Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Monday, February 22, 2016

God has trusted me in this part of His vineyard

Ete sen?

This past week has been long/ short at the same time. Do not know how it is possible though!!

SO much happened this week and will probably remember a lot more of the cool stuff after I walk away from the internet cafe. #missionprobs

Baptism for Abduali and another person from the Sister missionaries

Last week was transfer week and my companion and I are still together and will be until his training is finished in 5 weeks, and maybe we will be together for longer. But Elder Kenyah, the cook, and the funniest guy in the zone got transferred to Axim... which is really far away. When we found out he was leaving, the first thought that came to my mind was.., "who will cook lunch for us now?"  Let's just say we have hit the chop bar a few times since Wednesday. The Elder that came is Elder Rothlisberger, he is from Gilbert Arizona and that is where my future wife is, but let's focus on that later.

This church/school/daycare is right outside our gate of the apartment. Kids came running after the Book of Mormon when Elder Maumau, Havea, Rothlisberger, and I walked out to go to... the chop bar.

Tuesday we had another combined district meeting and we got instruction on working with members. Very helpful as always!!! The sister missionaries brought lunch.  We had a South African dish called chakalaka (?) with Chipaties (?) it was really good food :)  Later that day my companion and I went back to the chapel for ward coordination meeting with our ward mission leader. It is nice being in a ward that takes it serious.  We discussed a lot of things, but our topic was mostly on helping the youth. Since the church is really new here with new members, they do not have the example. the church does back home from leaders and other fellow youth.  Elder Maumau told me that in the MTC he was told the Africa west area (mostly Ghana) is the fastest growing part of the church in the world. When he said that it took me back for a second and I thought about how much of an honor it is that God has trusted me in this part of His vineyard!!

Sister Amedzro - the coolest Sister missionary

The sisters in our district brought some dinner to us at the chapel since Elder Kenyah left the next day. So going to Wednesday, we did not do much missionary work. I felt terrible but that is how it can be on transfer day.

After 4 bowls of bonku and fish (best I have had being here)

The best part of the week was when Elder Maumau and I met a group of young guys (18-20s). They work at the car wash here (side of the road, throw some water on the car with a bucket). We talked with 15 of them - all do some bad things.  Elder Maumau and I brought a whole bunch of Books of Mormon for them. One of the guys actually took a stack and passed them out to the people around hahaha. We hope to teach them and bring them each to the restored church!!!!

Last Monday I forgot to say our awesome stake president killed a huge pig for the two zones in Foso. We ENJOYED!

Yesterday, I taught the young women class in the church. I felt impressed to talk with them on how to have a successful family, which included the basic things that each member should be doing. I love getting up and teaching! I do not know if I am any good, but the Holy Ghost being in the room is what is the most important. He was present, so I hope a heart or two were touched. Then had a baptism for our awesome investigator!!!!  Later we had a FM with the Owusu family. Brother Owusu talked with us and said to stop going to chop bars and learn to cook haha. I can cook, just do not have the same stuff here hahah. It was a good dinner.

Telecom Zone homies!

Thought: Continually I am reminded of the basic things that members of the church should be doing. Like praying and studying the scriptures. If, like the YW in Telecom, do not know who Ammon is, read some more. If we pray, study the scriptures, and attend the church as well as the temple, we will have the spirit. We will receive blessings and have a happy life even when things are not the best.

Love you all,
Elder Johnson

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Mission Is A Real Growing Experience

Yo 'merica what is up

It was a surprise to me that Ghana actually somehow knows what Valentine's Day is. The sister missionaries kept reminding us for the last couple weeks that Valentines was coming up and they wanted chocolate. But money is tight soooo... sorry sisters!!

This week a lot of things went on and in all was a good week.

Me and some recent converts. Brother Forson and his son Kwesi

Elder Maumau and I have really focused on building the relationships with members in the ward so the missionary spirit can improve in the ward. After some time we are starting to see the fruits of our labors. This past week we got 7 referrals from members. We have just done small and simple things that can be overlooked, but really helped a lot to help us know the members more. Unlike America, addresses do not really exist, so you have to find other means or seeing where they live. We have learned where some more members have lived and stopped by to visit and say hello to them.

Weekly planning... have to make it fun before you fall asleep

Tuesday was a llllooonngggggg day. We had a combination of combined zone meeting + missionary broadcast that happened a few weeks ago. The broadcast was 2 hours, but I enjoyed every moment of it. There was a lot that I learned and I have a nice bunch of pages full of notes. The zone leaders were given money to buy lunch for the zone for the meeting. They were looking hard for a drink here known as Alvaroo. You can not find it here in Assin foso until Elder Maumau and I found some in Melcom!! I called the zone leaders on Monday night and they asked us to buy 20 of them. The nice thing was that we carried them in bags back to the apartment since we have no car. Luckily no bags or bottles broke!!!

Zone meeting lunch

My favorite day over the whole week was Friday because we did a companionship exchange with the zone leaders. Usually we do not do it with the zone leaders, just the district leader, but the zone is small enough that President has allowed it.  Elder Kano came with me in the area and my son got to go with Elder Blay to his area in the bush.  Elder Kano is a awesome guy and I really enjoyed the day learning from him. He is a really good teacher and has a lot of good advice when you need it.

Random picture

On Saturday Elder Maumau and I did what the President advised the mission to do, flood Ghana with the Book of Mormon! He said " hand them out like candy."  By the end of the day we handed out 30 total, each that we gave was given an explanation on the Book of Mormon. We went back to the apartment throughout the day to reload our Book of Mormon ammo. Saturday evening we had a baptisimal interview with Abduali.  He will be getting baptized this coming Sunday. With Sister Comfort following the next Sunday because President Stevenson is coming down to interview her next week. 

Handing out Books of Mormon like candy!
Known as "station."  People coming into Foso and going out around Ghana

My mission is a real growing experience for me and for everyone that embarks in the service of God.  Your weaknesses stick out like a soar thumb and you do what you can to make them strengths. Elder Maumau and I have had some long talks together that do not start out so nice.  After each of them we come out stronger as a companionship and know what we should do to get better. So mission prepares you for marriage just a little ;)

Have a wonderful week!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, February 8, 2016

"Is This What You Do Everyday?" "Yes."

Wo ho te sen?!

It is quite impressive how much Twi a missionary can learn by just hearing it from day to day.  It would be so sweet if it were a Twi speaking mission, but that is not the case :(   On the bright side, the members are more involved in missionary work because we need translators sometimes.  Elder Maumau and I have been meeting with a turtle investigator named Halena a few days during the week to read from the Twi Book of Mormon.  It helps Elder Maumau and I learn the language, but the reason we do it is for Halena to read from it!!  Since arriving in Assin Foso my Twi is to the point now were I know exactly what they say - just need to learn how to do the most important part.... respond!!!

This past week was quite interesting, long, tough, but that is where the fun comes from.

Starting out on Monday evening we went to the stake president's house as a combined zone Family Home Evening - mainly because his son left for his mission on Wednesday. While there, the zone leaders informed me that Elder Maumau is going to Takoradi (my sweet old zone) to get his ID card the next day. So, Tuesday I spent time with the zone leaders doing zone leader things and spent time in my area with them while Elder Maumau and those that came with him were in Takoradi.

Elder Maumau and I on Friday spent some time playing soccer and small other games with kids

Wednesday was a good and bad day all in one. We left to go proselyte and ended up coming back 20 minutes later to talk some things out.  If you want to know why, just ask when I am back home. But all that I will add is that the conversation really opened up both of our eyes to help us improve.

Telecom 2 area

Thursday we had weekly planning (yay) and then interviews with President Stevenson. I LOVE my mission president and his wife.  They are so cool, and I am really happy they will be leaving shortly before I go home.

That my friends is a brown recluse. Found it by my closet dead when we came back home Thursday night. Thing was HUGE my palm and finger size.

The rest of the week was the same awesome missionary work that we get the honor to do. Sunday was the best because most of our investigators came to church and some less actives!  Then after church my comp and I went on visits with Brother Addo (1st counselor in YM presidency.. preparing for mission) and some youth to see less actives.  We walked forever and the youth were dying. Then later a youth asked us.. "is this what you do everyday?"... I replied, "yes.". Elder Maumau and I gathered them at a certain point because one said "why do we have to do this, this is the missionaries job."  We corrected that really fast. Seeing less actives and visiting members is the ward's PRIVILEGE.  Somewhere in James 2.. talks about what pure religion is. 

Elder Maumau and I enjoyed Fried rice and coke on Wednesday to celebrate our stepping stone together

The work here is great. I am healthy, focused and dedicated. My companion is awesome. I LOVE my zone leaders. Mission is the BEST!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week,

Elder Johnson

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Serving A Mission Is The Greatest Decision I Have Ever Made


So, first I hope you are enjoying the snow and cold weather. It has gotten pretty cold here..... just kidding! The air is getting more dry and is getting hotter by the day.

It was another good week in the Telecom area with my "son."  The success was not much, but we worked hard and we know that we will see the fruits of our labors someday!

Elder MauMau and Johnson
Interviews with President Stevenson

Tuesday was the first meeting for the "Telecom zone" and in my own opinion it was very spiritually uplifting. We received instruction from a few sources, but my favorite was from one of our zone leaders, Elder Kanongata.  He had us share some reasons why we are out here. He put them in graphs from least important, like for our lady friends back home (joke that an Elder said), to the most important reason, which is because we LOVE our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Elder K shared a story the President Stevenson shared when he was a stake president back in Oregon... an Elder came home from his mission and did the usual go meet with the stake president to be released. When President Stevenson said for him to take off the tag, the Elder looked down at it and started to cry, and looked at the tag for 10 minutes. At the moment Elder K shared that story the spirit filled the room and some started to shed some tears.  It hit me that one day when I take off my tag it will be for good and not just when I get home at night then put it on again the next morning.  Serving a mission is the greatest decision I have ever made.  It has brought me closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. What a honor it is for me to wear His name on my chest everyday.

My son ate his first fufu on Tuesday and finished it!!!  No surprise, father like son!!! Just kidding, I did not finish my first one.  Shout out to my trainer Elder Hanson for helping a son out :P  Elder Hanson recently got called to go with other missionaries in March to open back up the Sierra Leone mission after the Ebola evacuation 18 months ago. I'm sad that I will not see him again til I get home :(

On Thursday we had the normal weekly planning session to talk about the remainder of the week and this coming week. Instead of sitting there and talking we kneeled in prayer and prayed for each person we teach, recent converts, and less actives.  Lets just say, it will be how weekly planning sessions are done with Elder Johnson from here on out.  My testimony grew that day that Heavenly Father is mindful of us all!!  We are His children and He LOVES us.  All He wants is for us to pray and ask for help. He will send the spirit to touch our heart to help us when we pray and ask with a sincere heart.

Time with Sister Stevenson
Sidenote--- Tuesday night a older man pulled up in his SUV and started saying some rude things to us. Saying the Mormons are polygamists and all that usual untrue stuff that people say about us... Elder Maumau was angry, I was thrown back since I have not heard that kind of rude stuff since I left home. Turns out he lived in New york for 25 years and just came back to Ghana. So everyone, spread the word and fix those false truths!!! 

On Friday we had a pretty hard day! No one really to teach and we both felt that something different needed to be done. So we went back to the apartment and prayed for help and guidance. This work can not be done by any missionaries own wisdom. It is not our work, it is God's.

Yesterday the Ward Council met together and my companion and I were invited to attend. The meeting lasted almost 3 hours, BUT there is a new plan in place to help us as missionaries with referrals!!! In the Cape coasC mission, 60% of our baptisms each year come from referrals from MEMBERS. Keep that one in mind.

This mission is so hard, but it is sooooo sweet.  And I would not trade this time to do anything else. From my 6 short months in the field I have grown to know more than ever that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of His children. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Without Jesus Christ we would forever be lost and could not return to live with Heavenly father one day. The Book of Mormon is ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ. It is given to us from God and I know that 100%.

Elder Johnson


Hello once again,

So in case you are not all counting my days... I have now been out 6 months, but it has felt like 6 weeks HA!

On to the actual important things..... As of Wednesday I now have my "son" and he is totally awesome. His name is Elder MauMau (Said like now now but with an M instead of N) he is from Utah! His dad is from Tonga and his mom is from Hawaii. He is what all polynesian's are like in this mission... big, nice, giving, and really humble.  In my apartment we have Elder Havea who is from Tonga. The guy is SOOOOOO nice!

Elder MauMau and Johhson

Not much has been going on other than the usual awesome missionary work that is being done all over the world.

On Thursday we do our weekly planning sessions and this past Thursday has been my longest planning EVER. It took us 3 hours to plan for the coming week sooo that was a nice 3 hours for Elder Maumau!!!! Not really... he was about to fall asleep :)

Saturday a very nice lesson was learned by my companion and I. We went out at 12pm, just had lunch, feeling great with a wonderful day planned. Fast forward 3 hours, no lessons worked out, visited a lot of people with nothing! Being the trainer/ senior companion a lot of stress was on me and it got me in a "ehh" kind of mood. A little after 3 we went to the apartment to get a couple things and Elder Kenyah and Elder Havea were there because they just got back from a service project. I asked for some help because they both go home in the next 8 months and the advice was...
We do not have to go place to place to place to just sit down and teach. We can also visit members, have chats with them, visit investigators just to say hi. They said to make it fun and not to stress ourselves out because we have no lessons working.

Right now we have 4 investigators that have a baptism date in the next couple weeks. One of them, Comfort, that I mentioned last week wants us to teach her husband. His name is Andrews, pretty cool guy, but did not take to us very well the first couple times we had a chat with him. After some weeks of just becoming friends we were able to have a lesson with him yesterday evening. We were able to have the 2nd counselor to the Bishop with us in the lesson. Brother Ofori is his name and I found out he returned 1 year ago from mission! The lesson got kind of intense because Brother Ofori said after "Andrews was proving stubborn". I did not like how it was treated but it unstubbornized Andrews and the rest of the lesson was great! We meet with him again in a few days so it should be good!!!

Elder Maumau is very, very, very energetic and I feel like an old man being with him. But I am starting to "feel young again" haha. On Friday we were walking to a lesson and there was men loading bricks onto a flat bed truck. Elder Maumau said that we should help them.. my response.. sadly.. was.." But we will get dirty".... sad in my response but we ended up loading the bricks for them for the next 20 minutes. It was a very good workout. On Saturday there were people working on the side of the road putting in a new open gutter system and you guessed it.. we helped!  I was quick to help them this time when I remembered my terrible response the last situation we were in - and this time we got dirty :P

I am sooooo grateful that I have this opportunity to train a new missionary. In a chat with him on Wednesday I told him that we are both equal. Though he is new he has been set apart to be an Elder just like me. Elder Maumau is so loving to everyone and is always the first to help with anything. I can learn plenty of things from him! Maybe he is actually training me... :)

For our P-day activity today we played Rugby at the stake center. Lets just say that playing with 5 people that played in leagues (Tongans and a Samoans) it was very scary even though we just wrapped and did not tackle. My hands are rubbed raw from doing a lot of laundry early this morning. I want to buy a small wash machine, but I get one of those the rest of my life... on the good side, my shirts are really white.


--Elder Johnson

Sadly my card got some how ruined because of a bad computer so I only have one of my son and I while my card is getting fixed.... I hope