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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I basically have no time this week but here is a quick recap!!!!
1- We live with a member and the Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our door on Saturday and didn’t realize we were the Mormon missionaries (the goodness of Spanish nametags). They gave their little schpeel and then when they realized who we were they became really awkward and gave us their pamphlet and just left. As I was reading about their beliefs of heaven and death, I was filled with gratitude for our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, it makes a lot more sense than anything everyone else believes. Why would God only allow a few of his children to live with Him? I love this Gospel and what it teaches me about God’s love.

2- We were driving out of the Wal-Mart parking lot when we saw a legitimate Hippie van, so obviously we parked and went to talk to them. Some had been on the road for many years and they all had some pretty crazy backgrounds. Even though I don’t think I could ever live like they do, it was neat to see how accepting they were of everyone else and how much they truly loved each other. On Sunday during Stake Conference Pres. Hanks talked about accepting others and how we as members need to be more accepting of others and their differences. It was a great learning experience.

3- I have been feeling the need for a change. So I donated 11 inches of my hair to Locks of LOVE! It feels so great and I love my companion Sis. Hubbard for doing it for me. This change also came with the realization that when we make our self-worth solely dependent on Jesus-Christ and our relationship with Him, we are able to see others like he does as well. It’s an amazing phenomenon that when we look outside ourselves and find ways to serve others, we find ourselves and true JOY. Luke 9:23-24
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

I love these scriptures! Lose yourself in the work of the Lord, and you will find eternal life. I hope y’all have a great week and can strive to listen to the Spirit and great guidance and peace it brings into our lives. Love y’all!!

Hermana Johnson

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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,😀 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 love💓
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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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