Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Snowed in Again, Scott and Sonya Come to Church, and Missing Igor - 02/23/2016

Hello Everyone! 

I hope you all had a great week! Last week was little bit of a struggle:

Monday we did not do much we. We ended up getting snowed in again, so we really didn't do too much. We finally broke out and ended up walking to the church to play some basketball and that is what we did for the rest of the day. 

Tuesday we were able to meet with a part-member family that the past missionary's had been working with. The lesson went pretty well, the father of the family is a member that has not been to church in a little while because of his work and his wife is not a member. 

Wednesday we were able to meet with Igor and the lesson went really well. He has opened up to us a lot. 

Thursday we met with our ward mission leader and his family for dinner and we talked about some thing that the ward mission needs help with. It was a good talk! Elder Lee and I are getting s better hang of the area, but we are still meeting with members to be able to get to know them. I feel as we do that we will be able to have a better grasp on where the ward needs help and where the ward can help us. Later that night we had a lesson with a couple of our investigators, Scott and Sonia. The lesson went really well and they said that they would come to church! 

Friday we met with a less active guy in ward named Ghee Hall. We met a Ghee in a Starbucks coffee shop. We started off introducing ourselves and got to know Ghee for a little while and it was really fun. Ghee is a very funny man who likes to joke around. Sometimes it was hard to tell if he was joking or not. He told Elder Lee that he could order a coffee and we weren't sure if he was serious or not. It was a fun lesson. 

Saturday was the day where it started to get a little frustrating. We had an appointment with Igor for sometime in the afternoon. We went and checked up on his house but his housemates told us that he had gone on a walk. Elder Lee and I decided to go and try to find him. We started driving down the streets looking on both sides see if we could find any signs of Igor.  We finally found him, probably about a mile from his house. He was on a super busy road so there was no way for us to pull over and talk to him so we drove around the block and parked on a side street. We gave him a call and he said that he would still like to meet after he had finished his walk. So while we waited for him to finish his walk we drove around checking on potentials, less active's,  and former members. After little while we checked back in on him. He told us that he was no longer able to meet because he had another appointment that he had to attend. 

Sunday we had our normal services. Igor was supposed to come but we were unable to get a hold of him. After our early-morning ward council meeting we went and checked up at his house to see if we could get in contact with him but we were unable to. Fortunately, Sonya, Scott, and Scott's daughter all came to church. It was good to see them, they had not been to church since we have been in the area. During second hour Elder Lee and I gave him a lesson on Jesus Christ. After the second hour Sonia and Scott and Scott's kid had to leave. While they were at church the ward did a great job of fellowshipping.  It was really great to see. After church we had a lesson with a less active man whose wife is investigating the church. It was supposed to be both of them, but his wife was busy at work, so we were not able to meet with her, but we still had a good time teaching and getting to know the husband. And later on the day we were able to attend the "Why I Believe" fireside. We were supposed to bring Igor, but we were not able to contact him, so it did not work out. The fireside was awesome! Betsy Perez was supposed to be giving her testimony but her mother-in-law had an emergency operation performed so she did not speak. She will be speaking at next months fire side. The keynote speaker was Sister Givens the wife of the man who spoke last month. She gave a really good talk about why she believes.  I'm so very sorry about this late email I will try to get it out sooner next week. Have a fantastic week and I hope to hear from all of you again thanks again!


Elder Johnson

Monday, February 15, 2016

Football on the National Mall, Loudest Lesson Ever, Senior Missionary Cupids, and a Baptism that Started Off Cold, but Ended HOT - 02/15/2016

Hey everybody what's up!

It's time for another weekly email. This week has been pretty great. We are finally kinda getting the hang of our area. 

On Monday we went down to The national mall and played football with lots of elders. It was great to see everyone especially because we are not able to meet as a mission anymore. After football we went to the mall to get lunch and then we chill the rest the day until it was Time to go to a member meal. During this member meal Elder Lee, my companion, started getting super bad hiccups. He then ran to the restroom. When he came out he told me that we should probably go. It turned out that he got sick so we went home. That was our Monday night.
On Tuesday we met with a recent convert from the ward. His name is R****z and he is from Jordan. He is really cool guy and he is preparing to go to the temple. After we have finished up with him we spent pretty much the rest of the day checking on referrals and contacting. A little bit later in the day we had an appointment with a less active man by the name of Brother S*****k. He is an older man with some health problems, so he is not able to make it to church. The missionaries had been meeting with him for a while now so we kept up the tradition. Brother S*****k is pretty much deaf, which made the lesson pretty interesting. We literally had to yell at him the entire time. When we thought we were talking loud enough he would stare at us like he had no idea what we said. There were a few times during the lesson that I had to stop myself from laughing. I had to say the prayer at the end of the lesson. It was so hard not to laugh. I am pretty sure the neighbors two houses down heard everything we said. We should have counted that as a member present. When we finished up with him it was time to go ward correlation with our ward mission leader and the other missionaries in the ward.
Wednesday we had our weekly planning session which consisted of mostly calling people trying to set up appointments. After we finished weekly planning we went finding for a little while then we headed to dinner with the family in the ward.

Thursday we had our district meetings. Probably the most entertaining part of that was one of the senior elders dressed up like Cupid and handed all the missionaries valentines candy. It was pretty funny, but I also felt very uncomfortable ha ha. The worst part of the day was that we had almost all of our appointments cancel on us so we had to go about finding. When it came to dinnertime we walked over to the member who is feeding us. Turned out he was still at work and the only person who is home was his son-in-law. Elder Lee and I talked had an awesome conversation with him. He is a really cool guy, he is from Florida and right now he is doing an internship. He is a convert of only few years so it was really cool here how the Gospel has blessed his life. After we finished talking with him we walked back to our apartment. As soon as we walked through the door we got a call from the member who was supposed to feed us. He told us that he just had gotten home and that we could come back over and eat dinner with him. It was a pretty funny dinner, everything was just thrown together and it was actually really good. The member's name is Brother S*****n. He works for the United States Army and I am guessing he does some pretty crazy stuff because he would not talk about his job at all.
Friday was a pretty good day. We had a referral given to us by another missionary. He set up an appointment for us. We taught this lady the first lesson and it went pretty well. She seemed kind of interested and she said she would come to church when she got a day off, but she is generally pretty busy. Hopefully we will be able to meet with her again. After we had finished with her we are headed over to a member who had just recently moved into the ward. She Asked us to come over and give her a blessing because of some hardships of her life. It was awesome to be able to use the priesthood to help her. Later that day we spend time checking on referrals again. I wish so bad that they would pick up their phones and answer their doors. Later that night we had an appointment with some investigators. Their names are S***t and S***a. The missionaries have been working with them for quite some time now and it was great to be able to introduce ourselves and get to know them. S***t had a baptismal date, but an issue came up in one of the lessons. We found out that he still wants to work towards baptism which is great! We hope everything works out with him.

On Saturday we had a few appointments. We were checking on this lady who had requested missionaries to come over and give her a book of Mormon. We had given her a Book of Mormon about a week ago, but we were not able to teacher. So Elder Lee and I dropped in to see if she was home. Her husband answered the door and he invited us in. The lady who had requested the missionaries was asleep so we talked with her husband. He's a really cool guy with some struggles in his life right now. We talked to him about the restoration briefly and he said that it was very interesting and he would like to learn more, but not at this time because of some things that are going on in his life right now. After we had finished talking with him. We decided we would drop in on the Igor. We had not been able to get a hold of Igor the entire week and it was kind of frustrating because he is our main guy right now. We knocked on the door and it turned out he was home and he was really excited to see us. He told us that his phone had not been working properly so it has been hard for people to get a hold of him. We taught him a few of the Commandments and he says that he does not have any problems except for coffee. He hasn't had coffee for a few weeks now, but he is having a hard time ignoring the temptation.

Sunday was pretty exciting. We had our normal church services and then we had a ward baptism right after church. The ward mission leader had put Elder Lee and I in charge of filling the font. While we start to fill the font we noticed that the water was really cold. We talked to the ward mission leader about it and he told us that there was a hot water heater in the basement that we may have to adjust. So Elder Lee, myself, and the ward mission leader went down to the basement to turn up the water heater. We went to the baptismal font and the water was heating up. When it came to the baptism I guess it wasn't enough. The water was still really cold. During the confirmation the fire alarm started going off. As soon as the blessing is over everybody evacuated the church building. Couple minutes later about four fire trucks pulled into the church parking lot and started to investigate the building. It turns out that the hot water heater overheated and it started to produce a lot of steam which set off the fire alarms. It brings a whole new meaning to baptism by fire.

Well that was pretty much our week. 

Have a fantastic week and I hope to hear from you soon


Monday, February 8, 2016

Transferred to White Oak, Bitter Sweet Goodbyes in Derwood, Aussie Companion, and Getting to Know the New Ward - 02/08/2016

Hello everyone! I hope that you all have had a great week. My week has been a little crazy!

On Monday we just had a ton of fun with our zone. We had lunch at our local chapel then we headed to the ice skating rink. It was a great way to close out the transfer. That night we got the phone calls that told us where we were going and who our companion was going to be. I found out that the kid that I was suppose to train was a visa waiter and it turned out that he got his visa so he is not coming to our mission which means I am not training. The companion that I am getting is Elder Lee and we were both leaving our old areas and heading to the White Oak Ward. I was super surprised and shocked. The crazy thing about being sent to White Oak is that Igor, our old investigator, moved into White Oak last week. So I will be able to teach him! I am so pumped about that! 

Tuesday had our last district/zone meeting and it was very bitter sweet. Most of that zone has stayed for a while and they were making some big changes to the areas. After the meeting we did our tour around the ward. It was really hard saying goodbye to the ward. It was for sure one of my favorite areas. The last stop of the night was Betsy and her family. It was very hard to say goodbye. That family is so awesome! the kids had put together a thank you basket. That was one of the nicest things that someone has done for me. When we got home I spent the rest of the night packing. 

Wednesday we headed to the stake center to meet our new companions. My new companion, Elder Lee, is from Australia which is pretty sweet! He is a really cool guy. He has been out on his mission for about 6 months now. We spent pretty much the whole day trying to get situated. Since we were packing a lot of people's stuff we had to run back up to my old apartment and pick up the rest of my things because they would not fit into the car. 

Thursday we had our missionary meeting with the new zone. It was really fun, but really weird. There are so many missionaries that I have no idea who they are. They all seem great though. After the meeting we went shopping. After shopping we ate then we checked on a bunch of referrals. 

Friday we spent the entire day checking referrals in the area. 

Saturday we were able to get permission to go up to Derwood and have lunch with Betsy, her family, Elder Bentley, and Elder Woodis. It was great to see them again. After we had ate lunch we were able to meet a couple of members from the ward. 

Sunday we went to church and we really started to get to know the members in the ward. Overall this week has been pretty slow trying to get use to the new area. We are really excited for the work. 

Thanks for all the support guys! 

Have a fantastic week!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Escape From the Snowed-In Apartment, Hoop Dreams, Snow Shoveling, Blessing for GG, Temple Trip, Transfers and Training, and BETSY's BAPTISM!!! - 02/01/2016

Hello everyone! How is it going?! This week has been an amazing week! It will for sure be one that I will never forget:

Monday we were finally able to get out of our house. We were allowed to use our cars from 3 pm to 6 pm so for those 3 hours we spent the time just out and about. When it got to be 6 pm we went back inside. Our dinner appointment was nice enough that they came and picked us up so we could still have dinner with them. After dinner we were supposed to go to Betsy's. The family we had the dinner appointment with was willing to take us over. Unfortunately, on our way over to Betsy's we go stuck behind a snow plow so we were not able to get to her house.
On Tuesday we went to the Stake Center to go and play basketball. Elder Bentley and I were the first ones to get there. When we pulled up we saw that the entire parking lot of the church was buried with 3 feet of snow. We thought that there was no way we would be playing basketball so we started to drive home. A few minutes later we get a call from one of the Elders we play with telling us to get back there. We parked across the street at an elementary school. With nothing but our shorts on, we made the long journey to the front doors. It was flipping cold! #BallisLife. After we had finished basketball, we got ready and had our study's. After our studies  we were able to get over to Betsy's. We had the Zone leaders come with us so they could conduct the baptismal interview and Betsy passed! That was probably one of the shortest interviews I have ever seen. After her interview we started setting up her Baptismal Program. We decided, with the Ward Mission Leader, that we should scoot her baptism to Saturday so she could be confirmed on Sunday. After we had that all set up I was able to give Betsy's daughter, GG, a blessing. She had surgery the next day so we thought it would be a good idea to give her a blessing. It was probably one of the cutest things ever ( I promise I am a man). She was just kneeling down playing with her toys and we all came around her and placed our hands on her head. It was such a sweet experience. After Betsy's we met up with our roommates and we headed to lunch at Chick-Fil-A and Cheryl was there. She hooked all of us up with multiple free Chicken Sandwich cards. After lunch we pretty much spent the entire day shoveling people out of the snow. He helped some of the sisters in our district get there cars out of the snow. It was really fun! It was very tiring though. Since the snow storm had melted a little,  the snow is now really heavy and wet.
Wednesday we had our temple trip as a mission! As always it was a great experience. It was especially great because we are no longer allowed to gather as a mission because of some changes in Salt Lake. So now we don't get to see everyone very much. After lunch we had our regular meeting with Harold. After our visit with Harold we headed to our Ward Mission Leader's for dinner. During dinner we set up the program for Betsy's baptism. Everything went really smoothly. During this whole week we had contact with her sister-in-law, who is a member. She helped us out so much.
Thursday we spent the entire day shoveling snow for random people. It was very fun, but it was also very, very tiring. At the end of the day I got a call from the Mission President. He told me I am going to be training again. I am still not sure my feelings on that.
Friday we headed down to the church's book store and we were able to scrounge up enough money and we were able to buy Betsy a quad for her baptism. In this quad Elder Bentley and I wrote our testimonies in it. Then we gave it to the sisters who had also worked with her, so they could write their's. After we had finished getting that all organized we went back to Harold's to have lunch and also pick up a crystal Washington, D.C. Temple cube for Betsy. After we had finished with Harold. We went and visited Sister Puckett. We made some sick eagle shirts with her.
Saturday was Betsy's Baptism!! It was awesome!! Everything went awesome! Her bother-in-law performed the baptism. Everything went very smoothly. After Betsy was baptized, her mother-in-law gave a super powerful talk. She also said that her family had been praying for years for Betsy to be baptized and for her husband to come back to church. She said that they almost gave up on Christmas. Elder Bentley and I got a hold of her a couple days after Christmas. It was really cool to hear how very thing just fell into place. That was probably my favorite baptism that I have attended on my mission. I love Betsy and her family so much! The rest of the day was spent shoveling snow whoop whoop!!
Sunday Betsy got confirmed so now she is officially a member of the Church! Ahhhh! So great! We had Ward Conference so it was very long day. After church we had the Ward Council meeting with everyone. After the meeting we went straight to dinner with a few families. It was a fun night!
So I am very sorry for emailing super late, but it has been a pretty crazy day! So we had our zone active and we went ice skating and it was really fun! After that we headed back to our apartment and filmed another dance off video and it is sick! After we did that we went to dinner with a great family in the ward and after that we went and visited Betsy and her family. It is so sad. I am getting transferred out of the area and so it was the last time I will see them for a bit. They gave me a small package full of things. They even got me a small iHome speaker! Gosh I am going to miss them. Anyway thanks for everything!! Take care!