Friday, April 25, 2014

Oh How blessed i was to be sick! I shook President Uchtdorf's hand!

Oh how great my stay has been at the MTC! We've had THREE apostles come and speak to us in the span of 8 days. Elder Andersen, President Uchtdorf, and Elder Oaks! These past few days have been the BEST. I'm sorry this email is going to be long. There are too many awesome things that happened this week!

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf came Easter morning and his talk was incredible. He spoke about fearing no man. That we should put our worries and fears in His hands. He will strengthen you. He will take care of you. As missionaries, we are the extended arms of the apostles of the world today. We shouldn't let fear get in the way of testifying of Christ.

After Uchtdorf was done speaking, he went around the room shaking a few people's hands. Luckily I was sitting at the end of the aisle and totally got to shake his hand! Basically it was the best day of my life. I may of may not have teared up a little.. But in my defense, EVERYONE was crying! The way he walked around the room shaking people's hands was so Christlike and such a spiritual moment. Everyone in the room was dead silent as he went around. I almost didn't even get to shake his hand. I was going to sing in the choir, but I didn't because I had terrible allergies so I went and sat with my district on the floor of the gym. Oh how blessed I was to be sick! Haha then Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke to us and really gave us a lot to soak in. He talked about three challenges. "We are challenged to change. We are challenged to achieve. We are challenged to become." Having so many apostles right as we leave has been such a blessing! I feel like they're all preparing ME for Korea!

Update on our investigator: These past few lessons have been so great. Our stubborn investigator now prays with us, he even went to church! I think he's agreeing to do all of our commitments because he can feel the spirit so strongly... Or maybe it's just the fact that we're leaving the MTC soon... Who knows?! Haha but our last lesson was on baptism. We invited him to get baptized and he said he would think about it! That is a HUGE step with our investigator. 7 or 8 weeks of teaching him and we finally made progress! At the end of the lesson, I tried to tell him we wouldn't be teaching him anymore because we were moving. But instead of saying we were moving out of the country, I accidentally said we were physically moving our bodies right now! He looked at me like I was crazy... We had a good laugh out of that one. My korean is sooooo good if you couldn't tell.

Wednesday night my district had the privilege to be the example missionaries in front of all the new missionaries that came in that day. I really didn't want to do it since it was going to be in front of 70ish people. But they told us that they hand picked our district for a reason... So of course I had to do it! We got wired with microphones and everything. It ended up not being that bad and I really felt the spirit. When we were done, Sister Gooch and I were talking about how we loved it and how we thought it was so cool that the investigator cried. I then realized that the microphones were still on and everyone in the room heard the entire conversation. We were SO embarrassed! Haha oh well, I leave so soon and it's not like I'll ever see these people again!

I can't believe I go to Korea in THREE DAYS. It really feels like it's a dream. I feel like I'm never leaving the MTC and that my mission is AT the MTC. Haha it's going to be so weird finally making it to Korea. I turn 21 in two days and when I get to Korea I'll be 22! (In Korea, they count being in the womb as a year) So I will literally be 21 for a day or two... How weird!

Thanks for those of you who took the time to read this ridiculous email! Love you all! the next time you hear from me, I'll be in KOREA!
Have a great week!

Sister April Johnson

"FEAR NO MAN. Rise up and become men and women of God!" -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies."

"We are not here to be thanked; we are here to serve. Always remember who you are and what you are called to do. Never lose sight of your calling." -Dallin H. Oaks

Saturday, April 19, 2014

" We finally got our investigator to pray out loud! "

We finally had an apostle come and speak to us! Elder Neil L. Andersen came and spoke to us about living the Doctrine of Christ. As soon as he entered the room, I felt the Spirit so strongly. He spoke about how our testimony of Christ should be firmly within our hearts. As we teach and live the Doctrine of Christ, we will always have the Savior and His gospel because it will be engraved in our hearts.

Last P-day after emailing, a few of us went over to west campus to get Jamba's. I'm not entirely sure if that's allowed.. But a teacher said we could do it! On the way there, we got the coolest bus driver. I feel like he was a little high.. He was showing us his instagram on the whole ride there. HE WAS INSTAGRAMMING WHILE DRIVING A BUS. I was scared for my life. I didn't want to die because the bus driver was being reckless. But it was a little hilarious at the same time. Hopefully when we go again today, he'll be a little more responsible.

The other day, Sister Gooch and I were teaching our one investigator that won't pray. We FINALLY got him to pray out loud because she basically was commanding him to. She said, "Brother, pray NOW." (command form) In Korean, of course. It was hilarious and I could tell he was trying not to laugh. In his prayer, he didn't address Heavenly Father or end with "in the name of Jesus Christ" but we were just happy he finally prayed for us. Then I was trying to get him to come to church and he said he didn't feel comfortable with all the people at church. So I tried to tell him that we could sit in the back with him, but I accidentally said that we could sit on HIS back. So embarrassing!

For TRC we taught an actual Korean in Korea! How? Missionaries now have this way cool teleportation devise so we can get to Korea in seconds. Kidding, we skyped this way cool guy and he gave us a little tour of Korea! It was the greatest thing ever! I can't wait to Skype again!

The Branch Presidency always chooses one Elder and one Sister to speak for five minutes in Korean about a specific topic in Sacrament meeting. They announce who gets to speak right then and there. It's always way suspenseful and it feels like the hunger games. Lucky me, I was chosen to speak. It was way scary, but I got through it and everyone said I did a great job.. I'm not so sure about that.

Sorry my emails aren't more exciting, but guess what?! TEN MORE DAYS UNTIL KOREA! And only NINE MORE DAYS UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY! This month is surely a great one!

Love you all,
Sister April Johnson

I really am getting more and more Asian. It's great.

"We were called to teach, preach and baptize. Be filled with faith. GOD CALLED US. He didn't call us to fail."

Friday, April 11, 2014

I memorized the First Vision in Korean !!!

HEY friends and family!

You will all be happy to know that I memorized the First Vision in Korean!!! I thought there was no way I would be able to memorize that thing, but over conference weekend during the sessions I got it down! I was so proud of myself. Now my teacher owes me ice cream. Not that I need it or anything..

In between conference, did any of you have the chance to watch that video about David Archuleta?! Well if not, look it up and if you look REALLY closely, you can see me! I'm famous! It's about his mission and it has clips of when he came and sang for us at the MTC. That was a neat experience.

Conference weekend was the BEST in the MTC. My District and I always went early to get the good comfy seats on the front row in the gym. It was great having the screens so close to us. It was like we were actually at conference! Honestly, I don't think I've ever sat down and watched all four sessions of
conference, but I can now say that I have! To top conference weekend off, we even had Vocal Point come and sing for us!

This week has been very eventful. The natives left for Korea and I was so sad! I'm going to miss them so much. If I love the natives so much, then I'm gonna love Korea a TON! We also got some new missionaries in our branch! Five sisters and one Elder ; I feel really sorry for that one elder.. Haha.   They seem really cool though! Since this is the 7th week, my companions and I are wearing the same outfit the entire week until one of the Elders notice. Not one single person has said anything yet!

I LOVED E. Neil L. Andersen's talk about how we need to build our foundation so we will be safe from Satan's temptations. How we need to be in the world and not of the world. I also loved when 
E. Eyring spoke about how the prophet and apostles say, "Oh, things will work out." whenever conflict arises. I need to remember that. Whenever I am stressed out or have troubles, I need to remind myself that things WILL work out!

This week was filled with so many spiritual things. Conference was the BEST. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to be a missionary! Thank you for all of your support and love!

Stay CUTE.
Sister April Johnson

PICS: the cute native elders and the rest of the Korean branch!

"We do not always understand the trials in our life, but we trust in God that one day we will." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"You'll never regret being too kind." -President Thomas S. Monson

"Extending an invitation without following up is like starting a journey without finishing it. Replace fear with real faith. Take others by the hand and lift them up; walk with them throughout their journey."

David Archuleta came! This time I'm not lying!

DAVID ARCHULETA CAME FOR OUR DEVOTIONAL ON SUNDAY. This time I'm not lying, I promise. His homecoming was the same day he came to speak/sing to us. We were just sitting waiting for the devotional to start and Sister Van Weezep goes, "That's David Archuleta!" I thought she was joking, but there he was walking in! His voice is like a thousand angels. It was incredible! I've decided that the reason I needed to come on a mission is that I could meet David Archuleta. Now that I've seen him, I can come home now and get married to him.. (; I used to always have dreams that we were dating, so that's gotta mean something, right?

It's been a week since I asked someone to send me some Cadbury Eggs. I have not received ANY. I am very disappointed in you all. I guess no one really loves me.. Haha

So our one "investigator" that refuses to pray surprised us the other day! HE PRAYED! We asked him to pray with us and when he agreed we were so happy! Then we realized he wasn't saying anything. I looked up at him and saw that he was praying in his heart. So Sister Gooch and I just sat there waiting for him to be done praying. It was still a proud moment and it was a BIG step for him. We've tried to get him to pray aloud since then, but he won't budge. At least he prays, right?

April Fool's Day was a joke. We didn't pull ANY pranks! The Cantonese missionaries did some hilarious ones though! They kept feeding every laxatives and sleeping pills all day. They were going to give Sister Gooch and I some laxatives, but we didn't know how to slyly feed it to everyone. Plus, giving people laxatives when they don't need it is kind of really sad. Oh well. Next April Fool's Day I'll go all out(:

The natives brought some kimchi and it was HILARIOUS watching the Sisters trying kimchi for the first time. Luckily they all loved it! They're gonna do great in Korea. The natives also brought this ramen that literally translates to fire noodles and we tried that too. It's so spicy that if you eat the entire package, you'll be crying by the end. We just had a few bites, but it was delicious. I don't think I'll ever eat the whole thing though.

I love the spirit here. I love the people. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! 

One of the natives has this way sweet polaroid camera and she took this for me. And a picture with my lovely companion after hosting.
Have a wonderful week!  Sister April Johnson