Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Monday, October 31, 2016

I Was Smart This Time

Words can not express how nice it is to be out of the office and be full time in the sun again. The office was a great time and I enjoyed every moment but onto new adventures! :)

The first part of my week was just preparing to be transferred to a new area.  I was smart this time and started packing my things on Monday night instead of Tuesday night and that helped the stress levels a lot. Monday we had a activity at the stake center and we played dodge ball with wrapped toilet paper rolls and then played capture the flag. Capture the flag was difficult because the church property is on a hill also the sun was blazing that day. It was a good last pday in the Yamoransa Zone! Tuesday we had our combined district meeting and Elder Akudago, who went home, instructed for the last time. Then those who were leaving gave their departing testimonies including myself. Sadly, we did not get out to say goodbye to my friends in Nkanfoa because of office duties. My companions knew I was not happy about not getting out for a while because we had time.. their response was "You did not say you wanted to".... Some would say it is a given but all in the past.

Wednesday morning the Elder in the apartment made a really nice breakfast for transfer day! They made eggs, hashbrowns, french toast, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Filled my belly for the long day that awaited me. We headed to the station at 10:30 or so and I sat around and waited until we got on the tro around 1. I got into Takoradi at 3:30 or so. Elder Tugume came up, we said hello to each other, and got to work going to the station to hire taxis to take missionaries to their areas. After we walked around for a while and I got to meet some of the members. Elder Tugume and I were also in a 3 some with Elder Wilhelm who is training but did not get his companion until Friday.

Thursday- Sunday were the nicest days I have had in a while. By nicest I mean most exhausted I have been in the last 6 months. Takoradi Ward is a very productive place and I love it. The members are really nice and all speak pretty good english!! That made church yesterday really awesome. Elder Tugume and I are working with some very wonderful investigators. One who's mother owns a chop bar so with my companions love for fufu we have gone there everyday except Sunday for lunch haha. The investigator's name is Praise, really awesome girl. She loves the church and wants to be baptized so bad but right now her mom is not allowing it. The family does not really like us... the mom does but Elder Tugume said it took some time. Even yesterday we tried to teach the younger sister, Alberta, who is 17. That girl... things she was saying when we met with her yesterday was driving me nuts. Another sweet investigator is Ian. We taught him for the first time on Saturday afternoon, he called us Friday and asked to meet with us (that really is rare). Elder Tugume had no idea who it was until we saw him, Ian is the boyfriend of a girl that just left for her mission the day I came into Takoradi. We sat down and he said "I need your help because I have been trying to read the Book Of Mormon and can not understand it that well, but Mina said if I have problems to call the number on the front of the book." We started and taught him the Restoration.

All in all I had a great week. And am very excited to embark on being a zone leader and see the lessons I learn. My new area is what we call "Celestial".

Have a great week!

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 24, 2016

Me? Eat a lot? Hmm...

Hello friends and family!

As my subject line says the time has come! The time for me to be transferred of course :) Though in most ways I am sad to be leaving the office it will be good to be back out full time proselyting. On Saturday while at the Green Hill Sister's baptism I got a phone call from President Stevenson. He let me know that my assignment is going to be changed to be a Zone Leader. Then later that night the zone I will be going to is my birthplace, good old Takoradi! I am excited to take on this new assignment but nervous at the same time.  One of the things I am nervous about is it is one of the bigger zones in the mission with the total of 24 missionaries. But it will be nice to be near my first area so maybe the chance will come to see some of my old friends :)

Elder Simpson and Johnson

There really is not that many interesting things that happened this past week. On Tuesday we had district meeting and I instructed about being disobedient. To make it interesting I planned a demonstration, each member of the district would come up, take the roll of tape and "bind" Elder Simpson with the tape to the chair. I was showing what happens when we disobey the commandments and missionary rules. Satan wraps chains around us and as we keep disobeying chains keep going around us until the final day and if we did not repent then that is not good (2 Nephi 1:13, Moses 7:26).

On Wednesday I went on an exchange with Elder Riding to be with him that day. Elder Jager joined Elder Simpson and Elder Hepworth. Elder Riding is 5 weeks on his mission so I decided it would be good to get his trainer away from him and give the leading the area to Elder Riding to help him learn. Ended up to be a really good day even though a lot of appointments were not happening.

On Friday evening I went to Green Hill to do baptism interviews. Two of them were at the chapel then had to walk to one more after that.  Interviews take so much mental/spiritual energy. The first interview was with a young man that is 17 and he speaks really good english so it went really well. The next 2 had translators and those are really hard because they will not translate the right thing then the answer had nothing to do with what I was asking.

Elder Johnson, Hepworth and Simpson

Saturday we went out to see Mercy and Sylvester.  Sylvester is starting to get sick again which is not good.  Mercy opened a chop bar so that takes a lot of her time away.  In the afternoon we went to the Green Hill chapel to see the baptisms.  Our apartment fixer guy, Brother Laing, was kind enough to give us a ride because we went to the office to help him load things before the baptism.  We received the call from President as well.  Then in the evening we had our transfer party at the office.  Sister Durrant made some really good pasta with rolls.

Sunday we had church which was really nice.  Elder Durrant taught in the 3rd block to Elder 's Quorum/High priest/ Relief society. It was a talk given by President Uchtdorf in the April conference which was marriage based. Any time you get the adults together for church and talk about marriage it is really funny.. they call out the young single adults that are not married yet.  In the evening we held a movie with members and investigators.  We watched "The Testaments" then after that Mercy made us some bonku with tilapia light soup... SO GOOD but so much.  The other 4 Elders can not eat a lot so they washed their hands and had me eat the rest.  Me? Eat a lot? hmm.... :)

All in all a good week. I am excited to take on my new assignment in Takoradi. Will miss the office.. wait not the office... the truck... but its okay I will drive again soon. haha.

Be worthy
Be ready

Elder Johnson

Monday, October 17, 2016


Hello friends and family!

This email is coming in a little later then usual but better late then never right? Anyways the first of two weeks with Elder Hepworth, Elder Simpson, and myself went pretty good. I and Elder Simpson spent extra'ish time training Elder Hepworth on all things supply so he is ready for the load of phone calls from sister missionaries giving us fire for no reason. Though it does happen that is not really what we trained him for (because we can't).

On Tuesday we had the "Mission leadership counsel" report at the stake center for the Yamoransa zone. Due to some problems with chapel keys we got started an hour late so that kind of stunk. The meeting was LONG so President gave permission to the zone leaders to buy food and drinks for the zones. It was the normal.. rice.. chicken.. soda. Each person in the apartment except Elder Hepworth and I got pretty sick from the food at the report. Coming to Tuesday evening we went to get the zone leaders and say goodbye to Elder Simpson for 24 hours while Elder Akudago came to be with Elder Hepworth and myself in the area.

Wednesday was a great day! The sun was really shining that day because I got roasted but partly from the malaria medication the mission has to take. Since it was Elder Hepworth's first day in the area and we were with our zone leader I decided to walk them muhahahaha. Started by walking to the area instead of taking a taxi (little over a mile I think). During the day we did not have many lessons but we did have a fun time with Brother Hanson the not so less active now member. He kept going on and on and on about his history ( I have heard it so many times) and the lesson we planned did not get very far lol. Later in the day we took a taxi to a village past our area because I really felt to go there that day SO I have learned when you feel to do something JUST DO IT. There was great contacting success that afternoon. We set up return appointments that filled our Saturday afternoon. 

Thursday was well... not to bad. It was Elder Simpson's birthday so as tradition has it the apartment members decided to soak him. I being a nice companion said no to getting him wet while in his church clothes. After his shower in the morning Elder Simpson walked out and then came a pot of cold water and a 5 gallon bucket of water.  I then came out and slowly poured my bucket of water on him while singing happy birthday. Guess who got to clean that water mess up - me!  But it was totally worth it!! Sister Durrant also called us to come to the office to have some birthday brownies. Then spent some time with Sister Stevenson while Elder Hepworth had his annual interview with President Stevenson. Later that night we went to visit Sylvester to see how he was doing. He does not seem to be on his death bed anymore which is really great! He was not able to come to church on Sunday because he did not have the strength.

Friday... Office. Drive. Stop. Buy. Load. Drive. Stop. Buy. Load. Drive.

Saturday was also really nice. We started off with chapel cleaning then went to play some soccer with the young men and their friends. I think I am getting better!  Well.. maybe not but still fun to play.  In the afternoon we went back to the village we went to on Wednesday to teach the people we planned for.  Few of them were not around but we met with John. He is 30 years old or so,  has a wife, and a baby girl.  Really a great guy! We taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will never get tired of the light I see come into them as they hear the message.  He said everything we taught made so much sense and he wanted to meet with us again but was traveling until Wednesday. We have another appointment again on Thursday. Then we found out there was another village 25 minute walk past the one we were at so we decided to go and see it. It is a big village!  Sadly it is too far for them to be able to get to church.  It is closer to where the zone leaders chapel is :( Then after we walked back to our normal area and that took over an hour... we were each exhausted.  We slept good that night :P

Sunday was a chill day.  We just went around to meet with everyone as usual.  Sundays are still different then how they used to be growing up.  I am used to just going to church and then going home to sleep and maybe go home teach or some fireside.  Well actually now I am used to doing the opposite of that - church, eat, then go out to proselyte until 9 pm.  Then wait for the sister missionaries and other Elders to be ready with their numbers for the week.  Also after I wrecked Elder Hepworth and Elder Simpson in monopoly.  Oh and Elder Jager made us banana pancakes... so good.

Hope you all have a week of building up your testimonies and conversion!

“Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.”

—Thomas S. Monson

Be worthy and Be ready.

-- Elder Johnson

Monday, October 10, 2016


Hello friends and family!

When you hold a goat

Another week has past in the Supply Elders week and what a successful week it was for us. I know I am being transferred so I only have this week and next week juggling around office work and being in the area. Really working my patience for sure! I will miss Sister Durrant's cookies and other treats she brings us but I want to spend the remainder of my mission roughing it in a village. We will see what President Stevenson has in store for me in a couple of weeks.  My replacement Supply Elder has come 2 weeks early lol. We got a call Saturday morning from President Stevenson, I answered it, after the good morning and how are you stuff he said "Well Elder Johnson, I have plans for this next transfer and one of them I have to make happen now." My thought was "Oh snap he is emergency transferring me out of here on Monday."  He continued, "My plan was for Elder Hepworth to come to replace you at the end of the transfer but due to some things we have to move him into a three person companionship with you and Elder Simpson.  Then in 2 weeks you will go to your next assignment." So as of 9:30 am today we have Elder Hepworth with us!  He is from Rigby, Idaho and has been out a year now.  Really sweet guy and despite mine and Elder Simpson's fears, we know everything will be good.  Also, Elder Hepworth was not the trouble missionary.  They moved the trouble missionary in with Elder Hepworth's last companion who was my companion a year ago, Elder Swartbooi.

This last week was just spent on getting Mercy, Sheka, and Sylvester ready for their baptism this past Saturday. On Thursday evening the Zone leaders came to interview Sylvester and Sheka at our chapel. Interview went well for them! Sheka is 8 years old and remembers a lot and is really smart. Even yesterday she corrected her mom on her english while reading hahaha. On Friday evening President Stevenson's counselor, President Nelson, came to interview Mercy at out chapel. Mercy did well so all 3 people were baptized on Saturday.  Sylvester had malaria really bad but felt better to come to the baptism.  Then yesterday for his confirmation he was really sick.

Baptism water is brown...oh Ghana

Mercy, Sylvester and Sheka

All of our focus in now on finding more people and strengthening our relationships with members. We have little time in the area and the time has been spent with those that were baptized to prepare them. Yesterday we planned to visit members only after church and share a message with them which we are not able to do often. From those visits we got 3 referrals :-) Really happy about that. Also, we are working with Sylvesters friend James more now. James wants to be baptized but the only thing keeping him from progressing more is his girlfriend, Mary, stays in the same room as him. We spoke with him about it late last week and from what he said he will start making the prep to marry mary (get a kick out of that, Marry and Mary HA). #Drymissionaryhumor

James - Sylvester's friend

The thought I wanted to share comes from this last conference.. Elder K. Brett Natress.

Finally, one morning, I decided to square up with my mother. I exclaimed, “Mom, why are you doing this to us? Why are you reading the Book of Mormon every morning?” I then made a statement that I am embarrassed to admit to. In fact, I can’t believe I actually said it. I told her, “Mom, I am not listening!”

Her loving response was a defining moment in my life. She said, “Son, I was at a meeting where President Marion G. Romney taught about the blessings of scripture reading. During this meeting, I received a promise that if I would read the Book of Mormon to my children every day, I would not lose them.” She then looked me straight in the eyes and, with absolute determination, said, “And I will not lose you!”

There is power in reading the Book of Mormon each day. And we NEED to read the Book of Mormon everyday!!! When we do we protect ourselves spiritually. I do not know about you but I do not want to go out into the world unprotected ever again. I have found that I was more lost at home then I ever even realized. My conversion to the gospel is 100000 times more then it was a year ago. that came and will continue to come from keeping ALL the commandments, reading scriptures each day, and praying morning and night. Those are the basics that we need to do to start *to hear more about this please join for Elder Johnson's homecoming talk in July 2017. Thats in like 3 years but plan well!

" Be worthy
Be ready"

-- Elder Johnson

Monday, October 3, 2016

Shanannae and Shannon


My mind is completely blank as I am trying to think about things to write about. The thing is so many funny moments and random things happen over the course of my week but I never remember the good stuff when I sit at the computer.  Good thing I am pretty faithful in journal writing. 

One great thing is that I saw 4 sessions of conference live! In my first October being here I saw Saturday Morning and Sunday morning 6 weeks after it happened. In April I only saw Sunday evening live, and now both of Saturday sessions and Sunday's. Still need to finish Priesthood session though.. :/  Elder and Sister Durrant invited us over for Saturday evening and Sunday evening sessions. They provided food.. never have I been so excited about french toast with syrup and then chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Side note: For anyone that will take me out for food when I get home, Chipotle or even Mcdonalds. Any place will look like a 5 star on the inside to me. *Side not ended. I really enjoyed watching conference though!! The sessions did not go long enough for me.  All the messages were great.

Second great thing is we finally got a new mission van. We have been waiting since March or so to get the van and it finally happened. The old one (Shananae) was really basic with a manual trans (got really good with it) then new one is so fancy.  It has full row seating WITH cup holders and a automatic transmission. We have yet to drive it yet because Elder Durrant took the keys until President talks with us about the rules of Shannon (vans name).

Funny thing of this week was at district meeting. The instruction came from everyone but did not go how I thought it would. I sent 1 "Consider this" question from chapter 1 of PMG to each district member. Asked them to prepare to answer that one question for 3-5 minutes. First thing is that 3/4 of the sisters did not prepare like I asked multiple times throughout the previous week. That was funny.. kinda. But the first sister got up and spoke for 15 minutes teaching us about the question. She did well but I just went with the flow and listened.  All in all it was a nice district meeting.

We focused in the area this week on preparing the 3 people (Mercy, daughter Sheka, and Sylvester) for baptism this Saturday. Their interview are set with the Zone leaders and 1 with President Stevenson's counselor. Mercy even came to see conference at the stake center yesterday (it was really full and 100 people stood outside doing nothing, including me, but could watch the sesion later) they accidentally showed Priesthood session instead of the Saturday morning session. But that was ok because Elder Curtis (old Africa West Area pres until 2 months ago) spoke on the Book of Mormon. He shared some conversions with the Book of Mormon talking about some Ghanaians and she really liked that from what she told us.

I am ready for another week!!! Only have 3 weeks left in the office and back out to full time once again :)

Have a great week,

Elder Johnson