Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Monday, November 23, 2015

Count Your Blessings!

Happy Monday all!

Thanksgiving is this week and I am really happy that I kind of get to celebrate it here in Ghana for two years!  Sadly, I do not get to have turkey and other foods, which is okay since bonku and kenkay are better!

Go Big - pain!

Stuffed and in a food coma - Atlantic Hotel

Elders Zohner and Bay - Atlantic Hotel

Cooking skills - Ghana style

This week went by scary fast. It was a busy week which is always a good thing. On Tuesday we had interviews with President Stevenson. And had a district meeting that was instructed by the Assistants and Sister Stevenson. It took a good portion of the day, so we only had one lesson on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Bakula in his area. Wednesday it was really, really, really hot. Thankfully Elder Bakula's and Hounkpe's area is around our apartment and not a good walk away like my area.  Elder Bakula is a great guy and has been out now for about 6 weeks!  We only taught a couple lessons through the day, but did a lot of street contacting.  When we first went out I asked him to count the pamphlets that he had combined with the ones that I had.  In total we had 25 pamphlets. I told him that before we go home that night we will hand out each of the pamphlets, which we accomplished!!!  For the last hour of the day we stood in front of the church and stopped people and talked to them.  One lady that we talked to, Lizzy, got off of the trotro right in front of us. Elder Bakula went and talked to her and I joined in.  After she left he told me that was the lady he sat next to on the trotro on Monday going to Takoradi. He felt prompted to talk to her, but did not. On Tuesday they saw her again in front of a church, but did not talk to her again. Then Wednesday she came right to us. Really was a testimony builder to me of how we are put in the paths of people or vice versa for a reason!  Then after that, goofy old me just gave a couple pamphlets to the trotro (taxi but a van) mates (collects money and opens the door) when they stopped to drop people off. Fastest 10 second explanation of the gospel ever.

Elder Chinedu and Johnson - Atlantic Hotel

Thursday was a downer day :(  We had 0 lessons happen. They all canceled on us. We had some good time for finding new investigators.

The area is doing very well now and we are happy that it is doing well! On Sunday we had 4 investigators come to church ( Does not happen much). The work is going well :) We find out the transfer news on December 5th and I hope not to be transferred yet, but if I am... village. I want to go to the villages soooo bad.

Elder Hughes and the "other" Elder Johnson

Thought of the week: Since Thanksgiving is close, I have thought a lot about what I am thankful for. Sometimes life is tough but there is always things that go unnoticed that are good things. I hope all of us focus on the good things in our lives and what God has provided for us. Count your blessings!!!!!

-- Elder Johnson

Have A Bright Enough Light


Alright, this past week was pretty awesome, which I am really happy about of course!!

On Tuesday we had our usual district meeting at the church building. Elder Pohahau and Elder Jarvies gave the instruction. After district meeting we usually go to our chop bar, Quagis, but instead we went to Mama Grace's house. It was Elder Pohahau's birthday so she prepared a whole bunch of bonku for us! After eating, all of us just wanted to go sleep. Soooooo much food, but of course it was time to go out and teach. The 40 minute walk to Essikado was the longest walk of my life, but it was well worth it because the food was really good.

Bottled coconut water - whatever! Directly from the coconut!

We did not have as many appointments as we have in the past because people just did not have time for us this week. It made the days longer than normal but at the end of the day you look back and it had gone faster than you realize. Elder Chinedu and I have noticed things we need to improve on like, member present lessons and lessons with recent converts. So, there is a lot of hard work ahead of us to meet the goals we made for the coming week(s).

This past Saturday we had a baptism!!!!  His name is Emmanuel Cudjo and he is 18 years old. He was a referral from his friend... Emmanuel. Teaching was fun because you would say, "Emmanuel" and they both looked. He has been and investigator since June but had to stop until September because he moved away until school started again.  It was also my first time baptizing anyone. I was not planning on baptizing, but Emmanuel, who was going to baptize his friend, was to nervous to do it. So he asked me to do it. And I did not bring extra clothes with me sooooo it was an uncomfortable walk home. I am really happy for the opportunity that was given to me. Plus I got some packages in the afternoon soo Saturday was a very good day.

Emmanuel, Emmanuel Cudjo, Elder Chinedu & Elder Johnson

To put a cherry on top of the week.. they finally re-broadcasted conference! They showed Saturday afternoon session and Sunday morning. What my brother said last year for his first General Conference is sooooo true.. I was on the edge of my seat, taking notes like crazy, and felt the spirit so strong!!!  My eyes were teary during the whole thing. What I wish we could do is stand up, throw an arm up and say, "YES SO TRUE!"  Conference pumped me up.  I know that those men have been called to where they have been. And that we do have a true prophet here on the earth. Side-note: Jeffery R. Holland's talk about mothers made Elder Bay, Zohner, Jarvies and I sit there and cry (happy tears). We miss our mothers. haha.

The sense of humor remains

This morning we did some deep cleaning of apartment.  It is really clean. My cleaning skills that I obtained from home, Sonic, and Chickfila really helped :P

The apartment shoe collection

Thought for the week: As you know I have kind of struggled so far. Just with missing home and such, but I really love a talk that was given in conference. I forgot his name, but he talked about a bike ride him and his family did going into a dark tunnel on a bike with insufficient lights. It really got me thinking. In life there are plenty of dark tunnels that we go through. What makes it easier is when we are prepared!!!!  Having a bright enough light (scripture study and prayer) we will get through the tunnel.  Stronger and with a stronger testimony, but if we go in without being prepared, we will have a hard time.  Let us all keep our testimonies of the gospel "fresh" as Henry B. Eyring put it. The devil is real. He really is attacking us in small ways that we may not even see. Rely on the Lord and you can do all things!

Elder Johnson

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rely On The Lord

Hello all!

This letter will be somehow shorter than usual. I do not have much to say and not a lot of energy to write a lot :P

Tamin the fake snake!

The week was fairly good with some rough patches. But to help with those bad moments we did have a couple really good lessons. One was with Thomas Lawson, the 73 year old man. He has been Roman Catholic for a good chunk of his life. Thomas has been coming to church the past few weeks and we are really happy about that, but we had some things that needed to be taught to him.  One, the word of wisdom. We taught that to him soon after we started to teach him. But as we were goin to his house this past week, I turned the corner about 200 feet from his house and just smelt a massive amount of smoke. Thomas was not outside smoking so i was confused. Once we started the lesson I followed up with him about it. He told us he smoked a couple hours ago. Next thin was all the crosses in his house and different things that Roman Catholics do. When the lesson went in further he told us he still goes to mass every morning. Elder Chinedu told him if you have fufu and bonku would you choose one or both? He said only one of course. We went about the crosses further and what helped is Elder Chinedu attended Roman Catholic school. Elder Chinedu was very direct with him. It had my heart racing.

Elder Chinedu - wisdom tooth removal

Second, our lesson with Mary that took place on the same day. We did not have a appointment with her but we stopped by to ask if she can hold the sugar cane another investigator ave to us. When we talked with her she told us that while she was in school the idea came to her to be baptized. But she is not entirely sure because of what her friends will think. After some minutes Mary said forget what I said. We went in and sat down with her. Lettin her know more the importance of being baptized and when you get a promptin you need to follow it. Most importantly do not fear your friends but fear God. (not fear God in a bad way of course). She started to cry... 

I am startin to realize more fully that a mission is more difficult than I have thought. Many times this past week I have doubted that I can do this. But I will not go home until July of 2017. These things are really teachin me to rely on the Lord. Without Him this can not be done. So prayer and humility is really important. While Joseph Smith was in liberty jail he was praying. I do not have the scripture with me (D&C 122:7 or section 121) but in summary it says all these things will be for a good experience. So if you are ever going through some rough times just pray. Heavenly father IS your father in heaven. And like your parents on earth he wants to hear from you. And in turn you also need to hear from Him.

"Onward and upward"

Elder Johnson

Monday, November 2, 2015

You Are In Africa And You Eat EVERYTHING!

What a fun filled week!!!! It did not go by fast but we worked hard and enjoyed.

As you know,  return missionaries have some cool stories about food they had to eat.  And after 3 months I have some!  First, for one meal we had, it included cow SKIN.  Not the meat - the skin. Elder Chinedu said it is the best part of cow.  I do not fully agree.  The texture is not very good.  It is really chewy.  Second, a investigator prepared some food for us on Thursday night before PEC.  She served us Bonku, which I really like.  It is usually served with some type of meat like fufu has, but this one had the small crabs.  I was really confused how to eat it, but my companion said just eat the whole thing - the shell, legs, and meat.  As you may imagine, it was really crunchy and good.  So, no one take me to Red lobster, you may be grossed out.  Third, the bone of the chicken.  After you finish the chicken meat, some people eat the bone.  So, I was adventurous and ate it.  Soooooo, add KFC or Buffalo Wild Wings to the list of places that you should not take me.  The last - shrimp.  Elder Chinedu and I bought Kenkay for dinner a couple nights.  Instead of getting fish I got shrimp.  We sat down to eat at home and I started to break open the body to get the meat, and Elder Chinedu said, "NO you're in Africa and you eat everything."  So, I ate the whole thing.  The legs were not so good haha.   This all happened in a week, yeess!

Elder Chinedu and Elder Johnson - Companionship study time.

Ever since Elder Hanson left, the area feels like it is not as busy.  So, we have spent a great amount of time finding new investigators.  It has brought us a good amount of progress.  The issue that we have is getting people to church.  In P.E.C on Thursday night I brought up the issue to see if they had any ideas.  The secretary, Brother Solo, who I love, compared getting investigators to church to talking to girls.  It was realllyyy funny.  After the meeting I let him know talking to girls and getting a date is way easier than getting investigators to church.  I have spent a great amount of time being discouraged because I feel like I am failing the area.  No one is coming to church, appointments fall through, but in the end, I know we are doing what we can.

Elders Zohner, Johnson and Bay - Cruising in a taxi

The weather is getting hotter than before, which makes the days exhausting and hard to keep going. My goal is to be that missionary on the plane that look's worn out.  I can not get that way sitting around.  The work must go on!

Elder Chinedu is awesome! The way he teaches is great.  He takes things around us and compares it to what we are teaching.  I have noticed it work's out really well.

Elder Johnson and Elder Chinedu

By the way.. cockroaches are gross.  I have had many run across my desk and show up out of nowhere in the bathroom.  One night there was even a gecko.  It scared me!  At nights, Elder Hounkpe is helping me with my Twi.  We have been reading over the Book of Mormon to help me read and at the same time learn some words.  I am really praying that I will be transferred into the village for 9 months to learn the language more, but for now we have to get our area with plenty of people to teach!

Now, time to start another week :)

Elder Johnson