Elder and Kids

Elder and Kids

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2016


This email is coming in a day late because of "boxing day" (day after Christmas) so the internet cafes were all closed. Which lead to us just chilling in the apartment because we had nothing to do. It was nice to lay around for once. Nice stress relief! :)

With the Christmas and New year season it leads to being really busy. On Tuesday last week we had our "MLC report". Elder Tugume and I were up first and talked with the missionaries about a current zone problem. The Sister training leaders gave a sweet report on "Commitments". Though I heard it from the Assistants at MLC the week prior I even learned new things from the sister missionaries. At the end of our lessons usually but could be anytime during the lesson we extend to them a commitment. Such as if we are teaching about temples, we will extend to them the commitment to go and visit the temple. Commitments are very very important so we were identifying were we can improve as missionaries with commitments.

Wednesday we were up bright and early for our Christmas zone conference in Cape Coast. Elder Tugume and I hired nice tro tros (A/C pretty much) for the day to take us there and bring us back. Our meeting time was 7 am! Usually missionaries will roll around 30 minutes to an hour late but they were actually all on time. The conference started at 10:30 and we were there an hour early. I text the Assistants on the way to let them know we will be pretty early :P I loved Christmas zone conference! President Stevenson talked with us about our Temple covenants to remind us of some things since we do not go for 2 years. After we had some fufu :) To end the conference we watched the OLD " Christmas Carol" with some Ice cream and brownies to top it all off. We arrived back in Takoradi at 7pm or so. 

Thursday and Friday was our focus to finish the preparations for Esther and Praise to be baptized. On Friday evening Elder Zohner did the interviews for them to be baptized. Earlier on Friday we had the chance to be in the Family History center with Frieda to help her start family history. One of the Bishops in another ward is in charge of family history and he was kind enough to come and help. Sadly it was in the A/C and mixed with my exhaustion level I fell asleep for sometime #missionprobs. Friday night the stake held there " Carols Night". The stake choir did some song performances and some others in the stake. Esther #1(one of our investigators) and her husband came and that was a surprise because we have not seen her in 2 weeks.

Saturday was a really low production day! I did not even remember what we did up until our baptism at 5pm. We combined with the Tanokrom sisters because they forgot to fill the baptism font at their chapel haha. It was a sweet time, I was able to baptize Esther #2. It is always a sweet experience to be able to baptize. The rest of the evening we went out to eat at a nice place with the sisters to celebrate the Christmas eve. Of course Sunday I was able to talk with my family! We talked for some time but at the end I wanted to call back because I felt like I did not even talk with them. 

Christmas call home - 2016

All in all a good week and so far this one is going great too! I love you all and wish you a late Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!!!! 2017 the magic year :)

Thought of the week!

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand inneed of your succor; ye will administer of your substanceunto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer thatthe beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turnhim out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you that is, for the sake of retaining are mission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Maybe I Should Write Less

Hello all!!!!

Crazy now that we are less then a week away from Christmas. Members have been saying " Takoradi is the best place during Christmas" but so far Assin Foso where I was last year takes the prize. the Christmas spirit is not around here right now. Even the Christmas decorations in our apartment is better... 1 wooden Santa and penguin that Elder Zohner and I colored and taped up on the wall. I am excited for this week because we have some nice things going on during the week.

Elder Johnson and Elder Dike (DK)
On Tuesday we had our combined district meeting. Elder Tugume gave a great instruction from our mission hymn (#324) Rise Up, Servants of God. Or zone members are having problems with some small things one of which is being to meetings on time. They are all mostly late by 30 minutes. Really sweet instruction though. After traveled to Agona Nkwanta to help and issue happening there, we got there, and they told us the case was dismissed. So traveled 40 minutes there and over an hour back because the driver was slow.

When you wake each day at 5am to go to the gym...

On Wednesday Elder Tugume, myself, Sister Nagawa, and Sister Smart headed to Cape Coast for the Mission Leadership Council. There are not many occasions we have to wear long sleeve shirts but meeting with President is surely one of them. You have to pretty much not touch your shirt anywhere on the tro because sweat and dirt do not mix. It was a nice meeting. My favorite instruction was from the Assistants about extending commitments to our investigators. We discussed the commitments that we extend that people usually struggle with and how we can help them and also what we are doing wrong that we can improve on. We got home at 7pm and went to the church for mid week.

Thursday nothing interesting really happened other then weekly planning. Weekly planning is nice for the most part but you really have to be in the right mood and frame of mind to sit in a chair for 2 hours of studies then a additional 3 for planning. I enjoy taking time to really talk about the people we are seeing and what we need to do to help them. Thursday at 7pm we started an exchange with Elder Tom and Elder Dike (say it like spelling DK).

Friday I was in our area with Elder Dike. He has been on mission for about 2 months so it was sweet to see how great he is doing. 18 years old and is from Nigeria. My favorite part of the day was when we went to see a member. Brother Paul is a sweet guy and is really optimistic even with his situation. We went with Elder Wilhelm and his companion and shared a thought. Can not remember the exact scripture reference but it was in John about the bread of life. I brought a loaf of bread for him and just happened to be a scripture I shared :P

Saturday I do not even remember what happened. We did go to our recent converts house to read in the Book of Mormon with her. I feel bad for the people here that think the book charms you and does weird things. I love reading in the Book of Mormon. People that reject a copy I usually ask the question " Is it bad to learn more about Jesus Christ?".. that usually gets them thinking. We also meet with missionaries in Sekondi to get a report of the ward from them. And ate ate a nice restaurant Elder Taleni and his companion showed us.

Sunday we had church of course. The stake presidency came which was awesome. Elder Tugume, myself, and Elder Brown were up sitting to bless the sacrament. we started on time and there was only 10 people in the seats. Over the next 45 minutes people came in which is a weekly thing. The stake president came up and gave his talk, started out nice, then BANG at the end he gave them love. Do we go to sacrament meeting on time? Do we prepare ourselves spiritually to partake of the sacrament? After the meeting the stake presidency called my companion and I in to talk with them. After we headed to Sekondis church meeting. I was really disappointed in how it was. No energy in that room. People were arguing about doctrines in Elder Quorum which happened even when I was there. Oh my.

Today we had a sweet activity with grilling chicken and sausage. And playing sports. Oh my I have written a lot.... maybe I should write less haha.

Elder Tugume and Johnson - Grill Masters

Zone Activity

Thought of the week: After studying some parables this week I had one that I loved. In Matthew 7 ( I think) about having a solid foundation or a sandy foundation. The only way we can have peace and joy in this life is making Jesus Christ the center of our lives. He can bring lasting happiness even in the midst of trials and sorrow. Do we put the important things first like reading the scriptures, going to church, praying, going home or visiting teaching? Or do we put our own desires first then put Christ second? As we make the right things a priority in our lives then other non important things will float by the way side and we will see how un-necessary those things were.

Have a Merry Christmas!!!  -- Elder Johnson

Monday, December 12, 2016

New Ghanaian President

Hello friends and family!

Another successful week has gone by here in the good old Ghana. It was kind of a crazy week as well due to the elections that happened Wednesday and the million years it took for them to count the votes (found out the President Friday at 5pm). Sad for John Mahama he has been booted out of the Flagstaff house and Nana Addo has been put in. I am thankful elections here are safe for the most part. Nigeria from what I have been told is dangerous. The missionaries in Nigeria during elections stay in for a whole week and can not go out at all. #HappyIaminGhana

Due to the elections transfer day was moved a day early to Tuesday. We had some missionaries stay in our apartment on Monday evening. Then Tuesday started bright and early at 6am and were at the stake center to meet the tro driver at 7 am. We asked missionaries to be to the stake center by 7am and lets say most of them came at 9am. My companion called some sisters in our zone and the one that was going said she still had to pack... oh my. Transfers were successful and I am happy because Elder Simpson (former companion) is now in the same zone once again!! He has white washed into an area and is training (both missionaries are moved from area and 2 new ones come in). Our day was taken by transfers and taking some sister missionaries to the eye doctor.

Wednesday we just went to see a couple members so we can be out of the apartment. Came home then went to bed by 10:30 to start our day on Thursday. We saw Esther #2 later in the afternoon Thursday and invited her to be baptized on Christmas eve. Elder Tugume and I have 3 baptisms on the 24th.. we hope. We went to a members house that evening and she fed us plenty of beans and fried plantain. He does not eat a lot so lately I have been eating for 1.5 people so my weight has gone up a little. But now Elder Zohner, Elder Taleni, and myself have committed to getting to the gym each morning. We paid for a membership this morning so now we really have to do it haha.

Friday was a little slower because a lot of people traveled to the city or village they are registered to vote. We were able to teach Esther #1 about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now to get her to come to church arrrggghh! Elder Tugume has been weak due to a physical thing so we went in early by 6pm on Friday. I took that time to learn more from the scriptures. I feel I can study the scriptures everyday for the rest of my life and still not know everything.

Saturday was good as well. People were marching and celebrating for their new President. One person we taught was Emmanuel. He is one of the people with a baptism date but sadly we did not see him all week until Saturday. I could tell their was something up with him that was not normal. Still do not know what is wrong. There was a doctrine he had a problem with and my how I am thankful for the spirit and my scripture studies. There was a deep doctrine problem a investigator asked in the Gospel Principles class in church. Will not share the question but it just reminds me how un important deep doctrines are. Some doctrines are sweet but their will come a point where questions can not be answered and testimonies will be lost. The gospel is basic and I have learned to focus on the basics while it can be fun to discuss doctrines in the apartment with missionaries.

As well on Sunday Elder Zohner and Elder taleni had a baptism for Ian. Elder Tugume and I started teaching him but referred him to the other Elders because he stayed in their area. I was able to do the interview for him on Saturday. He is a great guy and am looking forward to seeing what happens over the years of his life because of this ONE decision. Elder Zohner bought us all pizza after wards :) (not know with our lose weight get jacked plan we have and WILL stick too)

Thought of the week - “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Jesus Christ is the one who can bring us peace in this life. Follow Him and no matter how bad things can get you can still have peace in your heart and help from on high!!! :)   Love you all,   Elder Johnson

Monday, December 5, 2016

Spiritually Edified


Well, I am on way earlier then usual due to my companion wanting to email early in the morning. Yes I did pull the "it will be 2 am in America and will probably not have an email from them" card but did not help. We do have some things to accomplish before our transfer day tomorrow so emailing early might be okay.  I will be emailing early like this for awhile so writing an email Sunday night would be good :) (Especially mom and pops over there so I can hear from them)

This past week was really good but looking back was a little long. Elder Tugume and I killed it on hours and lessons. I love the feeling knowing I did what I could instead of being sad knowing I did nothing. On Tuesday it was Sister Smart's birthday (Liberian) and Elder Tugume and I saw she was a little down the week prior. So the idea came to buy her a cake so we talked to Sister Annan who makes good cakes and set it up. Sister Smart and all the Sisters were really happy and excited. #browniepointsforthezoneleaders

Wednesday I finally remembered to send off my Mom's Christmas present so that was good. My favorite lesson on Wednesday was with a guy we are teaching named Emmanuel. May have mentioned him in the past but he is from Nigeria and is here in Ghana playing football (soccer) while being a tailor for extra work. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and out of the many times I have taught the Plan of Salvation on my mission, this time was my favorite. Emmanuel loved when we discussed about Adam/Eve and the Fall. Thursday, Elder Garry, the Assistant, came to be with us on exchange. We originally planned to have it on Friday but that was the trainer meeting day so he came a day earlier. Thursday was a solid day of lessons and contacting. To top it all off, Elder Garry had promised us weeks prior that he would buy us ice cream and Elder Tugumes favorite thing is Ice cream. So he would not let Elder Garry forget. We stopped at a fueling station (driving 30 minutes to get Elder Ameyaw who was with the other zone leaders) went in and Elder Garry bought a big container of ice cream and mini Oreos. The three of us took that container down in 10 minutes. There are nice things in Ghana food wise but really really expensive. 

Selfie - Ghana Style

Thursday evening Elder Hughes, Woyesa, and Rothlisberger came from Tarkwa to stay the night to travel to Cape coast for the training meeting on Friday. Friday morning we left the apartment by 8 am to take them to the station. From there Elder Tugume and I started to proselyte by 9. We met with a lady name Theresa whom the past missionaries and we have taught on and off. She has not come to church yet. When we met with her on Friday we opened the floor for her to ask us questions and my did she have quite a few. The misconceptions people hear and believe about our church is disappointing.... if you have questions go to church and see for yourself. The Tarkwa missionaries came back late so they could not travel back to their areas. Last minute decided all of us to head to the Atlantic hotel for dinner (fancy fancy). On Saturday we had the baptism for Frieda!!!! After the baptism we were invited to a wedding at the stake center for a member. Frieda invited our district (10 missionaries) to come to her room for lunch. At 5pm we went to a baptism for the Tanokrom sisters. After that headed to the Atlantic again with some members of the zone. 

Frieda and her sister Charolette

Sunday was really really awesome. Best testimony meeting I have been in on my mission. Talk about being spiritually edified. After that had a meeting with our ward mission leader and a investigator (Praise) and her date, Stanley. That meeting went south real quick. After we went with our ward mission leader to visit Frieda and had a nice talk. After went to Grace and her husband Francis house to eat dinner. Rice ball, groundnut soup, fish, and cow stomach... yummy. 

The birds that check me out while I am working out in the morning

Lunch at the Atlantic


"As the final part of the creation of the Earth, Adam and Eve, our first parents, were placed in the Garden of Eden. They had been spirit children of Heavenly Father just like us. God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the Earth. He also commanded them that they should not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God gave Adam and Eve their agency to choose. They could choose to stay in the Garden of Eden, but because of their innocent condition, would not have children. Or, they could choose to partake of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and be cast out of the garden and become subject to physical and spiritual death and pain, but also the joy of children and family." (2 NE 2: 22-25)

"Satan did not understand the mind of God and tempted Adam and Eve to partake of the fruit. His motive was to bring death and pain into the world. However, by partaking of the fruit, Adam and Eve made it possible for each of us to come to the Earth and fulfill God’s great Plan of Salvation. Their choice was a blessing to each of us. We reverence Adam and Eve for being willing to make that choice."  Love you all,   Elder Johnson