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 :)