May 25, 2015

Cliche 2 Timothy 4:6-9- everyone uses this one, right? :P

Its honestly a good scripture though, i'll look for a non cliche one this week :) Romans 1:16 is also a good one... I truly AM NOT and will NEVER be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I get it now. I truly understand what President Hansen meant when he spoke to us once about Diligence- he said that until he was done, he was going to work hard, be diligent, rely on the Lord. And when his call was finished, he would drive home, collapse in the driveway and crawl into bed and sleep. Pure exhaustion, and that's what I've felt a lot of this last week. 
Enduring to the end is a hard principle of the gospel, it means doing hard things for a long time, and you can't give up or give in, especially as the finish line is in sight. 
But at the same time, there really is never a finish line. There is no end until Eternal Life with our Father in Heaven. and that's why i do what i do. That's why I endure to the end. It's why I've waken up at or before 6:30 every day for the last 18 months. Its why i pray and seek guidance and inspiration from the Lord. Its why i sacrifice, even though it really doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all. Its why we let people feed us till we're sick hahaha
its why we knock on doors even when we know they will get slammed in our faces
I love my Savior Jesus Christ and i know He lives. without a shadow of a doubt, because i wouldn't have gotten through these last 18 months without him and my Heavenly Father supporting me the entire time. In the moment you cant feel the help, but i know I'm not strong enough to do this on my own- and by this, it includes my entire life. 

Recap of this week, in short :)
Monday was super fun, we had a sisters pday and hung out and watched "Meet the Mormons"- such a good movie, will always remind me of my mission :) the same night we had an AWESOME FHE with the Joneses- we played Pictophone (remind me to explain when i get home!) and showed a mormon message called "Moments that Matter Most"- the spirit was so strong and its amazing how much change we've seen in the last few months we've been teaching them. 
Also, this week was gone so fast, i hardly had time to blink. its SCARY...

Tuesday we went on exchanges. It was SO weird to be in the Rose Park apartment- the sketchy one on Redwood Road, and be with Sister Pearson again. But i will always have a special place in my heart for EVERY area i've served in, loved in, grown in, stretched in, cried it, worked in, hurt in, and joyed in. Centerville, Stansbury Park, Lakepoint, Rose Park, Bountiful and North Salt Lake. i've made my way around the mission and seen a lot this past year and a half. But anyways, exchanges- super good! taught lots of lessons, and we still had good unity, even after 4 and 1/2 months of being away :) funny thing- as we were walking down the street in salt lake (closer to the capitol) we found a rose on the ground and it smelt like someone had sprayed the most delicious perfume ever on it. so we carried it around with us all day and it was a good reminder for both of us to LITERALLY stop and smell the roses- which is easy here because they're blooming everywhere :) still got lots of rain this week which has been absolutely WONDERFUL, especially because it reminds me of home AND helps out with the major drought that we've been in. Glad i wont be here for the summer... :)

Wed was s super busy day with visiting Relief Society Presidents, getting and contacting referrals, and we had like 3 lessons, which is great for this area! 
Thursday we had a super good district meeting and more lessons, stayed busy and did part of weekly planning. more rain and thunder and lightning!! :)
Friday was more planning and visiting, we also got to practice a song that we sang in the Bridlewood ward this week, we both sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"- tender!! 
Saturday was also full of visits and updating, especially with all the info that is in my brain that has to get transferred over to Sister Hano's brain- but she's got this and is rockin the area, i have full confidence in her :) 

Sunday was great! we spoke in a ward where we have a few investigators- but none of them were there- super sad :( then we sang our musical number, met with a few bishops, had a stake meeting, made more visits, and got in. When we were driving up the hill to our house, sister Hano looked behind her and out west over the Salt Lake/Antelope Island there were sinister dark clouds and lightning flashing about every 5-10 seconds- and this went on for probably over an hour. When we got home we just sat outside for like 10 minutes watching it. I'm so ga rateful for a Heavenly Father who gives us beauty in nature and is so awe inspiring. It was MAGICAL to say the least :P haha

I honestly don't know what to say in this last email- i'll write next week about my last week as a missionary. its weird i haven't freaked out or anything yet, i think its because I'm still partially in denial, and will probably hit hard when i finish packing and everything on saturday and at church on sunday. But talk to you next week- i'll probably still be a missionary when i email out, i'll just be at home. and depressed. and crying. a lot. 
Fight a Good Fight. Keep the Faith. Keep on Keepin on, and Go out and be the answer to someones prayers :)

♥ Sister Johnson
i still will claim the title of sister until the second i'm released, loudly and proudly. its my first name :)

WEEK of all Weeks.

Letter dated May 18, 2015

Well, lots happened this week but i'm sure i wont remember half of it, so here goes nothing!
first off, we had a super busy pday and i got THE cutest skirt ever. i had been eyeballing it every time we passed by and im going to wear it forever. I know, im such a girl. But, alas. I was happy :) haha 
tuesday we continued to get rain and we had a really good lesson with the Jones about the Sabbath day and why its so important. I love their family so much!! i just can't say it enough. 
wed we got to do more service, we got to shovel, rake, and move dirt. #sisterlifesavers :) haha
...and had a meeting where we got out IPADS!!! so exciting, they are amazing tools to use in sharing the gospel and i love the gospel library and access to resources during studies. Its amazing!! :) We had a great district meeting and it was really good... except for the fact that i got my... DEATH SENTENCE. as in the travel information. It hasn't fully hit but in small bits and pieces i realize that life is ending- thats really what it is. This life at least. When you're finishing your mission you're closing a chapter on your life and opening a new one, but it doesn't mean the mission will end, it continues throughout your whole life. and man, its a long life (hopefully :P haha)
anyways, we also had a lesson with Tim and Natalie, Gavin, the Lyons, everything is going ok.
1) i learned the coolest trick EVER this week at lunch.Take a small potato and cut it in really thin slices. take the glass tray out of the microwave and clean it. spray with cooking spray and lay the potato's down and salt. microwave for 5 MINUTES--- ta da! you have delicious crispy potato chips that have 0 grams of fat! super legit, i just changed your life :) hahaha

2) we had a miracle this week!! some other sisters contacted someone on the street and passed him on as a referral. He's had a super rough past and hard life, but he wants to turn it around and change his life for the better. He wants to get rid of all the hatred and anger bottled up and we're so excited to start teaching him and his family! 

3)we spoke in one of the wards this last week and it was awesome, because sister Uchtdorf showed up and she is just sooo sweet! :) man its just so cool, how many people get to say that they were the missionaries in apostles wards!! amazing.

well, thats all for now folks. Next week will be my last letter as a missionary, so i will prepare accordingly. Love you all and have a fabulous week! :)

Proof that Sis. Johnson has teeth and a beautiful smile!

Her reaction when she found out here sister is getting married. 

When It Rains, It Pours (LITERALLY...)

Letter dated May 11, 2015

Some weeks are definitely better than others, this was one of those weeks that was just a bit rough. It had its ups and downs, but i think all in all it ended off on a good note :) 
Monday was a pretty good pday, we went bowling with the zone, which was awesome! it it just so happened that Farmington Zone was having a sisters pday, and so all the farmington sisters showed up to the same place and i got to see sister hamblin again and all the sisters i was STL for last transfer! so fun :) i'm proud to say that i got a strike. Singular. Hey, its a big deal. AND I PLAYED WITH NO BUMPERS. you would be soooo proud ;P hahaha also, sisters hano and i both enjoy playing the piano and singing, so we did that for a bit, which was fun. 
Tuesday was an AWESOMELY exciting day, we had the mission-wide meeting where we received training and instruction on the use of Media and Technology. SO EXCITING! we didn't get ipads there, we will in fact be receiving them at another special meeting this wednesday- but we're so psyched!!
also, there were huge rainstorms/thunderstorms/HAILSTORMS this week, which just made me crave the rain and moisture even more. On tuesday it was raining so much that when we got home we spent a good almost 10 minutes dancing and running around in the rain, enjoying just having fun and letting loose. Needless to say, we were soaked and loved every second of it. ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!! :D then, the zone leaders texted us and said we were going to go sing to one of the sisters and so we headed over there after already getting in, but found out that she was going home, which was really sad for all of us- her and her companion were both having a rough time so we just decided to stay with them- and of course i ended up sleeping on the floor which i was fine with, but that ment i got no sleep and the next morning we were DEAD with a capital D. 
We were pretty pooped so we took it easy, but during lunch there started to be rain and lightning and then it was literally coming down in buckets. and i don't mean the rain, i mean the PEA SIZED FREAKING HAIL. there was basically a flash flood, and even on the top of the hill many people's basements were flooded and there was debris and piles of hail everywhere. hey, at least everything was is green! :D this rain and thunderstorming continued throughout the week and made me just as happy as could be. 
we had some really good meetings and did service, deep cleaning the church building- which included scraping nasty gum off the bottoms of all the chairs, which isn't the most enjoyable but bearable :P hahaha
and of course, it was mothers day this week! it was so good to skype with my family and talk to them, although it was strange to realize i've done it 4 times now and i won't be able to do it again. 
we've had some really good lessons this week, and thought a lot about how we can help people progress and of course our district meeting was on dropping people. but all's well and i'm still working hard of course, can't wait to tell you next week how everything is going with ipads- probably email from home! :) have a great week, keep the faith, and go out and be the answer to someone's prayers! :) 
fun in the rain, freaking at the hail! bowling, and messin with my hair ;P haha

Missionary- When its OK to Feel Good About Making Someone Cry ;P

Letter dated May 4, 2015

we were super crazy busy this week, which was awesome- except for the fact that it makes time fly waaaaaay too fast. But super excited to skype home this mothers day and see my wonderful family!! But let me tell you about our wonderful week!
Sister Hano is as awesome as ever, we have so much fun (maybe too much sometimes ;P) Pday we decided to take a bunch of clothes that had been left in the apt to Plato's closet, a place where they give you money for your clothes- long story short, we got some money and got new dresses (super cute ones!) to wear to Zone Conference the next day- we were SUPER excited!! after that we played on the piano and sang and just hung out at the pday activity. Had a good lesson with the Pontious's about reading the Book of Mormon and with Rozanne and Delroy about tithing and fasting. 
Zone Conference was AWESOME, as usual! it was President and Sister Spendlove's first one, but they both did amazing! it was kind of strange to not be involved on an STL level, but a nice break- i got to focus on learning and improving myself instead of constantly seeking revelation for other missionaries- how i could help them- although, i couldn't help but let my thoughts go in that direction anyways... :) we did a musical number which actually turned out really good and i was glad, because they made us sing after lunch- no bueno. But, i'll post it on Facebook one day :P haha
Awesome lesson with the Jones and the spirit was so strong, and yes-  Brother Jones cried just a little bit, but its not actually uncommon- he cries when he feels the spirit and he's been feeling it a lot lately :) We decided to come over the next day and help them in the backyard, they were working on a rock wall but Sister Jones can't heavy lift right now- so they called in the reinforcements- us! :D so much fun, we were probably rolling rocks that were 100-300 ibs- i thought my heart/lungs were going to give out! and it was the middle of the hottest day of the week, so extra miserable! but of course, loads of fun :) -p.s dad, you would especially love this family, they're awesome.
we were able to teach a lot this week and people are starting to progress more, but we also had a normal amount of cancellations of course. 
So we visited a sister in the Orchard 11th ward because she broke her back, and who do i run into? Zander Millard! such a small world, we pull up and i see an Anacortes license plate and think, oh, maybe her family is here because she's hurt! I honestly realized how awkward of a return missionary i'm going to be though... we were laughing at me for the rest of the night. #nevergonnabeanRM.
We did more service on Saturday, some sisters called in for help from the zone so we helped pull weeds and yardwork for much of the morning. then we had an awesome Temple Square lesson with R and D- they're slowly getting there, but it was awesome because they saw the temple model and asked lots of really good questions. they definitely felt the spirit, the question is if they REALLY recognized it though. 
We got to teach a RS lesson on how sharing the gospel brings us peace, and it was pretty good- love making people cry as a missionary/teacher- because its actually acceptable and OK :P hahahahaha
Sister Hano hit her 9 months this week, so of course we had to celebrate a bit- So we just went to a super yummy place for lunch and then got FroYo which is so delicious- its like Toppins (in Anacortes) but called sip n' swirl. 
Also, at church, i realized it was my last fast and testimony meeting as a missionary and it was kind of a sad realization. it happens on random occasions, i have a small realization that i'm going home soon but it really hasn't HIT yet- i'll let you know if/when it does :) 
Things here are good, i'll keep working hard of course, and home that everything is going well on your end! Have a great week!
p.s. happy mothers day mom! ♥
Love, Sister Johnson 

Buckle Down and Get Crackin'

Letter dated April 27, 2015

This is basically what we did this week. We grabbed our bootstraps (kind of literally...) and hit the ground running. Sister Hano has 6 weeks to learn the area so we spent a lot of time trying to set up appointments and organizing the area, referrals, etc. 

Monday was spent packing (just sister hamblin mostly) and getting everything ready. We had an awesome lesson with the Jones- they made us virgin Pina Coladas, delicious!! and we had a lesson with Austin, the first NML- yay!!

Ok, ever since Sister Hano got here we've gotten a lot of sandwiches- and not just normal ones, SALAD sandwiches... egg, turkey, chicken, tuna- none of which i'm a huge fan of... but, tis the life of a sister missionary! #utah. 

I was supposed to go to the Butters sealing this last saturday (from Rose Park) but her baby came really early and is still in the hospital, so they're pushing back the sealing till June. Sad, but Heavenly Fathers plan is still perfect!

Avoiding the "how long have you been out/when do you go home" question fairly well :P haha we get asked probably 3-5 times a day. 

Sister Hano calls this the Land of Milk and Money- AKA, the place where people are DEFINITELY well off- therefore, so are our stomachs... hahahahahahaha!! :P

So, huge miracle/ stressful moment this week! Went to write down a return appointment with Gavin (we had a good lesson!) and my planner was completely and utterly GONE. and anyone who serves a mission (or has a planner) knows that its basically the end of the world. and i'd moved all the names and referrals from the past two transfers into that planner, so it literally had everything. We looked and looked, prayed and prayed. and nothing, couldn't find it anywhere. We thought maybe it had fallen out of my lap onto the ground somewhere, but looked to no avail- and it was rainy and windy, i thought for sure it was gone forever- and this was literally the third day of the transfer. it stunk. But we kept praying and as i was writing in my journal i FINALLY received the revelation that it had been left in Gavin's house, because i'd taken it out to look at a scripture. I felt so much peace and even though i didn't have the confirmation from his mom yet that she'd found it, i knew that Heavenly Father was aware of me and my needs and the needs of the area. And we both realized that we'd had the same small prompting to talk to Gavin when we were looking in that area, he was playing outside. But we didn't and it was kind of a spiritual slap in the face (in a good way) and a confirmation that my personal goal to work on recognizing and acting on promptings from the spirit is definitely an acceptable and needed goal to work on. 

Sister Pearson and Schafer came to Zone Meeting and sis Pearson chopped ALL of her hair off, it was shocking! but looks good! :P haha 

We got to do service twice this week: yardwork at the Marquette's and we got to help rip apart the Jones's house, its a work in progress but we're having plenty of fun!! :) hahaha 

We're really excited, there is a lot of good happening in this area and lots of good on its way. Sister Hano (from Anchorage) and i have a lot in common- piano, singing, etc- therefore, we get to do the musical number in Zone conference tomorrow, which i'm excited for! 

In church we taught the 14-16 year olds about us and what we liked and then talked about missions, how to prepare, what was helpful, etc. then we went to another ward and i was randomly asked to bear my testimony. any other point in my life i would have been shocked and probably freak out. But not anymore, welcome to being a missionary :D haha

love you all, Keep on keepin on, and Go out and be the answer to someone's prayer! :) LOVE YA!

Sister Johnson

peace out girl scout.

More April Snow :)

Letter Dated April 20th, 2015

Um, yeah... this week we got like 6inches of snow up in NSL it was crazy- started snowing in the evening, snowed ALL the next day, NONSTOP. then the next day it started melting, gone that evening and then beautiful spring weather! its just like they say- if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes ;P haha
also, today will be crazy because we have a lot to do- so a quick email will be necessary :) 

Ok, so pday was pretty normal, super crazy and busy- but we went to Farmingtons activity and i got a yummy sonic drink- and i made french toast for breakfast- super yum!! :) Went to dinner with the jones (mexican food)- btw mom, no mexican food or chinese takeout when i come home, OK? :P and when we got back to their house their puppy ran out and was so excited and jumping all over the place and then... peed on my shoe on accident... lovely. it wasn't too big of a deal, just hosed it off :P hahaha 

Tuesday was a super windy day, it was ridiculous! and it was like 65-70 outside, so windy and HOT. and then it switched super suddenly and it was freezing and started to snow in the evening... you know the story :) We had a lesson with R and D and it was pretty good. Lesson with J as well and she's really starting to progress, as well as with J and G, recent converts and with A- which we'll tell you more about in just a minute :) 

We had an awesome District Meeting this week and it was sad because 4 MISSIONARIES just in our district were going home- so we heard some words of wisdom... some awkward disobedience confessions... but all in all awesome :) 

Slightly less sister drama this week. my companion and i were talking and before our missions we didn't realize that missionaries were disobedient- i guess we thought they were perfect- don't ever make that mistake, because no missionary is perfect and some just aren't out for the right reasons, which is sad. but true. 

We played Bingo with the old people at our assisted living house in the area and man are they sassy! when it comes to Bingo, they'll step all over you :P haha its kind of hilarious. but we love them! 

Sunday we got to give talks in the morning, we both spoke on the Law of the Fast- i focused on how we can be blessed for fasting. after that we went to our ward and Elder Hales was there- he was looking much better than he was a while ago apparantely. How weird is that though, that its a normal thing to have an apostle in your sacrament meeting?! #utah #NSL
after that we went to another ward and we got a call from President Spendlove- i was released from being an STL and i get to stay in my area here in NSL and my new companion is Sister Hano, from Anchorage AK! i'm excited, its my last transfer and i'm going to make the 100% BEST out of it. there are some really amazing missionaries in our zone and guess who MY new STL's are? YUP! Sister Pearson and Sister Shafer! semi ironic actually :) 

OK, one more miraculous story! we had a lesson Sunday evening with a bishop and investigator who last time we met with him wasn't progressing at all and it was 2-3 weeks since we've had a lesson. But the lesson yesterday was AMAZING! he talked about how he's been getting amazing answers to prayers and he started the Book of Mormon over so he could understand it better. The spirit was so strong! AND, he came to church all on his own- HUGE MIRACLE, never happens.
People in our area are starting to progress, which is a miracle in and of itself, its been a struggle but hard work is paying off and now i can dedicate 100% effort to this area and investigators. Its what it needs, and i'm so excited for the things that will be coming up this transfer... "indoor plumbing, its gonna be big!"- Hercules :)

Have a great week, love you lots- go out and be the answer to somebody's prayers :) 


If April Showers Bring May Flowers, What Does April Snow Bring?

(Letter dated April 13, 2015)

yup. we got snow this week (more in NSL, not as much lower in Bountiful and Farmington). This week has been really good, it feels like its going WAAAAAAY fast, but tis the life of a missionary. BOO. Monday we were going on a hike, but i ended up staying with sister Holbrook because of her medical stuff. so after hiking for awhile, we decided to be done and go get frozen custard... happy days, all is well. it was tons of fun! 
We also had MLC this week and i just love President and Sister Spendlove, they're just amazing :) our mission is goint to continue to improve and rise higher and head towards super legitness- even more than it is now :) haha
We had a miserable meltdown this week. on our way to another meeting with president we had to grab lunch and went to arby's drive through. sis hamblin got a french dip and the sauce spilled ALL OVER THE PLACE!! it got all over her, then on the floor, then her bag got put in my lap, and it got all over my white skirt, it was a wreck. we were just screaming and laughing and giving up on life all at the same time. then, we had the meeting with president... embarassing...
We did lots with sisters this week- we did some power hours and an exchange, had Zone Meeting, planning sessions with sisters, crazy busy!! Zone meeting was really good (except that i was feeling super sick) and one of the Zone Leaders asked if i would participate in a musical number... and when it got to the part of me and another sister singing, she stopped singing, and it turned into a Solo... greeeaatt... haha it was funny though, people could tell that it wasn't supposed to be a solo :P haha
Miracles on exchange!! I went on exchanges with sister Armstrong, who is a super great missionary! But it was amazing, we went to a lesson and who is it? Trichelle! she's someone we found and taught in my first area (Centerville) and she's doing really well! hasn't gotten to the temple yet, but will definitely be getting there. She talked about a change she had because of something we'd helped with and it was amazing to see that i really did make a difference in someones life. It feels amazing :) 

Also, the past few weeks we've been getting fed a lot of mexican food... but they were fed salmon while i was gone on exchanges... lets just say i expressed a lot of gratitude to heavenly father that night ;P but i''ve labeled this area "Chinese take-out and American Mexican"

I lost my scriptures this week, and i was stressing so bad. but we prayed, and then found them. the end. so many wonderful miracles :) also, the new primary song "Gethsemane" is super pretty, i loved it! we got to teach primary and YW this week and a few wards and it was on the restoration. 
I guess all in all not much happened this week, it was kinda slower, not too exciting. But i love being a missionary, next time i email you'll find out about transfers- last one! Get out there and be the answer to someone's prayers! :)

Peace out- SISTER JOHNSON :)

love ya!!