Monday, April 25, 2016

Water Bottles and Pass Along Cards

Our church building here is right across the street from an Elementary school. They have a deal that the parents can park in the parking lot to pick up their kids. So every day from 3:15 to 3:30 there are tons of nonmembers in the church parking lot. So we bought a ton of water bottles and taped pass along cards to them. Then we put them on a table outside with a "free water" sign. It worked pretty well! All of them were gone when we came back. 

We had some great lessons with our friends Karin and Carol. They're awesome. We had to bring over a whiteboard so we could draw out the differences between mainstream Christianity and our beliefs. They're awesome. Carol is almost done with 1 Nephi. And Karin is enjoying looking at her late husband's Book of Mormon with all the notes he put in it.

Love you guys! See you soon!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, April 18, 2016

Here are some pictures of P-day last week. We decided to have the classic Coeur d'Alene experience by hiking Tub's Hill and going to Dockside restaurant for their famous Gooeys.

Coeur d'Alene's famous Gooey. It is a 14 dollar GIANT bowl of icecream. Its just about the size of my head. I only got about halfway through it and the head ache I had was unbearable! My fear of what I was about to experience is clearly manifest in my eyes!

CDA lake and the resort. Super pretty.

The week was great. Jason was going to attend a baptism with us but something came up not long before. We really wanted to go to this baptism but in our mission you can't attend unless you bring an investigator with you. So an hour and a half before the baptism started we were trying to figure out who we could bring. one of us suggested a former investigator named Sarah. We both laughed at the idea. Sarah had moved to Spokane about a month ago. We knew that her eventual plan was to move back but we had not heard word of it. So we didn't have a lot of hope but we just thought hey, why not. So we called her up and turns out she had moved back to CDA. And she was very interested in coming to the baptism! It was sweet!

We also had a great lesson with Karin and Carol. They are older ladies that are sisters living together. They are a hoot! They are super funny, friendly, Christian ladies. They always make us brownies when we come over and they take notes when we teach them. We are teaching them again tonight!

Love you guys! See you in a few years!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, April 11, 2016

Short sleeves and sunburn

We wore our short sleeve shirts this week! It is a momentous moment! With the recent transfer we lost the car that we had so we're back to walking and biking for up to 9 hours a day. But fortunately its been nice and warm. In fact its been so warm that Elder Johnson got sunburned! Haha it was a surprise when we noticed that he was, because I literally forgot that sunburns were even a thing! Its been cold for a long time. So we are officially in short sleeve and sunburn season. I definitely prefer this over the winter.

This week we knocked on a lot of doors. It was super fun! We knocked on one door and we knew someone was inside because we could hear them. But they weren't coming to the door. However right before we we going to leave they knocked on the other side of the door... So naturally I said, "who is it?" They didn't answer so we just knocked again. And we were soon answered by another knock. After several times of this we left our unseen friends a card. It definitely was a unique tracting experience. 

Jayson came to church this week! He's doing great! He's learning a ton.

Our zone is doing really great right now! If all of the people that we currently have "on-date" for baptism actually get baptized than by the beginning of May we will have passed our yearly goal for baptisms! 

Love ya!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, April 4, 2016

Just right - and that's all

Perfect size

I'm sorry I couldn't think of anything to write. Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, March 28, 2016

Staying in Hayden

Transfers this week! I will be staying here in the Hayden 3rd ward and my new companion will be....Elder Johnson! Wait what!? Ya, you heard me, Elder Johnson. I've been waiting my entire mission for this to happen! Just think of all the awesome things we'll be able to tell random people when they ask us our names.

"Johnson and Johnson, a family company".

"I'm Elder Johnson. And I'm Elder Johnson. Join our cult and you can be named Elder Johnson too!"

"I'm Elder Johnson. And I'm Elder Johnson. We are living proof that Mormons did practice polygamy :)"

When I introduce him to the Bishop I'll be sure to say, "Elder Johnson is one of the BEST in the Mission!" 

If I ever mess up all I have to do is say, "It was Elder Johnson's fault!" ...I'm not lying

Now I have twice as much chance that members and investigators will remember "Elder Johnson" as their favorite missionary!

The opportunities are endless!

Elder Olson is going down to Pullman which is right by Moscow where I was just serving. I'll miss him. We had tons of fun together!

This week Jayson agreed to be baptized in April! He's awesome! 

Love you guys! 
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

P.S. the first initial of my new companion's name is also an "A" so Elder A. Johnson won't work.

Monday, March 21, 2016

We got a car!

We got a car! We will have it for 1 more week. Its pretty nice. Ironically it has been beautiful weather ever since we got it. And the day before we got it it was raining and hailing like crazy. But we're still grateful for it anyway. 
Yesterday we ushered at a Stake Easter event. It was located at the local college's performance hall. It was a performance of "Savior of the World" It was awesome! It was weird though because I realized that its been about 2 years since I've been to a concert. Our downstairs neighbor Paige and her son came. We got to sit by them! I love them, they're awesome!

This week we also found Karin, Carol, and Laura. Karin and Carol are older ladies who are sisters. They are very happy cheerful people and they love having us over. Laura is living with them right now because she recently had surgery so they are helping them recover. We were able to give Laura a Priesthood blessing the other day and it was a very spiritual experience for all of us. 

Happy Christmas Harry!
Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lots to talk about

Dear Family and Friends,

Now that I haven't written in 2 weeks I've got lots to talk about.

1. Justin. We met with a new investigator named Justin this week. This was our first sit down lesson. He started off by saying that he had researched lots of different religions he was just confused at how he could know which one was right. Luckily the Gospel has been restored so we could know how answer his question. The spirit was very strong when we shared the First Vision. He told us that he felt it as we were reciting the words. 

2. The Lee's are an active family in our ward who we visit a lot because they have a non-member sixteen year old girl that lives with them who is planning on getting baptized when her parents give permission. Courtney, who is the Lee's daughter has a non-member boyfriend. So one day we were bugging her and saying that we wanted to teach her boyfriend. She said, "No that would be awkward, he's not that interested in religion... But I could invite my friend Bryan?" That worked for us. So she texted Bryan and said, "the Missionaries want to talk to you. Do you want to come to my house for lunch?" he said, "Haha sure why not". So we taught him the Restoration and it went really well! He was very interested at the end and we are going to meet with him again next week.

3. Jason, who has been to church 3 times now stayed for all 3 hours. That was pretty awesome. 

4. We were asked to teach Priests quorum last second this week. We decided we would talk about our favorite thing... Missionary work! Deciding that we were going to talk about missionary work was the extent of our preparation. However Elder Olson and I teach so often together that it went really well. We kinda just made it up on the spot but we both were on the same page because we've been studying about member missionary work so much since we've been together. 

5. We had a pretty good first lesson with our downstairs neighbor Paige. At nights I play my Ukulele and her and her son can here it. She mentioned that they really like listening to it so we offered to come play them a song. She said "Yes!" So we had a great visit and we taught the Restoration.

6. We went on exchanges this week with the Assistants in Spokane. We had some pretty cool miracles. We had about 15 extra minutes so we pulled into an apartment complex and knocked on 1 door. A lady opened it up and we told her we had a message to share about Jesus Christ and his church. She said that recently she had met some Mormons which sparked her interest so she went and watched a documentary on the Book of Mormon on netflix. I don't know if it was a positive or negative documentary but doesn't matter. Anyway it wasn't long after that we showed up at her door and gave her a Book of Mormon. God is preparing his children.

Its been a great week!
Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, March 7, 2016


Dear Family and friends,

Writers block...............................

Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, February 29, 2016

My head looks good; and...Some cool experiences

I don't have very much time to write because I was reading so many emails. Thank you! I had a blast reading everyone's emails about the Birthday Party and also about Kevin and Jessica's baby! I must say my head looks pretty good on a lot of you people :) 

We had a lot of cool experiences this week. 
1. Theresa just moved into our ward boundaries. She was being taught by other missionaries. Super golden. 
2. Great lessons with Felicia and Jason. Jason's Sister finally sat in on a lesson. 
3. We found a couple to teach yesterday. One of them is Native American. He's sweet! He told us about this time he heard some people bagging on the Book of Mormon saying that there is no way that Christ came to the America's. He butted in and said, "I'm not Mormon, but to this day my people still celebrate the time that Christ came to the Americas and visited the people". HO Snap! That book's true!

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Giving Plate

Hey Guys,

This is me trying to think about what I'm going to write about today.

This is the bowl of free lifesavers that they have at this family history center. I've had six so far... Now 7. 

This a plate that we found in our cupboard. It was actually a pretty cool miracle. We wanted to give our downstairs neighbor something so we could have a gospel conversation with her. As we were looking for a plate that was a good size for 3 cookies and some hot chocolate we found this plate. So we gave it to her and had an awesome gospel conversation. She is totally prepared. Her best friend when she lived in Boise was a Mormon. She said that she had heard from tons of people that Mormon's weren't Christians. So she decided to pray and ask God. When she did she said she felt a warm and peaceful feeling so she knew that they were Christian. #Snap already knows how to receive personal revelation. We are probably going to knock on her door again in a few days and invite her to do the same thing with the Book of Mormon. 

Oh yeah. Elder Olson and I as well as two Sisters from the ward sang a musical number, Come thou Fount at the Saturday night Adult session of Stake conference. It went pretty good! The session itself was wonderful. Elder Johnson of the Seventy taught about member missionary work. He did really well!

Love you guys!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book of Mormon prophecy fulfilled

This week we had a regional broadcast from Salt Lake. It was awesome. The speakers were, Elder Grow of the 70, Sister Osarson the YW General President, Elder Hamula of the 70, and Elder Renlund of the 12. Each talk was powerful! Not one of them was boring...haha. Those type of conferences are like the super bowl to missionaries. Normal people cheer when they see a big hit or when a touchdown is scored. We cheer when we hear General Authorities throw down clear sound doctrine. It gets my adrenaline going when I hear the "philosophies of men" deconstructed by the simple powerful teaching of those called by God to teach the truth.

Cindy and her son Jason showed up for the broadcast. I don't know what they thought of it yet but we'll find out on Thursday. 

Book of Mormon prophecy fulfilled:
This week we talked to another pastor. We had a great time talking about similarities and differences in belief. He of course was very big on "Sticking with the Bible". Though we tried to explain the concept of Revelation to him it was difficult for him to see how we could be so trusting of feelings. So we asked him a question, "How do you convince an atheist who doesn't believe in the Bible to believe in God?" He said, "Well you could show him many of the prophecies in Daniel that have been fulfilled." History does clearly show that they have been fulfilled. He gave several other suggestions which prove the validity of the Bible through intellectual/scientific/archaeological evidence. After he said that it became much more clear to me where he was coming from. If I grew up in the same situation as he, surrounded by confusion and deceit, I would probably have the same zeal for sticking only with the Bible and nothing else. I would probably also try to penetrate the thick blanket of corruption and lies the world creates by studying history and archaeology until I came down to the base of what "must be true." However, the search would be endless. And it would also be fruitless. We come to know God by exercising faith in him unto repentance. He in turn reveals the truth to us by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is how we have a personal relationship with him. How do you convince an atheist or anyone to believe in God? You invite them to have faith and repent. And then they will be changed by the Holy Ghost which is God speaking directly to their heart. They will not only believe in God but they will love him. There is no more powerful evidence of truth than this. The common religions of the world today don't have a very deep understanding of this. Nephi prophecies of this time, "And their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance." -2 Nephi 28:4

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sweet week!

This week was pretty sweet! We found a few new people to teach. One of them is named Amber. We had a few extra minutes before an appt with a member so we knocked on the doors near by and did our survey tract I wrote about a few weeks ago. When we asked her if she believes that God's plan requires a church she said yes! That is very uncommon up hear. Most people think churches are good but not necessary. So then we asked her which church she goes to. She said she recently moved here and didn't have one to go to. So we invited her to come to ours, and we offered to teach about our church as well. We had an appt set up but it fell through. So we'll see.

The highlight of the week though was probably when Jason, who is the son of Cindy (a member returning to activity) showed up to church with his mom! We met Jason earlier in the week and he was super awesome so we were pumped that he decided to come to church!

Today for P-day Elder Olson and I are in charge. We are going to be playing quidditch and drinking Butterbeer! We're pretty pumped. I may or may not send pictures next week.

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fun with Clay

Elder Olson and I had fun with clay. #Premortal life.

This week we went to a bible study for another church because one of our investigators invited us. Last bible study I went to was very edifying. The people were kind and I agreed with all the doctrine. I was surprised at how much I disagreed with the topics being discussed. We're pretty sure the Pastor who was leading the study, knew that we were coming because his whole message was basically anti-missionary and anti-mormon. He didn't put us on the spot or anything but he took a more passive aggressive approach. Elder Olson and I had decided before we went in that we were not going to let it become contentious, so we just quietly listened as he pastor taught untrue doctrine. It's been interesting to learn more about their  beliefs though. It definitely helps my ability to teach others because I understand where they are coming from.

This week we taught the combined 5th Sunday lesson on missionary work. It went really well! It was pretty cool to reflect on the change that has happened in me since the beginning of my mission. In the past I would have been pretty nervous to teach that many people and I would have relied heavily on notes to know what to say. But we both new the doctrine we wanted them to understand so we were able to have an open discussion. And based on what people said we knew what to teach. The lesson went really well!

We found lots of prepared people this week. We contacted a lady name Patricia this week at an apartment complex. She was going through some tough stuff. She was stunned that we ran into her because she had recently been thinking about contacting us and learning more. We found a lady named Shawna tracting who said we could teach her. In my opinion our church culture has adopted this idea that tracting doesn't work. It absolutely does. Any activity that involves humans can result in finding people to teach. However it tends to not result in baptisms as often because Shawna doesn't have friends in the church to walk with her through the heavy opposition from Satan she will soon experience. That's why the church emphasizes member referrals. Thanks for letting me vent my pet peeve.

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Three quick things

This week we found a new investigator named Crystal. She's pretty awesome! She's very intellectual. She questions things if they aren't logical. Sometimes too much for her own good. Kinda sounds like me. At this point she doesn't believe in God. It doesn't logically make sense to her. But she is open to. I'm pumped to teach her because the more and more I learn about the Gospel the more and more it makes perfect sense! I love explaining the Plan of Salvation to people and the whole purpose of existence, and how the Gospel perfectly fulfills our purpose. 

We also found a few other people to start teaching. One of them is named Donna. Her and her husband are in their 70's. They have been Methodists for a looong time. They let us in just to share a quick message about Jesus Christ so we showed them A Savior is Born video. But after that I asked about what the Methodists believe. Donna explained where the Methodists church broke off not long after Martin Luther. Then she asked where the Mormon church broke off from. It was a perfect set up for us to teach the Restoration. Afterward she agreed to read the Book of Mormon! We'll see how she likes it in a few weeks. 

We got a pretty awesome compliment from Felicia this week. She told us, "Its going to be hard for me to convert, but I'm willing to try because I can see the devotion that you have to it. I can tell its something that you really care about and you just want to share it with others. And your not asking anything from me but to ask God". It was a great to hear that. I felt like I was doing my job.

Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


This week we were in a Tripanionship. Elder Rasmussen joined Elder Olson and I. The reason is because Elder Rasmussen's companion Elder Cummings has a pacemaker and apparently it was running out of battery so last Tuesday he flew to Salt Lake and had surgery. But it was a pretty simple surgery so he actually flew back this last Saturday. We actually went to the airport to pick him up. THAT WAS WEIRD! I wasn't planning on being in that building for a few months. Part of the trip though we were asked by our mission president to go to Cheney and pick up a car. So I got to go back to Cheney! It was awesome! Lots of good memories. 

A benefit of the tripanionship was that we got to drive in Elder Rasmussen's car the whole week! That was pretty nice! 

We had a great lesson with Felicia this week. She had lots of very good questions. It was obvious that she had been thinking about it a lot. We brought another member of our church who was a convert from the Catholic church and they became friends very quickly. Turns out they're only a year apart in age!

This e-mail is being interrrupted...


It will now resume...

Sorry don't know what just happened. Another missionary got a hold of the keyboard. 

Love ya!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, January 11, 2016

Six Things

Here they are:

1. We had great lesson with Cindy! And she came to church!

2. We had our first lesson with Felicia this week. It went really well. She is the one that told us we could come teach her but that she might not convert because she is Catholic. So we brought a member of our ward who converted from Catholicism. She shared her testimony and it was really powerful!

3. My companion gave a talk in church about the Godhead. It was sweet.

4. We made some good food this week. Rice, frozen vegetables, eggs, ham, thai basil sauce stuff, all mixed together. It was goooood, really good. 

5. We're going to go to a different church's bible study tomorrow. That should be fun. 

6. I've been studying a lot from PMG chap 13 and its been sweet!

If any of you have time my companion and I are compiling a list of Frequently Asked Questions or Concerns among members regarding missionary work. For example (I've already invited all of my friends, now what?)(How do I casually start a gospel conversation?)\
If you have any, email me.

I hope you have enjoyed this spark notes version of my week.
Love you!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Finding Tools

Its cold. Our snow is about 2 feet deep up here and we don't have a car. However its good because it makes it so people let us in!

We had some cool experiences this week. We were walking by a less active member's house and we saw that their driveway wasn't shoveled. We wanted to shovel it but we didn't have a shovel. So we kept going and knocked on some other doors. We met this guy that wasn't that interested but he said his neighbor just moved in so we could try her. So we did. First thing she said to us was, "Are you Mormons?... Yeah you can come and teach me?... But I might not be converted!". It was sweet! Plus she let us borrow her shovels so we went and shoveled the driveway. We also met someone else this week as she was getting out of her car. She said she had been thinking about joining a church lately so she is willing to have us come teach her. 

A new finding tool we have started trying is what we call survey tracting. Knock on a door and ask if we can get their opinion on 4 questions. People usually like preaching rather than being preached to so it works out. Right now our questions are:

1. Does God's Plan require a church? We haven't asked very many people yet but we have yet to have someone who says yes. Most people up here believe churches are good but they don't think they are necessary. Its a great way to connect with people about the apostasy.
(we are thinking about adding a follow up question. Where does the idea of church come from?) Duh the bible! But then they're confused because why do churches matter? Everyone knows they're man made. Then we tell them. God does have a church. It does matter. There is 1 not a million. It was on the earth then it left. Man made their own. Then it came back.

2. Define a family: The plan for this one was to get people to say whether or not they supported gay marriage. But we're gonna have to rephrase the question. Super big issue. People like their opinions to be heard.

3. Do you do Genealogical research? Our family history center is awesome!

4. What's the craziest thing you've heard about Mormons? My favorite one. It gives us a chance to get rid of anti right away. Usually its the anti that people have heard that keep them from even giving us a chance.

I love talking about the gospel. It is super fun being surrounded by people who are totally being affected by the apostasy, "wandering from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro looking for the words of the Lord, and shall not find it" Its pretty exhilarating to know that I have the answers to their questions. They have good reason to be loosing confidence in organized religion. I love helping people connect the dots. It's pretty tricky though getting past all of their misconceptions, embarrassments for talking to us, pride and enlightening them with doctrine. Its also very humbling that I am the one with the knowledge. Its a perfect situation God has set up for both the Missionaries and the nonmembers. Because there is opposition it makes us all truly come to understand and be grateful for the truth. As a missionary my understanding of the doctrine has improved dramatically as I have tried to help others understand. I'm also so grateful that I have the truth as I witness the confusion in the world. For investigators they come to love the gospel and understand it as they get answers to concerns by study and by prayer.

Getting more people into the church is not the only reason God has us do missionary work. He wants us to do it so we can grow. If you aren't doing missionary work you are missing out. If you aren't sure how to do missionary work or feel discouraged, you are not alone. From my observation the majority of church members feel this way. I've learned that missionary work is much to difficult to do on your own. You need support. If you want to do more missionary work build some support for yourself. This could be your home teacher, your Ward Mission Leader, family council, the missionaries. Ask questions, share miracles and disappointments, take suggestions and teach others, make and share goals. When you do this you will experience the gospel in a totally new way. Don't wait for missionary work to find you, instead go find missionary work.

You can start anywhere. You don't have to be baptizing people all the time to be doing missionary work. And you don't have to spent tons of time. Spend the amount of time God wants you to spend doing it. If you start where you are and start making and fulfilling goals eventually you will become a powerful missionary like Peter who ministered to thousands.

Love Ya!
-Elder (Andre) Johnson