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

Monday, July 21, 2014


We got a MICROWAVE!!!!!!!!! The apartment is awesome now! We have two desks, two chairs and a microwave! Although it still smells like cigarette smoke and it gets really humid and warm. Its pretty nasty.
Sorry but I'm out of time.

Love YOU!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Just kidding I have a little more time!

Well now I'm going to have to think of something to write about. Its only been a few days since I wrote last. The Moran Prairie Ward is AWESOME! The ward is mostly young married adults with little kids. Then there are a few middle aged families and a few super old people. A lot of people move in and out of the ward for college. Especially right now. We have lots of new people moving in that will be going to school in the fall. Most of them are either medical or law students going to graduate school or residency. I love young married students because they are super excited about missionary work. We keep having families move in that come up to us and tell us that they are willing to help! It is super cool! The Rhotens are awesome! They just moved here about two weeks ago. They said that they have been praying for missionary opportunities. Well we happened to meet run into them the day they moved in. We were just talking to some other people in the apartment complex. The Smiths are the Best! They're probably my favorite family! ( I don't know if I'm allowed to pick favorites) The Smiths are both ward missionaries so they help us out a lot. Sister Smith was baptized about 6 years ago. She is such a great missionary. We brought her to this lesson that we had with a returning less active we have named Jennifer. Sister Smith bore such a powerful testimony. We could all feel the spirit really strong. I think it really helped Jennifer to hear the things that she said. Brother Case is sweet! He is the first counselor. He is super missionary minded. He befriends all of his neighbors and finds some way for us to go over there. We have been meeting with one of the families for a while now (Aaron and Oh). Elder Wilson and I gave a talk on yesterday at church. His talk was on covenants and my talk was on ordinances. I learned a lot while preparing for that talk.
Challenge: Read Matthew 3:13-15. Then read 2 Nephi 31:5-9. It talks about how Christ was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Then it talks about the straightness of the Gate and the narrowness of the way. That last phrase was kind of the theme of my talk. The way to eternal life is straight and narrow. God has provided us with a path to help us find our way back to him. This is a concept that a lot of people out here don't understand. They say that they know God in their heart and that is enough. While that is awesome that they know him in their heart they don't realize what they are missing out on. God loves us enough to make a very specific path for us to follow. The pathway are the saving ordinances we must do to get back to heaven. Baptism, Confirmation, Receiving the Melkizadek Priesthood, Receiving Temple Endowments, and Temple Sealing. Because God loves us he gave us these ordinances that serve as reminders of the covenants that we are making and the promises that we will receive. God commanded that we do these ordinances. It is a blessing to be able to "humble ourselves according to the flesh" (2 Nephi 31:8?) and perform the ordinances he has commanded us to do in the way he has commanded and by the proper priesthood authority. Anyway that was what my talk was about.
When I very first got here Elder Aidukaitus came to the mission and did some training with us. One of the things he told us was that every companionship in this mission should be baptizing weekly. He promised us that it was possible. That is a pretty bold thing to say. We haven't had a baptism since I've been here. However I definitely believe that it is possible. I've found since I've been out here that if the Lord wants something to be done, he can make it happen. And because his mouthpiece told us that it should be done, I know that it can be done. Anyway that goal is pretty hefty but I'm going to shoot for it. Even if I don't ever achieve it I can prepare areas so that the next elders will be able to get it or maybe the next.

Love you guys!
Elder (Andre) Johnson
P.s. I Met another guy named Andre! And this one actually seems pretty interested!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekly Letter

P-Day was on Friday this week because we went to the Temple.

We finally got a desk!!!! For the past 9 weeks we have been studying using a couch, a porch chair and a coffee (hot chocolate) table. It was very easy to fall asleep. Luckily a ward member had an extra desk. We met one of the other tenants at our apartment named Edward this week. He was super cool. He asked us for help moving some furniture around in a different guy's apartment. He had a chair he was getting rid of so we took that. Then yesterday we were helping a lady move and she had an extra chair so we took that! Our Apartment is looking fancy now! I would send a picture but I left my camera in the car.
Elder Wilson and I love to do what we call Bike contacting. We ride our bikes and stop and talk to everyone that we see. Its great because we pass so many people walking on the street because we are moving way faster than them. One of them we met last week was named Tony. He is an older man with a big beard that we saw at the bus stop. We told him that we taught people about Jesus Christ and he agreed to let us come over and visit him. So we did a few days later. He is super duper nice and he is really sincere and honest. After learning about the restoration he has agreed to be baptized! He could really use some prayers though. He is going through some tough times right now. It seems like that always happens once people start progressing.
One thing that I have seen is that it is super important that we are demonstrating our faith every day. Its not super important exactly what you are having faith in as long as you have faith in something. Let me explain.. no let me sum up (that's for you dad). Last week Elder Wilson and I were really focused on contacting as many people as we could. We set some pretty high goals for ourselves. As we went out and did our best the Lord made miracles happen. Some of those miracles had to do with street contacting. But some of them were random other things. When the Lord see's that we have faith that he will make miracles happen, then he trusts us with his children and he makes things happen. This week we are focused on getting people to church.
Love you guys!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson
p.s. I met a guy that lives across the street named Andre! There are a bunch of Russians in Spokane.

Monday, July 7, 2014

New companion - Elder Wilson!

My new companion is the best!!! Elder Wilson is from Waco Texas. He is super funny! He is also a really hard worker. We have been able to work together a lot better than Elder Sanders and I did. We are just on the same page more. 

Elder Sanders is a great guy but I really did struggle with him. He didn't have nearly the same amount of desire to work. It was really hard to come from the MTC where I was super excited to the field where I felt like we were wasting a lot of time and not really bringing the spirit to most lessons. Things got pretty tough at some points last transfer. But they got better especially after a few trainings with President and Sister Mullen. In fact speaking of Sister Mullen I just got a personal call from her this morning. She was just checking up on how I was doing. It was really cool that she did that. I told her that I am feeling much better now. 

Elder Wilson is awesome!!! He has a desire to work and to bring people to Christ! This last week we got a lot done. Our goal for this transfer is to work on having short, quality lessons! So far we have been doing fairly good. In the morning during comp study we lesson plan and role play for all of our lessons. Then when we get there we make sure that we know what time we will be leaving before we go into the lesson.

Thats awesome that you are trying to improve your testimony of the Restoration! My testimony of that has grown a ton since I've been out here! I didn't realize how important it is for the world to know about. About half the people here in Spokane are somewhat religious. But for most of them it doesn't mean that much. Many of them used to have faith but then lost it after going through super hard trials. But that's because they don't have the restored gospel. They only have pieces of the truth. But pieces of the truth often isn't enough. The restored gospel is a much bigger support to them and brings them much closer to Christ than any other religion can. Ha ha when we talk to people out on the streets a lot of times they say "I'm a believer" and keep walking. But they don't understand that we bring much much more than they already have. The thing that has really helped me gain a testimony about the restoration is seeing what we have because of it. (a living prophet, additional commandments, priesthood authority, additional covenants and ordinances, more scripture, more insight into God's plan for us, the list goes on.) 

I'm glad you guys had a fun time in Arizona! I am slightly jealous. But not too much because I'm having awesome experiences up here on the South Hill in Spokane. 

Love You!!
Elder (Andre) Johnson