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