Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm a little BEHIND in posting!!!

Fiesta Bowl 2!! WOOT WOOT!
Geez, can this family ever be healthy???
Are you sure you're all keeping the word of wisdom? haha Welp i hope you enjoy the pictures i send in this email. One is of a baptism of a kid in our ward that we got to help out with, the others are of my one year celebration! :) And i too am thankful for the awesome members down here! this area has been awesome. the members are sweet!! And i can't believe that jeff is already graduating!! He's an old man. geepers. As far as money goes for the account just throw in about 60-70 bucks. if my calculations are right that should cover 4 jerseys.
Jo man. it's been a good week though. Obert And Sabina Are still doing well! We had some good lessons! they are good with 2 of the 3 headed dragon commandments. We will teach tithing to them tonight or tomorrow. If that goes well then they'll be ready for baptism!!
As well we had our first member referral this week! it was awesome.
We were walking down the street and as usual the ladies was waving and giving us grief. And i was like "nuh-uh i don't think so" So i gave them a super cheezy wave cause i was getting weary of it! anyways the car goes around the circle and comes back and i was like "oh great" but then the window rolled down and it was a member from our ward and she was like "hey when do you teach discussions?" And i said "uhhh... anytime!" and she said "well my friend here wants to join the church" So we taught her the next day in the members home. Textbook. Awesome. And then she came to church! So that was rad.
And i have had to do like 5 baptism interviews this week for the zone leaders! it's been hectic! But fun.
But ya... that's been about all this week. We've had some crazy thunder storms. But that's what happens every summer. We have them almost every evening!
But i hope you all have a great week! keep it rolling! Stay well!
-elder johnson

well. it's been a sweet week. IT's been pretty hectic with plenty of storms. I think the maxwells will be sending some pictures of the soakageness! it was the second craziest thunderstorm i've been in since i've been out. Only the storm last year with elder mbhele can compare!
We had a pretty good week. Alfred and Thandi are doing well! They DIDN'T come to church.... ugh. But they are still progressing so we'll see what we can do to get them out next week! That's the hard part about working in a town where the chapel isn't in your area.... IT's tough getting people to die kerk!
But obert and sabina should be baptized this week on sunday! we're going to go see them tomorrow and show them the most recent general conference dvd's! WE're thinking of showing them pres. Monson and Hollands talks. it should be radical. As well we re-established contach with a white family that the missionaries taught be for we got here and we've been working for nearly 2 months to get in their home! Anywho on wednesday we went and taught them an UBER POWERFUL lesson on the atonement and got them pumped about the gospel again. And we re-commited them for baptism in march. So that was exciting the spirit was nearly tangible as we taught the lesson. it was awesome!!
Aside from that we have a lot of hectic stuff happening this week due to the holiday season. IT's gonna be crazy. But tonight the maxwells are having a caroling by candlelight thing at their house so we're going to help them set up and as well hopefully get a few referrals from their friends that are coming! :)
Oh man, it was great to hear from sydnie!! I'm so pumped that you're done with WORK.... FOREVER! WE just killed a missionary today. My dear friend elder nelson went home. He was a super cool dude. But Utah is calling him home for christmas. so that's cool.
So i'm sure it is a similar experience for both of you this holiday season. But we shall go out and have a much belated dinner celebration when i get home and then go see whatever new pixar or dreamworks movie comes out! Does it sound like a deal sydnie?? does it? haha

wow the music night sounded awesome! The holidays are a great time for missionary work! Make sure to have the elders in the home sometime during the break. I'm sure they would appreciate it! And tell kevin to get out with the elders as much as possible. I regret not doing that more!
Well i hope you all have a good next 2 or 3 days! i'll talk to you on friday!!! :) I'm pretty stoked.
the plan is i'll call at 7:00 pm this side. So i think it will be 11 there??
So you'll hear from me then!!
Love ya lots!
The church is true!
-elder johnson

Hello Family!
Welp.... OBERT AND SABINA GOT BAPTIZED!! it went awesome. We're so pumped.... and Here's the other big news.....
I got a call from president on saturday morning and it turns out elder hatch is being transferred to mamelodi which is a township in pretoria! And i'll be training! So i'll get to meet my boy on wednesday. We don't find out who it is until wednesday at the transfer meeting! I'll keep you posted on that.
Aside from that there isn't too much happening! Just the same old stuff. We're working hard and preaching the word. Over the next few weeks i'm gonna really have to show some backbone to the investigators who aren't coming to church.... so that's gonna be fun. But fear not, I will reprove them with love.
Oh man, tell the evans that their prayers are much appreciated! And is ben black going to home soon??
And how are the youth of the ward?? Especially the young men. I think i'll try to send an email in the next couple weeks that dad can print out and give to the young men.
I wanna get those kids fired up!!
And as don't worry about the broncos i have much faith in them!! will the game be this week?? If so don't talk about the game in the email. Because depending on the result i may not be able to pay too much attention to the reset of the email! Just send me the online newspaper article like you do with most of the games so i can just read it from there! OR you can just tell me. Either way is fine!!
But hey have an awesome week! happy new years! i'll let yo know if i got my package next email! :)
the church is true!
-elder johnson

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Ladies Give the Missionaries GRIEF!!!

Fiesta Bowl 2!! WOOT WOOT!
Geez, can this family ever be healthy???
Are you sure you're all keeping the word of wisdom? haha Welp i hope you enjoy the pictures i send in this email. One is of a baptism of a kid in our ward that we got to help out with, the others are of my one year celebration! :) And i too am thankful for the awesome members down here! this area has been awesome. the members are sweet!! And i can't believe that jeff is already graduating!! He's an old man. geepers. As far as money goes for the account just throw in about 60-70 bucks. if my calculations are right that should cover 4 jerseys.
Jo man. it's been a good week though. Obert And Sabina Are still doing well! We had some good lessons! they are good with 2 of the 3 headed dragon commandments. We will teach tithing to them tonight or tomorrow. If that goes well then they'll be ready for baptism!!
As well we had our first member referral this week! it was awesome.
We were walking down the street and as usual the ladies was waving and giving us grief. And i was like "nuh-uh i don't think so" So i gave them a super cheezy wave cause i was getting weary of it! anyways the car goes around the circle and comes back and i was like "oh great" but then the window rolled down and it was a member from our ward and she was like "hey when do you teach discussions?" And i said "uhhh... anytime!" and she said "well my friend here wants to join the church" So we taught her the next day in the members home. Textbook. Awesome. And then she came to church! So that was rad.
And i have had to do like 5 baptism interviews this week for the zone leaders! it's been hectic! But fun.
But ya... that's been about all this week. We've had some crazy thunder storms. But that's what happens every summer. We have them almost every evening!
But i hope you all have a great week! keep it rolling! Stay well!
-elder johnson

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We've Hit the One Year Mark!

I cannot believe Michael has hit the one year mark in his mission. When he left I knew the time would pass quickly, but I had NO idea. Looking back on the year, it has been a good one. I have seen such growth in him and yet every email I read makes me chuckle because he writes just like he talks...ALL OVER THE PLACE! I know he is loving his mission and loves the people he is serving. The areas he has been in have been amazing and the way they care and support each other is truly humbling. I know he has been taught by those he has served.
The ward members are fantastic to the missionaries and treat them very well. I have been so impressed with how they work to FIND people for the missionaries to teach and are supportive to the investigators when the Elders bring them to church.
I LOVE having a missionary out in the field. Yes, I miss him but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. He is right where he should and needs to be. And I know the Lord sent him to the Johannesburg South Africa to fulfil His purpose for Michael.
I am so thankful to have this young man worthy and willing to serve. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for his safe keeping and I know as long as Michael is obedient that he will return to me safe and sound.
I have said this before, but if missions could extend 6 months I'd say go for it, but for 6 weeks it's hardly worth it.
So until November 2010...

Thanksgiving in South Africa

Some wonderful people in Selcourt had Michael and his companion, Elder Hatch, over for Turkey Day. It was actually the Wednesday after but I appreciated is so much!
We have had contact with these good people and they are delighful. I am so grateful that Michael is in an area where the members take such good care of the missionaries!
Here are some pictures of their day. I might add that Sister Maxwell has a broken hand too! Thank you for taking care of my boy!

Michael's Bday Breakfast

Check out the banana on his ear...what's with that?! The food looks pretty good!

Elder Johnson is Working Hard!

But he must shave. As i'm afraid it may become the residence of different birds and small rodents... and it makes me feel less masculine. But as i told kevin, i plan on using my hormones to keep the hair on my head not to grow it all out on my face. haha
But that's awesome news about the eags and broncs! I'm pumped to hear about it all in the future!
Welp... i got a sweet camera! and i have some pictures for you guys!!
One is of me with my Birthday Breakfast, the other is when we made missionary coffee! You'll understand when you see it! :)
But this week has been pretty interesting. We had transfer news on Saturday and not much will change except one of zone leaders is leaving and Our zone is being combined with another one to form an uber zone.
I'm glad to hear mom is doing better that's awesome!
As far as christmas goes... I'm totally ok just receiving funds... a package would be awesome though! Whatever you want to do is fine!
Hook me up with something much the same as the last one. Minus shoe laces toothbrushes and razors. And more snacks. Lots of jerky! I killed it off in like a week! And no i didn't get a stocking...i don't think.
The fireside went awesome. I am such a strong believer in doing those things! The members get so pumped. We had a bunch of people, set appointments with us to go teach people or to give them book of mormons to give to their friends and what not. It's awesome! The Ward really goes all out here. We had more people at this fireside then we did at the one in Bedfordview and edenvale. And this one was for one ward and the other was for two! So it was great. The members are doin an awesome job of supporting us!
Church was great Obert and Sabina Came again! they walk for like 5 k's to get there! It's awesome. They rock. We're gonna try to get them a ride next week!
As far as the rest of our investigators go... we have this guy named themba who wants to get baptized, we hardly had to ask him when he was like " ya i want to be baptized!" So that's pretty awesome!
Well my first week of being twenty was pretty.... regular!
Aside from all that there isn't too much to tell about!
Thanks for the advice about being bold and confident. it's definately something i'll be working on!!
The Work & the Gospel is awesome. It's True. I love it.
Have fun with mel and the boys, tell them i say hello!
I love you all so much, thanks for your support and prayers! Keep em' Coming! :)
-elder johnson

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mission is on FIRE!!!

eita majita's!
WELP,(i like that touch george) Here's the breakdown for week 4!
WE had quite the interesting week... Some of our investigators are kicking booty and others are not kicking so much but are still moving along slowly.
We currently have 12 people on date for baptism! So we're super pumped for that. December is going to be a good month for the selcourt ward! :)
Well, i will try to look at some cameras. In the past i have seen some decent kodaks for R999. I don't know what the exchange rate is like right now so it could either be really cheap or not so cheap....
I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better mom! And i was also glad to see all of the neices and nephews with their halloween gear! That is so rad! They look awesome.

I am also glad to hear that kevin is enjoying football and choir. He is such a stud!

As far things are going here.... IT's been pretty sweet overall!
We're working hard and things are going great!!
We continue to find lots of father led families and priesthood which is what every ward needs!
We're also working a lot with the members. I kinda slacked on that last week and i felt really guilty cause if we just find on our own we're being selfish. I use the old phrase.... if you give a man a fish he eats for a day.... etc..... It's the same with missionary work. we are teaching the members to be fishers of men.

So if the elders there are not working with you(dad) then get ahold of them and make a plan! It is how our ward will have the most success. The apostles and preach my gospel both say so.
Anyways i hope all is well back home.

Don't keep the faith..... Spread it around.
oh and here is one more funny quote that got sent to one of the missionaries i serve with....
" before satan goes to sleep, he checks under his bed for elder holland!!"
The church is true!
-elder johnson

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eleven Months? Are You Kidding Me?

well it's been a pretty intense week!
I've officially been in south africa for 11 months today. it's crazy.
In other news We've had some nice success!
Here's the statistical breakdown...
WE taught 8 father led family lessons.
We had 6 investigators at church as well as a couple of families that members invited as part of their mission work
We also had 11 new investigators!
pretty sweet eh?
My Camera Situation is pretty pathetic.... As i don't have one. I think i might just try to buy a cheap one with the birthday funds i hope to receive.... ;)
Oh and everything is awesome as far as companionship and work goes. Elder Hatch is a cool guy.
The Zone Conference was awesome!
Oh and i was also wondering if i could get a little extra money so we could go out to dinner one of these nights as a celebration for the opening of the area..... i'll only need like 10 bucks...
OH AND I GOT THE PACKAGE!! IT IS AWESOME!!!! Tell jeff thanks so much for all the talks and music. It's radical.
And yes i still have my guitar which i need to buy strings for because one broke. haha
And yes i sing all the time. Not solo too much. But we helped out the ward choir in Bedfordview once so i got to do that! :)
And i think i will be sending those pictures home very soon! So be ready for that!
My clothes are fine, the heat is ok. We actually walk alot as well. IT works awesome... as we all know from D & C The elders must not move too swiftly while souls all around are perishing. So sometimes we just walk and talk with everyone we come across. It's pretty sweet.
But ya this area has been awesome. I've been putting a lot more effort into dillegence and obedience. IT's been pretty lekker!
Oh and i'm also glad to hear about all the success in the sports world!
Welp, Unfortunately my internet was being difficult earlier and i'm about out of time. But i hope you all have a wonderful week!
i'll talk to you soon!

The Church is True!
-elder johnson

Monday, October 19, 2009

Elder Johnson is Doing Great!

Dear Johnson Tribe
How's it?
Man it sounds like the eagles are on a roll.... And the broncos are hanging in there! I hope they can get recharged. Next weeks game will not be easy... But # 4 is pretty insane!!
As far as the work out here goes.... We are kicking some booty. We visited a ton of members and talked about mission work and as well we contacted a ton of people and are teaching like 5 father led families. So that's pretty awesome. So we're very excited. We're just hoping that the members will start to produce some fruits from the family mission plans we have distributed amongst them.
We went to PEC this week and the bishop spoke about missionary work for like 45 minutes in the which was the quotes... " if you are tracting then you are not working hard, if you are working with the members then you are working hard" as well as "this is our missionary work. They have been sent to us to help us. We should be finding, they should be teaching" and when one of the bishopric asked us if we had contacted a referall he gave us the bishop said " I hate to break it to you but that isn't mission work, You should have these people being taught in your home by the missionaries"
So he's pretty pumped about it. And we'll be teaching a family in his home this week. Unfortunately the member work isnt to a point where we don't tract but we'll see maybe in a few months it will be!
But with our hard work and the members enthusiasm this place can & will explode! I am looking forward to seeing the growth over the next few months!
What else is there to tell about?? Well i am hoping to recieve my package this week at zone conference! it would be most excellent.
As well, The biking is getting me into good shape again. IT's pretty intense!
Oh and a member of the Springs' ward took a picture of me and elder hatch in his studio the other day. He's been taking pictures of all the missionaries who come into the area for over 10 years. So hopefully i can send that to you soon! Oh and i got moms letter! it was great! i loved it! I'm glad to hear that kevin is such a stud. And that Dad is still......Dad. He's the best. OH and yes i got an email from jeff. It was awesome. He is the man. I always tell the missionaries i serve with how rad my big brother is.
But keep up the good work, Keep up the missionary work on your side!
Sounds good.
The Church is True!
-elder johnson

Monday, October 12, 2009

Look Who's a District Leader!

Hello everyone,
welp i am officially in the land of Boers! But its gonna be fun. The ward is super psyched about mission work and are ready to rip it up. So i'm thinking that in the next couple of weeks we will have quite the teaching pool. We did A LOT of tracting the first few days and it yielded little results. Just like president hinckley said it would. So now we are going to harness the powers of members and spread gospel joy and baptism to all of their friends and family members!
IT's gonna be sweet.
All i said in that last email for all of you who "praat nie afrikaans nie" Was that I speak no afrikaans. And seeings that im in an area where ALOT of people do, i think i'm gonna try to learn a bit. So that will be fun.
But it is a ward here and the bishop is AWESOME! He's a returned missionary and is just super fired up about having missionaries in the ward. And i think so far we've made a good impression. IT's definately going to be great.
And here's the other news that i didn't out until the day before i got here... i'm a district leader. You know you do what you can in laying low to stay away from such things but one day it'll hunt you down and get you. And that's what it did to me. So we'll see how it all goes....
My companion is pretty radical as well. He comes from a super tough area that just got closed so he knows how to work. WE are actually supposed to get the car once a week and go down to that area and continue teaching the few investigators they had. Which brings me to the next bit of news... for my 2nd summer in a row in south africa i will be on BIKES! Huzzah!So hopefully that will make me nice and fit over the next 6 months or so....
So i think it's gonna be a hard working area but it will also be a fruitful area once we get things rolling here!
But aside from that im very excited to hear that Boise State is doing an awesome job as well as Capital. Hopefully they all keep it up.
I also got some totally rad pictures from melissa of Trev and spenc-bots.
Trevor is getting so big!!! It's crazy.... I'm not going to recognize all those kids!
It's also awesome to hear about all the support that's coming from the family. I definately am thankful for all your prayers.
The other sad news is that i still haven't gotten the package!! i'm hoping i'll have it tomorrow when the zone leaders go to the office for a meeting. I'm really looking forward to it!
BUT ALL IS WELL! i shall look forward to hearing from you all soon!
The church is true.
Keep Up Your Prayers and Studies.
keep the commandments.
And you can insert any other gospel messages that you need. here
( )

-elder johnson

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Transfer, A Trainer and Opening a New Area

Welp... here's the news.
I'm being transfered.
Here's the bigger news.
I'm follow-up training
Here's the Biggest NEWS!
It's called Selcourt. it's an area outside of a town called springs.
I'm pretty much a mess of emotions. I'm excited and scared to death at the same time! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!?! haha
My new Companion's name is Elder Hatch. He was recently serving in a very tough area called Secunda that had to be shut down because it was totally dead. So i'm gonna show him the brighter side of missionary work and we're going to rip it up in Selcourt and have an awesome time doing it! haha
According to president the area is mostly black and has some township in it. So i will be rolling ghetto style the next few months. And all the white people there are Afrikaans unfortunately Ek Praat Nie Afrikaans Nie. So i'll have to work on it so that i can in the fashion of The Apostle Paul say: To the Boers i was a Boer! haha Boer is a nickname for afrikaaners. haha

Aside from that.... i haven't gotten the package yet. But it should be here by transfer meeting on wednesday, So i'll check for it when i'm at the office.
As far as rooibos goes... I could probably send some, that just depends on when i get around to sending it. I'll try to do that soon though. Rooibos is very cheap here. I don't know how much it is to order over there though. It comes in tea bags though. IT's divine. i just got this camomile rooibos. And it's radical!
But things are all good in bedfordview, I did my last trip to hokkaido on saturday after conference. It was awesome and i am still stuffed from all the sushi. Paul & Michelle met us there. It was awesome!
I'm kinda sad to be leaving the area. I'm gonna miss alot of people. And i'm gonna miss some baptisms of some of our investigators! :/
All in all though I'm very excited for the new experience. I'm kinda shocked that the lord is trusting me with this responsibility.... I guess i kinda forget that i'm not a brand new missionary anymore. I've been out for well over 10 months now but i feel like it's been like 4 weeks. haha
But i feel that the lord has some big plans for his work out there. So he'll be there to help me out with things. I wouldn't be going there if he didn't know i could do it.
As far as conference goes... IT WAS BAIE LEKKER! haha
Unfortunately we didn't get to see sunday afternoon because it showed at 10 at night. But the rest was awesome. Uchtdorf was on fire. I loved his stuff... and not one aviation reference. it was impressive.
I took lots and lots of notes. You definately can feel the spirit burn within you as you listen to those men. I was just blown away the whole time. There were definately somethings that i needed to hear, that will help me a ton!
But i hope you all have a great week! Stay well! I love you!

-elder johnson

I couldn't resist looking this up!
"Lekker, baie lekker", means very very good in Afrikaans.

Monday, September 28, 2009

He said I am LEGENDARY? Hardly!

well, well, well, another week gone past, and another girl for the cutlers!
Welp, Things are still going well over here! We get transfer news this Saturday!! ITS GONNA BE NUTS! I'm so nervous i've hit the 6 month mark in this area and thats usually the time they start to mix it up. So we shall see.... I told paul to find you all on Facebook, apparently he has! That's sweet. He got a kick out of my pj picture! haha This week we have an uber conference party weekend planned!! COnference starts at 6 o' clock on saturday night sooooo.... we are going to go watch conference then go to our favorite all you can eat sushi place and chow and reminesce on the awesomeness that was the first session of conference. SO we're pretty pumped about that. As far as investigators who will attend we should have around 10 checking it out. We just met these two new guys who stay in the same flat as David, One of our congolese investigators. And the new guys are super pumped to learn more about the gospel and They both said they wanted to come and watch a session of conference. so that will be awesome! On even crazier news... one of our investigator families is GOING TO CONFERENCE. I don't mean to the chapel to watch it on the screen, I mean going to salt lake and being there! haha Unfortunately they are eternal investigators and the dad is a pretty high-ranking guy at SABC and knows Jacob Zuma and what not. So the church is paying for them to go. IT's pretty crazy. So we'll see maybe it will change things for them!
Ya i was just thinking the other day about how it was only a year ago we all went to Conference. And how could i forget the spooning..... legend. haha
CONFERENCE IS GONNA BE SO SWEET THIS YEAR!!! I just can't get over it.
By the way i had my 10 month birthday on saturday! Pretty crazy eh? I'm entering into the "dog days" of mission, It's pretty crazy. I think i have the endurance to plow through though! haha
Oh and speaking of indian food. We went to this indian family's house for dinner on saturday night. it was soooooo good! it blew my mind.
Oh and i can now make bunny chow! which is a south african/indian favorite. So When i get home i shall make them for you all. IT's incredible it's pretty much curry inside of a breadbowl. it rocks.
As far as our other investigators go though... everything is ok thus far. Eve Is still doing well. She is one of two investigators in edenvale. All of our other ones are in Bedfordview.
And Joseph and Gertrude are doing well. Gertrude came to church again and enjoyed it and Joseph is going to come to Conference so i'm pretty pumped about that! :)
And all of the recent converts are rolling along. Siyanda is doing awesome, so is delicate and Paul and frank and mary are kicking it as well. So things are all good. :)
WEll i guess in my final words for this email i would just like to thank Mom for using the word "DOOF" in her last email. It was Legendary. Thank you.
The Church is True.
Have a Good week!
-elder johnson

These are pictures of the recent baptism in Edenvale and Bedfordview. Michael looks so happy! I love the short hair!
Paul and Michelle feed the boy regularly and have recently made contact with me through FB and email. I can't wait to hear of their progress in the gospel.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Elder Johnson is LOVIN the Mission!

Hello family!
I'm writing you for the first time on a wednesday! The internet cafe was giving us fits the last couple of days and we couldn't email so we had to come today and give it a go! So far, so good!
DUDES it sounds like the broncos are kicking some serious booty. IT makes me happy. Hopefully that trend continues!
Just as the broncos are doing well, so are we!
We had 5 confirmations for the 5 baptisms that we had last week. So that was nice! As well we had 2 priesthood ordinations for Paul and Frank! And that was when the awesome experience for this week occurred! So... we ordained paul first. And then After we ordained paul he got an early start in excersizing his priesthood and he got to stand in on the circle when we ordained frank! It was so awesome! Those guys are gonna be awesome priesthood holders! i can already tell! I've said it before and i'll say it again now... I really hope i'll be in Gauteng when those couples get sealed so i can go!! It would be amazing.
As well Eve Continues to do well. It is so great to be in an area where the ward members will fellowship the investigators who come to church. I wasn't so lucky in nelspruit! But the relief society in Edenvale is doing a dyn-o-mite job! Everytime i would go to check to see how she was doing there was another sister in the ward speaking with her. And eve is LOVING church! haha it's great.
As well the new father led family we were teaching (joseph and Gertrude) are doing well! Gertrude came to church and i think she enjoyed it.
As far as tracting goes we asked president about it because we havent been doing it because it's been so ineffective. and he actually told us to just keep doing what we're doing in just focusing on getting the members involved with the Family Mission Plan and stuff like that. Cause that's where we've been finding success! So we are continuing the work with the members!
I AM SO PUMPED FOR THAT PACKAGE! Elder leve got his yesterday and all i could think about was how pumped i was to be getting mine! :)
AND congratulations to Sydnie on her retirement! that is so exciting!
I shall have a small celebration on that day in commemoration!
But mostly i just hope you all know and always remember how great of a blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives, I gave a talk about Prophets and the Restoration and just closed it by giving the Joseph Smith story as if i was teaching an investigator, it was awesome! everytime i tell that story the spirit repeats more and more to me that it is indeed true! :)
So just remember that!
have a great week!
I love you all so much!
-elder johnson
By the way david, you should have your mom remind me again of some of the members she knows out here in case i run into any of them!

Monday, September 14, 2009

FIVE Baptisms!

hello family. Greetings from Bedfodview!
We had the 5 baptisms yesterday! I personally baptized paul & siyanda!
So that was awesome! That "you know you're from south africa" thing was great and sooo true!! i just saw a strike at a store the other day and they were dancing and singing outside of the store. it was hilarious.
Well i'm not too concerned about the bears. i'm just glad that the broncos did awesome! :) And my alma mater! haha
But ya things are still rocking here. We are having an awesome time! we had a killer appointment with eve. I was on exchanges with elder cunningham a s. african from Durban. It was sweet. We dropped a total spirit bomb on her and testified hardcore. The spirit was incredible. She is just soaking it all up like a sponge! it's awesomness.
We also are finding new people to teach all the time. it's great.
The work is just moving along! it's sweet. I'm excited today we are having a zone p-day activity so it will be fun. WE're gonna play games at the church and just hang out. It's gonna be cool.
But ya back to the baptisms.... IT was soooo awesome! Paul has seriously been one of my favorite investigators it was such a priviledge to get to baptize him and he is so happy and so thankful. He is going to be so blessed as he continues to live the gospel. And siyanda is one of the most incredible turnaround stories i've ever had! I don't know if we told you this but she is like 4 months pregnant and used to be quite the party girl. But once we started teaching her she just dropped everything and has totally turned a 180 it's so awesome. She's been great to teach!
And then i've already told you delicates story! and then frank and mary are just awesome. they rock. They are the sweetest, nicest, and most humble people i've ever met. They were sooo ready for the gospel. And it was awesome to get to be part of the baptism of a husband and wife. And they are super pumped to go to the temple in a year!!! :)
SO... overall im on a super high right now. IT's radical. But now we gotta get back to work and find more peeps to keep the momentum going!
And i am so excited for matt westover! that's sweet he's going down south!! But not as south as i am!!!

Welp we gotta get going here pretty soon we need to be at the chapel in 20 minutes. So I'll talk to you all later!
oh and did my package get sent yet?? I'm uber psyched about it. I haven't had post besides a doctors bill from when i got food poisoning!
WElp have a most bodacious week! Cause i know that i will!
love you all, thanks so much for your prayers and support!

-elder johnson

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Work Keeps Rollin!

hello family....
Well, thanks for the financial update. Those one's sound legit. Alot of it is because when i was with elder douglas we got a speeding ticket and they take it from our allotment. That and the fact that we ate out way too much. So i'll work on that. BTW... speaking of de molen and nando's and romans You guys have got to have that stuff.... it's awesome. Nando's is the best chicken in the world and de molen's is a little pancake shop that we hit once a transfer for when people leave the area. The PNP one is a Grocery Store so that was just getting groceries, I also had to take some out today because i'm out of monies and i need to dry clean some ties and slacks. I will certainly do a much better job of managing my funds, When our new alotment comes in this saturday! I'll be sure to budget things out and make it nice. But ya, it's pretty bomb being able to stay here in the B'fordview/edenvale area for a bit longer. Unfortunately david won't be ready for the baptisms in september he's been sick 2 sundays in a row and has missed so we're gonna wait. But The other 5 are still on track! So we'll plan on that! It will double my total amount of baptisms so far! :)
Anyways, this week was pretty interesting... i have just gotten over a cold and now i'm having stomach problems.... pretty sweet eh? It's ok though. It should be better by tomorrow.
HOLY MOLY! The bsu season starts this week!! I think that if they win you should let me know in DETAIL! And if they lose just don't say anything. Because i might get depressed and need to come home so i can personally see to it that bsu salvages their season.... haha jk.
I guess you can tell me. But i will take it quite hard.
As far as the work over here goes.... things are still rolling. We met this awesome lady named Marjorie last week. She's a white lady who for some reason got reffered to the Alexandra Elders. Needless to say she is now ours. White South Africans and Township don't mix too nicely! :)
But she's been really cool so far. IS realy interested in stuff like baptisms for the dead and the plan of salvation. So we're pretty pumped about what lies in store for her!
As well the rest of them are doing great. Paul and Michelle took us out to dinner on thursday to an all you can eat pizza place called pannorattis! It's like R 30 for all you can eat pizza. Which would be like 4 bucks back home! So that was lekker.
And Frank and MAry are doing ok. The only problem is that frank keeps getting jobs so we never get to see him. Hopefully Business will slow down a tad so we can finish up teaching them! We had a fireside this week to help get members pumped about mission work. It actually went really well. We spent a lot of time preparing and working on it. We made a powerpoint and everything. Anyways it will yield results for sure. We have a few people with refferals for us already!
So i'm super excited! If the missionaries are not working with the ward back in boise they need to. That is the only way to get things done. Do the missionaries even come and meet with you(dad) and ask about what they can do and what your expectations are as far as their work goes? In chapter 13 of pmg it talks alot about working with ward and stake leaders and it is seriously the most effective and best way to work in the wealthier areas of the world. In our area we can work our booties off and tract all day long and still not be effective missionaries. However in township they can do the same and have loads of success. That's one thing elders need to start realizing that you need to adjust the work the area that they're in. It's then that you really start to have success. So if they haven't chatted with you and developed some sort of mission plan for the ward then jump on them for it. haha
Welp i think that's about it for me. Have a great week! I love you all a bunch thanks so much for the support and prayers!

-elder johnson

Monday, August 24, 2009

6 more weeks in Edenvale

After reading Michael's blog be sure to visit the family blog to read up on what a BRAAI is!

woah, another week.....
It's too fast eh? I've said it before and i'll say it again if i didn't have a planner i would have no idea what day it was. Everything just kind blurs into a week long day. if that makes sense. Wow fish tacos sound awesome. That will be a must do. By the way it is my 9 month b-day this thursday.... so have a little celebration, drink a dr. pepper in my memory or something. haha
But yes i shall bring much rooibos home with me, i like it... alot. I have a feeling i shall be the herbal tea expert of the family when i get home. Cause i love that stuff.
As far as my money issues go... i think a couple of those might be legit but it was way earlier in my mission when i used that. So the ones that have happened lately i don't know. MAybe atms here add a killer processing fee or something.... i don't know. I'll try to figure it out cause usually when i take from my savings it's like for 50 or 100 rands which is 7 or 12 dollars... Let me investigate and i shall let you know.
But aside from that i have some good news... i will not be getting transfered this transfer. So i will be here another 6 weeks. Which means i will see the baptisms of: Paul, David, Frank, Mary, Delicate, and Siyanda! So that has me very excited! The sad knews is that my buddy elder McCombs is being transfered. He was serving in Alexandra. But he's going to Turffontein and is serving with my other mission pal who i served with in nelspruit, elder wilson.
But let me tell you about our investigators!!
We had an awesome lesson with David this last week, we've been a bit concerned about his testimony and what not and weren't sure if he was ready for word of wisdom yet. Anyways the time came and as i opened my mouth unsure of what to teach between Scripture study or word of wisdom. the spirit spoke up and said word of wisdom. Anyways at the end of the lesson david said (in french) "Now i know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Because he taught about all things and things that help us now in our day" It was awesome! i was so pumped. So he's doing quite well. Once again the spirit leads the elders to victory.
Paul is doing very well also. WE had a POWER lesson with him on thursday it pretty much turned into a testimony meeting where We and his wife michelle hit him up hardcore. IT was great. He'll definately be ready. Delicate is also still doin well. He's still being a stud.
We have also been teaching a kid named Immanuel. He is awesome. We teach him in a one room flat. about the size of... our guest room, maybe smaller. he shares it with his friend... We teach a lot of people in similar living situations. Just remember that whenever you feel like the lord isn't blessing you enough. it will quickly change your mind. It has for me.
But usually we have a whole army of malawian immigrants who come and listen and it's going well! Immanuel is the one constant one that's always there and he's growing alot through the gospel.
Anyways... I best be going. We got to be at the chapel in 5 minutes for a braii! But have a good week! i hope to hear from you all soon! and i sent kevin a very excited message about him getting into singers... it's bomb.
welp peace out.

-elder johnson

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tea Anyone? Not that kind of tea! Or was it?

family! Howzit?!
Well this week has been quite hectic! But it's been good!
We've been working hard and it's been good. Our appointments with our new investigators went great! WE put eve and immanuel on date! So they will probably be getting baptized in october! I'm quite excited about that! Eve was way cool. She pretty much said "well this how i think it will go. You guys will come teach me and then teach me how i can get baptized and become a member of the church." And we were like yup... that's about right. And she kept saying how she's excited to join the church and be a strong contributing member not just a wishy washy one. It was awesome!
Delicate continues to be awesome. Except for the fact i don't think they have quite distinguished between the "kosher" herbal tea and the normal not so kosher teas.... I'm about 90% sure we broke the word of wisdom last night. haha They gave us what they said was rooibos tea(Which is a south african herbal tea that rocks!!) The whole time i was just thinking "This doesn't taste like rooibos tea...." then we asked and they didn't have the box so we decided not to finish it.... it was pretty interesting. So next time we'll check to see if they've figured that one out. haha
And paul is actually doing very well. His Testimony is growing. He's pretty excited to get baptized! And he's actually been reading from the book of mormon! It's been awesome! Michelle says he usually never reads any books. SO we're excited for that!
Our recent converts are doing very well also. Both are still active after the first 2 weeks! so thats good news! I'm sure it'll stay that way!
I'm also glad that you enjoyed the little suprise in the last email!
I was pretty pumped i got to tell you all about it! I'm excited to see that kid in a year or so! he/she''ll still be just a little fella or gal when i get there! Sweet.
As far as the talks go i would like the audio versions! If possible. Lately i've been a big fan of the following: Neal A. Maxwell, Spencer W. Kimball, Cleon Skousen, Hugh Nibley, Bruce R. McConkie and Any Jeffery r. Holland talk! Oh oh and i would love some classical. And some church would be swell. Classical like.... Stravinsky, mozart, and beethoven.
OOH well that all sounds good! i'm so excited i haven't gotten any physical post in like 8 months! So that will be a very special moment when that package comes! Oh and can you send shoe laces! The skinny shoe laces please! mine broke! Anyways... i'm loving it here. Things are still good! i hope to hear from you all soon!
Love you all!
-elder johnson

I decided to do a little research on the tea Michael was referring to and found that it is very good for you. It does NOT contain caffeine. And there was a lot of info about the benefits for pregnant women. Maybe Andrea ought to give it a try.
After reading his email once more, I realized he was not questioning the Rooibos tea, he was suspect of the tea his investigators offered them. Anyway, it was fun to find out a little about it, so here's some brief information.

Rooibos is only grown in a small area in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape province of South Africa. It contains no caffeine, and provides plenty of health benefits that have made it a very popular alternative to tea in recent years. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants, it is a natural and healthy choice. Rooibos brews up a naturally sweet, dark red infusion.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two for One and the Second One Was a DOOZEY!

Hello Family!!
What's up?!?!
Well I am happy to tell you that we have welcomed two more souls into the fold of god!! I actually confirmed Grace. I've never been so nervous in my life! Luckily it went ok! As far as our other investigators go.... I'm just gonna say this once: Delicate is a STUD! Nay, let me say it once more.... Delicate is A STUD! Yo man, we taught him the word of wisdom last night. And he was already keeping it... except for occasional coffee. But he was like "but if it's want god wants me to do, then i'll do it." And that was that. It was epic. then he told us the story about him and his wife about how when he married his wife he told her to forget about her church. and they went to his. but then he got sick of it cause they only talked about money! And so they kept searching for churches but none of them helped him grow closer to god. So one day his wife told him they should go to our church and that was a month ago. And now he says " I know it's true. It's what god wants me to do." IT was sweet! I was blown away! So that's my main source of pump up right now! I hope i'll be Gauteng(the province i'm in right now) A year or so from now so that i'll be able to attend when they go to the temple! It would be awesome!!
Aside from that Paul & Michelle are doing great. I can tell Michelle is very happy to back in church again. And Paul is growing his testimony bit by bit. It's great. He'll be ready by September for baptism!
As well we just got a referall for a lady in Edenvale who has been going to a geneology class with a friend and as well was given a book of mormon. so she called the office and one of the first things she said was " i strongly feel i need to join your church." So we're pretty exited for that Her name is Eve Vanjaardsveld. That is probably the most Afrikaans last name i have ever seen. But we'll see her on wednesday! it'll be great.
What else is there to tell you about.... Oh ya... I lift weights now. Everyday. I'm gonna try to be strong enough to wrestle and dominate dad when i get home. If i can't it's ok. But if i do... then Kev-bot better look out cause he is next! But i won't fight jeff cause i he's dominated me since youth and i know better.
Ok, those aren't my real aspirations. But i shall train as if they are!
Oh and as well... My guitar playing skill are improving Right now i am learning "Where Love Is" in the primary book. It's awesome! Oh and i can almost write songs again. But i don't have too much time to put into that so it's just whenever i have time on p-day and what not!
AND HOLY COW! congrats on having the first REAL high adventure in the history of Riverglen Ward. That sounded so crazy. But it was probably an awesome experience for everyone there!
Well to finish up i shall tell you of the message i've been stressing with most of our investigators lately it is about love. I've been stressing the love that our father in heaven has for them and for everyone. The Gospel in itself is all about love. Take the atonement for instance. After all it is the whole reason why we're even here and why the gospel even exists. Why did christ do that for us? Simply because he loves us. And why in the world would Heavenly Father Let his only begotten son go through all that??? Answer: the commonly used scripture john 3:16. Which Says: For god so LOVED the world..." That's what its all about that's why i've been working hard on truly coming to love the people we are teaching, loving them, loving the work, loving everything. And it's that which makes the work go along so joyfully!
-elder johnson

(This is the second one that came shortly after the first!!!)

In the care package send me plenty of goodies. like jerky. and music and talks and stuff like that. :)
Oh and here's a little something else...

"Hello family via Mikey's email!!!!! We would like to make an announcement this morning.....I am sure that it will come as a great surprise to you all to know that the Cutler family is now what we are calling "FOURTH AND GOAL"! We couldn't be happier and I couldn't feel cruddier!!! :) The baby is scheduled to arrive February 17, 2010. We are only about 7 weeks away from finding out what color of baby we will be expecting. Please feel free to call us, but not before 7:30 am.....I do need my rest you know!!!

ALSO......we are asking you all to NOT tell anyone other than our immediate family members until the end of the week so that we can tell the Cutlers when they get home from their trip to VA. I know that is slightly inconvenient, but we would REALLY appreciate it!!!!! Have a lovely morning, Mom, I will talk to you in a few!"

-elder johnson

Monday, August 3, 2009

Baptism City Yo!

Grace's baptism went super awesome! it was power!!!
I'll send you some pictures next week! But that girl has a crazy awesome testimony! She is gonna do so great!
And chantelle will be baptized this saturday! Everything went sharp with the interview! So i am pumped!
And september is when the flood gates are going to bust open, we have like 6 people on date that month!
Paul is doing great as well! we had an awesome power lesson with him and michelle. Michelle is doing such an awesome job, in helping him progress, it's been awesome.
Well aside from that my plan for getting an indestructible camera is this..... I'm going to stop being a cheap skate and actually buy a case for the next one. That will probably work. Oh and guess what?!?! WE had a killer hail storm on saturday and it nearly looked like snow. it was exciting. Whoever said that africa doesn't get cold.... was seriously mistaken. It can get quite nippy. I think i might buy a nice jacket for next winter. Cause this first one has been rough! haha
I hope you are all enjoying the warm summer weather, cause i've just about had it with the cold. But don't worry summer will come soon and i will probably be ready for winter within a few days of it starting.
But back to the baptism.... It was incredible the spirit was so strong. I was tearing up. and Everyone there was feeling it. it was great. The best part was when grace was bearing her testimony and said.... "i am proud to say that i am a mormon!"
I wanted to just jump up and shout "AMEN SISTER!"
but luckily i refrained and the spirit remained!
But it was definately one of the best moments of my mission thus far. I honestly would never trade anything for the experiences that i am having right now. This seriously has been the best thing i've ever done.
To know the blessing that these people have the chance of receiving is what makes it so amazing. I know that what i am doing here is giving people the chance to be truly happy in this life and in the life to come. And it makes me so pumped. It's awesome!
Welp have a great week!

-elder johnson

Monday, July 27, 2009

He SLEEPS in These? Another Camera Bites the Dust!

Hello hello hello
I'm glad to see that the family has all survived: Melissa with child birth, Mom with the hot texas sun, kevin with providing for himself, and dad with cloning himself. congrats. I am proud to announce that i too have survived, in fact, i have more than survived i will say that i thrived.
The first full week with elder leve was quite nice. The guy knows how to work. And we got a lot done! And we are now having more fun, So things are good! Work & Fun go hand in hand. Work Hard, Play Hard(appropriately) is a good tip for an enjoyable and successful mission experience.
As far as the teaching of the gospel goes.... It's great! We keep doing the talk about program as president asked us to and even though we have yet to see fruits from the program itself, We are blessed with referalls from other people in the ward. I think it just springs from the willingness that we have had to use the program and the lord will bless us whether it comes out of the program or not.
So we will have a couple of new people to teach in the coming week so that's exciting!
Grace is going to be baptized this week! I am soooo pumped!! She is so ready for it!
And then Chantelle will be baptized next saturday! So that will be awesome! Delicate is on date for the 20th of september! he is a stud as well. He already knows the church is true and is loving it! It's crazy cause his wife is a member and has been trying to get him into the gospel for a long time but he never did and didn't want her to go to church either. But then one day he felt that he needed to go and he is doing awesome!
Paul is doing ok as well! We're still working on solidifying his testimony but he'll come around! I think we'll give him an official baptism date this week!
And Siyanda came to church this week! Luckily delicate & his family lives right across the street so they gave her a ride! She seemed to enjoy it!
Oh and mary munyariri came to church! That made me happy. She has been struggling a bit lately. The Seventh Day ADVENTURERS that live with her keep telling her stupid stuff about the church so we have to go in and explain that it's a bunch of rubbish. But i think she's doing much better now!

To answer your questions.... We dont really have JR and SR companions but elder leve is 12 months and i am 8.
OH and tell Bro. Leve not to worry all is well! Elder Leve and I are kicking some serious spiritual booty. And not to worry after the short adjustment phase into the new area the smile has once again arisen.
Well what else can i tell y'all about!?!
I think i'll send you a picture of me in some african pj's! Oh and speaking of camera.... i've got sad news. I put my camera in my suit pocket and the pocket flung underneath me and i sat on it and the screen broke. I'm an epic failure, i know. So if you don't see too many more pictures from me for a while you now know why.
But aside from that everything is dyn-o-mite! It's been a very nice/busy week!
Have a great week!
the church is.... DOUBLE TRUE!
-elder johnson

Monday, July 20, 2009

WOW! The work is on FIRE!

SPENCER IS GONNA BE A STUD!! Especially with the mullet! Mullets are huge here by the way! so he's actually quite fashionable from an international perspective! :)
Welp everything is going awesome here! The gospel is exploding down here! Right now we have over 800 baptisms year to date. At this time last year we only had just over 500. So it's going awesome!
We now have 6 people on date for baptism! I can't remember if i've told you about frank and mary yet. but they are some immigrants from zimbabwe that we are teaching and we put them on date last thursday and then they came to church on sunday! So i'm very excited for them. when ever you can find a father led family it's a big deal! so we're very excited! As well we met with this guy named Delicate, who is from the congo! They came to church last sunday and we found out that his wife is a member and his brother and they were inactive for awhile but then they came to church so i jumped on the oppurtunity and spoke with him and his brother and we set an appointment, now we're teaching them and they've come to church two weeks in a row! It's so bomb!
That's an FEF right there.... FUTURE ETERNAL FAMILY!
Paul is doing quite well also. He will be getting baptized in early september i believe. FEF #2! haha
and lastly grace and chantelle will have their baptisms in august. We dropped the ball and didn't get them interviewed in time for this sunday! So hopefully the first or second week of august they will take the plunge! And how is the kev-bot? i haven't heard from him... i hope he's prepping for the mission already. Hopefully he'll get used to the "no mother to cook and clean for you" thing while mom is in houston!
Oh and we also met with jared and candace last night and natasha was there. So that was good. We chatted with her. i think she'll start going to young womens again and eventually back to church once Connie the Dragon(her mother) chills out. And that name was not one that i made up it's what jared, candace and natasha call her. I'm only quoting! haha
But with all that said I think our area's steady progress shall continue. OH and i forgot to tell you, Elder Leve is my new companion. He is from Nashville, Tenessee. He's pretty cool. He needs to smile though more. But if anyone can help with that i can! :)
If you don't look like you're enjoying the gospel then noone else is gonna wanna hear about it. I hope you all remember that, cause it's true. So make sure you actually SHOW people how much the gospel blesses your life by showing how much joy the gospel brought to you!!
Well have a good week! i hope all is well back in the gem state. Let me know how melissa and the baby are getting along and as well how everyone else is!
have a good week!
-elder johnson

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

UGHHH.......!!!!! Internet gotta love them!

Well i have already written this email but then i lost track of the time that tells me how much time i have on my account here at the internet cafe and i ran out and it kicked me out. So i may not be as excited or as detailed this time around i am very sorry! :/
Well here's the news!
I had a lovely case of food poisoning this week! So i spent most of my week trying to work through stomach cramps and runny stomach and what not. SO that wasn't very fun. I am feeling better now though and we are preparing to go to The Royal Boma Buffet. IT's kind of a going away p-day party for elders douglas and bell who are going home from our district. So i'm excited for that!
As far as the work goes.... IT'S AWESOME!
This area is set to explode. Chantelle and Grace are doing great as usual! We committed paul to baptism, and he will have a specific date by wednesday hopefully! So we are pumped for that! We also met a black father led family in edenvale that has transport! So we will be meeting with them this week on friday! i shall tell you more next week!And hermi came to church with her sister this week! she was the rich white lady i was talking about last week! She's really cool. I know that if she earnestly reads and prays about the book of mormon she'll be baptised. That generally how it goes.... The book of mormon is so awesome like that. Moroni 10:3-5 is so true. If you do what it says you get a testimony. simple as that! :)
I'm excited for baby Tyson, uhh i mean, Spencer! hahaha
I'm pumped for another neice/nephew.... I always end up telling stories about my many neices and nephews to the people we meet who have kids and i always say "I have a niece/nephew who's about that age and she/he......." its awesome! i miss those kids! tell them all i say hello! and they need to be good for their mommy and daddy!
To answer dave's question.... First off i showed it to my companion who is from Pea Ridge, Arkansas. And he smiled and said " sounds like home" haha as far as that stuff goes over here, you run into it here and there but no one is too open about it. A lot of the whites like to throw in comments here and there but they never go as far as that. It's pretty funny. BTW... dave, does your mother praat afrikanns? Man it's a crazy language.
And yes i got the package! it was awesome! i heavily endorse something of the same nature coming soon! I would really enjoy some snacks like jerky and what not. Oh and i was wondering if i could maybe purchase some cleats for soccer? let me know i've seen some for around $30 that are quite nice.
Oh and sean is the one who i told you about a few months ago who is at large with al queda and all that stuff. I must have forgotten to tell you that he claims to be raised by wild dogs!
And Don't worry i am not a horrible slob. i could be tidier but im not too bad! i'm getting better, i swear!!! haha
Well, i'm sorry about the weak nature of this email if the computer situation wouldn't have come up it would have been WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY better! But have a good week!
I love you all so much! thanks for everything!
-elder johnson
p.s. hearing about the carrs going to the temple is sooo awesome! i can't wait to meet them someday! THE Temple is amazing! i get to go again next week on friday, i am Pumped out of my mind! Make sure you are all getting there as much as possible! Challenge yourselves to go once a week for a month and see the blessing that come from it! You may have to sacrifice but remember what the hymn "praise the man" says "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven" "True Dat, Double True!"(if any one can name the reference for this last phrase i will give them a mental five!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Now that's a SNAKE!

dear family,
how are things?!
Well things are still going awesome here in South Africa!
I would like to apologize about the lack of pictures last week.... actually i think the internet cafe people should apologize as the server was acting up and it made sending pictures very difficult.
This week is for sure though! and you should enjoy them... we ran into sean(wild dog man) for the first time in like 2 months and i took a picture with him so i'll send that one for sure! It actually happened this morning as we walked into the email place!! As well as the ones previously mentioned.
Well we had some sad news.... natasha won't be getting baptized as of yet. She bailed on her interview and has since been sketchy... it's lame, elder douglas both knew she wasn't ready (from the spirit) yet we were so excited we tried to just ignore it and keep going. But hopefully things will improve this week! On a much brighter note we put chantelle on date for the 26th of july so she'll be good to go with grace! we're pumped about that... We were gonna put paul on date but he and michelle got their house broken into! it was a bummer.... So hopefully this week things will happen! As well we have some new investigators that we are excited for... one is a couple from Zimbabwe who seems pretty promising... pretty much anyone who is willing to read and pray about the book of mormon is hopeful because if they do that they will feel the spirit and know that it is true. It's pretty radical. Anywho... we are also teaching a very wealthy white family.... which is crazy! cause that doesn't happen too often! but we'll see how it goes! Hmm... but yes it's true the greeniness has worn off! It's crazy, but i'm turning into a battle hardened servant of the lord. I can officially bash the living daylights outta seventh day adventists. Of course i do the right thing and try to avoid it with testimony but after awhile i just give them a little something to think about. Oh geez.... if kevin goes AP then that will leave me as the underachieving elder of the bunch......just kidding!
I'd rather be out in the field then stuck in the office any day. haha It's not what calling you're serving in, it's how you serve in the calling to which you've been called.
It's funny i was just thinking about how big of a role humility has played in my mission thus far... my farewell talk was about it, my mission scripture was about it and i keep coming across it over and over again. It's something that i have to work on big time cause whenever i don't work on it the lord likes to remind me that i need to work on it. And like most things in life it's better to just work on it then be reminded to do it. But i have a formula that i developed early in mission it looks like this:
Humility = Obedience = Happiness
Pride = Disobedience = Unhappiness
When it comes down to it there is a whole lot riding on how humble we are.
Well i hope that everyone has a baia lekker week!
and i hope you all enjoy the pictures.
Oh and the church is true and the book of mormon is uber true. I believe it more and more with every day that passes!
I love you all so very much and i thank you for your prayers and i hope that you will continue in supplication to the lord on my behalf!
until next time!
-elder johnson

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trunky Companions, Crazy Teaching, and a Juice Fast

hello everyone!
How's it?
I'm glad to hear that all is well in The City of Trees.
Things are good here in the city of...... Disappointing soccer???(US 2 BRA 3) haha
Well the house sounded like it was pretty crazy! Too many little ones. eish!
I'm glad to hear that you've gone green george. But don't go too green. They watched an inconvienent truth for an activity at church and all the members of the ward thought that the world would meltdown before the second coming could ever happen! it was pretty funny.
As far as MY physical well being.... I am doing quite well we did a juice fast last week for 2 days.... it was nuts. it totally cleared my system and i lost 3 kg's!! It was legit!
But i will definitely not be doing it for a long time.
Mom you can send me a letter either way! whatever works best for you!
As far as the teaching of the gospel goes... IT'S AWESOME!!
Things are going so well. We keep getting awesome referrals. We are teaching the Fiancee of a guy in our ward and she pretty much already knows that the church is true and will readily accept the baptismal date once we give it to her! Lesson 1 was powerful! I love that lesson every time you bear testimony of it... it's just an ASB (Automatic Spirit Bomb) being dropped in the room!
SO we're excited for her(Chantalle). Oh and get this.... She's VERY AFRIKAANS! Which makes it a "baia lekker" miracle! As far as how many lessons we teach every week....i can't really count. We have a bunch. We are usually teaching or visiting Investigators/less-actives all day! I have only tracted 45 minutes since i've gotten here. We are always staying very busy. OH and Grace is doing dyn-o-mite. She came to church again on sunday! that is 3 weeks in a row. And she's really building her testimony in the truthfulness of the gospel! We're super excited for her.
Then with graham i don't know if i mentioned it but we're gonna wait a bit longer to baptize him. He still has a little bit of growing up to do before he makes a serious decision like this. But he is doing well he comes to church and learns very quickly we just want to make sure the message is in his heart as much as it's in his head!
Who else is there exciting news for.... Oh elder douglas is going home in 2 weeks and he's beginning to get uber trunky! It's fun for me. I love elder douglas but i really hope my next companion is a younger guy. I have had 2 super old trunky district leaders in a row as companions! haha
As far as sending those pictures and what not through the mail goes i'll try to do it next month, my allotment is pretty much gone and i really don't want to use my home card too much more.
But things are still awesome here, i am loving every minute of it! BTW the reptile park was awesome and as promised i will send pictures of me with some big snakes!
I'm trying to think if there is anything else that needs to be brought before the family this day.... I taught my first sunday school class since i've been here... it went well! i can still teach classes ok!
Btw keep working with the members on doing mission work... these days it's the ONLY way to do the work!
When i send the pictures i will send one of the "family mission plans" from talk about. it will rock the ward mission leaders socks.
I shall leave thee with my testimony in the great work in which we are engaged...
IT is true. Every facet of it is. It's hard work but it's the greatest work there is and i wouldn't rather be doing anything else!
have a great week! I hope to hear from you all very soon!
-elder johnson

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

News from "Jobi"

Hello everyone!
Hows the day?
Well.... this week was great! we had 2 investigators at church in edenvale which was some kind of record and we had 5 in Bedfordview!
It's pretty exciting! Paul & Michelle actually came this time! that was rad! So things are going quite well! we are working hard on getting the "talk about program" rolling in our area and we are excited for the results!
As far as the guitar goes i am not abusing it! haha I only play on p-day and when i have time at night before bed! And right now i am learning If you could hie to kolob( i pretty much got it down) and I'm going to learn Come thou fount! It's pretty rad. I got ahold of this folk cd that has church songs on it. It's the best ever.
Umm... what else can i tell you about?
Grace is still doing great! She is on date for the 26th of july i don't know if i told you all yet!
Graham is doing awesome as well... we're going to wait for his baptism date he's still a young kid and we need to make sure that he's doing it for the right reasons and what not!
As far the diet stuff is going... i am doing quite well! we are trying a very interesting eating routine today and tomorrow and i will let you all know how it goes next week.
Oh and today we are going to a reptile park that a guy in the ward should be awesome! So i'll actually have some cool pictures for you all next week!
As far as township goes i only go once a week there are missionaries that work there and we just go and help out once a week. THey have a branch in Alex and it's exploding. it's pretty sweet. If you go to township you baptize a ton!
But i still like being in town just fine!
Tell jeff that i miss him. that he needs to drop me a line. haha
'Til we E-mail again have a great week.
Elder Johnson
p.s. tell kevin he makes a horrible urban cowboy!
he is a stud muffin.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

He Makes it Sound Like He's a Doughboy!

hello family,
how's the week?
Well.... george, i guess i should have been more specific, but yes you did quite well. Kevin however did not answer but i shall give him extra credit for teaching the classes.
Anywho.... This week was awesome!! Natasha is going to be baptized in july! and graham probably will be as well! and hopefully grace will as well! So things are awesome! we teach alot of people these days and are staying super busy, i like it, i like it A LOT. Anyways last night we went to a member family's house for dinner named the Spies's, they feed us almost every week... anyways... pieter looks like He-Man. It's awesome he is the elders quorum president and he has long flowing blonde hair and whenever people tell him to cut it he say "oh you're just jealous" and then shakes his long platinum mane to show off it's glory. But anyways it's hilarious he has named his son Jean-Claude after guess who.... Jean-Claude Van Dam!! it's pretty funny. The members in south africa are the coolest/funniest people ever!
On to other news.... I am proud to announce that after reaching the incredible weight of 81 Kg's which is roughly 180 pounds i have been on a strict diet of Bran-Flakes, Yoghurt and Granoala. I will be weighing in this week when i go to see one of widow's in the ward who has a scale, it should be epic.
But as far as the work goes... it's been awesome! I can't really explain it aside from that. There are just people who are literally falling into our laps. it's insane! The lord is blessing us (and them) BIG TIME!
ANd i will be sending you some pictures this week for sure! As i said earlier i don't have very many from my current area so i might send you some from nelspruit! And i am indeed keeping warm! My sweater has been awesome thus far and i bought a kaiser cheifs beanie to keep me warm. they are a local soccer team. Oh and do kev, jeff, and ryan want soccer and rugby jerseys when i get home? that's what im thinking of doing! if so i'm gonna start balancing my funds now so i can do it! Kev will probably want a rugby jersey. but ya i hope all stays well back in b-town. I hope to hear from y'all soon!
The Church is True!
-elder johnson

Monday, June 1, 2009

An Outstanding Email from Elder J

family of mine, how are you all?

Well the good news is that they didn't split the area! so i won't train and will be killing elder douglas!
The Other good news is that things are awesome here!
We have a new investigator who we put on date on the first lesson! We're pumped!
IT's this girl named grace, her parents and sister were all baptized a week or so ago and we got a referral for her from the missionaries that serve in that area and she's cool and very interested!
We also talked to Candice and she said that Natasha wants to join the church! they just have to talk to their mom about it!
As well Kim's (recent convert) little brother graham is a powder keg of gospel knowledge and is super pumped about getting baptised and receiving the aaronic priesthood!
To answer your question mom... no i have yet to baptise or confirm. We are encouraged to have members of the ward do it. So we let them!
Thanks for all the hugs and kisses mom! they are great. they make me feel loved! :) haha
Dad i loved what you said about the pastor... it's true all other church's get pretty darn close...but they are all missing a few pieces. And one of those pieces in all of them is... THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. Without the priesthood, there is no g.o.t.h.g.(acronym) and they definately don't have the priesthood. We love explaining how priesthood authority doesn't fall from the sky or come to you by reading the bible a bunch. It comes just the way the bible says it does. (Hebrews 5:4)
Anyways... starting tomorrow me and elder douglas are seriously gonna start getting into good shape again! We have to now since he's going home soon. haha I've got an awesome belly right now. but i shall overcome!
Anyways... one more story from this week as we were taking the sacrament this week at church... i was thinking about the atonement and it scared me... the magnitude of it is beyond any comprehension... but is our commitment and love to the savior beyond any comprehension?? As i thought i came up with this.... Our love and commitment will never match the love and commitment that the saviour shows for us but.... that's what makes atonement so great... ALL HE WANTS IS OUR BEST! He doesn't ask for perfection or for us to match him in any way. he just wants our best, so i just thought about how i should be always be giving my best if for nothing else then solely the atonement!
I hope that you all have a great week! Thank you for your prayers and support!
And tell sydnie that I hope she heals well and that i miss her and will take her out to the movies in december 2010! But only if she gets better soon! :) haha
-elder johnson
p.s. i have begun giving kevin gospel quiz questions every email to turn him into a "gospel doctrine machine" and so i guess i will share this question with the family to answer.....
Who are the seven gospel dispensation heads?? (in order, please)

Good Luck, Have fun... as well you can quiz me if you like! :)
SOrry i forgot to bring my camera again... i still need to get the pictures from the baptism the other week!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Latest from Elder J

(This giraffe is from my trip to the Zoo with Maddie! Just thought it went well with the "African" theme!!!)

hello everyone, happy Memorial day!
I didn't even realize it until you all talked about it.
well, things are great here in Bedfordview.
This past week we had the confirmation of two of our recent baptisms. Fernando's confirmation was pretty interesting... when he got comfirmed he walked up to the front and instead of sitting on the chair he knelt down and put his head on the chair! I guess everyone in the circle just kind of looked at eachother and they looked at elder douglas with a "are you sure this guy passed the baptismal interview?" look. Unfortunately i was in the other ward and missed it. but i guess it was awesome.
Anyways, the other one is a guy named Wonderboy it was awesome he used to be really apathetic about the whole baptism thing and we were pretty sure he was only doing it for his wife but now he is a super gospel stud! the past few weeks all he would talk about was how excited he was and how he needs to apply and live the gospel not just have it and what-not. Anyways he cried during his confirmation and he's pumped about getting the priesthood! it's pretty awesome.
Next week i'll be sure to send you some more pictures... i would this week but i left the camera at the flat. maybe i'll send you some super sweet ones. I haven't taken very many pictures since i got here.
anyways are we ready for the scary news of the week... They are thinking about splitting the area this next week and if they do... i might train. i will let you know on monday. I doubt that i actually will. I don't think i'm quite prepared. but who knows it may happen.
But ya, that in-active lady and her husband came to church again this week! And we set an appointment to meet with them on Wednesday! i am pumped. FATHER LED FAMILIES ARE THE BEST.
I hope everything goes well with sydnie! I will definately keep her in my prayers! I'm sure that it will go smoothly. The priesthood is real and that's that. That is assuming you gave her a blessing right? RIGHT?? haha i'm sure the bretheren of the johnson family did not fail.
Well i hope that everything goes well for the family for the next week, tell jack i say happy b-day. And tell jeff that i miss him. And i want b-day pictures next week!
-elder johnson
p.s. here is a great story that i found in a Talk by James E. Faust about my all-time gospel hero J. Golden Kimball, and as we talked a bit about the preisthood i thought it would be nice to share:
. Over a century ago when Elder J. Golden Kimball presided over the Southern States Mission, he called for a meeting of the elders. They were to meet in a secluded spot in the woods so they would have privacy. One of the elders had a problem with one of his legs. It was raw and swollen to at least twice the size of his other leg. But the elder insisted on attending this special priesthood meeting in the woods. So two of the elders carried him to this meeting place.

Elder Kimball asked the missionaries, “Brethren, what are you preaching?”

They said, “We are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“Are you telling these people that you have the power and authority, through faith, to heal the sick?” he asked.

They said, “Yes.”

“Well then,” he continued, “why don’t you believe it?”

The young man with the swollen leg spoke up and said, “I believe it.” Here is the rest of the story told in Elder Kimball’s words: “[The elder] sat down on a stump and the elders gathered around him. He was anointed and I administered to him, and he was healed right in their presence. It was quite a shock; and every other elder that was sick was administered to, and they were all healed. We went out of that priesthood meeting and the elders received their appointments, and there was a joy and happiness that cannot be described.”8 Their nutrient of faith had been replenished and their zeal for missionary work revived.

pretty cool eh?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baptisms and More to Come!

hello, how are you all?
Well this week has been good! we had two baptisms on sunday and we shall have 1 more at the end of the month. So that is super exciting.
Umm... we got fed so much the last 3 days. i've got a serious food baby right now. Luckily we are going to playing some b-ball here in a bit so that should help!
We just cleaned the flat today. it was pretty epic. it's the first time since i've been in the new area that i would honestly feel comfortable having mom in our flat. haha
Umm... as far as the work goes... we have some very exciting investigators these days.
One of our recent coverts(Kim) little brothers has been coming to church and young mens for the past two weeks and he loves it. Anyways... we're going to teach him lesson one this week and it should go well. I'm very excited. Once we get graham then the parents will hopefully follow the example of their children! haha
We also had a family come to church that we hadn't seen before and when we introduced ourselves the mom said "I'm an inactive member" and then introduced the rest of the family. but she and her husband seemed to really enjoy church and we are planning on teaching the rest of the family and getting her reactivated! so i'm excited about that!
Aside from that i can't really think of too much big news!
Just remember.... the church is true!
And keep trying to find people to introduce to the gospel and have the missionaries teach. THE MISSIONARIES ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THE WORK ALONE!!!
-elder johnson

Monday, May 4, 2009

Elder Douglas and I are a Rock N' Roll Powerhouse of Spiritual Blessings From on High!

I couldn't resist posting a picture of Michael in his "rock n roll" days, not that that was his music style. I also loved his analogy of the guitar, Kevin is in this picture playing the bass.

This week's email~
Johnsons! Cutlers! Joneses!
I have come to solemnly declare that the church is true! And that that is the case where ever you go and that Elder Douglas and I are a Rock N' Roll Powerhouse of Spiritual Blessings From on High!
He wrote that to his family and i had to tell my family as well! haha
I'll start off by telling a story that i told jeff in the email i sent him....
We went to teach a recent convert(candice) and her husband (jared) who has been a member his whole life and we were going to just review some of the commandments or whatever... but before we went we both were prompted that we should teach lesson 1. And when we got there We came to find out that candice can hardly remember anything the missionaries taught her and as well her little sister who isn't a member was there and we taught her. And over the weekend candice's little sister told her that she knows that our church is truer than the one her parents take her to!...
This is such a great example as to how the lord can get the message that his children needs to get to them as long as the instruments he uses are in tune. For instance... if a guitar is out of tune, it doesn't matter how good you are it's still gonna sound like rubbish. But if it is in tune and if the person is who is playing it knows how to play it then it sounds awesome.
It's the same with the lord and his servants here on earth. We must be in tune with the spirit so that the lord... who you better believe knows how to play his instruments..... can play one sweet masterpiece of a spiritual guitar solo upon his children whom are ready to recieve it.
As a missionary so far i have experienced both being an out of tune instrument and a perfectly tuned instrument. Trust me, it is much better to be the latter. There is definately a difference.
So my spiritual message for the family is that we should always be in tune with the spirit so that the lord can use us to bring blessings into other people's lives!
Anyways though...
I'm glad to hear that things are going well at home!
When i heard about the ham and mac and cheese i got really hungry.
But as far as the phone call goes... it should be coming around 8 o'clock!
So i hope you're all excited!
What im going to do is... i'll call you around 8ish... and give you a number to call me back on!i hope that will work!
I'm glad you enjoy my haircut... i do to. I think i will soon be needing another hair is getting a bit to long for comfortable mission work. I want to keep the top long though... i am just dying to be able to part my hair! it would make my mission experience complete. haha jk
the tsela's are on date for baptism later this month... i am so excited for them!
Nelspruit seems like forever ago! it's crazy... i am so caught up in all the people here and what not. but ya definately ecxited for all the people who i taught who were on date when i left!
Welp... i'm gonna get on my way... we have a lunch appointment with an old widow in our ward. so we gotta get to that! but have a great week everyone! Remember to keep praying and looking for people that you can refer to the missionaries to teach!
-elder johnson

Thursday, April 30, 2009

First transfer, new companion, and teaching a criminal?

Here's the latest from Elder J. He sounds great and has had quite the experiences already. This new area will be different in many ways! I am just thrilled at how good he looks and that SMILE... what can I say, he's adorable!

Hello Johnsons!
How's it?
Well... here's the news...
My area has two wards, the members are awesome, we get fed a bunch! The work is actually pretty good here. So all i have to do is just put a little bit more effort into it and make it even better! My companion elder douglas is way cool. He's from Arkansas and he played bass in a band there. He really enjoys being bold and shambucking(chastizing) our investigators and less active members... it's pretty funny. We're like a good cop/bad cop routine. I must say it's pretty effective. Wow... i am so glad to hear that you all enjoyed the death cab show... I'm jealous but i know that someday i shall see them again.
I have yet to tract since i've been here.... It's been pretty crazy. We ALWAYS have people to see. I think at the moment we have 2 people on date. and a few more that we're hopeful for! Hopefully next week i'll have even more info about our investigators and members and what not. Here is something funny though... a couple of weeks before i got here the missionaries met a guy named shaun la roux. He seemed like a normal guy. He came to church and all was well... then they visited him and found out the following:
1. He was raised by wild dogs
2.He is at large with every crime orginization in the world.
3. He personally knows osama bin laden. But osama is posing as a man named John Robinson 4. He wants to be reincarnated as a bird 5. He can communicate with animals quite well.
Any ways.... i had to oppurtunity to teach him...twice. and he is indeed nutsers. So... we are planning to distance ourselves slowly but surely. haha But all is well here sorry about the email problems last week, i let my mail box get way too full. But i'm clearing it out bit by bit each p-day. As far as calling goes... we're thinking to call on sunday around what will be 8 or 9 in the morning on mothers day for you guys.... i hope that will work ok?
Anyways... i hope you know that the church is true..... in south africa too.
The gospel is such a great blessing to have in our lives. So make sure you are trying to help others receive those blessings as well by sharing it with them!! The youth are wise... listen to them. It's "like" the best!
-elder johnson
p.s. here is a picture of me with the tsela's!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Two Emails~ Melissa is the MVFM...for now!

Guess who won Most Valuable Family Member??
That would be melissa jones.
For some reason i didn't get the email from mom and dad... and the
rest of the fam... but if you could forward this email to them and as
well have them resend their other one, that would be great.
Anyways... This saturday i got the news that i will be transfered to
Edenvale. Which is in the Jo'Burg area. So that's gonna be
interesting! I guess it's a pretty rich area. I'm gonna have a lot of
fun. anyways.... i am leaving the area with 4 people on date! We put
Precious on date last on tuesday night! So hopefully the nelspruit
branch will grow by 4 on may 24, 2009. Anyways I'm totally freaking
out though. The next elder better be good and ready to work hard.
cause if any of those fall through i am gonna throw a fit. But i am
excited for the challenge of a new area. I guess the area im goin to
is right by this place called Bruma. Which is this huge place full of
Curios Shops... which is where you buy all the traditional african art
stuff and what not! so that's exciting! There are also two wards
there. So i'm going from an area with barely one branch to one with 2
wards! i am so pumped!
I'm kinda scared though cause the way things are working out it's
looking like a situation where i might train in 3 months.... that
could be scary. But awesome at the same time. So there are gonna be
lots of crazy stuff happening in the next little while!
Next week i'll be sure to send you all the pictures of me with some of
my investigators as well as some of the members down here!
Anyways... as far as you are all concerned.... make sure you're doing
member missionary work.
We had this sister complain about not being able to feed the
missionaries and about how they are missing out on blessings because
of it. And i just said Don't worry about feeding us with food, just
feed us refferals. Cause noone does member missionary work here. So i
want you to all to always be doing all you can to spread the gospel
and give the elders help in teaching the people. If you help them then
the work is much more effective. so just remember that and maybe set a
goal to have someone you know be taught by the missionaries by the end
of the month, summer, year.... whatever you think you can do!
Well i hope you all have a great week! i look forward to hearing from
you all in my new area on monday!!
-elder j

Eita hola.
How's it family?
Well i'm glad to hear that your easter went well! Mine was pretty fun... We had fast sunday so that was awesome.... ha. But church was great. fasting can be tough but it definately helps you be more in tune with the spirit. It's pretty cool. But I taught sunday school and Combined Priesthood/relief society... my lesson was about lengthening our stride. I separated it into 3 sections.... first Personal, 2nd Family, 3rd Member missionary work.
It was great, i'll use it again sometime when i get home!
That was great to hear about kevin's Rugby game.... I wish i could see mom on the sidelines watching.... but ya rugby is huge hear. Everyone loves it, i do too. I watch whenever i am in restaraunts or at investigators. For souvineers for the family i'm considering getting some of you rugby jerseys and some of you soccer jersey's. The soccer jerseys are sweet. KAiser Cheifs are my favorite but that will change depending on if i go to an area that has a soccer team! haha
But the work is great here! Lawrence, Thabo and George all came to church again! George says he wants to get baptized! so that's pretty sweet. We get to start teaching precious again this week, i'm excited i think she's starting to realize that the church is true and what that means to her! hopefully she'll be on date soon.
Oh and testimony meeting was awesome last week! Kanyhi went up and bore her testimony it was awesome! i was so proud. and this elderly black sister named Elizabeth went up and bore her testimony it was so sweet. After testimony meeting lawrence said " I could feel the spirit" I was so happy about that.
And as far as mission news goes.... I am so excited for benson and especially for kevin!! He's coming to the best place on earth (besides boise)! The church is huge in ghana too! They even have a temple in Accra. So he should be pumped!
Oh we went caving today! it was sweet! It's a place called sudwala....
here's a website with pictures of it...
We took the extended tour deep into the caves! it was crazy. Hopefully it will be the last of our very expensive p-day activities! i gotta stop spending so much! eish!

Well i hope everything continues to go well back home.
Remember The Church is True!
-Elder Johnson
P.S. Can someone get me Matt Featherstone's email address... I want to write a email that he can read to the seminary students. I wanna encourage those kids to get out on missions!!!!