Monday, November 24, 2014

Week Eighteen - November 23, 2014

FAMILY!  How are you? 

I hope all is well.  I thank you for all your amazing support and love you show me.  I can feel your prayers everyday. 
 Elder Johnson shows how fish are everywhere!

 This week has been great.  I am seeing the Hand of the Lord more and more in my life as I come closer to him and gain a stronger relationship with Him.  I have done a lot of self reflection these past few days on how and why I know this church is true.  I was really trying to look back on my previous life to specific experiences that I have had to help me understand the importance that this Gospel has had on my life.  As I thought of these experiences, I decided to write them down.  I came up with a few and I know that these were things I went through to prepare me for this time I am in now.
A cute family in Korea with Elder Johnson

A few weeks ago, Tyler sent me an e-mail that meant a lot to me.  He said, "I think the advice I could give is that in all that you do, search the Holy Ghost.  He is your constant companion.  Search Him and he will give you all things that you can say and do. I know in my tracting efforts, I have been guided by the Holy Ghost.  Don't  seek to be first.  Serve."

Well, I followed his advice.  I have really been seeking the gift of the Holy Ghost in everything I do.  I have been praying to be guided and to receive truth and light from the Holy Ghost.  I have a special experience that happened last week.  First of all, with the oven experience and second I have been lead to people while tracting by the Holy Ghost.  Last week when P Day ended, we had planned to meet with our investigator but things changed a little bit and he ended up cancelling.  So after me and my comp talked about what we should do, we decided to go out and tract.  Well, I wasn't in the best mood.  I was a little down and I had really been praying to receive strength.  Right before me and my companion left our house, I told him I wasn't going to bring my bag  and that I would just carry the Book of Mormon in my hand.  Well, I had this prompting for some reason I really needed my bag.  I ignored it.  I was prompted again.  I ignored it.  I got down on my knees before we left and prayed to feel the Love of the Savior and to be led to someone who needed to hear of the Gospel.  As I got up, I was just about to leave the house when the prompting came again.  Get you bag.  So of course after three hard promptings, I went and got my bag.  I had no idea why I needed it.  I had everything I needed.  All I thought I needed was my Korean Book of Mormon.  

Well, as me and my companion started to tract, we were on this busy road and as we were walking, I just felt like I needed to stop and turn right.  There was a street that nobody was on.  It was pretty dark and I couldn't see anyone. As we continued to walk down it, there was nobody.  So I said, "Lets just walk to that sign and we will turn around and go back out to the busy street."  Well, as we turned around, there was this girl who was down the road from us.  She had a lot in her hands and so we thought we should help her.  Well, as she got closer and closer, I could tell that she wasn't Korean.  She was from the Philippines.  As we started to talk to her, we introduced ourselves and told her what we were doing.  We began to introduce the Book of Mormon. Well, unfortunately we thought we didn't have an English Book of Mormon.  But as we continued to talk about the Book of Mormon, I had a feeling to check my bag.  Well, sure enough, I had an English Book of Mormon in my bag.  I had a prompting to put it in there about two weeks ago, and I kept trying to take it out but each time I had the prompting to leave it in.  Anyway, we were able to give it to her, and I know that we were lead by the Spirit through our efforts.  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father listens and answers our prayers through the Holy Ghost.  That is something I have been praying for, to be enlightened by the Holy Ghost to receive Light and Truth.

Elder Uchtdorf gave an amazing talk in conference called, "Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth."  We all have the ability to gain a personal testimony.  We all have the ability to feel God's infinite love.  Something he said in his talk I really loved, "In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God's light as we journey on the path of discipleship."  That is so true.  I know God hears and answers our prayers.  I have been praying from the desires of my heart.  We often have MANY thoughts go through our mind and there are many things we want, but I really believe that the real and true things are found in our heart.  As we express our hearts, we can find Light and Truth.

Our investigators are doing well.  I'm working hard and trying my best to learn the language! It is very hard but I am progressing little by little.

I love you and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week Seventeen - November 17, 2014

Family!  Hope all is Well!

I don't have a lot of time.  This week has been great.  Still working hard and trying to find new investigators.  My little fact for Korea is "Criss Cross Apple Sauce."  Cross legged kills me!  Hah!  I am trying hard to be able to sit cross legged for more than 30 mins.  HaHa!  It kills my knees.  But, it's getting better.  Koreans eat and sit and talk cross legged.  When we go to restaurants, we mostly take off our shoes and sit criss crossed.  It's great!

I have been working hard this week.  Trying to learn and grow.  I am learning so much from the scriptures, and I am really trying to study "Preach My Gospel."  We have 4 or 5 investigators, and we are really trying to help them progress.  Most of them aren't really keeping our commitments.  We met this guy from Vietnam, and he is really interested in our church.  We are meeting with him every week and are trying to help him understand the importance of this Gospel and how it changes lives!

I have been praying for specific gifts this week, and I have been being accountable to the Lord at the end of the day for how I will obtain each gift.  As we do our part, He blesses us.  I set daily goals, and I have seen so many blessings as I obey and accomplish my goals.

Sorry, I really don't have a lot of time this week.  The ward mission leader took us hiking today!  It was a blast!

We have an appointment in like 20 minutes, so we didn't have much time to e-mail.  Hope all is well. I love and pray for you every day.  Have a good week.


Elder Johnson

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week Sixteen - November 10, 2014


Hope everything is going well! 
This week has been great!  Super busy and full of a lot of miracles!  Before I tell you about this week, I'll share my little facts about Korea.  Korea people exercise on these little wooded pathways  on the side of the road.  Not a lot of runners, just a lot of walkers.  Off to the side of these paths, they have these little exercise machines.  They are so weird haha. You can do the elliptical or a little sit up thing.  I don't know how to explain it.  I will take a pic and send home next week.  Me and my comp went running this week in the morning a few times, and we stopped and used the machines.  There were these two bars next together so I started to do some dips.  This guy walked past and didn't stop staring at me.  I'm sure he was thinking, "What in the world is that crazy American doing... we don't do that in Korea."  Hahah  
Another thing is the fruit here.  The fruit is delicious.  The members always give us fruit.  In Korea, we always eat the normal mean with all the crazy side dishes, and then after we always eat fruit.  It's great.  I'm getting kinda fat.  I am starting to really love the food and the people.  Korea is amazing!!! 
(Apartment bathroom of missionaries.)

This week has been amazing.  We have been super busy with appointments and have just been all over the place.  It has been great.  Me and my companion, Elder Skinner, are really working hard trying to help our investigators progress.
(Investigator and Elders)

On Thursday this week, it was a day that I will never forget.  We were super busy, our first lesson was with a Brother.  He is an academy owner.  His English is pretty good.  He is open to learning about our church, but he is Catholic and said he wasn't really  interested in changing religions.  We have been meeting with him for four weeks now, and he is slowly making progress.  We taught him about the great apostasy last week because he had a lot of questions about it.  We had to explain why and how God's power was taken off the earth.  Anyway, our lesson went really well.  At the end, he gave me four elementary school Korean text books for me to learn from.  It was amazing!  He is really nice.  I hope he can continue to progress.

After we met with him, we had an appointment.  We have have been meeting with him since I first got here.  He is my first investigator.  To quickly describe him, he is progressing but in a weird way.  He keeps our commitments and is praying and reading the scriptures, but he won't come to church.  We have tried to do everything we can to get him to come, but for some reason he won't come.  He tells us it's because he is really lazy.  He also has a weird phobia of keeping promises, he told us.  Anyway, before this lesson, I asked my companion if I could kinda take charge and lead the message.  The night before our lesson with him I prayed and asked Heavenly Father what it was that I needed to teach him.  

Well, the next day I believe I received my answer in personal study.  The Commandments.  If we love God, we will keep His commandments.  John 14:15.  That is exactly what he needed.  However....... we have taught him the commandments like two times already.  But I felt like that was what he needed.  So at the beginning of our lesson, he asked if I would pray in English and be sure to bless my family and my parents especially.  When I was praying in English at the beginning of our lesson, I felt the spirit so strong!  It was great!  Well, after my prayer, I got right into my lesson.  After about 10 minutes of me talking and having him read a few scriptures, he asked a question I couldn't reply to him in Korean, so Elder Skinner started talking to him.  Well, it dragged on and on and for about 45 minutes. 

Well, long story short, Kim's phone rang which was a miracle and so he hurried and went out and answered his phone.  I could tell that he was acting different.  Well, before he came back in, Elder Skinner explained that he tried to set a baptismal date to help him progress to, but he didn't like it and wanted to change subjects.  He tried to change the subject like three different times by trying to talk to me.  Well, I knew that when he came back in the room he would ask me to continue with my lesson, so I was thinking about everything I would say.  Well, as he sat back down in his chair, I started to say what I was going to say and then all of a sudden I stopped talking and put my head down.  The Spirit had a different way for me to handle the situation.  

As I put my head down and was looking at the ground, my eyes filled with tears.  The Spirit was getting stronger and stronger.  I looked up at him and he was stunned.  He was like, "Johnson, why are you crying?"  Right then I started to testify of everything I knew how to in Korean.  I was speaking the words that the Spirit would have me say.  I was filled with the Spirit so strong.  I explained to him how much happiness I have received from this gospel and how much I loved him and how much I know that this gospel could help him.  I shared a scripture with him. 2 NE 31:5.  After he read it, he just looked at me and in his broken English he said, "Johnson, I can feel your heart."  He said that like four or five different times.  I was grateful at that time to be able to be filled with the Spirit.  I don't know why I got so emotional, but I have received a lot of happiness from this gospel, and I just want to share it with everyone.  Sorry that was kinda a hard experience to share.  I hope you understand. 

I don't have much time, but I have really been being accountable to the Lord in all I do.  I have seen so many little miracles and blessings this week as I have created goals and been accountable to them.  I know that I am being blessed.  I am grateful everyday to serve the Lord.  Some days are hard but those are the days I learn the most.

I am doing great with the language.  It gets frustrating, but I push forward.  My desire to serve the Lord is very strong.  I came across Alma chapter 29 this week.  It talks about desires and how the God grants unto people according to their own desires.  I know that through my hard work and desire, people can strengthen theirs.  I am grateful for this gospel.

 There is so much more I want to tell you.  I will save for next week.  I am out of time.  I love you. Hope all is well.  Have a good week.  And know that Heavenly Father hears and answers all of our prayers.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week Fifteen - November 2, 2014

This week has been great!  Full of a lot of fun and crazy things!  

I hope all is well and everything is good back at home.  I love you and pray for you everyday.  Thank you for all the prayers on my behalf.  I am learning a lot everyday. 

Elder Jung Lee Hyun, in the back
Meal Time
My little fact about Korea this week is about the trash. They don't really have trash cans around here.  Ha They are pretty hard to find.  Most the time it's just garbage sacks from other people on the sides of the streets.  The smells can get horrible.  Like sometimes every thirty seconds you smell nothing but straight throw up.. haha   Also, they don't do disposal sinks, so the food you don't eat or the just all food goes into a "food trash."  Me and my companion put it in a sack and freeze it so it doesn't get stinky.  Koreans have like 6 different ways to throw away stuff.  They sort everything.  It's crazy!! 

Well, at the beginning of this week, I was kinda going through a little trial.  I was really frustrated, and I felt like everything I know just wasn't coming to me.  The language, the Gospel, etc.  I was getting frustrated, and I wasn't feeling the spirit very strongly.  That might sound a little weird, but I just needed to feel more of God's love and to know everything was okay and that I was going through that time for a reason.  It was to strengthen me and to help shape me into a better missionary.  I spent a lot of time praying and asking to have the things I knew come back to me and that I would be able to feel more of His love and power.

Well, last P day I tried printing out a talk by Elder Holland called, "Lord, I Believe."  At the time, the printer was broken and it wouldn't print. It was unfortunate. 

As the week went on, I think it was Wednesday that we had a lesson with one of our new investigators (I'll tell you about in just a sec) and after our lesson I looked on the counter and my talk was there!  I was so excited.  It just randomly showed up.  It was a miracle!  I studied the talk the next morning, and I have really gotten a lot from it.  It talks about how we need to focus on what we know and to wait for additional knowledge to come.  I started thinking and that's exactly what I wasn't doing. I  was focusing on what I didn't know, and I realized I can't do that.  I have to focus on what I know and to build off of that and to wait for additional knowledge to come.  There is a lot to learn, and I am grateful for each day on my mission because it's a new day to learn and grow and feel the spirit.  The talk also talks about faith.  It tell us that it's not the size of our faith that matters, but it's what we do with the faith we have.  I can't remember exactly how he said it, but it really hit me.  I learned a lot from it.  If you have time, I would read it.  You can learn a lot from it!

 (Click on the link above to see a short part of the address Elder Johnson is referring to.   At the side, you may also click to read or see the entire address.)

This week was Halloween!  We had a great outcome from our party.  It turned out really well.  It was fun to talk to all the members and to see everyone and their costumes.  We ended up getting a lot of referrals from it, so we are excited to call them and set appointments up to meet them.
 As I said earlier, we have this new investigator whose name is (  김경진).  He is a college student.  He is so cool.  He is very good at English, and he is moving in two weeks to Seoul for two years to graduate from this nice college.  He is planning on going to America to become a doctor.  He is super cool!  Every time we meet, he brings us so much food haha.  It's great.  He is super nice.  For about 20 minutes before every lesson, we teach him English.  This week, we have really been trying hard to help him know that there is a God and that we can feel His love through prayer.  I spent the whole time basically at the Halloween party helping him and teaching him about the Gospel.  He is so funny.  He always asks us to tell us more about our, "Theory." (gospel.) hah  He's awesome!  I hope he continues to progress.  I am sad because he is leaving so soon, but we hope we can do all we can to help him see the importance in life.

I am grateful for the chance I have to serve the Lord everyday.  I have a desire to study the scriptures and the doctrine of Christ.  I am learning a lot.  I love the gospel, and I want everyone to know that they can gain their own personal witness.  The one thing that is different about our church than any other is that we are all personal witnesses of God's love. We believe because we have seen the hand of the Lord in our lives.  It's my responsibility in helping others see that.
Elder Johnson's pleasant surprise: 
"An unexpected surprise to see a familiar face from  home 
just show up in your ward for church in Gwanju, Korea 
Brother Johnson and son Brigham" 

I love my family and am grateful for your support.  Hope all is well.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you!   Have a good week. 

Elder Johnson