Email from May 15, 2017
Well I got my new companion Elder Roskelley and it has been a blast!
Tuesday when we were in Farmington we got pelted by hail storm. That was crazy and we were all soaking wet. I love the rain!!! The rest of the week has just been a blur! Elder Roskelley and I are just having a ball, working our hardest and having lots of fun! We both have felt like this week has lasted forever!! Which isn’t a bad thing!
Just being in these 3 wards has been a trip and a half. I hardly know anyone in these wards so we have just been meeting new people left and right. We have asked so many members to investigate, to which they say “I am a member.” Just fun. One day we walked forever up this one road, we almost got hit by a car, we battled a demon dog preventing us from contacting a referral, and we just had a ton a fun the whole way!!!
Still working on finding new people to teach. This area is just different than any other one we have been in. We are trying to figure out how to work it. It has been an adventure.
I am doing great! Happy as ever!! Working harder than ever!! And loving ever second of it!!
Well exciting news, transfers happened!!! Our trio got destroyed!!!! So Elder Powell got transferred and is going to Many Farms, Arizona! Elder McGuire is getting a new companion to reopen the other side of Blanding. Me, I am also getting a new companion Elder Roskelly, who I was in the MTC with. We have been praying to be companions ever since the MTC, I guess we just needed to have patience. This will be fun. Especially because the 3 wards I will be covering are the ones we worked the least. It will be a blast!
I can’t really remember what happened this week. It was full of driving!
Monday was p-day and then we drove to Farmington to stay at the Assistants’ house for MLC and I had a terrible fever, then Tuesday we had MLC which was very good but weird 1) because I was sick and 2) because I wasn’t’ leading it I could just sit and enjoy it. Then we drove back.
Wednesday we had zone conference in Cortez, Colorado. So we woke up early and picked up the Monticello Elders. Zone Conference was also amazing!! One of the trainings was about leaving childish things behind, on of the Elders training said “how do you show God that He can trust you?” it was powerful
Thursday we had another meeting.
Friday was weekly planning
Saturday was a mission wide cleaning day and transfers!
So this week flew by.
It was also stake Conference with Elder Frost and he is so amazing! He talked about forgiveness and sacrifice. Very powerful!
Our investigators came. The L. are doing great! L. is getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!
One of our excommunicated investigators who is working towards baptism has been out of prison for a while, but while in prison he found a talent he has our writing poems. He wrote them all in a journal and he wants to publish them with Deseret Book because they are religious poems, but he can’t type. So he gave us the journal to type up the poems for him and the journal itself tells a story. Just amazing story about repentance. The back three pages are all full of quotes.
Love Elder Johnston!!
Well honestly I cannot remember what happened this week because it has just flown by and I can hardly recall. Maybe I can just give the highlights.
Yesterday was phenomenal, we had a bunch on investigators at church and then there was a youth fireside about missionary work that they asked Elder Powell to speak at and President and Sister Adams. It was so good to see President Adams, it was like seeing an old companion. We also sang in the choir of the mission prep class, we sang “Called to Serve” and I just get so passionate when I sing that song. Well President Adams spoke after we sang and said “man I could sure hear Elder Johnston” that was funny. I also got to meet The Hansen’s (my sister’s fiance’s older brother and wife) they are teachers on the reservation in Montazuma Creek, Utah, which is in my stake. That was fun.
L. is doing great! We saw her twice this week and both were great lessons. One was all about family history and temple work and our WML’s wife came with us. L. already does family history and she is excited to do the work for her grandma. Then we taught her in the church all about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. That was so spiritual, it was thick, especially as we were talking about the sacrament right next to the table. We went over some of the simple do’s and don’ts of the Sabbath and she already keeps it holy!! She is so amazing, she came to church and loved it!
The L.’s kids are still cute, crazy and funny as ever! And they came to church again!!!!! Just exciting! We split some wood for them (it has been cold here) and they were so grateful. And it was fun getting the ax out again.
I learned this week how blessed I really am. I meet these families who have nothing, they live on the rez and they have no running water and not electricity, and I wonder why I was so blessed to be born in the family I was. Just a lot to be grateful to Heavenly Father for.
Blanding is treating us great here. The members are willing and they love the missionaries.
I love being a missionary and I love members, and I love Utah so what could go wrong!!
Love, Elder Johnston
Sorry no pictures this week.
Email April 24, 2017
This week has been crazy (with 5 wards you can imagine). Time is just going way to fast!!! So after working our little hearts out we finally found some new investigators this week!!! Five of them in one day!!! We were stoked.
T. and E. they are brothers who are looking for God, they recognize the need for it! Then we found a family!!! L. and her kids (lets go with that), I think their faith is stronger than mine!! So they recently moved here from South Dakota because within 6 months of time there L.’s kids’ dad died and then her husband died and there was just a lot of bad happening there so she moved. We saw them 3 times this past week and they just soak it all up. They were going to a baptist church in South Dakota. Their prayers are my favorite!! So humble, they have practically nothing. They have 5 pairs of clothes and there furniture in their house is the back seat of a van!! The youngest daughter turned 8 on Friday so we made her cookies and took them to her. We said “these cookies are yours, you can share if you want to but you don’t have to.” The first thing she does is open it up and gives a cookie to everyone there and then she eats one! So kind!!
L. was out of town because her father passed away so that was really sad!! So we didn’t get to see her. The L. kids are doing great!! They came to church and the mom was just super happy and excited! The kids are so excited to be baptized. D. is still crazy. I think that he thinks that I am insane! I don’t know why. Funny things always happen at his house and I just kinda go with it but he thinks it is hilarious!! I. is doing great!! He came to church on his own because his mom was working so that was great!!!
We also started holding a weekly split on Wednesday and Thursday with our ward mission leaders! That was fun!! Able to spread out and get work done!!!
Another one of our investigators, J., got married this week. (He already was married but they just had the ceremony thingy). That was stressful! The temple really is the best place to get married.
Had an amazing experience with a less active family, the B., it is in the voice recording.
Had my first baptismal interview after forever and that was great!! Always spiritual experiences!!! I love feeling the conviction of the investigator.
Still having a party in this trifecta!! Elder Powell went golfing today. Elder McGuire was the catty and I was the assistant to the catty(photographer). It was fun!
Tearing it up here in Utah!
Love, Elder Johnston!!
Email from April 17, 2017
This week has just been another great one! Same old same old missionary work! It is the best!!!
WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! Of course it was great!!!! The whole rest of the week could have been terrible and it would be okay because of I. He is 9 and his mom just recently returned from being inactive! She should be going to the temple for baptisms this week!
Elder Powell was sick this week so had some slow days and a lot of our investigators were out of town for Easter so it was kind of a slow week, but thanks to texting they are still reading in the Book of Mormon!!
I am still doing great here in Utah. Time is going by way too fast. I just realized that I only have 5 months left and I am having a hard time comprehending it.
I just love the power of love in people’s lives. Isn’t that was the Gospel is all about, feeling more of God and Christ’s love in our lives?
So sorry for the boring email but I am doing great!!!
Love, Elder Johnston
Email from today, April 10, 2017
As always GREAT WEEK!!!
Well this week started rocky but ended well. Monday night I got super sick and that was gross, I will spare you the details. So Tuesday I was sick all day, BUT the work must go on. Tuesday we had 3 lessons and it was very successful. We had one lesson with a less active and the other two were with investigators both accepted a baptismal date!!!!!! BEST SICK DAY EVER!
The rest of the week just flew by, I don’t even remember what all happened. Just working our little hearts out. Still getting adjusted but it is great, I am enjoying myself. It is hard at times, the culture here is just very different than Farmington. In Farmington it was easy to find new investigators. But here I think people understand more what it means to let the missionaries in. In Farmington you would get new investigators easily but you would have to go through about 20 New Investigators to get a progressing investigator, but here you could get about 2 new investigators to get a progressing investigator. We have gotten over 20 referrals and still no new investigators sense I have been here. It is just weird trying to figure it all out. But the members are incredibly willing which helps a ton!
So our investigators on date!
I., he is 9 and his mom is a returning member. He should be baptized on Saturday! He is doing very well and is very excited to be baptized.
Then we have J. and S. L. They are a 10 and a 9 year old. Mother is also returning less active. They are the cutest kids and do so well. We gave S. a Book of Mormon stories and she is almost done already. J. takes his Book of Mormon to school and is almost half way done. They also have two younger siblings who just melt your heart. Especial E., he is 5 and just loves to comment in lessons even though he doesn’t know. At one point we were teaching about the Holy Ghost and we were making sure the kids knew and E. kept saying it so we asked him and then he didn’t know. So I looked at him and said “Holy…” and he said very excitedly “Cow?” It just was so adorable. I love teaching kids!!
L. W. is our other investigator who told us she wasn’t going to get married until summer (so she couldn’t be baptized) well one day she just texted us saying she got married. That was super exciting!! So now she is on baptismal date and came to church for all three hours and is reading and praying, even though she would never keep commitments before!!!
So we have so great work going, just trying to build it up a little bit. So with all this member help it should be great!!
Sunday was quite different, we were at church from 9am to 5pm. I took the Sacrament 3 times! The second time I was sitting there trying to repent and think of the Savior and the Spirit whispered “what have you done in the last hour to repent of?” it was very different but also very spiritual!! In one of the ward almost 15 kids boar there testimony and they were so cute!! So sincere! I love it.
I love my mission and I love Blanding!!
We went on a District hike today and it was just beautiful. It felt like a family summer trip because it was so warm.
Love, Elder Johnston
Email from April 3, 2017
Well here I am in Blanding, Utah. I have survived another week. This change has been hard on me but as I was able to go and work it has made it a little easier.
But this week was great! General Conference of course was just amazing!!! The words of living prophets is such a blessing!! Can’t wait to be able to read them.
I would tell you about people but I am still trying to figure out who they all are. It has been hard for me to not be able to lead. It is humble so it is good. I was so used to just going, but now I have to follow and the pace is a little slower but I will adjust.
The members here are just amazing! You just have to take initiative as the missionaries. The members really do want to help us. They just need to know how. But they sure are willing, and there is lots of them!!!
Finding here is a lot different. It is all through member referrals. You can’t go tracting because it is all members, and you can’t talk to people on the street, because there is no one on the street! Ha. Just a really small town in the bottom of Utah.
I am enjoying being in a trio. Never a dull moment between the three of us. Just trying to figure out how to work our brains together. Also fun!
Still hasn’t dawned on me that I am in Utah. People keep talking about going to Salt Lake and I get excited with every Utah license plate on cars (that is all of them). So of course the adventure continues.
Hopefully we can have some baptisms coming up soon. There is poison here in the Utah Zone, that because it is Utah you don’t baptize, well NO! We should baptize the most because we have the most members!! And we will.
I am happy and adjusting and live will continue to be wonderful!!
Love, Elder Johnston