Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
It's been such an amazing week with my new companion Elder Montera!
We've started this transfer out on fire let me tell y'all!
In just a few days with Elder Montera we've already been blessed with miracles and incredible spiritual experiences!
I want to share with y'all the way my view/approach on teaching has changed dramatically. I'm so grateful that I get to learn from my companion. Even though I've been in the mission for while now and I understand the principles of missionary work and what it takes to be successful, I've truly, like it has sunk into my heart just this week, what it takes to teach people not lessons. I've been able to watch and learn from the way my companion teaches. It's really helped me talaga. The statement of "you must KNOW the person, in order to teach them" has been made clear to me. I've been a good teacher, a good missionary, successful, etc, but these past few days I've recognized the things I must improve in order to be extraordinary. It starts with knowing the people I teach/talk to.
My companion made sister Estioco (less active) cry during the lesson. It was absolutely beautiful to watch how using the Book of Mormon applies to anyone's life situation. The verse he shared was perfect (Jacob 2:8) and she felt the spirit, I felt the spirit, we all felt Heavenly Father's love.
In another lesson to a less active family (Balbene family.. actually part-member) we used the Book of Mormon and helped them feel the the joy that they once felt dati when they used to come to church. And guess what? They came yesterday for the first time in over 5 months.

I could share with you all the powerful lessons that we had this week, but it's just too long, too many haha. I've felt a difference in the work. The phrase of "teaching by the spirit" has also been made clear to me. Like just now sunk in.  It's weird the differences I've felt this week, but I believe this will change my mission.

We are pumped up right now with our area, the zone, everything. I haven't been this excited in a while to be honest.
We had 12 investigators at church on Sunday. Grabe sobrang masaya. The Lord blesses us. We've been patient these past 2 transfers and now here comes the heaps of miracles.
I love my mission talaga, there are no words to describe-just joy. I can't believe it's taken me this long on my mission to realize the importance of the Spirit. To actually recognize it, and to teach people and know who they are, but the Lord is merciful and has helped me more than I recognize.
Elder Johnson

Monday, November 14, 2016

Pasig Week 12

Maligayang araw!
Maganda talaga ang linggo namin dito sa Pasig!
Elder Vergara and I were the most excited to give our workshop during zone training on Tuesday because of the topic that the AP's have been focusing on- Consecration! It went so well. Just talking about it gets me fired up to be a better representative of Jesus Christ. We as the zone leaders have committed ourselves to leave everything on the altar of sacrifice, to repent, to change our nature and we committed the zone to do the same! It's the most difficult thing, especially realizing that I'm far from consecration, but it's so rewarding when we as missionaries strive and try our best. Like Elder Holland said, "God blesses people who try."

I've come to realize, especially this past week, that everyone has agency to choose what's right and wrong. I cannot force them. The only thing I can do is be the example by helping, inspiring, uplifting and blessing them.
Saturday was one of the best days of my mission. We were able to take the Manuel family to the temple and do baptisms for the dead with them! They were so excited to enter and to experience the joy inside the house of the Lord. it was perfect, and they loved it. Next year they'll be able to enter and be sealed as a family!
      We came straight from the temple to the chapel for the baptism of sister Leonila Sagrados! It was so great.  She said in her testimony that she "cant even express her happiness." She was confirmed on Sunday and hopefully we can get her and Sister Gutierrez (less active dati and who referred Leonila to us) to the temple to do baptisms for the dead as well!
Only good things are happening to us here in our area. Our Young Men president is so masipag it's crazy. He's given us so many referrals and the YM program in our ward has exploded with new faces, friends of recent converts, etc. It's so awesome. We were able to teach them this week, and 3 of the YM want to be baptized asap haha. So we're striving for December. We are hoping to teach their whole family and get their family to church, not just the young men. Please pray that we can have success and get these families progressing!
It's transfer week pala, my companion Elder Vergara is transferring. My new companion is Elder Montera! I know him and he's a stud missionary so I'm excited for this transfer to get to lead with him.
Iyan lang po
Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Johnson

Monday, November 7, 2016

Miracle Week

We experienced a miracle week here in Pasig! The Lord blessed us in so many ways its been incredible!
On Monday we taught our recent convert family (Manuel family) about baptisms for the dead...because of course it was "the day of the dead" lol. Get it? But anyways, it was so perfect because this week the Manila Temple opens back up and we have planned to take them on a temple tour and do temple work this next Saturday! We are going to rent a jeepney and bring some investigators too. We're super excited!
Tuesday we visited a less active family (Aneban family) and we were able to figure out their concern and really help them feel the Spirit.  The miracle here was that Sister Aneban came to church and also brought her neighbors who aren't members! They are interested and willing to learn about how the Gospel blesses families!
On Wednesday we had our Pasig zone interviews! I always look forward to my interviews with President. He's so awesome, and I'm so grateful for him. It was successful. We and the AP's also gave some training. Our workshop focused on helping investigators keep commitments and how to follow up effectively. It went really well. We introduced a new way to help investigators remember and keep their commitments. This is something Elder Vergara and I have felt our zone is struggling with and will really help them to have progressing investigators. We also mentioned how we as missionaries must keep all the commitments from our leaders and apply it to our work, because that's the chance we have to repent! Our zone is getting hot, we can feel it.
Our responsibilities as zone leaders took us away from the work a lot this week especially on Thursday where we had to drive the couple missionaries around to every apartment and do apartments checks. Oh and by the way we had the cleanest apartment in the zone...we got a perfect score :) I think my experience with cleaning the gym before my mission prepared me for this haha.
MLC on Friday was powerful and inspiring! We discussed about becoming a consecrated missionary! Man it was awesome!! I know the things I must change in order to truly be consecrated- it's laying everything on the altar! I'm so excited I can't even tell y'all! This is what we as the leaders must do in order to change the culture of the PQCM. That's out focus right now.. casualness is the gateway to disobedience! It's changing our nature! That's the key to consecration and it'll come by surrendering to God and  giving it all these last 10 months. I couldn't be happier, thinking, praying, and fasting for the welfare of my brothers and sisters here in the Philippines. 
Miracles this week:

10 investigators at church! (the members and especially the YMP are starting to produce)
Sister Leonila will be baptized on Saturday! Her bleeding stopped and she's so ready!! :)
My companion and I had a powerful lesson with one of our progressing investigators sister Margerie (part member family). She cried during the lesson when we asked her if she believed our message was true and what she was feeling. We need your prayers though because her parents don't want her to be baptized.
I loved this week, and I love my mission. This work is true!
Elder Johnson