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 :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

we just need to understand WHO WE ARE, AS GOD SEES US. We must discover "WHO WE ARE, IN GOD'S EYES. NOT MAN'S"

Hey there Friends and family!!!
So you may have had a heart attack about my last email...so here's an update on my face!
The jaw problems and paralysis are unrelated. I've got something called Bell's Palsy. Basically inflammation on the facial nerve. So I can't move the right side of my face. I can feel it, everything's normal except I can't move it at all. I can blink but it's delayed so I have to use eye drops frequently and sleep with my eye taped up and use an eye patch!!! Arghh! I'm a pirate! Anywho. Bell's Palsy isn't very serious and actually just goes away after a month or two. It has an 86% chance of not being permanent, but I'm taking prodnisone which gives me a 93% chance of it not being permanent. Thank you so much for your prayers and love. I've felt so much help through this trial and the Lord's helped me have a bright and positive attitude! I actually love this trial and it's taught me a lot.
Anywho! now my next topic. Sorry it's long but worth it!!!!!!!!!!!

You're amazing:
This week I've really come to a knowledge of the importance of knowing who we are. Not just knowing who we are.....But understanding who we can become with God's help! When we can begin to see potential in something, our efforts DRASTICALLY change and are focused into that thing. When we BELIEVE in ourselves, we are literally UNSTOPPABLE. Many of you may remember the story about the man in Utah many years ago who was climbing rocks and then got his arm stuck in a rock. He even resorted to cutting off his arm to escape. Do any of you know WHY he did that? Or at least what gave him that motivation?

well. Elder Oaks actually speaks of this story in a talk about "Desire" Elder Oaks talks about how this man was on the point of giving up after hours and hours of hanging there helpless. He was losing the will to live. He was going to give up. Then this man had a vision from God. In it, he saw himself a few years older. He saw himself with a 3 year old boy that he'd never seen before. He saw himself scoop up this boy with one arm and hug him. That boy was his future son. In essence God was saying "YOU CAN GET OUT OF HERE. YOU CAN LIVE.  not only can you LIVE and survive, but you've got a HAPPY wonderful life ahead of you! I've got so much in store for you!"
When this man understood his potential in God's great plan, he had the drive to do amazing things. His life CHANGED dramatically. And he is now a hero whose story of endurance blesses many.

The same can happen to us! Sometimes we're stuck! Sometimes we are trapped by a rock. Perhaps the rock of sin? Or perhaps the rock of fear? There's something pinning us down. And we might lose sight of God's eternal design. We may lose the will to live (spiritually). BUT! we cannot afford to believe in satan's lie that we are trapped! We can ALWAYS be freed by the atonement of Christ! we just need to understand WHO WE ARE, AS GOD SEES US. We must discover "WHO WE ARE, IN GOD'S EYES. NOT MAN'S"

In us men see weird, perhaps even dorky mormons....But to God. He sees princes and princesses. HE sees GODS! He knows our potential! I STROONGLY encourage and challenge you to approach God in prayer and ask Him who you are! It may take a few tries and may take a while for you to see what He does. But I TESTIFY from my soul that the revelation WILL come! God DOES NOT SET US UP TO FAIL. You are designed for greatness! You are DESIGNED TO BE AMAZING! :)
If only we could stop being so afraid...of OURSELVES!
fear: I saw this quote and I want to share it with you.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are POWERFUL beyond measure. It is our LIGHT, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are you NOT to be??
YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. Your "playing small" does not serve the world! There is nothing enlightened [or edifying] about shrinking so other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to SHINE, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I testify God does not call failures. I testify God does not call us to FAIL. He calls us to CONQUER and to SHINE. He wants us to shine brightly!!!!!!!! When We shine brightly we are actually glorifying God MORE, not less.

 I testify that Christ's grace and Atonement is REAL. I testify this is the only true church on the face of the earth. 
I testify that the Book of Mormon is TRUE. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.  

Elder Johnson

Friday, April 17, 2015

These are STUPID lies from satan!! on the contrary, satan will ALSO lie to you on the other side of the argument. Such as.

Hello family and friends! 
I sure love emailing you all and sharing with you the lessons I've learned. There's no greater joy than sharing things we love. That's why we are asked to teach! We often learn MORE by teaching!

Anywho. I wanted to share some lessons I learned on REPENTANCE.

So! satan has some favorite lies in his toolkit of deception. There are many angled and directed at the doctrine of REPENTANCE. 

Sometimes satan tries to get us to think that repentance is a BAD thing. he will trick us into thinking that repentance is a TERRIBLE thing, because it means you have done something wrong. He will try to trick us into thinking that we ought not to repent. he will do ANYTHING to get you not to repent.  Fear. Is a powerful tool that he uses. 

He sends us lies to trick us and deceive us and get us away from repentance. 
lies such as:
"What will ______ think of me? What will my parents, my bishop, my family, my friends, think of me if they found out"
"They will HATE me for making a mistake."
"They will judge me"
"They will think I"m a failure, or that I'm a freak, that something is wrong with me. They will hate me."
"What will God think of me, He will hate me too..."

These are STUPID lies from satan!! on the contrary, satan will ALSO lie to you on the other side of the argument. Such as.

"God says keep trying, so just keep trying, you don't need to repent, just try again. Tell yourself that you'll stop and you will, you can do it alone. You can overcome it by yourself. You can do it without Christ."
"Maybe if you had more FAITH! you wouldn't be in this problem! now satan will get you!"
"You won't ever overcome this, God gave you weakness, so He meant for you to have this problem. You'll never overcome it, so don't try. You've been failing anyways so why try?? God designed you to have weaknesses, so obviously he designed you to be a sinner."
"You don't need to repent or come unto Christ."
"There are prerequisites to repenting. You need to do this first, do this first."

NO, the Truth is you need to  just come unto Christ. pray MORE. read. MORE. GO to church. MORE."

I testify from my Heart, with all the conviction of my soul that Jesus Christ lives. Yes. we need to repent. NO one is exempt or sinless. We have all come short of the glory of God. Yes., We do need to keep trying, but we NEED Jesus Christ. He's the ONLY way out of Sin. He is the ONLY name given under Heaven whereby any man or woman may be saved.

I TESTIFY.  With all the conviction of my soul and all the feeling in my heart, That God. Loves. His Children. I know that. I know that more than anything in this world. I KNOW God loves us, and He is our protector. Our Father. He will ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS welcome the repentant sinner with arms outstretched, not pushing you away. When God commands us to repent. He is not saying " you filthy child!" "I hate you! why were you in there!"
He says "Come, follow me. This way, is much better, safer, and happier. This path, MY path, of repentance leads you back home to ME :)"
I testify of these things, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Elder Johnson :)
I love you!!   


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

So, USE your agency. Use it well. Choose God. Choose Light, Choose to never give up, and in the end you are choosing eternal life. Choose faith above doubt. Hold on to what you KNOW.

Hey there family and friends!
WOW I sure LOOOOOOOOVE conference!!!!!!!
There aren't enough words to describe how much I loved it!!! sheesh!!!
I have received so many answers to prayers as I have watched with an open hearts. Once in my youth, my Sunday school teacher made me a promise, They told me that ANY question I had, no matter WHAT it was about, would be answered if I prayed about it and watched conference. That promise has stood true! Every time, without FAIL I have received answers to the questions of my heart. One question in particular was in regards to the last 2 transfers (3 months) of my mission. As I watched conference I really wanted my answer. I was answered within the first 3 minutes!

As I pondered over what was said, I came to an epiphany of satan's plan in regards to our agency. I learned a lot as I pondered the doctrine of agency and even satan's role.

I realized that satan, the father of all lies hates agency SO much, because he has none. Satan does not have agency. Yes, he's allowed to tempt and try us, but he's only authorized to do what our Father in Heaven allows and permits. satan has to work within the bounds that God sets. The scripture states "God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able to bear, but will with the temptation provide a way to escape it" I butchered that but you know what I mean. So yes satan's allowed to tempt us, but he HAS to obey God's commandments STILL.

 Therefore, satan has no agency. He has no choice but to obey what God says. For example, imagine God with a clipboard and satan in the room as well. God is reviewing the many gifts of a child. "My son _____ has so many wondrous talents and abilities! I blessed him with many powerful strengths, but His strengths will not be strong without opposition. A body builder won't get strong without the opposition of heavy weights. So, satan, you are permitted to tempt my son ______ but ONLY to the level that I permit. You can only have claim, if he gives up. If he stops trying. Yes he may falter, that is expected. A body builder does not achieve strength in a day, or all at once. I know he will falter, but The Grace of Christ is sufficient for all men. It is sufficient to help all who are willing to keep trying. My strength, is made perfect in weakness. My son _______ will only lose, when he stops trying." 

My friends! The difference between God and us is GRACE. The DISTANCE of God and us is shortened by how many times we TRY, not fail. We are not defined by our weaknesses and ESPECIALLY our sins. We are not our sins. Our sins do not define who we are. Sins that are repented of REFINE who we are! satan wins, when we stop trying, he only has the power we give him. We can NEVER have our agency taken away. We will NEVER have choices made for us. But if we choose satan's way, our ability to use that agency diminishes. satan can't make us do anything. But we can be deceived by him, and choose his way if we do not hold on to the IRON ROD. THE WORD OF GOD!! 

So, USE your agency. Use it well. Choose God. Choose Light, Choose to never give up, and in the end you are choosing eternal life. Choose faith above doubt. Hold on to what you KNOW. What we KNOW will ALWAYS trump what we do not know! Like any person stranded at sea, one would hold tightly to the life preserver of FAITH, than cling to the evasive and escaping waters of doubt! Hold tight to that truth and faith, and help will come. The Savior Himself will catch you.  I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 
 Elder Johnson :)