Monday, March 27, 2017

Start of Weekly Baptisms

Happy spring! (summer in the Philippines.. haha it's really hot right now)

Last monday night was so perfect...we had an FHE (Family Home Evening) at the rooftop of a condo where one of the Seventy lives (one of the leaders of our church)! Brother Pagaduan offered to have an FHE at his place where we could bring investigators. At first we thought Nelia and her anak weren't going to show up. We were praying so hard, and at 8:30 pm they finally came! It was a short, fun, and spiritual FHE where 6 of our investigators were able to experience the fun of a FHE.

We were led "not knowing where to go" multiple times again this week. It's been amazing. The Lord just continues to guide us to his children. We met Marie, who's husband worked as a driver for all the seventys, mission presidents etc. He died last year but always tried to get his wife Marie to come to church. We were led to her house this week, taught her about eternal families, and she cried with joy knowing one day she'll see her husband again.

Another time was Saturday night, it was 8:30 pm as well. We were sure the member was home, but they weren't. Elder Enari and I were so confused. We thought this was where Heavenly Father wanted us to go, we both felt prompted to go to this specific area, and all of the sudden as we walk down the stairs we walk by a less active (who usual hides or doesn't talk to us). Surprisingly he calls to us, "Elders, I need your help." Long story but this guy has been going through some trials where he feels trapped by Satan. He's done some things and he knows he needs to come back to church. We were able to give him a blessing and he came to church yesterday!

I testify of Jesus Christ's power. Through Christ's Atonement, we can be made free. We can feel forgiveness, peace, joy, and God's love for us. I know that we are all children of God, and he loves us all. I also testify that God knows us, and he has a plan for us. We may not know "why this? why that?" But God knows best. We just need to trust Him. It's been humbling this week for us. I need to trust in Him more and rely on Him more. He will lead us back to his kingdom one day if we simple let Him and follow Him.

We baptized Christian Rollo Valentin yesterday! It was awesome, the whole ward stayed and supported. Because of Mark, his friends are also receiving the Gospel. Rollo is amazing. I can't wait to see him serve a mission and be sealed in the temple one day. 

Next week we will baptize sister Nelia! 
Adrian is preparing for the 15th. We need your prayers for who will be baptized on the 22nd. We are also teaching Rowie (young men referral) and sister Melaine (anak ni Nelia) and are preparing them for April 29. It's going to be a solid month of work, we couldn't be doing better! :)

Love,
Elder Johnson








Mark's Baptism




Week 7 Quezon City

We've seen the tender mercies from the Lord in our area and with our investigators that will be baptized in April. Hearts have been softened, and things are going smoothly for now. We are going to baptize weekly for the first time since the Lord has revealed his expectations to our mission- weekly baptisms. It's been a grind, and my companion and I can't stop talking about it. We even talk in our sleep about it haha. President is waiting for a companionship in the mission to be able to accomplish it and we feel that with absolutely relying on the Lord it will be done this April in the Bago Bantay ward Quezon City zone! It'll be a big impact on the mission. We need your prayers more than ever!
Rollo was interviewed and will be baptized on Sunday after the church service. Nelia is progressing and has shown her desire by coming to church even with so many trials. She also brought her daughter and her grandchild who we are going to try and baptized on the 29th of April. Adrian and Rowie are progressing as well. We've loved being able to teach them and see their change :)
The Lord has revealed to Elder Enari and I a new goal for the month of April as a zone for baptisms...25. It might sound crazy, people think we are haha. But we couldn't be more excited for this!
Love,
Elder Johnson





Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 6 Quezon City

Dear fam,
Tuesday was one of the best days we've had all transfer. Elder Enari and I put our faith in Jesus Christ, not knowing where to go early in the afternoon. We were blessed tremendously for following the spirit's promptings. We received a referral from President who is a call center agent, who had a mormon customer from Texas refer her to us. Man, she's so ready for the Gospel. It's going to be a huge blessing for her. She cried in front of us and it was just powerful to be able to testify and tell her that she is loved by a Heavenly Father. Her name is Kathy :) We're excited for her. 

After that we contacted the referral of one of the young men, Brother Javen. His friend is Rowie has a desire to come unto Christ. He came to church on Sunday and has a baptismal date for April 29.

We are looking at 4 baptisms for the month of April... Rollo on the 1st, Adrian on the 15th (they are the friends of Mark), Rowie on the 29th, and Nelia on the 8th. we need your prayers for sister Nelia. It's a long story but just know that the members are sketching out about her. We're discerning if she has a true desire. She's great. Pray for her please!! Thanks family.
We had exchanges with the APs this week. I worked with Elder Lopez (we were kabahays in Sablayan). We had a great day together. It was awesome.
Like I mentioned last email, we are working on making history here in the mission with baptisms. Elder Enari are doing everything we can to be the instruments in the Lord's hand to accomplish weekly baptisms and to accomplish 20 as a zone in April.
By the way, it's transfer week, Elder Enari is staying here in QC! We get to go again together and it's so exciting!
Lovin' it, love y'all too.
Elder Johnson


Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 5 Quezon City

Talofa lava (hello in Samoan) (My companion is Samoan, hes from Australia),
We saw the Lords hand in our work this week, even when things weren't going as planned. He blessed us with new opportunities and new investigators yesterday which kept our high hopes up for the month of April. 

My companion and I have been blessed to have the spirit work through us as we've given two workshops this week, with zone training and also zone conference. It gets more powerful every time, and the growth we are experiencing doesn't stop. It's been absolutely wonderful. We've had chances to administer to a companionship who had a real problem that my companion and I have never faced before. This brought a learning experience which has brought us to rely on the Lord in everything we do.(D&C 6:36) The zone is doing well. We are closer than ever before, and we've set a goal for baptisms for the month of April at 20. That'll be the highest in years. We need your prayers.
As of now, we are focusing on April for these 4 progressing investigators. Rollo, Adrian, Nelia, and Cris. 
The ward is slowly getting on board with our weekly baptism goal. There has been a continued improvement which has been nice. 

That's it, love yall!
Love,
Elder Johnson

Monday, March 6, 2017

6 months na lang

What a special weekend we had!! 

We baptized Mark Gobres into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints! Miracle baptism talaga. Elder Enari and I feel so lucky and special to be a part of this kid's life. After his confirmation on Sunday he went up and bore his testimony. It almost made my companion and me cry haha. He testified how Heavenly Father put us in his path that day and how it wasn't an accident. He has truly been prepared by the Lord. I can't put into words how grateful I am to be here in Quezon city on my mission that has changed my life. I only have 6 months to go...it's crazy. But these next 6 months will be the most incredible yet. 

I'll send pictures fam...that was the highlight of my week. 
I love the Lord, and I know that this is His Kingdom here on the earth today. I hope you all are letting the gospel change you. I hope it has sunk into your heart and you feel the joy that it brings. The spirit is our best friend. He helps us become like Jesus Christ. 

I love y'all, 

Love,
Elder Johnson




Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 3 Quezon City

Maayong buntag, (bisaya language)
We had a solid end to our week. Mark is getting baptized on Saturday! He's amazing, he cried during his baptismal interview because of how excited he his to become a Mormon haha. Also, we gave a baptismal date to his friend Rollo for March 25! He came to church yesterday. We had 9 investigators which was a big improvement for us here. The members are seeing that we are baptizing and bringing people into their ward so they are getting excited. We continue to visit them like crazy, like I'm talking every day we have at least 1 appointment with a member. We are gonna bug them and help them get on board to this wonderful work of the Lord. We've got some power houses in our ward. I've never experienced this until now where the members are experienced, a little mayabang haha because there are former stake presidents, area seventys and mission presidents here. It's awesome. 

Elder Bednar came to the Philippines and we heard his broadcast the other day. It was so powerful. I was able to talk in sacrament yesterday about it as well. 

My companion Elder Enari and I couldn't be doing better, really though. It's been fun leading this zone with him.
Love y'all. have a great week :)
Love,
Elder Johnson

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 2 Quezon City

Kumusta na kayo?
I dont even know how many times the Spirit has guided us to Heavenly Father's children this week. More than ever before on my mission, I've felt the most spiritual promptings to stop, turn back, and talk to the person we just passed by. We've talked to less actives who haven't been to church in years, former investigators, and people that are prepared to receive the restored gospel. All because we listened to the still small voice of the spirit. It's been incredible. I can't really put into words what has happened to us this week. We have been used as the Lord's instruments, and the Holy Ghost has been working through us. There isn't a better feeling. It all hit me this week. I can't describe the joy this work has brought to my life.
I had the opportunity to study a talk in the Liahona (church magazine) about the Spirit and one of our greatest examples in the BoM; Nephi! I studied and pondered the things that he did to be led by the Spirit. I've been applying these 4 things in my life and I invite y'all to do so as well.
1. Desire 
2. Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ 
3. Prayerfullness
4. Obedience.

These things will help us be sensitive to the Spirit and prepare us to return back to our Heavenly Father one day.
Our work has been solid. We've visited basically all of the members in our ward this week and have been doing our best to help them exercise their faith in the Savior. its coming along.
Brother Mark (our miracle) is going to be baptized on March 4. We are also working on his friends. My companion and I are doing great, we turned to each other and said "man missionary work is hard." (because nothing has gone our way) and then we realized that it's not about us, it never was. It's about God's children. It's about His will, not ours. We've been struggling with that a little bit, but we are helping each other.
I've never felt more power as a missionary. I've been striving really hard for this, and it comes to the righteous. I truly understand that I can do nothing without the Spirit, but according to how clean I am, I have spiritual power. It's been evident this week.
I love y'all, pray for me and my companion Elder Enari and for our investigators. Pray that we can get and teach some referral families from some members :)
Love,
Elder Johnson