Tuesday, April 26, 2016
I love you and feel prompted to tell you that, God is in each of your lives and we must continue "look(ing) to God and live(ing)."
This week was a great week! Lots happened.
(Elder Johnson stated:
"We had a BBQ party yesterday for our three new converts.
They are seriously my brothers. I love them.")
I don't have much time, but I want to briefly describe this week.
I had to go to another area this week for something and had to take an hour and a half bus ride.As I was waiting to get on the bus, I noticed a familiar face in an army uniform. He looked at me and we both relized we had met each other when I first came to Onyang and we hadn't seen each other in a long time because he had gone off to the Army. It was great to see him. I also saw his parents who were with him. They are less actives and we are going to try to reactivate them. It was a great miracle. But that was not all.
As I went to stand in line to wait for the bus, I also saw another familiar face. We greeted each other and we both came to realize that we had met two months before on the subway while I was going to District Meeting in Chenoan. He is 24 years old and the Lord placed him in my path again! I know this.
When I first met him, he said he didn't want to give me his contact information because he was in the Army and didn't have much time, but this second time when we met, we were able to talk for an hour and a half and I was able to teach him the full message of the Restoration.
He told me that he wants to come out to church when he has time to leave the Army on the weekend.
He also told me that when he gets done with the Army, he is going to be going backpacking from Canada to Brazil. He will also be making it down through California, Utah, and so forth.
I know the Lord sent him in our path again so we could have the time to teach him and invite him to follow Jesus's church.
Our investigators are progressing well! Also, we met a really cool investigator this week who is very humble and seeking answers to the Plan of Salvation.
We met a kid on the street after following a prompting, who had met with missionaries four years ago.
He wants to come back out to church and he had a lot of questions about baptism.
Lots of miracles continue pouring down form the Heavens.
God gave us our agency and He gave us His son, Jesus Christ, to show us how to use that agency.
I heard this yesterday in church and have been pondering upon it.
Very deep and true.
I love you all!
Have a good safe week and remember to follow the Spirit in all things.
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson
This week has been great. I have been listening to the 182 Semi-Annual General Conference because it has been on my i-pod shuffle and I haven't known it..... But I have been uplifted in so many ways by the Spirit of the Lord. I have listened to the talks repeatedly and have learned a great amount.
I want to invite you to read or listen to Elder Holland's talk in the Sunday morning session and Elder Hales talk in the Sunday afternoon session.
By Elder Holland
By Elder Hales
(Click on the links above to read or listen to the talks Elder Johnson is referring to.)
This week was great.
I can't remember if I shared this with you, but Richard has the Aaronic Priesthood and is ordained to the office of a priest. He is the man. My best friend.
This last week was very special as well as our new convert Lee Min Seoung received the Aaronic Priesthood, being ordained to the office of a Priest as well. He is such a stud. His attitude towards all things is so great. He is always smiling and is positive. My favorite member in Onyang bought him a suit and gave it to him yesterday at church. He loooks super goood.
This last week we have been focusing on finding new investigators to teach!
It has been very upbeat and uplifting. We have found so many cool and interesting people this last week. We have met with them and they seem to have a little interest in the message we are sharing. We are excited to continue teaching and helping them progress.
One of our investigators now is living alone. He is divorced and has had a very rough life since his divorce. We are helping him to understand Jesus Christ and His Atonement. He has a firm belief in God but doesn't understand why we need Christ. We invited him last time to pray in the name of Jesus Christ and to ask for understanding. He did so. The next time we met and followed up on our commitment, he told us of his experience and what he came to know for himself (testimony). He said, "Without Christ we are nothing. We can't go anywhere and we cannot progress." Very cool experience and we look forward to continue helping him on his personal path to salvation!
Dad just sent me a quote that I want to end with.
"If, in the end, you have not chosen Jesus Christ, it will not matter what you have chosen." - Neal A Maxwell
I love you all. Have a great week and be safe. Follow the Spirit in all things.
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson
Friday, April 8, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016
This week was Glorious. So many good and positive things.
I can see that you all had a great week as well. Mom, that is so unreal that you saw Sister Lee at the MTC. I am so happy. I prayed for you to run into her!
My companion and I have been sick with a pretty bad cold, but we have been working hard and seeing so many miracles.
Yesterday was incredible. Our investigator was baptized and the baptismal service went really well. The Spirit was strong and he was so excited to be baptized.
We met him while we were fasting about six weeks ago from today. He accepted all the lessons with a humble and pure heart and his desire to follow the Savior Jesus Christ was very big. He is a great example to me and I know that the Lord sent him to us. God hears and answers our prayers.
(Baptism held on Easter Sunday.)
Yesterday, also, I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting. I had no idea what I wanted to say, but I got up there and the Spirit gave me exactly what I needed in that moment.
I shared two very special experiences that I have had on my mission that have come from fasting. They both resulted in baptisms and I felt the Spirit very strong. Each of the members felt a strong Spirit, of that which I felt.
After the meeting, one of our amazing members approached me and invited us to fast with her to help her husband be baptized.
Before, she never wanted the missionaries to teach her husband because she was scared, but as we have been praying and asking how he is doing, she has gained our trust and wants to do a fast with us.
Her heart was opened and she told us that after the fast we can decide according to how we feel if we will start the lessons with him. She handed us over her trust, and we are really excited to fast with her this week. She is the best. (Mom, this is the family with the two kids that we went to Costco with a few times).
I love you all and pray for you each day.
Pray for me. Big week! We have Zone Conference and we might have another baptism! A huge miracle will happen this week! We are inviting our other investigator who came out to the baptismal service yesterday to be baptized this week! He has been out to church three times and he told us yesterday he wants to be baptized! He is 18 years old and we have to get his mother's permission, (which should be okay because she came out to church as well a few weeks ago). He is the man and we are really close to each other.
(Elder Johnson stated: "We had MLC (Missionary Leader Conference)
this week in Daejeon.")
(President Shin, along with Elder Johnson.)
I love you!
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson
This week has been GLORIOUS.
I don't have much time but I will try to tell you a few really cool experiences that came out of this week.
Yesterday, Sunday, we had four investigators out at church!! And also one less active that we found last week. He is from the Philippians and he is such a cool kid. He and Richard are becoming such great friends and Richard's testimony is helping him back into activity. RICHARD IS THE MAN. His testimony strengthens mine, and he is keeping all commandments and is being so blessed. He has shared countless sacrifices he has made for the Lord and each time we have been able to trace back and pull out many different blessings that both he and we have received. He is one of my best friends, and I am so grateful to be able to spend time with him and to grow in the Gospel together.
Our investigators with baptismal dates didn't make it our to church yesterday because of a last minute thing that occurred, but we will be moving them back a week and trying to get them baptized then.
Another one of our investigators that we have been preparing for baptism is super close to accepting a date.
There was a crazy story that happened this week.
I will explain it really simply.
On Friday morning after we fasted as a zone, Elder Jung and I were sitting at home in the morning and right before we were starting personal study, a phone call came. We answered and it was someone who saw our English advertisement and wanted to meet. She sounded a little bit older and she also told is she didn't have any English interest at all but that she wanted to learn about our church and attend our worship service.
After the call was ended, we called one of our members and asked if she would meet us at the church at 7 pm for a lesson. We ended up meeting the girl who called with our member at 7 that night and as we were getting to know her, we realized that she described her family the exact same way as our other investigator.
We had no idea if they were related, and we didn't ask any questions of that sort.
She was so Golden. She was talking about how she felt something special and that she felt that she needed to call our phone number...
We waited and then met with our investigator the next day, but we didn't ask him if he happened to know this girl... We knew that they both had planned on coming to church and we could ask them if they knew each other when they got there....
Long story Short. The girl who called us is our investigator's MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THEY BOTH CAME OUT TO CHURCH TOGETHER yesterday and it was amazing! They have so much potential and we are trying to get them baptized together!!
This week was incredible, and I am so grateful for all of the Lords continuous miracles.
Love you have a safe week!
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson
(On February 11, 2016, Elder Johnson's brother was married in the Salt Lake Temple. This is his entire family now with his new sister-in-law, Kate.)
(However, since Elder Johnson wasn't able to attend, his family made a giant cut-out of him to be in some of the pictures!)
(Elder Johnson with his parents.)
(Elder Johnson's sister, Izzie, and his brothers, Tyler and Luke at Tyler's wedding.)
This week has been so good.
I think I have learned more about myself and my mission experience this last week than any other week on my mission. I feel that I have received much inspiration and guidance to thoughts and prayers throughout this week. I feel blessed and supported in all ways by so many amazing people.
This week I want to share two quick experiences:
The first happened about 2 weeks ago.
We had just finished eating lunch and were out on the street talking to people and we had about an hour and a half before our next appointment.
We wanted to try to set another appointment up before the other one but couldn't find anyone to meet. We had been out on the street talking to people and met a few good people but no one that would listen to our message right then, (which is usually the case.) My companion and I were standing at the bus stop with many people surrounding (even the Jehovah Witness missionaries) hah! and many other people telling about their church. We decided to sit down on the bench real quick and offer a pray to ask the Lord where it was that we needed to go. We decided to leave the area we were at and walk to an area we weren't very familiar with. As we went to this area, there was nothing there. We came back into the area we were in before (with lots of people), but this time we came back a different way. (It was like we made a big circle.) We came in the back way and started talking to a guy that was working parking lot duty who had seen missionaries before. As we were talking to this guy, I looked right and saw someone pass that I thought I had seen before. I had the feeling we needed to quickly leave and follow him. We hurried and ended a conversation with this other man and I looked at my comp and told him I saw someone pass that I felt we needed to talk to. As we hurried down the street, about 300 ft down we were now walking next to this kid that passed us. We said Hello and we quickly realized that we had met last week outside of the subway station, and he asked us if we had time to meet right then! He didn't have any plans and was just walking around, so he asked if he could learn a little bit about our church. It was great! We were able to meet with him for about 45 minutes until our next appointment and teach him about the messages we are sharing. It was a great experience. We gave him a soft baptismal invitation and he told us he wanted to learn more.
I don't have much time but the second experience was similar to the first. My companion and I were exhausted because we had a lot of appointments through out the day. It was about 7:45 pm and we had about an hour and 15 minutes until we had to return. We decided to pray and ask the Lord to lead us. After many thoughts and many suggestions, we just decided to move! We went to a place we had gone to before but the person there rejected us, (but the timing on this experience was just perfect! That guy rejected us for the perfect amount of timing). As we kept walking down the street, we came to a 4-way road. (This road was leading to a bigger road.) Anyway, right when we got to the middle of the end of the road that was connected with the 4-way intersection, we crossed paths with a man who was smoking a cigarette. We said hello to him and started talking... He started listening... He told us that we needed to go to his house to talk about this. We immediately went to his house and he told us on the way that his father had passed a way a while back and he has been thinking about how he can see him again. He had a lot of great questions and we were able to teach him. He is now an investigator and is a super great man! He is from China but grew up speaking Korean. He is 28, lives alone, and is working here! He is a great guy.
I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I know and am sure that, that man from China we met was one of the only ones who would have met us on the street that night and taken us straight to his house to hear our message. I know the Lord leads us to him and is leading us through the Holy Spirit every day.
We set two baptismal dates for March 20th. They were huge miracles! And we invited one more of our investigators to be baptized. He accepted, but hasn't accepted the date yet. One of the investigators with a baptismal date is the other Chinese guy that I have talked about a few times.. We have been meeting for a long time and the other is the kid I sent a picture home with last week that came to church.
All is well and the Lord is pouring blessings down.
Have a great week. Be safe. LOVE YOU.
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson
This was one of our miracles this week. We were on the bus and I saw this guy and started talking to him. He is from Kenya.
Long story short, we went straight to his home with him and helped him with a few things he said he needed help with and taught him the Restoration.
We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and he seemed to have a lot of interest. He is such a cool and nice man. He invited us in and gave us some Kenya
snacks and a special Kenya drink.
Right before we started the lesson, he turned on some Kenyan Gospel music and it was great! Hahah He is a great guy.
This is one of my investigators in Daejeon and one of my closest friends in Korea.
When I moved to Onyang, he finished high school and was baptized in Youseoung. (I was able to do his baptismal interview right before I left.) I came here and it ended up that his family lives here in my area, and so because he finished school, he came back to his home town which is the area that I am in. It is a big blessing because we are really close and I think I have been able to help his progression a little bit more in the church.I think I am going to transfer, so we met a few times this week and took pictures. We are super close.
Transfer calls will come tomorrow. President told the mission he needs more time.
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson
(This weekend and today is the big holiday in Korea. 설날 Chinese New Year.
Super fun. Lots of good food and traditions on this day.)
I hope everything is going well.
I wanted to share a few cool stories this week!
On the Morning of District meeting this last week, I decided to fast for a few things just for the morning meal because we had a lunch appointment in the afternoon. On the way to district meeting as we were taking the subway, I prayed specifically to recognize who it was I needed to talk to. Not only to find someone but to recognize them. As I got on the subway, all the seats were taken and there was one person standing up by the door. I first had a feeling to talk to him but wanted to check the next car to see if there was any seats to sit and talk to some one. There wasn't, so I had the feeling again to talk to the guy standing up.
As I approached him, I wasn't quite sure what to say but I began introducing myself. He immediately acknowledged the fact that I was a Mormon Missionary. Long story short... Super Cool! This man lives in PLEASANT GROVE! He is a Korean but is here just for a few weeks because his wife's mom is very sick. His son is a member. Brother is a member, but he and his wife aren't. He has met with missionaries a few times, he mentioned, and is very familiar with the return missionaries that come home from Korea because he owns the Korean Mart in Provo! Soooo crazy! It was such a cool miracle. I didn't get a chance to really talk to him for a long time, but got his number and we are going to meet with him again.
This week has been great! I have learned a lot and am recognizing the hand of the Lord in His work.
Love you all.
Elder Cole Thomas Johnson