Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We're always so happy because we know our plan in life and because we know the truthfulness!

Thank you for the birthday wishes! Yesterday was by far the best birthday ever! Guess how I spent it?? By going to church!!! Haha I guess technically it's still my birthday in America right now, sooooo keep the birthday wishes coming! Sorry I'm so selfish.. My comp is the greatest! She decorated my room like crazy for my birthday! We went to church, got some great phone calls and texts for my birthday, received TWO cakes <-- 돼지...(pig), got presents, AND I got to call my trainer Kim Yoon Ha! Her brother randomly came to Gang nam ward and gave his phone to me so we could talk! I definitely bawled my eyes out. It really was the best birthday ever! Sister Northridge would not stop singing "22" by Taylor Swift. I am not feeling 22. But thank you for the birthday wishes!!!

This week was CRAZY. Let me share a few of our days.
Ran into a LA ( Less active ) at the grocery store. He saw us and came up and said he moved in the area four months ago and he's been meaning to come to church, but he has to work at that store all the time. At least we know where he is so we can send the Elders to hunt him down!

Went to dinner with a pretty wealthy lady. She comes to our English class and we helped her with some of her English homework so she took us out! She picked us up in her fancy Mercedes and took us to a tradition Korean restaurant. While we were eating, she would not stop talking about her real diamonds/pearls that she wore just for us, she kept talking about every single country she's ever been to, etc.. It was sooo funny spending that meal with her! She's a sweetheart, but I think money got to her head.. It just makes me more aware of how I present myself. But it was way nice to be treated to something special.. #GANG NAM
Then at English class, we taught the Elder's recent converts and I asked them what their favorite food was. He said, "My favorite food is rice." "Why?" "Because I like rice." HAHA. I died.

 We tried to find an inactive member to see if she still lived there. Her address was in the mountain... So we went hiking! Hike 전도! (proselyting) We actually found great success doing it. Everyone that hikes is always soooo nice! We gave out our number to two people. One of them was kind of strange. She came really close to us and whispered creepily in our ears the bible scriptures she was memorizing in English. When I gave her our card, I knew it could be really great, or kind of interesting.. Turned out to be the latter.

That creepy lady called. The very first thing she told me was that I was going to go to 지옥 (hell) if I don't stop going to this church.. She then continued to recite scriptures in the bible and bashing on our church. How she went on the church website and just said it wasn't right. That our prophet wasn't true, that because we didn't have a preacher it wasn't right. She kept saying over and over that I was going to go to 지옥! She then starting bashing on the Book of Mormon and I was pretty upset by then. So I just asked her a question. I said, "Sister, have you ever read the Book of Mormon?" She said no, so then I said, "Then how do you know it's not true??" She had no reply. She avoided the question and just kept saying that her church was true. Haha she considers herself a Christian, but would the Savior bash on other people's beliefs? I don't think so! I was upset so I just said thank you and have a nice day! And hung up.

We then went down to another area, because a sister missionary was able to contact on our LA! 
She literally had disappeared for a year. We heard that she had gone to Germany, but finally someone had found her! So we met with her and it was a miracle! 
While we were at that appointment, I got a phone call from someone. She said she met us yesterday and so I thought it was one of the grandmas we had talked to. She said she had a favor for us so we scheduled an appointment at 3. We were a little late because we were traveling far, but when we got there, I called and she said she was at exit 1. We get there and I couldn't see the grandma anywhere! She then calls us back and said she left. She left! WHAT? She couldn't have waited two seconds?
 So I felt bad and I kept calling and keeping in contact with her telling her that we wanted to help her. She calls again later that day and asked if she could live with us? That's when I was really confused.

 A grandma wanting to live with us? So then I looked in the call log and realized that this lady had been the SAME lady that bashed on our church! First she bashes on our church and then she asks to live with us? Sister Northridge an I were freaking out! I then stopped answering her phone calls and texts because she doesn't even know us and she wants to live with us? I feel like she just wants to so she can try and convert us to her church. Haha it was a pretty eventful day.

We also saw a white guy taking pictures of us. It was so obvious too! He was three feet away from us and we see his phone pointed at us with the camera noises going off! So either he was a member, or he was really excited to see other foreigners? IDK. Strange.
Then we were in the church and heard someone walk in. Which was strange cause it was early in the afternoon and no one ever comes into our church. We got freaked out, ran outside and locked that person in the building! I'm not really sure what happened to him/her.

We are doing something called the 40 day mission fast. Everyone in our mission fasts at different times during this 40 day period. Ours was Saturday and we were able to get a meal appointment at the end of the day with our Relief Society President! No one has been able to get an appointment with her because she always says no.. But she randomly invited us! That's a miracle that came because we fasted(;

Then an investigator called and has been having a lot of depression issues. She said that whenever she sees Mormons they're always so happy! That's when I testified about the Book of Mormon and that through this gospel she can start to feel that happiness! We're always so happy because we know our plan in life and because we know the truthfulness! We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and she was really excited to start reading it and she's really wanting to see that change of happiness. So please pray for her! Her name is 이주연

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No matter how good you are at the language, all that matters is that you testify with love.

HAPPY BLACK DAY! (a few days late, but oh well) Korea has a few holidays that are pretty entertaining here! They have a Valentines Day where the girls buy the guys presents, White Day where the guys buy the girls presents, and Black Day.. SINGLES DAY! This week we celebrated Black Day by eating black noodles 짜장면 and reminiscing on our happy single missionary life! It was fun, we went out with some of our English class members and district! I like Korean holidays(:

I've been having a lot of fun with the fact that my companion is a greenie. I can tell her anything about Korea and she'll believe every word! So we were eating this spicy soup/noodle thing 부대찌개 and there were some rice cake flakes in it. I told her they were pig ears, she was freaked out yet she still ate them! haha also there are these trucks with loud speakers that go around Korea asking for unwanted furniture and appliances. She asked me what it was saying and I told her that sometimes Korea does these practice drills for when North Korea comes to attack. She started freaking out and I couldn't hold it in anymore. It's really fun(: I remember when I was a greenie and my trainer was Korean. So I REALLY believed her. Haha

We met with our Chinese less active again this week and she was having some problems about being alone all the time and we told her that she can always pray to Heavenly Father and we actually had a really good lesson, but she didn't really want to accept it. She kept saying that she'll never have anyone to love or anyone that loves her. So Sister Northridge finally steps in and said a powerful sentence. "Sister, we love you and we know that God loves you. Through the Book of Mormon you feel God's love!" The spirit was so strong! I was so proud of her! Greenie power! It truly shows that no matter how good you are at the language, all that matters is that you testify with love.

Koreans are so good at English. Every time I talk with them it surprises me how much they know! They know more than I do! They are sooo smart! Either that or they're just really good at English because they've been studying it since they were born! haha It's so crazy how important it is for Koreans to learn English. It makes me really grateful that I was born speaking the language! English is harrrrrd.

We also had zone conference this week and it was a blast! The thing I learned the most was "missionaries are great because they're not perfect. And yet they still do what they do!" Missionaries aren't perfect and no one expects us to be! Sometimes I can be too hard on myself for not being perfect all the time, but I really learned this week that it doesn't matter how perfect we are. The fact that we're still here and TRYING is what makes us great(: We also did this 7 minute workout contest with our Mission President.. And it kicks my bumb! It's really hard and I think I'll be sore for the rest of my life.
The Elders in my district also had a baptism this week! Yay for baptisms! It always makes me so happy to see a baptism! All of us missionaries are working towards the same goal and to see others come unto Christ is the best feeling ever! We sang at their service and it was beautiful! Baptisms are the besttttt.
Have a great week!  
Sister Johnson

BTW guess who's birthday it is this weekend?? You better be sending that certain someone happy birthday emails!!!!^^

Friday, April 17, 2015

I kept wondering who could have sent us these mysterious angel groceries? I was pondering it for over an hour.

Last week when Sister Northridge was deathly ill of food poisoning, we got a surprise delivery of groceries! (I forgot to write about this last week) In Korea, home delivery here is stellar. They have
people deliver your groceries to you! So last week we got a mystery delivery of groceries. There was TONS of stuff in it. I seriously thought angels had sent us this food! We didn't have much food in the fridge.. and we were low on money. I kept wondering who could have sent us these mysterious angel groceries? I was pondering it for over an hour. I was super happy and thankful that we had gotten the groceries. I kept thinking, "God is real. God is good." I kept thinking, "Is this a mistake? Or a miracle?" An hour later the delivery guy came back and was really sorry because he delivered the groceries to the wrong house. Sad. But hey at least I was really happy for an hour. Haha I know I'm ridiculous.

We went to the zoo this week! What was my favorite part? The lions of course! It was really cool cause there were about ten lions that started roaring like crazy. Amazing. After the zoo, we went to eat some delicious chicken 닭갈비 and it little did we know that it was superrrrr spicy. It was sooo good, but we were all basically crying while eating it. I swear I also blacked out a little bit. Either that or my eyes were going crazy from all that spice!

The other day Sister Northridge thought she got out area down and decided that she was going to lead us back home. We were actually really close to our house so I let her do it! She was so pumped and totally thought she knew where she was going. She's great. We laugh. A lot.
Sister Northridge: "The spirit tells me to turn left!!!"
Me: "No."

We also went to the Cherry Blossom Festival. It's a big thing in Korea. All the trees are beautifully filled with cherry blossoms! It was really fun, but it was way too crowded and I can see lots of trees with flowers everywhere..

Okay CONFERENCE though. Did anyone else feel like most of the talks were centered on marriage and families? Super great, but kind of awkward as a missionary. Especially when watching conference in a small room with the elders in our district. Anyway, I still really loved conference! Just taking notes for the future(;

Things that I loved!
"Families go back before this earth was, and will go forward into the eternities." -Elder L. Tom Perry

"I can teach you to dance, but you need to hear the music. We learn the dance steps with our minds, but hear the music in our hearts. Dance steps require discipline, but joy only comes as we hear the music. As teachers (missionaries), we must expand our curriculum by teaching more than just the dance steps." -Elder Wilford W. Andersen
We have to teach investigators more than just the lessons! Teach people, not lessons.

"Saint- a sinner who keeps on trying. God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming, not who we used to be. No failure need be final. If we don't try, we're just Latter Day Sinners. If we don't endure, we're just Latter Day Quitters. If we don't allow others to do the same, then we're Latter Day Hypocrites." -Elder Dale G. Renlund

"Heavenly Father knows you're a successful missionary. What else matters? The service that counts the most is recognized by God." -Elder Michael T. Ringwood

"The artist knows what he wants to accomplish. Even though we cannot see the ending product, the artist knows. God knows! We cannot see our finished product, but with faith, we know that we can be made beautiful." -Elder Rafael E. Pino

Sorry these are probably not the exact quotes, they're my notes, but I love them! There isn't a whole lot to share this week, but conference was amazing. Cherry Blossom Festival was fun. My companion is great. Korea is warm. Life is good. God is good.
Have a great week!
Sister April Johnson

PICS: THE ZOO! And three out of six of my companions!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The first thing she did was take the Book of Mormon right out of our hands and ask if she could have it.

This week is full of crazy events so I'll go day by day.
A member decided it would be fun to take me to "my dad's restaurant." A.K.A Papa Johns[on]. He thought it was the funniest thing. Our entire meal appointment he kept asking "how does it feel to be eating at your dad's place??" haha members..
Tuesday:  Appointments. Nothing too special.

I GOT MY GREENIE! She's the greatest! Her name is Sister Northrigde and she's from LOGAN, UTAH. She'll be going to Utah State after the mission too. So automatically BFF's, right? Haha she has greenie power FOR SURE. She's so willing to work and do everything I say! It's great cause it keeps me motivated to be the best trainer for her! She's also SOOO ready for that Gang nam Style life!

Sister Northridge got food poisoning. Poor girl. Her first actual day in country and she spent it in bed/puking. Sorry TMI. I felt so bad for her. What a memorable experience that is!

We have this potential investigator that the elders met and referred to us. So we've been trying to meet with her this entire transfer, but she always cancelled on us last minute. So we FINALLY got to meet with her and she was GOLDEN. The first thing she did was take the Book of Mormon right out of our hands and ask if she could have it. She was soaking up everything we were telling her! Later on she told us that her dad is actually a member and apparently she got baptized? I asked her if she got baptized when she was 9 (American age 8) and she said she got baptized at age 6 or 7? That's not right.. So we'll look more into it. BUT we may have found a less active on our hands!

We also went to the Gang nam Style sign on the big Gang nam street and ran into some members visiting from Chicago! They said that the little kids were praying to find the missionaries in Korea. And there we were(: Super cool!

We definitely saw a famous guy. He's really big here in Korea. He's on all the Paris Baguette, Tous Les Jours (bread shops), and other things. He's a famous actor. Well there was a huge crowd on Gang nam Dae ro. We walked back & forth few times to see what was going on, but the 50 million body guards kept telling people to keep walking. The last time we decided to walk by, we totally saw him! I don't even know anything about Korean famous people, but I was definitely star struck.. Haha for the .5 seconds that I saw him in the crowd of tons of people. That was fun though! 
His name is 김수현 I think.

We had regular church because we don't get to watch conference until next week. So I hope everyone had fun watching it.. Gotta wait for next week. Translations.. BUT I did get some Cadburry eggs from a German member(: I can't go an Easter without Cadburry eggs!

Due to it being Easter, we made Easter eggs with a scripture on it so we could visit less actives and tell them "Happy Easter!" but no one was home. The scripture we shared is one of my favorites.

Mosiah 16:6-9
6 And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.
7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
8 BUT THERE IS A RESURRECTION, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter! (I think it's still happening in the US, right?) I love you all and always remember #BecauseHeLives.  

 Sister April Johnson