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, 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!
-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.
Sorry it’s been so long folks! These last few weeks have been crazy and fun and crazy again!
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!
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!
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 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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!!!
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
4- contacting at Wal-Mart at 10pm
We both got really cool hand-made Indian quilts from some members.
-We actually got ready for Christmas day
-The fog over the river
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.
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.
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.
Hermana Savanna Johnson
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