Monday, January 30, 2017

More than Weekend Warriors!

Bonjour family & friends!

This has been a crazy week! It seems like every week we seem to get busier and busier and the weeks keep going faster and faster. This week has been a time of a lot of reflection and learning. Soeur Brown and I have both decided we want to stretch ourselves and take advantage of all the opportunities that Heavenly Father is giving us to grow.. and believe me, He is giving us plenty :)

Outside the palace of the Duke and Duchess with my cute companion!

This week we had such a cool lesson with one of our new amis. We met this really cool lady a couple weeks ago. She was standing on her porch while we were walking by and so we starting talking with. We only got to talk to her for a few minutes before she had to go, but she told us that what we had to say interested her so that we should come back. We went to her house again later and started talking with her. She said that she has had quite of few people come knock on her door talking about religion but has never let any of them in. She said that she told us we could come back because she felt something different this time! We brought one of our members that is leaving to go on a mission in a couple months. While she was testifying about the Book of Mormon she started crying and then our ami got tears in her eyes too. Then she asked, why do sometimes when I pray I get weird feelings like I am feeling now and even start crying?! We were more than willing to give her answer. We explained the "Divinity" (the difference between Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost) and told her that what she was feeling was the Holy Ghost testifying of truth. The spirit was so strong during our rendezvous! When we were teaching it felt like we weren't even teaching her new things, we were just reminding her of things she already learned in the pre-existence. We are going to see her next week and explain more of the Book of Mormon! The miracles never cease.

The palace of the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg

We had a really great lesson with one of our members this week. We were getting to know her and so she was telling us a little bit of her life story. Her and her twin sister met the missionaries when they were in their 20's. They chose to be baptized even though they were really persecuted by their family members for doing so. She comes from a very catholic family and so they were not very happy that they were leaving what had become a family tradition. She continues to face a lot of opposition because even 20 years later, her family is against her decision to remain in the church. We asked her what has kept her strong throughout the years. She told us it has been by doing the "little things" everyday that has helped strengthen her testimony and has helped her face daily opposition. She said that by reading the scriptures everyday, praying and by going to church every week, she has become truly converted. It truly is the little things that make a big difference!! 

This week, we had a member call us and ask if we would be willing to spend the day visiting members who live far away and don't often get visited. As we spent the day traveling between three different countries, I was thinking about how incredible it is that this member not only comes to church on Sunday but truly understands what we learn at church and applies it during her weekly life. She took an entire day out of her week to visit people that she knew hadn't been visited for a long time. Not because she was necessarily friends with them or even their visiting teacher. She did it because she knows that is what the Savior would do. It reminded me of the quote, "Therefore, true Christian soldiers are more than weekend warriors." Not every one has the time to spend a whole day visiting people in the ward or to go out with missionaries or to visit a friend who might need a boost (members or not). But no matter how busy our days are, we all have time to make a quick phone call, or send a quick text.  Like I said, it's all about the little things! 

I don't know if i will ever get over how cool Luxembourg is!!

We should make the people around us feel of Christs love because of how we treat them. Coming to church doesn't make a difference if we don't apply the things we have learned. When people walk into the church building they should feel like they are in the church of Christ. We should not be kind just on Sundays. We should not ask people how they are doing just on Sundays. Our commitment to following the Savior is not just for Sundays, it's for everyday of the week and for everyday of our lives. "It is not enough for us to know what is right and to believe it is good. We must be willing to stand up and be counted. We must be willing to act in accordance with what we believe under all circumstances. It is of little value for us to believe one way if we behave contrary to that belief in our private actions or in our public performance." The real test of our loyalty to the Savior is how we live and serve people in our day to day lives. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! 

Love, Sœur Johnson

Monday, January 16, 2017

"You miss Him, and God misses you."

Bonjour family & friends!

It has been quite a crazy week. We had so many things happen, that I don't even have time to write about them all! Here are just a couple highlights from the week..

We met a lady from Thailand a couple weeks ago and we taught her the restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon in Thai. This past week we met with her again. She started telling us about how she was in the Thai temple and found a book about Jesus Christ. We just kinda nodded our heads and said, "Oh that's cool." There are a lot of books about Jesus Christ so we didn't think much of it. Then she reached down and pulled a french Book of Mormon out of her bag. She said, "This is the book I found in the Thai temple." We both looked at her really surprised! She doesn't speak french and we had given her a Book of Mormon in Thai the week before. She didn't even realize that it was the same book we had given her, but just in french! It was a funny little "coincidence"... we told her maybe she should go put it back where she found it, but this time put our number in it, just in case someone ends up reading it.

District Photo!

We got on a train this week to go visit one of our amis. We sat down and Sœur Brown started telling me about how last time she was on this train they met a really cool lady and that we need to try to get in contact with her again. A couple minutes later a lady gets on the train and sits down right next to us. Soeur Brown looked up and they immediately started talking. It was the same lady that she was just talking to me about!! We talked with her our whole train ride and we are hoping to set up a lesson with her soon. What a total miracle!

train rides in Luxembourg!

We had one of the most spirit filled lessons I have ever experienced on my mission. We visited a family who has not come to church for awhile. This is the same family that at 8:30pm we had a feeling that we should just stop by their house and say a prayer with them. That was over a month ago. This week we were able to have an actual lesson with them and get to know a little about their family. It was cool to hear the dad talk about his baptism because he is someone that truly understood the covenant he was making. He talked about how his baptism changed him completely. He said he was a total different person after he was baptized. We talked about the difficulties he has faced with staying active in the church because he moved from Portugal to Luxembourg. We could literally hear in his voice how much he misses the gospel. Then my awesome companion turns to him and just says, "We can tell you miss Him, and we are here to tell you God misses you." We just sat in silence for a minute as the spirit filled the room. He nodded his head in agreement. We talked a little longer and then we asked him if he would be willing to say the closing prayer. He usually says no, but without hesitation he agreed this time. The spirit was so strong! I left our rendezvous just thinking about how grateful I am to be a missionary and get to help those feel the spirit again in their lives. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Love, Soeur Johnson

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!!

Bonjour Family and Friends!

Happy New Year! I cant believe that it is already 2017. It is so crazy to think I had the opportunity to be a missionary for the entire year of 2016. I feel so lucky! We had an amazing week to finish off an amazing year!

We met a boy named Micheal this week while we were out contacting. We talked to him for about 30 minutes on the street and explained the Book of Mormon. We ended up having a lesson with him a couple days later and were able to teach the entire restoration. He took it all really well! He was telling us a little bit about his religious background and told us that he said he noticed a difference in his life when he was going to church. He said that right now he hasn't gone for awhile and wants to start going again. He is planning on coming to church this next week!

New Years 2k17!

The biggest miracle of the week...We had been knocking on doors for multiple hours but we didn't have much success. Not many people seemed to be home and the ones that were, wanted nothing to do with us. After about 4 hours without success it began to be a little bit discouraging. We finally decided that we needed to start testifying more. The door that we knocked on right after got slammed right back on us, right in the middle of us testifying! However, I think Heavenly Father was just testing our faith and perseverance!  The next door we knocked on we found such a cool person. His name is Derek and he is from Ireland. He knows of our church because he visited Salt Lake City but also because there was a temple by where he lived in Ireland. We directly started to testify about how we know Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of us here on earth. We asked him if we could come back another time to teach him how we have come to know for ourselves. He told us to come back a couple days after and so we did! We went back and taught him about the plan of salvation. He asked really good questions and was very honest about how he felt. He doesn't know of there is a God but he said he would like to believe that there is. He just has a hard time because he thinks so logically. He had the typical question of, "If there is a God, why do bad things happen?" I loved that he was honestly searching and wanting to know for himself. It was one of the most genuine lessons I have ever had. We are hoping to have another lesson next week and teach him about the restoration!

The beautiful, but freezing cold country of Luxembourg!

We had another really cool miracle happen this week! We were supposed to be visiting a member of our ward and her husband who is not a member. We were almost to their house when they called and said they would be late. We were deciding what we should do for those 30 minutes, when Sœur Brown realized that a couple days ago we had received an address of someone that was potentially interested in the gospel and she didn't live very far from where we were at. We decided to go see if she was home. We knocked on her door and she immediately let us in! Her name is Francoise and she has the cutest little family. Her brother is actually a member of the church in Virginia and sent her information to us. She is really interested in learning more about what we believe. We didn't have very much time because we had our other lesson but we were able to schedule a time to see her family this upcoming week. It was a good reminder that Heavenly Father works in such interesting ways. It was such a good thing that our member was a little late because it gaves us an opportunity to visit this other amazing lady. The little village we were in was pretty far away so it is not somewhere we go very often. This is truly His work and He is in control! We are truly just instruments in his hands.

This week as I have been thinking about goals that I want to set for the New year I have reflected on the scripture in 1 Nephi 11 when Nephi is asked the question, "Behold, what desirest thou?" It is a question that I have reflected a lot on this last week. What do you truly desire? It is important for each of us to decide for ourselves what we desire out of life and then fix objectives to obtain those desires. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love, Sœur Johnson