Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year!!

    Christmas has come and gone and now new years is upon us! As I look back on this year, I think of the man I have become and am so grateful that I spent the year as a full time representative of Jesus Christ. Being a missionary is the  best thing I could have done in my life. Ive been blessed by the people around me so much and those that aren't here with me but in my heart. I got to talk to those very close to my heart this weekend for Christmas! It was soo great to see and talk to my family! Everyone looks different, except my parents haha. Clark has a beard, Joseph and Rachael are off and married, Cadence is growing up fast and getting more beautiful each day, and good old Grant has a "man bun" hahaha! 
    We had a great experience with a family we've been working with. The mom has been in and out of the lessons, nice to us but not involved with the lessons. This last time she came in and talked to us more than she ever has! She started to ask so many questions that you can tell came from the heart, a lot of them answered by the message of the restoration. It was amazing to see her open up so much and share her feelings and past experiences that have been hard, in hopes that we could help her. I have grown to really love that family and everyone here in Clarksburg. I meet someone on the street and try to picture how the gospel could help them, what a great difference it can make and seeing them as a brother or sister. I have been so anxious to help people find the truth and help them see the peace the gospel brings. 
    Missionary work is such a rewarding work. You feel great doing it and it blesses the life of those being served and blessed by the gospel. I learn something new each day and the Spirit guides me on how I can improve each day. This past sacrament meeting was really wonderful for me because I felt the power of the Atonement work in my life. As a missionary, sometimes you feel like because you aren't perfect, that you must be doing something wrong. I learn so much during the sacrament when it quiet and I can reflect on my week and learn from what the spirit teaches, also from the speaker. 
    Hope yall have a great new years! Eat a bunch of junk food and drink a lot of sparkling cider for me!! Love yall! 
Elder Johnson








Monday, December 21, 2015

MeRrY CHRISTmas!

   Well of course CHRISTmas is this week, and its especially exciting for many reasons, one being that I am privileged to represent Him who the season is all about, Jesus Christ. Being a missionary during Christmas time is so special. There's no worry about presents, how cool my ugly sweater will look or what party I should go to. I get to focus and spend ALL my time and attention to doing the work the Savior did when He was here, I wouldn't rather be doing anything else. It is sad that I don't get to be with my family, but that's the other reason Its so exciting, that I get to Skype my family!! I know I will be with them eventually and that 2 years isn't really that long but my family means a lot to me so I'm really pumped!! 
    President Salisbury told us that when we press forward in the cold with a positive attitude our light will shine brighter. I took it to heart. It can be unwelcoming to go out when its cold but we don't let that stop us! Granted, its been the warmest winter recorded in West Virgina with it being in the 60-70s, almost like being in Huntington Beach haha. BUT it snowed the other day! It was coming down a lot at least in my Californian opinion ;) We had 3 people stop US and recognized that we were missionaries and asked us to come and teach them. #ChristmasMiracle 
    We were talking to this young kid during dinner and he asked " are yall Santa's little helpers?" We and his parents laughed and we told him "no, we are the missionaries". Then he smiled really big and said " Oh! so your Jesus's little helpers!". haha! I hope yall have a wonderful CHRISTmas! 
Love Elder Johnson  

🎄

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

#Regulars

  Christmas is right around the corner! I'm really excited to be able to see my beautiful family! They bring me such joy, more than anything the world could offer. We have been having a GREAT past few weeks! We have been staying busy and teaching a lot! Transfers are tomorrow, Ill be staying here another Transfer. My new companion is Elder M. Rasmussen, I think I've met him but not sure! I know We'll have fun!! :) Elder Harris is going to Buena Vista YSA! I'm excited for him! I served around there in the beginning of my mission! 
   We have been seeing so much good going on in Clarksburg! The Cervantes family is doing well! The kids are really excited to get baptized and the dad wants to meet with us! I am really pumped to see how it all plays out. Judy came with us to a lesson, her first time, It was so awesome! She bore powerful testimony about how the gospel has blessed her life, and she connected with Anita (who we taught) really well and made friends with her. Her and Jessie are great missionaries. We went to lunch with them and the other elders yesterday as a good bye to Elder Harris.
    We had a fun time bowling last week! I surprised myself and got 2nd place.out of 4! It was close! Mike and Susie our neighbors took us out to eat at this really nice Italian restaurant! Mike said the steak was really good and said i could get it if i wanted.. so I did! It was really good! They are such good people, great neighbors! :)
    So once or twice a week we go to subway and get a cookie just for a nice quick snack. Well this last time we went in the guy at the counter just started grabbing my favorite cookie and rang me up hahaha!  That's how you know if your a #Regular. We have been having such a great time here in Clarksburg! I love this place, not  just because its got the same name as one of my brothers :) Merry Christmas! Love yall!!!
Elder Johnson 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cake Scandal

 A lot happened this week, not only here. My prayers have been with the people victim to the tragedies in California. We didn't have anything like that happen, thank goodness. We have been able to have good successes this week! We helped a family in the ward to trim a tree, there was this huge branch he cut and it swung down to the ground and barley missed hitting the neighbors house haha it was awesome. We were far, and safe! 
    We were able to meet with a inactive family. They have 2 kids over the age of 8 and the mom said "We need to get back to church and get them baptized." Its always exciting to hear! Im excited to see how that will play out. Also Had a great meeting with another inactive and her boyfriend. They are really awesome people! He seems receptive and willing to come to church! 
  There was a really cool event in Bridgeport called Light up night. There were thousands of people there! Sister Lopp and Nelson did all the hard work, they just asked us to be there to help pass out the #ASaviorIsBorn cards with candy canes on them! They had the video playing on Ipads, LOTS of people came and watched it! President and Sister Salisbury ended up showing up!! It was awesome to see them there! 
    So they had some half eatin cake in the cultural hall at the church before the sisters baptism that someone had left from a baby shower earlier that day... Well Elder Harris and I didn't want it to go to waste so we took a fork and took a bite into it. as we were munching we heard someone coming in so we tried to awkwardly scamper away to avoid embarrassment. We were comforted when we saw that it was the other Elders coming in to do the same thing we were hahaha.
   The stake had a Christmas music fireside last night before the first presidency devotional. Music has so much power to it! I love music so much, it was really nice to be able to enjoy the Christmas spirit through music. Hope yall are enjoying your Christmas season, I know we sure are! Love you!! 
Elder Johnson

Monday, November 30, 2015

First time for Everything.....

The Grinch says his heart grew 3 sizes during Christmas, my stomach grew 3 sizes this past week with thanksgiving! We were blessed to have a meal with members for all three meals of the day. It even hurt to breath or walk because we ate so much haha. Thanksgiving morning we had a turkey bowl for the ward, there were some other people that joined us to! Not to boast as to my own strength, but I may have gotten our team a touch down or two ;) hahaha But we had fun! 
   I cant believe that thanksgiving has already come and gone and Christmas is just around the corner! I'm so pumped to be able to represent Him who its all about! There really is a feel in the air, people seem to be  more open. Its such an exciting time to be a missionary and have your life be centered around the real reason for why we have Christmas. We have been have been having fun working with the Haddix family, we always have fun when we see them. They were cutting up their deer when went to see them last night, said they would make us some deer burgers! 
   Well  for the first time on my mission I was chased by a huge pit-bull! Its house is on our street so we saw it before we left the house, but we thought we could sneak past it. Its usually chained up but that day it walking free. we were so close to getting down the hill but he heard us coming; I don't think Ive run as fast in my life as when I saw that dog charged us.haha we went out with a cooking knife and with the help of our neighbor, we escaped the anger of the beast. 
    Wish I could share all that we experience. Have a great week!! love yall! 
Elder Johnson 

Monday, November 23, 2015

HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg

 Pretty great week. They city is putting up the Christmas decor already! Cant believe its already that time of year!! It seems like it was just here, but at the same time not, if that makes sense haha. Weeks feel like one day, its so crazy how time is flying. It has been getting cold to; 30 outside when we got to the church to email!! Yesterday there was a really small flurry during church. 
     Jessie and Judy had the best family history experience they could've had this past week! Judy was able to add names and connect some dots! As they were looking for temple work to do, they noticed someone has been working on their names! Shocked, they were talking and seeing who it could be. We noticed the name and Jessie recognized her name. She looked her up on Facebook and messaged her. Jessie texted us that night saying that it was her cousin and was baptized 6 years ago!! Jessie and Judy had tears of joy as they found family past and present! The cousin thanked us for helping giving her an "eternal cousin". This is missionary work, and I am SO happy to be a part of it with them! What a special moment that was.
      We are all set up this week for our Thanksgiving this week! The members take great care of us here! Elder Harris and I have an adventure or story from each day because something makes us laugh each day. We have been having fun. I love my mission and being a missionary so much! I know yall are probably tired of hearing me say that but Its become a part of who I am. Ive grown and
   learned so much that  cant even explain. The gospel is so true, Christ is SO aware of each of us and Heavenly Father wants so desperately to help us to return back to him. Love yall, have a suoer happy Thanksgiving!! 
Elder Johnson 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Officially Burly Man!

   What a busy week! On Friday everyone and their cat wanted us to either go see them or needed out help. I felt bad because I wish we could've seen and helped everyone we wanted to but we just didn't have enough time in the day. We went to the veterans day parade that they had in town. There were a lot of people who talked to us, One of them was one of the dignitary's from the state, he shook our hands and was really glad that we were there. He said his cousin is an RM and has been talking to him about the church a lot, pretty cool! 
   Jessie came with us to a lesson for her first time!! It was a lot of fun to have her come with us to teach! It was awesome because she taught very well and bore very powerful, simple testimony. It made me tear up a little to hear her bare her testimony because it was right from the heart. 
    We had an elders quorum activity called the "Burly Man" haha. We cut up a lot of wood for people who need it to warm their homes for the winter. We got 3 trucks and 2 trailers full of wood; there were 25 guys. We had a lot of fun and got er done in no time. After they did some shooting which we weren't allowed, but it was fun watching! Some of the guns were really loud! 
    My favorite part of the week was when we went up to Charleston for a meeting with Elder Kopischke and his dear wife came to speak to us. They taught us so much, I wish I could tell you everything. Somethings I really liked from him was that he said how Church can be full of personal revelation, but your going to receive what your ready to. So we have to prepare! Going with a question in mind. Its wonderful what we can learn from the spirit and those who have prepared. He also very powerfully taught, and backed up with scriptures about how we chose our challenges and knew what we were getting into coming here to earth. The way he put it "you really think God would put us here not knowing what was going to happen and get blindsided by the challenges in life? What kind of Loving God would do that?" Powerful stuff!
   Sister Kopischke is such a bubbly, funny German lady. She was just so happy and excited about the gospel. She bore powerful testimony to the newer missionaries (but said it applied to everyone, even when we go home) of how when we do something new to have fun with it and not get frustrated. And also writing down the spiritual experiences we have so we can look back on them. So great! 
    Well hope yall have a great week! Love you!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Aloha Elder Kamauu

Well its been only a few days sense last email but we have had a lot going on. They had the primary program for our ward this past Sunday. It was such a flash back in so many ways. there was these 2 young men that were messing around and being funny during the whole thing and it reminded me of me and my buddy Jason (who recently returned from his mission). haha It made me smile.
   We have been working with John to quit some addictions which are holding him back from baptism, but he's getting close! He has been meeting with the missionaries for a while but is starting to really progress, Elder Harris and I have been able to connect well with him.
    This past Thursday we had to say Aloha to Elder Kamauu who just returned back home to Hawaii! It was hard to see him go. As he was walking out of the door of the apartment we all saluted him and sang taps haha.
    It has been cooling off here! They said we were supposed to have snow on Sunday but thank goodness we didn't! I like looking at snow but not how cold it is, but it does make it fun. The leaves have been so  beautiful here but they are starting to go away cause winter. Elder Harris have been doing well together and having fun. This past weekend was full of walking a lot, people keep honking and waving and we don't recognize any of them!
   We get to go up to Charleston this week to hear from   Elder and Sister Kopischke of the 70. Half the mission will be there so it will be awesome to see a lot of my missionary buddies but most importantly to be spiritually fed!
    Hope yall have a great week! I know we will! :)


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Chicken or beef?"

 I have been walking on cloud 9 this week! We had so much going on and a lot of AMAZING experiences! HUGE highlight of the week was this weekend when Jessie and Judy got baptized! I cant explain how happy it makes me happy that they entered into that covenant! They both had great spiritual experiences both at the baptism and with confirmation. They are preparing to go to the temple this weekend to do temple work for their family! 
   A member took us out to eat and as always, when a missionary walks into anywhere everyone notices us haha. I overheard the people in the booth behind us talking about baptism and confirmation.  I felt that I had to get up and talk to them, no  matter how awkward it might be. They said they saw us and decided to look up and see if someone could be a convert in the LDS church and as they were looking it up is when I talked to them. He asked for a Book of Mormon and to meet with the missionaries! Shows how prepared people are! 
   Speaking of prepared, we had an appointment with a guy were teaching, he wasn't home but his roomate said he wanted to talk to us. It turned out that he had a Book of Mormon and said he'd read it and prayed about it and feels that its true! Hes been to church before and loves it, He said he wants to get baptized but wants to make sure he knows for sure its true! Elder Harris and my jaw was on the floor! It was like every missionaries dream to talk to someone like that! 
   For our wards trunk or treat, we handed out Ramen and when the kids would say trick or treat we would say "Chicken or beef!?" hahaha! It was our fun way to hand something out that was cheap. Last night, our neighbors had us an the other elders over for dinner! They are so good to us! We always have a good time when we got see them. 
    Such a great week, full of great memories. I love this work, it brings a happiness that cannot be explained! love yall! 
Elder Johnson



Monday, October 26, 2015

Baptism Weekend !

There were a lot of interviews this week! We were able to meet with President Salisbury this week for interviews! I soak in every second of being with him and Sister Salisbury because they are always on the go. During my interview He asked me when I go home, I told him January and he slammed his fist on the chair next to him and said "Im really going to miss you". #TenderMoment  
I got to interview Issac and Jennifer, a mother and son that Elders Boer and Kamauu have been teaching. They are getting baptized.
    JUDY AND JESSIE ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SO excited for them!! They have become such close friends. They are really excited! I know this is going to be just the beginning of a wonderful journey. They plan on going to the temple the next weekend with names from their family!!! The gospel is so true! 
   The Turner family is so much fun! We have dinner with them every Sunday. Their kids always got us laughing. We spent some time with Ben and Sariah (Waldron). They are seriously the funniest people ever! I LOVE spending time with them. The members here are great, especially them! haha The Pauley family had us over to! They are wonderful. She grew and canned her own apples and gave me some homemade apple sauce, apple jam and best of all apple pie filling! Soo good! 
   So my dear sister sang a duet in church yesterday and so did I! So it was kinda special to know that :) I also gave a talk. They asked me to give a talk on Hymn "Now Let Us Rejoice". It was fun, I get nervous at the begging of giving a talk but then i get into it and I love sharing my testimony. 
   Last Tuesday we were so jam packed busy! We were literally running from appointment to appointment! It was a lot of fun! We have been trying to stay as busy as we can. I say it all the time and im sure yall are tired of it, but Im not! I lve being a missionary!! Its the best thing Ive ever done! If you have the chance to serve, in any capacity do it! 
Love yall!! 
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 19, 2015

Grandma Cookie

 There were a lot of things this week where I was able to learn a lot and feel good about what was accomplished. One thing I was particularly proud of was how I was able to make myself fried rice!! Sister Turner in the Ward taught me and showed me how simple it was! I was so excited that I could make something other than something on a BBQ and was edible! haha. My mom wasn't lying when she sent me recipes to make stuff and said how its simple! We also had some really great lessons. Jessie and Judy are doing so great! They are planning to get baptized on the 31st! They have become such good friends and I love them both so much because of the Gospel. I'm so excited for them to make the covenant of baptism and soon after go to the temple! 
    We have been having a blast every time we go to see the Haddix family. They are so much fun to see and they enjoy us coming over to! Their grandma always is happy to see us and has us come in! The little 8 year old reminds me of my brother Clark so much! He looks just like him at that age and acts a little like him to. haha We also have a great time going to see the Turners every Sunday evening for dinner! They have such an awesome family and the kids are just so much fun! We always joke that we get dinner and entertainment because they kids are energetic and are fun! The Sabbath is always a delight. 
   John riddle is awesome. We have been teaching him sense we got here and he had a friend over Saturday. He invited him to learn then told him he would pick him up for church the next day and he did! It was so cool to see him be happy to share the gospel with Shawn (his friend). After church he was like "Im glad I came today". It was great!  
   Went on exchanges, I got to be with Elder Kamauu! We had soo much fun! We have served around each other before. There's this hole in the wall restaurant  that's good called "Grandma Cookies". (Paul LeBaron would be proud;) ) We met her on exchanges!! Shes super nice and they are making a shake called the Razlet because we kept ordering a chocolate raspberry shake haha. 
    Final story, at church this lady was staring at me and Elder Harris. She finally came up to us and turned to me and said, "I'm sorry to stare. I just think your so handsome!" haha of course I was taken back! haha "Well thank you" was all I could get out haha She said I look like this guy in the movies she watches haha 
  Well hope yall have a great week! Love yins! 
Elder Johnson

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fire pit for days

There are so many highlights from this week I don't even know where to start! We started off the week with a really powerful lesson with James. We didn't have an appointment with him. I thought about him that morning and felt that we should go see him. So we went and he was having a really hard time and was really glad to see us. We told him that we felt prompted to see him and he started to cry and said I know and feel that you were sent from God to see me today. It was amazing. We had the same kinda thing with Jessie. We felt strongly that we needed to see her so we tried going to her home and she wasn't their so we knew we needed to find her and we did! We had a great lesson with her and I felt so glad that we were in tune with the spirit. 
    We have been working with the Haddix family, they are so awesome! We have had to take a little different approach because they are between 8-17 and their dad. Its a lot of fun being there because they really like us coming over to teach and want to learn. We explained priesthood authority and how you have to be worthy and prepared and one of them was compared it to Thor and his hammer, pretty cool! haha
   Our neighbors Suzie and Mike are way to good to us! My suit pants not only did I rip them, but shredded them! Not sure how she did it but Suzie came in clutch and was able to fix them, as if it never happened! They had us over for dinner Friday and it was soo good! Shes a chief, so she made filet mignon with potatoes and really good home made bread! oh man, she made this really good cake! Dessert is my favorite part of a meal haha. They put on music during dinner that you would hear at Olive Garden or some fancy Italian restaurant and lite candles, and they even made a toast to us, the whole nine yards! It was a lot of fun! They are great people. 
   Yesterday, we were asked to go into primary and sing "We'll Bring the World His Truth". In the chorus we said "and we are now the Lords missionaries.." It always makes me tear up when I sing it that way because Ive prepared my whole life to be a missionary and here I am doing it!! Its such a blessing, best decision Ive ever made. 
    Great week! Hope yall are doing great! We're working hard in Clarksburg! Your prayers are felt and help a lot. Love yall! 
Elder Johnson 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Knew Elder Renlund before he was an Apostle ;)

What a Spiritual feast conference was! I loved all the talks and learning so much. How historic to have 3 new apostles called! Elder Renlund came to our mission a year ago and sheared, with his wife, powerful messages! It was exciting to hear that hes able to serve the Lord in a greater capacity.  
   We had a great week! Elder Harris and I have been started off great being in the Gladwell/ Waldrons home for dinner! They are such a fun family, love them a lot! We also went to the Sterretts, they are a lot of fun! We have awesome members here! We had a chili cook off before the priesthood session of conference, it was an epic battle haha, it was almost as intense as church ball! 
   Went on exchanges, I got to go to Ohio again! It was awesome, and such a beautiful place! I was able to drive a truck! It was a lot of fun! We had some cows crossing at one point, not typically a problem you have when I'm from haha. 
    We have been working with and seeing a less active member, brother Tenke. Hes from California. Hes a fun person and has been showing interest in coming back to church! Jessie has been doing so well! She is planning to go with the Relief Society to the temple this weekend! She cant go in but she want to just be near it and see the beauty of it. I wish we could go with her. We have been seeing success here in Clarksburg. We aren't called because who we are but who we can become and to serve the Lord. I Love my mission. I love the people Im serving. I love the Lord and who Hes helping me to become. Theres no other work on earth like this! 
   Thank yall for what you do, weather it be prayers or letters. Love yall!! 
Elder Johnson

Monday, September 28, 2015

It brought immediate peace to my heart

  It wasn't to long sense i last emailed, but we have been keeping busy! We have been seeing so many great things happening. We also have been having some people try to put us down for what we're doing. At first it made me pretty mad because they don't even give you a chance to defend yourself. I said a prayer to help me calm down, cause I was pretty mad haha. I was reminded by the Spirit what President Nelson told the mission presidents to tell us. "Remind the missionaries that Christ loves them". It brought immediate peace to my heart knowing that Christ is on my side! 
   My mom looked up this Ice cream place in our area called Toni's Ice cream... man was it really good! We are most defiantly going back! 
   Well got to give 2 shout outs this week, one to Elder Yocom, His birthday is tomorrow! Also, the infamous Elder Millard has a birthday on the 3rd! Love those 2! 
Well I gotta get going. Have a great week! Love yins!
heres the sandlot, Clarksburg

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

UnClE RaTcHeT TuRtLe

What an amazing week we had. Do I say that a lot? I feel like I do but how could you not have an amazing week when you represent Jesus Christ! haha We had a meeting with President and Sister Salisbury. We drove up to Charleston because they installed this thing called Tiwi in the missions cars. It tracts the missionaries driving and helps us drive safe. We don't have to worry about it cause we don't have a car. At the meeting the missionaries in Pikeville Kentucky were there. They were telling me that the members and people still remember me and talk about me! It made me really happy cause its been over a year sense Ive served there :) 
   We got a referral from the Washington DC temple! It was really cool! There was a guy who went to the visitor center and asked for missionaries to come see him! and He lives here in Clarksburg. So we are excited to meet him! We met and taught this family! They are awesome, they are looking for a church to go to. Eric, one of the family members, told us to call him " Uncle Ratchet Turtle" hahaha! He accepted to be baptized! 
   Jessie and her mom are doing so well! Her mom Judy, came to church for the first time on sunday and she loved it! they are both really excited to be baptized! They are progressing really well! Ben and his girlfriend are doing well and excited to come to church. We have been meeting so many awesome people. The other day we told this lady that we liked her necklace and she had us sit on her porch and gave us milk and pumpkin bread and told us to come back Friday to teach her family! People are being prepared! 
   LOVE the mission! Love the people, and love the things Im learning! Have a great week! 
Love Elder Johnson 

Monday, September 14, 2015

DeEr On ThE LaWn!

Wow, what a week of testimony builders and funny moments! Elder Harris and I seem to have something funny happen to us everyday. One hilarious experience this week was being on an elevator. We got on this elevator to see someone and half way up, it just stops! So we were awkwardly stuck for like 10 minutes. (for any office fans) I almost decided to establish a pee corner! haha! And if that wasn't enough, we got out  on the wrong floor. I got back in and the door closed before Elder Harris could get in, i pressed the door open button frantically because we are supposed to stay within sight and sound. But the elevator started going down! I was alone for a few minutes till Elder Harris got down. Had a mini heart attack! 
   We went on exchanges this week! I went with Elder Corless who is from California to! Part of their area covers some of Ohio! So I got to go into Ohio and do some work! It was fun! I have been in 5 of the 7 states that our mission covers! They have a truck to drive around so it was nice to be able to drive haha. 
   We had stake conference! It was such a great meeting!! The Spirit was so strong at them. President and Sister Salisbury were in attendance and even spoke! I think one of the MANY powerful things that happened was when the stake president had all the Primary kids stand and sing the first 2 verses of "I am a Child of God". It then we all sang the last verse. It made me tear up, It made me think of my sister Cadence and how beautiful and pure she is. It was also a reminder of how God loves each of us and who we are, 
   Jessie is doing really well which doesn't surprise me! She is just eating everything up! Its amazing to see her progression and how much she enjoys the gospel.
   We went to the Black history festival, this weekend. back to back festivals haha. It was awesome! There was a man who gave us a meal in honor of a young man in the ward who passed away a few years ago. We told his family about it and they were very touched. 
   I love being a missionary! It excites my soul. thanks for all you do! Transfers are next week so ill be back on Wednesday. Have a great week! 
Love, Elder Johnson

Its normal for deer to be on peoples lawns in these parts

Me in Ohio

Monday, September 7, 2015

Flash mob at Zone meeting!

A cool old rail road track we walked over

One of the hills we climb

 What a week! We had a lot going on! 
We had a great week, as always we are able to talk to A LOT more people as we are walking around. I love being able to talk to so many people, not just cause i like people, but because we see them all around and if we were friendly then they remember and are receptive later or plants the seed for future missionaries or people who share the gospel with them. We had a great time at zone meeting! Elder Boer and Kamauu brought the Spirit. We talked a lot about prayer and how important it is. At the end of the meeting this sister missionary companionship got up and started singing a missionary version of "you'l miss me when I'm gone" hahaha. Nobody knew it was coming haha. 
   This past weekend they has the famous Clarksburg Italian festival. It was a lot of fun! There were a lot of people who came up to us and said that they had met with missionaries before or had seen us walking around. Almost all of them said that we could come by and teach them!! It was crazy! There was this older lady who came up to us and started talking to us. She asked us where we were from, when I told her California shes like "Oh! California here I come!", then gave me a big hug.. hahaha. 
   Jessie came to church again! She said the testimonies of the members really touched her heart and she felt like she could connect. She also told us that she felt that she should read the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. She has really enjoyed it. Its amazing to see how the Spirit works with her and how thirsty for the gospel she is! She might go on the ward trip to Kirkland, Ohio!! Things are going really well here. Getting a lot of sun and having a great time! 
hope yall have a great week!! 
Love 
Elder Johnson

Monday, August 31, 2015

Clarksburg is on fire, and so are my feet! hahaha

 Wow, I don't think I've walked this much in my life! haha We walk literally everywhere, its such a great workout! Im slimming down ;) We have been able to talk to A LOT of people! There are so many people who need the gospel and they are passing us and we get to help them come closer to Christ! There are so many people in the world that need the Atonement. 
   I think of Christ and His Atonement every time I get tired of walking or if I get upset that our plans don't always go the way I want them to. It helps so much to know the He perfectly understands me and can and will comfort me. I love it here in Clarksburg, the Ward is really helpful and the people are kind! 
   We were walking downtown and were talking to people, and this one lady (Jessie)  we were talking to said that she wasn't to interested but her mom might be. So we stopped by and she came down at the end of the lesson and she said she would like to meet with us. We met 2 days later and talked about the Atonement and she said it filled a hole in her heart. She asked about being baptized before we asked her! She accepted and came to church Sunday! Church couldn't have been more perfect for her. After we asked her how she felt and she said she was in tears! She stayed for Sunday school, 3rd hour AND for the munch and mingle that happened after church!! The members were so helpful to befriend her. It was such a sweet experience!
   We are officially moving into our new place tomorrow, im super excited for that! We have our own little house so I can sing really loud in the shower and not have to worry about bugging the neighbors haha. We decided to tract this one street and we had like 5 people set up and appointments! The work really is hastening here! I LOVE being a missionary so much! It has been such a growing experince and I know Im growing so much closer to my Heavenly Father! Keep being awesome, love yall!! 
Elder Johnson
Elder Johnson with Sister Combs and Elder Harris who are headed home

Our new place!

Monday, August 24, 2015

He yelled at us from a megaphone!

 What a jam packed week! I didn't expect to be this busy opening an area!  Got a lot going on so i have to make this kinda fast! sorry! 
   So we met this guy we yelled at us from a megaphone and called us over haha. He had great questions and has been prepared by the Lord! He took us to dinner after the lesson, then drove us home! is was awesome! 
   Played basketball the other night with nonmembers! There was a member (Sister Hamerick?)  that is from Hawaii but she knows the Fuga family! shes down in Irvine and surrounding cities! i surprised myself at how many shots i made! 
   Theres this awesome family, the Ingolds! They remind me a lot of my parents! Such funny, awesome people! He took us to a couple appointments and dinner. Hes a great man.
   Had a wonderful meeting with President and Sister Salisbury! I love every time we get to be with them. Had a very enlightening meeting as always! I wish i had time to talk about the many things learned! 
  We have had so many miracles! I LOVE being a missionary! 

Elder Johnson 

Monday, August 17, 2015

A week of change

 This week was full of lots of change. It was hard to leave Roanoke and Elder Millard but I know its the Lords will! I'm excited to be here in Clarksburg with Elder Harris! He is from Goodyear AZ. Hes such a great missionary! We have been walking a ton! Not sure when We'll ride the bikes because there are a lot of steep hills haha. We have been seeing so many great things happen here already in the few short days! 
   I have been having so many prayers answered and my faith has been strengthened so much. We have been having a lot of fun to! the first day we had lunch at this place called "Grandma Cookies Hot dog stand" haha. It was great! 
   The members here are really nice! We have been already building relationships with them. It has been fun learning the area and seeing this half of the mission, i have never served up here before. This area is beautiful. Lots of cool history! 
   Sorry this week is short! Got a lot to do today! Ill send my new address when we move into our new place! We are currently living with the other elders, one of them being Elder Kamauu!! We have served around each other before
 Love yall! 
Elder Johnson 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#MoJo4LiFe

A week of many doors knocked, sad good byes and Manny and Shayla go baptized!! President Salisbury gave me a call on Sunday and asked me if I would train a new missionary! Of course I accepted! Ill be serving in in Clarksburg WV in a bike area! Ill be able to drop more weight! It'll be a hard transfer because I've been here for 6 months and loved every minute of it. Elder Millard and I have had such a blast together, itll be hard not serving together. I know the Lord has many great things ahead though :)
   Sunday at Manny and Shayla's baptism, the Spirit was so strong. They were both so excited and had such  a light about them. It was an amazing feeling being in the font with Shayla and her and Manny being so happy. They have come so far and have made so many changes to be where they are. They had to give up some habits, so to help and show our support we gave up milkshakes... that's was a lot harder than it seems hahaha. We were able to finally get them on Saturday, we all had a milkshake party haha!
    We had a fun time last pday, going through the Dixie Caverns. It reminded me a lot of the caves in Mt Timpanogis is Utah (probably butchered that haha). It was really fun to be together as the Roanoke zone and have a good time. Roanoke is such a Glorious place! I have very much enjoyed my time here, I know Ill have many more awesome adventures ahead! The other day we had a random huge storm come through! It was knocking branches out of trees because the wind was blowing so hard! The rain was coming down so hard. it was fun!
   Well, ill be back Monday with all the fun details about Clarksburg and the new missionary ill be with! Im so excited! Have a great week!
 Elder Johnson  
    

Monday, August 3, 2015

Our jaws were on the floor

   Well sorry for being late to emails this week. President Salisbury texted us this morning and said he, Sister Salisbury and their son Jordan were there playing basketball and wanted us to join! Jordan got home from his mission in the Philippines a couple days ago. Hes a really chill guy!  It was a lot of fun spending some time with them outside of the "official" meetings and such.
   We had a really crazy cool experiences with tacting this week!  First off we were walking down this street and we felt some huge drops. I thought it was bird poop because it was clear blues skies. But we hear this loud noise... We look over and its a wall of water and its coming down in buckets!!! We looked at each other and made a run for it back to the car! as we were running the wall was coming for us! It only caught us in the last few seconds before we reached the mini van but we were really wet! haha We were laughing so hard! We didn't know why we were scared but we just ran like we were running from a tsunami hahaha!
   We also met this guy in Fincastle. We came up to him while he was sitting outside and he invited us in! It was nice because it was really hot outside! He asked us how to know the ture church and if there was a book that could help clarify the bible... our jaws were on the floor! haha
  Sorry for the short email! It was a great week! Transfers next week!! Ill be back Wednesday!
Love yall!
Elder Johnson

Monday, July 27, 2015

Missionaries dream of having a week like this!

   I've decided that every day of every week here in Roanoke with the best companion is great, cause it is! We had another fantastic week! Some really great things are happening not only in our area but in the whole zone! Went on an exchange with the Vinton elders. I was with Elder Zazueta, my MTC companion! It was a blast to be with him again! We had a fun time reminiscing and working hard. We also exchanged with Cave Spring, I was with Elder Bovee! He's such a fun elder! We had such a great day! We went from appointment to appointment all day and found 3 new investigators! We have been working in Daleville and seeing so much success there!
   Manny and Shayla are so awesome, if you haven't guessed from my past emails haha. They are doing so well! They have been fighting over who gets to read the Book of Mormon and who's going to get baptized first haha, they are scheduled for the 8th! Shayla got the gospel library app on her phone so they don't have to fight over the Book haha. They have come so  far and we have grown so close to them! It amazes me to see how  the gospel can change lives so much. They have been sharing the gospel with their friends! We started teaching their friends!
   It all starts with Wednesday night planning. We prayed very specifically to find people to find the next day that had been prepared, and is looking for truth. When we went over to teach Manny and Shayla they had their friends over and asked them if they wanted to listen to a message, they sais they would! We had a great lesson, many and Shayla were baring powerful testimony about coming to church and how they came to know the church was true, it was a tender moment. After, Kendra and Shawn (the friends) were looking at each other kinda laughing. When we asked what's up, they told us that they were going to find their church this week, then we show up! We gave them a Book of Mormon and Shawn said, "its heavier than I thought". Kendra said "cause its got power!" pretty much every missionaries dream lesson!
    I wish I had more time to share all of the many adventures we're having! We are having such a blast! This some of the most fun times I've had on my mission! The Lord is so mindful of us and wants to help us. Always be mindful of those around you that may need the comforting gospel message! love yall!
Elder Johnson

   ps. Elder Millard and I now understand why dogs love this so much
I know Spike loved to do this

No sure exactly what kind of tome foolery is going on here

Monday, July 20, 2015

The work is Hastening!

   What a great week here in the Roanoke valley! We stayed super busy this week. The Roanoke zone is seeing so many miracles. We have been seeing a lot. especially as we have been going through the ward roster and finding less active members that we can work with and we found this name and decided to stop by, best decision ever!! We found this young couple, the wife is a member but her husband is not! They were so welcoming, they let us right in and gave us a ice cream sandwich! Super cool people.
   We did some door knocking to find some new investigators and almost every door we knocked they told us to come back! That is always nice to hear! We also stopped by the family history library in the church. Im still trying to figure it out and get good at it, but I love learning about my ancestors, where I came from and their experiences.
   We have been seeing some really great things coming from working in Daleville. We met with Alvin again. He asked us all to bare our testimonies, which brought the spirit so strongly. By the end it kinda turned into a friendly bash but he wants us to come back. He is such a great guy, has a great faith! Chris came with us the entire day. We stayed busy and made sure to drink a  lot of water because it has been so humid!!
   As we were driving home from church, the Huffman family yelled out the window, "Come to our house, we got food for ya!" haha So we were pretty excited about! They always randomly give us food, which growing young men such as ourselves wont turn down! haha We have been working with the Vogel family for a while, they are members except for their daughter who is 11, almost 12. She is prepared and ready but waiting for different things. We sat down and talked to her and her mom about it and laid it out, asking if she still wanted to be baptized and she did so her and her mom picked a August 9th! Cant wait! Nylaejah is getting ready to be baptized in the next few weeks!
   We are seeing so many great things happen here in Roanoke and in the mission! The Lord is truly hastening His work! We have interviews with president Salisbury tomorrowIt always makes me so happy to see him and Sister Salisbury! Elder Millard and I are doing great! We are tearing it up here. Love Roanoke, Elder Millard, this mission and the Lord! Heavenly Father is so aware of us! He knows us, our hearts.
Love yall!
Elder Johnson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finding the Elect!#NokeOrBust#MoJoRules

  We had a wonderful week! Can we all take a moment an acknowledge how awesome Elder Millard is? He's an amazing human and stellar missionary. We have been finding some awesome, people to teach! Some were people who went to Mormon.org and requested us to visit them  MLC was great! We had to wake up at 3:30am to meet the Buena Vista zone leaders in Lexington to car pool up to Charleston. It was a great meeting! I was touched at how much President and Sister Salisbury love the gospel, missionary work, and us as the missionaries in this mission! We are always reminded of our purpose as missionaries, which very much applies to us when we go back home, which is to help others to come unto Christ. This work helps me feel so close to my Savior. 
   Had an exchange with the elders in Rocky mount, Elders Yocom and Barnett. I trained elder Yocom and hes training Elder Barnett! Im a "grandpa" in our weird missionary lingo haha. We had a great time and were able to teach a powerful lesson with a recent convert. He said we could go on a ride along with him one of these PDays! Chris was with us all day when we exchanged back on Saturday. We went up to Daleville to start covering that new extension of our area. As we were there we knocked on some doors to see if we could find anybody, didn't have to much luck. it was a really hot, humid day, so we were dripping with sweat haha.
    As we were walking back to the car a younger man asked us what we were doing, so we told him that we were missionaries and he told us to come in! He told us that he was a missionary for the church that he goes to. He said that he has read the Book of Mormon, but not with the intention of learning about it, just as another book. We invited him to read it again but with a prayer and intention to know if it wad true. He was sincere and excited to read! Manny and Shayla are still working toward baptism! Working through some things but are doing really well!
   Yesterday we went to the baptism of Michael, who I interviewed for baptism last week. He asked me to speak about the Holy Ghost. I had only known him about an hour but I was honored to do it! 
       I Love being a missionary with all my heart and soul! I know this is where Im meant to be and I know that Heavenly Father is very aware of each of us. He hears all our prayers and is very eager to help us with anything. Love yall! please have a great week!
Elder Johnson

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Merica!

  We had a great 4th of July!  Apparently the BIG fireworks are illegal in some parts here because it could catch fire to the many trees... but that didn't stop the locals! haha We were able to see some really awesome fireworks! In the morning there was a pancake breakfast which was great! Brother Hall in our ward played the banjo with some other people, it was pretty epic. Elder Millard's parents had some pizza delivered for us, It was really good! So we pigged out on that and the Philly cheese steak sandwiches that came with it... 
   I don't think I mentioned the other week that George Dyer came to the church and sang for us! He is a REALLY talented singer! He has been all over the country!  he just so happened to come on June 26! He even sang happy birthday! it was pretty cool! 
   Well the teaching is going good. We found some new peeps to teach! We saw Chester a few days ago. As we sat down to start teaching, his friend Austin came and sat down and said he wanted to learn! So we were able to have a great lesson with them. Chester was helping him understand and teaching with us. It was pretty great! Chris has been coming out with us and helping us get around because we are going to get really tight on miles because we are now covering the Daleville area which is a lot of area to cover but we're excited! We have MLC tomorrow so we get to make our monthly trip to Charleston, I'm pretty excited! 
    Roanoke is still doing great! Pretty much the best area with the best companion! He had hurt his ankle but is now able to get around without the crutches! We are still rocking the man van and getting along so well. Its been raining a lot!  This morning it was coming down SOO hard, our street looked like a river! I love being a missionary! The power of prayer is amazing. I have been really working to have more of a conversation with Heavenly Father rather than a wish list. It has made my prayers so much more meaningful. I love that we are able to talk with the Creator of the universe! I love this Gospel! I love being able to bring to to people and see their lives change for the better because of it. Love ya! have a great week! 
Elder Johnson 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Roanoke, sweet Roanoke

   Well, transfers have come around again, but way to fast!! I guess time flies when you're having fun. We sure have been having fun while working hard. still enjoying the mini van ;) haha Chris has been coming out with us and helping us teach. he is really good at connecting with people. We went to see a less active/ part member family the other day with him. they haven't been in a while and we got to know them and helped them know we care about them, miss them and want them back. They are such a great family and I love seeing them. We are teaching their son Ryan, hes a really sincere guy that just wants a better relationship with God. 
   We got roped in the ward choir and we sang a song last week. after the song this women gets up and starts clapping hahaha. i guess she isn't familiar with how we don't clap in Latter-day Saint services haha. We went on exchanges with the assistants and with the Elders in our zone serving in Salem. I was with elder Mcmullin, i served with him a year ago in Beaver! it was good to be with him again. Hes a really funny guy so we enjoyed our time. With the assistants, i was up in Charleston with Elder Markowski, hes such an amazing missionary! We had a great time learning and seeing how we could help the mission and the Roanoke zone.  its amazing all the good things that are happening here in the WVCM. President and Sister Salisbury are the finest mission president and wife! Even Elder Christofferson even said so ;) 
   Well Im staying here in Roanoke for the next transfer with Elder Millard! Im so excited to stay here with him! We get along really well and still are always laughing our heads off. im excited to be here as a missionary and love yall! Hope all goes well with you this week! Im glad i spent my 21st birthday on the mission with a great companion! 
Love Elder Johnson

Monday, June 22, 2015

Selfie with the Stake President

What a week! The WVCM is on fire! 
We took Elder Stoddard who had been with us for the past few weeks to Beckly. It was fun being there again, it was a year ago that I served there! We saw the Youngs and had to say hi! It was good seeing them again. We went on a couple exchanges, which I do and dont like. i like exchanges because we get to meet new people and serve with other missionaries. I dont like it because Elder Millard get separation anxiety hahaha. I got to be in Cave Spring and Vinton for a few days! i enjoyed it! met some great people and had a fun time. 
   We had dinner with President Bohan, the stake president. He has a beautiful home on a mountain side that over looks a beautiful area. Hes a great man! We had a great visit. He reminds me of my uncle Elden. The Diviney family had us over for dinner on Sunday! it was great! Theyre sons Jack and Abe played some good ol country music on the banjo! sister Diviney is talented at singing so she sang along. Elder Millard did a back flip before we left. why you may ask, well because he can and hes awesome like that . 
   Manny should be getting baptized in the next week! Im so excited for him and Shayla. They are wanting to go to the temple! It makes me so happy to see people learning and growing closer to Christ. The Vogel clan was a church, which we were super pumped about! The Roanoke first ward is a wonderful congregation to be in! 
   Transfers are July 2nd. We are praying that we both stay here! Of course we'll go where the lord needs and wants us but it would be nice! haha
love being out here so much! thanks for all the prayers and support, it helps a lot! hope all the Fathers had a glorious fathers day! im so blessed to have the father that I do! Hell be celebrating his becoming a senior citizen on sunday ;) haha 
Have a good one! 
Elder Johnson  

Monday, June 15, 2015

" I just wanted to hold your hand"

  What a wonderful time to be a missionary, especially here in the West Virginia Charleston mission. We had a great week! one big Highlight was being with Manny and Shayla. They are doing great!! Manny has been inviting his friends to church and inviting them to learn! Shayla has been turning to the Book of Mormon and, its great! We are always happy to see them because we know that the Spirit will be there and we'll have a good time! 
   We were visiting an older couple this week and as we were walking into the nursing home-like place this lady stopped us and asked us to sing her a song! haha so we sang " i am a child of God" after she grabbed my hand and said, "you look familiar.." do i?? i responded. she said, " no, i just wanted to hold your hand." hahahaha to funny! 
   Well i have to go, not to much time today, got a lot today but im loving missionary life and ove yall!!! 
Elder Johnson  



Monday, June 8, 2015

Mini van for days

 So we got a new ride this past week! We got a Toyota Sienna! It had 16 miles on it when we picked it up at the mission office. We have been getting some funny looks, understandably because its some guys driving a mini van but we're basking in it. Pretty much the only time you'll see guys our age excited to get a mini van haha.  
   We had a pretty great week! We had MLC at the beginning of the week which was amazing as always. One of the things that was taught was how the atonement applies to the key indicators listed in Preach My Gospel. For example, a member present is someone who has experienced the power of the atonement, or a recent convert is someone who just experienced feeling the atonement fully. There were some other awesome things like that that helped me realize that I want a better understanding of the Atonement of Christ so I can teach with more power and authority.
   We had an exchange with the Rocky Mount elders, Elder Yocom serves there! He's one of the missionaries I trained! it was good to be with him again. We got a call the other day from the mayor of Roanoke himself! Hes said he wants to meet with us and the sister personally! so that should be really fun! Shayla and Manny are doing great! Shayla said she wants to be baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im soo excited for them!!! She said that when we teach and she goes to church it feels right!! I love it!!! gets me so excited and want to teach all of Roanoke and baptize them! haha. We found a lot of new investigators this past week!! We were defiantly lead to them by Heavenly Father. one if them said, "I was just thinking about how I lost my mother, and yall come and bring me the good gospel news. It wasn't coincidence that you came here".
   I love missionary so much. I don't want it to end! Roanoke it doing really well. We get to see the Salisbury's on Wednesday! well love yall!1
Elder Johnson