Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 43 - May 18, 2015


Ahhh I miss each one of you guys and love you so much.  Everyone looks so good.  I have seen so many miracles this week!  The heavens are opened!   Hope you all had a good week and all is well!

 (Top:  Elders Hernandez, Kidman, Johnson, and Tucker)

Bottom:  Kind people taking good care of the missionaries in Yusung)

 (Elder Young and Elder Johnson with a member.)

This week has been incredible.  Elder Young and I have been able to continue finding much success and we are truly giving thanks to the Lord for all he grants us.  I want to bear testimony that I know the Heavens are opened and that the Lord knows each and every one of us on a personal level, on a level that I cannot understand.  He knows me better than I know myself.  He knows each of my needs and he has given them to me in the exact moment and time in which I need them.  My heart is so full of love and gratitude unto the Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have been studying Mosiah Chapter 2 this week and a few verses that have stuck with me are these: 

 9: And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying:  My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.

Our investigators are doing great.  We were able to meet with them twice this last week.  As we met with one investigator, it was a miracle.  We had the feeling to basically share a member-visit-type message with him.  We shared 1 Ne 3:7.  We talked about the importance of commandments and it was quite amazing.   I really see him progressing, and he understands the importance of the gospel principles.  He came to church this week as well.  The ward members gave them a warm welcome.

Through diligent prayer this week I have:

 First, opened my ears to hear the words of the Lord.  Furthermore, I have opened my ears to my companion, investigators, leaders, and street contacts to receive answers to my prayers.  As I have been on my mission, I have come to know that a great amount of my answered prayers have come from the responses of my "fellow beings."  I am really learning a lot from this principle.  I was able to go on a split this week with my Zone leader, Elder Kidman.  I learned so much.  He is a great missionary and he was able to share with me a lot of things that have helped him throughout the course of his mission. He gave me many commitments, and I look forward to diligently doing them and through them I know I can progress to the best of my abilities.  I have been struggling to retain all that I learn in personal study these past few weeks, but Elder Kidman gave me some great advice while I study.  He said study like you are going to give a training.  Prepare little trainings and teach your companion simply, then share with each other what you learned. I have done that a little bit these last few days and it has really helped.

Second, I have really gained a testimony of opening my heart, speaking the words from my heart not my mind.  I have a testimony that the thoughts and the feelings from the Spirit of the Lord are kept deep within the desires of our hearts.  There have been many times on my mission where I have spoken from my mind and the feeling of the Spirit hasn't been very strong.  When I speak from my heart and follow the Spirit, I can feel the love of God so strongly in my life.  I have an experience to share with this principle as well this week.  Elder Young and I were able to visit a member named 신연숙s this last week and as we planned to teach the Restoration message to her, our plans changed according to the Spirit.  As I was talking to her about what I learned in personal study, she began to open up and talk about her husband 이창주b who is the other Elders’ investigator.  I felt deeply impressed to commit her son to share his testimony with his Dad.  He asked me how he should do it and at that time I thought for a second how Nephi felt when he was going to get the plates.  I shared 1 Nephi 4:6 and I told him that he nor I knew exactly how it should be done, but I told him to follow the Spirit and all would work out how it needed to.

Third, Open our minds to receive knowledge of the mysteries of God.  This week I have been focusing on the Christ-like attribute of Knowledge.  I have been praying to gain and seek new knowledge and to know how I can help each one of my investigators.  We have so much potential right now and I am so excited.  I have had to really rely on the Lord and really seek for the Spirit.  I have a testimony that he is leading Elder Young and me down the path to success.  I also find it very interesting and know that the Lord does have a specific plan for each one of his children.   

21: I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

This is one of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon.  This week I have really been grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord.  I really do love my mission.  It has been such a huge blessing in my life.  It has provided me with learning and growing experiences that I would never have had the opportunity of receiving, gaining or knowing.  I say knowing because I have come to know for myself.  I have lived the gospel my whole life, but it wasn't really until I left on my mission that I could recognize with assurety that the gospel changes lives.  That the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a feeling of peace and comfort.  That it gives us purpose in our lives. 

Thank you for all your support.  I miss and love you.  I can feel your prayers!

Have a great week!

Love Elder Cole Thomas Johnson.

The Lord is my light. P.A.C.E.

Week 42 - Mother's Day - May 10, 2015

(Since it was Mother's Day, all missionaries are permitted to make a call home.  Elder Johnson was able to Skype with his family and both he and his family were delighted to be able to talk, as well as see each other.)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 41 - May 4, 2015


 Sounds like all is well.  I am beyond excited to Skype next week together! So much so say and catch up on!  I miss and love you guys!

This week has been great.  Me and my comp have fasted a lot for our investigators, and we really feel like we have a lot of potential this transfer.  We are working our hardest and giving the best we have everyday to the Lord.

It's starting to get super hot here!  Each night before we plan, we are just dripping in sweat! The humidity factor is coming in huge!  Also, this last week there has been this weird yellow dust stuff in the air.  The Koreans say it comes from China and so if you look on the ground its all over.  Pretty weird! 

We have had a lot of miracles this week.  We had Zone conference and I learned a lot. President Shin mentioned PACE.  It was cool to know that it has made it around our mission a little bit and to know that through those 4 letters we can really feel the spirit strongly. 

This week at Zone Conference, I felt as if the things I need to consecrate myself to are the love of the people and expressing more gratitude to my Savior.  I remember being a first transfer missionary and each and everything that came my way I was so grateful for.  I spent a lot of time down on my knees being thankful, and I have come to realize that these last few weeks I haven't been expressing that same level of gratitude.  I have been focusing the majority of my prayers on my needs and asking the Lord to help me in each area I need help in.  As I have been doing this, I have still been carrying that same spirit but I feel as if when our hearts are full of gratitude unto the Lord, we are blessed with a sweeter more abundant spirit.  I feel as if it is that same feeling that Lehi describes in his vision of the Tree of Life.

11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted.  Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it (as I am grateful, the fruit will) filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

There are many different kinds of fruits in this gospel of which we can partake of, but I have a special testimony that when we partake of the tree and pick the fruit of gratitude, our hearts are full unto the Lord.  I have experienced many miracles from gratitude on my mission, and I know that when we continue in thanksgiving unto the Lord, He will always give us more.

Thursday night I had the opportunity to meet with president Shin and an investigator named 김병곤b.  It was a special experience that I will hold on to for a long time.  The spirit in the room was peaceful and observing president Shin teach was quite amazing.  As I sat there in the chair aside from President, the thought that was running through my head was, "We desire his salvation."  That is so true, we as missionaries are giving selfless service everyday to the Lord to bring His children the salvation they need to return back into His presence.  김병곤b has great potential and we are now starting to work with his two sons. He wasn't able to make it to church this week because of the holiday week-end, but he committed to us that he and his sons will attend this upcoming Sunday.  We are going to be praying and asking the Lord for the Spirit to help him draw closer to baptism, and we are planning on giving him a baptismal date this next week. 

I am learning the principle of planning.  Not only planning itself, but sticking to the plan! Sometimes in lessons I feel myself drifting from the plan, and it is sometimes hard for me to recognize if that is the Spirit but I know as I plan effectively and stick to the plan, the Lord will direct me in his ways. 

I love you!  Hope everyone has a good week!  Be safe, have fun, and PRAY!

Love, Elder Cole Thomas Johnson

The Lord is my Light.