El Ultimo

Hola a todos!
This is the last email I will send as a full-time representative of Jesus Christ and his true Church. What an incredible journey it’s been! I really can’t believe it has been a year and a half of service to my Savior. I love this work. I love being a missionary, and I’m really sad to say goodbye. I’ve been pondering a lot about different things I’ve learned and experienced during my mission and my sweet companion reminded me of this scripture I found at the beginning of my mission. “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.” (1 Thess. 2:8)  I feel that I have imparted some of my heart and soul to the people of Alabama and the Heart of Dixie will always have a piece of my own heart. Literal blood sweat and tears have been shed and I know God sent me here for a reason.

My testimony has been through fire and disbelief, doubt and questioning, and come out stronger because of it. Every time we get bashed my testimony of what I believe to be true is strengthened because our doctrine makes the most sense! It lines up and just fits without forcing it. I have felt the spirit confirm truth and I know this Gospel is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I still have lots of questions and probably always will, but I know I’ll figure it out or understand it all one day. I love what President Hanks always quotes, “To believe in God is to know all that all the rules will be fair and that there will be wonderful surprises.” I truly believe that.

If I typed up my whole testimony we would be here for days, and I’ll see you in a few days so for now, I’ll just say ‘I love you!’ Remember that you are a son or daughter of God and remain Steadfast in Christ. Obedience brings the blessings of Heaven and I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ and that as we do our best to LIVE the Gospel we are changed and become purified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all the encouragement and prayers. I felt them uplift and strengthen me in the most difficult times of my mission. I have seen MIRACLES on my mission. Many of them in the last few months as I’ve been able to teach Michaela and Whitney the Gospel and seen first hand how it changes lives. The Spirit has comforted me and led me and I know that Heavenly Father loves me and all of you.
See you in a few days!!
Hermana Savanna Johnson
Some fun pics from my mission:
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NO time

Sorry Y’all!! I have 9 minutes left on the timer for this computer to write.
Here’s a quick update. I’ll see you in a week and half!!!!!!!! (I’m really not excited to come home. Really. Alabama can keep me here forever:)

-Whitney is doing great! She came out to teach with us and is teaching her kids. She KNOWS the church is true and is really excited to help her boyfriend get divorced, get married, then get baptized.
-We asked 18 people to be baptized this week. 10 said “yes I would” if they knew this was true and let us schedule a return appointment!
-President and Sis. Hanks spoke in our sacrament meeting yesterday. I want to be like them.
-We went to the waterfall this morning!
-Yes. I’m going home next week. I love my mission and I don’t want to ever leave my beloved Alabama. I’m going to work really hard this week and show Heavenly Father I can enjoy until the very end.
I love y’all. Thank you for the letters and packages and prayers. I have felt them uplift me and help me through the hard times and sustain me throughout my mission.
I just want to share my testimony before I end my mission.
I KNOW the Gospel has been restored and that there are living prophets and apostles on the earth today. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is scripture and a way to know how we should live our lives. I have gotten closer to my Savior through my study and I know any sincere seeker of truth will recognize the validity of the BOM. I know Heavenly Father answers my prayers, thoughts, and desires and he is aware and helping us even in the very details of our lives. His way is not my way but it’s always the better way. As I’m learning to rely on Him more and more I see how His great plan really is made for my happiness. That is my testimony. And I bear it with conviction in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

LOVE
Hermana Johnson

Here’s some pics.
1) THere are TONS of these in front of all the little corner churches in Alabama. My favorite one was from Easter: “It’s not about the bunny, it’s about the Lamb.”  I love the South!
2) we made dandelion headbands. Classy, I know
3) We went to Noccalula Falls in gadsden this morning as a zone. It was really fun! Inline image 5
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Raindrops keep falling

This week we played soccer in the mud and rain for 3.5 hours!!! It was a BLAST and the result was really wet hair and a few days of really sore muscles. Here are some pics:

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Whitney came to our Relief Society activity this week. Michaela came to church. I had  an interview with President Hanks. (These are his last until he goes home.)  We were given Dr. Pepper two days in a row. AND we found 6 new investigators! It was a week full of little miracles and I’ve been so blessed.  I know the Lord puts us in the path, or puts others in our path, with whom we need to meet and share the Gospel.
 I got to 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and I was pondering on that fact that even after all the signs and wonders in Heaven, the people continued in their wickedness, or after a time FORGOT how great and marvelous the miracles were. Are we like this? Do we get so accustomed to God’s hand in our lives that we forget or don’t recognize the marvelous things He does for us? As I’ve tried to notice and be grateful for the blessing Heavenly Father has given me, my heart has softened and “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content.” (Phil. 4:11)
We had a neat experience this past week. When I was on an exchange we met a lady named Ann. She was busy at the time but told us we could come back. Always ready jump on any kind of interest, no matter how small, I went back when I was on another exchange later in the week. She was having dinner, but said, “Ok really, you can come back tomorrow. I’ll let you in then.”  So we went back the next day and she told us “you have 10 minutes.”  That 10 minutes turned into an hour long discussion on the Restoration and how the Gospel and the church could  help her life specifically. It was amazing to see that as we testified of we what we knew to be true, I could tell her heart and countenance softened and she was truly interested and wanted to learn more. She kept probing and was asking questions about when we go home. When she finally got it out of me that I was leaving in a few weeks she got sad and said, “Ok, then you definitely have to come back before you go!!”
As a mission we have been working on testifying more when we first meet people. As with Ann, we have seen that as we testify of the things we teach, the spirit comes and does the converting. People can fight against the facts we give them, but they can’t argue against somethings we profess to believe to be true.  I challenge y’all to bear your testimony as you speak. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, weepy kind of a thing. Follow the spirit and I promise that you will touch someone’s heart that is searching for peace and solace this week.
I love y’all! Remember who you are and stuff
Love,
Hermana Johnson
1) We went to Bass Pro Shop and saw the giant fish
2) Amy had her baby! We went and saw her on Sunday. Her little baby Christian is so cute!
3) We ate red Slurpees.
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Hola del Sur

Hi from the South! I hope you had a great week and have been able to review Gen. Conference. It was truly extraordinary and I love studying and finding new ways to improve based off the inspired talks.

Note: My mom told me to tell  y’all that I will be speaking on Mother’s Day  (May 8) at 11:00 in the Canterbury Church building (6722 W 10400 N, Highland, UT 84003).  There will be a Fiesta lunch at 2:00 (after the 3 hour block) at my house. All are welcome!  (But I don’t really know what she is talking about because I’m pretty sure I’m extending my mission and not going to be home for a while😁 Just kidding, but I wish) She hopes to see you there! 
More Importantly….BIG NEWS!! My brother Porter got his mission call to Milan, Italy!!!! He reports to the Provo MTC on August 24. I know he is going to be an incredible missionary and I’m so proud of the good choices he makes so that he can go and serve the Lord. Congrats Porter!!
Here are a few highlights from the week:
-We went to visit a less active family and just the youngest daughter, Chloe, was there. She is 13 and her friend was over. Taking advantage of the fact that we had a non-member and a member in the same house, we asked Chloe’s friend Linea if should would like to hear about what we believe. We taught her the Restoration and the spirit was so strong there. I was with Hma. Conteh, who was baptized when she was 13. Her testimony really helped both the girls and Linea said she would be baptized if she knew this was true. It was a great experience and helped my testimony that we need to be constantly finding, and the Lord will put people in our path!
-We contacted a man from Nicaragua and went over to teach his family yesterday. I realized that my Spanish capability has deteriorated somewhat and we were having trouble understanding him. I prayed silently for the gift of understanding and Hma. Hubbard and I were able to bear our testimonies in Spanish and help bring the spirit. Although he still disagrees with much of our doctrine about the the Apostasy and Restoration, I know he felt the spirit and his wife was open to reading el Libro de Mormon.
-Whitney is still progressing and we are praying that the file for her divorce can go through quickly so that she can get married and baptized. She loved church yesterday and basically acts like a member. It has been incredible to see how much she has changed in just one month. I know the Gospel and applying the principles taught in the Scriptures truly can change lives. 
 
-We taught a young man named Quedarious yesterday who has been looking for religion and a new start at life. We talked about baptism and he said he hasn’t been baptized and would like to be. He is super cool and we’re excited to keep teaching him.
It was a great week! I love my mission and I love serving the people here. Thanks for all your prayers and support mis amigos. Que Dios les bendiga!
MUCHO AMOR
Hermana Johnson
-We stayed at the Birmingham Sister’s apartment the night before District Meeting. They are so fun!
-Hma. Hubbard and I had a lot of energy one night so we wrestled. I accidentally made her hand bleed.
-Just a pic.
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Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa

I sure do!! Shout out to my mom and dad, they are amazing people.

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Spring has officially sprung and the trees went from brown to green literally overnight. I don’t know how they do that but it’s quite spectacular. I love Alabama during this time of year and being a missionary here is one of the greatest blessings of my life.

I hope you watched General Conference and were able to receive answers and personal inspiration. I received a lot of much-needed answers to questions I’ve had, and I also took a stern chastisement from the spirit that I need to be more humble. Don’t you love when the Spirit does that? We all have things to work on, but I loved Elder Holland’s talk that addressed the need to not be troubled by tomorrow but to look forward with hope and courage that we CAN change.
I also loved Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk about being able to be rebuilt and restored by the Savior. The thing we must do is come to Him. I know that as we reach out and do what we can to live His Gospel, he makes the difference in our ability to change, overcome, and press forward with a “steadfastness in Christ.”  I love that he said that obedience is the means to an end. The end is eternal exaltation and glory with our families and Heavenly Father if we incline our hearts to the Savior and follow Him. 
This week we had MLC, Zone Training, and then a special Sister’s Training for all the sisters in the mission. It was so great to see most of my past companions and be trained by the wonderful senior sisters in our mission. President Hanks talked about becoming a woman of depth. I think it went along perfectly with what we were encouraged to do during conference. I have felt that as I deepen my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior, I am given new insight and can understand more deeply and clearly the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Our desires to become more like Christ deepen; we become people of substance when we live the Gospel; our lives take on more meaning and depth as we come to understand who we are and what we are meant to do here.
I could go on forever. But the main thing is that I have a testimony that living the GOSPEL literally will change us. It has changed me, and I have seen it change the people I have taught. I love my Savior and I’m so grateful he has restored lost truths and the Priesthood back on the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is God’s word.
Have a great week mis amigos!!
LOVE
Hermana Johnson
-we watched Conference and ate corndogs on Sunday at the Nicolas. They are so sweet!
-I got to see Hma. Mennenga!
-For you HP fans, I saw Tom Riddle’s grave marker:D
-The great Hma. Hubbard. I really love this girl!!
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Easter and the Prophet

Hola everyone! I hope you all had a splendid Easter Sunday and that you took time to reflect on the Savior and what His Resurrection means to us. I love being in the South because most people here believe and God and Christ and we can talk to them about the Resurrection and show them the awesome new ‘Hallelujah’ video.

General Conference is this weekend! I have found that when I watch conference with a SPECIFIC question in mind, it’s always answered! Not in the way I always expect, but something someone says helps me see the way I need to go to progress in my life. I hope you do that and receive some truly inspired personal revelation this weekend.
Quick update on our awesome peeps we’re teaching:
Michaela: we had a great discussion with her on Friday. She loved church and told us she knows it is true. The spirit was so strong in our lesson and I’m so grateful I have been able to teach her this far and will be able to continue to teach her. We are soul sisters and I’m pretty sure best friends in the spirit world. She has all the same kind of questions I have and it has been truly amazing to see her grow. We are praying now that she will be able to get married soon and keep the word of wisdom so that she can get baptized.
Whitney: She reads the BOM everyday and she is just super solid. She teaches her boyfriend, when he’ll listen, and her kids loved church! We are having a FHE with her and the Bishop’s family tonight and I’m sure it will be great. She also has to get married to her boyfriend and then she can get baptized. There are a few things we need to work out with that, but we are praying that a miracle will happen and that she’ll be ready to go by April 30th! Prayers are greatly appreciated.
I’ve been thinking this week about the little choices we make everyday. Sometimes I think, “Does it really even matter if I say my morning prayers?” or “Do I need to have a good personal study EVERY day?”  The answer is YES!!! I love what Elder Holland said in a face to face he had with the YSA a few weeks ago. He said, “Whatever the question, the answer is always ‘the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  I know that is true! I hope that we can all look to the Savior and His Gospel, in the good times and in the bad. I know that if we put our trust in HIM and nothing else, we will find peace in a tumultuous world.
I love y’all my peeps.  Have a great week!!
LOVE,
Hermana Savanna Johnson
Take a book, leave a book. We couldn’t resist!
College sports get real here in the South, even to the death…
We had a great southern style Easter dinner.
The easter bunny came! (I love sis. Guase) And I held a rabbit, and a pig.🐖
The Plan of Salvation, oh it is wonderful!!!
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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

That’s what they say down here in the south, and since Hermana Hubbard and I are not broken, they’re not going to fix it! We get to stay together for six more weeks and I’m so excited to have this last transfer with her. Ok, that’s all you will hear from me about going home.

This week was a week a miracles!! Sister Hubbard and I have fasted every Sunday for this whole transfer and this weekend we saw the results of that.
Miracle #1:  We had made a goal to reach our goals. 🙂 And we still needed new people to teach and lessons. So we planned on Sat. afternoon and they went out to tract. We went to an apartment complex and everybody was so nice!! We talked to 30 people, taught 7 people about the BOM and they all said we could come back, all in three hours!!!
Miracle #2: We hadn’t been able to get a hole of Whitney for a few days and we were getting worried because she had said she was coming to church. It was Sunday morning and we were just fasting and praying for her to come even though we hadn’t talked to her since Tues. We got a text from her 5 min. before church started saying she would be a few min. late but she was bringing her kids!!! She came and they loved it and are looking forward to coming next week.
Miracle #3: Michaela had said she was coming to church. So all was going to plan when 15 min. before church she texted us and said “oh no! the keys are epically lost!”  But we weren’t going to let Satan win, so we went inside the church and asked told the amazing Sis. Bennett that our invest. that was coming to church lost her keys. Without being asked, she said, “Where does she live? Can one of you come with me to show me?” I LOVE THE MEMBERS!!!! So we picked up Michaela and her 4 kids and got them to church!  She loved it, especially Relief Society, the lesson was just perfect for her. and me. It was great.
Miracle #4: I guess this is just the whole week combined. Sis. Hubbard and I prayed to be together. Check!  We prayed to reach our goals and then went out and did our best. And then we reached them! Check!  We prayed and fasted for our investigators to progress and come to church. CHECK!!! We were both so happy yesterday and I know that God answers our prayers. We’ve been working and trying to do everything in our power and for a while it felt that NOTHING was happening. But I’m learning to trust in the Lord’s timing and He knows what is best for His children.  Every week won’t always be like this, in fact, most weeks aren’t. I’m grateful for the normal and sometime the bad, it helps me appreciate the good so much more.   I’m so grateful for prayer and I know that when we ask in faith, we shall receive.  I also love this poem that talks about what Elder Larsen said in his email this week. Action=power.
There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, 
can circumvent, or hinder, or control, 
the firm resolve, of a determined soul
We recite that everyday in our mission and I know that if we are determined, if we keep moving forward and if we trust in the Lord, He will bless us and help us accomplish our righteous desires. He is bigger than any stumbling block and I know through the power of the Atonement of Christ we can receive the courage and strength to live the Gospel.
Love y’all! Have a blessed week.
Hermana Johnson
Some random pics
-The sisters in Gardendale, they are awesome!!
-Our last district meeting before the transfer.
-Enjoying the sun. 70 one day, 40 the next. Alabama weather is crazy!
-We took some hipster pics in front of the garage one P-day…Missionaries and their entertainment:
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Temple trip and Civil Rights

This week we went to the Temple. It was good to see missionaries from around the state that I haven’t seen for while. I’m still learning about the Temple and all that it taught there.  We were assigned to stay after and help fold and clean the clothes to get ready for the next session. It’s cool to see what goes on behind the scenes!
We went to the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham this morning. It’s crazy to think that almost exactly a year ago I went with Hma. Portilla. How time flies!!! I love learning about the history here and I’m so grateful for the truly courageous men and women who stood up to fight for the rights they deserved. It’s amazing to live here in the heart of it all.
We taught Michaela and Whitney and Autumn this week. Three different women who have a such a great and unique testimonies of the Gospel. We are helping them prepare for baptism and overcome their personal challenges. The Lord has really blessed us and we are seeing miracles in their progression. Thank you for all the prayers for them.
 I read a great article that our District Leader gave us.
 Sis. Hubbard and I decided to do what the elders in the article did and we already feel a difference. I’m thankful for the principles of sacrifice and service. Two aspects of the Gospel I know are true and truly bring blessings when we put them into practice. I love this scripture from Matt. 16:25
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
 
I know that as we give our all in the service of the Lord by serving our fellow men we will be greatly blessed and find more joy and fulfillment in this life. Let’s go out and just serve!
I love y’all!! Have a great week.
Hermana Johnson
p.s. Here are some funny Southern things I’ve heard this week
“Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit!!”
“I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.”
“Y’all come back now, ya hear?”
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Hola y’all! This week was really great. Our friend Whitney came to church and she really liked it! We taught Michaela and she is reading and praying about what we have taught.  Lots of great things are happening in Leeds.

We had MLC this past week and then Zone Training. I went really well and we are focusing on inviting people to Baptism as a zone. I know that if we just open our mouths and share our testimony, there is nothing anyone can refute, because it’s what we believe!
I encourage y’all to share your testimony and watch it grow as it helps other testimonies grow too!
Love y’all. Have a blessed week.
-Zone Training
-Hma. Hubbard and I. I seriously love this girl.
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Week of Miracles

 

This was such an incredible week I can barely contain my excitement!! So many great things and I know God is blessing our hard work and efforts in this area.
Great thing #1: I went on an exchange with Sis. _____ and we had an AMAZING conversation while we tracted a trailer park. We both have a LOT of questions about the Gospel and as we were talking in the car on the way to an appointment and she cried and said, “This is what I have been praying for. I feel so much better now and I’m so glad you are here to talk with me about these things.”  I know it wasn’t me, but it was the spirit that helped me and guided my words so I could say the right thing for her. Both our testimonies were strengthened and new insights about the Gospel came to us as we tried to figure things out. I’m so grateful for that exchange.
Awesome thing #2:  We were following-up with some people and we decided to knock on just one extra door before we had to go to Birmingham. We met a lady named Whitney and she is so solid!!! She has incredible questions and we have already had two lessons with her. We first taught her the Restoration and  Whitney asked this question, “So what are some of the crazy things y’all do or believe?”  We were able to clear some things up and have a good discussion about Prophets, something she thinks is really awesome.
    Then this morning we went and taught her the Plan of Salvation and she had some good thoughts and questions and the spirit was really strong when we talked about the Atonement and the Spirit World. She wants to raise her kids in this church and she told us that she has been carrying the BOM around with her and that she feels so different and good like she never has before. It was amazing.
Amazing thing #3: A few weeks ago we received a referral for a lady who wanted a BOM. We went to deliver it and her husband (who is an Atheist) was there so we dropped it off and said we would be back. We went back and she was busy but her husband told us she has been reading the BOM. That was cool!  We finally got to go back and teach her yesterday I had the most amazing logical confirmation that this Gospel is true that I have ever had. When we taught Michaela it was so amazing to hear her bear testimony of the Gospel she already knew was true before she even heard it.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she had questions like, “What do you believe about Christ and Satan’s relationship?”  “Is there progression between kingdoms?” “What do you believe about who were were before this life?”   She has done a LOT of personal study about tons of religions in the past few years and literally EVERYTHING she has found and believes on her own is what we believe also. Every time we answered a question, she would nod and say, “Yeah, I’ve always thought that.”  She told her husband a few days ago after reading the testimonies in the BOM that she will probably be a Mormon.  Teaching her has consumed my thoughts and I just want to plan, pray, and live so that she can continue to progress in her learning. I have never taught anyone like this and she just fell in her lap because she looked for us. The pursuit of knowledge is a priority in her life. You hardly ever meet anyone like that in Alabama! She doesn’t want comfort or the bare minimum, she wants the truth and is willing to do anything to know it and keep it.  I’m so excited to teach her and I know I wouldn’t be prepared to teach her at any other time in my mission; I’m very grateful for Heavenly Father’s timing.
So needless to say it was a GREAT week!! I hope y’all had a good week too. I know God blesses our sacrifice, even if it seems like NOTHING is happening for a while, he will keep his promises. Sometimes we work in ‘A’ and see the fruit in ‘B’, or even ‘C’ or ‘D’. It’s all in his timing.
Keep reading the BOM! It is an amazing book and the more I read it the more I know it is true. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know this is the Church he leads. I love it and I love my Savior and he blesses me everyday.
Stay cool mis amigos, les quiero!!!!
Hermana Johnson
Some fun pics….
-Las Hermanas en Altadena, que bonitas!!
-We tried to find a less active. All we found was a dirt road. Nice hike though!
-We took Glamour shots….
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