Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This week was incredible and I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas holiday(:

Monday:  Went to Gangnam and explore the streets! Honestly, not as cool as I thought it would be. BUT still pretty cool since I've only served in the more country areas.
Tuesday:  Mission Christmas Conference! We received a lot of training and also had a ton of fun(: It was so good to see everyone and also learn a lot. "our sacrifice is incredibly small compared to what we get in return.." I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday:  Ate with a member and tried this fish soup! It was pretty good until I found things that looked like brains and weird liver looking stuff... I asked the member what it was and she said they were eggs... I didn't believe her... haha it was disgusting!

Thursday:  CHRISTMAS! Opened presents and honestly I can say this Christmas was the best ever! I got so much love from the family and everything meant so much to me! It was the most meaningful AND I got to spend it in Korea proclaiming the gospel! Later we went to this traditional wall in Shin poong and caroled with our zone! GREAT CHRISTMAS.

Friday: SKYPING WITH THE FAMILY! I gotta say, I was pretty happy. I was really worrying that I wasn't going to be able to skype my family. We're not allowed to ask members if we can use their computers so we had to wait for someone to invite us and not most Koreans know that we can skype our family.. So we were freaking out, BUT my lovely family had connections and asked one of our members for us... Haha I love having connections! Anyway, skyping them felt so normal. It felt like it was a weekly thing. Still fun!

We had an appointment with our investigator who is 14 and we got there early so we were at the bus stop trying to figure out the bus system in that area. All of a sudden someone ran into me and grabbed my shoulder. I turned around and it was our 14 year old member! She's actually friends with our investigator! So she said, "what are you doing here?!?! Why aren't you at my friends house yet?!" so she dragged us to the appointment even though we were early! She stayed with us for the lesson even thought she didn't really participate much. That was crazy!

We had another appointment and one of our new investigator's dad wants his daughter to live with us for a few days so she can learn English... haha sorry that's not possible.. But she can come to our appointments with us!

Saturday:  Our investigators baptism interview with the mission president! The interview took an hour and a half and afterwards, the mission president, my comp and I did a lot of soul searching, praying and listening to the spirit. We weren't completely sure if they had enough faith and if it was too soon for them to get baptized. We did only meet them two and a half weeks ago. and only got to meet them a few times! But I felt the spirit so strongly and I knew they needed to be baptized. Sister Driscoll felt in the middle. 

She kept feeling knots in her heart about it and I asked her, "What if that's Satan?" and as soon as I said that, she said the knots were completely gone and she felt peace. She then immediately thought of the scripture D&C 6:23- which says, "did I not speak peace? What greater witness can you have than from God?" We had already received our answer that they needed to get baptized, we just needed to follow that prompting and not waver! So we did!

Sunday:  THE BOTH GOT BAPTIZED. We had to baptize the grandpa in a slightly different way. Since he is in a wheelchair and cannot bend backwards, they had to have three people in the font to help and lay him down completely in the water. It went so smoothly and it was a beautiful service! These people were just put in our hands by Heavenly Father and all we did was help Him. So amazing! Missionary work is the best!

This week was incredible and I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas holiday(:

Sister Johnson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Member referrals are the best!

Okay craziness of my life. This week has been so stressful and confusing. Trying to see if the baptism was going to happen or not. But the baptism is still on for the 28th! The husband in the wheelchair isn't getting baptized. Just the wife is! The husband still needs more time to accept and understand the gospel. Since he can only half listen, when we teach it's sometimes hard for him to understand. So when we continue to teach him, we'll have to do it with lots of pictures and speak slowly and simply. The wife had a few problems with keeping the commandments. 
She was worried about not being able to keep all of them and facing God's wrath. So I found the scripture Alma 26:35 with her and it says that He has all the power, all wisdom, and all understanding; He comprehendeth all things and is merciful. So we testified to her that as long as she tried her best, Heavenly Father would understand and that He would be merciful. He truly knows ALL things and He understands!

We also picked up a new investigator! It was a referral from the member that referred his parents to us and are now getting baptized. He called us one morning just thinking he was going to talk to us about his mother-in-law but instead he gave us ANOTHER referral! Member referrals are the best!

Got to go to my cousins? wedding this week! I got permission and got to see all of the aunts and uncles in Korea! That was pretty cool. I don't really know them very well but it was fun to see some familiar faces! Actually going to the wedding was a little insane. People I didn't even know came up to me and started grabbing my face.. Haha that was fun!

We also had our ward Christmas party which was a hit! So many people came we didn't have room for everyone! I wish that many people came to church on regular Sunday church meetings... haha but lots of less actives and nonmembers came so that was a success(:
We also had meal appointments back to back this week. One day we went to a buffet with members for lunch and then visited another member for a practice lesson and she gave us more food and then we had a dinner appointment with another member and I almost died. I felt so full I was literally going to throw up! On the walk to the bus stop I never had such a desire to throw up! I now know how American missionaries feel... I feel so bad for them! Mom, don't overfeed the missionaries cause they'll probably

explode! We also had another appointment with a member and we talked to her about having faith in Jesus Christ and she told us that she relies on Christ- for EVERYTHING. For learning the piano, to help make good food, etc.. But to realize that we truly can rely on Him for anything and everything was really cool. I need to really rely on Him like that as well. Even for the little things!

Well have a wonderful Christmas week! I'm so excited(:(: MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM KOREA!

Sister Johnson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Have I ever prayed to Heavenly Father & thanked Him for my belief in him?

This week we had interviews with the mission president and we were supposed to bear our testimonies of the Savior and His atonement so I shared 2 Nephi 26:25 with him. I love this scripture because it shows us how much Jesus loves us! Christ already paid the price for us so all we have to do is come unto Him. The gospel is free and so is our salvation! We just need to COME UNTO HIM!(:

Anyway.. This week may have been the craziest week of my life. We weren't quite able to reach our 10 lesson goal, but we did get 8! We got a huge curve ball thrown at us! A miracle, really. Last Sunday we had members in our ward refer their parents. The father had a stroke last year and cannot walk, speak or write. Because of that, they stopped drinking and smoking. Their kids(members) joked around with them saying that they were ready to become Mormons! And that's what got them really thinking about the church. They have a huge interest in temples and eternal families especially since the mom just had her sibling die. So having her grandchildren do baptisms for the dead for them really caught her interest. 

Anyway, we met them last Sunday and on Tuesday their kids called us and said that they want them to get baptized on Dec 28 because their kids are coming to Korea from Utah for the Christmas break so they want the boys to baptize their grandparents. That might have stressed us out a bit! Less than 3 weeks to teach them all the lessons and get their interview in?? I've only ever taught the first lesson and Sister Driscoll doesn't have much experience teaching further than that as well.. So we had the Elders come teach with us so we could really pound in all the lessons. 

This past week we've met them three times and they came to church! (First time I've actually had investigators come to church..) We taught them a lot, but not enough! So it's a bit stressful trying to do this in a very short amount of time. Their interview is coming up and I'm not really sure if they're completely ready. They have some things in the past that they need to figure out. This time limit is so stressful! But then again we've really been blessed! We are honestly doing nothing to make this happen. It truly is the Lord and we are His hands. So we may or may not have baptisms coming up but it's our goal and we are preparing them for this decision. 
This story is seriously so scrambled I'm sorry if no one understands. So much has happened this past week it's kind of hard to sum it all up!

ANYWAY. Our other investigator that is 14 kept her commitment to pray this week(: We invited her to pray at the end of our lesson too and it was the most sincere prayer I've ever heard from a 14 year old! In her prayer she thanked God for being able to meet with the missionaries, she asked Him to help her go to church every week, she said she was going to start praying more loyally and she thanked God for her belief in Him. The spirit was so strong and afterwards, Sister Driscoll and I were BEAMING! But it really made me think, have I ever prayed to Heavenly Father and thanked Him for my belief in Him?

Have a great week! Sorry for the strange and confusing email. LOVE YOU!!! 
 Sister Johnson

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My companion & I can suddenly speak Korean! Well...

This week we picked up three investigators and hit our goal of 10 lessons this week! We actually got 11! We worked REALLY hard to hit that goal. Usually we have 3-4 lessons a week... Whether we meet with investigators or members, I've realized that even the members need us. We've had so many members act as investigators but really ask questions they personally have. Through that, they are able to receive our help without having to be embarrassed by asking. 
We did a practice lesson with the girl that just got off her mission and we felt inspired to share with her a talk by Elder David A. Bednar about receiving the Holy Ghost. 
She said she really wanted to keep the spirit with her all the time and sharing that with her was an answer to her prayers! Sister Driscoll had said that it was such a coincidence that we decided to share that, but the member then said that there are NO COINCIDENCES! And that is so true. We were guided by the Spirit to share that message.

We were going through the former investigators trying to see if anyone wanted to meet with the missionaries again. We called up this 14 year old girl and said we wanted to meet her. I was actually a little (a lot) worried about this. On her record, it said she stopped meeting the missionaries because her dad was really against it. So I was really worried and scared! I didn't want to meet her and upset her dad again! So before we walked into her apartment, I asked Sister Driscoll to say a prayer asking God that everything would work out. 
Afterwards, I immediately felt comforted, calm and I knew everything would be okay! We got up to her apartment and she said no one else was home. WHAT. It was an answer to our prayers. We picked her up as an investigator and she said that it was okay that we met with her! YAY!

We also went to the temple this week and as I was finishing my prayer at the temple, I picked up the nearest scriptures in Korean. I started flipping through them, mostly because I can't understand them and I found a piece of paper from 2011 that had some scriptures written down. Hebrews 10:22-24 and Psalms 27:4-7. I later went home and looked them up. I feel like because I had found those scriptures, I was obligated to look them up. 

It says, "he is faithful that promised," and that we draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith. It also talks about dwelling in the house of the Lord and to sing unto Him and He will answer. After I read those verses, it confirmed to me that God really does know me and He WILL answer my prayers, especially in HIS house!

We did another practice lesson with a Japanese sister in our ward. She is in Korea because her husband is working for Samsung. We taught her in English because she used to live in the U.S. as well!  But that lesson was probably the most powerful lesson I had ever had. We weren't teaching her, she was teaching us. She said she often felt sad in Korea because she doesn't know the language and she can't express what she wants. But then she reminds herself that Christ didn't give up and so she can't either. CHRIST NEVER GAVE UP. 
The spirit was so strong and her testimony was powerful. Whenever I'm down, I need to remember her testimony and remember that I can keep going!

We have been poured with miracles. I am just so thankful and I love being a missionary! We have a new investigator who is 19 and she tried reading the Book of Mormon. Even though it was really hard for her, she looked up words she didn't know on her phone! We got a referral from ward members! They are strictly gospel interest (that's a first for me) we met and the spirit was so strong! We accidentally took a $20 taxi, but ended up having a great conversation with the driver. My companion and I can suddenly speak Korean! Well... We are at least trying to! ^^ 

We met with a member who is going back to the U.S. soon and figured out she really needed someone to talk to and that we could help her. When appointments cancelled on us, we'd magically have other people calling to make appointments with us! 
With all these miracles I have really realized how wonderful missionary work is. There really is nothing else like it!

Thank you for all your prayers!!! They truly do help!

 Have a wonderful week!(:   Sister April Johnson

Monday, December 1, 2014

The minute we became companions, I knew we would see a lot of miracles together!

This week I got my new companion, Sister Driscoll! She's from Idaho and she has a potato farm! Of course... ㅋㅋㅋ She is the sweetest, most hard working person ever. The minute we became companions, I knew we would see a lot of miracles together. And we did! 

In her last ward, she got a referral from a member that lives in our area. When she got the referral, the member said to not mention anything about church and to take things slowly. So we met the referral and the first thing she asked us was when our church was! She said that people told her it would be good if her oldest boy went to church since he's a little wild, so when we called she said it was the perfect opportunity! She also just moved to the area and so she wanted to meet more friends. On Sunday she ended up coming to church but sadly she left right after it had ended. She told us she felt confused and awkward, but hopefully we can pick her up as an investigator so we can explain more things to her.

We also went to find some less active's houses and we were able to get inside all the apartments we visited! It was all in an area that I had never been in either, but the apartments we were trying to find magically appeared. We were being led by the spirit without a doubt!
We also made our own little Thanksgiving dinner. Mashed potatoes, random meat that we had in the freezer, vegetables and fruit! We had a little feast! So on that note, here are some things to be thankful for as a missionary:

-a good companion (especially when they're Caucasian! We get so many great reactions when people realize my comp can speak Korean! It's priceless.)
-when people open their doors
-meal appointments!   
-the prayers we receive
-when we get referrals    
-progressing investigators!
-the constant companion of the Holy Ghost and the ability to always feel His love

There are so many things to be thankful for. I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was superb!
Have a wonderful week(:  

  Sister Johnson