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