Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I Love This Church

What's cracka lackin?

So here in Ghana they have TOO MANY holidays or as I like to say, "lazy days". Yesterday the internet cafe was closed because I guess Easter is a 2 day holiday... ;)

Last week was week #6 and the last week of the transfer cycle.  In Assin Fosu I've spent 18 weeks and will spend 6 more weeks with Elder Maumau in the same area - which I am so happy for honestly!!!  There are too many people that I love here to leave them so soon.  Plus my zone is the best of the mission!!!  One of our zone leaders gave us some stats from this last quarter (Jan- March) today in our meeting.  In the past 3 months our zone of 18 members has baptized 44 people and has given out 874 Books of Mormon in the last 10 weeks.  Ghana is a fast growing part of the church and it is a privilege to be apart of helping the church grow here.

Sister Constance and our awesome ward missionary, Brother Addo Knack

Not many things out of the ordinary happened last week and my mind is drawing a blank for the most part.

On Sunday we had 2 baptisms! Samuel Odoom whom is 13 years old. He was a member referral that we got a month or so ago. His brother Stephen got back from his mission in South Africa a month ago and baptized his little brother.  My testimony on the importance of members in missionary work has grown so much!! GIVE REFERRALS TO THE MISSIONARIES.  You never know what may come of it. The worth of a soul is to great!!!  Our second baptism was Constance, whom is 42 ish years old. My last companion and comp before me started teaching her around November and months later is ready for baptism. For whatever reason my companion and I felt that she was not ready even though she was coming to church every week.  We knew this last Sunday was when she was ready. She was also a referral by the way... see the pattern??

Front - left to right - Stephen, Brother Odoom and Samuel who was baptized
Back - Elders Johnson and Maumau

To add to my happiness I saw my dad's car in the parking lot at the church building. To my displeasure it was not him ;(  But it was Carol's (I named the Accord - "Carol") Ghana brother, "Carl".  It looked the exact same.  The only Honda accord I have seen in Ghana!

Carol's Ghana brother - Carl
For the past week, every single afternoon, it decides to rain really hard.  It will go from hot to DARK clouds in minutes.  Thankfully my companion and I are close most of the time to the apartment for refuge :)

One of the many reasons I am happy to be in this area still is because of a man named Andrews Kampal.  He is the husband of our recently baptized Comfort. She wants him to come and join her at church so bad. Every time we see her she mentions Andrews.  We have met with him a few times, but he is set on his church.  We have done different things to help him soften his heart, like coming to a FHE activity put on by the missionaries a few weeks ago (he did not come, but Comfort and their 2 children did) and last night we had a wonderful time with Brother Kellikuma and his family in family home evening. We invited Andrews and his wife, but he was not around when we came to escort them. Only downer of the family home evening was they gave us a HUGE plate of rice and stew at 8:30 at night.  Trying to lose the rest of my gut and that did not help!!

Elder Kanongata'a and I today after the meeting. He has since left to Cape coast to board a plane tomorrow to Tonga. Thankfully he will be in the states when I am home.  Love this guy a lot
Elder Rothlisberger and I throwing the "whip"

I love this Church.  It is the only true church on the face of the earth! We could give verses from scriptures until we are blue in the face to convince people, but the most effective and best way is to bear our testimony of the Restored Gospel. At the end of our lessons and especially in the first lesson, we invite people to pray to know if this church is true.  And we know if they are faithful the prayer will be answered. So I hope each and every one of us are keeping our testimonies strong by scripture study and prayer everyday, so when that crucial moment comes to bear our testimonies, the Holy Ghost will bear record to them that what we are saying is true.

Have a wonderful week!!

Elder Johnson

Monday, March 21, 2016

An Apostle Of The Lord

O na ho bon ( Hopefully I spelt that right Brother Wright)

This past week in one word is AMAZING!!!! Not as many lessons taught as usual, but that's ok because Elder Rasband came to talk with our mission!  I will explain that a little further down.

On Monday evening our zone leaders organized a "Family Home Evening" activity for our investigators/recent converts/less actives. Our recent convert, Comfort, was able to come with her two small kids Kevin and Rhoda. For the activity one of the members in the other ward talked to everyone on what a family home evening is and why the church recommends we set Monday night apart to spend with our families. Then we watched the Restoration video and discussed further on the restoration of the church.

Tuesday was the normal... Zone meeting.. chop some fufu... emailed for a short time.. went out to visit people.

Beach by the Ola Stake Center in Cape Coast - Johnson and Maumau

Skipping to Thursday, we had our typical weekly planning and then had to meet the sister missionaries at the Tro station to send them off to Takoradi at about 2pm.  My companion and I, along with Elder Havea and Rothlisberger, returned back to the apartment to clean up since we kind of got in trouble with how dirty the apartment was.  Usually some time is spent to clean it, but I gave up after I clean and then it gets dirty again.  At 5pm we went back to the station to depart for Cape Coast which is 2 hours or less away.  About 25 Elders from 3 zones - Telecom, which is the zone I am in, Assin Foso.. and Twifo Praso) slept in an empty senior couples apartment by the mission home. Most of us slept on the bare floor.  Elder Rothlisberger and I slept on a 1 inch foam mat in a room with 10 other Elders. Most of us woke up at 3am so we can be ready to get to the stake center by 5am Friday morning.

Our trip to Takoradi (where I was August- December) was about 2 hours. We had a big bus and a smaller bus. The bus I was in had some mold on the seats... very nice.  We arrived at the stake center in Takoradi at 8:30 am, and gathered in the chapel to get spiritually ready for the meeting. When Elder Rasband/Vinson arrived we went out to take a group picture.

Elder Rothlisberger coming back from Takoradi
President and Sister Stevenson, my mission president and his wife, started by bearing their testimonies.  Let's just say I love them!  Elder Vinson spoke about how great it is to serve a mission. After him, Sister Rasband bore her testimony, followed by Elder Rasband. The spirit that filled that room can not be described. When he spoke I felt like the message was for me personally. Every one else was feeling the same way. Though he spoke one message every missionary got something different from the spirit speaking to us. By the way he told us that when a general authority is speaking you better be taking notes. He said some very, very, very spiritual things that I will not share at this time but maybe in my homecoming talk ;)

After the meeting was finished, they had lunch outside for all 200 of us. It was great to see all the people in my MTC group. That usually does not happen until our year mark when we get our ID's renewed.

Selfie in the tro tro - ballfloat still in mouth.  Oops.

On Saturday we spent some time in the morning preparing bonku for this week at an investigator's house.  Bonku is my #1 food in Ghana with some pepper sauce/stew thing... do not know how it would be considered back home.

I have said it many times but will say it millions more, I know this church is true. Hearing an apostle of the Lord speak to my mission built my testimony of the church even higher. I am happy I get to spend some time serving Jesus Christ in Ghana.

Love you all,

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Disciple of Jesus Christ

M3 mo aky3!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful week and hope that this week will be even better than the last. This email is coming a day late because of some events that happened yesterday.. mainly a rain storm that prevented us from leaving the apartment until late in the afternoon.

As usual I can remember only some small things that happened last week. Sorry about that... :)

Zone Conference

Last week we had out zone conference with President Stevenson and the Assistants. I really enjoy conferences or anywhere that President Stevenson instructs because  He is such a powerful man. He talked to us about "Costs and benefits" about becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I should review my notes, but I believe it came from St. Luke in the Bible somewhere.  After the Assistants helped us better understand how to use the pamphlets better

My second favorite part of last week was when I got to go on exchange with one of my zone leaders, Elder Blay. I got to go to his area for Thursday night to Friday night. They are out in the middle of NOWHERE. 

The Zone leader area goes up to the border of the Ashanti region which is the Ghana Kumasi mission. I crossed the border for fun before we got a car back to the apartment

When I walked in the area on Friday I could not help but just smile. It is so awesome that I get to spend 2 years of my life in Ghana. These things I may never see ever again so I need to enjoy it while it lasts. There was a older man we taught that day named Brother Cramwell, 89 years old, and is getting baptized this Sunday. He was apart in bringing in the Presbyterian church into the Assin Foso area some years ago. The missionaries started teaching him some time ago and since that time he has come to church every Sunday. Elder Blay was telling me that Pastors from all around Ghana have come to him to try to get him back but Brother Cramwell says NOPE!

Sign to the chapel in the Akonfudi area

 The Bereku branch chapel. Kinda small

Interior of the Bereku branch chapel

On the long ride home from the Zone leaders area which is over an hour from my apartment and 30 minutes from theres, the taxi we rode in from their apartment got a flat tire. Dark outside and no street lights. One lane roads with no cars coming down... a little scary.  I will put the word into President that I would not mind being in a village at all :)

Random trail picture

Chop bar is like a place to eat.. sorry if you have wondered what that was haha

Still loving the work more and more everyday. I am still alive. Not sick ( Yeminas3)
Love you all,
Elder Johnson

Monday, March 7, 2016

Armor of God


This past week was beyond great!! Let me tell you why....

Elder Maumau and I worked hard this past week and I am very happy for the work we put in. Right now we have 5 people that we are helping to prepare for baptism for the month of March before transfers (My hope is to not be transferred). And each of those people speak little to no English so we have really needed the help of our ward missionaries.

Follow up trainers meeting, we all came in together, trained together, and will leave Ghana together

We had a meeting with our ward mission leader and ward missionaries on Tuesday night. Which was more successful than the past 3 or 4 weeks we have had ward missionaries called in the ward. They all actually came to the meeting on Tuesday!! It was nice to have them all on the same page as us and talk to them with the ward mission leader how important they are to the success of this work.

Stopped by to see my trainer before he is leaves to Sierra Leone

My companion and I are over half way done with his training (12 weeks training). I have loved to see both of our improvement over the last 2 or so months. They say in the training manual to let the trainee take the lead of everything on week 11 but I actually let him take the lead in planning and teaching this past week. It is important for missionaries to know that they are both equal, being the senior companion/trainer does not put you above the junior companion in any way. Both are equal. Both have been set apart to be missionaries.

Comforts baptism "We think you just look great in white" *Best 2 years

Since being in Ghana I have really gained a testimony in everything but especially in the basic things we should be doing as members to help us keep the "Armor of God" and have the Holy ghost with us at all times. First is following the "Gospel of Jesus Christ", Jesus Christ while here on the earth taught people about needing to... have faith in Jesus Christ in His atonement, repent, be baptized, receive the holy ghost, and endure to the end. As we do these things it will prepare us to live with our Heavenly father once again after this life. If these things are not followed then we can not enter the Celestial kingdom. Second, study scriptures everyday, prayer morning and night, and follow the commandments. These basic things help us throughout of daily lives! I love studying the scriptures everyday. I look forward to having that time to get into the scriptures everyday :)

Decided to be cool and match last Pday (not really my style.. just don't have my boots).

Salt and ice challenge, big indent in my skin and now a mark!!

On Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference here in Assin Foso stake!! President/ Elder Curtis were in attendance at all sessions. As missionaries we were able to attend the adult session on Saturday afternoon (1pm) and the session on Sunday. The Elders in my zone made the mistake of showing up to the priesthood session on Saturday morning, President Stevenson said we can go out by the stake center and proselyte since our areas were not close. As a zone we got a box of 40 Book of Mormons and placed them out to people (had 5 for each missionary). That was pretty fun. But President Curtis and President Stevenson are POWERFUL speakers. They each spoke at the sessions I was at but one thing that President Curtis talked about was the growth of the church in the Africa west area. What a honor it is to serve in the fastest growing area of the church!!!

This Ghana baby!

Hope all is well, and I am NOT happy about the ward changes. I am protesting against the changes. ;) Bishop Riewerts - WHAT UP!