Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas was Awesome!

Well Christmas was Awesome!!!!!! Thank you for all of the Gifts! Unfortunately I don't remember who gave me which gifts. I really appreciate the GPS, the mini scriptures, and the Book of Mormon Action figures. And all the other stuff I got. Even though I don't know exactly who to thank for what, I hope this generic shout out will warm your heart with my gratitude.

This week we had church up in Cheney in the morning. Then in the afternoon we had Sprague church. It was a really cool experience. There are only about five people there that live in Sprague and the other 8 or so live in Cheney. The service was short and simple but powerful. Almost every Sprague member recently returned to activity. The spirit was very strong there. I feel super motivated to get more Sprague people to go to church now. For some reason down in Sprague a tiny town of about 300 people there are tons of Less-Active members of the church that haven't been affiliated with the church for years. We just keep finding them. I don't know why. But it seems that got has a plan for every one of his sheep that left the 99.
Cool Miracle this week:

I feel like I've already told you this story but oh well I'll tell you again. A few weeks ago during the crazy time when I didn't have a companion, the Sunset Elders and I spent a day working in Cheney. We saw this "rent a center" truck in front of a duplex and some guys moving some stuff in. So we went over and asked if we could help. Jeanna was the name of the lady who owned the place. She was very stand offish. And basically gave us the "why are you here" vibe. Then her husband Richard came around the corner. We asked him if he needed any help and he just held his beer up and said nope. We're good! So we gave them a He is the Gift card and were just about ready to go when he said if it really makes you feel better we have a couch in the back you could help us move. So we did. Then we left. About a week later we tried by again and there was no answer even though we knew someone was home. Well a week later we decided to try by one more time. This time they answered and let us in. After some discussion we found out that he had been taught all the lessons before when he lived in Alaska. He had already read from the Book of Mormon and prayed about it and he knows it is true. He just a few concerns. He openly admitted to us that he knows he'll be baptized some day he is just stubborn. What in heck! Then his wife chimed in and said that she was blessed as a baby in our church! What! I had about 2% faith when I knocked on their door that day but came out with 200% faith that they would be baptized! Elder Leavitt and I were shocked!

The Lord really has a plan for each of his children.
Love you guys!

Lots "O" Food

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

This is Yoda Claus. My Mascot.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have had more snow than we have had because if not you'll be having a bluish gray Christmas. 

This week was awesome! Elder Leavitt is sweet! Every transfer so far on my mission I have gotten a new companion. Usually for the first few weeks there is an awkward phase where you are still trying to get to know your companion. But this transfer was different because I already knew Elder Leavitt. We have had tons of fun walking the streets of Cheney and Sprague. Oh yeah Sprague is pretty cool! I've been there twice now. Its a tiny old town. I'll send you a picture someday. This week we finally got to meet with Rick again (I've probably never told you about him). He's been ready to be baptized for a while now but he has been missing a lot of church and we haven't been able to meet with him. But he is now set with a date. That was pretty exciting. Last night our district went "He is the Gift" Caroling. Its sweet! All you do is you carol to people then give them a He is the Gift card and see if you can drop by sometime to see if they liked the video. It works great! 

This Christmas season I invite all of you to let yourself be changed by the Atonement of Christ by consistently doing the small and simple things we have been commanded to do. Prayer, Scripture Study, Church, Missionary Work. If you are already doing these things, simply do something to improve one of these things. I promise that if you do this then you will feel the spirit more in your life and you will be prompted about specific things you can do to repent and improve. You will be more happy and Christmas will be much more meaningful and centered on Christ. 

I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior. I know that if we keep his commandments than he will consistently change us and mold us into who he wants us to become. 

Merry Christmas!

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Craziest Week of my Mission!

This has easily been the craziest week of my mission up to this point. And unfortunately I have a very limited amount of time to tell you about it. 

First. MLC last tuesday. This is a meeting that Zone leaders go to prepare them to train their zones on the following friday. Tuesday night we went on exchanges with spokane 2nd ward. I went there this time. That late that night we get a call from Elder Maguet saying that he just got off the phone with president and that he was called as the new Assistant to the President! I was happy for him but lets be honest. I'm also ticked at him. I was super excited to spend one more transfer with him. Ha ha oh well. He got picked up and taken to spokane valley the following morning. Since them I've been hanging out with other missionaries. That whole thing was a big surprise. The second big surprise was that I realized that with Elder Maguet gone, I would be giving the zone training by myself! This is only my second one! So that had me stressed out for a while. Next crazy thing. The missionaries I've been with decided to spend saturday working in my area. We went and visited lots of people. One of the families we visited was the smith family. Usually when we go over there the father is the only one that listens. But for some reason the whole family wanted to sit in on the lesson. The smiths have been investigating the church for a long time. In our lesson we talked about recognizing the spirit and recognizing whether or not they have received and answer as to whether this church is true or not. It was a sweet lesson. The next day I was able to go to my church because brother Lybbert (Ward Mission Leader) was my companion for the day. That was an interesting experience to be companions with an 80 year old. The Smiths came to church though. Halfway through Brother smith told me that he and his family would like to be baptized on the 24th of January. He said that that morning he had received his answer! I tried to act calm when he told me this but on the inside I was screaming YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS! Last crazy thing was that this sunday was transfer calls. So there were some changes in the zone with that. My new companion will be Elder Leavitt!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know if I have ever talked about him before but he is one of my favorite missionaries! He was my Zone Leader when I first came out on the mission. I am super excited about this next transfer! 

This week has been insane! But it was a really great growing experience for me.

Love you guys!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, December 8, 2014

Miracles and a moose!

Dear Mom, you looked great! I enjoyed pointing out who you were to my investigators. I'm spoiled. I get to see my mom like 4 times as much as other missionaries!

This week was a crazy cool week!

Miracle 1:
Went to the temple this week. We get to go every two transfers. It was amazing! That day we had p-day. At about 5:30pm as we were finishing up our p-day activities we got a text from President Mullen. He was wondering what lessons we had that night. We were super surprised! This is a normal occurrence when you are serving in Spokane Valley because you live so close to President he will often come out and teach with you. But we live about 40 minutes from the Valley and we also knew that that day he had given a training over in Coeur' D Alene (not spelled right) so he was even further away. We started freaking out because while having President with you is a great learning experience, its also super intimidating. We told him the appointments that we had set up and he said that he would be there soon. It wasn't very much longer after that that we drove by the first appointment's house and all of the lights were off. We texted them and they canceled the lesson. Now we were desperately trying to set up a lesson so that we wouldn't spend all of our time with President having doors shut in our face. Fortunately one of our investigators that we have hardly got to visit this transfer answered his phone and agreed to have us over. The lesson went amazing!!!!!!!! The spirit was super strong! Jeff is the name of the guy we taught. He is so close. He has been investigating the church for a very long time. He loves the Book of Mormon and the other things we teach. We had a great lesson where we found out where he was at spiritually and determined what we needed to teach in future lessons.

Miracle 2:
Last Saturday we had a ward Christmas Party. For the last week and a half we have been inviting people to come. People actually came! We had 15 investigators show up to the Party! We were going from one table to the next saying hi to people and making sure they felt welcome. Two of the investigators that came were the couple we were originally going to teach the night that president came out with us. Their names are Sebastian and Janita. They are sweet! Sebastian grew up Catholic but left the church because he disagreed with a lot of things. He has investigated a lot of different churches but didn't feel comfortable with them. He likes the Mormon church because his aunt joined the church and he saw that it changed her life for the better. They loved the christmas party. They made lots of friends and felt the spirit. Afterwards we took them on a tour of the church. And invited them to come the next day. At the end of the tour we showed them baptismal font and invited them to be baptized. They have a date for the beginning of January! But it just keeps getting better. They loved church! Made a lot of new friends! Then they took us to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. By the end of the night you could see that they had really opened up to the church. When they went to the Party on saturday night they looked like investigators. But by the end of Sunday night they looked like they had been members for years.

Lots of other miracles but I'm out of time. 

Love you guys! Watch "He is the Gift" if you haven't already!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

​I know you can't really see it. Those two dots are the eyes of a huge moose that decided to lie down in the back yard last night.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Three Dinners!

Happy Thanksgiving! Next year.

We had an awesome Thanksgiving! We had three dinners! The first one was at the ward mission leader's house and guess who was there, the wml's daughter and son in law who happened to be back in the Bowdish ward! So It was pretty cool to be able to see them again. While the dinners were good, they were also tough. Our first dinner was at 1:00. The second one was at 2:15. The third was at 4:30. It was killer! By the third meal all I could manage to eat was pie. And the other cool thing is that even though it was thanksgiving we still got to teach a few lessons. One of the dinners had two nonmembers there. And we also got to visit with some of our investigators that night. 

But now even more important than Thanksgiving, Christmas! For this Christmas season the church has put together a website to promote the true meaning of Christmas and also help other people know more about our religion. The website is Its sweet! I invite each of you to go to the website, watch the video, feel the spirit, then do what the video tells you to do. Discover the Gift, Embrace the Gift, and #Share the Gift. You can share it on facebook, twitter as well as give your friends the pass along cards that came with your ensign. (if you live in Utah and don't have any non-member friends then give them to your member friends who you don't think will watch it. And invite them to do the three things as well)


1. Sherry. The Sisters that work in the Cheney 1st ward found and started working with a lady that lives in our ward. About a week and a half ago they passed her off to us. We weren't that hopeful after we visited her for the first time. She was very drunk. We couldn't even have a normal conversation with her. We visited her several times but it was the same every time. Some how we managed to set a date with her to work towards for baptism. Finally we told her that if she wanted to be baptized she was going to have to get sober. Between us, some help from the sisters, and obviously God, Sherry stopped drinking! She hasn't drunk in about a week! Two days ago we had another lesson with her and the difference was incredible! She was a completely different person! Fortunately she still remembered that she was on date for baptism and is working toward that day!

2. He is the Gift Pass along cards. They work! They are the easiest card to give away! I know I said that about Family History cards. Everybody thinks that we could all use a little reminder about the true meaning of Christmas. Whether you like mormons or not. Our district's number of new investigators doubled since we started using the cards!

3. Last Sunday we had 8 investigators who committed to come to church. Guess how many came. Zero!(miracle?) Yes because one of the less actives we had been working with showed up for the first time in about a year. It was Sweet! 

There were lots more miracles but I can't remember them right now. 

If you are ever bored. Do missionary work. If your not bored. Do missionary work. Its up there with the most important things you'll ever do on earth. Same goes for Family History work.

Love you guys!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, November 24, 2014

2 Miracles

Don't have time to say something clever.

Miracle 1

We went on exchanges this week. Elder Maguet left me here with Elder Horn (one of the Russian Elders). This meant that it was going to be a test of how well I knew the area. As we left that morning there were a few names that we had planned to visit that I had no idea where they lived. So we just skipped those names. One of them wasa girl named Charlie that I had never met. As we walked to Corey's (hopefully soon to be investigator) house I noticed that someone was walking about 10 feet behind us. I stopped turned around and brought up family history with her. After talking for a bit she told us that she had talked to missionaries before. I asked her her name and she said charlie. WHAT! THE CHURCH IS TRUE! We had a great lesson out on the street with her. 

Miracle 2

Last week we had a lesson with a Less active couple named the Gibsons. As we walked out the door we saw that the YSA Sisters were right there talking to a lady they saw out on the sidewalk. They knew that she would be under our jurisdiction so they introduced her to us. Turns out she lived in the basement of the Gibson's house. We invited her to church. She said she would love to come but she didn't have a ride. No problem we said! We went back up and knocked on the Gibsons door and asked if they could give her a ride to church. Both the investigator and the less active showed up on sunday. It was sweet!

There were many other miracles but I don't have time to write about them. 

Love Y'all
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It has been too long my friends!

It has been too long my friends! In fact it has been so long that I don't remember what I said last time. So I may end up telling you things I have already said before.

I am in Cheney Washington. It is a little college town about 30 minutes West of Spokane. It is home to Eastern Washington University. Its awesome! I love this little town. It is super pretty out here. I know I said that about my old areas but this one is much more pretty. Its got that small town feel. On the edge of the town there are very active railroad tracks so we have to stop and wait for trains all the time. Just outside of the town there are lots of rolling hills and pine trees. 2nd reason why Cheney is awesome: there are lots of people walking around even when the weather is cold (which it very much has been). Its sweet! Its really easy to street contact. Plus its a small town so you see people that you know all the time and its a great way to build relationships with them and follow up with them on their commitments. 3rd reason why Cheney is awesome. Almost everyone here has a Book of Mormon! I have no idea how or why but it is sick! About half the people that have one have read a least a little of it. Its really easy to start teaching about why it is so important and why they need to read it. 4th reason. The ward is awesome. Family History is key in the ward mission plan out here which is how it should be. I didn't know that family history was so important in missionary work until fairly recently. Now I don't know how I did so much of my mission without it. It is our number one way of contacting people on the streets and getting return appointments. It is also one of the first things that we commit progressing investigators to do because it sets the expectation that baptism is just a step in the ultimate goal of getting to the temple. Once investigators become recent converts they get to be the heros for their family by baptizing their ancestors.

This week was intense. For lots of reasons. I taught more lessons this week than any other week on my mission! And it was freezing cold all week and we spent hours outside walking in it. 

But now for the story of my first District Meeting as a district leader. Several days before Wednesday (the day of D-meeting) I began putting together a plan for what we would train on. Wednesday morning at about 8:30 (personal study time) I was putting the finishing touches on my training, when we got a text from the Assistants to the President that all district leaders needed to be infromed that today in district meeting they needed to have a church tour with a real investigator or less-active member.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! My district meeting was in 2 hours. So I started calling people like crazy. By the way the my companion was feeling pretty sick that morning so he wasn't much help to me. Which was a problem because I'm so new to the area so I don't know a lot of the people in our teaching pool yet. Well after 30 minutes of no one answering we called a lady named Cindy and asked if she could help us out with a training we had to do for other missionaries and she said she would be willing. Fast forward to 10:45. I had just told the missionaries in my district that we were going to practice church tours by doing one with a real investigator that will be here any minute. We got a call from Cindy that she and her son had arrived at the church building but they had a flat tire. So we changed plans again and went out and fixed her tire. Then we came inside and did the church tour. It went super well though! They are both on date for baptism! It was a crazy first district meeting.

Missionary work is the best. You should all be really jealous. 
Love you!

-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, November 10, 2014

No time!

I don't have time to write my weekly email. Cheney is sweet, if you are wondering. My companion is AWESOME. It is super pretty here. It is a little college town west of Spokane. 

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, November 3, 2014


What is this a picture of you ask? This is a picture of one of my favorite families here in the Bowdish ward. 

Why are you taking pictures with one of your favorite families you ask?
Because I'm leaving! 

Transfer Calls this time were crazy!

First of all Elder Folu was the Zone leader so he got to find out my fate Saturday night but I didn't get to find out till Last night. Working on Sunday with him was super hard because he kept teasing me by saying stuff like oh don't worry you don't need to write that down... or do you?
Anyway Elder Folu and I are both leaving. Elder Folu is just going to the ward right next to us so he can be with his zone leader companion.

I will be going to the Cheney 2nd ward and be the new zone leader in the West Spokane zone as well as a district leader! I will be with Elder Maguet. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I haven't held any sort of leadership position so far in my mission I've just been good old Junior Companion so it will be an adventure. 

I have heard that Elder Maguet is a super hard worker so I'm really excited! I'm going to miss Elder Folu though. He is a great missionary and just really nice guy. We had tons of fun singing to people and playing the Ukelele. 

Random: I've met a ton of people recently who have either lived in Lindon in some part of their life or close to Lindon: Close Random

Well I can't think of anything else to write. Love you guys!
Halloween was sweet! I trick or treated more than I ever had before!.... not

-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, October 27, 2014


Hey Family, Friends, and Shallow Acquaintances! 

I apologize for my short letter last week. My only explanation for this can be found in scripture. "And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing" - Ether 12:40

Well this week we have seen some awesome miracles! Yesterday we met with Patrick. Patrick was baptized when he was 12 but hasn't been active for most of his life. But recently he has really desired to get back into it. A couple months ago he got on and ordered a Book of Mormon and a few days later the missionaries showed up. It was the missionaries that were in this area before Elder Folu and I. Yesterday we finally got to go in and teach him a lesson! He has just been super busy because he is taking 20 credits worth of classes right now. Man he is prepared! He is one of those guys where it doesn't matter how bad you fumble through the lessons he is going to progress!

The other day elder Folu were riding our bikes around the middle of our area. We had a dinner appointment coming up pretty soon that was on one end of our area so we had a bit of a bike ride in front of us. We started heading that way but was we were crossing an intersection we saw a lady walking down a street that was out of the way of our destination. But we decided we would go make one more street contact before we headed for dinner. When we first started talking to her she wasn't very open at all. The first thing she said to us was, "No, I'm Christian" Well we started a friendly conversation about I don't know what and eventually told her that we do believe in Jesus Christ. Then she asked us what makes us different from other churches. So we briefly told her about the restoration. She really opened up to us. She told us that she had a lot of misconceptions about missionaries. She said she was really excited to learn more but she was even more excited for her son to hear from us. She said that her son had been going to church on his own since he was 12 years old and he is now 19. Recently he has been asking her a lot of questions about his salvation because he feels like the church he has been going to hasn't answered his questions. It is sweet! #PREPARED! We are meeting with her and her son tomorrow so we will see how it goes. 

Well those were 2 of the many miracles that happened this week. The field is white and ready to harvest! I have seen that a lot this week! 

Have an incredulous (I have no idea what that means) Week!

Love you!
- Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Singing in Church

Yesterday in Church Elder Folu, I and another member sang "If you could hie to Kolob" in sacrament meeting. It was sweet! The room was totally silent as we were singing including all of the kids. It took me by surprise. At the end we sang accapella and it was really powerful!

Bryan and Chris are now being taught by the Young Single Adult Elders but they are doing great! They are both on date to be baptized in mid November! 

Well my brain  is not working right now so I can't think about what else to write. If you were waiting all week for me to entertain you with a long letter with lots of clever phrases and inspirational stories, which i'm sure you all were, I'm sorry but you are going to have to wait another week.

Love you guys!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014


WARNING: If you have a week stomach I suggest grabbing a bowl.

I saw some interesting things this week. First we have the name and address of this guy written down that we have been trying to contact. This bird was chilling on his front porch.

I'll be honest I was more scared of this bird than I have been of any dog I have seen on my mission. It had huge talons and it would look right at us and make noises. 

A few days ago I was on exchanges with Elder Braman and this is what we ended up doing.

Yesterday at church was super awesome! We had two investigators there. Their names were Chris and Bryan. They loved church! I was super surprised when the hymns started they were eager to open up their books to the right number and sing even though they had never heard the songs before. Bryan commented after sacrament meeting was over that his heart felt really warm. Bryan is awesome! He has committed to quit smoking and get baptized. After Sacrament meeting we went around and met a bunch of ward members and they were very excited. Then they stayed for the rest of church and made a lot of comments in the classes. It was sweet! But then unfortunately in the middle of church Elder Folu and I suddenly remembered something that hadn't crossed our minds up to this point. Bryan and Chris are in their 20's and single. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The singles ward Elders (who happen to be the Assistants to the President) will be taking over teaching them. I really wanted to teach them! But at least I know that they are getting good Elders to teach them. 

Things are going great up here in the Bowdish ward!
Love you guys!

-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, September 29, 2014

Elder Folu!

This is Elder Folu and I! And Elder Braman (Brayman) is there too. I don't know why we all look so serious.

Here is a sweet picture of Elder Folu walking into the sunset.

Elder Folu is Sweet! He is from New Zealand. He has been out on his mission for 18 months. He is really good at teaching people and bearing his testimony. Some times I forget that I am a missionary and have to teach because I am busy listening to Elder Folu teach. 

Elder Folu is also really good at playing the Ukulele. So now I carry the ukulele in my bag and we go around and sing primary songs to random people on the street and also the members that we visit with. It is really awesome! It brings the spirit really well. It also starts the relationship off really well. 

Well Bowdish ward is awesome! They are super missionary minded. Yesterday for the primary program there were 3 non-member families in the congregation that members had invited and the week before I came there were 16 nonmembers in church!

I am right in the center of the mission. The Mission office is in my area! It is really weird! But its cool. 

Love you guys!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spokane news room channel 5

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Spokane news room channel 5. Elder Johnson here as your host. Our first topic to discuss today is the new reports just in about the species arachnias homlessnias otherwise known as the hobo spider. Local Spokaneze bugologists have discussed changing the name of the deathly poisenous spider common in the northwest due to the fact that 90 percent of all hobo spiders in the state of Washington are no longer homeless. They have all found residency in one centralized location located at 2707 E 32nd ave #2 at a place known as the Moran Prairie Elder's Apartment. Whether or not the Moran Prairie Elders are alive is still unknown. Almost every single night we come in from working we kill another hobo spider. 

Plus I had an great experience with one the other day... Every morning I wake up and immediately put my hoodie on and start working out. A few mornings ago I woke up but my jacket wasn't in its usual place by my bed so I went with out it for a while. Eventually I found my jacket lying on the ground next to my desk. I put it on and began to work out. After about 15 minutes I had to go to the bathroom. As I walked in I glanced over to the mirror and saw that something was on my sleeve. I took a closer look and realized it was... you guessed it arachnias homlessnias (i made that scientific name up if you couldn't already tell) A HOBO SPIDER! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I quickly but calmly pulled my sleeve so that I would have a better shot at flicking it off. I flicked it but i didn't see where it went. I searched all over the floor. My bare feet started to tingle anticipating a bite. I looked and looked all over the floor but I couldn't find it. Eventually I stood up again and through the mirror saw that it was still on my sleeve!!!!!!!!!! 

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! So I pulled my sleeve over again. This time I flicked it as hard as I could. THE SAME THING HAPPENED. I didn't see where the spider went. I couldn't see him on the floor. I checked my sleeve and he was there either. I checked the floor again. No. I checked my sleeve again. Couldn't find him. This happened I don't know how many times. All of this while I really needed to use that bathroom but one thing was for sure. I was not sitting on the toilet till this threat to humanity was disposed of! After about ten minutes I finally found the spider and smashed him hard! My body was tingling for basically the rest of the day. I'm a wimp.

Anyway transfer calls were yesterday. And they were not what we were expecting. I will be leaving the Moran Prairie Ward and going to Spokane Valley to the Boutish ward to be with Elder Folu. The sad thing is that Elder Marsh will also be leaving. He will be going up to Colville to be a Zone Leader. This leaves our area in sticky situation because we have 2 new Elders coming in that don't know the Elders or the people that we are working with. We have three people on date for baptism and likely 2 more after next appointment with them. It will work out though. The Lord has the plan for us as missionaries and our investigators. I am really sad to leave Moran Prairie though. I love this place! I love the investigators! It will be really hard to put them into the hands of other Elders. I love the ward. I am really close to a lot of the members especially Brother Duer the Ward Mission Leader. I feel sorry for all of you for not being able to know "Lil Jonny". I love the streets of my area. I have ridden my bike down every single street. I know the addresses of almost every single apartment complex in my area off the top of my head. I am also going to miss Elder Marsh a lot! We had a lot of good times with him! I learned a ton about missionary work too. It was really cool because we are super different in personality and teaching style but we made it work and our differences complimented each other. 

But I have also heard some really great things about Elder Folu. He is a professional Rugby player back in New Zealand. It will be really weird to have to get to know a new ward and new area. But it will be an adventure!
Love you guts! (Didn't mean to type that but now that I did I kind of like it)

-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tie Party!!!

Brother Fletcher of Spokane 1st ward had us over for a Tie Party! Now I have 18 more much needed ties! The other Elders in the picture are Elder Schroeder, Elder Leavitt, Elder Marsh, Elder Beckstead, Me, and Elder Satuala in front. 

Thank You for the Package!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I opened it. It was really fun to read all of the letters you guys sent me! I also really have enjoyed eating those oatmeal creme pies! You guys know me well.

We just recently started teaching a Less-Active named Lisa. She asked us if we could give her mom who has cancer a blessing. So we did! Now we have 2 new investigators from that! Recently there have been a few different investigators that have come from less actives. I'm learning that that is an effective way to find new people to teach. Last transfer I worked really hard at street contacting to find new investigators. It worked, but unfortunately most of the people walking out on the streets are crazy so they don't like keeping commitments. Don't get me wrong I still like street contacting but I am really starting to like the idea of talking to less actives and investigators about their family and friends who aren't members. 

This past friday Elder Marsh (District Leader) organized a district activity to rejuvenate our spirits and help us enjoy our work. So he made a point system for different things you do as a missionary. For example 7 points for teaching a lesson. 3 points for talking to someone on the street. 3 points for sharing a scripture. 8 points for setting up a church tour with someone. 15 points for a new investigator and 25 points for putting someone on date for baptism. We had two hours to get as many points as we could then we quickly met up with each other and gave each place a prize. Elder Marsh and I worked hard and got 103 points! We were pretty excited! But then when we met up we found out that we got last place. The Russian Sisters got 444 points! We got dominated. Ha ha it was fun though. The Russians sisters got a 25 dollar gift card to walmart. The Manito Sisters got second place and they got this big delicious looking cake. The Shilo Hills Elders got 3rd place and they got some Lindor chocolates and Elder Marsh and I got candy bars. We lost but hey it was pretty fun. 
Have a great week!

-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, September 8, 2014

Thank you

Thank You for the Package! I haven't actually opened it yet because I accidently left it at the stake center which I don't have a key to. But some other elders have it and I should get it today. I'm sure I will love everything in there!
Dennis came to church again! It is a real testimony to me about the importance of church because he has changed so much just from going to church twice. We haven't taught any of the lessons to him yet. A lot of times he gets nervous about going but he knows he needs to go so he does.

The other day Elder Marsh and I were riding our bikes and we came up behind someone so I decided to stop and talk to her. Turns out she was a former investigator that I had only talked to once! The reason I had only talked to her once is because she had basically told us that she wasn't interested. But this time we had a great conversation and she sounded much more open to the things that we were talking about. We are going to go visit her tomorrow.

I know that Jesus Christ is my savior. I know that wherever we are in life if we turn to him we will be changed in exactly the way that we need to be changed. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth. I know that it is led by a prophet who has the authority to speak the words that Christ would speak if he were here. And I know that it is only through the restored gospel that we can return to our Heavenly Father. This message is wonderful. It is the most important thing we can come to know in our lives. We have the responsibility and privilege to share it with all those who don't know.

Love, Elder (Andre) Johnson

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


This week was awesome! 

About a month ago we met this guy named Dennis who needed help getting his yard raked and lawn mowed. We've been doing service with him weekly for him ever since. At first bringing up gospel related things was kind of difficult because he wouldn't really listen to it. As we kept going over though he kept warming up to us and sharing more and more with us. He told us that he had been pretty depressed ever since his wife left him. Well this week he came to church and he really loved it. He said he felt so much and love and so much hope. He is really excited to keep going back to church and learning more. 

Sorry I don't have much time today so that's all I got. This week was awesome! God is definitely making miracles happen here in Spokane.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Soccer ball!

I bought a soccer ball today! That should be fun. There is a Marshallese  branch up here in Spokane so there are several Elders from the Marshal Islands. They are SUPER good at soccer! Every P-day we either juggle or play a game. Well last P-day their ball was flat so i bought one. Its probably a piece of junk but thats ok i only need it once a week. 

Last night Bishop Holland and his kids came by the apartment and dropped off some brownies for me for my birthday. It was pretty awesome! It was actually a pretty big surprise. I should have seen it coming because the bishop kept texting us and asking us when we were going to be home that night but we just assumed that he wanted to ask us to do something for him or something. The Hollands are great! I was pretty glad that they remembered me. 

Elder Johnson of the Seventy came and taught us missionaries as well as our Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders. It was a really great training. We learned a lot about member missionary work. one of the things that hit me the most was when he told us about how members have the right to receive inspiration about what to do to help nonmembers accept the gospel. As members it is our responsibility and privilege to help nonmembers do the most important thing that they will ever do in this life, which is to accept the restored gospel. It isn't solely the missionaries' responsibility. Missionaries simply play a part by teaching the gospel and helping them be know how to become converted. Elder Johnson also said some really bold comments. He said missionaries are the reapers not the sowers! our job is not to plant seeds but to harvest! He also talked about how the hastening of the work is like us using combines instead of sickles to harvest. Our bishop and Ward mission leader are both pretty excited so hopefully we can work together to help the ward be more active in finding and fellowshipping people. 

This week Ed and Heidi made some good progress. At the beginning of the week it was really rough. He was really stand-offish with us. And also very drunk so it was hard to teach him. But we stopped by several times during the week and realized that he was feeling shame and like he wasn't good enough to be a Mormon or affiliate with us. We were able to have a really good conversation friday night and we invited him to come to our ward BBQ on saturday. Well He and Heidi both showed up and they brought 2 friends with him! They had a great time! Ed made friends with a bunch of people at the BBQ. And as a plus, i couldn't smell any alcohol on him.

The church is true! Happy Birthday to me!

Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book of Mormon Musical - we're famous

The Book of Mormon Musical played all this last week. It was pretty exciting because we did a lot to make ourselves famous. 

Our AP's got interviewed by the newspaper and TV people and so were some sisters in the area right next to mine. It was pretty cool to see their picture on the front page of the newspaper. Also this past Saturday was our social media blitz day. So all of the missionaries in Washington got followed around by members of the ward who took pictures of what real Mormon missionaries do and posted it onto their social media sights. These posts were then liked and reposted by members of the ward. If you want to see the posts you can by going onto either facebook, instagram, or twitter and search #mnmspokane. For this day we planned special things to do so that our pictures would be interesting. So in the morning we helped out with a primary activity. It was super fun. Elder Marsh and I as well as the Russian Sisters (Sister Hunt and Perelman) taught the MTC portion of the activity. Those kids have soooo much energy! I'll send pictures after the email. 

Next we taught the plan of salvation to one of our investigators and his kids. It was pretty fun. We helped someone move out of his very messy smelly house which was an adventure. Then we had a BBQ with some ward members and an investigator named Seth at the church pavillion. Then we took Seth on a church tour after. Then we taught a few more lessons. It was pretty fun but super tiring. Elder Marsh and I were BEAT when we got back to the apartment. 

Well I have my camera today so I'll put some pictures of Elder Wilson and I and Elder Marsh and some of the things we did on Saturday.
We have an investigator named Tom who we just started teaching. He isn't actually in our ward boundaries but because of some special circumstances we are teaching him. He is actually blind. He is a super humble guy though. He listens to CD's of the Book of Mormon every day and is planning on being baptized on Sept 6th. I put a picture of Aaron with Elder Wilson and I. 

Cool story:

Once upon a time we got a referral from the Ross's for a lady named Joy. We went over to her apartment several times but she was never there. But her 14 year old daughter Kelly answered the door. so we met her. Once upon another time Elder Wilson and I were out riding our bikes and we started talking to this family with the last name of Sienkiewicz (sank-i-vich) who were out in their drive way. They were nice but the parents weren't that interested. They had a daughter named Victoria who seemed interested. Once upon a third time we went over and talked to the Sienkiewicz family and Victoria had a friend over named Kelly. We didn't connect the dots. Once upon a fourth time we had a lesson with Joy who said that She was interested and her daughter had also talked about being baptized and so had her daughter's friend Victoria. So now if we can get Victoria's father's permission we will teach Joy, Kelly, and Victoria.  It was pretty cool how it all fell in place.

Here's some pictures...

Plan of Salvation Lesson with the Hao's

Bishop Holland and his family

Us at the Primary activity

Behold Spokane

Elder Wilson's and I relationship can be completely described in this picture:

My old District

Elder Marsh

Me and 2 other elders

Monday, August 11, 2014

The verdict is...

Well yesterday was transfer calls. The verdict is............................................................................ I am staying in Moran Prairie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But Elder Wilson is leaving and going out to Spokane Valley. I am really glad that I am staying in this area because I love the ward and I love the investigators that I am working with, but I am really bummed that Elder Wilson is leaving. I love that guy a lot! We would joke a lot about how we are super different but for some reason it worked out and we got a long really well. We both learned a lot about how to be effective missionaries this transfer. We have really been working on involving our ward especially the ward council. Elder Wilson is hilarious. Every morning he sings the Texas National Anthem and Texas Pledge of Allegiance to his Texas flag on the wall for no reason. Also two nights ago somehow we got into a competition to see who could keep their right hand raised in the air the longest. We did all of our nightly duties like planning, the area book and calls with our right hand lifted in the air. The competition lasted for an hour till it was time to go to bed. So I'm going to miss doing random things like that with Elder Wilson. 

My new companion will be Elder Marsh! He is from Orem UT. He went to Oak Canyon at the same time I did! I don't really know him that well though. 

We had an awesome lesson with a girl named Felisha a few days ago. We found her a few weeks ago as she was walking home from work and we set up a time to meet with her. She was super prepared to accept the restored gospel! And it was the most text book lesson I have ever taught. I felt like I was on the District! But that was mostly just because she was super prepared. She grew up Catholic but only attended every once in a while. As we taught her the Restoration lesson we saw her face light up and get excited! She loved how we get more direction from living prophets and the Book of Mormon. She is excited to start taking the discussions and working toward baptism. She is YSA age though so the YSA Elders will take over teaching her. 

We had lots of other miracles this week but I don't really have time to talk about them. 

I would send more pictures but I keep forgetting to bring my camera when I email. 

Love you guys!

Love, Elder (Andre) Johnson

Welcome home Hermana Johnson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting to Church

Its the last week of the transfer already! This transfer has flown by! Elder Wilson and I have had tons of fun and we've worked really hard! Sometimes my brain feels like exploding because I'm trying to think about 4,000 things at once! Although I try not to get to that point because its pretty hard to feel the spirit when I'm like that.
Tony came to Church yesterday! Tony is an older man that we found at a bus stop. We have been teaching him and he finally was able to come to church. He said he really enjoyed it and he wants to come next week!
President Mullen is making a big push for helping get people to church. Usually Elder Wilson and I get 1 maybe 2 investigators at church and a few less actives. After a meeting that we had last Tuesday where President Mullen talked a lot about getting people to church Elder Wilson and I realized that we could be doing a lot more. We looked at the our list of 20 or so investigators and figured that about 18 probably could come to church if we made the effort to invite them, get them and friend and get them a ride. So we thought up a plan for each investigator for how we are going to get them to church and now we are working with our ward missionaries to find fellowship for each of them. We are hoping by that next Sunday all 18 investigators plus any more we pick up will have been invited, have a ride if needed, and will have a family that they have befriended and will be able to sit with at church. I guess we'll see how it works out!

A few days ago we got double booked so I went with Brother Estock to go see Tony and Elder Wilson went with Brother Ross to see a friend of the Ross's. Brother Estock and I were going to take Tony to see a baptism but he said he wasn't feeling too well so we had a lesson with him instead. It went pretty well. When I met back up with Elder Wilson he said that the Ross's friend wants to meet with us more and that we could start teaching her daughter also!! I'm super excited!!

The Lord has been blessing us with more referrals lately. For some reason this week we got several calls from other missionaries about people they had talked to that live in our area that are interested in hearing more. Those are the best phone calls! We've also started to get referrals from members as well! Those one's are the most exciting because they already have a friend in the church!

I have been studying a lot about the Holy Ghost lately. I've been wondering how I can feel it more in my life. One thing that has really helped me is something that Sister Mullen has taught us. Picture yourself like a target with a bulls-eye in the middle. you are shooting for the bulls-eye (the mark). Sometimes we work really hard and we feel the spirit because of it. But sometimes we work so hard that we can't feel the spirit anymore. Sometimes we teach so much we forget to listen. But sometimes we listen so much we never teach. There is a balance to everything. This has really helped me to feel the Holy Ghost more in my life. When I am feeling anxious I know I need to slow down a little and listen more for the spirit. When I'm feeling lazy I know I need to start demonstrating a little faith and asking for the desire to do more and receive more inspiration. I am always shooting for the mark.
Well next Sunday is transfer calls so we'll see what happens. REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to leave! But if I do it will be ok because it always is.
Have a Great Week!
Love, Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, July 28, 2014

Life is Good here in Moran Prairie

We had an awesome week! We saw a ton of miracles! I know I say that like every week but that is what our zone is focusing on right now. A few days ago Elder Wilson was looking up a word in the bible dictionary and he saw the word miracle. He decided to read the definition for it. I only remember one line from it but we both thought it was really cool. It basically said, "Miracles should not be described as rare or uncommon occurrences but as manifestations of God's power." The point is every little thing could be considered a miracle if we have the eyes to see how God is manifesting himself through it.

Miracle #1
Elder Wilson and I decided to ride our bikes to Sister Bangs house. He took off in front and I was pedaling behind him trying to keep up. On this particular stretch of the road you can get going really fast and its really fun. Well Elder Wilson got caught up in the experience and missed the turn to Sister Bangs house. I was so far behind him that by the time I caught up to him we were several blocks past her house and he was stopped talking to someone walking on the sidewalk. The conversation went well. We asked her about religion and she said that she was penacostal and she went to a church on the other side of town. Then we told her that we have a church just right up here and we give free church tours. She was like yeah I'm interested! Your church is right by my house! Sweet! Potential Investigator! Then I told Elder Wilson that we missed the turn a long time ago so we turned around and headed back. Well we arrived at Sister Bangs house at the same time that she was! We would have missed her if we hadn't have missed the turn.

Miracle #2
A few weeks ago we talked to this guy that was walking out on the street named Robert. We offered a free church tour and he was interested. Well we tried to set it up a few times but he kept canceling on us. Well FINALLY we met with him. We took him through the church and told him the basics about the gospel. We use the pictures that are up in the hallways to explain different parts of the gospel. Well at the end we took him to a picture of someone getting baptized. And we asked him if he would be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. He paused and looked down for about thirty seconds. Silence....... Then he looked up and said "Ya!". It was awesome! Then we realized that he was YSA age so we passed him off to the YSA Elders. But hey, same team. He's is a really awesome guy! It really helped that we brought a member of our ward. One of the main things that we talked about was that when you join the church you join a family. Robert really like that.

Miracle #3
Dora is a 60ish year old lady we saw in the area book that had been taught before a few years ago but nothing really came of it. Last transfer while we were standing outside Costa Vida a woman came up to us and started talking to us. At first she thought that we knew her and when she found out that we didn't she told us that Elders had come by her house before. She told us that she didn't really want to join our church though. Well it was Dora. We didn't really think much of it. We figured we would drop by when we had time. Well we finally got around to having a lesson over there. We taught her the restoration. The spirit was really strong. Dora is very close to God. You can feel it when you are around her. I was saying the same basic words that I say over and over every time I teach the Restoration but this time I felt the power in the simplicity of the message. This is something that I knew would bless her life. Well at the end of the lesson we asked her if she would be baptized and she said, "Yes, as long as you can carry me" Miracle! She came to church yesterday too! She still has concerns about the church which is completely normal. Especially because she has been going to other churches for her whole life. But I am really excited to keep teaching her.
Life is Good here in Moran Prairie. I love this place! I don't want to leave! I have watched so many people change which is incredible! I don't want to leave them right in the middle of their conversion. The ward is awesome! Every week I feel like we get more and more support. And they make really good food for us. We get fed by members almost everyday and for some reason they all think that they have to serve their most fancy meal for the missionaries. Fine with me! I've had a lot of steak! Babam!
Love Yall! (Elder Wilson is from Texas. He doesn't have an accent but he does say yall. I'm starting to pick up on it along with a bunch of other weird words he uses)
Love, Elder (Andre) Johnson