Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sweden at Last!

Hej hej alla!

So let me preface this email by saying that everything here is so swedish, especially the keyboard, so my writing will be weird because the keyboard has moved around a lot of the symbols, so bear with me! Ja så I am officially a Swedish missionary. The mtc is great and all, but at the same time I could not wait to get out here! ha, so yeah, the real work starts now! Thanks to everyone who has written, I apologize if i can not get back to you, but just know I am busy (honestly) and working hard for the Lord. 

Things I would like, maybe with my next bday package, if Im getting one: kraft mac'n cheese, ranch dressing packets (i am so distraught that they do not have ranch here), peanut butter, and reeses puffs and or capn crunch for my bday cereal along with a hackey sack just for fun. Tack så mycket!  Remember packages have to be less than four pounds and send it to the mission home address on my blog.

So the past week has been jätte (giant or big or ya, just context) crazy! Last sunday I stayed up all night waiting to leave for the slc airport and Sverige!
Last night at MTC
it was long but way great! I got lots of food so i was taken care of! I slept great on the plane, pretty much the whole way except for like maybe 30 minutes. Flying over the atlantic was SICK! Amsterdam was legit and ya, everything was just jätte bra!

So that was all monday, which actually went into tuesday, I only lived through 6 hours of monday for real though. Tuesday, we got off the plane where the welcoming committee was-the APs, the president and his wife, and a couple of senior couples. They are all so great! Especially President Newell! He is very soft but so powerful and just stares into your soul!! We had a quick interview with him immediately and just talked about expectations for the mission. Amazing. We got all of our us money changed to kronas and got mission cards to use for buying things. 

We toured the city of Stockholm, got our visas cleared and then went to a YSA center where we had a meeting. We then went out and did some contacting!! It was so crazy and scary!! Nothing big happened, but we placed a lot of mormon.org cards so that was way cool to just talk to people and see how some were slightly interested. Some missionaries got BoMs out to people! Wow! we then went to a church in Täby and had more meetings and dinner and just talked. We then, the elders, went to the mission home with the pres while the sisters went to a hotel. Everyone was dead when we got back home at about 7 here time so everyone went right to bed, i took my sleeping pill mom sent and joined in.

Wednesday morning we went on a run with president, so beautiful! I love Sweden! we then had some amazing breakfast from Sis N and then went to the church again for a big meeting until it was time to find out where we were to go! So I was nearly the last person to get my letter from pres where we would read it out loud with everyone (all the trainers were there at the meeting too) and see who our trainers were! So i read mine and ..... I am staying in Stockholm!!!!! I totally called it so yup, thats my assignment. 

I expect you all to google map stalk me and see where i am:
Elder Johnson
C/O Jensen 
Katarinavägen 20 
116 45 Stockholm
I honestly don't know yet where is best to send letters, but try this one or the mission home.  Postage is 1.10 dollars so use the international stamp

The actual letter said Stockholm Stav area with Äldste M. 
He has been out for 5 months and has trained before. He is from Sandy Utah and is way sick, likes lax and the lake and all that jazz. We then all went to T-central (the main area of Stockholm) and said goodbye to everyone as people caught their trains, buses, tunnelbanas (subways) and all other sorts of transportation things to take everyone their separate ways.

So we are whitewashing the area, he has only been in Lund the whole time he has been in sweden so we obviously got lost trying to find our appartment, which by the way is the best one in the whole mission.
Notice the two pillowcases

The ZLs  helped us out and got us to the right place where we unpacked and talked. My comp is the DL in our district, and the ZLs are in our district too along with 2 sisters. We got everything set up and headed out for the town to talk to people.

The rest of the week, sorry I have to go by fast, but we met with some members, contacted, visited people, tracted, looked for inactives/less actives and taught some lessons. All of this is in Swedish, so it is very intimidating but I just smile and act like I know whats going on. I tell people i am really new and everyone is so nice and just is really helpful to me when I try to talk to them and then if not they go to english sometimes. Every swede knows english, so i dont understand why they dont all just change to english haha. But it is way cool! I already challenged someone to baptism (in english, half of the lessons are this way cuz some people dont even know swedish-a lot of immigrants here from all over!) ! Its been great, I am picking it up every day a little more and more. My comp is way awesome and nice to me and helps me out a lot. On sunday, someone bore their testimony in spanish and then had a swedish translation, and i honestly understood more from the spanish haha! Oh well, i will get it soon. Its hard because I cant contribute a lot, but I still have a positive outlook on everything here. Things are going good, everyone is just so awesome and the best so jag älskar Sverige.

I saw this hilarious warning on our elevator for when you bring your trash can in it.  Evidently this must happen a lot(?)

I'm so sorry, there is just so much that I want to say, but I don't have any time. I love all of you, I am working hard and having amazing experiences left and right. The language is coming, I'm about at twenty-five percent of understanding things so its good. Keep up the good work. I love My savior and know that everything good in my life comes from him, and every bad thing he has suffered for. He helps me every day with the language and I am so grateful for him, I love him.

Med Kärlek
Äldste Johnson

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Last two days in MTC

My plans for the travel is the same - leave Monday morning. We found out all of us including the other district got their visas!! It was a huge relief as you can imagine, because we have seen missionaries in our zone not get their visas and have to get reassigned. Friday we had our last class with our teachers. They both helped us with the language and then showed us some pictures they took of Sweden when they were there and told us lots of stories! Man it looks so beautiful, it doesn't seem real!! Like it really is the prettiest thing I have ever seen in my whole life, and I get to go there in less than 2 days!! 

Tuesday devotional: was from Richard G. Scott!!! Man that was the coolest thing ever having an apostle come speak to us. He gave us (all those who are learning a language) an apostolic blessing that we would all learn our language quickly and be able to use it effectively when we are out in the mission field. It was awesome! He talked to us about prayer, way detailed and way awesome. I love how softly he talks and just how close to the spirit he is whenever he talks. I love how he never fails to mention his wife (she has been dead for nearly 18 years) and share his feelings with us about her. He said her presence was in their with us and I felt the spirit so strong. As he was leaving, we all stood up, and he walked away and then stopped. He looked back at all of us there in the Marriot Center and put his hands together and shouted "Be good!" and then left! haha that was awesome!
With Elder Sam Tenney and Sister Hannah Andersen

Wednesday: Another hosting opportunity as traffic kings. Not as many missionaries this week so it was nice. I stopped Hannah Andersen's car and Paige, her mom, nearly died! Sam Tenney was close too because he was hosting and we all 3 got a picture together! I saw the Rhoton's drive by, Spencer is at the west campus so I haven't seen him again. It's so great to have my friends join me at the MTC!

Thursday: was the infield orientation where they had all of the outgoing missionaries meet together in a big room and go over broadly some topics and also did a skit of how to use members effectively which was hilarious but helpful. After each section we broke off into smaller groups and dug deeper into all of these principles and concepts. It was way cool and I learned a lot! This one elder taught us about faith, and cleared up the law of chastity incident that he butchered when he was serving, not explaining it to an investigator, super hilarious. 

Friday: Was a regular class day and all of that jazz. I got some coaching from Bro D that helped me talk about frustrations and concerns. He really listened to me and helped me out with things that I was feeling, especially the nervousness for Sweden and the language. We took some pictures and sang our favorite swedish hymn and said goodbye.
Elder Johnson's district: Off to Sweden on Monday!

Saturday: today: we started packing a little bit this morning and are heading back soon to do some more and clean our residence. Now we just have to make it through sunday and we are set on going to SVERIGE!!!! Vi ska till Sverige!

I'm really excited to get there and just start doing what I've been learning to do! These 6 weeks have been very crucial and beneficial for me, but I'm ready to get out. I am doing great, more excited than nervous, as per usual. Sleep is decent. I have not been homesick yet, so that's good. Don't take it personal. Well, I will send a new address or just email me. Bro B guesses that I will be in Stockholm for my first area, we will see soon enough! Keep on doing what you're doing.

Jag alskar er
Aldste Johnson

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Got my Travel Plans

Hej Hej Familj av Johnson och compis (hey hey family of johnson -that's the order you say it- and close friends)

Personal thanks to everyone who wrote me and sent DearElders to me, I love getting those. This, as you all know, is my last week at the MTC.  I'm glad you all enjoyed my traffic outfit,
With Sister Randi Hulet
and I will be privileged to wear it again tomorrow as they asked my comp and I back to the job. You know they only hire 8 elders out of the whole MTC, and to be called BACK to traffic duty, they must have thought we did an excellent job (which we did of course). It was a workout but went by way fast.

We received our travel plans and I leave Monday early morning. Both of the Swedish districts are traveling together. We leave the MTC at 3:30 am for the SLC airport. We leave SLC at 7:30 and go to Detroit, Amsterdam, arriving in Stockholm about 8:50 am which is 18 hours of travel and layover time.  

Since I leave Monday, if you all plan on writing me or sending me packages before I leave, it will need to be done no later than Thursday, so plan accordingly. 

Tisdag: I got sick and could hardly talk. The devotional was Jay E. Jenson about Empowering missionaries with the spirit and working from the scriptures. He also talked about how powerful hymns are with bringing the spirit, I can testify to that that this is so true. He said word=truth=light=spirit D&C 84:45. A prophet said that there is no height, depth, or breadth yet to find everything that the scriptures have to offer us (something like that)! After that we had our district discussion on what we learned, and I conducted without a voice. It hurt so bad that my comp said I sounded like I was literally dying ha, bummer!

Onsdag:  Still sick but we played 3v3 sand volleyball which was a lot of fun! Went to be instructed on how to do the hosting and also the traffic, that didn't take long so we got early lunch! They actually have good food, we just never see it because we are always the last group to get food! That was a bonus, though i didn't want to kill myself with the ice cream. When we were supposed to go back to our stations to start traffic duty i got a double bloody nose. I was in the bathroom trying to plug it up, I prayed so hard that God could stop it now so that i could be alright during the new missionaries arriving and that he could resume it after it was over. Immediately that's what happened, and right after I was done it started back up again. I know that God answers all kinds of prayers, even as something simple as this, so just pray! I actually think God knew I was going to be sick today, that's why he gave me the traffic duty so I wouldn't have to say anything (voice gone) to anyone, just use hand motions to move people in and out. I am so greatful for that amazing moment that happened to me.

Luckily enough I had shade and water where I was doing my section. It was a lot of fun moving 850+ missionaries and cars through a one way area! I stayed in the middle of the road, did one hand gesture to a car that just came in, stepped the other way and did another hand gesture to another car that was leaving. So as you can imagine i was just basically dancing back and forth motioning cars to where they needed to be. It was a hoot! I motion for a car to keep moving forward and who is it? Creighton Atkin!! so he moved up a little past my spot and we said hi and right after that I got a green van that looked oddly familiar and who could it be???? THE CAPLINS!!!! I was so excited that I ran and opened the door gave all of them a hug and almost killed Kaleb (aka Florida)! It was such a sweet reunion! I only wish Branden Clark could have been there so the 3some could be together, but alas he is in Nebraska now. We took a picture quick so we could keep the cars going and said we would meet up later.
With Elder Kaleb Caplin
His companion is N. Jarvis (played bball at CV and he remembered me) so we all 3 talked for a long time just catching up, how cool? 

I could hardly focus in class after that with my sickness and exhaustion. We did some role plays about testifying of the spirit. We then taught elders from another swedish district and then they taught us, it's really cool! Later we got talking about movies. It's nice to see other people appreciate movies the way I do, some not as crazy as me and others even more so, but it was legit! My voice makes me sound like Darth Sideous from Star Wars, I wish i would've recorded myself...

Torsdag:  I no longer have a sore throat or sound crazy but still sick-ish. So for gym time we played a little 4v4 soccer with mini goals and it was a blast. I get such a joy just playing soccer it's unreal! It takes all of my stress away from the class and even from my sickness, i love it. While we were playing soccer I was megging everybody and just laughing the whole time. It brought me back to the days of Fire FC practice with Mitch, because that's all we tried to do during practice was just meg everyone and each other and see who got the most. We wouldn't even care about scoring, just megs, and we would always crack up after every single time. Man I miss that! 

In studies welearned that you HAVE to be bold when giving the Baptismal challenge because that's how investigators will find their true potential and know that it is important for them to do it because they have a testimony of it. But you have to remember that you have to go as the spirit directs you, sometimes that means being pushy, and other times it's not. 

Later we heard rumors of travel plans. We ran to the mailroom, hearts racing as fast as possible, and sure enough our travel plans were there! we were so excited to hold onto something tangible that solidifies that we are going to Sweden! Oh it is so great! On our way back we had the ingenious idea of hiding the travel plans from our district. So all of the other Swedish and Nord districts go to get their travel plans and are so excited and nothing is there. My companion and I totally sold the innocent mad look, it was priceless! Oh man they are gonna kill us ha!  When everybody left for the night I acted like I forgot something and went back to the class where we put everyone's plans on their desk. We felt like Santa Claus, as my companion puts it, because we sneak at night and leave "presents" for everyone! It was the ultimate prank!!! (name that show). 

Fredag: Feeling better than before so that's good. For gym time we played World cup and it was a lot of fun. I was meggin everyone, again, because it is just so funny!!!! We got to class and everyone was stoked to get their travel plans! We told em that we hid them, they weren't too happy about that, yet not as mad as I thought they'd be, so all in all everyone is excited!  I read D&C 130:20-21 and got some cool insight on that. God has blessings waiting for us because of the law on which it is predicated from obedience to that law. So then if we know we have a blessing waiting for us, why don't we just obey??

In class we learned to teach people not lessons (again.) Ammon was the best at this with King Lamoni. He started out first by serving him, showing how much he cares about the king instead of showing him how much he knew. And then he teaches. Jeffrey R. Holland says that the eyes of the investigator will tell you everything you need to know on how they are responding to your message. If they are confused you will see it in their eyes so you can quickly adjust your lesson and make it more personal for them until you see it in their eyes that they feel it is true. It's amazing! Eyes really are so big, it's hard for me now because 1)  i have never liked eye contact, and 2, with thinking about it in Swedish you get sidetracked looking away trying to remember the words instead of testifying with your eyes. That is something I need to work on. I went through most of my flashcards and wrote on them which verb or noun conjugation group they belong to so better understand.

Lördag: Johnson's bootcamp went hard today. I am still working hard to stay fit. In my personal study I wrote this in my journal: "Whenever people write me and say 'oh you are doing so well, it must be so easy for you.' NO, it's not easy. It has never been easy, nor will it ever be easy. They don't realize how much hurt and frustration you get everyday. And i'm not even out in the field, where it is escalated even more so with people yelling at you, slamming doors in your face, questioning your testimony, etc. It's hard waking up everyday, it really is. But the last part of that scripture says it all 'but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.' This gives me so much peace and comfort. You can overcome hard things. You can do it. As long as you put your trust in Christ. You receive power beyond your own when you put your whole trust and love in Christ. It is the most selfish thing ever to think you can get by without Him.  And you disrespect His precious gift of the Atonement when you do this." So ya that's what I wrote.

We studied Elder Holland's April 2013 conference talk "Lord, I believe". I love the story in Mark 9:22-25 i believe about the possessed child who is in danger. I love the faith his father says when jesus says do you believe? the man says STRAIGHTWAY lord i believe. And then he realizes that he is human, and not perfect, and knows he must rely on the Savior when he says "help thou mine unbelief."  Mark 5:36 "be not afraid, only believe." So great, i love that talk. That was my amazing moment of the day.

I had my DL interviews and it went great! it's fun meeting with the SR comps and seeing their povs(point of view) of how their companionship is going. Things are going swell for all of them.
We watched some mormon messages, I cried a lot when I watched Motherhood: An eternal partnership with God. Thanks mom for all you do, Jag älskar dig. I then talked with an old EFY fried I saw from 3 years ago who is in my building for a couple of minutes and caught up with him. He is going to 2 countries 4 states mission because he is speaking Mong :canada, us, minnesota, wisconsin, michigan, iowa. Crazy right!

Söndag; Studied President Packer's "Balm of Gilead" talk from 1987. It talks about how easy it is to be offended and how forgiveness is so key! pres Hill said that it is not bad to have arguments with people, it's only human, but it is the way we respond to and make better after it happens is what counts. Sacrament was about the Enabling and strengthening Power of the Atonement. This is by far my favorite thing to hear and learn about but struggle so much in explaining it to people. We give everything to Christ, He blesses it, and then gives it back to you so you can perform above and beyond yourself in bringing others to Him. I love Him with all my heart, that's why I am here on a mission is so i can try to repay him, though i never can. 

Took some funny pictures on our temple walk.
.Before going to the devotional we went to choir where we are singing Jesus Once of Humble birth on tuesday. I saw Elder Phelps and we took a picture and hugged for the last time in 2 years. i prayed all day that i would find him, and sure enough I did and was able to see Him off. How great!
With cousin Elder PJ Phelps

Måndag:  I felt inspired to write my sis as she goes into her Sr. of High school. We did our last skype session with Swedish members which was a lot of fun and got us more excited to get there next week! Had an intense workout at night with elder Garrard which ended in a plank competition. I stayed up for 4 minutes and he got to 6 it was insane!! his whole body was shaking!

Idag (today): I did service, got a haircut, laundry and now writing. I'm excited to go to the new HOMELAND next week. i might be able to write saturday night, we will see. It'll be hard to focus this week, but here goes nothing.
Jag älskar ni (i love you all)

Äldste Johnson

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2/3 there

August 6, 2013
Valkomna Johnson Familj och vener! 

Wow, a lot has gone on this week! Ma and Pa, way to go with the Nursey calling. Sounds like you guys will be kept young through those little kids. 

Tisdag kväll: I'm really getting pretty good at ironing and doing my own laundry. However, I am a bit nervous being responsible for taking care of my cooking needs. I have it so easy here with the food so I'm wondering what it will be like once I get to Sverige. We had to say goodbye to an Elder because he had some foot pains so that was sad to see a fellow Swede have to go home. He will try to come back out. We played hackey sack during our free time and it's really fun/funny because everyone thinks it is good when they get like 4 or 5 hits in a row. I just keep quiet and let my soccer skills shine forth.

The devotional was from H. Bryan Richards and his wife. Bro talked about how we as missionaries are called the way general authorities are: by a prophet, for a full time job. Way cool! He also told us that in 1954 the MTC had the largest number of people there with 88. Now it has more than 3500 people! Ha that is such a huge difference! Preach My Gospel was designed on the other side of the veil but put together here for our time as missionaries to better serve. The authorities had discussed the mission age change for a long time, but said it wasn't time yet, but it will come. And now it has!! The apostles and the first presidency really know everything that goes on and when things need to happen in order to hasten the work. I thought that was so cool how they waited until just the right time.

Richards continued by saying Missions are going to be hard. They are, so just get over it and kick yourself out the door everyday because it will be worth it to those people you find. He also gave a really cool quote from Winston Churchill: To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special think, unique to him and fitted to his talents.  What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for that which would be his finest hour.

He then applied it to missionaries "to every missionary...(same thing)”. Don't be unprepared or unworthy to be called at any time to get called to your finest hour. We watched a short clip from Elder Holland from like 30 years ago but he is just as powerful then as he is now. He said salvation isn't easy. Things that are easy are not worth the prize. The Savior asked for an easier way but understood that he needed to do what the father asked him when he said "not my will but thine be done."

Richards closed by saying that we need to have the Name of Christ not on our pockets for our nametag, but branded into our hearts. We sang the Army of Helaman song and I broke down crying during the middle of it; So powerful, what a great devotional.

I got to lead my first discussion as district leader. Brother H joined us so that was a little intimidating for my first time but it went really well. He said even though all of you (speaking to my class) have been called to serve in Sweden, you were called individually. God needs you specifically with your talents, strengths and attributes in Sweden. There are people there who are JUST for you. It is personal.

Onsdag: I got a sore throat and haven't been able to get over it yet, but it doesn't get me down or ruin my spirits. It actually gives me better energy to work harder and learn more and more. We received some coaching from Bro. B. I swear he is always there right when I need it. I get feeling so discouraged and down on myself, thinking that I will never be able to do anything and out of nowhere he comes and gives me a pat on the back and says you can do this. He is so inspired from the Lord and I am grateful for him because of that. That was my amazing moment of the day. The lord timed it perfectly as he always does.

Torsdag:  I received moms package and it was sooooooooo awesome!! I love the pics, way cool rooms for the girls! Maybe I can repaint my room when I get back? The pillowcase is amazing, everyone is so jealous!  Batman fabric and scented with perfume! and the bouncy balls are a big hit! I read the Swedish grammar book as much as I can because understanding the principles helps me so much more and it sticks in better and easier. We cleaned our classroom for inspection for Friday and got it spotless. Some of the people in my district started talking about careers and such for when they get back, I just sat there because I still have no idea. I hate when people talk about that and ask me because I don’t know yet, so don't ask me ha.

Fredag:  I got thinking about the youtube Kid President Pep talk. Weird right! But I thought about how a lot of things he says can apply to the gospel. We all have the power to change/affect people by what we do; simple acts of service like smiling at someone will change their perspective and outlook. It's so cool how you can pull things out videos and such and apply them towards the gospel, man I love it. I also was brought back to all of my great memories with my exec council where we first watched that video. I miss all of them so much, we had the best of times together!

I stumbled across the 135 section of the Doctrine and Covenants which is about the matrydom of Joseph and Hyrum at Carthage Jail. I have been there and it was amazing for me to read about that and picture in my mind exactly where everything happened. I remembered Elder Holland's testimony of The book of mormon, especially about those 2 giving up their lives because of a book. A book? Why on earth would anyone ever sacrifice their life for a book? Because they knew that it was the truth. I then proceeded to read Praise to the Man and broke down because I know Joseph Smith truly brought back the only true church and that the book of mormon is from god. He sealed his testimony with his life. It was a powerful experience for me. That was my amazing moment of the day.

I recieved letters and love how great they smell!! I know it's weird but I love it! My elders say I'm probably gonna die from affixiation...oh well haha jag skojar! In TRC we got to learn about Sweden from the people we talked to and got to bare our testimony of the book of mormon to them. Just visiting with them gets me so ancy and pumped to go there!! Dear elder got messed up so I'm not sure if i got all the right things from people, it was a mess. I took a pic with my soccer boys
I miss my Fire FC boys a lot. We always had the funniest/best times together! What's great is to know that almost all of them are on missions right now or preparing for one. How great to be on a team with everyone who shares the same values yet can still have good times.

Lördag:  Johnson bootcamp is still going on. I am going harder on them each time, but i know my elders will thank me...someday i hope! I am really happy and proud of them for doing it with me and keeping up.  I love doing role plays. I still struggle with them, but they really are so beneficial for you when you are preparing; thanks Brady! Our lesson went fantastic!! Man, such a great experience to see the spirit really work through us. In the afternoon class we practiced on another topic but it went really bad. My comp and I did not work together and became really frustrated. It was good for us to see the drastic contrast between that and the earlier lesson. No fear, we pulled the positives out of it. I had my district interviews after that and everyone seems to be doing really well!

Söndag:  It was fast sunday, and everyone said it was the worst thing but I felt like it was the best thing so far! So instead of priesthood and relief society, there was one big mission conference. We listened to one of the first recordings ever of Wilford Woodruff's testimony about Joseph Smith, it was so powerful to be linked to Joseph through that. Bro R said that we should never underestimate the power of our testimony to our grandchildren. I am grateful for my grandparents testimony because it has also strengthened mine. thanks you guys!

An investigator spoke who was baptized because she met with the missionaries here for TRC in Korean. It was actually Stephen Wade from St. George!! How cool is that! She came up and bore her testimony, and he translated it for us! I wish I could have gone down and talked to him but I had to get to a meeting. Church ended with testimonies from as many missionaries as time allowed.

We had a district meeting after that on a topic I was supposed to choose. I chose repentance, but as I was studying about it, it didn’t seem right. Right when I was about to start I had a feeling to open it up to a testimony meeting. I am so glad I did that because we all got to share our testimonies, cry a lot, and be spiritually edified. It was so touching to hear everyone's testimony and why they were here. We then had our temple relaxation walk and had a good time. We broke our fast, i really wasn't that hungry because I had been so spiritually fed already. The night devotional was Jenny Oaks Baker. She performed a lot of great music and spoke to us about the gifts of the spirit. Hers is obviously music, but she uses that to help others feel the spirit. We should all do that with the gifts we have been given,

Måndag:   We did TRC skyping with people in Sweden and asked them what it's like and just to be connected there was amazing! They were so nice and we actually understood them really well. I cannot wait to be there!! The rest of the day just goofed around and wrote some flashcards before dinner and the mail. Elder Garrard, a nord, has a crazy workout scheme and I followed him and I'm dead today! Geez!! But it was sooo worth it!

Lycka Till och Jag älskar dig!

Äldste Johnson

July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

Tjena Johnson Familj och vener!
With Elder Ford
With Elder Clarke
With Sister Wagner

Sounds like everything is going great for everybody! So let me start with answers to the questions. Honestly mom, when have I ever needed a blanket? Ha just messing, but I am just fine without one. The fan we borrow from our classroom and take to our residence each night works great. Ok so the package was great mom. But the main thing that I would like is some quotes written really cool and bolded and the whole shabang with it laminated so I can take it to Sweden and look at them every day!

Time is vague, ambiguous, confusing and just weird when you are at the MTC. Days blend together and you have no idea what you did during the day when you get back to bed unless you write it down. UNREAL! Good thing I write in my journal every night consistently or else I would be lost. I am halfway gone through the MTC. I feel like I have been here forever yet still have so much longer to go. I love not being the newbie!

Tisdag ikvall (tuesday night) I saw Chandler Gines! Me and him became friends in 1st grade at a basketball camp and have kept in touch ever since. We went to choir practice before the devotional and lo and behold who should pop up out of nowhere and come sit by us? PJ duh! It was cool to chat with him and sing Praise to the Man together! The devotional was from Bro and Sis Carmack, who were mission presidents in Cambodia some time ago so that was cool. Bro C shared in D&C section 112, it said to contend when sharing the gospel. Interesting, because the Lord tells the Nephites in 3rd Nephi that Satan is the Father of contention. So why does this scripture apply to us? He said that we should contend but not be contentious. We have to stick up for what we believe and share the gospel with boldness (not overbearing) but in a way that is not contentious. It was way cool to think about that. Afterwards, our district finished off the day playing a game called Peter, James and John I don’t really know how or want to explain it ha so sorry.

Onsdag (wednesday) is probably the worst day of the week for me because it is the day after a P-day when I take a nap, which you all know kills me when I go to sleep at night. Not that I am sleeping good anyway, but naps on pday make it even worse for me to sleep. Oh well. We, as a district, played kickball for gym time (jr comps vs sr comps) which was a lot of fun. Us Jrs killed the srs! I guess soccer gave me a decent advantage when I was up to kick, so obviously the srs backed up way far for my kick (humility-still working on it) so I decide to toe poke it (classic Brock move for all of my soccer buddies, I was notorious for those) and it ended up going a good 20 yards over their heads after they had already backed up a ton. Needless to say I got a homerun, and I was laughing the whole way there haha.

Me and my companion are really getting along and I know that the Lord has helped in that because I have prayed for it every day.
We learned how important a first impression is when you begin teaching somebody. That can make or brake it for you. We then learned a lot about verb conjugations which was a huge help for me, because I understand better the concept of how the words are supposed to look like and sound and then it just fits perfectly into my head and sticks.

Torsdag (Thursday) We finally got to play what I’ve been dying to play since I’ve been here- Soccer! Let me just tell you I was so excited that I jumped out of bed and got ready so fast but had to wait for my companion because he was barely out of bed haha! Me and Elder Hall (gavin) got a lot of our zone to come out and play a game of Sweden v. Norway! It was legit. I felt at home being able to have a ball at my feet and meg all of the people (everyone knows how much I love megging people =) ha, and just having a good time ballin’ it up. There was a new Dutchie there who played at Davis high school and we were killin everybody and setting each other up for golden opportunities. I kept banging it off the cross bar!! Just like in high school ha! I still got 2 goals after that so no worries.

Sister Winterton showed us a bunch of pictures of her in Sweden and it only makes me want to be there even more! It looks unbelievable!!! I want to soo badly be there right now, everything is gorgeous and awesome and just the best place ever!!! AND I HAVENT EVEN SET FOOT THERE YET!! CRAZY! The pizza that sister Teitjan talked to us about at home ma, looked even better in a picture!!! So stoked! 3 more weeks, I can make it...hopefully ha!

Fridag?(friday) We played district volleyball and that’s always fun. I found out that in the mission field people have P90X to workout to before starting the day. In my personal study I studied chapter 4 of PMG about recognizing the spirit because that is the topic for our random person talk assignment for sacrament. I found a scripture that I really liked its 1 Kings 19:11 through 13. Look it up, it explains in a great way how the Spirit is recognized. I’ve realized I don’t have to write out everything I need to say for talks and such. I write bullet points, a few scriptures, and just let the spirit guide me to where I need to go when I’m giving a talk. I have found out that it works much easier and is more sincere and personal this way. Then you truly speak from the heart and follow the spirit, you will say what needs to be said. It’s amazing.

We did TRC later and it was not scary at all. I was really nervous, but it was a lot of fun talking with members who just wanted to talk to us missionaries. We visited for 12 minutes and then gave a small talk and bore our testimony, it was great! Of course we were paired up with the easiest people so that was nice. I know the Lord inspired Bro B to set us up that way because He knew I was nervous and needed some strengthening. That was my Amazing moment of the day, Man i just love how well the Lord times things. Just when we think we can’t do something, he sends us something to strenghten us. I love it! By the way, if you send me a dearelder  you should include your home address so I can write you back, because there is no way to write you back without it, so please and thanks!

Lordag (Saturday) Personal exercise was great, I felt sick afterwards which means I was going really hard. Personal study was great, I looked into PMG chapter 8 about using Time Wisely, and more specifically Accountability. For some reason I was drawn to section 76 where Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had that amazing vision. I read over and over verses 22 through 24 about how they testify that God lives. Every time I read it, I felt the Spirit more and more testify of that truth. I know without a doubt in my heart and mind that He does live. Thank you Gina for that song you gave me, this has a lot to do with it. It was amazing to be able to feel this while I was studying. It is so great to be here and grow my relationship with Him.

My comp and I are trying to learn more Swedish so we separate ourselves from the group and do an intense flash card study where we write down all the words in Swedish, write the English words next to it(all that we know) focus on the ones we missed and then go over them all again. It has worked really great for us! In class we play games to help us learn what we were just taught and that helps a lot too! We do the Mission Portal Saturday night and then watch Mormon Messages after and cry haha, they are so good!

Sondag (sunday) Sabbath day is probably the best day. Yup even better than Pday except for one thing. All of the missionaries from the West campus eat here on Sundays so it’s just chaos for meal times haha. Anyway, It’s the day to just be a sponge. You just soak everything you have learned during the week and you put off the language and focus on the real reason we are here. To learn more about Christ and come closer to him. Priesthood session we did discussions about the Book of Mormon and I got to lead the discussion in my group. So after that I was interviewed by the Branch Presidency and I have been called to be the new District Leader! Basically my job is to be the mailman and discussion leader ha, but it’ll be fun! I’m a little scared but I know the Lord can help me.

Devotional was fantastic. Bro and Sis Lant talked.  I liked both talks but Bro Lant was amazing. He told us that Elder Holland said that the MTC is so spiritual that you could read the phone book and feel the spirit ha! We represent Christ, act like it. 1 Cor 13:11 put away childish-teenagerish things! You are a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ! How powerful that is, and that it helps us act and perform better. Afterwards me and my comp and an amazing inventory where we fixed everything and are moving forward in our progress and unity! I’m thrilled about that! We gave a blessing to Elder C because he has been sick for awhile, I did the anointing. I’m so glad to be always worthy of the Priesthood to be able to be called on at random times to help people. It means so much to me that the Lord entrusts me with his power.

Mandag (monday) Memorized the first vision in Swedish and learned lots of vocab! Did my first job as mailman and it was fun! Had intense workout with the zone where i got to help lead! i am definitley feeling that pain.
Got to go.  Love you all.

Jag alska er Aldste Johnson