Un dia de Amor

Happy Late Valentines!!! Hope y’all had a great day full of love. Here in Alabama we as missionaries lock our hearts from all romantic love,ūüėÄ but it was so great yesterday to go out, invite people, and share the Gospel that is centered on Jesus Christ and his great love for all of us!

This week was great and busy and now I don’t remember all that we did. I think this happens too often.
-We went to MLC and it was so great to hear from President and Sister Hanks.
-We taught a part-member family that before has been completely closed off from hearing from the missionaries, but by God’s great goodness we were able to eat dinner and teach them the Restoration! It was so cool to see the spirit come back into the member’s life and for her husband to feel it too. The fried okra and mashed potatoes weren’t bad either.
-I went on an exchange with sweet Sis. Saatkamp, I served with her for only 5 weeks in Alabaster. It’s so great to see how much she has grown since she first came on her mission. I’m so proud and I know that this work doesn’t only change the lives of the people we teach, but it changes our life as well.
That’s about all folks. I just want to let you know that I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. So many of the prophecies have been or are being fulfilled today! I started over in the BOM and it’s amazing that Nephi saw the apostasy, the Restoration and the last days of our earth. I know we have the scriptures so that we can “study and show [ourselves] approved.” (2 Tim. 2:15) Approved by whom? By God. He blesses those who reason and search for the truth themselves and I know He always leads those who are truly seeking to what will make them happiest, which is this Gospel!
I love this truth and have seen it manifest in my life.
Make this a great week and share your testimony with someone else! I know you will brighten someone’s day.
Mucho amor
Hermana Johnson
-So we met a REALLY inactive member who has a pet hog. Enough said
-It got really cold really fast!
-Happy Valentines Day! Sending locked heart loveūüíď
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Feb. 8, 2016

-Elder Ruano is our good friend. i’ve served around him a lot. He is guatemalan but has lived here most his life. cool kid.
-We made little drawings of all the possible families we could teach and put them in water. It helped with our vision of finding a family. I haven’t lost hope yet!!! one of my BHAGs is to have a one baptism per year. I know it’s possible!
-Elder Posadas just went home. We served around each other a lot. He is from Honduras and was a great Zone leader and AP. He is so cool and went back to Utah so hopefully we’ll be able to hang out there.
-Sis. Hubbard. She knew Tanner Myler in the MTC!! and was friends with zac love’s older bro. christian. she’s from layton and graduated from BYU-I in nursing. cool stuff!

 

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Pictures of Sis. Charlesworth and I. ¬†We tried to spell ABM with our fingers….

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Sorry it’s been so long folks! These last few weeks have been crazy and fun and crazy again!

Here’s a brief summary of some of the highlights:
-We were walking along, in the freezing cold, in the dark, when suddenly Hma. Charlesworth yelled in surprise. I thought something had crept out of the dark and was attacking her ankles, so I grabbed her by her shoulder bag and swung her around out of harms way, screaming in the process. I don’t know what I thought it was, but not anything good. We looked back and saw a big branch that had gotten caught on her tights.¬† We both laughed in relief and will never forget the night of the ‘stick attack’.
-We were driving and we saw an old man bent over in the road. We pulled up and asked what he was doing. He said, “I’m cleaning the street, trying to make America great again.” Oh how I love the South.
– We were tracting on Wednesday when when we got a call from Brooke. We had taught her and her family last the first lesson on Saturday and she had said she wanted to go to church that Sunday but then had to work. So she called us on Wednesday and said “I want to go to your Wednesday service”. (Almost every church has Wed. night service here.) We told her she could come to Young Womens! But we had a had an appointment planned at the same time so we did some calling around and I stayed with a member to be with Brooke at YW and Hma. Charlesworth went with a member to go teach another family. Brook came to young womens and had a great time. They played Mormon Trivia so I ended up explaining about Apostles, the Word of Wisdom, Temples, and all that good stuff. She went home that night and told her mom that she wants to be Mormon!!! We are praying for her and her family that they will all be receptive to the Gospel.
-This past month was Book of Mormon month. As a mission we wanted every companionship to pass out 40 copies of the BOM this month. Our zone passed out 822 alone! that’s a lot more than 40 per comp.¬† It has been so great to focus on the BOM and the power that it holds. I know that it is true. I know that if we read it and live by “it’s precepts” we will come closer to Christ than by any other book. I encourage y’all to read the the Book of Mormon and find it in the words of Eternal Life.
Love y’all, have a great week! The weather here has been superb. 60-70 every day. Have fun in the snow!!!
Peace and Blessings
Hermana Johnson
-District Meeting in Talladega (the racetrack is really cool!) Gotta love the Elder/Sister gap:)
-A sweet family in our war that sang “Called to Serve” on Sunday and made Hma. Charlesworth and I cry.
-Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam!
-Last district meeting in Locust Fork.
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o Be Wise

I love this scripture in the Jacob in the BOM. It says it all, don’t you think?

Our President always shows us this quote whenever he trains us:
“Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, would an idiot do that? And if they would, I do not do that thing.” ¬†
¬†This can be related to our lives spiritually, emotionally, or physically. It’s pretty straightforward advice that I know if we follow we will avoid a lot of dangerous or harmful situations.¬† I hope y’all can think about this quote whenever you think of speeding on the icy freeway, saying something mean to someone you love, or skipping out on scripture study for the day.¬† Choosing to follow the Savior and live like he lived will provide us with more capacity to love others, greater understanding of the challenges in life, and an increased desire to do the things we must do to live with Heavenly Father again. This I know because I’ve experienced it!!
Anyway. This week was really good! After a long but super great MLC we went to work and planned for Zone Training. We were able to give all the trainings and I think it was a great meeting. Hma. Charlesworth is a great teacher and I’m so happy she’s helping me figure out this whole STL thing.
Then I went on an exchange with Sister Nielsen, my cute trainee I served with in Locust Fork! She has grown so much and I can’t believe it’s been six months since we were together. Time flies when you’re serving the Lord.
This week we have been really working and trying to find THE family that is ready to accept and live the Gospel. We have been praying and after our 100 hours we were thinking, “what more can we do to find this Fam?” Charlesworth had the great idea to fast. We started on Friday night and then went out to work all Saturday. No luck. We kept fasting on Sunday, praying that we would find THE family. That morning we got a text from our investigator Kameron who told us her whole family was coming! Her dad is super inactive and her brother and mom aren’t members. They all came to church and seemed like they enjoyed it! It was so amazing to see them all there. But that’s not all. We continued our day, knocking on doors and trying not to freeze. Then we met the CUTEST family ever! They have 3 girls that are so fun and when we explained the BOM they were very attentive and so cute as we said a prayer with them. We set up a time to come back and they seem really excited! Then we followed up with a cute older couple and they let us in and gave us hot chocolate and we explained the restoration and invited them to be baptized and they said, “sure, I wouldn’t mind being baptized again!” ¬†Miracle.
After that, we had a few minutes to work before we went to a members house to watch the YSA devotional, (which was really good you should watch it:) so we knocked on a few doors and met a really cool man who listened to us explain the BOM and Joseph Smith and the spirit was there SO strongly and he said, “Y’all can definitely come back and explain more to my wife and I. We just had a baby and are learning more about each others religions.” ¬†What?? We keep meeting family after family and I know the Lord has seen our sacrifice and is just blessing us.
I know the Spirit of God is in this work. He wants all of His children to have the restored Gospel and he will help all those who wish to help him in this great cause. I know I have shared this scripture before. But it’s just one of my favorites.
D&C 128:22 “Brethren,¬†shall¬†we¬†not¬†go¬†on¬†in¬†so¬†great¬†a¬†cause?¬†Go¬†forward¬†and¬†not¬†backward.¬†Courage,¬†brethren;¬†and¬†on,¬†on¬†to¬†the¬†victory!”¬†
I know Heavenly Father will give us the courage we need to be wise, to open our mouths, and share the Gospel with all of his children. Even when our faith is weak, or when we think we can’t go on another day, that is when He is there to give us our every need. I love my Savior, I love this Gospel and this Church. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that it was written for us!¬†
 
I hope y’all have a great week. Stay steadfast in the Savior!
-Hermana Johnson
1-We just thought this was hilarious. Gotta love the south
2- I love Gadsden, AL. That is where Sis. Nielsen is serving. It’s so cute!
3- We went and got Friday night Nachos at a cute Mexican restaurante in a tiny town. The cute Hispanics  there loved that we could speak Spanish!  
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100 hour week

The title says it all.¬† We got up every morning, got ready, and got out the door by 8:00 am. We would go store contacting or find people in the streets, the hills, or the houses with whom we could share the Gospel. We felt like Alma and Amulek. (But of course not as cool:) ¬†So many great things happened! But I don’t have time or energy, and I don’t want to bore you will it all, so I’ll give you the highlights. (Feel free to not read this, but there are a few good parts. See *Day 3 for a laugh)

Day 1: It rained all day. There was major flooding from the storms during Christmas and the whole world was just wet. It was fun though, and we talked to a bunch of great people. We were able to see some really less active families so that was great too. I learned that we cannot let other peoples actions get in the way of our eternal and personal salvation. In other words-don’t be offended, the Gospel is perfect, not the people! Here is the fog over the river and some of the really flooded areas.
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Day 2: Every plan fell through. So we contacted old referrals and tracted every area we saw.¬†We were out at night and went to try to see a Part Member/Less Active family. We saw the dad outside and he invited us in and we were able to teach him and re-teach his wife the restoration. (He also gave us deer steak which was really good.) He said he has always wanted to know more about the Mormons and it was cool because usually missionaries never get in to see him because his wife isn’t too into the church.¬†
We forgot to take a picture until the very end of the day. We were laughing really hard because we were starting to feel the tiredness…
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Day 3: ¬†Ok so this day has the most EMBARRASSING story. ¬†First, we taught one lady and were falling asleep so we got energy drinks ¬†(for the first and probably the last time on my mission). But that’s not the embarrassing part.¬†
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Then we went looking a less active man named Grayson (remember the name, but it has been changed for privacy purposes). When we knocked on the house that we thought was his, a big cop-guy answered and said “I can’t tell you how many times y’all have knocked on my door looking for Grayson. He doesn’t live here!” We apologized profusely and said “we’ll make sure to make a note so no other missionaries knock on your door. Sorry, have a great day!” ¬†We went on with our day and met some great people and then it got dark and we decided to go tracting around a less-active’s neighborhood. We both got a bad feeling so we were just driving around looking for a good neighborhood to knock doors. We found what we thought would be a good one. We knocked on a bunch of doors but no one was interested and then we knocked on one door and a big, balding, pot-bellied man with his shirt off answered the door.¬† Hma. Charlesworth said, “oh, did we wake you up?” He said, “NO.” Then I said, “I bet you’re wondering why two girls are knocking on your door at 8:00 at night.” And he said, “Yeah, you two knocked on my door this morning looking for Grayson.” ¬†We stood on that porch and almost died of humiliation. It was the same cop-guy!!! AHHHHH. We didn’t recognize him without the uniform and we didn’t recognize the neighborhood! We both felt so dumb and extremely humiliated. He was pretty upset and just shut the door after we apologized again and tried to explain that we didn’t recognize the neighborhood.¬† It was so embarrassing and it took a good 30 min. to recover from that episode. In our defense, it was really dark and he really didn’t look like the same man. Oh the things that happen as a missionary.
Day 4:  We taught this awesome girl Kameron we are working with and her brother sat in on the lesson this time. They really understood the Plan of Salvation and they are both really sincere and want to learn more. It was a great lesson and the spirit was so strong and testified to me that what we were teaching was true. 
 We helped sister Fowler paint her wall in our room earlier this week. We got paint dust everywhere.
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Day 5: We had District Meeting and that took a lot of driving.We went out to Olive Garden for lunch with the cutest little old lady in our ward. She is a sassy southern woman who we just love!
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 That night we went out with a member and found an awesome family while we were looking for a Less Active that had moved. We were able to teach them the Restoration and the member, cute Sis. Smith, testified of a prophet in these days and it was really great. 
We found a dead deer. It was so gross. See attachment
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Day 6: We were really starting to feel the long week, but we kept working and were able to invite 74 people to hear the Gospel and teach 20 lessons. That was a record high for me on my mission in one day and it was neat because we didn’t teach just lessons, but we were teaching our brothers and sisters the Gospel and inviting them to come closer to Christ. We felt the Lord blessing us for all our work during the week and we found 3 really solid people that we are excited to go back to teach. One girl wanted to be baptized and was going to come to church. But then she texted us Sunday morning and said she had been reading the BOM and wasn’t sure. I guess she missed the part when we told her that we study the Bible too, because she asked “so I don’t know about this. Do you study the Bible too?” Some people do not listen.
Day 7: LAST DAY!! We didn’t want to knock on peoples doors at 8:00, so we invited everyone we saw to come to church with us later that afternoon. At church our old friend Antonio showed up. After dropping us right after we had a set a baptismal date with him, he showed up at church and bore his testimony! It was a great meeting and the spirit was there so strongly. We went out with a cute laurel later and then had dinner with a great family in the ward. It was 7:30 and we still needed 12 lessons to reach our goal for the week.¬† We prayed and then went out and knocked on every door and talked to everyone we saw. The Lord is so good because he put people in our path that we were able to teach the BOM to and we were able to meet our goal.
100 HOURS!!!
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It was an amazing week full of laughter, and the spirit, and the true joy of pure missionary work. I don’t know if I will ever do it again on my mission. But it was an experience I will never forget and I am so happy I was able to do it with my great friend Hermana Charlesworth.¬† I love that girl. I love this Gospel and I KNOW the church is true. I don’t just believe it anymore. I KNOW that Christ is the head of this church and Thomas S. Monson is the prophet for the world.
I Love you ALL! Thank you so much for all the Christmas cards, it was such an enjoyable December.¬† Now let’s bring in the New Year with love for God and our fellow men, which we can do by serving the Lord with all our “heart, might, mind, and strength.” ¬†Thanks y’all for everything and que tengan una buena semana!!!
Love,
Hermana Johnson
Some pics I couldn’t put straight on the email. Hope you can see these!
1-me photographing the rain
2- when some people say we don’t believe in the bible
3-ūüėĀ
4- contacting at Wal-Mart at 10pm

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We both got really cool hand-made Indian quilts from some members.
-We actually got ready for Christmas day
-The fog over the river

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Feliz Navidad

Hola eveyone! This truly is the best time of the year.¬† So many wonderful things have happened this week, but y’all don’t have to read this all. It’s really long. (here’s for you mom:)

We had transfers; not so wonderful to be leaving Alabaster after only 5 short weeks, but then at the transfer meeting they announced that I would be with Hermana CHARLESWORTH! We are now serving together as Sister Training Leaders in Leeds AL and just having a grand ol’ time. We were best friends in the Mexico MTC and haven’t served around each other for our entire mission so we are so excited to finally be together. She is such an amazing missionary and I have already learned so much from her.

We have met and taught so many great people already. We get a lot of media referrals, (people online who want a Bible or BoM or something) so it’s been so amazing to start teaching people who are truly interested and wanting to get closer to God and Jesus Christ. On Saturday we followed up with a 16 year old girl who wanted a Bible. We stopped by and even though her mom straight out told us she had already listened and wasn’t interested, her daughter said, “Sure, you can come in.” We had a really powerful Restoration lesson with a member and she has been reading the BoM and been texting us with questions. She is so sweet and we are praying for Kameron that she receives her answer.

FUNNY THING READ THIS: We went out tracting at 8:30 and we saw a bunch of cars parked for a Christmas Party. So of course we knocked and as the door opened the whole front room got really quiet and Hma. Charles said “are we late for the party?” The man who opened the door (older and holding a wine glass) said “well yes.” Then we laughed and said “just kidding we are the Christian Missionaries!” All the people inside said “oh!” and then the hostess welcomed us in and offered us food. We came to find out that we had crashed a Single Senior Christmas Party from the Church of the Highlands. (Basically the ‘great and spacious building’ of Alabama).¬† We talked with a few of the people and before it started getting a little crazy we shared a scripture and left. It was so fun! There are a lot of great Christian people here; give them a little wine and the Christmas season and you can get into any kind of party!

Then last night we followed up with a family Hma. Charlesworth had just briefly met and they let us in and we explained the BOM and the Restoration and they just got it. We asked if they would be baptized when they know this is the true church and they said “yes”! I have seen the Lord’s hand so much here already and I am so grateful for Him and how He is softening the hearts of the people and preparing them to accept His full Gospel.

This is the cutest story Sister Hanks gave us to read during the Season.
Our granddaughter, Natalie, was here when I was unpacking the Christmas boxes. I got out the children’s nativity that we let our kids play with when they were little. I sat it on the floor and asked if she would like to help me by arranging the pieces. She said “yes”. She spend some time working on it while I continued to decorate the house. When she was satisfied she asked me to come inspect her work. All 17 pieces were jammed into the small stable. It looked like a commuter train during rush hour.¬† “Wow, well look at that. It looks great!” I said, “How come they are all standing so close together?” “They all have to be able to see Jesus” she said in a matter of fact tone, “and they all want to get as close to Him as they can. Grandma, don’t move anything. Leave it just like for all of Christmas. Promise?” So we did, and we had our first lesson of the season from a little child, keep your eyes on Christ and get as close to Him as you can.” ¬† –Liz Hanks

Lastly, I want you all to know that I know my Savior lives. He loves us and wants us to come to live with Him and Heavenly Father. So he came in the most humble of circumstances to sacrifice ALL and save us from our sins. His grace is sufficient, and saves us “[beyond] all we can do”. (2 Nephi 25:23) I love Jesus Christ and serving Him here in Alabama is the sweetest gift I could ever receive. He can strengthen us, comfort us, and save us because he knows us. I love each of you and wish you the happiest of Christmases this year.

FELIZ NAVIDAD!

Hermana Savanna Johnson

(I’ll send pics of Charlesworth and I next week. We’ve been so busy we haven’t had time to take photos!)
New Address!
8400 Kirkby Circle
Leeds AL 35094
(we live in a members home, Sister Fowler, and she is seriously the sweetest lady!)
-Hma. Moline and I at transfers. This girl is amazing, we were best friends before this life.
-Sister Saatkamp and I before we said goodbye. I loved serving with this girl I know she is going far!!

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Christmas Fiesta

We had the Christmas Party for the southern half of the mission this past week. It was so fun! We did a talent show and the four of us roommates did a skit. (video is too big to attatch). It was really funny and awkward though.

We had the most amazing lesson this week. We taught Kalan about the Priesthood and the elders and awesome Sister Kenney were with us. The Elders offered Kalan a priesthood blessing (he has been having health issues) and the the Spirit was there so powerfully. Sister Kenney told of her first experience with the church and we were in tears multiple times during the lesson. It was a great lesson and that is what we live for as missionaries. I am so happy serving people and helping them come closer to Christ by teaching them the Gospel.

So we got transfer calls and I am going to move again! I am called to be a Sister Training Leader and I know wherever the Lord sends me it will be to learn some great things from all the sisters. I’m sad to leave Alasbaster, 5 weeks was not long enough to truly get to know the members and great people here. But I’m glad for the time I did have.
I have been studying 3 Nephi this past week and I am always amazed at the life our Savior lived and the example he gave us. I know that we will never be perfect like Him in this life. But if we turn to Him and allow Him to help us, we may be perfect¬†eventually.¬† I am so grateful for the Christmas season. Let’s give the greatest to the Lord by serving his children.
 Galations 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
And I love this one I found:
3 Nephi 19;26 And Jesus said unto them: pray on…¬†
 
I love this! When we continually pray we receive the strength to strengthen others. I love you all. thank you for your prayers and unweariness in well doing. Stay Steadfast in Christ! 
Love and Christmas Hugs, 
Hermana Johnson
 
1- I love Presidente and Sister Hanks!
2-Santa was at our ward Christmas Party
3- I’m going to miss Sister Saatkamp!
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