Tuesday, June 23, 2015

We called him back and he told us that he's shutting our area down. WHAT?!? Sister Northridge and I started bawling.

Get ready for this email! It's worth the read!

So this past transfer I have been really praying to have at least one baptism before I go home. I had never done this before because I thought praying to have baptisms was a bit selfish. Missionary work isn't all about how many baptisms you get. But then I really thought about it and realized that I was being selfish not to be asking for baptisms! I realized that our goal is to find those prepared to accept the restored gospel and asking for baptisms isn't a selfish thing. I reopened this area with pretty much nothing and it stayed that way for three transfers.  We have been working really hard here in Gang nam! Then this last week, all our hard work paid off! We were finally seeing these incredible results! This week we picked up THREE investigators and were actually able to have really good stats! These investigators have a lot of potential and I had such a good feeling about them. We felt sooo blessed this week and we knew that it was finally time to really harvest the field.

One of our investigators is a Jehovah's Witness we met on the street. He originally wanted to meet with one of our members to try and convert her to his church. She invited us to their meeting and we went prepared with everything -- our quads in English, PMG, every pamphlet we had, Korean bibles, BOM, etc. We were ready to do some bible bashing with this guy! We went to the appointment and he was actually really nice. He gave us his little introduction and told us how JW's don't go to the army.

 Now in Korea, every male has to spend two years in the army. If they don't, they go to jail. So he told us that in their church they don't believe in killing people so they'd rather go to jail than serve time in the army! (It's how they hook people to join the church) Anyway, after two hours of talking with each other we decided to meet once a week so we can learn more about each other's churches. We're planning on converting him for sure. Haha the thing is, we had to stay after the appointment and talk with the member that came, because she was totally buying what the JW guy had to say! She said that if his church was better, she was going to join his! Uhh NO. So we had to talk her out of it and remind her why she joined our church in the first place. Haha anyway, so he's not really a golden investigator, but he's willing to find out for himself!

Our next two investigators are in their mid 20's. One we found from a referral and the other found us through our English website. They are both AWESOME. They are willing to learn about the gospel and I have such a good feeling about them! We are so excited about them and I'm really glad I started praying for baptisms! haha why didn't I do this earlier?!?!

We even met with a former investigator and he's in his 70's. He reads the BOM a lot and he really likes it! He thinks it's just like the bible so he loves reading it! The thing is, he's very content with his church and he's a little old so he might not be all there.. But we'll continue to visit him and help him feel the Spirit when we visit. Letting him know that this really is the true church! We also tried to visit a less active that owns a laundromat. So Sister Northridge and I purposely went to her laundromat and dry-cleaned a dress. That made us have a reason to come back to pick it up and see her again! We were able to talk with her a bit and give her a conference talk(: ALSO I got to see Angel! She's the girl that got her mission call to my mission!!! She came to Korea with her mom to visit for a month and of course we had to meet! It was so good seeing her and when I go home, I'll continue to be able to help her as she prepares for the mission!

We got a new ward mission leader. I can already tell he's gonna be a great one! We gave him our progress record and saw all the work that we had going on! It hasn't looked like that in a long time.. Haha but he's very excited for us! I know he'll work hard to actually get members to participate in missionary work!

So all these amazing things are happening and we get home on Saturday night with two missed calls from President Morrise. It's usually never a good thing when he calls you. So we knew something was up. We called him back and he told us that he's shutting our area down. WHAT?!? Sister Northridge and I started bawling. 

We finally see some great investigators and now he's closing our area?! We couldn't understand. Especially when I only have one transfer left! There just aren't enough sister missionaries coming in to keep our area open. We are devastated. I thought I was going to die in this area, but that all changed! We've been busy with appointments saying goodbye to investigators and ward members. Our poor investigators we picked up. Hopefully the Elders will take good care of them. Our new ward mission leader is also really sad we're leaving haha.

My new area is 금천 Geum cheun. I don't know how to romanize it haha I will be in a threesome with two relatively new missionaries! I will have to greenie break one of them (transfer right after being trained--like second training) and the other one just got greenie broken! They're in their 3 and 4 transfer in country. Should be fun! One is Korean and the other one is from Australia! I don't know them very well since they're new, but I will get to know them! I'm just sad I'll have to say hello to this new ward and basically say goodbye soon after! Only 6 weeks in this last area.

 I'm just worried I won't get to know the members or investigators well enough before I go home.. But I'm okay! Missionary work is all about curve balls and doing whatever the Lord wants you to do. I'm ready! This was supposed to happen for a reason and I guess I'll soon find out! I'm also sad because I'm closing 2 out of the 3 areas that I've had :( Closing sucks. Saying goodbye forever to sister missionaries... At least they're not gonna close my new area for sure! I would cry if they did!

Have a great week! Ours was surely hectic, but I wouldn't change it for anything.
Sister April Johnson


Pics: We spent the day with our investigator at Olympic park! She's the one that's going to BYU soon (:
The Elders are taking all our food.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I think it's awesome how members around the world, no matter who you are, are all a giant family.

Cancellations because of MERS were up the wall this week. Luckily we were still able to meet with some people! We've had questions like, "how many people have you met with in this past week?" "Have you ever met anyone with MERS?" Well if I did meet someone with MERS, I definitely would not be calling anyone to make appointments! I would be quarantined! Haha some people are really freaked out because of it!

We contacted this former investigator and asked her if she wanted to meet. Instead, she told us she was being stalked big time and that she needed us to help her. Why do we always meet people with the strangest problems? I mean that's awesome that she was asking for our help, but how are we supposed to help a girl that is getting stalked..? She's hiding out in a hotel and everything.. Any ideas?

We ran into an American family that are members on Gang nam Dae ro and they were on their way to dinner! We hadn't eaten dinner that night for some reason and they invited us to join them! We gladly accepted and ate the best burgers in the world! Okay maybe just Korea, but I don't remember the last time I ate that. It was magical. The best part though is that we were able to share a wonderful message and really bond with this family! I think it's awesome how members around the world, no matter who you are, are all a giant family. If you're a member, you're automatically bonded in that way. The church is awesome!

We met with an investigator this week and for some reason, every time we go over to her house, her other church friend shows up. EVERY TIME. So it's hard to start up gospel discussions. Her church friend is the one that takes her to church every week. That church friend is not the nicest person I met. She always finds some kind of way to criticize me in her nice but slightly evil way. If I wasn't a missionary she'd be sooo nice! But she scares me. Haha we're hoping to meet with our investigator and do gospel FIRST before her church friend shows up. Or maybe our investigator invites her church friend on purpose?! As I'm typing about the story I realize it doesn't really sound like a big deal. But if you were there, you'd definitely feel the hate vibes in the air! It's sad..

I also realize I don't really have good stories to share this week so I'm kind of just rambling on. But it was a WONDERFUL week nonetheless! I went on exchanges and slept in our STL's fort they made with their yo's (sleeping pad), I watched the District with my companion for part of her training and I really LOVE this work!
Being on a mission in Korea may be completely different from serving in California, but we're all working towards the same goal and I love that! I know I'm here to help people find Christ and I truly am doing that! MISSIONARY LIFE IS COOL.

Have a great week!
Pray for me and my comp so we don't get MERS!  

Sister April Johnson

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Masks for MERS. Can't get it as a missionary! Which sucks cause we talk to so many people and go out and about...

I don't know if people have heard, but recently there is this virus called MERS that is currently in Korea. It started from a camel in the middle east? Not quite sure if that's true, but apparently it's a big deal. Schools are canceling for days, people no longer want to meet us, and our ward party that we planned so hard for got cancelled. So yes, MERS sucks. There's a hospital in my area where one of the doctors didn't know she had MERS and she had treated 10,000 people that day! The disease is gonna spread like wildfire. So pray for all the missionaries in Korea! 
BUT Sister Northridge and I had the great idea of a new baptizing tactic! She's had a cough lately and so we decided she has MERS. Our tactic is great! We're going to go to a big business building and have Sister Northridge cough on everyone we see. Then they'll quarantine the whole building and they'll have nothing else to do but listen to our message! Genius, right? We thought so too.

We met with a girl named Sunny this week. We found her old record in our area book and decided to give her a call. It turns out that she studied in Utah for 10 months and her homestay family was Mormon! The dad was even the ward bishop(: We then found out that she's going to BYU in the fall! Just a few days after I get home! SO we basically became best friends and have plans to meet up in Utah. Until then, she's just killing time and having fun at home. So it's my job to meet her often and get her interested in the gospel! She already knows so much and she's going to BYU! Is this not perfect or what? Even if I can't help her now as a missionary, I can still work my best and help her back in good ole Utah! I have a good feeling about this!

We had interviews with our mission president this week and we had to discuss one of the Christ-like attributes we were working on. I chose patience. Throughout my mission I've had really hard times, as everyone does, but without patience I don't know what I would have done! I probably would have been long gone by now! But whenever I remember why I came on a mission and focus my thoughts on what my Savior would do, I was able to overcome and conquer! Of course I'm not nearly perfect with patience, but I know it's one attribute that I will always strive to have.

There's a quote that I love. I don't think I can quote it right but I'll give it a try.
"We all have our own little Gethsemanes in life, but only then will we understand what the Savior has truly done for us." Ahh yeah I definitely butchered that. But you get the point! Through my little trials in life, I truly have become to really understand what He did for me.

Anyway, running out of time! I love you all! Please pray for me so I won't get MERS!
p.s. only TWO more months?!?!?! I'm freaking out!

Have a MERS-free week!

Sister April Johnson

Eating southern Korean food with my parents mission friend!

Masks for MERS. Can't get it as a missionary! Which sucks cause we talk to so many people and go out and about...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

We had a combined mission conference with Seoul South and the Seoul Mission. The Seoul BEST missions!

So one of the Elder's dad in my district was companions with my dad back in the day! Just wanted to share that!

Buddha's actual birthday was this past week. We went to go check it out. So many people with beautiful lanterns! That's my kind of birthday(: haha

We had an appointment with our one investigator this week and we were running late for the appointment because we still had to print off the English lessons. We got to the church and the printer was jammed! I tried for so long trying to get it to work, but gave up because we weren't going to make it for the appointment. So we go to the appointment without the English lessons.
 I was praying that somehow it'd be okay that we didn't have papers to teach with. When we got to the lesson, our investigator tells us that she won't be able to study English today because two of her baby grandsons were there so it was chaotic! BLESSED! Satan didn't want us to have a good lesson, but Heavenly Father helped us out and sent the grandsons over. Haha kind of a weird miracle. But I was stressed a lot. So it was HUGE for me!

I started teaching Sister Northridge the piano. We'll see how long that lasts! All I know is that I'm never teaching someone piano again! It's wayyyy to hard! Especially when you're not all that great at piano yourself!

Has anyone seen the" David Archuleta: Called to Serve" DVD?? Well if not, go find it right now! I'm totally in the video from when he came to the MTC. I'm like smack-dab in the middle. I look like I'm bored out of my mind. I don't know why they chose to put me on the DVD. But maybe this just means we're meant to be and I'm gonna go home and marry him, right? That was fun news this week!

We had a combined mission conference with Seoul South and the Seoul Mission. The Seoul BEST missions! It was great seeing everyone for the last time! Elder Ringwood and Maynes from the 70 came to speak. I learned a lot and actually found one of the things really interesting. Elder Maynes compared Joseph Smith to an investigator. Someone who was seeking the truth. He then said that Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ were the first missionaries in this last dispensation and we as missionaries now are just following in Their footsteps! I had never thought of it that way, but we truly are doing Their work as missionaries(:

The Bongchun sisters put together a musical night type thing at their ward and invited us to participate! We put together a great dance. Wearing wigs, cat shirts, grandma pants and sockssss. The crowd loved it! We put it together really fast. And knowing me, I can't dance. But it was a good time and that's all that matters!

We also had ward conference this week! Out of the blue, my trainer Kim Yoon Ha was there! It surprised me so much! She was at our church with her whole family. One of her brothers is dating one of our members so they came to church to meet each other's families! Anyway that's not the point. The point is, that my trainer's parents served with my dad back in the day as well! And so Kim Yoon Ha's dad literally called my dad while I was standing right there wanting him to talk with me!!! NOOOOOO. Haha luckily everyone kept saying that was a bad idea and I didged that one!

It was a crazy week. It was so busy and full of things that we didn't have a lot of appointments and we also dropped our investigators... So hopefully next week I'll have more spiritually uplifting stories!

Have a great one!
Sister April Johnson

Me being bored on David Archuleta's video.
Our dance.. someone stole my red afro :(
My trainer!!! The grandma, mom and granddaughter photo(: