. He loves us perfectly, and He is ALWAYS encouraging, not discouraging. He is LOVE, and He invites us and directs us to follow Him. We do not need to be worthy to pray, or read, or go to church. It's the OPPOSITE. Those very things help us BECOME worthy. 

As I said those words I felt the Spirit really strong dumping from me into her.  After church I saw her sitting outside the bishops office, us 4 missionaries were close by so we decided to say hello and talk a bit. She told us she was getting her self back into gear and needed to stop being lazy about it, that salvation is in her hands. I encouraged her the best I could, while it is wonderful of her choices, it made me sad to see how harshly she was treating herself. That was something to be celebrated! Not something that we'd say "well it's about time you failure!" That is definitely NOT what Christ would do. He would celebrate. Anywho, as we spoke she was called into a room and left for a few minutes. As we waited Sister Beutler, one of the sister missionaries leaned over and said "I think she could really use a blessing! Maybe you Elders could go over sometime and give her one?"

I agreed wholeheartedly! And I told her I'd ask her if she would like one. As we were speaking Bro Nelson called for Elder Story and I. He said "Elders I need you, could you help me give a blessing?"
We agreed. My jay dropped and I looked at the sister missionary who had a similar expression. We stepped into the room and there was this woman sitting. There was a beautiful Spirit in the room, it was precious. Bro Nelson offered a beautiful blessing. In tears she hugged him and thanked us for our time.  It was a beautiful experience that I won't soon forget. I pray for her.

I definitely know that Christ is ever aware of us. God does know us! It would surprise you how well He knows you. He knows us better than we do. He also knows when someone is in need, and He knows how to help them. Oh how He loves us. This is just Elder Johnson's doctrine and I don't have scriptures for this, but my personal opinion, is the reason mortals can't bear the presences of God without being translated is because He loves us so much that if we were fully in its presence we'd be incinerated immediately. He DOES LOVE US.
I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

 Elder Johnson

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I ALSO know, that when the Spirit is the teacher....Miracles abound in great abundance.

Story time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last Thursday we went on team ups with Bro Stapleton. The first person we tried wasn't home, but my companion suggested trying Bro E. We agreed and headed over. He's kind of a gruff man, he was in the military and is a little head strong, but very loving and kind. In the past I only met with him once, usually he says their busy and tells us to call first.
As we knocked on the door I was afraid he wasn't going to let us in again, but he greeted us warmly and invited us in. 
As we chatted I prayed fervently to know what we might share to best help our brother come back into the church. I didn't feel any guidance. But I knew to still have faith. As we kept talking I kept worrying, how can we help him! And How do we get this conversation to get there! The opportunity arose and I seized it quickly. I began to share a wonderful and beautiful experience that I had a few months before. 

We went and visited a less active woman Sis S, her sister J has severe Cerebral Palsy, so Sis S takes care of her constantly. J can't move very well and can't form words. But She smiles from ear to ear! and She is so happy and cheery. When we were visiting Sis S I thought of bringing my violin, but as the lesson ended it was time to start heading home, I didn't think we'd have time for me to play a song for Sis s and J. I kept thinking about how we needed to go, but for some reason I never brought up that we needed to leave. Neither did my companion. 
Later when we left, he told me that he too was worrying about leaving, but while sitting into his mind he heard a voice quoting the Prophet. into his mind he heard
"Never let a problem to be fixed, be more important than a person to be Loved."

Soon enough, J who was sitting in her wheel chair wheeled herself down the hall to come and say Hi. She was smiling so big. She was so happy to see us. I asked if I could play a song for J. Sis S was thrilled as well as J. I pulled out my violin, I knew which song to play.
Before I play, I always have a buzz of anxiety and worry. What if I forget the notes! what If I mess up! 
As I set the bow down on the string ready to play. I completely forgot how to play this song. My mind was blank, I forgot the notes. ....AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I said a prayer in my heart, asking for help. In response I remembered the first note is an F Sharp. I placed my finger down, and leapt forward in faith. 
I played I Am a Child of God in perfection. Not a single note was out of tune or misplaced.
I looked at J.  Tears, running down her cheeks.
She could not properly speak, but with the sounds she made I could tell what she was saying.
"Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."

I shared this story with Bro E. I could see the Spirit had touched his heart. The Spirit was very strong. I knew he could feel it. He said he knew he needed to come to church, and said himself he was unsure why he didn't go. It was a beautiful experience. I don't know if he really will come back in the immediate future, but this I know. God SENDS each of us to those that we can have the largest and deepest impact.

I ALSO know, that when the Spirit is the teacher....Miracles abound in great abundance. Were it not for the Spirit, I don't think Bro E would have come to that wondrous conclusion. But I know that the Spirit softened this man's heart, and God made His invitation clear, that His arms are "outstretched still". I know that God loves us. And It breaks His heart to see us hurt, in pain, or living contrary to His Gospel. Even when we slip into disobedience, God's arms are "Outstretched still" and He will always welcome the Repentant sinner. He did for me, and He will for all. 

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
 11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
 12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
 13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!

I testify God welcomes all who repent. I testify there is NO place too far or dark, that the Savior cannot rescue you. I testify turning to Christ is the Greatest Joy in all this world, And I speak from my own life, that the Atonement is real, and is ever available. 

The Atonement is INFINITE and never runs out. There is no limit upon the Atonement and how often we can use it. There is no meter that fills up saying we have run out of chances to repent. Never. The Atonement is Infinite and will help us overcome every weakness, as well as the weaknesses not related to sin.
 I so Testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

with Love,   Elder Johnson

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Can you tell me something that will heal me?” We said "Absolutely!"

ahhhh!!!! OKay CRAZY MIRACLE TIME!!! here's 2!
So remember R? He was the one that I met in at Sis S’s home and asked him to be baptized after 10 minutes of knowing him? Story time! 
So every tues and thurs we do splits with 2 people from the elders quorum. And on tues Bro F and Mc were supposed to come. The night before when we were planning for the day to come, I thought "hmmm, what if Bro F cancels?" But he never cancels....like EVER. He always takes one of us to do some home teaching. But I kept having that thought. Sis S came to my mind, so I scribbled her down thinking "okay this could be inspired?" 

Then I TOTALLY and COMPLETELY forgot about it. 
So tues comes around and we're heading to the church to do splits, when Bro F calls and cancels!!!!!!!!! So we called Bro McBride to see if he was still coming. And he said yes, and also said he had his 16 yr old son with him! Bingo! Splits are still on! So we get to the church and Bro M and his son are there. We told him Bro F cancelled and he said oh! okay, one of you can go with my son! And we're like "mwaahahah that's what we wanted" But we just said yes instead haha.

So I'm with Bro Mc and he says "So where are we headed!" Then I was like....shoot, I thought you had people.... SO we try to figure out something as we're driving. Then I thought of Sis S, still forgetting that I planned her name the night before. We start heading over there. On the way I asked "Do you know where she lives?"   "Nope.......do you?" 

"Nope." hahaha. So he decided we'd try someone else, but on the way we passed the street that sis s lives on! And I quickly told him to turn around so we could go see her. So we get there and there's a ford focus in the drive way. And Sis s can't drive.....
I said "If that's Rick I'm going to cry!"
AND LO AND BEHOLD! It was him! That morning I also asked that we'd be sent to where He needed us to be!
It was a great lesson! Then Sis S gave us a referral for her neighbor who lost her husband last sunday.

miracle two, L

So the next day we were out and about and Elder Watkins asked "Where to?" I said, let's go contact that referral! Immediately after this decision I felt MILLIONS of doubts and fears dump into my brain. I firmly declared "WE ARE GOING AND THAT'S THAT!" 
During the car ride we role played our approach to this woman who lost her husband, trying to be as loving and caring as we could. I was the missionary, and Elder Watkins pretended to be her. it went well! But I was SO nervous! I PLEADED AND BEGGED Heavenly Father that it would all work out. I said "Throw a shoe at me! or shoot me with lightning if I'm going to say the wrong thing!! Just please don't let us mess this up!!!!!"

When we parked she already spotted us and was walking towards us. We came out and introduced ourselves. She said EXACTLY WHAT ELDER WATKINS SAID IN THE ROLE PLAY. WORD. FOR. WORD. She then quickly declined and said she was going through a hard time. Elder Watkins testified that the Gospel has brought him answers and peace. L looked up and asked.
"Can you tell me something that will heal me?”  We said "Absolutely!"

She invited us over to her porch and we began answering her questions about life after death. She told us she felt so much peace and love from what we were saying. We told her it's not from us, but it is the Spirit of God giving her that peace. She smiled from ear to ear. 
I would give anything for you to see her countenance change as we spoke with her. Her hard look and broken smile melted away as we taught. And she indeed was "healed"
Please pray for L!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We want to meet with her again!!!!!!!!!
I know this Church is truer than true. I know that God is real, more importantly He Loves us perfectly. I know Christ is truly the Son of God and through Him we can be cleansed from sin through repentance. I know it. I know the Plan of Salvation is REAL. And DOES heal the broken. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 
Elder Johnson

Pic! The Lord works by "small & simple things" He chooses to work through US!

 Make a wish! 
Have hope!

Monday, May 11, 2015

"If I could serve a mission again, I'd do it in a heart beat" I testify, that their is NO joy greater than that of sharing the GOSPEL!

Okay, so it's not about the numberssss, but I just wanted to toot our horn! OUR HARD WORK'S BEEN PAYING OFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So not saying how much, but our district alone taught about half of the lessons in our entire zone!!!
Is that crazy or what!!!!!!!!  Also we taught more lessons this week than any other week since I got here!!! yayyy!!!!!!!

Anywho. I"m doing SUPER!!! My face is 98% better!!! 
Just tin tiny miniscule things, but I can function normally now!!!!! Take that bell's palsy!!  

Skyping was AWETHOMMMEE!!   And thanks for the birthday wishes!!! 
My bday was yesterdayyy!!  (May10)  I'm now 14!   Kidding, I'm now 20! 
but 14 at heart!
I sure have loved my mission. It hasn't fully hit me yet, but I know I'm going to miss it so much.

I was privileged to be raised by wonderful and amazing parents. They are spiritual GIANTS!!!! and their stories of how they came to the church are amazing. 
Their sincere desire to serve carried them into the mission field in Korea, where they both met as missionaries. And my Sister April is now serving in Korea, and is constantly bumping into people that knew my parents as missionaries.
My parents always talked about their missions, something I forever treasure. They both told me this all of my life,
"If I could serve a mission again, I'd do it in a heart beat"

I admire how much they truly loved their missions. And their love for missionary service carried me into the field as well, and I can say in pure and total honesty.  "If I could serve a mission again, I'd do it in a heart beat"

I testify, that their is NO joy greater than that of sharing the GOSPEL! I know it! 
I KNOW God lives, He's real, He loves us, I know Christ lives, and He too is ever aware and ready to serve and help us. I know that this Church is True, I testify the Book of Mormon is true as well. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Johnson

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have a stubborn love for us, and They'll never leave our side

Hey Everyone!!! I love youuuuuu!!! Here's my General Email!!!

This week we had an AMMMAZING!!!!! experience!!!

In the morning I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to send us to where He needed us to be. We called to confirm our dinner appt that evening and it was cancelled. Normally i'd be a grumpy gills...mainly because I love the members and their food. But don't get that order mixed up okay?? ;) haha. But after the call I just had this feeling of peace that EVERYTHING would be okay. Anywho we went and tried a less active man that we had never met. He lived clear out in the middle of nowhere. We went to the neighboring house not being able to find it and we saw a woman out on her porch. We went and started talking with her about the Gospel and got to share some stuff about the family. I said something that I have never said before and I thought it was interesting.

We're all human, and we all have needs, everyone needs a sense of BELONGING. To feel that they are important and matter. We often turn to other sources for that feeling, but the best place for us to feel the most love is to our Loving Heavenly Father. We ended up giving her a Book of Mormon and it was awesome! She said her name is Del, and she had the coolest brown lab! Anywho she directed us to the correct house and we left. We knocked on the Newsom's door and the wife answered the door. She said that her husband wasn't home yet but would be back in about an hour or so.

I've REALLY been trying to follow the Spirit and follow bravely the promptings I've received. I've also tried super hard to THROW myself into the work and be anxiously engaged in a good cause!
So we went out and tried more doors! It  was awesome, I don't think very many people opened their doors but I was super happy anyways just going out and doing my best! It was awesome!

We were driving around and passed a woman parked on the side of the road. I had a feeling that we were supposed to talk with her. But I didn't say anything, so we left. I finally mustered up the courage and said that we needed to go back there and talk to her. He said he felt it too. It was funny because we both felt that we were supposed to talk to her but passed her car about 3 times haha. By the time we went back we saw her pulling up into her driveway. We both figured....eh, Might as well! So we went up there anyways and we gave her a card! It was great! I fear that often we are too focused on results when we follow promptings. Even if that was not a prompting, I am proving to my Heavenly Father that He can trust me. And I will continue to do so! And the good we do is never forgetten by the Lord. Ever. He takes that good and weaves miracles out of the small simple acts of sharing the Gospel!

Anywho, we went back to the New's and we saw a brown lab our front. Both of us were like...wait......Dol??! And sure enough Dol's had stopped by at the New's. We said hello and she said she was very appreciative that we were out there making sure Bro Newsom was doing okay and told us to watch out for him. What a nice lady!!!! She'll be baptized just you wait!~! haha. So we got in the door and had an AMAAAZING discussion with Bro New. His wife said that it was meant to be that we were there! She said while watching TV a show about JEsus that she had never seen before came on and then POOF! we knocked on the door and gave her a becausehelives mormon.org card. 

Coincidence!!! NO! Anywho, so we began talking with Bro New. He is such a wonderful and inviting man, but really struggles with depression and other things. We testified from our hearts of the Atonement of Christ. The Spirit was so thick. We read scriptures about how God can turn any weakness into GREAT SPIRITUAL STRENGTH! He was so grateful for the help. He said "Wow Elders, I'm so grateful that you came over here, you gave me Hope"   We seriously just showed up and then the Spirit dumped words into our mouth! It was SO awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Also, Del came over to bring a dinner over to the N's because she is an awesome neighbor (is she a dry mormon or what!) and Sis New fed it to us! Gee does Heavenly Father take care of us or what! I was so grateful, and it confirmed to me the feeling I had that morning when Heavenly Father said "It's okay, it'll all work out! You may not be over at dinner, but I have something even better!" And surely it was even better!

I testified my guts out of the Atonement of Christ. And how we are NEVER alone. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice, BEING ALONE IS NOT AN OPTION.
Because of Jesus Christ's Atonement we can receive God's help, and indeed, He cannot leave us, it's not in the program! Only we leave Him by disobedience and rebellion. But God will never leave us. The Spirit was so strong. I loved ever second that lesson. One that I will not soon forget. 

We said a closing prayer, I was deeply humbled and grateful that God surely knows His Children and He knew that we were supposed to be there at that time. God's love for Bro N and Sis N was so evident that He hand picked and sent us over there to help. What a blessing. the Lord truly answered my prayer when I asked that we could be "instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their redeemer" (mosiah 27:36)

When we were leaving I felt another prompting to ask if there was anyone they knew of that we could visit. Preach my Gospel says "teach when you find, and find when you teach!" So I figured I should ask for referrals. Something that I've tried to do with everyone. They suggested their less active daughter. I asked for an address and he could only remember parts of it. He left the room to call his daughter and ask. We kept talking a bit with Sis N and then Bro N came back.
"So did you talk to her?"
"Yes, just got off the phone, But it was strange because she's the one who called me!"

That. Is. NO. coincidence. We just happened to be there at that time! And his daughter called him LITERALLY the second he left to go call her!!!!!!!!!!
God works in mysterious ways! But it's so obvious that He will never leave us alone. He loves us too much to ever leave us. In fact His entire existence and purpose is "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" His entire purpose, all He days 24/7 is help us come back to Him! What A perfect Father!

Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have a stubborn love for us, and They'll never leave our side. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Johnson

My face is doing FANTASTIC!!!!! thank you for the prayers! This is the fastest recovery EVVER. I am almost normal! maybe like 90% healed?

Also my BIRTHDAY IS ON MAY 10 THHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! :) I turn 20!!! :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sin is like moldy peaches in the fridge.

Sorry this is long....
So far my mission has been fantastic..
It has been wonderful and the Lord has taught me SO much. I've learned so much about satan's lies it's crazy! he'll try ANYTHING to get us away from confession. he'll do ANYTHING to get us away from confession and ANY steps of repentance. He's SO desperate to get us away from confessing our sins to priesthood leaders. satan puts those feelings of fear and ridicule. he and his minions broadcast all sorts of lies and filth to get us away from confession. He will do anything. he'll say "what will the bishop or mission president think? he will hate you, he will ridicule you, you will get sent home."

Whether or not someone gets sent home, I know that the blessing of repentance and full forgiveness are more powerful and long lasting than serving a mission without fully repenting and DEEP cleaning and SCRUBBING the sin out! I liked the talk by Sister Linda Reeves from the Stake Conference Broadcast yesterday. Her husband was the mission president of a mission and there was a missionary who was not fully repentant and indeed had to get sent home. That FAITHFUL, and OBEDIENT missionary showed so much humility and went home. He repented and came back out. That part got me. I wanted to cry, because it helped me understand the DEPTH of repentance. 
Repentance is not repentance if it doesn't scrub out deeply ALL of the sin. Not most of the sin, not a little bit of it, ALL. of the sin. Only then can we receive the Lord's forgiveness and receive healing and peace. 

Moldy Peaches:
Sin is like moldy peaches in the fridge. It's disgusting and every time one looks at it they are repulsed and think "maybe if i shut the fridge I can ignore my problem." But alas, leaving the moldy peaches in there will only cause the problem to get worse and to spread bacteria and sickness to everything else in the fridge. We can only get rid of it by FACING the problem boldly and with courage, maybe even with a stick, but we need to GET it OUT! THEN we can start cleaning the rest out. Confession is like facing that moldy peach with courage and faith in Christ that we can be clean, and then grabbing it and throwing it out. 

One cannot simply "wish" it to be gone. You can't repent halfway or halfway confess anymore than you can only discard and dispose half of the moldy peach. Then, after that step of the repentance process, confession being one of the most important, THEN we can begin cleaning up the rest and making things right, replacing it with better healthier things. We can become clean only after we confess, as well as throw it out. Repentance is more than just stopping the evil practice of something. We must accept full accountability for what is in our fridge. In the kitchen of your own soul, one cannot blame someone else for the moldy peaches in there. 

Imagine a young man, "MOM!! why didn't you clean my moldy peaches! or clean up my mess!" She simply cannot clean it because she's not there. There's only one soul in your kitchen and that's YOU! Sorry, mom's can do wonders but they can't repent for you.  We can't even blame satan for the moldy peaches either! 
God promises agency, we will NEVER be forced to sin, and we will NEVER be forced to keep commandments either. No one can force us to read daily or to pray. But boy, one surely will face the consequences of choosing to make excuses. There are NO excuses for not keeping commandments, ZERO. We also can't blame satan for our sins. satan can't walk or barge into your kitchen and place those moldy peaches there. he can only come in if we open the door. 

But I testify. From my Soul. That Repentance is REAL. I testify from my heart that not only can we be clean. I testify if we have faith instead of fear and FACE our problems and COURAGEOUSLY CONFESS our sins, if needed to a bishop. that we can receive forgiveness. I testify forgiveness is real.. I testify that it's possible. Not only is it possible, but that's why Christ came in the first place. Every time we sin, we are literally looking Heavenly Father in the eyes and spitting in His face. Every time we sin we are hurting the Savior. If you are struggling with something, imagine the Savior, hurt, bleeding, hanging from the cross. Every time you transgress, you are pounding another nail into his hands. But please, don't let this discourage you, remember Christ did that for you, so that you can be clean. That price is ALREADY paid for. We can show Christ appreciation for this Gift of the Atonement by USING it. EVERY DAY. 

I also testify that if GET cleaned up and repent, no matter how hard it is, no matter how scary. I testify that satan is the one putting the fear there. You are not born evil. And even if that were possible, and it ISN'T, the  the Atonement of Jesus Christ would reverse it and fix it. 
I also testify if you fix your life, if you confess. If you repent CORRECTLY taking ALL the necessary steps you can receive forgiveness. You WILL NOT RECEIVE FORGIVENESS WITHOUT CONFESSION. satan will do anything he can to get you away from boldly and fearlessly repenting. 

I invite you to take a FEARLESS inventory of yourself. Ask:
"Do I enjoy sinning? If so, am I willing to humble myself enough to ask for God's help and then change my actions so He can change my heart so that I will eventually be so converted that I hate sin?"
"If I were to die today, am I prepared to meet God in absolute and fearless confidence?"
"Are my actions inviting the Holy Ghost or pushing Him away."
After you repent, though the journey may be hard and difficult, you have two choices.
Repent. or suffer.  Heaven or hell. you choose! Only the repentant will make it to Heaven.That not only will Christ forgive you, not only will He help you dispose of those things in your soul..
He will replace what was in your heart, with the Fruit of the Tree of LIFE!
I testify the sweet joy is real. Alma's words are my words.
 in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 
Elder Johnson

I forgot to share the COOLEST thing EVVVERRR!!!
So Elder Watkins and I are trying our HARDEST to be exactly obedient and to work our butts off!  But because we are, satan will also be working double time on us and God's children!  So please pray for us and pray that those we speak with will receive the Gospel!!

Here are my two favorite quotes of the week.
"The more obedient we are to God's commandments the more eager satan is to attack and target you. BUT! the less power he has to do so!"
"If you want to punch satan in the face, OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SHARE THE GOSPEL!"
Anywho,Every time I feel satan trying to get us I go hunt down someone and talk to them! satan is angry! mwahaha!

I've been doing that like crazy! I can't even count how many strangers I've invited to church in the past few days! okay I can...it's like....3... But still! I"m talking to EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THEIR DOGs!  haha

But really it's been so awesome! I wanted to share this experience with you. SO the Sister missionaries in the ward and us Elders went over to visit a sickly woman in the ward Sis Smego. We all went over and while we were there one of her friends Rich came in. I felt satan again and I wanted to punch him in the face so I opened my mouth and started a Gospel discussion with Rich. He actually knows LOTS about our church because of Sis Smego (go sis smego! way to teach the gospel!!!)  and he knew almost everything about our church...well from what I gather at least haha. He's even taken discussions before.

All the sudden I feel this prompting to ask him to be baptized. I FOLLOWED. The second I decided in my mind to follow that prompting satan went crazy! Everyone in the room was jumping in to say or do something. It was nuts! then Rich and Sis Smego went WAY off topic. and I was losing my chance! I kept trying to open my mouth but I couldn't. But I knew that was a lie. Our tongues are NEVER bound. Just like when Joseph Smith received the first vision? satan tried to bind his tongue! Even if I couldn't say anything or get a word in. I could still use my hands!

I raised my hand high! and I had everyone's attention. the room was silent. Then I said.
"Rich, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ. And be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?"
The Spirit filled the room and my words. Rich declined. But we assured him that God Himself would reveal truth to him by the power of the Holy Ghost, but only if one is sincere, is willing to act on the answer given, and has Faith in Christ. He admitted that he only thumbed through the Book of Mormon. We gave him a copy and he promised to read it cover to cover and we are going to see him tomorrow to follow up.
I was ever grateful for that experience, and I know if I had not been working so hard or trying hard to be obedient I would not have been prepared to follow that prompting. I would've let satan win. But I wanted to punch him in the face! so I opened my mouth!

Now this is for all you missionaries.
It doesn't matter how awful, how tired, how scared you feel. Remember, satan puts those feelings there, he doesn't want you to share the gospel. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve! I didn't come out on my mission to be a gerbil. I came out to declare BOLDLY what I KNOW is right.

Faithfully keep the commandments and the mission rules. They will keep you safe and protected, and work your tails off!   I heard this quote from my Sister April.
"If you feel saddened, or afraid, or tired. THROW YOURSELF INTO THE WORK  EVEN MORE!"
The Spirit of missionary work will heal your soul, more than trying to heal your soul will. And The healing spirit of working hard and being exactly obedient will not only heal you, but it will heal EVERYONE AROUND YOU.
All of you will know what I"m talking about when I say this next statement. 

"You can feel in the letters from missionaries if they are working hard and being obedient, and when they are not. The spirit, happiness, and LOVE that radiates from missionaries letters can only be rewarded by obedience and hard work."

You can feel in this email here that I am indeed engaged in the work and I"m being exactly obedient and working my tail off. You can tell from the miracle of meeting Rich that I am working hard. And regrettably, you can probably feel that the past long while of my mission I have not been working very hard. And I admit I have not been. I've gotten lazy, and relaxed with the rules. I admit I was letting satan have a party with my idlness and laziness. I'm sure he couldn't have been happier than these past few months.
But.  NO MORE!  I have Repented and I will kick satan in the face so hard that he gets sent to outer darkness' outer darkness! I will work SO hard that satan will look under his bed at night and look for Elder Johnson!!!

I testify Christ lives. I testify His work is WORK. No one in HIS work can be a lazy bum, or a disobedient bum. Repent and get to work. I promise through my own personal experiences that miracles will proceed.
If you are exactly obedient, EXPECT miracles. For they are there, I testify from my soul that that is true. 
Don't flake out like I did. Don't get relaxed with the rules, don't work less. WORK MORE. You will only serve a mission once in your life. Don't blow it now. Forget yourself and GET TO WORK!

Your happiness is measured by your obedience and hard work. IF you are not crying every day because of the joy and peace you feel. You are not serving a mission right. I know I'm speaking boldly, but experiment upon my words and commit to be exactly obedient and work your tail off. I promise you two things. satan will be more eager to get you. But I also promise he won't be able to, that you will have Christ's protection, and you will be HAPPY! You will have those "mission experiences" that you've heard about your whole life.
 I testify this is true. IN the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

 Elder Johnson :)