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