Sunday, January 17, 2010

Letter to Youth in Our Ward

Hello Little Chillins.
Hows it goin?
This is Elder Michael Johnson Serving in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.
Well, I just wanted to send a little message to you all. The topic of this message is About Testimony. First I'll say a little bit about mine. Then I'll give you some tips of how to build yours.
First and Foremost. I know that the church is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of god. I know without a doubt, that the book of mormon is the word of god and because of that book I know that Jesus Christ is the Son Of God, the savior of the world and that he loves you and me.
Now many of you I'm sure, are a bit unsure regarding your testimonies of the gospel. Guess what.... That is NORMAL. But how will you be able to build a testimony of the gospel unless.... you try it out yourself. Here are a few suggestions that i have that will help your testimony of the gospel. IF you do these things, i promise that you WILL come to know that these things are true!
So.... here they are:
1. Pray. EVERY DAY.
Prayer is a conversation between you and the lord. Now if you want to know something regarding the lord, who better to ask than the lord himself? Remember it is a TWO WAY communication. Which means that just as you are talking to him, he will talk to you. The lord often answers us through the holy ghost. The holy ghost doesn't speak to our ears. but to our hearts. To find out the feelings that the holy ghost will bring to you read Galatians 5:22-23.
2. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON.... all of it!
The Book of Mormon is a very special book to me. I cannot begin to explain to you the difference that it has made in my life. It is through that book that i gained my testimony of the gospel. When i was about 16 to 17. I read the book from start to finish for the first time. Why??? Because I DIDN'T KNOW IF THESE THINGS WERE TRUE. and i WANTED TO KNOW IF IT WAS! Now if i would've only read 1 or 2 chapters i probably wouldn't have gotten my answer. But because i resolved to put the book to the test and follow the promise that is in Moroni 10:3-5. I did find out. My answer didn't come until i had read almost half the book. I still remember i was reading Alma Ch.31. As i read The holy ghost entered into my heart with such force that even to this day and probably for the rest of my life i will always remember that moment. I know without a doubt that the book of mormon is true, and you can too. Just Give it a shot!! Don't do it for me, don't do it for your parents, DO IT FOR YOU!

3. Be ACTIVE in your church meetings
I was notorious for sleeping through sacrament meeting. Just getting that out of the way. Don't worry i have repented! haha
But i'll tell you this you are only going to get out of church what you put into it. If you are active in the meetings then you will feel the spirit and you will learn something new. Trust me, i've tried it myself.

Ok remember when you were 8 years old?? You were baptized and comfirmed a member of the church. You received the gift of the holy ghost. right?? But there were conditions(Mosiah 18) for you to have the holy ghost with you. One of those is to KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!
So if you are trying to get an answer from the holy ghost then you need to be in the best position spiritually to feel it.
Now i know as a teenager the 2 commandments that are the hardest to keep are The word of wisdom and the law of chastity. DON'T LET SATAN HAVE HIS WAY WITH YOU. He is going to tempt you like crazy to break these commandments. Because he knows what these things will keep you from (temple marriage, missions, full activity in the church). Just keep these commandments. IF you are currently struggling with them go to the bishop. He is not there to be angry or to "call down the judgements of god upon you" he is there to HELP you. Keep these commandments. The lord will bless you and it will help you even more to know if these things are true.

The past 13 months have been the most amazing of my life. I would not want Any of you young men miss out on this opportunity simply because you didn't know if this was something you should do. So all i am asking you to do is give this a shot. And i promise you that you will know what you should do.
Young men and Young Women. Do not let anything get in the way of you and going to the temple. IT is the house of the lord. And the ordinances done there are real and eternal. they will bless your life and bring added strength to you.
Welp... Keep it real. Have Fun. But remember The Gospel is what will bring you the most happiness and fun. Things of the world are fun at the time but it doesn't last. the gospel does. Salagathe (stay well) Tot Siens(goodbye)
The Church is True.
-Elder Michael F. Johnson

Oh Boy! Oh Man! Oh Goodness! Oh Ya!

I heard the news already!! Guess who told me??? Michael F. Watson of the quorum of the seventy!
We had mission tour yesterday and when i told him i was from boise he said "I heard you guys won your big game" I was so pumped!!
Oh man. i am so happy! Mountain West Here WE COME!! haha
OH boy. oh man. oh goodness. oh ya!
Well Things are great this side. Elder Matunya is a SKOKO(stud)!!
He's doing a great job. He's really making my job easy. It's almost like having a normal missionary. All i do is try to set a good example and work hard. Then iron out a few minor things here and there!
But it was a sweet week though, Obert went out teaching with us!(he'd been a member for like 4 days) We thought he'd be nervous and not say much but when we gave him a chance to bear testimony...... IT WAS POWER! He was just saying all this stuff about how the gospel has change his life, it's changed his family, there is so much more love in the home, that they wish they could be at church every sunday and all this other stuff... and then he was like " You guys need to come to church on sunday. You should come with us. You guys need to come over to our house sometime and see what this has done in our home!"
it was awesome!
So, needless to say.... he's coming back out with us again this week.
And we met another awesome family from Malawi. It's a husband and wife. Angus and Jane. I swear if we baptize all of these people the ward is going to be all imigrants soon! haha
So all is well this side. Let me know where our beloved broncos end up in the polls. Keep me updated on all the other good stuff. keep the family rolling!
Oh and an update on my "10 1/2 months to sexy" plan. I was at 170 pounds this morning. meaning that since i began 3 weeks ago i have lost 5-8 pounds. I cant remember where i started. The plan has consisted of Exersising more and eating less. and it's worked. pretty amazing eh???
Welp i hope you all have an awesome week. Work with the missionaries in Boise, Show them the love that you hope i'm getting this side.
The Church is True!
-elder johnson

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Companion - Greenie from Zimbabwe!

Hey, Hey howzit?
Oh man... i was so nervous to open this email only to find that the game hasn't happened.....yet. :)
Oh man...i'm so nervous i've been using my newly acquired bsu towel everyday. In preperation for the big game. I think that trend will continue!
The package was awesome. i love jerky. However Biltong(south african jerky) gives it a run for it's money. And snickers and the newspapers we're sweet as well!
Well here's the news..... My new companions name is Elder Matunya!
Straight outta zimbabwe! he's awesome. He is definately going to be a powerful missionary someday. I'm just gonna make sure he becomes one!
As well... Obert and sabina Got confirmed. I'm gonna try to send some pictures of their baptism soon! It was awesome!
Oh man, it sounds like the young men are doin awesome. Oh man hayden better get his butt out there! haha
Yo.... well we have a new all-star couple! Their names are Ernest and Ruth they are from Malawi! They are totally awesome. They walked to church this past sunday!! epic. and He's already getting answers to his prayers and i'm sure the wife will as well! it's awesome. They are so humble and ready to listen.
Yup, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WENT TO PHANTOM WITHOUT ME!!!! oh man.... that's awesome. Someday i will go... Well at least it wasn't les mis.....
I'm trying to think if there is any other great news to fill you all in about. Umm... It's 2010 in case you didn't notice. World Cup is only 6 months away.
And i am now becoming one of the "older" missionaries in the field. It's pretty crazy, time goes soo fast when you're working hard and having fun. geepers.
Well have a great week! GO ORANGE GO BIG BLUE... you know the rest!
The Church is True!
-elder johnson
p.s. i'll send a seperate email for the youth of the ward just now.....