Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Everything We Have Now Is All Because Of Him

Good morning, afternoon, or evening and welcome to Elder Johnson's special Christmas email.

Just kidding,  nothing too special or out of the ordinary.  Sorry to disappoint ;)

This past week was really fun and this week the fun will continue!!!

Elder Johnson & Swatbooi
Christmas 2015

Monday-- Pday.. washing... market... same 'ol Pday stuff.

Tuesday-- There was one lesson that I really love to teach and enjoy teaching to everyone. It is the Holy Ghost!  A recent convert named Lawrenica has been going through a hard time with her daughter.  Her daughter will leave at night and go to the club and won't come home for a couple days at a time (we have been talking to the daughter).  Elder Swartbooi and I agreed that we should re teach her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and let her know (and to all of you) that God loves each and every one of us.

He never puts us in harms way, but when we are in a bad spot He wants us to ask for help!  He will help if we just ask Him.  In the New Testament when Christ was going to be crucified, He told his apostles that He will send another comforter after He goes away. That comforter is the Holy Ghost and that gift is available to each of us.

Missionary life - Assin Foso / Telecom 2 Zone
December 2015

Wednesday-- Being the companion of a District Leader has it's twists and turns.  One being that I will be going on exchanges with different Elders once a week or more.  On Wednesday it was a short day because I had to go with Elder Kenyah to his area while Elder Brooks and Swartbooi went and did a baptismal interview.  Then at 8:00pm, the Elders got together for one more choir practice for the Zone Conference in Cape Coast.

Thursday-- By far my favorite day. One reason being we did not have to do weekly planning. Two, the Zone traveled to Cape Coast to the mission home for a Christmas Zone Conference. While we were there,  President Stevenson instructed us.  We talked about different things about the temple that we are allowed to be talked about.  It was great reminder to all of us of our promises.  Sadly, we can't go again until the end of our missions.  After that we ate some lunch.  The normal chicken and rice, and they added fried plantain this time.  The chicken was soooooooooo good.  Especially the bone ;) After lunch we participated in some "Stevenson Christmas traditions"  First, of course, re-enactment of the nativity.  I got to play one of the wise men.  Then the Zone performed their musical numbers. The Elders went first and we sang hymn 201.  It sounded sweet because we sang in parts.  For the last part we watched, "A Christmas Carol."  The version from 1984.  The movie was awesome. When finished Elder Hanlon, a senior couple missionary, told us that a ward in Utah sent us each a Christmas gift.  Our names were given to families in that ward and they sent us a gift.  So nice of them to do and really thoughtful!!

Saturday-- The stake had a "Food Bizarre" that they do each Christmas. The wards will bring food and we all partake of that awesome food!  Sad part was that it cost money :)   It was really funny to me... not the normal food you would see in a ward back in America.

Thought of the week: I felt impressed to start a new way of studying. It is to spend a week studying one certain topic. And being that it is the Christmas season, I decided to study the Atonement. Let us all remember the true purpose of Christmas.  Though it is great to wake up and open presents, Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us because He loves us all.  He lived a perfect life with no sin. But He paid for OUR sins though.  He was perfect.  Everything we have now is all because of Him!!!

Merry Christmas!
Elder Johnson

Looking In From The Outside

As I wrote last week.. I am in a new area. The name of the area is Telecom 2. Sooooo stoked to be here.
Monday and Tuesday were really filled days. On Monday we did the usual emailing, going to the market, and cleaning.  Tuesday morning I got up early to hand wash most of my stuff. Then all the people in the Takoradi Zone came together for one big zone meeting.  Half of the zone was being transferred out!!!  Those leaving got the opportunity to bear their testimony at the end. The zone was great and I have a strange feeling that I will be back before the end of my mission.  After we went around Takoradi to get some things - one thing of mine being a cutlass. So, I have a big ol sword I will bring home to cut some people's grass!  You are welcome in advance!  On Tuesday night my companion and I went to a member's house to eat a lot of food.  Soon after the 4 missionaries in Sekondi ward got together with the Ward Council for a goodbye and some pictures.  After 2 big meals the missionaries were then invited over for a big bowl of fufu.  Afterwards I could not really walk.  Once home the packing commenced and we were up late getting everything in order before our departure on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning we went to the station and said our goodbyes.  It was sad for me to leave Elder Bay and Elder Zohner, but we will be good friends the rest of our lives.  At about 3 o'clock I and 6 other missionaries arrived at the Zone Leader's apartment in Assin Foso.  I was greeted by my awesome new companion, Elder Swartbooi.  The guy is a "boss" and we have had a lot of fun so far. He is from Namibia.  It is in South Africa.  He was a well known rapper back home!  My new apartment is HUUGGGEE and really nice.  In the apartment is my companion and I, Elder Brooks from my MTC group, Elder Kenyah, Elder Lumalo from Samoa, and Elder Lopez who is fresh from America.
The great thing about my new area is I do not have to walk 30 minutes to get to it.  It is a 30 second walk from the door to our gate!  Still a big area and a lot of walking though. Unlike my last area speaking, Fante now it is changed to Twi!  The people here do not think I can speak with them, but it is a surprise to them when I can.  Haha.  It is more in the middle of nowhere and I like it like that. Plenty of investigators and others to teach, so the past few days have been 6 or 7 lessons in a day. By the end of the day I am dead.
Saturday we attended a wedding.  We went for the free food!  Yesterday in church we were asked to teach the Primary kids, "Away in a Manger."  That was a lot of fun because the kids or the chorister could not hold the tune, but it's okay since they are cute kids.
Thought for the week: Yesterday my companion and I escorted a nice recent convert lady of ours to find her daughter.  The daughter has been going to the club to dance with guys and other things. As Elder Swartbooi and I saw the place from the side of the road with the loud music and really terrible inappropriate dancing, I was looking into the world while I was on the outside.  As my companion and I talked as we walked home, we agreed on how bad the world is getting.  What we saw was far from okay.  Satan is making things that are bad look good.  He does it ever so subtly for us that we may never notice. We are at the top of the hill and Satan will not make us come all the way down the hill to meet him.  He will come most of the way up and have us come down, and have us do whatever so we feel safe.  We never are or will be safe falling into the world.
Elder Johnson

Sunday, December 13, 2015

We Either Follow Them Or We Do Not


As the subject of the email states, I am being transferred to Assin Fosu in the area Telecom. I will be serving with Elder Swatboy (Wrong spelling). He is an African and is the district leader. The apartment is a 6 man apartment instead of the 4 man I am in now. Plus they speak Twi and not Fante like I am now. So I'll need to learn a different language and I hope I can be really good in Twi.

This week was pretty long just because transfer news was coming on Saturday night and we were all excited and sad it was coming. And because our district is sooo awesome we planned to get together on Saturday night for food and Sunday night as well. To add to the longness of the week, our area is dead.  Our investigator Lizzy got a job so we could not meet with her anymore except for on Sunday's.The others we met with did not want to meet with us or were not around. So there were some days with no lessons and just walking around talking to people.

 I will miss this district
On Saturday I went on an exchange with Elder Hounkpe our District Leader. Him and I have gotten very close the past 8 weeks and I am sad that I will not be able to serve with him anymore. He has helped me grow and learn new important lessons in life and for my mission. While with him we taught our investigator Mary. Just followed up with her about her reading in the Book of Mormon, which is something very important that needs to be done. The thing in my area and maybe in Ghana is " I do not have time or I was not feeling well". We kindly explained to her that it needs to be made important to her. If something is important to you, you make time for it. For example, if watching football is important to you, you will make time for it.

Elder Bakula put a mattress on the table.. I asked why his response was, "I want to be closer to heaven." Hahaha. The guy is sooo funny

After Mary we treked over to Palmlands to visit the Valentina family and share a message with them. They currently have a house guest, he is from Nigeria, and returned home from the Accra mission in July. He has given me so much help and advice. I will be staying in contact with him! When we all arrived at the apartment Saturday night, we got out ice cream (fan ice), bread, and Hersheys spread to get nice and fat. We awaited the call for transfers. They went trough the other districts then ours. Side note... no one thought they would be transferred, so this was a shock to us all. "The Sekondi 1 and 2 Elders will be going and Sisters will be coming into Sekondi 1 and 2...."  We all freaked out. My companion, Elder Chinedu will be going back to the same apartment in Cape Coast and serving in a different area. Elder Bakula and Hounkpe will be going to open a new area in Assin Fosu. It was a sad night. I have grown to love each of these missionaries. We have had many laughs together and memories that I will forever hold dear to me. We are needed in other areas and I am happy to serve wherever the Lord calls me.

Elder Pohahau and I at church

Thought of the week: I shared this with the ward on Sunday... we have been given commandments from God to follow. They have been given for a reason and not just for reading material. We either follow them or we do not. I urge everyone to keep them.  They are a list of happiness not a list of rules. As we become more converted to the Gospel they will become easier to follow. Do the things God has asked and prophets from the different generations. As it says in Amos 3:7, God reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.

Elder Johnson

Great Results In Due Season

Hello friends and Family!

I hope your Thanksgiving meals were fantastic and also no one got hurt Black Friday shopping. Now it is almost Christmas... that is weird.

This past week went by pretty fast which just makes me sad now! Things happened this week I promise, but I can not remember much :P 

A continuation of my cooking. French toast this morning with eggs and rice porridge

Missionary work is the most difficult thing ever but also the most enjoyable thing ever!! The days are getting hotter and hotter which is not good at all which does not make thing's any easier.

When I first came, the power did not go out so much as it does now. Here it is called Doomso. The electrical company will turn off the power in different parts of the region. When it happens, no fan, no water, and no lights. As of the last couple weeks there will be a day when power is off all night (really hot with no fan so usually I sleep without a blanket) followed by a day of all power then the next day lights will be off in the morning. After some issues, we are finally prepared for lights to go off! There have been a few mornings that I did not iron my shirt at night so I used our old iron with the fire from the stove to iron my shirt. If you are not careful the shirt will not look so nice :)

Cologne models - I still like to smell good!

The few investigators we have are doing very well. One of them, Lizzy, has been coming to church the last few weeks.  Yesterday she brought her friend to church. Her name is Anneta. We met with her after church and taught her why in our church we do not use drums and a band. It is an issue here with people we teach... they like their loud music among other things at church. She asked us why, so that is why we taught her. Also, from our street contacting on Friday we found 2 young men to teach. They are pretty cool. I really like to teach the youth here because they are the future to build up the church here in Ghana!! On Saturday we got a call from who we call "Mystery lady" and she liked the Restoration pamphlet we gave so she gave us a call. Neither Elder Chinedu or I remembered who she was. We had the opportunity to teach her after church as well!

My good friend "Colorado", Elder Jarvies. We found it funny about the cokes. Share a cook with Fafa!

Other than that, just good old missionary work! I am finishing my #3 transfer as of Monday. We find out if anyone is leaving on Saturday night. So we will see if I am leaving my first area in 5 days!

Thought: While washing my clothes in the good ol bucket on Thursday night, I listened to an awesome devotional given by John Bytheway. It was about weeding our gardens (our testimony). The talk was a reminder to me that we can have beautiful gardens (testimony) but weeds can come out anywhere at anytime. Weeding a garden and growing plants is a constant labor but brings great results in a due season. Let us all weed our gardens and labor in it everyday. By that... scripture study and prayer. Two of the most basic things that can bring great results!