December 30, 2013

Christmas in the Field!

This week has been fabulous so far! :) Monday we went Christmas shopping for our companions (we did temporary exchanges with some sisters in Farmington) and I got Sister Taylor a dino pillow pet and avengers tape to decorate with :) we also bought martinellis which we will be drinking on new years eve! On Christmas eve we had one lesson...and they cancelled. but it was good anyways! we made brownies to deliver to people but sister taylor wasn't feeling well so we went home and colored the nativity set mom sent to me and had fun! funny story! we didn't have a dinner set up (which was a really nice miracle) so we went to papa murphys for one of Sister Taylors family traditions. we were gonna get a gourmet veggie pizza, but they were out of ALL toppings. literally, everything. so we were gonna get breadsticks and they said no charge, which was nice! then the owner runs to the back and brings out a giant family sized 5 meat stuffed pizza and says, "merry Christmas!". We were dying. we are already fed a ton and we didn't know what to do which a giant pizza! anyways, we cooked it at home while blasting handel's messiah and drinking shirley temples :0 so fun! Christmas morning we opened our presents! Sister Taylor had made me (with the help of Sister Light in Farmington) a disney princess blanket! its fantastic!!! haha and i got other cool stuff from my mom! because she is the best and looks out for me, she got me practical things...and this is why i love her! :) haha anyways, then we went over to a familys house for breakfast (the Morris's) and then skyped with the family! yay! it was so nice and i was surprised i wasn't homesick afterwards :) but it was really cool to be able to skype with the whole family...and Alex...and grandparents, etc! cool story to tell people! then we went to the Archibalds (brother archibald is the high councilman over missionary work) and ate lunch with them and then played Pit. Let me just tell you... I own at that game! a whole family and two missionaries were playing, and out of the ten games we played i won the first four and then another one in the middle. they were all getting really mad at me, but it was just a ton of fun! Sister Taylor may or may not have threatened my life...a few times... :P haha then we had dinner with a less active family and then a lesson with them. Thursday was a really good day though. We started it with a new missionary training follow up meeting which lasted till noon. then we studied a lot. After that, we had a lesson with Sister K which was incredible. We were talking about baptism because she is preparing to be baptized in a few weeks and out of the blue she asks if we wear jewelry. we said yes, and she asked if we would accept a gift... we didn't know what to say. But she has a lot of rings because for her they symbolize eternity and commitment. She gave both sister Taylor and i gold diamond rings that are beautiful and told us she was saving them to give to someone who was special and sacred and Godly to her, people she wants to be like someday. It was so sweet and special i teared up and had to hold back the tears, but now we have these beautiful mission rings that are so special and significant. :) anyways friday we had a district meeting and weekly planning and a new member lesson with S*, who was the little girl i got to see baptized my first week out. saturday was awesome too! we got to help a less active sister who is struggling with a few things clean her house and read the book of mormon with her. it was messy, but not as bad as she had made it out to be. we just had a lot of fun cleaning and vacuuming and washing dishes! :) its incredible to see the members and how much they want to help with the missionary work! we met with one of the bishops, and each one has a list of the nonmembers in their ward boundries. i think total number of nonmembers in the stake boundaries is something like 220? yeah, right!? its crazy! but its good, because we are all focused and President Hollingshead main focus is missionary work, which rocks! other missionaries are jealous of our president :) i've loved getting Christmas cards and keep the letters coming! i may not have time to write back, but they bring me soo much joy, its awesome!! :) and if you do sent a package... NO FOOD OR TREATS OR CHOCOLATE OR CANDY for awhile... haha its scary how people think missionaries must only live on sugar O.o but love all around and Keep the Faith! :)

A tree that someone gave to other sisters and the boxes were empty, from a ward christmas party. :P the tree we wish we had.... and it was real! :p

fun baking in the church kitchen

where on earth would one get a whisk this big?

beautiful centerville sunsets

The Pizza Christmas gift

A nativity set I sent and they colored. Such a great find online!

Christmas morning  with companion gifts...

Hannah in a princess blanket. Imagine that! LOL!


Her new ring

Best photo ever!

December 23, 2013

The First Crazy Week

So as much as the weeks so far...all three of them... have been NUTS, this one was exceptionally strange, in good and bad ways...Its still cold and snowy and icy. right when its about to melt, BOOM! more snow. but its in the high 20's and 30's now. Your snow looks SOO wimpy compared to ours :P  Monday night we had dinner with someone we are teaching named M* and her daughter B*. She is into crafty stuff (of course) and somehow it got to the point where she exclaimed, "YOUR MOM'S LISA JOHNSON!!!???" yes, i was rolling on the floor laughing and it was hilarious :) haha but she is awesome. Tuesday was an awesome day because ...drumroll please...WE MADE CHRISTMAS MICE!! YAY! it was so fun and Sister Taylor and I had a blast doing it and then delivering them was super fun too :) it was finally feeling like Christmas, which it still kinda doesn't...but mostly because everyday feels like Christmas when you are a missionary :) i also got my lost package with my eeyore pillowpet! YAY! we also visited an awesome LARC family (less active/recent convert) and talked about faith and tithing. AAAND B* dropped off the face of the earth. Here is what we know: she had another relapse and apparently moved out the saturday before last and the service missionaries (older couple) working with them failed to let us know what was going on, someone else is now living there. We still know nothing after a week and they haven't called us back despite our efforts to contact them and we were pretty miffed and upset the first few days, but there isn't really anything we can do about we kinda have dropped it. I'm still sad though. Anyways, Wednesday! We are working with an ex member named Sister K* who wants really badly to be baptized again, this had happened 10 years ago. She had met with the Bishop and he had originally told her she would have to wait a year, but she called us and let us know that when she talked to him again he said since its been 10 years she didn't have to wait another year! :) she has had a really tough life, but we pray for her and we are so excited for her :) On Thursday we had our first apartment check, and OF COURSE got excellent on everything (i was actually surprised cause I struggle with keeping my room clean, but Sister Taylor and i help each other). Sister Taylor is an STL, which kinda makes me one, just unofficially, so we went around to all the sisters she is over and snowflaked their doors/cars and threw in candycanes. IT WAS SO FUN! :D We went all the way up to North Salt Lake... sister taylor said "oh yeah, and just up that street is President Uchtdorfs house", etc. you know, usual Utah missionary day :P We also made more mice for grandma to deliver to her neighbors as our Christmas present to her. Thursday night i had a headache, so went to bed a bit early. IN THE MORNING... i was puking my guts out. And i hadn't eaten anything so there was nothing to be sick on either. Sister Taylor made me sleep and then when i got up to take a shower at 9am i puked before and after. SO NOT FUN. She texted the Zone Leaders and asked them to come and give me a blessing which they did. and right after, he said amen, i ran to the sink. and thew up yet again. in front of the ZL's. AWESOME. stories to tell my posterity.This continued, 6 times in one day i was sick and i was in bed all boring when you can't watch Disney movies :( there is a 48 hour stomach bug floating around and i happened to get it. But i felt worse for Sister Taylor because she was stuck in all day. Although she did get to go caroling with the district while i "slept" at home. The next day was pretty much the same except i didn't throw up at all, just stayed in bed most of the day. We felt the presents and knew what lots of them were... so i opened the thermometer. Im sorry, but there was a need :P haha it was 100.5. SO FUN! but we got sprite, gatorade and saltines at walmart and i was feeling mostly better that night. Sunday morning i was feeling better so we went to two ward councils, three sacrament meetings, dinner and two lessons. This is every sunday, except sometimes more. We had an awesome lesson with C* Sunday night too! He is another one of our investigators, but he can't get baptized until he marries his girlfriend (they live together). We're gonna bring in Elder Daley, he is a missionary specifically called to deal with situations like this and he always gets people hyped about marriage and specifically temple marriage. Anyways, He is always dedicated in reading the Book of Mormon and is super good and writing down questions and highlighting verses he likes. last week we had committed him to pray, which was something he has always struggled with along with faith. Yesterday we found out he had prayed for the first time in a long time right before he read in the Book of Mormon and found his answer right there! it was so great and we were jumping for joy when we got back to our car (which we love SO much and we named Nimrod... missionaries for the Win :D) Anyways, the spirit was super strong and we are just so excited for him! today i am feeling much better and i'll be able to relax a little... and do some Christmas shopping for my companion. She is just so wonderful! 
Christmas is just so wonderful because its a time when everyone can focus on Christ and what he did for us. My challenge to you: Share the gospel with someone. Christ was the first Christmas gift, and the best gift you can give is the gospel, and its really NOT THAT HARD! Everyone needs it and its a great gift to the person you share it with, yourself, and Heavenly Father :) Merry Christmas friends and family and i'm thinking of you! thanks for all the letters and love sent my way, they really lift my spirits... especially when i'm super sick :P LOTS OF LOVE!
Sister Johnson!

Their Christmas presents
Preparing items for making mice

Sis. Taylor melts the dipping chocolate

Finished mice... one of our family traditions!

Ready to deliver... such cute homemade tags!

Apparently proud of her perfect report! LOL!

Card made with paper I sent to her... she did great with so few things!

December 16, 2013


So. its week two and its been amazing...and cold. its always below freezing and we get excited if its above 25 degrees F. um, just NO. OH WOW DANGIT :P haha and everyone here are Utes fans. Go figure... but it really has been great. Wednesday we had our mission wide Christmas devotional. a member of the 70 spoke to us, Elder Summerhays and then we had a huge Christmas feast, and then a variety show (we are a talented group!) then we got our presents! :) I saw Elder Bickley! that was cool! basically it was just super fun and a really nice break! just like a big party basically, got to see the other Sisters from the MTC. OH, also: I met president Nash, yes related to the Nashes in our ward :) I have one package lost in the mail with my Eeyore pillowpet in it, so I pray multiple times per day that it will be found. I've had three talks so far: one at a baptism and two in sacrament meetings. its great though! we work with a LOT of kids here and a lot of reactivating. We had a Sisters referral from Bountiful (means elders are over the area but she wants to be taught by Sisters). she is great. She has had a hard life though. when she was in jail, she was given a Book of Mormon and read the whole thing and wants to change her life around, which is awesome! We had a temple square lesson with her my first thurs and we were going to read scriptures with her in the morning the next week, but she didn't answer the door. we checked again later that week and still nothing. we got ahold of service missionaries working with her and they said she had had another relapse and was out of town. still waiting to hear from her but I pray all the time for her, hoping that she's ok and knows that this gospel is what she needs in her life. I also got to go to the SLC temple today! it was great! (freezing...) And very beautiful. The spirit was so strong! And I can't wait for Christmas. OH! last monday we were doing our Pday activities. so we were walking around Walmart and someone hands us a 50$ bill. HOLY GOODNESS! we were mind blown! earlier that day someone had paid for our meals too. then we went to target and someone gave us a 20$! people are so nice here, seriously haha. but it hasn't happened again, so I don't have to feel too overwhelmed! :P we are fed SOOOO MUCH too! I try my best, but sometimes I can't control it!! last saturday we literally ate at three ward Christmas breakfasts and we are fed every night. the same day we had three breakfasts we had lunch with the stake president, President Hollingshead, then someone took us out to dinner at Chilis. I'm Dying! going into a FOOD COMA HERE! while other missionaries are starving in chile... ;) haha jk. but really, everyone is so nice and generous and friendly. our area is only a mile by a mile and probably 80% of the population is LDS. yup. everyone knows everyone in there ward cause they are all neighbors :) but I love it here and we are hastening the work! I love hand written letters, thanks to those who have sent me one, and pictures are always great! Christmas cards, family pic, or even goofy pics :D 
love you and talk to you next week! :)

Ps… Sister Taylor is great! we get along so well and have LOTS in common! we both love singing, dr. who, avengers, MINT CHOCOLATE!!!, and Disney movies. Plus we are both weird and ridiculous... :) the hardest thing really is the amount of food, the cold, and losing investigators to baptism :P we live such a HARD LIFE!! not...hahajk! also, we are going to make Christmas mice today!!! :D YESYESYESYESYES!!!
Sister Johnson at Temple Square
"Temple was so awesome, so BEAUTIFUL inside!"

A peek at Moroni on the top

"all the missionaries in our mission got a one of a kind journal from president and Sister Hansen :) its so pretty!"
Inside their living area.
Yep... UTAH is GOOD!

December 9, 2013

In the Field!!

SOOOO! its incredible here! I finished up the MTC and headed out into the field. First, Thanksgiving was hard because i got really homesick and the food was awful, but we heard from Elder and Sister Nelson which was awesome and something i got out of it was the incredible impact missionaries actually have, not only on the current and future generations but past generations through genealogy work. WOW! anyways,  morning we got on a bus to the train and got off in Murray, headed to the Mission Office and had the best food i'd had in two weeks! then we took a tour of temple square, came back and got area and comp assignments. I am in Centerville, UT with Sister Taylor (awesome trainer and companion!) We cover the Centerville South Stake, which is 11 wards. Before this transfer they were over 18 wards (2 stakes) but they split it because of everything going on. President and Sister Hanson are so nice. They are very spiritual and sometimes just funny too. But altogether hard working people who love what they do. Sister Taylor is awesome! She is from Edmonton, Oklahoma (although has moved around a lot and grew up in SLC), she has been out six months and i'm her second trainee. her first, Sister Blankenship is now Whitewash training (just finished her training), which means she is training a new comp in a whole new area! scary... hopefully i don't have to do that. O.o We had a baptism, a 9 year old girl who was baptized by her brother who had become activated and received the priesthood, and a family who was completely inactive is now completely active! I'm trying really hard not to get FAT. there was one day where we had three dinners the night before, three Christmas breakfasts and two huge lunches. and then a dinner. UG! but no seconds and i eat sparingly. we are fed WAY too well! So the day i left the MTC, it snowed. Sister Poutu had never seen snow and was slightly enthralled, but i was like, eh. its snow. but it was fun. and cold. over the last week it has slowly been getting colder and colder, lingering around 15-18 F all day, and today it was 7 degrees outside. FREEZING COLD!!! We have almost two feet of snow now and i have only worn my boots since leaving the MTC, but i am staying warm :) the only hard part is that i can't wear my wool socks with my boots because they are too thick, so i wear tights/leggings and socks. my toes get a little cold but we're not outside too much... because we have a CAR! We had the oldest car in the mission and it was over the mile limit, and the second day in the field we got a new one! we now drive a 2013 Subaru Legacy with AWD and its super nice! i'm just glad we don't have to walk or bike. We live with a member, we call her grandma, she is about 89 years old and the sweetest lady! so cute and funny. we only met her because she was gone visiting family but we live in her basement which is really warm. On Thursday we took one of our investigators to Temple Square, and it was awesome to see the lights and everything, but the lesson itself was awesome. She is an incredible woman who read the whole Book of Mormon while she was in jail and wants to turn her life around. She is on date for baptism and is just really awesome. Another sister we are teaching is trying to get re-baptized. she is amazing too! we went over to teach her a lesson and she had tried to light a fire to keep the house warm... but forgot to open the flue. so we spent the first 20 min trying to get all the smoke out :) she was embarrassed, but she is such a sweet lady and has such a good relationship with her heavenly father and Jesus christ. My first experience was interesting. (at the baptism) i talked on the holy ghost. i spoke in the centerville 3rd ward. my second "long talk" and i didn't write out the whole thing! haha i guess it worked out ok... But yes, we usually ward hop and try to get to as many as possible. our area we serve in is only about a mile wide. Sister taylor says the most she's ever been to in one day was 6. we went to two sacrament mtgs, one ward council, mtg with the stake presidency (President Hollingshead is AWESOME!) and then lessons etc. For missionary work, we don't proselyte. we rely a lot on members to give us referrals and set up dinner appts and following appts after dinner. MY first dinner i will ALWAYS remember. We went over and the family was so nice (everyone is super nice in Centerville :D) they had made us some delicious stew with a meat that tasted like beef (a little different) and made something like a buttery monkey bread. they sent us home with leftover stew, bread, and a jar of homemade strawberry jam (best i've ever had!) and on the way out, said "by the way, that was ELK stew!" well you know me. my eyes got wide and i was somewhat speechless, just thinking in my head, "i just ate elk. mom is going to be proud of me and dad is gonna go red in the face laughing." but i did like it. it made me realize that i have to try things and i'll probably like them if i do! :) I feel as though i've been here for weeks but its been less than a week. The people are amazing and everyone is so nice. Loren Bickley has served in this area before apparently and my comp knows him, i'll probably end up seeing him when we have our Christmas devotional up in keysville.  It should be fun to see him! Anyways, my new mailing address is 
310 S. Canyon Way Centerville, UT 84014, which is grandmas house. we have a cell phone (no iphones or ipads yet) but i'm working hard and staying busy! 
Love you all and can't wait for Christmas! :D

I think that this is the MTC

Hannah's companion and roommates

Hannah's MTC district

Hannah and Kaleena McKell... a friend that used to be in our ward in Bellingham. She's headed to Russia. 

Their visit to Temple Square!

Sister Taylor... at the Church Well

I have NO clue what the well is about... anyone know?

Their home.

Nice new car! Sweet!

So pretty!

What a cute companionship!