Monday, March 30, 2015

Baptismal Invitation Accepted, Temple Date, Hopped up Easter Bunnies, and Zone Conference - 03-30-2015

Hey everyone! It's that time of the week again. Thanks for everyone and all you do. This week has been great! Probably one the of the better weeks of my mission because Elder Paul and I had a full schedule with many appointments that were with non members. Most of those appointments did fall through, but it is still was an improvement.

We started out the week on p-day playing soccer on the mall. It was a lot of fun, Elder Paul brought his GoPro so we got some cool footage of that. The National Mall is a really cool place to do that kind of stuff and I think that we are planning on doing something similar today.

Towards the beginning of the week we also were blessed to teach our investigator that we were able to pick up last week. We taught her the first lesson which is the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a very spiritual lesson. At the end we gave her the baptismal invitation and she accepted. If everything goes according we will help prepare her and she will be baptized on April 26th.
We had a lesson with a resent convert and we talked all about the temple because she is going to the temple on Tuesday and she is very excited. She is the member that is going through some health problems. She has been battling cancer for quite some time now. I feel that going to the temple will help her immensely because the temple gives us power. She is going to the temple to receive her endowment and Elder Paul and I are able to go to support her this coming Tuesday.
The ward this week had an Easter party for the primary and the missionary's were there to help them out. I have never seen kids with so much energy, and that was before the sugar. After the sugar it was nightmare. They were bouncing off the walls like little Easter bunnies, it was pretty funny.

This week was also our zone conference were we learned all about how to use our iPads better and also how to use our key indicators which was really helpful. The conference was done really well and it was very beneficial for everyone there.
Something less important but pretty awesome, I bought a GoPro so I will be able to send footage of our p-day activities and videos of us biking around our area. I'm really excited about it. It should be great.
Some other updates I got my permanent crown on so I do not have to go back to the dentist until September for a check up that they want to do. The weather is heating up here, it reached 80 degrees this week. And also the transfer is half way over.

Thanks for the emails from everyone I really do enjoy reading them and hearing how everything is going. Tell next week this is Elder Johnson singing out.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Planning, Brother Mason's Dishes, Following the Spirit - 03/23/2015

Hello everyone! I hope your past week was productive and enjoyable.
The week was by busy for us it was really fun but very tiring.

We spent pretty much the whole day day calling people and setting up appointments. We were able to set up pretty much our whole schedule for the week in that one day.

We had three lessons on Wednesday. One was with an active member. Another was a recent convert that that was in elder Paul's last ward. He wanted to take us out for lunch so we went to Capitol Hill. It was really fun. Then we had and another lesson with with a less active in our ward. We are trying to get him back to church but so far we have had very little success, but I'm am sure that he will come around.

We started out the day with our interviews the the mission President. I always love those interviews because you actually get to talk one on one with the mission president and that does not happen very often. After interviews our whole district went out for lunch and then we went home. When we got home, Elder Paul had to grab some paperwork for stake coordination. And because he the district leader we had to go the the church and fill it out for our ward. After he finished we went out and just talked to people. We met some really cool people. Nobody was to interested, but it was still an enjoyable time. After about an hour of that, we had an appointment with the Harrison family.
The Harrison family is an active/less active family. We have been focusing on getting the daughter to come to church and she has been coming for a while now. It's been really great to see her change over the past 6 months I have been here. When we got there we found out that Bro. Harrison's son and his non member fiance moved into his house. So we were able to teach all of them. Elder Paul and I didn't really have anything planned so we just went off of the spirit and it turned out to be a very good lesson. The spirit was very strong. For the lesson we just went around the table and shared how the gospel has blessed each of our lives and even Ronika, the non member, shared something. We will be teaching her more often.

We started by going to a new member who is getting ready for the temple, but she wasn't there. So we biked to the church so Elder Paul could finish the paperwork for the stake. We biked back home so we could get on the metro to go down town for a meal with one of our members. Friday was extremely rainy and pretty cold so it was kind of a crazy bike ride especially when it started to hail. Anyway we went to this burger joint call Bobby's Burger Palace. After that we went home but it took forever. We took the bus and the main road we had to get on was all blocked of because of an incident that occurred on another bus. So the bus had to take back streets get to our bus stop.
We finally got home just in time for another member meal with all the missionary's. We had spaghetti and it was a lot less sweet then the one we had last week. When we were finished there we headed to one of the missionary's favorite lessons with Brother Mason. He is an active member and he has a very special spirit about him. This week I was able to wash dishes with him which was totally random Hahaha.

We did tons of walking because Elder Paul's bike has no brakes. So we walked up the the church because we had a lesson up there, but it canceled. Then we walked back and we met this awesome guy. His name is Alee. We talked to him for a few minutes he and he said that we could come back. He seemed very interested about what we do as missionaries and why we are always out in the black neighborhoods. He was very nice. We had an appointment with a potential investigator. We got to his house and he was there. We tried to teach the 1st lesson but we found out the he is legit crazy. We were there for probably an hour and we were only able to hit the first two points because he would not stop talking about random stuff that had nothing to do with what we were talking about. I'm pretty sure we are not going to go back there any time soon. Our next appointment was with our investigator, John. We were able to drop off the large print Book of Mormon so he can read it. While we were there he asked us to drive all the way up to North West, which is the opposite side of do where we are, to go and pick up a TV for him because he doesn't have a car. We said we couldn't but he still wants us to try and find a way to do that and I'm not sure how that's going to go. After we were finished with him we didn't have anything planed other then finding so I felt like we should go visit this lady in the ward that is having a hard time. We get there right as she pulled up and we helped her carry groceries in for her. We sat down and talked for a good our. Turns out she really needed a boost and she said it was perfect timing for us to stop by. It's amazing how the spirit works.

We started out by going to church. We get there and we see that Emanuel, a guy who we have been trying to work with, showed up with his whole family. It was great to see them. We were able to talk to them and it sounds like we will be able to meet this week. After church Elder Paul had to play the piano for the ward choir for an our so we didn't leave church till dinner time. After dinner we walked around and checked on some potentials. One of them we caught him right when he was leaving and said we can come by next week. The other Potential was not home. And that was our Sunday and that was our week.

Thanks for the emails everyone. Sorry this email wasn't to good. I had to rush through it. Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Moving Service Project, Capital Hill Exchange, Family History Temple Trip, Sweet Spaghetti, and Senator Orin Hatch - 03/16/2015

Hey everyone! This is Elder Johnson with my weekly update with life on the mission. This week has been great for lots of reason. I'll just start out by saying how grateful I am for being apart of this gospel and how much joy it brings to people all around the world.
Tuesday was a very rainy day. We had lots of appointments cancel on us. We also helped people get out of the mud. We had a member meal. After that Elder Paul and I had a lesson with a person at the church because she lives in a shelter. So we waited at the church for an hour and a half for this lady and she never came so we went inside and found family names to take to the temple on Friday.

Wednesday we had a packed day. We had to go help out a member with moving a bunch of things from one storage container to another and it was packed full. Elder Paul and I had to leave early for our other appointments. We went with the senior couple in our ward to a new convert and his family. We had a very good lesson about going to the temple and getting sealed so they are very excited about that. That appointment was very long because they like to talk a lot and they also made us lunch which was very nice of them. After that we had another appointment that we went to. She is an active member who we visit every week. After that we headed home and got ready for our meeting with our investigator John. We stopped in just for a couple of minutes because he was really sleepy. So we just followed up on his reading that we had committed him to, but he still hasn't read anything. So we will have to check with him this week and see how he is doing. After we met with him we had dinner and then it was time for our weekly ward meetings.
Thursday we started the day with our district meeting. It was a good meeting and it is always fun to see the other missionaries. After district meeting we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch as we always do, then I went on exchange to Capital Hill. I was able to exchange with my MTC companion. It was a lot of fun! It helped give me lots of motivation to go and talk to people.

Friday we went to the temple for our family history and I was able to bring 5 family names and I got to do the baptisms, confirmations, and the initiatory's for them. Only problem I had was getting the initiatory's done because there were lots of missionaries and not to many workers there so I wasn't able to get all of them done. We were in the temple from 9 to about 1 and I sat in one of the rooms for 2 hours. haha it was a great visit, I liked it a lot. I was actually able to do the baptizing and the confirmations for some people, it was great. After the temple we headed home and I had to pack up all my clothes and stuff at the Capital Hill apartment. Then we had to go to a bike shop for some missionary that was having bike problems.  Once we got home it was time for dinner. Elder Paul and I went to Melvin's. It was really fun, he fed us sweet spaghetti. We asked him how he made it and he told us all he did was just add a touch of sugar, not very much at all. Only about a half of a cup. Elder Paul and I about busted out laughing it was so funny. After dinner we went with the south elder's to a member. His name is brother Mason. He is really funny. I was able to play checkers with him and he never plays with any of the missionaries so I was pretty lucky. 
Saturday we spent the whole day checking on less actives/ former investigators and we really didn't get anywhere, but we did find an actual nice part of Anacostia. there is a sweet park by the river. So just for future reference, Anacostia is in South East Washington DC. The only thing that separates Anacostia form Capital Hill is a river. So the park we found is right on the edge of our area. All day Saturday we were talking to almost everyone we saw and we actually came out of that day with 3 new people that we are going to try to teach, so it was a pretty great day.
Sunday we went to church and that is always good. After church we had an event up at the visitor center. We were able to listen to Senator Orin Hatch speak. He was great. He threw it down in a nice way about the Book of Mormon being true and reality that God is real.
Today we went with some other Elders and played hockey and we were there for most of the day. Then we went to a member meal on base. It was a good day.

Thanks for all the emails everyone. Sorry that this one is soo late. I didn't have to much time to type this out. Thank for all the support and all you guys do for me. 

Have a great week! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Snow Week, Competitive Hot Dog Eating, Melvin Dean, and Sweet Deals at Radio Shack - 03/09/2015

Hello family and friends. I am typing this email out on my brand new keyboard case. Not sure if it is making me go faster or just slowing me down haha, but I only paid 12 dollars, thank you Radio Shack for going out of biz so I can get some sweet deals. As I am typing, I am actually getting better with this thing, yessss! 

Anyway this week has been very very slow with the weather. Monday we just chilled. we went to Cafe Rio which is always good. Other than that, we really didn't do anything. 

Tuesday we were able to do some service for a guy in our ward who is moving. It didn't take long but I had to leave early because I went to the dentist whoop whoop. At the dentist, they took my final impressions and put my temporary crown on, so all I need now is the crown and they said it would take a couple of weeks for them to get one from the lab. After that we went home and it was time for dinner so we went over to our ward mission leaders house. They made us this really weird but good casserole and for dessert we had pie. 

Wednesday was transfers and I already new that my companion and I were staying together so I wasn't really too excited for this meeting. The craziest thing that happened for me was that they opened another area in the Anacostia ward and they assigned two missionaries who are in their last transfer to it. And my roommate got a companion who is also going home at the end of this transfer. So there is a total of three dying missionaries in the ward now. Oh and my old companion, Elder Simons, is back in the ward so that is kinda strange. After transfers we went to Costco for some food, then we went home and helped the other elders get settled and that took us till dinner. We ate at a members house. It was really good. She mad us some curry chicken. Haha its going to be a lot harder to get member meals now that there is a total of 8 missionaries in the ward. After dinner we went to ward meetings and it was alright. We talked a lot about the focus 15 and the ward stewardship visits that took place on Saturday.

Thursday was a winter storm and so we had to stay inside allll day. It snowed probably a total of 6 inches which is a pretty good size snow, but it did cause everything to shut down. Before we got the call out, Elder Paul and I went to the grocery store and you would have thought it was World War III out side. The lines went all the way to the back of the store. It was not a very good choice to go to the store that day. After that we went to Little Caesars so we could have some pizza while we were stuck inside, but when we got there we found out that they closed the store because of the snow..... If Little Ceasers is closed then you know that mud just hit the fan (missionary edit). On the way home we got the call that we had to get inside. As a missionary when you get stuck inside you can't really do much. So it was really boring. 

Friday morning we get another call out saying that we had to stay around our apartment and we could only use mass transit. So in the morning Elder Paul and I shoveled our entire street. It took forever but it was really fun. Only down side is that i got sun burnt because of my fair complexion.  After that we took the bus to the sketchy McDonalds for lunch. Then while we were waiting for the bus we went to Radio Shack that is going out of business and I found a keyboard case for only 12 dollars yay! We also talked to this crazy for like 20 minuets it was pretty great. After that we went to the Church and had our weekly planning session. After the planning session we walked home. On the way home some 14 year olds tried to pick a fight with us. It was quite funny. When we got home it was time to go to brother Masons house. Brother mason is a legendary member in the Anacostia ward. He his a very special guy. The missionaries have been stopping by at his home for a few years every Friday night and Elder Paul and I are lucky enough to go with the South Elders. After Brother Mason's it was time to go in for the night.

Saturday we started out with going to the stake center for basketball, while my companion went to a meeting. Basketball was really fun. After basketball we headed home to get ready for our ward stewardship visits. The stewardship visits we have every first Saturday of the month. Stewardship visits are when all the members of the ward council and all the missionaries get together and visit less actives and members who need help. I went with one of the High Priest Group Councilors and we did not get a hold of any of the people we wanted to visit, so we were the first people back. After we reported all that we did to the Bishopric we had lunch. I was really hungry so I was a little piggy and ate 8 hot dogs. Don't worry mom there were a ton of hot dogs. After that we had to go to the Stake Center and wait for my companion to come back from his all day leadership meeting. We had to wait for him for quite a while. He finally came and we went home and set up some appointments set up for the week. After that we went to Melvin Davis's house. He is probably my favorite member in the ward. He is so funny. I have an awesome video from our visit. Ill have to send you guys the video from it. Probably one of the funniest moments on my mission. He is a really funny guy. After Melvin's we went home for the night. 

Sunday we went to church and it was really good, but I was tired because of the time change. When we got out of church it felt soo nice out side. It was about 60. we were able to roll the windows down and put on the sunglasses on the way to dinner. For dinner we went to the Forson family who feed us quite often. Every time I eat at there house I feel like my heart is going to stop. These people eat the most greasy most fattening food in the world. Hopefully I will be able to get back into shape and eat healthy food soon. After we were done with dinner Elder Paul and I went to Family Home Evening with the Harrison family. We had a nice lesson by the senior couple, the Biolos. Then we played games. After that we went home and that was the whole night.

And that was our whole week. Thanks for everything guys. Have a great week!

Monday, March 2, 2015

iPad Resets, Sleepy Investigator, Temple Trip, and Another Tour In Anacostia - 03/02/2015

Hello family and friends. I hope all of you have been having a great week so far. Last week was pretty great for us. Elder Paul and I had a lot going on but we still managed to get s pretty good week together. 

Tuesday our mission had a meeting at the Washington, D.C. Stake Center. We all gathered in the chapel. Beforehand our mission leadership told us it had to do with iPads and how we are getting rid of the old ones and getting new ones since the pilot program that our mission has been doing for the past year is now complete. A member from the 2nd Quorum of the 70 came to our mission and announced that we are doing a reset when we receive our new iPads. In short and simple terms, this means that we are acting like we are receiving iPads for the very first time. Along with this we are receiving training on how to properly use iPads as a proper tool for missionaries. Along with this training we are going to go through certain stages where we focus on more specific things. For example we could focus on how to use the gospel library app more effectively for a certain amount of time then we focus on online proselyting. This program will be very beneficial for all of the missionaries. I know I could use some help and advice on how to use these resources more effectively. I believe that the last stage that we are going to cover is online proselyting so that means that all of us missionaries will not have Facebook till then. So this could be up to a month or so. Not quite sure how long, they have not given us too much info. This meeting lasted for several hours. By the time we got back to our area it was about 4. So we had just enough time to get some of our studies in before we headed to a members house for dinner.

Wednesday was our most productive day. Elder Paul and I had to head up to the dentist once again.....  But before we left we had the opportunity to give a missionary a blessing. Elder Paul anointed and I sealed it. This was the 3rd blessing I have been blessed to give, but it was the first time I had done the sealing of the oil. It was an amazing experience. The missionary who I was blessing had gotten under my skin a couple of times, but while I was giving the blessing I felt an overwhelming feeling of love towards him. Heavenly Father showed me just a glimpse of how much he loved this missionary and it was truly an amazing feeling. And ever since then I have really enjoyed being around him. The next thing on the list we had to do on Wednesday was go to the dentist. Once we were done with that we went back to our area for lunch with a member. After lunch we went strait over to visit a man who had requested a DVD.  His name is John Kia and he is very interesting. Our plan going into this lesson was to give him the DVD and then transition into the restoration lesson. To make a long story short, John was on medication for his eyes and this made him very sleepy. He fell asleep probably 7 times in about a half our period. He would be in the middle of a sentence and he would just clonk out. He would also fall asleep if he was reading, answering a question, or just listening. It was a very strange lesson but the good news is we were able to meet with him again and he was a lot more with it. After this lesson we went to Capital Hill to meet a member for dinner at an awesome pizza place. We had a good time. By the time we were done, it was time to go to Ward Council. 

Thursday we started out with some snow, so we were not able to attend our weekly missionary meeting. We were able to make it to Althea's. Althea is a recent convert. She is an amazing person! She has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and it's not look very good for her. She is currently working on getting her temple recommend so she can go through the temple and that is what we talked to her about. After Althea, we had our weekly planning day.

Friday we were able to go to the temple! Yay! All of the missionaries were able to go on Wednesday, but since I had a dentist appointment, Elder Paul and I were able to with the North Elders who were sick on Wednesday. It was a very good session. Much more peaceful because there was hardly anyone there.  After the temple we went to good old Costco for lunch. Then we went home. There was lots of traffic on the roads so It took us forever to get home. When we did it was already time for dinner.

Saturday, like always, we played basketball at the stake center with some non-members and other missionaries. It was a lot of fun. Afterward, we had to drop the the other elders off at their apartment and then we ran a couple of errands. Elder Paul wanted to return a CD case he got the other day and all the other missionary's canceled their gym passes because of transfers being next week and some other reasons. By the time we were all done, Elder Paul and I had just enough time to get ready and get to our appointment with John. This time it went a lot better than the last time. We just talked about the Book of Mormon and why it is so important to our religion. We gave him one and asked him if he would read and pray about it and he said he would. After John we went to a recent converts home and just sat down and talked to her for a little bit until it was time to go to our member dinner. After dinner we went home and waited for the call to tell us if we were going to be leaving or if we were going to be staying for transfers. I was pretty sure I was going to stay, but I was really hoping I would leave. And I am staying . Oh well haha. I will be spending a least a quarter of my mission in Anacostia.

Sunday we had some pretty bad weather. We had freezing rain so we were told to stay off the roads a much as possible, so we went to church went back, and then went to dinner and that was it.

Today we are planning on going to Cafe Rio and I'm really excited about that. Other than that, we don't really have any plans. 

Have a great week everyone!