Monday, March 24, 2014

Service and Struggles...Week 12 in Arkansas

This week was a rather busy week, we had lots of service we were assigned to do slowing the missionary work down a little bit but the service days are usually some of my favorite days. Tuesday we helped paint a non members house and had pizza after which a rather nice service project and flew by but wednesday we had another service project that wasnt quite as nice as the first one. we got a call to go help a old lady move and we figured it would probably only take an hour since she was single and lived in a tiny appartment. when we pulled up to the appartment there were five other sets of missionaries sitting outside waiting to start. we were all wondering why we needed so many missionaries to clean such a small appartment but once we opened the door we found out why. the entire appartment was trashed, full of half full boxes, garbage thrown everywhere, cat hair all over the floor, mold on some of the walls, old diapers everywhere, and a old lady asleep on the couch. she was a big cat lover and a hoarder as well. every room in the appartment looked just like the first one we had seen. we had twelve missionaries working for 4 and a half hours to clean and pack all her stuff and we didnt even finish. it was really disgusting. everyone felt pretty sick afterwords, I felt alright until friday I think it caught up to me and I was sick all day. Saturday was a really sad day for me and my companion. one transfer before I got here a guy named mike sykes was baptized into the church. he was the only member of his family that wasnt a member. he had a wife and four kids, one of them just a few months old. they had always been struggling  to pay the rent and make it by but they managed to finally move into a small house they could afford. among all this they have been a less active family so we would go visit them 2 to 3 times a week to talk with them and invite them to read the scriptures and come to church. over this time we had become really good friends with mike. we were going to visit them this saturday but on the way to his house we got a call from sister beavers, mikes step mom and a member of our ward telling us that mike had just committed suicide. it was really hard to see something like that happen to that family. leslie, mikes wife, has been left without a job, 3 teenagers, and a new baby to take care of by herself. keep there family in your prayers! other than that not much happened last week. this upcoming week is transfers but me and my companion will be staying here unless they pull a fast one on us. miss you all! hope all is going well for yall!
Love elder Johnson

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Alma experience in Arkansas, prayers at church and speaking at firesides...week 10 in Arkansas

Thanks for the email! this week felt like it went by really slow to me but a lot happened this last weekend. on friday we were teaching Andrew (less active) and Phillip (investigator) phillip has recently been in a really bad mood and im pretty sure he hates us but every now and then andrew forces him to come and listen to us with him. friday was one of those days where we got to teach both of them. we had already taught them both all the lessons in preach my gospel so I picked a story from the book of mormon that I had read in my studies that morning. I chose the story of alma the younger (mosiah chapter 27) . for those that arent familiar with the story it is about alma the son of alma the prophet. unlike his father he tried to destroy the church instead of trying to help it. one day as alma and his friends were trying to destroy the church an angel appeared to him and it says he was shaken and commanded to repent. after he repented he became a faithful member of the church. After we read the story I was bearing my testimony. in the middle of my testimony Andrew started having  a seizure and fell onto the floor. we quickly moved all the furniture away from him so he wouldnt hit something amongst all his shaking. after he stopped shaking he layed there motionless for 2 hours. during that time he laid there we gave him a blessing and then just waited. once he woke up he was fine. apparently he has had seizures like this before and he wasnt worried about it at all but I thought it was really ironic that that happened after reading almas story. 
we were also supposed to have lots of investigators at church this week. we had 7 investigators say they would come to church. sunday morning we drive around with a member picking everyone up and unfortunately all 7 of them dont answer there door or say they cant come, so the day started off pretty bad. in the middle of sacrament meeting I said a prayer in my heart asking for just one person to show up to church. after the prayer I didnt think much about it till the middle of sunday school when some guy I had never seen before walked in the doors, sat down, and started listening to the lesson. we went over and talked to him after the lesson was over and he said that he had just moved in across the street and was looking for a church to go to so he came to ours. we offered to come over to his house after church to tell him about our church and he agreed. we went to his house right after church and shared a quick lesson with him and then invited him to be baptized on the 29th and he accepted.
Last night I also had to speak at a youth fireside on missionary work. I had a good 5 hour notice that I was speaking at it and a few minutes to prepare, but I felt like it went really well! anyway congrats to weber basketball on making it into the ncaa tournament and for jared taking 4th at ncaas! Thats really exciting!  keep up the good work!
Miss you all,
Love Elder Johnson

In last weeks email Elder Johnson mentioned making a dessert with his companion called "Don't Ask"  well, Ryan and Kelton both asked, so they got a picture with the ingredients so they could make it at home...I don't think so!

 This is a picture of a slum what Elder Johnson and his companion wrote on the chalboard!
 Not sure why I got this picture, other than Elder Johnson has a silly (or sick) sense of humor...
 Elder Johnson's sporting a new haircut (and he was the proud barber, yet another talent he has) and some new mustaches...the Charly Chaplain stache
 and the Hitler stache
He did mention that 'President made him shave them off'  :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cooking experiments, sweaty appointments and more investigators...week 9 in Arkansas

Another week has gone by, I feel like i am writing these letters all the time. I hope all is going well for everyone back home. this week we lost a lot of our key investigators. phillip randomly told us that he didnt want to talk with us anymore, and zettie has stopped answering the door when we come and I know she is home because she never leaves her appartment. other than those two investigators everything is going great and we had a rather successful week we set a few more baptism dates and found a lot of investigators. most the week we just walked around on the streets because my tire exploded on my bike a couple weeks ago and I havent bought a new tube yet and we are way over miles on our car. (He mentioned in another email he was so glad when his tire popped cause he was able to run fast alongside his companion on his
bike even though he was in his suit to their next appointment--he arrived a little sweaty but he was in heaven running). We found a new family that moved in across the street from our church that is really excited about the things we have taught them and know that is true. they were planning on coming to church but they ended up in the emergency room of the hospital instead. she is alright and is doing great now, her wrist just randomly started swelling.
I am starting to get sick of eating waffles pasta and oatmeal for every meal so I am starting to actually cook things now. I usually just throw a bunch of random food items in a pan and stick it in the oven or blend it all together in the blender. Most of the things I make end up tasting disgusting but every now and then I get a new recipe that is worth keeping. we made a dessert called "dont ask" made with 3 jars of icing a whole bag of m&m's some reeses, whoppers, and snickers, and food coloring all mixed together in a bowl (didnt eat much of that, kinda unhealthy). I dont usually make unhealthy things like that, Ive also created a new vegetable soup recipe, green smoothies, and a vegetable pasta sauce. 
Good luck to everyone putting there mission papers in this next few months, id love to hear where you are all going!
Love elder Johnson

Monday, March 3, 2014

Crazy weather, Hospital visits, Working hard with a great companion...week 8 in Arkansas

This week has gone by really fast and I honestly cant even remember all that has happened this week. I was able to give a lot of blessings at the hospital this week. I am hoping to hear back from the families of the people I gave to blessings to but so far I havn't heard from any of them. One of the guys I met in the hospital had surgery on his lungs and something went wrong during surgery and he was expected to not make it very much longer. before we got to the hospital to give this guy a blessing the computer system shut down in the hospital and it made it really hard to find this guy that was supposed to pass away any day. it took us over an hour to track him down and find him in this hospital but being able to serve him with the priesthood that I have been given made all the time it took to find him worth it. whether gods will is to have him move on or to heal him I know that he will be alright. hopefully that family will call me back sometime soon, I would love to hear how he is doing.
a couple weeks ago I got a new companion and I have really enjoyed being his companion. after struggling through the first transfer I feel like I am enjoying everything about my missions a lot more now that I have a companion that I get a long with. we have a lot in common and have been working really hard these last 3 weeks. although almost all of our baptismal dates have fallen through we have still taught more lessons, found more investigators, and invited more people to be baptised than I ever have previously in the short time I have been out here. we currently have one baptism that is supposed to take place on the 15th for phillip. we also had Zettie, a kinda crazy lady, come to church yesterday that wants to get baptised but is struggling with giving up smoking.
The weather in arkansas this weekend has been really bad. currently there is probably an inch of ice covering all of little rock. it was pouring rain and ice all night last night.
Last week we climbed the biggest mountain around for p day, which in arkansas isnt very big its more like a hill but it was still pretty exciting. we got to go rock climbing and got to see some of arkansas out of the city area. I dont have much to write about this week, but all is going well! hope everything is going alright back home! miss you all!
Love elder Johnson