Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Monday, April 25, 2016

How You Know If You Have Prepared Spiritually

Hello America!!!!

Well, it is official, Elder Johnson is 9 months in Ghana. You already know that I will say it does not feel like I have been away from home that long. Plus my brother returns home in 3 months, which is crazy to me. Maybe I will ask if I can extend my mission for 2 more years :)

On Wednesday we made the 2 hour trip to Cape Coast for a meeting with President and Sister Stevenson as well as Elder and Sister Vincent.  Wednesday morning we were all mostly up at 5 am to get prepared to leave for the station at 6:45am.  It was easy to be up early because the power in Fosu was off so no fan= really hot and sweaty missionaries. The Elders in the zone were all on time to leave but the sisters rolled in 45 minutes late. The district leaders knew they would so they said to come an hour earlier than we needed to be.

When you try to be a photographer...

Before the meeting I was talking with some of the people that I came out to Ghana with and one has been "Dear John'd" (She said she is dating until he gets back then they will date... makes no sense. poor Elder).  And another has sent a " Dear Jane" letter.  The Elder I was least expecting to write off a girl, did!!!  As for me, the only girl I have waiting for me is Carol the pretty silver Honda.  She will probably die because my sister will crash in the school parking lot.

The meeting was totally awesome!!!!!  Sister Vincent spoke to us first and told us how her and Elder Vincent met.  They are both from Australia and met in college while working at McDonalds.  Elder Vincent was not a member and Sister Vincent was. They got into religious talks and Elder Vincent came to the conclusion that one was right and the other was wrong.  Some time after that, Elder Vincent was baptized. Sister Vincent did a demo of the effect that one baptism has.  It brings future family members into the church and because of the temple, past family are baptized as well. The spirit was so strong in that meeting.  My journal has different impressions that came to me during the meeting!!!!  Funny thing is, the meeting was 3 hours long and I was all ears the whole time, back home I would have been thinking about my hunger. <--- how you know if you have prepared spiritually or not.

On Saturday my companion and I were invited to come to a training meeting with the stake president for the ward counsel members. 75% in Twi. Sunday was ward conference, also in Twi.

Work is still going strong in this area. We have 4 baptisms coming in a couple weeks!!

Brown Rice with DOG meat for lunch. My comp and 2 others pitched in for dog meat. Some may be mad that i have eaten dog meat, I need it to survive and it is really good sooooo....

I decided to take a couple pictures of food that I have... this is breakfast when I do not feel like a smoothie. Porridge and bread. Usually comes in a bag that you suck it out of but I put it in a bowl. 

I will share one spiritual experience that I had on Sunday. Back story... we have been working on a baptismal record for some weeks now for someone that was confirmed.  Small slacking from my comp and I, but we have been trying to go see this lady, but translators were not going. Sunday morning I prayed for a way to get the record done that day.  I knew it would be busy because of conference.  When we walked onto the church grounds I saw Constance (need information for record) and the other Constance (YSA that can translate for us) both standing close to each other in the front of the church. May seem small to someone but I
know it was an answer to my prayers :)

Have a great week,

Elder Johnson

Monday, April 18, 2016


I heard about the snow in Colorado and chuckled a little. We should all just know that weird things happen in Colorado every single year :)

This past week was just full of manual labor!!!  True that walking all day everyday is labor, but what I am talking about is shoveling dirt all day everyday for 3 days this past week. By the day's end my companion and I look like we jumped in a pool and just got out.  Two things I loved about doing this service for a less active.. 1... You just feel great after getting done.. 2.... Nice cold glass bottle of soda. One thing that is so "fun" is washing our dirty clothes in a bucket. Thankfully I have been used to doing that with all my clothes for the past months. Maybe will wash my clothes by hand when I get home :P

The only really weird thing that happened this week was on Saturday afternoon!!!  We got a call to come to a family's house because they were preparing us FUFU :)  In America it is normal for a family to call the missionaries or to have a scheduled dinner appointment.  In Ghana, we get fed randomly or not at all.  Really helps me be inventive with my food!  Like I found that corn beef on bread is really good and for an extra kick add some ketchup.  Back to the fufu... we were really thankful that they called us because there was NOTHING to do. Saturday is wedding/funeral day. Funerals here are a way bigger deal then they should be.. even carries over into Sunday which still disturbs me.

Something else weird happened on Sunday.. the same family called us to come over for food again!!! Not just my comp and I, but Elder Rothlisberger and Elder Havea ( Saturday and Sunday). This time was some nice Bonku with stew.

Sunday morning it rained pretty hard and it made me happy we have church at 11:30 :) After church we had to go to P.E.C.  Once finished with the meeting we went over to the family's house for food. We had to wait quite some time to have the food prepared though.

This week we are traveling to Cape coast for a conference with Elder Vinson (counselor in area presidency) which will be wonderful.

I am alive and doing well!!!!

Elder Johnson

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What Can We Do Better Instead of Complaining About the Situation?


Another Tuesday email.  Electricity was off in the town all day yesterday then the generator went off in the cafe and they did not want to get more gas #Ghanaprobs #Doomsoabaa

This past week was pretty good!!!  Really busy here in the Telecom zone in Assin Fosu, Ghana.  Once again I will comment how grateful I am to have the time to serve here in Ghana.  Like all missions in the world they each have their pro's and con's.  The only con to Ghana Cape Coast mission (more pros then cons because Ghana is sweet paaaa) is that since we do not speak the language quite so fluently we need a translator most of the time in this specific area.  Our ward missionaries that help us are awesome for coming with us and using their time to help serve our Heavenly Father to build up the kingdom of God.  But some weeks it seems that each of them are busy and can not go with us, so that leaves us with not much to do.  Last week was one of those weeks:( !!!

An important lesson I have learned that applies to this situation of no translators is look at yourself and the companionship, and see what we can do better instead of complaining about the situation.  So when we had no one to go out with us, we used it as time to see some members of the ward to build relationships with them further, and maybe get some people other than ward missionaries to come out with us. With an added bonus, today in District meeting we were reminded how to have an effective companionship study.  Our new Zone leader, Elder Okwii (Uganda) read some from "Preach my Gospel" and it says that if we have an effective companionship study we should not be asking each other throughout the day, "What should we do now?"  At that moment Elder Maumau and I looked at each other because we are guilty of that.

After 9 months on my mission I had to eat CAT meat. Yes.. yes... I know " That's gross" but actually it tasted pretty good. On Wednesday we passed by Comfort (recent convert) and Andrews compound in the evening to see how they are doing. When we got there, we found Andrews in the bamboo/ mud made building for a "kitchen."  He was burning the hair off the cat.  Elder Maumau wanted to watch.. I kind of stuck back.  Then Andrews came out and we watched him gut the cat. Pretty sweet I know ;) When he was finished he invited us to come Thursday evening to have some cat.

Update on Comforts husband Andrews.. nothing.  We are still talking with him.  There has been progress made for sure and I am grateful that President gave me more time in this area.  Right now we have 2 couples - one is baptized one is not.  The other is Constance and her husband, Charles. Constance was recently baptized and Charles has a strong desire to be baptized.  All I can see is both couples going through the temple together.  Hopefully after my interview with President Stevenson on Thursday he will let me stay for more time. Or at least in the same zone since they want to expand us to more areas.  We will find out on May 7th!!!

This past week we also have a new investigator named Georgina.  She is 70 years old!!!  Very, very nice lady.  She came to church and that is how we met her.  Georgina told us she has wanted to come for a long time, but where she was before was not close to her compound.

On Saturday we did some service for a man in our ward (Francis).  He has been building a place to stay for his sisters when they get older.  Problem is that the foundation was not prepared before he did it.  So after begging, he let us help him.  Still in the process of taking hills of dirt out of the rooms. Francis told us at the end that he did not think we could do so well.  Elder Maumau and I killed it.  My hands are dead as well haha.  I find I am most happy when I have done some manual labor on the mission.. weird.  Going back tomorrow to continue :)

The entire "house". We were working the third room from the left. Still have to finish plus the rooms.
King of the hill. That's what it looked like after some time of us working.. the mound went to the door frame. Used pick axes and shovels!!!

Small small thought:  Last Monday I bought a pocket sized notebook at the market.  And I have to say it is the best 1 cedi I have spent.  In this notebook I write down spiritual promptings and experiences that are happening.  It is quite amazing how many happen in a week!!!  Really is helping me recognize the spirit in my life which was a struggle.  But the notebook RULES!!!!

Elder Rothlisberger says hi.

Elder Rothlisberger's mom sent him some syrup ( YYEESSS) so we decided yesterday to use our skills and make french toast

Love all of you
Elder Johnson

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Week Of Miracles

Wo ho t3 s3n??

The fact that it is already April really actually creeps me out. At the beginning of my mission the first month or so was a mental struggle just thinking about the time left.  Everyday for the first month I would say to myself,  "Once I am 6 months on my mission, everything will be okay."  I got over home faster than 6 months, but the point of this is that 6 months felt like NOTHING. When January came it was not a big deal at all. Now it is April and I want time to freeze!  The only good thing is that my birthday is close :)

Farming with Gladys' family

This past week could be looked at as bad, but for my companion and I we have seen it as a week of miracles. The first bad thing is that my companion had no money and I had 7 cedis for the week (one meal is usually 2.00 cedi).  We were not able to get our snacks during the day or have fancy meals but we were filled when we went to bed at night.  Most of the week we survived on nothing but rice and Bonku. And we had meals from investigators and members almost everyday which never really happens. God watches out for us!!!!

Second bad thing, was the lack of lessons we were able to have. Tuesday- Friday we had one lesson a day.  Usually it is way more, but we were not able to have translators with us during the day. Personally I was a little irritated at the ward missionaries.  I am grateful that I have this great time to be here in Ghana and serve, but sometimes it can weigh on me a little because things are new and still need some fixing. What my companion and I are trying to work on is member involvement. With that and others things it can weigh on us at times. Missions are hard, but do not get me wrong - I LOVE WHERE I SERVE!!! GHANA CAPE COAST MISSION IS #1

Though there was a lack of lessons, we were able to seek out more service opportunities. On Friday, Elder Maumau and I went and sat on a bench to talk to some of the kids at school (kids love us here). A lady was finishing up selling the kids bread and butter for lunch (never complain about school lunch again) and I saw she had plenty of dishes to wash (in a bucket). I felt prompted to help her wash and she let me do them for her. Usually they say no because we are in church dress. Funny thing is Elder Maumau was playing soccer with the kids and the sole of his shoe tore off, so we had to go to the apartment and change his shoes.

We arranged on Wednesday to help a less active, Francis, with doing brick work for his house on Saturday.  Both Elder Maumau and I were excited to do some manual labor, but we called Saturday annndddd of course he turned out not to be working Saturday. So, we went out at the usual time and went to see Gladys (a less active, 18 yr old) and her family.  At the end of our message to them we asked if they needed help with anything.  Her younger sister and mom both said in Twi they wanted us to go farm with them.  We were EXCITED.  We ran to the apartment changed our clothes and walked the 45 minutes to their farm (random stop in the "jungle").  Farming in Ghana involves using a machete to weed.  When we were walking the trails into the farm we had to cut things down to get through.  Just like the movies!!!

Best thing of the week is that we got to watch some of General Conference in the evening at the chapel with some district members and a couple members.  My companion and I saw the last talk of the morning session and the whole afternoon session.  Sadly, I did not bring my notebook to watch conference because we heard they were broadcasting it one hour into the morning session. It was good, but last conference was better because I had a notebook. Thankfully we will see the sessions again on the 24th.

Best thing today---- MONEY DAY

The network stinks and the computer is really slow so that is all for now folks!!

Elder Johnson