Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016

Happy Monday family!

On Monday we had zone training with the best zone in the mission.. Mindoro! As i walked into the church building I was so happy to see my boy Elder Huish from the Provo MTC! I couldn't believe he got transferred to Mindoro, but it was great to catch up and talk with him. He's doing well. He's excited to be here in the province instead of the city. 

Zone training was so great. Elder De Dios and Asetre gave a their workshop to us about the Book of Mormon and how to use it/explain it.  No more using pamphlets when we tract and do finding! We are now going to use the Book of Mormon to introduce the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's so great because investigators don't become converted to a pamphlet.. they become converted to the word of God! We also learned that the MAIN purpose of the BOM (found in 1 Nephi) is to help people come closer to God! Although it's important to let them know it's convincing evidence that Joseph Smith is a true prophet, the most important part is that it's another testament of Jesus Christ! And a powerful witness that he lives and that through his Atonement we can all be saved! I loved the things I learned and I'm grateful para sa Aklat ni Mormon..I know it's true.
Thursday we had the most powerful lesson that Elder Pedrosa and I have taught together.  The spirit was so strong we all could literally feel it!  We were teaching Nilmar and Joy.. (born and die Catholics) and we extended a baptism invitation again.  There was a pause for about 30 seconds.. I thought for sure they were going to say yes because I know the spirit testified to her of the truthfulness of our message... unfortunately she rejected it again. I was super sad, but I know one day she accept. Elder Pedrosa and I will not give up on these two.
We did everything we could this week to get investigators to come to church, and Sunday afternoon as I walked into the meetinghouse I was so happy to see 4 of our investigators there! I know it's not a lot, but it's an improvement. I was filled with joy to see Joann, Jupie, Jasem and his Lola sitting down in the congregation. It means they have a desire to learn more about to the gospel and are willing to change! I'm excited for the upcoming weeks.  Elder Pedrosa and I continue to find families and potential priesthood holders to establish the church here in Sablayan.

Well thats all for this week family...mahal ko kayo!! 

P.S. I'm glad baby Bradley is doing well. Thank you for all the pictures. I loved them all, so cute.
Also, Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother! Love you so much. I hope you had a great day. 
I'm sad I missed all the action, but I know I'm supposed to be here in the Philippines serving a mission for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Elder Johnson

Elder Huish (Zone training)

 MTC Reunion in Mindoro!

Monday, January 18, 2016


Great news family....I'm still here in the best area in the mission- SABLAYAN!! I'm so happy to be here for at least one more transfer. I was so grateful to get the call from my zone leader and for him to tell me that I'm staying. It means the Lord still needs me here in Sablayan!
This week was pretty normal, nothing too special. I'll share with y'all some more cool experiences and things that I continue to learn from more experienced missionaries. Elder Sambile (my district leader) worked with Elder Pedrosa and me this week. I was excited to work with him and to get his help with a few of our investigators. So our priority 6 has changed once again (it changes a lot because of investigators not progressing). Brother Christian- who was supposed to get baptized Jan.23 has really no desire to come to know of the truth. It's really sad actually. We taught a powerful lesson about the importance of why we're teaching him and told him, "Brother, this is about your salvation!" We had to be bold and tell him that this is serious (he wasn't taking the lessons seriously- especially the word of wisdom). And he expressed to us that he doesn't really care. So unfortunately, Elder Pedrosa and I are giving him one more chance to sincerely read and pray, but if he doesn't then we will not focus on him anymore. 

Brother Nilmar is progressing talaga. He reads and knows the truth.. the problem is just getting him to church! We taught a member's friend and his family. We think they have potential for sure. By the way, "missionaries succeed more with the help of the members." - PMG chapter 9. It's best to try and teach referrals from the members! That's one thing Elder Pedrosa and I have been doing and will continue to do these next couple weeks.
So the 2016 Philippines area vision is to establish the church! Which means completing part member families, getting the young men worthy to serve missions and receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and to find and baptize families. I'm excited to focus on these things and to establish the church here in Sablayan! 

Unfortunately no baptisms again this month.  But I will not get discouraged. Discouragement ruins everything in a missionary. "My expectations must always remain high" - PMG chapter 1

Love you all! Ingat kayo!
P.S. I love my companion, I continue to eat weird foods ( this week was chicken feet) and yes I still use my hand... 

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 11, 2016

Great week in Sablayan!

Magandang umaga po!

So this week was such a great week for me here in the best mission - Philippines Quezon City mission!

On Tuesday as I was doing my personal study up at Parola (the beautiful view of the island) I totally received revelation through my study of Preach my Gospel. The spirit touched my heart as I read over this simple statement the Lord promises me as a missionary... "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my spirit and my word, yea, the power of god unto the convincing of men." (D&C 11:21) and then .. "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."(D&C 84:85) After I read these verses I knew what I had been doing wrong the past few days. This promise by the Lord to me is so incredible. I love it.  I know that is is true! But I must remember to diligently study the scriptures and PMG and then the spirit will be with me. I won't have to worry about what to say. I found this to be true in my lessons this week. Personal study is my favorite time of the day to really just focus on the studying the scriptures and the PMG doctrines. Conversion is a process, but I'm on the journey here on my mission! 

Brother Christian is struggling to come to know of the truth.. I don't know if he'll be baptized or not on Jan.23, but pray for him! I feel like he doesn't take the lessons seriously, but we're trying our best to help him! Nilmar is progressing talaga, he believes Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that the BoM is true. Our problem with him is just getting him to church! It's so difficult to get our investigators to attend church. We do everything we can too! So frustrating...
On Saturday we had zone conference in San Jose! It was so great. I don't even know where to start! The spirit was so strong and I learned so much. President Revillo came.  He's such an amazing leader and I truly believe he's called of God to be the PQCM president.
So I had one the the best experiences I've had so far on my mission on Saturday night coming home from San Jose on the bus. Long story short...I sat next to this guy named Sonny... by myself I taught him lesson 1.. somehow he understood and was like a golden investigator! The spirit was the teacher, and I was simply the Lords instrument. Anyway.. after I finished teaching he told me that he believed everything I said because of he "felt it in his heart".  I gave him a baptism date and he accepted. He texted me on Sunday and wants us to teach his family.  I'm so excited!! We'll visit him this week and hopefully baptize his family! I'll never forget this experience.
So that's all for this week family.  I find out tomorrow if I get transferred or not.  Everyone keeps saying that I'm leaving haha. But I really hope not. I would be so sad to leave this beautiful area of Sablayan and all my wonderful members. 
Have a great week family, talk to y'all next week!

Elder Johnson

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years in Sablayan

Hey family!

This week started out so well! On Monday we had our group Christmas party at this beautiful place called Feliz del Mar. Elder Pedrosa and I gave a lesson about what gift we as members of the church should give to Jesus Christ for this new year 2016. We ate delicious food of course and played super fun games. I love all the members here. I don't want to leave Sablayan. 

Tuesday was the best day of the week for me. The Zone Leaders came and we had exchanges with them. Elder de Dios worked with us again. I was so excited because Elder de Dios is awesome. I learned so much from this exchange. Elder de Dios is super bold.  That's one thing I love about how he teaches. He really asks inspired questions, his teaching skills are so impressive, and he's a PMG missionary. At the end of the day we had our evaluation, which is my favorite part. He had us divide our sheet into 3 sections.. our strengths, what we need to improve on, and what we need to repent of. I'm so grateful for his leadership, and his wisdom. He's a great zone leader and I learned so much from this exchange with him. 

On Wednesday I had another exchange with Elder Sambile (my district leader). He's the most humble missionary I've ever met. He teaches with love and passion and power. As I had these exchanges this week and that I've had throughout my mission so far, I try and acquire the skills and attributes of these great missionaries here in my mission. It's been a blessing for me. 

For New Years we went over to a member's house and she stuffed us with masarap pagkain (food), adobo, menudo, rice of course etc. For New Year's Eve, as a district we bought a big grilled chicken and 2 pizzas haha. It was a good night. At midnight the Filipinos go crazy here! It was so loud! Fireworks, people cheering haha. It's different than in the U.S. 

Friday and Saturday were really rough days for me- teaching wise. I felt like my Tagalog digressed and it was almost like I didn't know how to teach. They were days I want to forget and move on. I realized that I always need to be focused and pray for the spirit. I cannot teach on my own- it's impossible.  I'm going to move on from these past couple days and get back on track.  Missionary work is hard, and I'm starting to get really impatient with Tagalog. It's really frustrating to be honest. I just want to be fluent already. 

The only thing I would ask family is that you pray for brother Christian Monte. He came to church yesterday and we're hoping he'll be baptized on January 23. He's our only hope for the month of January. He's progressing which is great. We have many investigators but many aren't progressing. Well that's all for this week fam. This could be my last full week here in Sablayan (transfer day next week). But I don't think I'll get transferred. Love you all, talk to you next week!
Elder Johnson

I ate dog this week!

New Year's dinner