Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I encourage you all to share the Gospel! Doing so will bless us more than we can imagine.

Hey there family and friends!
This week was great!  It was filled with many answers to prayers! 

Elder Gish and I set a goal this week to be EXACTLY OBEDIENT!!
We're excited to see what happens! This week we're going to do our absolute
best to be on time to things and keeping the mission rules!
Next week expect to hear some amazing experiences!

I just wanted to share a simple experience that fueled my faith.
Last week we were able to see Victoria and JJ. And Victoria! Who is LOVING the Gospel INVITED HER FRIEND FROM WORK. Wow, You should've seen the look on her face when the lesson was over. She looked like a completely different person.

We taught the Plan of Salvation. Everything was going so great. Victoria was just EATING it all up! She even picked up the Book of Mormon and told her friend that this was what she needed in her life! 
She's ALREADY sharing the Gospel!

I encourage you all to share the Gospel! Doing so will bless us more than we can imagine. In my head, when I think about what it is like to prepare to meet the Savior. I imagine us walking upward toward a bright light. I imagine a pathway to Christ, and a line of people on both sides. I think of familiar faces greeting us with cheers. Among the people, are the faces of every person we've ever blessed. A few will be familiar, most will be people we've never met, thanking us for the good we've done. Many will have tears flowing from their eyes, thanking us for sharing the Gospel with them.

I think of the words in D&C 18
 13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth
 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
I love you all! Thanks for your great examples :)
I know this Gospel is true! I know that we can share it! :)
I testify that this Church really is true. I really know it. I know that Jesus Christ Lives. I know that Heavenly Father lives and LOVES us :) In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen :)  LOVE

There's a quote that says
"Obedience brings blessings, Exact obedience brings MIRACLES."
We set a goal this week to be exactly obedient... so I made neat little reminders and stuck them around

our apt!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It is no coincidence that the only sunday she had available was when Elder Gish was asked to speak.

Hey there friends and family!!!!
this week was AWESOME.
Okay! story time!!!
So Victoria is EATING UP THE GOSPEL. Sheesh! It is CRAZY. how receptive she iss!!!!!
This week we taught her the Restoration and really emphasied the blessings and privilege of having a Prophet. and the Priesthood RESTORED. 
I have greatly under appreciated the Priesthood. wow.
As we taught her the Spirit was strong. There at the lesson was Victoria, and JJ, her boyfriend who has been investigating for over 2 years, but can't join the church because he has struggled with smoking. Pray for himmm!!!!!! Then her and a member there got in a little tiff.....
and started to argue a little bit. I felt the Spirit leave the room......The member left the room.
She went up to apologize. After she came back we said another prayer for the Spirit to come back. We all knelt, and as the prayer was offered we felt the Holy Ghost come back.
As we completed the Restoration we told her that she could pray and ask God, and find out for herself if what we've taught is really true. She told us she had so many doubts and that she was unsure which church to join.
Then Elder Gish invited her to come to church. He said he was afraid though. He said that he was going to be speaking in church and that his topic would help her get an answer.
Victoria's jaw dropped to the floor. She was in awe!
We looked at her in a puzzled look and asked her why.
She told us that very day, she was speaking with JJ and said "I think I'd like to go to church this upcoming sunday!"

It is no coincidence that the only sunday she had available was when Elder Gish was asked to speak.
Elder Gish alter told me after the lesson that when he was asked to give a talk just hours earlier, the Branch President gave him two topics to choose from. He prayed and asked God which one would best serve His children. In that lesson with Victoria he had received his answer, and knew that was what Victoria needed to hear. The topic is, "working on getting an answer from God"
It is so wonderful being a missionary. There are no greater joys. I"m so grateful to be a missionary. I"m so grateful I got to leave at 18 and not 19. Had I left at 19 I"ms ure I would've felt overcome by the pressures of the world and so preoccupied I would not have felt the impressions to leave on a mission.
I testify that Heavenly Father indeed lives.I testify of His INFINITE love. I testify that He is always looking for ways to bless us. He is anxiously waiting to answer our prayers.
I invite you to test His word! I invite you to pray from your heart and ask Him sincerely if the Book of Mormon is true. My words echo that of Moroni who said.
"And if ye shall ask with a sincere heart. With real intent. He will manifest the truth unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. and by the power of the Holy Ghost, Ye may know the truth of all things."
I know these words are true. For I have done so. and I have seen that promise come true with each person I taught that prayed with a sincere heart, and was willing to act on that which was revealed. and above all, had true Faith in Christ. If you have not done so. Please...

A testimony of the Restored Gospel and of Christ will help you through all challenges. It will be the life preserver thrown when tossed by stormy winds and waves.
I love you all. Thanks for your love :)  and your PRAYERS. I have felt so much strength. WHen I feel ready to give up, I somehow find the strength, and I can keep going. Thank you.
I testify that Christ does live and love us. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true. I testify that this church has the very Priesthood authority that Christ Himself had and does have. I testify we have that today. And that it's power and authority is blessing us in our homes.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen :)
With love.
Elder Johnson

Monday, January 12, 2015

I've got 2 miracles to share with you. It's a long read, so I'm sorry. But every word is worth it I promise :)

Oh my goodness this week was AMAZING.

I'm freaking out! In a good way!!!!!

Alrighty. I've got 2 miracles to share with you. It's a long read, so I'm sorry. But every word is worth it

I promise :)

So first off. Remember when I was serving in Pitt 3rd? That was almost exactly a year ago. Anywho. The Elders that are serving there now contacted me and told me a story that brings so much joy to my heart, that I want to share with you. A year ago Elder Birrell and I were heading over to an appointment in Turtle Creek. We were a little early to the appointment. Luckily Elder Birrell and I wanted to be as consecrated as possible, so we had set a goal a week earlier to spend extra time on the phone or knocking on doors if we weren't doing anything. We chose the latter. We were on our way and soon felt inspired to try a door. It was quite a walk to get to the door, but we hiked up their walkway. We knocked on the door. A woman answered, we introduced ourselves as missionaries. She introduced herself as Amie. We asked if we could share a message with her about Christ. We were astonished beyond measure when she agreed and let us in. We were so surprised. She was in a jumble trying to get things together since her family was going to leave on a vacation. I looked at my watch. We were going to be late to our appointment. We told her that we would be back to see her in an hour, she was excited for our return. We left her a pass along card. We went to our appointment, then came back to see Amie. Her husband answered and we were shocked. He said "We're not interested!" And slammed the door sternly.. Disheartened that was the last we heard of Amie.      

A year later, the Elders serving in the Pitt 3rd ward contacted me and told me they had received a referral through their phone for a woman. They contacted her over the phone. She indicated that last winter in the month of January, 2 LDS missionaries had knocked on her door and invited her to learn. She said that since she had written off the idea of learning about our church. But the thought of those 2 young missionaries kept coming to her mind. So she decided to give the church one more try. She then had requested a missionary visit. Her name on the referral information appeared as....Amie.

The second miracle I wanted to share with you.
We've got a new investigator named Victoria! The one who I mentioned in an earlier email who basically asked "how do I become a mormon?" We had a lesson with her that changed my life. We were very nervous for this lesson. Present was a less active man who we were afraid would scare her off. We prayed fervently that the Spirit would not be hindered and would be the teacher. We proceeded to read some scriptures. We felt inspired to follow up on her invitation to read from Moroni 10:4-5. Moroni's promise that all sincere seekers for truth could pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon was true, and receive an answer. She confessed that she had not read it until that morning. But a smile came across her face. We inquired. She told us that all week prior to that day, she was thinking very deeply about Gifts from God, and how He is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. She was thinking about it so much that she shared with her close friend her feelings about it. She was thinking a bout it all week long. 

Remembering our appointment she read the assigned verses, but instead, continued to read the entire chapter. Moroni 10 also shares and speaks of the Gifts from God, and how He is the same, Yesterday, today, and forever. She was baffled and in awe. "There was no coincidence there!" She told us. She knew God was directing her and giving her a sign. 
I felt prompted to share an experience with her. I shared a tender experience how God had answered my prayer too. The Spirit entered the room. She then shared with us her many miraculous experiences in which God had proven that He was watching over her. We bore our testimonies. As I did so, I said "I just know this church is so true. I just know it" That was all I could say.
Victoria cut me off and looked me dead in the eye. She said 

"I know, that you know..."

"I can feel it coming off from you! You just believe it so strongly! I can feel it! I want that so badly."

It was a wonderful and powerful experience. One I will not soon forget. I was humbled to realize and know that God truly answers His children and is leading them all to His Truth.
I really do know this church is true. I know that God is indeed our Loving Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we can understand. As it is said "My thoughts are higher than your thoughts, my ways are higher than your ways" He truly does know all, and He is orchestrating miracles and wonders! I testify that Christ is the Son of God! He LIVES! I know that He Atoned for our sins. We can be healed and strengthened by our Savior's Atoning sacrifice.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

LOVE, Elder Johnson

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I love you all so stinkin much. Your prayers and support has carried me far into the field and is sustaining me each day.

Hello my friends and family!!!

There's a quote my dad sent me that says "Your mission is preparation, it is your school for eternity"

I have definitely learned that that quote is true.
And so instead of sharing the experiences I've had with others like usual, I want to share the experiences I've had, with the Lord...

These past few months have been very difficult. Very hard and harrowing even. I've felt great adversity and little hope. I feel as though it was the easiest time for me to call it quits. I can easily say that these past few months have been the most difficult of my life. I have felt a lot of adversity.

Through these challenges and experiences I've learned that the only one that keeps us from salvation is not others, is not the experiences or trials and situations we have...

It's ourselves.

I've learned that the principle of agency is used much more than we realize. Our progression to eternal life is one BIG sum of consistent uses of our agency. Our salvation and exaltation is determined by US. In a sense, WE determine what kingdom of Glory is received by how well we use our time in mortality. It's as simple as that.

I also wanted to share that my testimony of the Atonement has grown exponentially!! 
 I felt like I didn't really understand it very well, so Elder Gish and I both set goals to read the entire Book of Mormon within our 2 transfers together. AKA 3 months. I started studying the Book of Mormon really focusing in on scriptures that I've found related to the Atonement.

Here's what I learned.

It's real.

Use it.

It's as simple as that. :) I love you all so stinkin much. Your prayers and support has carried me far into the field and is sustaining me each day. Your love as been propelling me up and forever onward. Thank you so much for you kindness. It often brings tears to my eyes to read and hear how much you love me, and the Lord. And I cannot possibly repay you all for that. Truly your kindness has magnified my desire to serve. Thank you for "loving me" in my mission. It helps tremendously. I want to share the greatest gift I have with those here in PA.

They don't know, "they are kept from the Truth, only because they know not where to find it"
And I want them to have it! I love you all. I want to give myself to the Lord and do all that He has in store for us as His Children. I testify from my heart, as sincerely as I can, that God's love is real, and incomprehensibly close to us. I testify that Christ 's Atonement is real, and that He truly does Live and love us. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true. I testify this Church is Led by a Prophet of God and He knows the way. in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

With love,
Elder Johnson

my comp is awesomeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dinner with the Zebroski's again!