Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas!!! - 12/28/2015

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! I know I did. Because of Christmas being this week, the work was a little has been a little slow, but it still has been enjoyable.
     
On Monday we did our normal shopping at the local grocery store and the we hung out for most of the day. Towards the end of Pday we realized that we needed to grab a couple of things from Costco that we had forgotten about so we rushed over before Pday was over. While we were shopping Sister Prince was shopping at Costco as well so we said hi to her. She ended up buying a bunch of groceries for us. It was very thoughtful of her. After we were done with Costco Elder Bentley and I went caroling with some people in the ward.
      
Tuesday started out with having breakfast with one of our investigators and then we taught him some of the plan of salvation. After we had finished up we traveled to the chapel for our district meeting. After the District meeting, the zone leaders had prepared hot chocolate for us. Unfortunately most of it burned. After District Meeting, we spent a lot of time trying to contact the referrals that we keep receiving. After we had finished with that we went to the visitor center with some of our members.
     
On Wednesday we had an appointment with Harold (the guy who fainted at church). Harold loves the missionary's so much. He had prepared stockings for Elder Bentley and I with different presents. It was very nice of him. After that, we were finally able to meet some of the other Brazilians from that apartment. We taught the restoration and It went really well. There are just a few hang ups for these people, but I think we will be able to overcome them.
     
On Thursday we had breakfast with our investigator, David. We finished up the plan of salvation and we tried committing him to a baptismal date, but he is not ready. He wants to be baptized, but he feels like he needs to make some changes in his life before he sets a specific date. We are still working with him and we are hoping that we will be able to break down that barrier. After we had finished with David, we finished up with some gifts that we were going to get for an elder that had not received anything for Christmas. Then we went and helped this guy move into his new place, and yes this is on Christmas Eve. We helped for a good chunk of time, till we had to leave for another appointment. The appointment we had to go to was with Igor. He is so solid! We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he loved it. He was even telling us what he knew about the the different kingdoms.
After that appointment we went with our roommates to a party in Chevy Chase that Harold invited us over to. It was a great party! Tons of food and drinks, lots of things to do, and there were lots of missionaries. We even got really nice ties as the door gift. It was very fun. This was actually the same party I went to last year. After we had finished with the party we raced home and put together all of the presents we got for this Elder who had not gotten anything. We gave all the stuff to some other missionaries that were going over to stay the night. They smuggled all the presents in and once the elder fell asleep they put everything under the Christmas tree.
     
Friday was Christmas!! We woke up early so we could open our presents as an apartment. It was great! It reminded me a lot of home.We had our Christmas Conference at the temple visitor center. The Cooke family put on the devotional. After they had all spoken, the Assistants presented the Cooke's Christmas gifts. The mission had given them a Redskin's jersey with all of the missionaries signatures. The other gift was a dinner the assistants put together a few weeks earlier. The dinner was shown to us in a little video they had put together. After the gifts had been presented we were able to watch a movie. Well, how it went down was the Disney castle showed up on the big screen... Then Star Wars music started playing.... Then the classic intro started with the Star Wars Episode 7 "The Force Awakens" in huge letter then all these words go flying up the screen. Everyone was cheering like crazy. Right when the movie was suppose to start the screen went black and then the words "Just Kidding" covered the entire screen. Haha we were not happy haha. Instead of Star Wars we watched Inside Out which was still pretty good. After the movie we walked over to the Stake Center, had lunch, watched the mission talent show, and then we left and drove to a members house to Skype and have dinner. Being able to Skype my family was awesome! It was great to see everyone. After we had finished with that we sat down and had a nice dinner. And that was pretty much our Christmas Day in a nut shell.
     
We spent Saturday getting back into the grind. We spent a lot of time planning and trying to set up some appointments with people, but it was kind of difficult because we are still in the Holiday season. We also went up to the visitor center. We were going to meet up with one of our investigators, but he never showed up.
     
Sunday we had our normal Sunday meetings. We were able to get one of our investigators to church. It was the first time he has attended and he seemed to enjoy it. We were a little nervous because in the priesthood meeting it was a hard core pornography lesson, but he seemed to enjoy it! After church we met with some members for a late lunch/early dinner. Then we spent more time setting up appointments with different people and then we went to the Festival of Lights again with our investigator Igor and his mom who just flew in from Brazil on Christmas Day. They both loved it very much. Igor's mom could not stop crying at all the lights and the music and the Christmas trees. It was pretty cool.
     
Thank you all for all the support you give me! It really does mean a lot. And sorry about the long email It has just been such a great week! Have a Happy New Year and I will talk to you guys next week!


🇺🇸ElderJohnson🇺🇸

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas, Book of Mormon for the Chick-Fil-A Lady, Festival of Lights and Davis Allen! - 12/20/2015

Hey everyone! merry Christmas! I can't believe it is all ready here again! Time is really flying by! This week was very enjoyable!

Monday: Monday as pretty relaxed. We started of our day with going over to Dr. Prince's home. (He is the same guy who owns the farm we work at.) We sat in his Library ate some cheese and had some very interesting discussions. It was quite nice. For the rest of that day we pretty much spent it on shopping. One of the places we went to was a church book store. Elder Bentley, our roommates and I bought a Book of Mormon for this lady at works at Chick Fil A. All of us have been going to Chick Fil A pretty often for the last transfer and almost every single time we go she gives us free food. This lady isn't a member so we thought that a nice Book of Mormon with her name engraved was a very appropriate gift. We also made a shirt with a picture of our faces haha! It's pretty awesome! That's how we spent most of our Monday. 

Tuesday: We worked on the farm and had a good ole time as always.

Wednesday: Most of the day was taken up by our transfer meeting.
Nothing crazy happened, most of the people stayed in the same areas.
After transfer meeting we visited a few members in our ward and checked on referrals from the Christmas events they are putting on at the visitor center. We have about 15 people that we need to get a hold of, but they are doing a really good job at hiding. We have only been able to get a hold of three of them and they told us that they were not interested.

Thursday: We visited with some less active members. One man we visited with is from Turkey. He is a very cool guy, he has been in the United States for most of his life. He immigrated to the US when he was very young. He became a tailor by trade and had become very success until 2008 when the market crashed. He had owned shops all around the country, but unfortunately he had to close down most of them. He now works in Chevy Chase. He can't come to church because he works every Sunday,  but he told us that he is planning on retiring sometime in January so he can start going to church again. 

Friday: Us and our roommates went to Chick Fil A for lunch and we gave that lady the gifts that we got her. We told her she could only open the Christmas Cards and she has to wait till Christmas to open the other ones. She was very excited and very happy. After that we spent most of the day trying to contact those referrals again with little success

Saturday: We started our day with teaching one of our investigators about the plan of salvation. It went pretty well. He gets distracted very easily so we are going to have to teach him differently, so he will be able to concentrate. After that lesson we spent the rest of the day contacting and trying to build our teaching pool.

Sunday: we had our normal Church services. Five of our investigators were suppose to show up, but they all got hung up with something. After Church we visited with some family's and then later in the evening we went to the Festival of Lights. At the Festival of Lights we saw three of our investigators! It was awesome! We got to set up an appointment with all of them. I also saw a very familiar face that I have not seen in about a year and 5 months. Elder Allen was visiting the temple visitor center! It was so great to see him. Sounds like he is doing an awesome job!

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! Thanks for all you do!







  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Helping on the Farm, Festival of Lights, a Baptism Date for Igor, and Christmas Caroling in Spanish?? - 12/14/2015

Hey Everyone! I am so sorry for this late email. It has been a pretty busy day. This week has been a great one. On Monday we relaxed the whole day and then some members took us out to Cafe Rio. After we finished up with that we went and visited the member who had passed out at church on Sunday. He seemed like he was doing okay. His health has been declining for the past little while now.
     
Tuesday we had our district meeting and then we headed up to the farm to help out with riding. It has been really fun. The kids we help are great. Every time they step up on to a horse they have the biggest smiles on their faces.
    
A lot of Wednesday was spent checking on referrals that we have gotten from the Temple's festival of lights. And to make a long story short, none of the referrals answered the door or their phone and so we had a lot of free time. Earlier in the week, a lady from the ward called us telling us about these neighbors who were wanting to learn more about the gospel. So we decided to call her and see if we could get the information about these people. She answers the phone, but she said she was really busy and she would call us back. So Elder Bentley and I we sitting in the car waiting for this member to call us back while this van comes up to us and starts honking at us. We rolled down the window to talk to the person and it turns out she was the mother of the member who was going to call us. We get talking and it turns out that she has all the contact information for these neighbors who want to learn more about the gospel. We call them up and one of them was home and available. We headed over to his place and taught the first lesson and now he has a baptismal date!! His name is Igor and he is a boss.

Thursday we went on an exchange with the young men's president. We visited some less actives and it helped us get to know the members a little better.
     
Friday we spent the majority of the day contacting people. And later in the day we went to the temple's visitor center for the Festival of Lights. It was great.

Saturday we went contacting at the metro stop. After we concluded with that we were invited to participate in singing to the elderly. Funny thing about it was that elder Bentley and I were the only English Elders and the rest were Spanish. So every few songs they would all bust out in Spanish and we would just stand there awkwardly haha it was pretty funny.
      
Sunday was stake conference and we once again had the chance to go back to the visitor center for Festival of Lights with one of our investigators.

     
Thanks for everything you do! If you could send me our address as soon as possible. Anyway have a great week!!

This is my Happy Face!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

National Mall for PDay, Mission Temple Trip, Festival of Lights at the Temple, New Investigators, Ward Christmas Party and Christmas Devotional - 12/07/2015

What's up everyone!! This week has been a good one.

Monday we went down to the National Nall for Pday. We went to the this spot on the mall where the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building, are directly in front of you  and then to your left the White House, and directly behind you is the WWII Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, and on your right is the Jefferson Memorial. It is a really cool plaice where you can see the history of this great nation in every direction. After we found that spot we walked through the WWII monument to the Lincoln, all the way around to the Jefferson memorial building then clear over to the capital building, to the Library of congress. It was a long walk but it was worth it. At the Jefferson monument, when we first got there it was silent and nobody was there. Then all of a sudden busses of students came pouring in and it was no longer quiet haha.  The cool part of this was that there were two schools from Utah there and we were treated like celebrities hahaha. Tons of the girls asked us for pictures and tons of the guys asked us for mission advice. It was awesome! At the Library of Congress we got lost in the basement looking for the place to get our library card. We finally found it after walking around for probably a half hour.

Tuesday we got out a little bit early from our studies to go trackting and the Lord blessed us. We only had an hour and a half before we had to leave to a meeting and in that time we were able to teach two lessons. Both of them seem really interested, but one of them lives in Georgia so we sent that referral off. After we had finished we headed to our district/zone meeting. Once that meeting was over we traveled to the farm and spent the remainder of our day helping autistic kids ride horses. We all really enjoyed it.

Wednesday was our missions temple trip and that is always a great time! We are so blessed to have a temple so close by. It has become probably my favorite Temple. The view never gets old and inside it has an awesome colonial feel to it. After the temple we ate at Olive Garden because one of our roommates had some gift cards and he payed for all of us. It was very nice of him. The rest of he day was spent by going to member appointments. The members treat us very well in this area.

Thursday we spent pretty much all of our day checking on less actives with little success. We were able to get into one home and the people seemed very nice. We invited them to the ward Christmas party and they said that they would try to come, but they did not show up. We will be visiting them again shortly. Thursday was also the first night of Festival of Lights at the temple and we were able to go with a member. It was great! The lights look great! And the musical performances were awesome!

Friday we spent the majority of the early part of the day trackting. Later that day we were suppose to go on an exchange with the mission president, but he ended up not coming because he was really busy. We had a few lessons set up with investigators. The one that did happen was awesome! His name his David. He is from Haiti and he wants to look into our church because his girl friend is a member.  We taught him the restoration and it went very well. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he got very excited.

Saturday we had a finding activity that some sisters in the district set up. We went to the metro and talked to people. It was pretty great! We were able to teach a few lessons to people while they were waiting for their buses. Unfortunately they were not to interested. After we had finished with that we went over to a member for dinner. Once that was finished we headed to the ward Christmas party.

Sunday during church we had member pass out twice and so the ambulance came and picked him. It was pretty scary luckily the Derwood ward is chuck full of doctors. When Harold passed out, there were 4 doctors in the room so he was in very good hands. After church we checked on less actives till dinner. After dinner we went to the temple visitor center for the Christmas devotional. It was excellent.


I hope you all have an amazing week! Merry Christmas





Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey Bowl at the National Mall and Tracting for Dayzzz - 11/30/2015

Hello Everyone,
      
This week has been awesome! It was defenently one to remember. Monday, Elders had a Turkey bowl at the Washington mall. It was really fun! The team I ended up on was one of the best teams so we got to play for a long time. Along with playing football I got to see my trainer, Jimmy Loveless! He was visiting the mission and he stopped in and played some football! It was really good to see him...later that night we had a dinner appointment with a member and he took us to Cafe Rio! It was really good as always.
     
Tuesday we had our weekly meetings as always. We spent pretty much the rest of the day contacting people at the local metro stop. We met some pretty awesome people. One of them his name is D. He is from the South East. He was wearing a pretty beat up jacket with all the NBA team's logos on it. I asked him about it and he told me that bought it off a drunk guy. Anyway he seemed to like the message we shared so we got his contact information and sent it down to the elders in SE DC.
     
Wednesday we went tracting. We actually taught a few lessons! One of them was a Catholic Deacon. He is a really cool guy, he let us in and we had a great discussion. At the end of the lesson he told us that he let us into his home because he felt the Holy Ghost prompt him. We are hoping to get in contact with him this week so we can meet up with him again.
      
Thursday was Tthanksgiving! We started playing football with the ward. Then we got cleaned up and headed to member's home who invited us over. He were pretty much with this member and the family all day. It was a lot of fun, the food was really good and the people were awesome! After we had finished up with them he headed to another dinner with the Lacsamana's, who live up the street in the Gaithersburg Ward! It was great being able to see them. 
       
Friday we once again spent our day finding. We started off with tracting. We were having very little success. We finally knocked into a Hispanic lady who was willing to talk a little bit. It started off by her just talking about the bible and how she loves it so much. We were able to say a few things here and there, but she was doing the majority of the talking. Finally after probably 20 minuets she lets us in and let's us do some of the talking. After about 5 minutes we realize that her comprehension of English is not very high so we decided to play the short version of the restoration video in Spanish. During that video the spirit was so strong. She loved the video and it answered some questions that she had about our church. Apparently a few years ago she talked to some sister missionaries. At the end of there lesson one of the missionaries prayed in the name of Joseph Smith (oh bless her soul) so that turned her off from our church ever since. We were able to explain to her that we don't pray In the name of Joseph Smith.  She is really cool! We passed her off to the Spanish missionaries, so hopefully she will be able to progress in the gospel.
      
Saturday we went tracting... Yay!🎉 we spent a lot of time finding this week. We did not see to much success except for a lady that Elder Bentley contacted. She said she would go to church, so that's pretty cool.
     
Sunday was great! We had a random family show up. They were a part member family who wants to join an English Ward (they were attending the French branch) the only member was the mother. The father and two daughters were non members. After church the Dad comes up to us and asks us how they can become a member 😎 (best question ever!) we are going to set up an appointment with him this week and hopefully put him on date! The rest of Sunday was non stop running. We headed strait to our lunch appointment, after that we went contacting for a while then we had dinner and then we went on exchanges with one of the members of the Ward to help him out with his home teaching! It was an excellent day! 
       
Thanks for all the support! I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving! Have an awesome week!



🇺🇸ElderJohnson🇺🇸


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Investigators, Helping on the Farm, New After-Dark Rules - 11/24/2015

Hello Everyone!

This week had been a pretty good one. Monday was a pretty chill day. We just relaxed, went shopping and hung out with our roommates.  After Pday was over we headed over to a family for FHE. It was...different. So the mother of the family is Ex-Baptist so she is really into "PRAISE JESUS" kinda stuff so she was wanting my companion to play the piano while she sang some Baptist hymns for the first 15 minutes. While they were doing this I was just zoned out, staring at these fish in their fish tank attacking each other. It was a pretty interesting meeting. When we got to the lesson part, it went really well. We talked about some of the Commandments because one of the sons just got baptized and he needs to get the new member lessons.

Tuesday was our day of meetings, so that took up a good chunk of our day. Then we visited with one of the members. His name Gregory, he is from Russia and he has recently moved to the United States. He met the missionary's just a couple of years ago. He is a very funny guy.
After that it was about dinner time.  After dinner, we went to go help the youth at a youth activity.

Wednesday we went tracting for a while. We ended up finding two new investigators out of it. One of them is Ebert. Ebert loves the bible and he loves Christ. When we knocked on his door we gave the usual introduction and he was very kind but he wasn't interested. Then he went on some random shpeel about how he worked for the USPS for 40 years and he ended inviting us in to show off an award. He then proceeded to tell us all about the bible. Anyway about an hour and a half later we finally got a few minutes where we could talk. We found out that he had a Book of Mormon and he read it back when he was 19. He still had the Book of Mormon. So we showed him a few verses in the Book of Mormon and his mined was blown. He was very interested about learning more. Only problem is that he says he is very busy so we set up an appointment to meet with him in January. We will probably drop in on him before then so he doesn't forget about us. We also tracted into a guy named Mike who said we could come back Friday so we were pretty pumped about that.  And for the rest of that day we had appointments with members.

Thursday we went and helped out with the Madison field farm. They have purchased a massive house where they are going to board autistic adults.  So we helped move things all around the house. It was very tiring. After we had finished with that it was about dinner time so we changed and showered and so we headed over to some members. After dinner we went home and started calling people trying to set up appointments because that was one of the only things we could do. Our mission has created some new rules for the dark hours of the day because of all the crazy things that are happening in the world. So at night we pretty much have to be with a member at all times or be in our apartments doing some planning.

Friday we also spent a lot of time with members. We helped this one lady in our ward make T shirts. It was pretty funny. Elder Bentley and I made some comp shirts.  They are pretty funny. We also were able to meet with Mike. Mike is a super cool guy! He is from Panama and he has only been living in the area for a couple of months. He is Christian, but has very little knowledge of the bible. We taught him the first lesson and it was going alright. You could tell that he was having a hard time grasping the first couple a points. So we switched our teaching style. We tried to be very visual giving him lots of object lessons and using videos as well. And that started to work much better. As soon as we got to the Joseph smith story he was hooked. He wanted to learn more. He wanted to read the Book of Mormon and he wanted us to come back. We are very excited for him and being able to begin work with him
      
Saturday we spent time finding and making a new area map. And going to our wards coordination meeting.

Sunday was a topical Sunday. We were not able to get anyone to church. We should be able to get at least one next week.

Thank you so much for all the support you give! Have an awesome week!


🦃Happy Thanksgiving 🦃


🇺🇸🦃ElderJohnson🦃🇺🇸



Monday, November 16, 2015

Derwood Ward, Elder Bentley, and Elder's Paul and Elliot Heading Home - 11/16/2015

Hello Everyone!
     
This week has been a week full of surprises. As many of you know, we'll maybe not, it was transfers this week. I am now serving in the Derwood Ward which is right next to Gaithersburg, so I am back up near the area I served for 6 months in. It is going to be a good transfer, but it is going to be a hard one. Both my companion and I are new to the area so we are often times finding ourselves lost and when we got to our area, there was almost nobody to work with, so we are pretty much starting from scratch. This will be the third time I have done this on my mission. I am pretty excited. It is going to be a fun challenge. And I know that the Lord will help guide us to where we need to go and who we need to talk to.
           
My companion, Elder Bentley is really funny, awesome guy. He has only been out for three months and so I am his second companion. He is from Kaysville Utah, and he went to Davis high school. He is very high energy and he is very entertaining so it is going to be s fun transfer

Elder Bentley:


The Derwood Ward is pretty awesome, they really like the missionary's so they were really excited to have their own missionary's, because for a while they were sharing missionary's with the Chinese branch, which means they were not able to spend too much time in the area.We have met a few people this past week and they all seem very nice. They all love to feed the missionary's and that helps us being able to meet the members of the ward. We have also been dropping by randomly and introducing ourselves. Surprisingly, a lot of the members just stop what they were doing a let us in then we have a short lesson with them.
     
Probably the hardest part of the week was transfers. Some of my favorite companions went home, Elder Paul and Elder Elliot. They were both my companions in Anacostia. They are both awesome guys and I will hopefully be able to meet up with them again after the mission.

Elder Paul


Elder Elliot


    
Thank you all for the support that you give me have an awesome week!

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Aboretum, Temple Trip, Transfer Call Out, and the Ward Primary Program - 11/09/2015

Hello Everyone,

This has been a very interesting week:

Monday- We went to Arboretum which is pretty much a museum about trees. It was really cool.  It was like a forest inside and surprisingly, there was a lot of. It was really fun. After that we went shopping at the new Walmart. It is a really nice for a Walmart.

Tuesday- We had a bunch of our meetings as usual. It  literally took up most of our day. After that we were going to meet with our investigator, Charles, who is still doing really good with everything.
This week one his friends told him to stop meeting with us because we are all fallen angels. I'm not quite sure what he means by that, but Charles did not listen to him because "he didn't have any proof." So everything is still good with him.

Wednesday- We went to the temple with the mission. Once a transfer we get to go do an endowment session with everyone. It was spiritually awesome! The temple was under construction for a few months so we have not been able to visit for the past 2 transfers. It was very nice to be able to go. After the temple we had a few appointments with different members. Then we had our weekly dinner at the church building.

Thursday- We had a few lessons set up with our investigators but all but one fell through, so we spent most of the day just checking up on people but we had little success.

Friday- We went to a few lessons that we had set up with members. It was really good. I really love the members. They have a special spirit about them.

Saturday- We once again had lots of appointments fall through. We were, however, able to meet with one of our investigators. She is not all the way there yet. She has a good spirit about her. Saturday was also the transfer call out. I found out that I am leaving! I am pretty bummed. I really like this area. I also found out that my son is training so I am becoming a grandpa. So that is pretty awesome!

Sunday- We went to church with Charles. We took the bus. Unfortunately I forgot my wallet so I had to borrow money from elders. Church was great though. It was the primary program so as always it's very entertaining. Every once in a while some old ladies will yell "hallelujah!" Ha ha, it was very entertaining.


Thank you so much for your love and support. Love you all

Monday, November 2, 2015

Blessing Day, Halloween Parties, Baptisms For The Dead, and Singing Testimony, Busy Week - 11/02/2015

What is up Everyone?,
       
Another week in the books and let me say it has been a pretty fun/challenging week. First off on Monday we spent most of the day at the stake center for our zone activity. It was really fun. They had lots of different games and relay races, it was very fun. Tuesday we went to a zone district meeting and this was actually one of the best meetings we've had in a long time.  In the evening we had FHE it was taught by one of the senior missionaries who's a little crazy. The purpose of FHE is to help less actives,new converts, and investigators get a better grasp on the Gospel teachings and also to help build relationships with one another. Unfortunately Elder McKinley took it to him when he brought up the topic of Heavenly Mother.  He proceeded to read off the article but the church posted the gospel topics section. It was quite uncomfortable for us missionaries because either McKinley is not the best teacher he sometimes is very forceful and makes it uncomfortable.  So we felt bad for all the missionaries who brought investigators. Fortunately our investigator was not able to come, thank goodness because he is still new to the gospel and I think throwing The fact that we have a Heavenly Mother into his head would be kind of confusing him because he was raised Catholic and he is still trying to adapt to the doctrines of our gospel. He has been teaching FHE for the past few weeks because the people who normally teach it are out of town. Fortunately he has gone home now to spend Christmas with his family.
      
Wednesday was a pretty crazy day. We decided to take our bikes out and unfortunately it was very rainy. We started out going and visiting our investigator Charles, who is at the very top of our area.
We had a great lesson with him. His understanding is coming along smoothly and he is very excited to become a member. His baptismal date is still set for November 29. After we finished up with him we had to go down back to the bottom of our area to visit a member by the name of Brother Bachelor. Brother Bachelor is a very funny man. He loves the missionaries very much. This was the first time that we were able to meet with him and it was a very enjoyable experience. It was really great to be able to sit down and read from the book of Mormon together it was a very spiritual. After we were done we biked up to the top of our area and visited with a less active member. She is very cool very nice. It was great to get to know her. After we had finished of the lesson with her we headed over to the church for our weekly meal that the ward feeds us. This week a man by the name of Brother Harding fed us. He goes all goes all out when he feeds the missionaries. He had the color theme of orange for Halloween so everything was orange like the drinks, and he made orange pasta.  It was pumpkin flavored. He even gave us party favors. They were orange ties, it was pretty sweet!! Brother Harding put the pictures that he took of us on Facebook unfortunately we do not have Facebook so I have not been able to get them. Oops just kidding someone sent them to me. After dinner we travel down to the bottom area once again to go visit Sister Green who is a less active as well. Unfortunately she was not home and we were not able to get a hold of her to reschedule our appointment. Wednesday was a pretty busy day.
      
Thursday was just full of planning and setting up appointments we did have an appointment set up with an investigator, but he canceled on us.

On Friday we were able to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. It was sweet, the spirit was so powerful. We are so blessed to have the Washington DC Temple in our mission and have the opportunity to go to the temple at least once a transfer. Later that night we also had the chance to go to the ward Halloween party and help set up. It was a lot of fun almost everybody in the ward showed up so it was a great way to get to know some of the members.
     
Saturday was the day of priesthood blessings. We have the opportunity to participate in four blessings. We assisted in the blessings of twins and two other people from different wards. We literally spent half of the afternoon giving blessings. Then we got locked up at 5 o'clock because some crazy stuff happens on Halloween apparently. The only crazy thing we did was order Chinese carry out. We were pretty reckless #MormonMissionaries. 

Sunday we were able to get Charles to church it was great! He enjoyed church a lot and like I said before he is excited to become a member yippee. Church was great and the testimonies were awesome.  Sister Machen, an old lady in the ward who is a former Baptist, sings her testimony. The song that she sings is an old Baptist hymn. She sings it every fast and testimony meeting so all the people in the ward know the song and they all join in. I wish recording in the chapel was kosher so I could show all of you but it isn't, sorry guys.

      
That is pretty much my week thank you so much for all of those who have emailed me I really appreciate it and it makes my P Day even better. I hope all of you have a wonderful week and enjoy the nice weather wherever you are.





Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Good Birthday, Good Investigator, Good Members, Good Interview with the Mission Pres. 10/26/2015

Hello Everyone!

Thank you all for your birthday wishes! It really meant a lot. It was a good week! We were able to teach quite a few investigators and they are all doing pretty well. Charles is still planning on being baptized on the 29th of November. He understands everything that we are teaching him and he knows it's true.

Charles is a really cool guy. He has had a pretty hard life. He grew up in California with his parents who adopted him. He is a little slow mentally so it has been hard providing for him self. He loves playing the guitar and creating his own music. He is always super positive and very nice. He is very excited to join the church. He comes from a Catholic background so he understands quite a bit of our doctrine pretty well and the new stuff he is picking up quickly. We are all very excited for him.
    
The ward is pretty awesome! One of the members that we have been able to spend some with is really cool. His name is Caesar Valdez. He is a recent convert of a couple of years. He was a Marine sniper for 20 years and he has some crazy stories. He has seen some crazy stuff. He is also very decorated. He also was one of the people who helped train the group that the American Sniper guy was in. Anyway he is really awesome! He loves the missionaries a lot. He feeds us every Sunday and it is great. He also got me a tie for my birthday! He is an awesome guy.

This past week we had interviews with President Cooke. It was great the theme of his interviews was be positive. It was really good.  During the interview I told him about our infested apartment and he said he would make something happen. So hopefully we will get to move apartments.
      
Thank you everyone for your emails, it always makes my week go by better. Take care.


🐿ElderJohnson🐿




Monday, October 19, 2015

New Investigators, Critter Infested Apartment, Vai Sikahema, and Upcoming Stake Conference with President Nelson - 10/19/2015

Hello Everyone!!

I hope all of you had a fantastic week! Thank you so much for all of your emails once again! This week has been pretty good! We were able to teach quite a few lessons to non members. We were able to pick up two new investigators. The one that we were able to meet with is super cool! He is 83 years old and he is one of the kindest people I know. He loves talking about religion and he said next time we come over he is going to bring his friend a long. It is going to be great!
   
In other not so good news we have found out that our apartment is infested with nasty bugs everywhere like crickets, silver fish, spiders and other unidentified animals.

Last night we were able to go to the 'Why I Believe' fireside and it was really good! The guest speaker Vai Sikahema and his wife Keala Sikahema. He played football for BYU then we went on to play in the NFL for Arizona, Green Bay, and Philadelphia. He now is a sports anchor in Philadelphia. He talked about his childhood and the first time him and his family saw the temple. He was only 5 years old and he can still picture it perfectly. It was very cool.
   
Sunday we also found out that in November the DC stake is having a stake conference and President Nelson is going to be presiding at it. I am super excited. 

Thanks once again everyone,



Elder Johnson

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fun New Ward, New Area, and a New Baptism Committment - 10/12/2015

Hello Everyone!!
    
I hope you all had a great week! Thank you so much for your emails. It's one of the best times of the week. I am glad that everyone has had a good week.
     
This week has been exciting because we were able to actually get out and make a difference in our area. We were able to meet some of the investigators and we were able to put someone on date for baptism for the 29th of November. His name is Charles, he is a funny guy who is really into music. The only sad thing was that we were not able to get anybody to church.
     
Yesterday was the first time we were able to meet the ward. It was really funny. This ward is a lot different then most wards. It's a lot like Ancostia but with a little bit more diversity. Haha it is funny because a lot of the members are former Baptist's so they are really loud.  They respond to greetings over the pulpit and they also give an amen during people's talks. It is quite amusing. At the end of sacrament meeting they have this time set aside to welcome visitors and new members, new move-ins, and new missionary's. So we had to introduce ourselves to the whole congregation. Haha they were very nice.

      
So the area I am I is pretty nice. I thought it was going to be like Anacostia but it is a lot nicer. We live right next to The Catholic University of America. And another Catholic college. We also live right by a giant Basilica it is pretty sweet


Monday, October 5, 2015

Transfers, DC 3rd Ward, and General Conference - 10/05/2015

Hello Everyone,

This week has been an interesting one. So this week was transfers and Elder Rowley and I are still together. We got transferred to the city. We are now serving in the DC 3rd ward. At this moment there is not to much work but hopefully we will be able to pick it up. The ward boundaries are pretty large. This ward covers the White house, and the National Mall. It covers most of the touristy places in DC, so that is pretty cool. We have not been able to meet to many of the members yet because of conference hopefully we will be able to meet some throughout the week.
     
Transfer day was crazy. We had to help an Elder out by grabbing his bike, but because the extra time it took us to get the bike, we ended up in traffic and we were about a half hour late to transfer meeting. Luckily we got there right as they announced that Elder Rowley and I would be staying together in D.C. 3rd.   

Conference was great. There were lots of talks that I really enjoyed. I liked Elder Christopherson's, Elder Bednar's, and President Uchtdorf's talks a lot. I am excited to be able to go back and read them.

Thank you guys so much for emailing. It makes my day being able to read them. 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week and I will talk to you next Monday,

Byeee,



Elder Johnson

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Getting to see the Pope, Getting to Know Members, and Getting Transfered - 09/28/2015

Hello Everyone,

I apologize for the late email. Thank you to all of those who have emailed me, it is well appreciated. This week has been a very exciting one. We have been spending quite a bit of time getting to know the members of the ward. It has been very intriguing talking to these people about their past and how they have ended up in the place they are now. We have had a wide range of people to talk to. We talked to a a single mom who had a very rough upbringing in New York City. At age 12, because of the living conditions, she ran away from home and since that day she has never seen her mother again. Her life story is quite incredible. We also were able to meet a less active member who was cut from the Miami Heat due to an accident that would require a knee replacement. This man also has a very close connection to Theral Bailey. His sister was married to him and they had a kid together.
Unfortunately they did split up and this man baptized their kid.
   
Another exciting thing that has happened this week was that the missionary's serving in the Gaithersburg 1st Ward were able to go see the Pope address congress, and lucky for me, I serve in that Ward. It was very cool. We woke up at 3:30 am to get ready. We were at the Metro at 5 we got to the lawn of the Capital at 6 and the Pope did not speak till 10. His speech to Congress was about 20 minutes and after we concluded he walked out of the chamber to the back of the Capital Building to address the thousands of people on the lawn. It was an amazing experience and it was only possible because a member in our Ward knew some people who had tickets because those tickets had been sold out.

Another awesome experience we had was we were able to go to Dr. Prince's home for dinner tonight. He and his wife are the ones who are running Madison field's. It was a great experience. They each gave us great advice for life and it was something that was worth while.
     
On Friday we had a chance of helping out with a food drive at a grocery store. It was awesome to see everyone being so generous. We were able to fill up 4 boxes of food.  It was so fun and it felt so good. That project was part of an event called Day To Serve. It is something that the Area 70 created with the state of Maryland. And so there are a lot of service projects that missionaries and members are all helping out with.
      
Saturday I found out that Elder Rowley and I are both leaving Gaithersburg so we will be transferred out on Wednesday.
  
Thanks you so much for all that you guys do. 

Have a great week!



Elder Johnson






    

Monday, September 21, 2015

Busy Investigators, Lemonade and Book of Mormon Stand, & Competitor Missionary's - 09/21/2015

Hello Everyone,
     
This past week was a slower week. We did not have many lessons and we have not found anybody that is interested. We did have a couple of lessons with our investigators that went really well. One of our investigators told us that he wants to be baptized, but now is not a good time because he is very very busy. This week we were also able to get a hold of Rutendo, who is probably our most solid investigator. The only problem with her is that she is insanely busy. She literally hops on a plane to go to another part of the country every week, so that makes it very difficult to meet with her. 
       
A fun thing that we did this week was a lemonade and a Book of Mormon stand. We did that as a district. The location we did this at was at a very busy bus stop. We handed out quite a few Copy's of the Book of Mormon, but we did not find anybody that was willing to learn more. Probably the most exciting thing that happened was when missionary's from another faith started talking to people. They started off being nice and then they just tried to shove there religion down everybody's throats, including ours haha. It was really weird. 
     
Anyway thanks for everything! 

Have a wonderful week byeee! 



Elder Johnson  

Monday, September 14, 2015

More Finding, Terrifying Missionaries, and a Bible Memorizing Investigator - 09/14/2015

Hello Everyone,

This week has been a good one. We have been focusing on building our teaching pool so once again we have been doing a ton of finding and this week went much better then the previous couple of weeks. We were able to add a few people that showed a little interest. We will be focusing on continuing adding people to our teaching pool along with trying to get a hold of these people and start teaching them the lessons.
    
There were a few funny things that had happened the past week. One of the events took place while we were knocking doors towards the end of the night. It was probably around 8:30 so it was the last house of the night. We knocked on the door and we waited. We saw a lady peak out of curtains from the upstairs windows. We keep on waiting and eventually we heard her walking towards to door. When she opened the door at first she could only see one of us, but when she opened the door all the way and saw both of us she just flipped out and started yelling out of pure terror as she saw two white kids in white shirts and ties at her door. She shut the door pretty fast on us haha.
   
Another funny thing that happened occurred while I was on an exchange with the Zone leaders. We were knocking doors and this man opens the door. He looked at us with a very confused face. We proceeded to tell him that we are missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He then begins to start asking us all kinds of questions about what bible we use. He told us that he also reads from the King James version. He then asks us to take our bibles and turn to John chapter 3. He tells us that I doubt that anybody in your church can do this. Then he starts quoting the chapter word for word. I thought he would stop after a few verses but, no he goes through the entire chapter only mixing up a couple of words. then he asks us a few more questions about doctrine and what we believe. He asked about the trinity, we talked about prophets, and other scriptures. The only thing we had a different view on was the Sabbath day. He believes it to be Saturday which makes sense. After having about an hour long discussion he seemed to like us a lot. He was giving us advice how to bible bash with Jehovah Witnesses. It was pretty funny. He was certainly a character. We will be studying up on our bibles and hopefully we will see him this week.

Thank you everyone! Have a great week.


Elder Johnson       

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ward Youth Party, Madison Fields, and Finding Efforts - 09/08/2015

Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all had fantastic Labor Day weekend. Everything is pretty normal here. The only thing different about today is that all the places we can use the computers are closed, the place where we going shopping is closed, and all the roads that we take to get to our apartment are closed because of a Labor Day Festival haha.

This week has went pretty well. We have had solid lessons with our investigators. They are starting to progress which is awesome! We were able to go a ward youth party which was also great! We got to talk to them and get to know them better. We also were able to work on the farm this week! It was great! The name of the farm is Madison Fields. It's this really cool place that helps with special needs adults. They have a really cool video about it on YouTube I encourage all of you to take a look at it.

Other than that, we have been doing lots and lots of finding. We have been knocking on people's doors, talking to them in the streets, just trying to find someone that will listen, and are having very little success. Tonight was actually one of our better days we found two people that are interested in learning more and with one of them, we set up an appointment for later this week.
      
That was pretty much our week. Sorry for the boring email. I'll be sure to take notes of the exciting and funny things that happen this week. Thanks for everything guys, have a great week! 


Love you all,


Elder Johnson

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tracting and Stree Contacting, Jesus the Christ, and General Conference Preparation - 08/31/2015

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a great day today. Thank all of you for your support, I appreciate every single bit of it. This past week has been a good one. Elder Rowley and I have been working hard trying to find new people to teach. We are going about this by tracting and street contacting. So far we have not had too much success, but I know if we continue to do our part, we will be blessed with the opportunity to bless someone's life. Other than that, nothing too exciting has happened as of late.

Even when we are not having much success, I am still learning lessons that I will be able to apply to the rest of my life. I have been enjoying the time that is set apart for us to study the scriptures and other texts. Lately I have been reading Jesus the Christ which is an incredible book. As I have been going through it I can feel my relationship with my Savior increase. I would recommend that book to anyone. I have also had to opportunity to go through the Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission. The more I read it, the more I can feel my testimony increase. Everytime we have General Conference, there are always a few talks on the subject of the basic things we can do to stay on the strait and narrow path, like taking time out of each day to read the scriptures and pray and each Sunday going to church and keeping the Sabbath day holy. I know that these simple things give us strength to overcome temptation on a regular basis. I know these things help keep an eternal perspective which is so vital in our busy lives. 

Thank you everyone once again for the support. I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Keep up the hard work! 


Love Elder Johnson              

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Investigators and Zone Conference with Elder Perkins - 08/24/2015

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for not sending an email yesterday. The mission switched our Pday for the week, I will get to that later. This week has been pretty great. We had transfers on Wednesday, which is really weird because it seems like it just happened. It was great to see everyone again.
        
We also have been able to teach a few investigators this week. They are some very interesting people. One of our investigators, her name is Michelle Commock. We tried teaching her the fist lesson but it did not go so well. She kept asking all of these different, questions so it was really hard to stay on track with the lesson. Overall it went all right. I do not know if we will be able to continue teaching her. She said she does not want to meet with us on a consistent basis because she feels satisfied with the church that she is going to. We will need to have a powerful lesson with her so that she can feel the Spirit more strongly.
      
Another man we taught this week is strait from India. His name is Moses. He has lived in the United States for about a year now so he has a very thick accent. He has been in contact with missionaries for a while, but we have recently received him as a referral so we decided to give him another shot. We went over there and we had in mind that we were going to teach the first lesson to him. As we did it was going pretty well, but it almost went strait to the Book of Mormon, which is great. We played  Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was very powerful and the Spirit was so strong. After that we bore our testimony's on the Book of Mormon and the Spirit came even more. I am not sure how much he understood, but he told us that he felt good, so we know that he was feeling the Spirit as well. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon and he said he would.
         
The reason why the mission postponed our Pday was because Elder Perkins of the Seventy was coming to give us training and the only day he could come was on Monday. So yesterday we had a Zone Conference and it was great! Elder Perkins talked about Preach My Gospel and how we can use it better. He also talked about the importance of the first lesson we teach with investigators. It was a really awesome experience. A couple weeks before this meeting the leadership in our mission told us that we needed to prepare a 3-5 minute talk on our purpose as a missionary and also prepare a 10 minute lesson on the first lesson in Preach My Gospel which is the Restoration. So during the meeting they had random Elders and Sisters coming up and giving the talks that they prepared. At the end of the meeting, Elder Perkins called up random companionships to teach the restoration to a senior couple, acting as investigators, in front of everyone. I am so glad we did not get called on haha. But we all did learn a lot from those role plays.

     
That is a little about my week. It was pretty good. Thank you so much for all of your emails and I hope that you all have a great rest of the week.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Muslim Investigators, Porch Lessons, Capital Tour, Union Station and Flash Bang Sauce - 08/17/2015

Hello Everyone!

I apologize for the late email. It has been a pretty crazy day, but I will get to that later. This week has been quite nice. We have seen some awesome things happen. Probably a highlight from early on in the week was teaching a Muslim couple. It was quite interesting. They were very friendly and very open to listing to us. We tracted into them, we started having a conversation and about 45 minutes later we had a point in every lesson. We went through most of the plan of salvation. We went all the way through the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end of the lesson, we gave them a Book of Mormon and they said they would read it. The cool part of this experience was that during the whole discussion we were all able to share what we believed in a very non confrontational way. We all agreed that we are children of God. Because of that foundational doctrine everyone should treat each other with respect.

Another cool thing that happened was that we were able to go with the assistants on an exchange. It was pretty awesome! We spent pretty much the whole afternoon tracting. At the end of the day we had taught 4 lessons to people on their porches! It was great!
     
On Sunday we had the Why I Believe fire side. It was great to feel the spirit so strong as we listened to bear their testimony's on why they believe. The guest speaker was Jason Hinds. He ran track for BYU. He has trained with some of the fastest people on earth including Usain Bolt. He also has a Mormon message about him and his mission in NYC. His story was very interesting.
      
Today has been crazy!! We decided to go down to the city. We started off going to the Capital Building and went on the general tour. That was pretty cool but we wanted to see more of it so we got in line for a specialty tour. We got our tickets then we decided to go to Union Station for lunch because we had an hour and a half before our tour was going to start. While at Union Station we were looking through the shops and we see this hot sauce shop and since I like spicy food I was drawn to it. They had hundreds of different sauces.  At the very front of the store was a sign that allowed you to try a sample of the hottest sauce they had. This stuff was called Flash Bang. It was made out of scotch bonnet peppers (third hottest pepper in the world) and scorpion pepper (second hottest pepper in the world). So of course being the silly missionary's we are, we all had a sample. It was the worst decision of the day by far haha. As soon as we tried it, it was instant pain. It burned everything form your throat to your tongue. My eyes began to sweat, my face was dripping, and so we tried running through the train station trying to find a place to drink water. We finally found a drinking fountain but of course, it's the only drinking fountain in all the place that does not work. So we ran to the bathroom and started drinking the water from the sink. It helped a little bit but by this time I had realized that I had not had any breakfast and so by stomach started burn super bad. It got to the point where I thought I was going to throw up. Luckily We were sitting right next to the shop where they have the huge cupcakes and luckily they had milk so one of the elders we were with bought me some and that made me feel like almost instantly better.  Another Elder had the same problem as me so I got him some milk and he felt much better after that. After all that happened we got to the capital building just in time for our tour of Statuary Hall. It was really cool. We got a picture with Brigham Young.

Later on we had our zone activity. We went to the home of Brother Dr. Prince for a dinner. It was so cool. This man is probably a billionaire. He created a vaccination that every single child needs to have so he has lots of money. I have never seen so much money in one place. Anyway enough with that. We went had dinner and it was really really good. After dinner we had a little fire side in his basement. He did a very good job. He talked about how we need to own our religion and it was very well said. After that we went to his personal library. He says it is probably the largest Church library out side the state of Utah and I would have to agree with him on that one, it was incredible.


 I am so sorry for this late email. I hope all of you have a great week! 


Byeee







Monday, August 10, 2015

Interesting Investigators and an MLB Baseball Game - 08/10/2015

Hello Friends and Family,

This has been quite a fun week. We have been able to teach a few lessons with non members. The most interesting one was probably with a Catholic youth minister. We tracted into her a few weeks ago and we stopped by to give her a book of Mormon. We sat down and talked a little bit about what we believed in. She was not very interested. She kept getting held up on the trinity and she wouldn't even think of the possibility of being any other way.

We also taught this lady who is Hindu. It is very challenging because she does not have a Christian background and Hindus think that all religion is good and teaches the same thing. We taught her the plan of salvation because her husband passed away about 5 months ago so we thought that would be a good message for her to hear. It went pretty well. We will see if she starts to change her view on all of the teachings.

   
On Saturday we were able to go to a Baseball game! It was so much fun. It was the Nationals vs the Rockies. All the missionaries from D.C. North and D.C. South were there. the game started at 7 but go there an our early so we had time to walk around and check out the Stadium. It was very cool. It felt so weird to be doing something like that on your mission. The game ended around 9:45 and we did not get home till 1 so we were very tired at ward counsel at 7:30. That is a very brief overview of this past week.

Thanks for all you guys do! have a great week! Byeeee  




Monday, August 3, 2015

Getting To Know Ward Members, Stephen Confirmed, & New Investigators - 08/03/2015

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for your support and your emails. This past week has been pretty good. We have been able to get to know the Ward a little bit better and we are seeing blessings from that. We have been focusing a lot on getting to know people so we can find members that will fit best with our investigators so they can start to fellowship them and it is starting to work out.
      
The highlight from this week was Stephen being confirmed. It was great being able to to be a part of that circle. Elder Rowley was able to be the voice which is a great experience being so young into his mission. 
     
Another highlight happened Friday night. We were tracting a townhouse complex and on the very last house of the night we knocked on a less active lady's house who has not been to church in years. She is the only member in her family and she feels like she needs to starting coming back for her kids sake. We have an appointment with her tonight so hopefully everything will go well there and we will be able to start teaching the family and also get her coming back to church. We are very excited for this opportunity.
     
Another exciting thing that happened this week was we got this call from a lady who used to have a member live with her. She wanted us to change some light bulbs in her house so we went over and got that taken care of. We started making small talk and we found out that her husband died about 5 months ago and she is still having a hard time with it. Well, we told her that we have a special message about life after death. She seemed pretty interested so we have an appointment set up with her for later on in the week. It is going to be interesting because she does not have a Christian background at all. She is some form of Buddhist. We are very excited to see where it leads to.
      
Everything that happened this week just shows me how much Heavenly Father is in charge of his work. If he had no part in this then we would just be wasting our time because nobody would listen. I am very grateful to be on his side and being able to participate in his work. I know I am blessed just to be apart of this great work. Have a great week everyone! 


Love Elder Johnson    

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hump Day, Golden Investigators, and Mountain Biking - 07/27/2015

Hello Everyone!!

I am so sorry about this late email that I am sending out. It has been a crazy day full of running around . This past week has been amazing. We were able to be apart of one of our investigators becoming a member of the church. We were able to participate in the confirmation. We were also able to see another investigator be baptized and I was able to perform that. It truly has been amazing to see the Lord work with these people. To prepare them to receive the gospel. As we walk and talk with tons of people it is quite clear that everyone is in a different state of life. And everyone is in a different phase a preparedness. Stephen and Latisha had been led to this point in their lives where they were humble enough to listen and to except the message because they felt the Holy Ghost. It's exciting to play just a very very small role in this process.
     
Thank you so much everyone who participated in the packages a received. That was an awesome idea. Haha I laughed so hard when I saw that everything was cut in half. I also love every single thing that was in there. So thank you!! It's been a crazy year and looking back on it a have found that I have grown so much (not in weight)  I am excited for the next one.

     
Today has been great as well! We were able to go Mt. Biking! It was crazy fun! Hopefully I will be able to send some videos to you all. Thank you for everything you all do. Sorry once again from that late email. 

Have a great week everyone!


Stephen's Baptism

Half of a Hump Day Care Package