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