Monday, March 23, 2009

Email and A Few Pictures!!

ok i must start out with an apology. I wrote a big long pretty email complete with pictures from our latest activities including: Eleophant sanctuary and Service at Kanyamazane. But... my computer froze and now i have to hurry and write a short email containing all the fun stuff we did this week!
So.... As far as the tsela's go things are great! We taught them word of wisdom and it went super smooth! lawrence had a nephi moment when he said " I WILL follow the prophets! and i was like sweet so i showed him Chapter 3:7! it was great.
We met a lady named precious who when she about 10 years ago was investigating the church and wanted to get baptised but her dad flipped and wouldn't let her! anyways she's super pumped and is very interested in learning about the gospel again!
Today we went to an elephant sanctuary it was awesome! I will try to attach a picture!
Anyways the work is going awesome! it's so sweet. As we continue to have the faith to find people the lord continues to provide them!
I hope you all have a great week i'm so sorry about the brief nature of this email! next week it will be better. I think we're doing kruger again on p-day! it should interesting!
The Church is True
-elder johnson

Friday, March 20, 2009

Read Scriptures, Pray and Go to Church!

This was a great email from Elder Johnson. He has come to love the area he is serving in and most of all the people. I have included a few pictures I found on the web so we can see "God's Window". SOMEDAY he will send his camera card home and I will post his actual pictures!

hello, everyone!
Hows it?
This week has been pretty cool! I have been uber busy with transfers and all that stuff, i am now the district leader.......... Just Kidding!
Im glad you got to talk to elder mbhele he is the man! Elder Septon is pretty cool as well! He only has 3 months left on mission and is fighting the trunkiness! he's doin a good job of too. We are working hard and have done a bit more tracting in the last couple days with suprisingly positive results. our whole day on tuesday is full of appointments with people we tracted to last week. We didn't get to teach the Tsela's this week mama tsela was outta town and lawrence and thabo were gone too. But we did swing by and set up an appointment for this week so hopefully we can keep them on track for the end of april! Sad news is that i will probably be transfered before they get baptised. Rumour has it i will be gone in 6 weeks. So we'll see. If it's true i'll definately be bummed, this area has kind of become my baby. I've grown to love it. and Once it's out of my hands i'll worry alot about whats happening here! IT's funny it used to be so weird but now it's just like home. I know every part of town and what not.... it's crazy.
God's window was pretty sweet! it's a huge cliff that overlooks a valley unfortunately it was so foggy that we could'nt see anything but it was a way fun hike.
Oh and you may notice some money getting withdrawn from my home card. We needed to get the bikes serviced and my allotment card didn't have enough so i had to use the home card, so you might be getting 300 rand or something like that when i send my card and a special b-day card for our special b-day boy later this month! I'm glad my friends are still talking to mom. That's great. And i am sooo pumped for Chris being out on mission! That kid is awesome and i am so proud of him.
Onto more news from the mission field we are currently teaching some brothers named Tulani and Sphizo, they are really cool and are looking very hopeful. Right now we are working on building their testimony in the book of mormon. Everytime i teach about the book of mormon my testimony of it grows. I am constantly reminding investigators of how important it is to have that testimony of it. As they say it's the keystone of our religion. If it is true then Joseph Smith is a Prophet and the Restoration is true. Its funny when people know it's true but can't accept the other parts. Especially the whole "true church" thing. That drives me nuts! anyone have any advice on how to help people understand that better? anywho.....
The Church is true, Jesus Christ is our savior, Joseph smith is a true prophet, Thomas S Monson is the prophet today and The Lord's kingdom continues to press forward here in south africa!
Read your scriptures, and pray, and go to church, do those 3 and you wont go astray! it's true, its true, IT'S TRUE!

-elder johnson

Monday, March 9, 2009

Email from Michael's Companion!

I am SOO excited for this post. I had the priviledge to email Michael's companion before they have their transfers. I am very sad that they will no longer serve together. I am so indebted to Elder Embele for the good training he gave Michael and the great relationship they developed. I think they really worked well together. It sounds like they may have had a few "moments", but knowing Michael I am sure he was the first to make amends and lighten the moment! So enjoy this week's emails and I am hoping we will get his camera soon so I can post some pictures! Also you just have to love the broken English and spelling!! I love you Elder Embele!!!

thank you for the email and i`m so greatful aswell that i`m the one who helped elder Johnson to start his mission he exectle the kind of missionary that i prayed to get someone who does not need to be told everything that he needs to do,elder Johnson is a great missionary and with the faith,diligent nd the love fo the work and the poeple that he has he will go far.
did he tell you how our area was when he came to it but as soon as we atarted working together things just for the better and our area is progressing every week.
and i even told him that out of all the companions that i have had he is the one that has been the easiest to get along with,even though sometimes we will get angry at each other not realy angry like when feelings will get heated at the end of the day we will be loughing and all that, and we always talk openly to each other and that does help with our relationship.
ye i will miss my son!! i mean your son,he always call me father so i thought i could call him son.

thank you again and for the qoute aswell iknow that the gespel is true heavenly father loves us.
and please send my love to all of your family

Michael's email- (hey the new comp can't be all that bad he's from OGDEN! For those who may not know that's where I was born along with all my family and most of my extended family!)

hello family!
Things sound great back home! Dad's story about that couple was awesome!
We had our temple trip this week and it was great! We did baptisms with the members in the morning and then in the afternoon the missionaries stayed and went through a session, it was awesome. i love the temple so much. It blows me away more and more everytime i think about. But things are just getting better and better here in nelspruit. Yesterday we had a very spiritual lesson with the Tsela's and Now both Lawrence and His Mom are commited for baptism in April! Thabo the brother is always gone when we teach so we gotta come and get him caught up! It's incredible what the lord has been able to accomplish through us lately. It's been very interesting how i notice that as missionaries this is not our work. it's the lords and we are just the medium that he uses to get to the people. I just hope that my next companion will be able to help carry on in the effort that we've been putting forth. Speaking of new companion we got transfer news this week and we found out that Elder Mbhele has been Transfered to Springs, he will be Zone Leader! And my new companion is Elder Septon from Ogden Utah. So it should be interesting! i'm pretty nervous to see how things go!
We are currently getting ready to go to a place called god's window! so im a little short on time! But i just want to let you all know that I love you all so much. I know that This church is true, i know that joseph smith was a prophet, i know that jesus christ is the savior of the world and the son of god, and i know this is his gospel and we are teaching it to his children! Have a great week! I love you all so much!
-elder j

Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Baptism!

Michael had his first baptism and it sounds like it went great.
Here's the email we received this week!
Sent March 2, 2009

hello family, hows it?

well i am happy to announce that everything went smoothly with the baptism! It rained a little bit but it was ok! And don't worry there were no evil spirits that got washed off into the pool! I was so happy about all of it! and i got close to tearing up in sacrament meeting during the confirmation.... and other great news is that one of our investigator families, the Tsela's came to church on sunday! it was awesome! it was the first time that we had more than one investigator at church since Elder Mbhele has been here! So that was very exciting i actually asked a couple members to make sure that they said hello and welcomed them. Our branch has had troubles in the past welcoming visitors, and i decided that as long as i am here noone is going to come to the lords church and feel unwelcome!!! So that was definately awesome to have them there and to have the members actually step up and fellowship! :)
Anyways.... in other news we got a refferal from the kanyamazane elders and i think we will be teaching that family as well. It's this girl named Sepasihle and when she lived in township she was going to church almost every sunday for like 4 months and wanted to be baptised but they never got to teach her before she moved into town, but now that she's living with her family we hope that they will be as excited about the gospel as she is!
So things are definately picking up! i want this area to be exploding when i leave it. When i came in it was totally dormant but i now see how much potential it really has and how many great things can happen as long as we work hard and depend on the lord for help! I say it time and time again but that is the key to success in the mission field! Hard Work, Lots of Prayer, and Trust in the lord. With those three things in place the work progressess beyond what you thought was possible!
But as far as questions that were asked let me answer a few of them:
Pap(pronounced "pop")- Is the stable food of south africa, it is pretty much the same thing as fufu in Congo! If you can buy maize meal in the states then get some, put it into a pot, add water, butter, and a little salt. and stir until it hardens but is still soft. Then get some cans of baked beans, mix them into a pot, add some mince, if you can buy curry powder get some and put some of that into there. as well as onions and other stuff. anyways when its all done you plop some pap onto your place, then put the beans all over it like a gravy on mashed potatoes. It's soooo good! If you can't manage it right now, then wait and i'll do it for christmas dinner in 2010. haha
But hearing about all those memories with jeff made me crack up a bit. those were good times!
Welp to close i just want to reiterate how great things are here and how much i love the work, it is awesome, and i truly do love every minute of it! And just a little shambocking for the family and branch, that being If you guys aren't doin any member missionary work, then you best be getting on that! It doesn't have to be anything huge just always be ready and prepared for those opportunities that arise to share the gospel. Believe me, the elders can use all the help that they can get from you!

And lastly, you guys should definately shoot elder mbhele an email for next week, here is his email address!

Welp, thats about it for this week! i hope you all have a great week! I can't wait to hear from you soon!

-elder j