Sweden Stockholm Mission

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

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