Monday, January 26, 2015

Invitation Sunday

This was one of the most amazing weeks here in Wallace!!! This last week we had what we called Invitation Super Sunday. It was a mission-wide event where the meeting was geared towards inviting anyone to come see what our services are like, and what we're all about. The focus of everything was on Jesus Christ. The spirit was soooooo strong the whole time! And the feeling during Sacrament meeting was even more strong. So we normally use two trays of water for the sacrament, and we don't use it all. Well we used it all. And then we had to fill about 15 more cups after that! After the sacrament, what was supposed to be a trio ended up being a solo because Elder Swinney and Sister Sonksen were both sick. So I sang a solo. :) I sang Savior Redeemer of my Soul, by Rob Garner. I have never seen the song go before the talks, but it started out the meeting with such a stong spirit.

After church we had a linger longer! So all these people that came got to stay and visit as we ate tacos! I am so excited to keep going with this spirit of missionary work in the branch. Our numbers have been dropping slowly, and to go from about 30 people in attendance to about 70 was a huge difference!
Brandon needs your prayers! We have been doing our best to stay in contact and to send him supporting scriptures, but he has gotten really really busy recently. And he is still getting anti/conflicting material/scriptures from a family member.
He's busy because he is getting set up for a job that he doesn't have to work Sundays. So that is good. We are going to be meeting with him on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. before district meeting. We're going to be shooting to move his baptismal date for february 21st!
Yuni needs your prayers!! She has decided to be baptized on February 14th! I don't know if she realizes that that is Valentine's day... but what better day to have separated from your boyfriend to get baptized??..... Ouch. But, that is what Yuni has come to the realization of. She needs to separate from Elvis until they can get married, and be baptized without delay. We are so proud of her decision to do so. Elvis doesn't understand as well as she the need for it, but she needs to be out of the house by february 1st do make the 14th like she wants. So pray that she finds the way to live elsewhere. We had a great lesson with her where we reviewed D&C 20:37 and the baptismal interview. It finally sunk in that she needs to be worthy and ready to make it all happen. And it finally started to sink into Elvis that he isn't living the commandments either, and that he needs to change. Especially since he's already been baptized.
Felicia! Wow what a lesson this week! It was going sooo well, and finished off dry of the Spirit. We boldly testified of Jesus Christ and of the Restoration of the Priesthood and of the Church of Jesus Christ. We boldly testified of Joseph Smith as a prophet, and the need to know that for yourself. Sadly there were too many people in the room for the questions they were asking. Any question they would ask us, someone else would answer as if from us. Everyone got confused, and ended off with a lack of understanding what we really believe.
It was a lesson that was needed though. One thing did come clear. That the Priesthood is only found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They didn't like that...
With the relationship that we've been able to build with them, we are hoping to keep inviting them to pray and know for themselves.
I love missionary work! The Spirit is the master at it! Without him, we're pretty weak with what we can do.
I love y'all a ton! Have a fantabulous week!

Elder Brian Johnson

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hey Y'all!

Hey! Life is good! Don't you love the rain? Especially in the winter, because it warms the air up so much, and then there's usually a gorgeous day after with a beautiful sun!

Well, that's how it was yesterday for us on a great holiday, which also means that we couldn't email yesterday very easily. So we are scurrying trying to do it before our zone conference this morning! :D

So, this may be brief. But I'm so glad that I can email y'all!

This week we have been trying to get down into Burgaw. It's 15 miles away, but there are so many people there. I've hardly ever proselyted it. But, we have already seen miracles as we have gone down there!
So there's this place called the Durham Village Apartments. They are super ghetto. Now Wallace is nice. Small town and there really is never any sort of problems in town. It's great! But we were going to go contact a referral and when we got out of the car immediately we were hit with the smell of weed. Boom! I haven't smelt that for a long time. Not really since Henderson! So all of the sudden we just really didn't feel very comfortable. In Henderson I got sooo used to being in the ghetto and talking to gangsters and scary people. But all of the sudden I was really scared again. It was soooo awkward because there were so many people outside in the cold. Well, we went and knocked on the door, and no one answered. So we knocked the next door. It was Felicia's sister!!!! No way!!! And she totally wants us to come back! Cast aside all fear, and the Lord will take you to who he needs you to see.

Everyone we are seeing is doing well. No huge progress though. Brandon however is doing great! We will be moving his date, but he's going solid! He may have even gotten a job to come on sundays already!

Well anyway, I love y'all a ton!!!!!!!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 12, 2015


Breaking news! Elder Swinney and I are both staying here in Wallace another transfer together! This means that we'll have spent over 1/4 of our missions together! Holy cow! But we have been talking a whole lot about it and how awesome this next transfer will be. We are both really trying to make a difference here in Wallace and we are both really trying to make a difference in ourselves. We are super excited! (We were definitely not expecting it though :D)

This week has been a fantastic week. We have been able to get out of the house and do a lot of work this week. We have been building up our investigator pool, and that has been making a huge difference. Yesterday we once again needed to find two investigators to meet our goals for the week, and we went where Elder Swinney thought would be a good place, and we found practically three! One isn't quite an investigator yet, but will be! Probably the nicest testigo de jehova (jehova witness) that we've ever met.

This week we had a really great lesson with Brandon. The best part about it all was that he went to church!! He went with his friend Rachel in Albertson (outside the mission) but he said that it was awesome! He is really ambitious and really wants to do this! He says he still hasn't received his answer, but he's working on it. Pray that he'll recognize the answers that the Lord has been giving him! Even still he's set on being baptized, so he knows the answer will come. Woot!

Yuni hasn't been able to come to church so much lately because of work, but she is still thinking of being baptized by the end of January! So pray pray pray that she and Elvis can work things out to get married this month!! 

We finally taught Felicia this week!!! She was sick though, so we did it over facebook and by phone! :D It was a lesson that we have been needing for a long time. We were finally able to really get across our purpose and the restoration. She wants to learn more specifically about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon before she'll pray to know if it's true. So we're trying to help her to learn what she needs to know. She believes the Book of Mormon is true because of the witness it is of Christ, but she still doesn't understand how involved it is with the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

Bill Buckley!! We love him to death! We have been working hard this week to prepare a good lesson on the Plan of Salvation so that he could understand it, and so we could leave a good drawing of it to be able to contemplate it after discussing it. The lesson went super duper well!! We have invited him to pray about things before, but we've never had any luck really getting him to understand why, or what to pray for. But this settled in well enough that he said he'd think about it this week and possibly pray once he feels he understands. His desire to know has changed so much since I first met him. But just as promised, once we finished the lesson, we had to go eat icecream and talk. :) Can't complain pops :)

This week I learned one of the most important things yet on my mission. We live the gospel not because we love ourselves or because we love someone else. Rather we live the Gospel, we preach the Gospel, and we keep the commandments because we love God. "No more me. Just the Lord. I love Him."
This work is the Lord's work, and it is such a great blessing to be a part of it, not only these two years, but our whole lives. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all men.

I wrote a haiku yesterday. 

To serve a mission
The greatest reward ever
Never regret it 

I love y'all a ton! I miss you and hope that you have an amazing week filled with love for the Lord!

Élder Johnson

This is the district that I love like crazy! All minus Elder Cantwell in front... He's in Wilmington. But I love him too!

Me, Elder Swinney, Elder Boekweg, Elder Evans, Elder Stockton, Elder Garn, Hermana Cardenas, Hermana Sonksen, Sister Hanson, and Sister East.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Faringitis estreptocócica

Well this last week has been a blast! And it has blasted us with a lot too! So you know how Elder Swinney and I were both sick the last few weeks? Well we thought that we were better. Or at least I thought that I was better... But, alas. The little bugger arose once again. On Wednesday during district meeting things were going really well. It was a great meeting! But as we got to the last 20 minutes of the meeting I started to feel really week and getting feverish. I was leaning on the podium just holding myself up as I listened to the elders and sisters role-play. Well turns out that I got Strep Throat! What in the world! I'm the third one in the district! So I don't doubt that others will get it sadly.

But here's the part that I really wanted to share with you. The tender mercies of the Lord are soooo great. I was coming down with a fever and felt super bad. But I knew that there were things that Elder Garn and I (on exchanges) had to get done that day.

Before the Elders left from district meeting I asked for a blessing. I didn't really expect to feel better necessarily. Really I asked for the blessing because I knew that we were going to have to help the Coffey's move and I didn't want them to get sick. They had to be out that night at midnight, and we were about their only help being new years eve.

We got home and I went to sleep. I needed it. And right as I woke up the phone started to ring and buzz, and everything was canceling on us! Tender mercies! And I was able to keep resting before we went at 4:00 to help the Coffey's move. Well being New Years eve we aren't supposed to be out after dark. But nonetheless we were at the Coffey's until 9:15 helping them move. FIVE full hours of moving!! But we got it done! And even though sometimes I really couldn't lift the boxes, we still got it done. And I have made such a quick recovery since then.
I could go on and on with all of the Tender Mercies that I saw that night and the following days, but I'll spare you the unorganized list of thoughts that are spilling out of my brain. :)

So in short, I've been sick once again. And I still am not 100%. But the work has continued on. 
Last time we got sick, we mentally shut down. And I did not want to do that again! I have been praying and working hard to make sure that we kept getting the work done. And we have been blessed for it. Four new investigators and a baptismal date!!!!!!!! WOOT!! 

Brandon!!!! HE IS AMAZING!! We had a great lesson this week on the Plan of Salvation, and he got it so well! He gets it all so well. And then the best thing about it is that whenever we talk to him he asks us if there's anything we'd like him to read to prepare for the next time. Ah it feels good to be teaching him :) We set a baptismal date with him for the 31st of January. And he readily accepted. Though what we are working hard to do now is help him to come to church. Please pray for him to find the way to do so!

Elvis and Yuni have been having a hard time getting to church as well which is worrying us. It makes it hard to help them see the importance of all the things they need to be doing.

We are making headway with some great people! We've got an appointment with Felicia again! We're really excited!

If we are willing to work hard and be truly loyal to the Lord in all things then we will be granted so much confidence and success in the things that matter most!

I love yall so much! Have an absolutely fantastic 2015 focused on our Savior Jesus Christ!!!!

Élder Johnson