Monday, December 29, 2014

a mite could....

So our big joke here that we've been doing is we are going to write a book called A Mite Could. 
"Could a mite walk a mile? Maybe he could. Possibly two! Could a southern mite walk that mile? He just might could." It continues to get us every time that we hear someone say it!

I had a blast talking to all y'all on Christmas!!!! Thank you Kevin for all of your help and for working with a missionary that has noooo idea what he's doing with technology! I love you! And I love everyone else too. :)

This week has been much much better than last week. We haven't been sick! :D We have been setting up a lot of great lessons and we've had a few as well. We were actually able to get back in touch with Felicia this week! She brought us inside and immediately started preparing us some plates of Christmas dinner leftovers to take home with us. I love that lady! We are in contact with her on Facebook now as well and are really hoping to help her to progress towards an understanding of the Restoration.

Yuni and Elvis came to church this Sunday! They have been coming pretty consistently, except for the last few weeks. So that was really good. We also feel like we are making headway with her to prepare herself for after her baptism to really progress towards the temple and to make that a solid goal of hers.

Other than them we have been working hard to try to find new investigators! We really loved the He is the Gift initiative and we're really trying to reap the rewards from it!

I know that the Gospel is true. Which that means that I know that believing in Christ and having faith in him is the only true source of power and strength that we have in this life. It means that I know that if we let that belief guide what we do and who we are, then we will change; we will want to change; we will want to repent. It means that if we will submit ourselves to the Lord and do his will, then we will be blessed with security and hope; we will have hope eternal life.

Follow the counsel of Elder Andre Johnson! Do the small and simple things and let the Atonement change you! 

I love yall so much! I pray my accent stays! (Pray for me too Caleb!)

Élder Johnson

Monday, December 22, 2014


Well well well. This seems to have been the week that everyone in the United States decided to get sick! We have an average of about 75 lessons as a district a week, and this week we hit 41. Of those 41, we had two! WHAT?? On Monday we had no luck with the plans we had, and Tuesday we had a special Christmas Zone Conference with three zones combined. That was really fun! We had our normal conference that morning and then after lunch we had musical performances. Let's just say that I really really miss good music... But ours went really well! Elder Boekweg, Elder Swinney, Sister Sonksen, and I sang it came upon a midnight clear a capella. The arrangement we put together sounded really good! (Who sang what and when, not actual arranging of the music itself)

But...after the conference we all got sick. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to get three zones all together in close proximity...
We have an elder and a sister with Strep, a sister who's under the weather, Elder Swinney may have the flu, and I am working hard to avoid it all but it doesn't seem to be working all the way. Still no sore throat though. That's the good thing.

Other than that there was only two other things that happened this week since we haven't done anything with investigators this week. A funeral and a Christmas party!

First the Funeral. 
On Saturday we went to the funeral of a family member of a recent convert. It was a black southern baptist congregation. This is the second time that I have gone to a funeral in a church like that. Boy is it different! It's preaching mingled with song. The songs though were amazing!!! We can all learn from the passion and glory that they give through song. I'll tell you what. We need that culture in the church more.

Second the Party. 
We had a very successful Christmas party! We had a great turnout! There were several non-members there and some great potential for teaching them! But the greatest part of it all is one came to church. Everyone was sick!!! The church was practically empty! We got to the church late and were told before even going through the door to go back home and sleep haha. So we have been doing so. 

What to take away from the week? We are the Lord's servants. And through the ups and downs we must serve him. Nothing else will bring us greater pleasure. Taking a rest from work, and taking a rest from your commitment are two different things. Stay committed to the Lord!

I love y'all!

Élder Johnson

Monday, December 15, 2014


If you haven't noticed yet, God is a god of miracles! Thank you so much for sharing with me the miracles yall have seen in your own lives and that you have seen in the lives of others. 

This week we have seen miracles! Elder Swinney and I have been blessed with such an elect investigator. We have been working hard each and every day to find new investigators and to help those who we are already teaching to progress. And the Lord saw fit to trust us with someone who is ready to hear the Gospel and overcome the trials before him. Brandon is amazing! 

We got a hold of Brandon from a media referral asking for a Book of Mormon. We NEVER get media referrals out here in the country. Pig farmers don't tend to go searching things out on the internet haha. But Brandon has been searching and studying things out ever since he found out his girlfriend is a member. We were able to teach him in the home of one of the members and we had an excellent lesson. He accepted baptism! He is going on vacation so we will be teaching him through facebook this week, but when he gets back we will be able to continue forward to help him overcome different trials he will face. 

Another miracle that we saw this week was that we were able to get up with more of the people that we have been teaching and that we have not been able to teach so much. Such as the Hedgepeth family, Stevie, and Bill Buckley! Stevie seems to not be interested anymore. We're super bummed about it. But we'll keep in touch. Bill and the Hedgepeths however seem to be increasing their interest and their faith! Bill last night specifically asked us to go over the plan of salvation with him again! We have faith that as we show him our love and as we teach him according to his needs, he will continue to change! And in this life or the next, he will accept the message. :)

On Saturday we had the amazing privilege of meeting as Spanish Missionaries in the whole mission! Elder Zwick from the 1st quorum of the seventy came and taught us in Spanish! :D That was a super awesome experience. We're not exactly sure why only the Spanish missionaries came, since we didn't address any specific Spanish proselyting or anything. But what a privilege to be taught so close and personally. And in Spanish!
The other great part about it all was that we got to see all of our former companions! It was a huge group of friends! There is definitely a different bond between the Spanish missionaries and the English... 
The main thing that we took away from it though was our personal responsibility to learn by faith and to have the power of virtue as missionaries. It was sooo powerful. What a blessing!

To be a missionary is one of the greatest gifts and privileges I have ever had. It lies just behind the gift of Christ. I am so grateful to be here and I am so grateful that the Lord is with us each day.

I love yall a ton! I wish you a very merry Christmas! And don't forget your liver pudding this year! :D

Elder Brian Johnson

p.s. yes there are many a people out here who love their liver pudding :) 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Otra vez!!! :D

Elder Swinney is my new/old companion!!!!!! Wahoo!! We are both super excited to be companions again! We both admit that it is kind of crazy, and that it was a little bit of mixed feelings, but we're over that and are doing awesome work here in Wallace!

As far as the events of this week there weren't too many. We are teaching someone named Lonnie who is great! He is the boyfriend of one of the returning less actives. We haven't gotten too far into teaching him yet, but we've been starting on the basic principles of prayer and developing a relationship with God. He has some great questions and some great potential. When we taught him this week I found that Elder Swinney has changed a ton and that he is a super solid missionary! We have had some really powerful lessons already. I still am amazed we're actually companions, but super excited!

The highlight of this week besides transfers happened while I was waiting for Elder Swinney after transfer meeting. I stayed in Wallace with the Mount Zion elders and went proselyting with them. At one point Brother Taylor came and picked me up to go meet up with Elder Swinney and his ride. They were late, so we ended up going and doing other things in the meantime. Well while I was with the Brother Taylor I realized that I had lost our key. Our brand new car key! I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but we have a brand new 2015 Toyota Corolla. I love it! :D But it doesn't do you any good parked in a random parking lot without a key! So we went on a goose chase for my key. We didn't ever find it. Still haven't. So until our fleet manager could get down to Wallace, we were on bikes! :D That kept us pretty close haha. Couldn't really go all that far. 
But we have a key now, and are continuing to look for the old one so we don't have to replace it...($$) It was one of the funniest/horrendous things that has happened on my mission! And all while Elder Swinney was on his way for me to go pick him up in OUR car! :D 

We finally were able to talk to Felisha this week! She has been in the hospital and recovering from not being able to breath. She invited us over for dinner this week and as well for Christmas! We hope that we can coordinate everything to be able to go!

Yuni is doing really well. We had a great lesson with her and her mother in law. When we asked her what the most important part in the plan that Heavenly Father has for us, she said "The law of Chastity!" Well, maybe, but it was awesome to hear that it's the first thing on her  mind! :D Hopefully this week Elvis will be able to get his passport. Please pray for him to be able to do so!!

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the true way to have happiness in this life and in the life to come!
Have a very merry Christmas and don't forget to share the gift!! :D

Élder Brian Johnson

Monday, December 1, 2014


Transfer time is here! They always go by so fast! Sometimes I feel like Elder Foote is still teaching me the area, but I am going to be doing just that in about 24 hours! I heard rumor on Friday at our leadership meeting that Elder Swinney will be coming down to Wallace as my companion again! Who really knows haha. But that would be pretty awesome!

This week has been a fantastic week. As a zone we have had a goal to have no zeros in our key indicators. We ALMOST did it! We don't have anyone with a baptismal date right now, but we have a few who are close to it. Really Yuni is the closest one, and it's simply a matter of time to be able to get married.

Speaking of which, she is doing really well. Her countenance has changed since she has decided to get baptized. It is amazing!

So yesterday going along with our goal for no zeros, we had a goal to have a lesson in a member's home. But we didn't have anything set up! Saturday night though we set the goal to do it, and prayed specifically that we would be able to teach someone in the home of one of the three members that we were going to visit on Sunday. The first home we had a miracle. We were able to visit with the Jeffers family. Sister Jeffers is really sick and can't come to church much. And her daughter is not a member. She's been taught before, and we have been sharing messages with the family for a time. We had an awesome lesson about the He is the Gift Initiative! I love that thing! 

Second miracle that happened is that a member invited us to eat at their house for his birthday! He had cousins over and being hispanic, about 75% of their conversation had to do with religion. In the end we had the privilege to share the same thing and set up a return appointment to eat deer with them! Woot! Miracles happen!!

So I have been trying to think about what happened this week. And I spaced the fact that it was THANKSGIVING!!! What a day!! It was great!

For thanksgiving we went over to President Adkins house with the family. They were talking about how they had the whole gang there save a few. They had a table that fit about eight people.... As far as I understand we had our big dining table and two other tables that fit eight each... It was a quiet thanksgiving haha. It was super fun and super good though! Good old southern food! And boy do they love their macaroni! I was put on the spot to sing/play for them, so I figured I'd sing Lullaby for them. They don't know why, but it was really awesome for me to play it and sing it for them. 

We also ate at the Jeffers home! I ATE CHITLINS!!!!! WOOOOT!!!! If yall don't know what that is, then simply imagine eating the tripe. Intestines! But boy was I not expecting the flavor. Some day yall need to try the Carolina BBQ, because it had some of the richest vinegar based bbq ever. 
We also had home made fried chicken which was super good! The people out here in the south make it right!

I am so grateful to be serving a mission! I am so grateful for all y'all! I am so grateful for life!
I love y'all so much!

Élder Johnson 

We love to cook Hispanic food! This was all us!

So one of the best parts about my district is that Hampstead is on the coast! 
And I get to go on exchanges there! This was on Topsail island and it was soooo cold that night!

This is my district!! Love 'em all!