Thursday, April 30, 2015
This week has been great!
We have found a lot of success. It has been one of my most successful weeks on my mission. I am really trying to focus on the Love of God. I am trying to testify from my heart and get the words to really come from my heart through the Spirit and to the heart of my investigators.
Last transfer we spent hours and hours on the streets walking up and down trying to find people to meet with, and this week I felt as if we have found a pool of people that we can teach. I am really excited to work with them, and we are really trying to focus on getting the members involved with lessons and things. I love the members here in Korea. I have gained a strong love for each one of them, and I love getting to know who they are and their personal conversion story. It's really interesting to hear. Even as members who were born in the church, I believe we all have our special conversion stories. Young or old, we all have our personal witness of the Love of God. If you haven't found it, I encourage you to search for it. It will come. I often find myself researching and strengthening my personal testimony. I have learned so much and I have grow in so many ways. I am letting the Lord take my life and lead me to where it is that I need to go. One of my favorite scriptures that comes out in the Book of Mormon is Mosiah 7:33: When we trust in the Lord, he will have our backs and lead us to the path he has prepared for us.
I have had many questions and prayers answered this week. I have been led by the power of the Spirit and am trying to focus on things out of Love.
This week I was able to meet with a foreigner, and he was from Florida. It was a great opportunity to testify of the happiness that this Restored Gospel brings.
We had lots of miracles as well this week. It was stake conference and we had the opportunity of getting three people to come out! That is huge because usually it is super hard to get people to come to church. Among those three people, one was found on the street two days before. They learned a lot and we are excited to continue to meet with them.
Korean is still crazy! It teaches me a lot about who I am. I have learned so much patience through learning this language. It is slowly coming. I am able to sit down with people and express myself a little bit and to teach the lessons through simplicity. Simplicity is a huge!!!!
I want to finish telling the miracle story about the Taxi from a few weeks ago.
On the way home from general conference, we had to hurry home because it was getting late and so we realized we needed to take a taxi. None of us had a lot of money because it was at the end of the period we receive money, and we had to take a taxi all the way across Daejeon. Maybe like a 30 minute ride which was going to cost about 15 dollars.
Long story short, I looked over at my comp and Elder Hernandez and said... "Do you think that we will be able to pay for this?" They said, "uhhhhh I have no idea!" I then followed up and asked a question, "Do you have faith?" We all just kinda laughed and thought about it for a second. I told both of them that we should pray to have this taxi driver's heart opened to our message and that Elder Dursteler in the front of the taxi can convey our message through the Spirit. We all sat in the back of the taxi individually praying and as we continued to pray and exercise our faith, we got closer and closer to our destination. As it came time to get out of the taxi, the taxi driver stated the price and as we started to get out of the car we looked at each other and all kind of thought, Ahhhhh, well we almost didn't have to pay..." But as Elder Dursteler pulled his wallet out and only had like 3 dollars he looked at us and said, "Hey we need some more." The three of us that were sitting in the back grabbed our wallets and then the taxi driver said, "Ahhh, don't worry about it. It's okay. I heard a great message from you guys. It's on me." We were so excited and stunned! We ended up just giving him what we had because we knew the Lord provided a big miracle for us! We were so excited and I really do know the Lord loves his missionaries.
Love you all. Have a good week!
Love Elder Johnson
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Family! Wow what a week.
I hope all went well on spring break! Sounds like you had such a blast. I wish I could have spent it with you, but there have been tons of miracles that have come out of this week that I want to share!
Elder Young and I are working hard. Last transfer as well as this one I had an impression to ask my companions, "How many steps do you think the average person walks in their lives?" I then followed up with a question, "Do you think that missionaries in the two year time period of which they serve walk as many steps as the average human does in their life?" haha We laughed and after that question an answer came to my head. I'm not sure if it was an answer as much as it was an inspirational thought. It goes like this, "EVERY STEP FOR THE LORD." Each step WE take, whether it be to church, to the next appointment, or to find OUR next investigator, WE ARE TAKING IT FOR THE LORD. This is the Lord's work and it is moving forward. It can be tough but It is rewarding, and I know that it is bringing us eternal blessings. This phrase has become my motto for these last few weeks.
Conference was incredible. I really felt the spirit and learned a lot. After listening to each session, the importance of the role of the father kept flowing through my head. As I have reflected a little bit throughout these last few weeks, I have come to know a little bit more on why I am here serving a mission. I am here to not only save these people but to become all I can be. I have never realized how important the role of the father is in the home until now. The role of a worthy priesthood father is more important than everything else in a home. I am so blessed and proud to say that I have some of the most amazing and supportive people in my life. I am so beyond grateful for a father who has taught me so much and has always been that worthy priesthood example in my life. I just want to say thank you, Dad.
Last week after email session, Dad emailed me and told me that he would pray for a tender mercy for me each day. I want to share each day's tender mercy.
Monday: Right after email session on Monday, we walked outside, on the ground we found a Samsung phone with about $200 cash in it. We were able to find the person it belonged to and were able to give it back. That is a tender mercy. As we went out on the street to talk to people Monday night, we were able to bear witness of the restoration and teach a short lesson on the street. That is a tender mercy.
Tuesday: My companion and I were walking down the road, and it was a road that is very empty. No one really walks, rides their bike, or drives down this road. (My companion lost his wallet... so we have been doing some serious far walks that we would normally take the subway to.) As we walked down this road, a man on a bike came down the road. He pulled in front of us and stopped. After talking to him for about an hour, we had come to realize that he had met with President Shin before. This man has a lot of background info that I don't have time to explain, but I shared a scripture with him in the Book of Mormon and before I shared it he quoted it.... haha super weird. He knew the Book of Mormon very well and was a very smart man, and that was a tender mercy. Also, we met a kid (our Stake President's son) that Chase Lindsley trained and served with. He talked about him when I first got my call. Super CRAZY, Small world, He is so awesome.
Wednesday: We spent a lot of time on the street again, walking up and down the street getting rejected time after time, but as we continued to move with faith we found a grandpa to share our message with. He wasn't very interested but he brightened our day and.. that is a tender mercy.
Thursday: Two happy smiles from high schooled aged kids and a lesson with a new investigator that I met about three weeks ago on the street. His dad is attending our church in Seoul, and I really hope we can help this man. That is a tender mercy.
Friday: Today was an unusual tender mercy. Something that I have been praying for for the last two or three weeks. It was to meet a foreigner on the street and share the gospel in my native tongue. I have met a few and have been carrying an English Book of Mormon with me, but I saved it until I felt it was right. As me and my comp were walking down the road, I saw the back of a kid's head that looked like a foreigner. I approached him quickly. It turns out that he is 19 from Louisiana. He was one of the coolest kids I have met, and I was able to talk to him for about two hours. He has a good friend serving in Peru, and I was able to bear my testimony and give him the Book of Mormon. He said he would really read it and he said he was super happy we met. That is a tender mercy.
I have some other tender mercies that happened this week, but I am out of time. We had a big miracle happen in the taxi that I will talk about next week.
I love you all. I'm thankful for all the love and support you show me. It means so much. Love is something that I am learning a lot about, and I have come to know that the Love of God is what keeps us going through out our difficult trials and errors. The Lord allows us to fail to be made perfect through His atonement. I am grateful for this Gospel and I know it is real. Hope everyone has a good week!
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
This week has truly been incredible. A week that I will not forget.
I had the opportunity of baptizing one of the biggest miracles of my mission. His name is 천준상. I feel as if the Lord really lead me to this man. I am humbled and I am grateful to have been able to have the opportunity of meeting him here on my mission. I will have that life long relationship with him, and I will forever love him.
I feel as if lately I am being taught a big principle of this Gospel from the Lord. It is the simple principle of Love. The Love of God is what heals and changes hearts. As I have been pondering these last few days of what really matters in this life, the words, "The Love of God," have kept flowing through my mind. I often find myself meeting with people on the streets, in class rooms, or in a cafe trying to tell people that this is the right church and trying to prove it through scriptures and things. It really hurt me when people wouldn't just listen to our message and realize that this is the true church on the earth. But, I've realized a lot lately.. That's not why I am here. I am here to love. Love each and every person I come in contact with, with the absolute most perfect Christ-like love. One of my favorite talks is by the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, called "Love is the Essence of the Gospel. It just talks about loving and caring for everyone.
(Click on the link above to listen to or read this talk Elder Johnson is referring to.)
A few weeks ago I met with a Jehovah's witness that I met one the street, and he set up another appointment to meet with us. When we sat down to meet with him before we started talking, I just looked at him and said, "Before we start telling you about our beliefs, we are not here to try and change any of your beliefs, fight or try and force you to believe what we teach. We are only here to help other people come unto Jesus Christ and add to the truths that you already believe." As we continued meeting with him, he was just trying to prove specific scriptures to me about what things really meant. I just sat back and allowed him to talk. I just had a feeling to let him talk and after he finished (which was like 1 hour after), I finally just bore my personal testimony of the personal truths I know and how it has blessed my life. I realized that, that is why I am here. Just to love each of God's children as He would. I am not here forcing people to believe, just inviting and loving.
The pure love of Christ heals our hearts. Even in our most hard times. When we doubt and when we feel like we can't move on, we just have to rely on the Savior's mercy and grace. It's something that I am slowly coming to learn.
I have been able to have one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission and in my life this last week.
Going back to Gwang Ju was quite the trip! To make things short, me and my comp were literally .3 seconds from going the opposite way and ending up in SEOUL!!! Right as the train was taking off, the Spirit told me soooooo strongly, "ASK SOMEONE." I turned to the next guy to me and was like, "Hey, this is going to Gwang Ju, right?? He said, " Noooo!!" I literally jumped off the train with my comp and the train doors shut and the train took off! SO CRAZY! Me and my comp were dying!! hahah
As I finally ended up in Gwang Ju, we got the church all set up for the baptism. It was so good to see everyone again. The Gwang Ju members and the missionaries who were serving there, I have really developed a strong love for them.
The Baptismal service started, and the Spirit began to fill the room. Me and 천준상 walked down into the font and the Spirit came into my heart with a perfect peaceful calm feeling. As the young man came up out of the water, I knew that the sacred ordinance being preformed was allowing him to start his journey on the straight and narrow path. The path back to our Heavenly Father.
As the baptismal service continued on, I could just feel a spirit of peace. I am so so grateful for the Lord leading me to him. I know that he has definitely become such a huge miracle in my life, and I will forever remember his conversion story.
This week has been great. Full of mixed emotions and I am continuing to just push forward with an attitude of PACE. I have really taught those 4 letters to each missionary I have had a relationship with here. It is something I will never forget. In our most happy and hard times, we must have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE because it really does CHANGE EVERYTHING.
It's my Birthday! My first one on my mission. I love you all and thank you for all your support. I can feel your prayers. They give me strength! Have a good week! I am so blessed. Be safe and remember to show others the Love of GOD!