Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 22 and Week 23 - December 29, 2014


(Christmas was during the week Elder Johnson had been out 22 weeks.  Since all missionaries are permitted to call home on Christmas, no e-mail was sent that week.)

How is everything going!?  Probably crazy!!  Skyping you was the greatest thing ever! Getting to see all my family together and talk was so fun.  I will have to admit, hanging up was really hard for me.  :)
(All the family gathered together to talk to Elder Johnson on Christmas.  Pure joy for everyone!)
 (Elder Johnson and his companion, Elder Kim teh Wook)

I want to share a cool experience I had the other day.
As I got done with personal study on Thursday last week I went out side to get some fresh air.  As I was looking out across KOREA hah, something caught my eye.  All of the giant buildings.  I started thinking to myself... "How did all of these get here?"  "How were these built?  How long did it take to construct these?  Well, as I pondered these questions, I continued to look out on the land.  As I looked to the right, I saw a massive dirt mound and the beginning of a building being started.  Something called a foundation.  I kept observing, I saw many people working together, many machines, many functions being preformed.  I started to compare this to the situation I am in.  I have been experiencing LOTS of hard things and just asking myself... How will I ever learn this language?  How will I ever be able to complete these 2 years?  How will I teach the gospel?  How can I be built upon and how can I grow?

As I glanced to the big dirt mound and half-built building, I then glanced over the land and saw each building standing tall and complete.  I realized that I am just like a building.  I am not done.  I am not complete or even half way done.  I am building my foundation and slowly putting up pieces.  Little by Little I am progressing.  There are so many things to learn and to progress in, but I need to just focus on completing one task by one.  Digging the dirt, putting in concrete, and slowly applying each piece to my building.  One day it will be complete and standing.  Tall and wide.  With a sure foundation.

I am grateful for this Gospel and I am gaining a sure foundation in all I do.  I have to rely on my Savior for everything.  He gives me help and assistance when I am weak and need help. I am so grateful for the TOOLS in which the Savior has provided me to build my building.  The Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, my Companion, my family and many many others. As I take full advantage of these things, I know I will be blessed.

I miss my family and pray for you every day.  Have a good safe New Years!  Don't forget your New Year's goals!  I am excited for all of the fun adventures and experiences that await me in 2015.  Love you.  Thank you for all your support.

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Week 21 - December 15, 2014

There is a lot on my mind.  I'm getting transferred to the other house in my area. I'm getting a Korean comp named Kim teh Wook.  I am very excited!  He doesn't speak English very well from what I heard.  I know that I am going to learn a lot of Korean in this next transfer.  I'm very excited and I trust in the Lord that this is the right move for me.  It's going to be tough, but I'm excited.   
 (Books everywhere!)
There is always something to learn.  I am learning so much everyday.  The Lord is teaching me so many lessons.  I am so grateful for the chance to serve everyday.  One thing that I have noticed as I have been gone is to always be grateful.  I am sooo sooo grateful for everything.  I always try my best to express gratitude to the Savior. There is wayyy wayy too much to be grateful for.  I have really noticed that by showing gratitude everyday, I have been blessed so much.  I see things so much differently.  I can see the love of the Lord and I know that He is here helping me. 

How do I know He is there?  How do I know that through being grateful we can receive blessings?  Why is being grateful so important?
I want to share with you a very special miracle that happened this week.

About two weeks ago, Elder Skinner and I were at the train station and for some reason Elder Skinner lost his wallet.  We think that he set it down on the pay machine counter and some one stole it.  Well, we ended up spending the rest of our p day looking for it.  We didn't find it.  Because he lost it, we realized that we would only have to live off of about 150 dollars for both of us. (my money)  This is very difficult because we have to put about 50 dollars each on our bus card to get to appointments and church and things.  Well, that left us with about 50 dollars left over to buy food and things we needed.  Any way as the week went on, we were able to get by with spending about 20 dollars.  (We get money every 2 weeks.)  This last week we only had about twenty dollars to spend.  However.. It was Fast Sunday last week which meant I needed to pay my fast offerings.  My first thought was, "How in the world am I going to get by this week with just 10 dollars for me and my comp.  I can't pay fast offerings."  But, I knew without a doubt that there would be a miracle if I trusted in the Lord and paid a 10 dollar fast offering.  So I decided to pray before I paid my fast offerings.  First, I was thankful for what I had.  I was thankful to the Lord that I had the opportunity to pay fast offerings.  Then I pleaded with the Lord and asked him that by being obedient and paying a fast offering, I would be blessed and I would somehow or somewhere receive a miracle from Him.   Well, after I prayed and paid the fast offering, I immediately turned to my comp and told him that no matter what, we would be blessed and see a miracle.  We just need to do that right things and to give thanks for everything we have.  Be GRATEFUL. 

 As the week went on and on, nothing happened.  Well, as we were sitting in the church doing our studies, we received a call from the sister missionaries who had just left the church.  As we answered the phone, they sounded so excited and they told us that as they were walking down the street, they looked over and in the corner of the sidewalk there was 10 dollars lying on the ground.  They looked around before going to pick it up to see if it was anyone else's, but there was no one around them.  As they went over to pick it up. the 10 dollar bill was folded.  As they picked it up, miraculously a 50 dollar bill fell out from the center.  It was a huge miracle.  Me and Elder Skinner were so happy, and we realized how much the Lord loves His missionaries!  

After the sisters hung up the phone, I got down on my knees and told the Lord how grateful I was for this huge miracle he provided me.  I really know that when we obey the Lord's commandment and when we show gratitude in all things, we are blessed and miracles are provided.  I have a testimony that the Lord lives and that He loves us.  He knows us and He is always there for us.  I have seen many miracles as I have been serving my mission.  I am so grateful for all the Lord gives me and that I get to serve Him everyday.  It's not always the easiest thing, but I have learned a lot, and I know that this is HIS work and he is very involved. 
Once again, I love my family so much and I am so grateful for the love and support you show me and send my way.  The packages and presents have been great!  SOOOOOO GRATEFUL:)  I am trying to send a package as fast as I can. I have a few Christmas presents for the fam and a few letters.  I love you so much, and I pray for each of you every day.  What a great time to focus our thoughts on the Savior and all that he has given us, around this holiday season.  I wish with everything that I could be there with you and experiencing the things you guys are doing. 
(Elder Johnson's family is in Paris at the present time picking up his brother who just completed his successful two year mission there and will be going home with them.  Elder Johnson says, "Even though my family is in Paris, I am with them in Korea.)
It's tough spending the holiday season without your family. BUT, I know I'm exactly where I need to be--becoming my best self and spending some time coming closer to my Savior.  I am trying hard everyday to rely on Him and to become like Him.  I'm learning so much.  SOOOOOO MUCH.  It's crazy.  I love to learn and to just study.  Hah never did I think I would say that, but I am learning the hardest language in the world, and I am learning new things about myself every day!  I love you guys!!!  HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE!!! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 20 - December 8, 2014

Family!  How are you?

Hope all is well.  Sounds like everything is going well.  AHHHH!  Still can't believe Ty is coming home!  That's so crazy to me!  You guys are going to have a blast picking him up!  Can't wait to hear all of the amazing things!  I wish that I could go.  It is a trip of a lifetime.  Really embrace everything and write the experiences down.  Take some time to write down some of the feelings and experiences you are having.  These will be things you never will want to forget.  That is something that has become so important to me as I have been serving.  I keep a really good journal--always writing down spiritual personal revelation, cool experiences, miracles, thoughts, and answered prayers.  When I return home each night after a long day of service, I love to sit down and record small miracles and cool experiences that I saw throughout my day.  That time during the day is a time I really cherish.  As I look back on some of my prompts, I can see how the Spirit has led me in my missionary efforts everyday.  It is really cool to see how things are put together.  I compare it to a puzzle.  I have all these "puzzle pieces" that I collect throughout the day and at night, I have the chance to sit down and align them all up by the Spirit.  As I have done this, I have noticed many of my prayers being answered. 

This brings me to another point.  Through the day, the Lord is teaching me so many different things.  I have to really focus and be receptive so I don't miss the important lessons that He is teaching me.  I want you to compare this principle to your life as well.  So many times we are asking the Lord for help.  We are asking Him for so many different things and He is always there--always hearing our prayers and answering them.  Although, when we have feelings of doubt or unbelief, I promise He is always there.  So many times we are so busy and caught up in things that don't matter.  We are always so distracted.  The Lord is trying to teach us so many different lessons throughout the day, but we are too focused on things that aren't important.  I am really trying to focus on seeing the hand of the Lord in my life and to notice the lessons I am being taught.  As we focus on what's important and try to see the hand of the Lord in our lives, we can recognize our prayers being answered.

This week has been great!  It is starting to get super cold!  It snowed here a few times last week.  The cold weather eats through you!  It's crazy! 
 Let it snow!
Our Stake President's house
It's also Kimchee-making season, so the streets are packed with people buying all their cabbage and everything.  There are huge trucks that come in with tons of lettuce.  They make their Kimchee and then it lasts them until next year!  Haha!  How great is that!

This week I have also been focusing on giving selfless service to everyone I come in contact with.  I am trying to gain a better understanding of that principles.  When Christ lived on earth and taught his gospel, he gave His whole life to serving others.  Never did He focus on himself.  He always turned outward in love and compassion.  I have really been trying to focus on serving.  I have also been focusing on maintaining a positive attitude.  For some reason, last week after everything I did, I just had negative thoughts, and I was getting down on myself.  So, after I prayed and asked what it was that I needed to change, I knew it was to think positively.  Well, a few days later, everything seemed to be going wrong in the day.  However, my goal was to maintain a positive attitude in all I do.  So when things were going wrong, I didn't let it get to me.  I pulled out my planner each time something went wrong and I looked at my goal, "THINK POSITIVE."  Well, after about 10 times of doing that, I was walking down the street and after being rejected by plenty of people, I had a feeling to talk to this really old man walking down the street.  Long story short, he was my miracle.  He had been baptized many years ago and then stopped going to church.  We talked to him on the street in the freezing cold for about an hour.  It was such a blessing.  I know that because I kept a positive attitude, I was blessed.

Our investigators are doing well, slowly progressing.  We actually have a baptismal date for CHRISTMAS DAY!  I really hope it sticks.  It's really hard to explain.  He might have some issues to work through, and our Stake President met him and said that if we baptized him now without the changes being made, he would go inactive immediately, so we're really working on it.  We have a few others who are close.  We just have to continue working hard.

We are really working hard to give Christ a present on Christmas.  I want tho challenge you to think of something you want to give to Christ for Christmas--an act of service, etc.  This gospel is true.  I am learning so much every day.  I have really learned a lot from the Book of Mormon.  All the answers are in there.  I love and miss everyone so much.  Thanks for all your love and support.  Have a good and safe week!


Elder Johnson

P.S.  One thing everyone could do is share this marvelous video about the real meaning of Christmas:

(Click on the link above to view this video.)


Monday, December 1, 2014

Week Nineteen - December 2, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!  I miss you lots!  There is so so so much to be thankful for.  I have been going throughout this week with a prayer of gratitude in my heart.  I have felt the love of the Savior, and I have seen how many things there are to be grateful for.  This week as I have been focusing on gratitude, I have realized how much I have been blessed with.  I am and will forever be grateful for all the many blessings the Lord has blessed me with.  I am so grateful for an incredible family, for all the love and support you show and give me.  I am also incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father everyday and to become more like the Savior, Jesus Christ.

This week I have really been focusing on faith--Faith in Jesus Christ.  How I can teach it. How I can understand it and How I can exercise it.  Faith is a principle of action.  We first must ask with faith, ask with a honest heart and believe that we can receive.  When we do these things, we can receive answers to our prayers.  I have been reading the Book of Mormon and really trying to seek for a knowledge--to understand and apply its teachings.  I know that I receive blessings and direction from its teachings.

We have been trying to visit families in our ward this week, trying to get referrals, and we are taking pictures with each family and giving them a Christmas present.  Its has been really fun to visit the families and share with them a spiritual message. 

We are still trying to really help our investigators progress towards baptism.  We are trying to give Jesus Christ a baptism for Christmas.  I am praying really hard on how I can do that. I know that through my hard work, I will be able to bless the lives of my investigators.
I am grateful for this Gospel and the happiness it gives me in my life.  As we learn and APPLY the Teachings of Jesus Christ, we can receive direction in our lives.  I hope all is well.  Have a good week!  I love and pray for you!  I will talk more about my investigators and other things next week!

Elder Johnson