Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, February 24, 2014

This is a shout out picture to my friend Paco.

Howdy errbody!

Hope y'all had a great week! Thanks for all of the love and support and the updates and just everything -it really helps! The weather here has been absurd this week. In a matter of 5 days the weather went from sunny with snow melted, then cloudy and rainy, then snowed 10 cm, then cloudy and rainy, and now sunny with all of the snow melted again. CRAZY!! We have had a good week contacting and working hard, we got 17 lessons in on the week and sometimes in this area they've had only 3 lessons in the week! So things are progressing!

Mån: On pdays we now wake up and immediately run to the church to do our emailing, then run back. We play soccer as well, and its soooo much fun! AHH, i feel so good when I play. It really just takes all the stress away! I love it! We played a little 1 v 1 and I won 10-9:) Im still about the simple game, but I got away with some tricky sneaky stuff, and did some work ha. We also always clean on pdays to keep the place tidy. After pday was over, we did some less active swing bys and gave out cookies. With one of them -she has 2 jobs and is super busy but has a strong testimony- we were able to set up a meet for the next week! Cookies bring miracles:)

Tis: We met up with our investigator and walked with him to the church because we wanted him to see how great it is! We talked about his concerns. He has to go back to live with his brother in a couple of months so that doesn't help. He still hasn't come to church though he knows and has told us that he believes the book of mormon is true and that we have the only true church. Its been frustrating but we are continuing to work with him. We met up with some TU's-tänkbara undersökare (potential investigators) and gave out some copies of the book of mormon.

Ons: We went by a TU's music store and checked it out. We ended up buying harmonicas to be nice and because it was cool! We were able to teach him the plan of salvation, in which he was very intrigued and liked it! He wants to meet up again! (He definitely belongs to the viking clan:) ) We contacted a guy on the street and ended up teaching a lesson for 20 minutes. Its amazing that just walking up and talking to people about the gospel, you can find people who will talk to you and accept your message! We felt like we needed to swingby on an investigator. When we got in, he just broke down for a solid 5 minutes of crying. He was thinking about dying because no one cared about him. He told us if anybody else had knocked on the door, he wouldn't have answer. But he knew we cared about him and came at the time because God guided us. It was such a tender experience to be a part of, to be the means of God saving one of his children literally. Since then, he is doing a lot better. It really was just an amazing experience. I still can't believe it. How he first met missionaries was amazing. He was having similar things go on -very hard life, when he knelt down and cried "jesus help me." Not short after that, missionaries happened to knock on his door and offer the help of jesus. It was incredible!

Tors: We went on down to Katrineholm (this was the snow day) for district meeting. We made our own title of liberties for our companionship with a scripture. We decided to choose Alma 26:12 "in His strength, we can do all things!" Its helping us humble ourselves and realize that all we have and do comes from God. That if we get any success, it comes from Him. Through His help, we can accomplish a great work here. I then went on exchanges in Katrineholm with Elder J, a greeny. We taught some less actives and investigators and had a good time. It's a lot of fun going to areas that aren't mine and seeing how the work is going there. I shared some personal stories and just really connected with the people there. It was a lot of fun allowing Elder J the opportunity to take control of plans and lessons and see his testimony and courage grow. 

We met this awesome Persian family of recent converts and could see how much they loved the gospel with being members for only 2 months! We had some trouble with the trains and almost got stuck out in the middle of nowhere, which seems to happen a lot with me hmm, but we made it safe and sound back home.

Fre: Weekly planning session. Went to sports night. Not a lot of people showed up but we had a lot of fun reguardless. I shared Jacob 6:12 for the spiritual thought:) I love that one so much ha!

Lör: We headed out to Strängnäs for some swingbys and lessons. A lot of people blåsted us, so we did a lot of walking around. We did get a lot of returned appointments however, so that was good. We met up with a less active and her family and had some good cake. She is bundled up with all of this gospel knowledge and it all comes out when we meet with her, so we are spiritually fed to the extreme. Its pretty crazy and awesome all of the knowledge and thoughts she has about life and the gospel. We cleaned the church afterwards to finish up our hard, blåsty day.

Sön: No investigators came to church :( Our branch president had all of the missionaries over for dinner afterwards with his family. We had some chicken curry and chocolate cake that was oh so good:) That helped, ha. We then met up with B and met a lot of his friends, haha. Thats the best. When you meet with a group of African people there is almost always a guaranteed person there that likes the good word of God:) Such was the case. We tried a little bit of couscous and their special african peanut butter/broccoli sauce. 

We started teaching the 7 day stop smoking program the church offers to a new investigator. Its a 15 step course to cleanse the desire to smoke out of people and train the mind to not want it. It is very successful and is amazing! He soaked in everything in we were saying and is doing everything that we asked him and wants this so bad. It was really cool seeing him absorb it all and promise and commit to stopping. Im excited to see how it works!

I love you all and am so grateful for you. I love being a missionary and spreading the Good word of God to everyone:) I hope you all have a fantastic week, I know this is the work of God

Love Elder Johnson

Monday, February 17, 2014

Grattis på alla hjartans dag - Happy Valentines day!

Eskilstuna at night
Hej på er! Direct translation - hey on you all!

Wowee! Sounds like it has been a fun week! I would first like to give Pops a shoutout for tomorrow Happy 52nd Birthday! Hope You have a good time in Palm Springs! I am going to get into golfing when I get home. I need to work on my old man's game:) Anywho, hope y'all have had a great Valentines Day, because I sure didn't...Hahaha just kidding!  It is kind of hard being a missionary and seeing all the young birds in love. There were literally thousands of birds outside our apartment complex that were flying all over together on Valentines day! Well I guess I can start with my week. Nu kör vi (new, sure, vee) directly translated is now drive we, but it means lets do it!

Mån: After emailing, cleaning and laundry when 6pm hit it was time to go missionary mode. This was probably the craziest day ever in just such a short amount of time. We still needed to get our 10 contacts in for the day even though it was pday. We saw this port-coded building just barely open, so we immediately run to catch it before it closes. You can't ever pass up an opportunity when a port-coded door opens. Elder S wanted to swing by this family that had previously been tracted into. We knock on the door. Who's there? A nice Muslim family. Luckily they invited us in after hearing we had a special message that we would like to share. We were very shocked because no one invites us in! Already we were so happy!

We asked if we could start off with a prayer. I explained how our prayers usually go and when they heard God's son and Jesus they told us that Jesus was only a prophet, not Gods Son. Hmmm. so that got ruined...We listened to their beliefs and told what we believe in and tried to say something that would want them to learn more. I seriously have never prayed so hard in all of my life than I did at that point. My companion and I were saying prayers in our hearts, begging, pleading to know what we could say. When there was a pause, I got so scared and was like 'you (my comp) need to say something!' and then he did, and the same back to me. And once, neither of us said anything and luckily the dad spoke up. Whew! We kept praying and praying with all of our might that we could say something to help them. Finally, the Book of Mormon came up! Yes, the life saver!!! You can always rely on the BoM! They were very interested in it and said they would love to read it! Unfortunately we did not have an Arabic copy with us (the daughter was translating swedish to arabic with her father the whole time!), but that was also lucky because we could then set up a return appointment with them! We left and my comp and I just stared at eachother and were like "What just happened????" We were both freaking out and saying how hard we were praying in there and hoping that God would help us with that! And sure enough, He did! Wow, that was so intense. I can't breathe just thinking about that, ha! Awesome! But the day wasn't over yet...

We still needed 9 more contacts so we decided to go to Magbull and talk to everyone on the way. After reaching 10 people who weren't so positive, things just started happening. People were prepared and their hearts were just open to our message! We ended the night with 14 unplanned contacts, 4 of those people gave us their phone numbers, and 5 of them wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon!!! Unbelievable!! Elder Ballard promised us that if we contact 10 random people every day, numbers would go up and we will find the prepared who are willing to follow the Savior and be baptized. I have a very strong testimony of this. 

Tis: A guy walked into the church building while we were there. He had seen our church and wanted to know what we believed. We talked with him for an hour answering his questions and bearing testimony. Without us even asking he said he was going to come on church on sunday! How awesome! We next taught our investigator with a baptismal date and realized we need to go really slow with him. That means putting back the date but thats what it takes to help people enter in the gate and stay. He loves reading the Book of Mormon and can feel a difference in his life! It really has the power to change people! We also swung by a potential investigator who studied at NYU and is very intelligent. He told us all of his beliefs for a long time then said we could come back and talk about our church! Hopefully despite all of his logical thinking, he can accept our spiritual message.

Ons: We had the family history consultant come and teach us missionaries how to do family history. It made me even more confused. I really want to feel the Spirit of Elijah so Im hoping one day I will understand it. We are supposed to do it at least once a week for 2 hours. We met up with a potential investigator who is interested in the book of Mormon. Second hand smoke is killing me here. I know that God is blessing me and helping me to withstand that when I can't escape it.

Tors: We had a zone training in Södertälje. We missed the stop and had to backtrack but we made it. We talked about #102021. Numbers that President wants us to remember. 10-contacts daily. 20-lessons a week will lead to 2 (double the baptisms) and 1- baptism monthly with companions. It is such a big goal, but I know that we can do it. Although we are coming out with more and more electronic ways to preach the gospel, contacting and meeting people face to face is more personal and you truly develop a love so quickly for that person and can see how much potential they have and how the Gospel will help them.

You find the strangest things in missionary apartments
After eating kebab and walking in the rain we made it back home and we went on exchanges. I went with Elder S to his area. We taught a teenage girl. It was crazy but when I first saw her I had this distinct impression that she is going to be baptized. I don't know how or why or when it will happen, but I know it will. It was awesome! She is cool and her family is genuinely interested in the gospel. We then met up with some members who are preparing on going to the temple to be sealed. Elder S and I had a good time together just catching up on the past 6 months and talking about the good things in life and the mission. 

Some graffiti for Valentines Day
Fre: Grattis på alla hjartans dag-Happy Valentines day! I opened my valentines package from mom and loved it! We went on a walk with one of our eternal investigators and had the drop talk. She has been going to church for a long time and been taught everything by the missionaries, now she just needs to act. She needs to figure out for herself and trust in God. That was hard, dropping someone, but it is the best thing for her.

We made cookies today so we could distribute them out to our members and more especially the less actives, to break the ice with them. Triple batch man, that is a lot of cookies!! We then had our sports night and had a great time playing volleyball! (I miss those days back home getting together with my boys and going to the sand courts and challenging the college kids and beating them! Good times:) We saw lots of people going on dates and doing all that Valentines stuff - it was weird ha.

I live here, its called Gotham - Perfect for a Batman guy like me
Lör: We helped a family move some furniture then went to Strängnäs (an outskirt type of city part of our area). We met up with some less actives and had an exchange of treats. We gave them cookies and they had us come in and eat some cake. Dang good cake too! It was chocolate peanut butter middle inside of a banana bread cake with vanilla frosting on top! Mmmmm. 

We met up with our branch mission leader. He is a convert for 2 years and is from Iraq. (He fought AlQueda and helped the US a ton. He is an ex war general and has the craziest war stories!) He has a great conversion story and loves the church so much! We had a good time talking and figuring out what we can do together.

Sön: I gave a talk about how we can invite the Holy Ghost into our lives and what the blessings from that. I mentioned that the best way I invite the spirit is by singing a hymn in my head. I got emotional when I said that singing "I am a Child of God" helps me remember who I am and who I can become. Its simple to just sing a hymn, but it makes a huge difference. Think about what you are doing to invite the spirit into your home throughout the week. What can you improve on, what can be taken out. Fill your life with the Holy Ghost for He will teach you the truth of all things.

After church we did a lot of swingbys, then played some soccer with some teens we were walking by and got their numbers (that was awesome-balling up kids in our white shirts and ties:)) Then we walked home after getting 24 contacts on the day to reach our goal for the week. The last guy was Cambodian and I spoke a little bit of that with him! He loved the idea of living with his family for ever! People are prepared!

It has been a long week but a good week nonetheless. It is hard, but its worth it. I know that the Lord is preparing people all over the world. Even wherever you are. There is somebody in your path that needs your help, pray to be open to know what to do and what to say. I love you all and love being here! Have a fantastic week!

Love Elder Johnson

Monday, February 10, 2014


I successfully landed into the big tank-the tuna! Eskilstuna to be exact. It really isn't too big of a city, it's working up to 100,000 inhabitants. I already love it here a lot, though I'm not too sure where everything is yet, ha. Crazy thing, today marks exactly 7 months that I have been out on a mission! Holy cow! Slow down! Man, it's crazy how fast time flies when you're having fun serving the Lord.

Mån: We met up with the H family for my final visit with them. They are so awesome. They made us a nice steak dinner, made me a cake, and a painting/poem thing that is so amazing! It was really hard for me to say goodbye, as it was for them. They want to keep in contact, which I do too!, but they also said they want to
meet the family as well -they said that we are always welcome over there! Man, I hated leaving. That was hard. I know deep in my heart that one day they will be an eternal family. Later that night, we went to home evening where I learned how to knit from a member- I hope I still remember how to do it ha. I got started on a beanie, so hopefully it turns out ok!

Tis: Pretty much spent the day doing laundry, cleaning, and packing. Guess who stopped by? THE G'S!!!!!! (from Stockholm). Oh man, it was such a sweet reunion. They were passing through Linköping and wanted to stop by and say hi, as well as give me something that I left in Stockholm (anytime I pack up to go somewhere I forget 1 thing. That's it, just 1. It is the weirdest thing!). So they took me and Elder L out for some THAI food. J is already working on his mission papers and could be out by July! Hopefully he gets called to St. George and then we can have him over all the time!! That family, seriously is the best. Man, I have just met the best families ever! I want my family to be like that -where missionaries feel right at home, still do the work, but have a place and someone to look to for help, love, comfort, etc. That's my biggest desire in life.

Elders Smith and Johnson - easy to remember
Ons: We barely made it to the train station on time -there is so much unnecessary stress when it comes to travel, moving! ahh! haha. Nevertheless, I made it  and headed up to Eskilstuna alone. ...2 hours later I arrive and meet up with Elder Smith. Johnson and Smith. Hmmm, that doesn't sound too typical for missionary names...ha. He is from Sandy, Utah. He plays soccer; did ODP, club, highs chool -alta, etc. Needless to say, we have hit it off really well. He is one group younger than me, but is fearless. 

We immediately we went right to work. Rode our bikes, for my first time on my mission its a regular basis here, so Im stoked about that. I love riding bikes! We started by contacting everybody we pass by, which is interesting and fun, and thats how we get new people to teach. Seriously, I could not stop smiling the whole day here. Just everything was awesome! I don't even remember if we taught anyone, we have had a lot of people blåst us, but I couldn't even care, ha. We were both working hard together.

Tors: Our district contains some elders and sisters from my same mtc group! and one greeny who loves to quote movies!! finally!! Someone to quote with. Elder K is the DL and is a stud. I swear he could be an apostle, just the way he talks and his conviction when he bears his testimony. He used Elder Holland's talk from conference. Christ says " I need someone who will feed my sheep." Christ asks him 3 times, "peter, do you love me?" How are we showing Christ that we love him if we are not feeding his sheep? That's how we show our love to Him. When you see the eternal perspective of things, it makes it easier to contact people on the street because you want them to have the same joy and peace that we have.

Elder K said that sometime on our mission, there will come a time where the Atonement of Jesus Christ will become so personal and powerful that it will carry with you throughout the rest of your life into eternity. You will never forget it. That's why I take this time now to challenge all of those who are thinking about missions or not. Go on a mission. Even if you don't have a full testimony of the church, go. The atonement will become the greatest strength in your life. I know that it will mean so much to you personally as you go throughout your mission. It will stick with you throughout your life and in eternity. Go.

Later that day we headed to Strängnäs, an outlying city in our area, where we met up with E. It was the first teach with him and it went really well. He previously had a book of mormon given to him 10 years ago, he just lost it but found it when we met with him. He was very accepting and loved the restoration. Its so cool, being able to come into a new area and see something like this; see someone accept the invitation to find the truth. We met up with some members and less actives that we work with. One of the families we are helping prepare for the temple: He's American, shes swedish...they got married and got baptized later. Super cool story.

Fre: We got blåsted several times, and rode our bikes a lot- my rumpa (bum) hurts really bad ha. We had sports night, where our investigator B (who has a baptismal date) came. He is living here with a sibling for awhile. He absolutely loves the Book of Mormon and can already see a big difference in his life when he reads it!! He hasn't come to church yet, but he's super sick. He doesn't have papers here so he could leave soon, and if he were to get baptized and not stay here his life could be in danger back home. So hopefully he can stay and be saved, twice.
A much needed haircut
We had a great turnout for our sports night here which is put on by the branch members and anyone is invited. we had about 20 show up and we played some volleyball! It was pretty awesome, I blocked our Stake President who is 6'8"!!! I am not even joking even a little bit!:) That was legit.

Lör: So far I've been just going with the flow but I need to get familiarized with everything so I can share the load with my comp. We met up with member D, who has grown up in this branch and knows a lot about missionary work and all that good stuff. He fed us dinner and talked with us about how we can work smart, find the elect and strengthen the branch. He is the #1 fellow-shipper for the missionaries when they teach investigators so he knows lots of stuff. He's a really smart guy, and he likes talking deep doctrine with us as well ha. We also visited the Stake President and his family who live right next to us and they love to feed us! They have 3 young daughters: all are so cute, especially the youngest who loves the missionaries! I love it! SO many great people here, everywhere! I feel so blessed!

Sön: I shared my testimony and led the music in church. We only have 2 hours for church. The second hour I sat and talked with the member who is preparing his family to go to the temple. He has had some amazing spiritual experiences. Two investigators came to church. That was awesome.

Things are looking great here. We are doing a lot of finding, contacting, teaching, swingbys, you name it! I've really enjoyed it and I am excited for what the future brings! I'm not too worried about anything, just trying to be patient and have faith on the Lords timing. I am so grateful to be here and doing the Lord's work in His way. I love this work, and I am so happy! Only the true and living church could bring such happiness and peace to my soul. I love you all and hope you have a fantastisk alla hjärtans dag (all hearts day-valentines day)!
Med kärlek

Äldste Johnson

PS: I saw these two things in the mall.  Anyone want them for Christmas next year?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hey family and friends! I need to make this snappy because I am being transferred!!

Tis: We met with some members and less actives who fed us and we got to know them. One of them, the wife is American and her family actually lives in St. George now!! Small world! They are way awesome! Our investigator cancelled on us because of school and then he had to go to a funeral-so I guess that's a good excuse ha:)

Ons: We missed a bus that goes to the outskirt area only 4 times in the day. We missed it twice, by exactly 30 seconds (remember that I HATE being late!) ...Needless to say, I was pretty upset, ha. We did some swing-by's and tried to find stuff to do-I ended up writing thank you notes to people. I have never felt so confused or lost for something to do after missing the bus twice like that. It was a very weird experience, but I did share my feelings with My Heavenly Father. He let me choose for myself what I should do. It was interesting, because He was putting a lot of trust in me to handle the situation on my own and it caused me to do some searching. I know God does this to us quite often to try us. He asks that we pray to Him for help and guidance so He can bless us. But it requires a lot of work on our part. We might have to go wandering in the darkness and make our own decisions before He will let us know if it is right or wrong. If it be wrong He will let us know, and if it is right, more likely than not He won't say anything to us until later. It shows a lot of trust He has in us to make our own choices and we trust that He will guide us back to the path if we go astray. 

Trying to stop nose bleed
Improvising to stop nose bleed
We later did our Branch Pres. ex-changes which went pretty good. I randomly got a bloody nose. I thought I was safe here in Sweden with a wet cold climate, but no, it just goes to show it can happen anywhere. I kind of laughed at the situation and had fun with it - hahaha. Oh well.

Tors:  I can't help but repeat that the best way for us missionaries to find people is through the members. We try to find people on our own and talk to EVERYONE!! To all you members, it really makes a huge difference.  We did swing-by's and then met up with a potential investigator at his church. He said he would come to our church if we came to his (which he didn't ha) -so we of course couldn't pass up an opportunity like that. I really enjoy seeing other peoples worship service to become better acquainted and understand other religions. It was a very interesting service -one I will not forget. Many churches are pretty similar to ours, but then there is one always something you see and you're like "ahhh, that's not right." I am just very grateful to know I have the knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that I am a member of His true church. I desperately want to share this message with everyone because they are so close to the truth. 

Fre: Not too much happened this day, sadly. We are near the end of our goal/plan of getting to meet all of the members on our list, so this week we have been dwindling with numbers. 

Lör: We got to meet up with L (the contact Dad gave me) and his family, they are sooooo awesome! We ended up just talking, getting to know everyone, clarifying and explaining what we missionaries do and all of that good stuff. His wife is Swedish, and came to the U of U to compete in cross country skiing, met her husband and got married. She would have been in the Salt Lake City Olympics if it weren't for blowing out her knee. We had a really good time together. L is still open to taking some things back to the states for me this summer and dropping them off to my family because his dad lives in St George. So I will be keeping in contact with him (and that's how the cheese slicers will come to you mom:)

So we were waiting all day to see what was going on with transfers because there were so many rumors going around. President called, and we found out that I am transferring to Eskilstuna- same zone but 2 hours north. I kind of felt it coming on even though I have only been here for one transfer. I get to serve with an Elder who is one group younger than me -my first comp that is younger than me! It'll be a good one. 

The Linköping branch
Sön: Fast Sunday! I bore my testimony for the last time here and the members were sad and told me they want me to come back before my mission is up, ha! They are so awesome; We had dinner with some members and got to walk across the frozen canal and kind of ice skate on our shoes haha. This time I didn't fall through the ice. Oh just det, the weather has been getting warmer and warmer:( so now we have perfect packing snow for snowballs.....4 missionaries......nuff said.

This transfer in Linköping is one I would never want to trade. I have grown a lot and struggled but it has been a good ride. I feel like a lot has been accomplished here in the short time and there is a good foundation to build from. I'm excited for a new adventure in Eskilstuna with Elder S.  Sometimes I still can't believe that I am actually serving a mission. I've grown up all my life waiting for and preparing myself for a mission, and now I am! I relish the fact that I am His servant in His blessed land of Sweden. No greater calling I can think of that would make my life more meaningful, and being able to tangibly wear my Saviors name on my heart everyday. I just can't even begin to describe the emotions and feelings I have for it. I love this gospel with all of my heart, and I am trying to give it my all and know that my efforts are not being wasted. I love my trials and tribulations that I go through, I love the opportunities to get torn down so I know how to continue to pick myself back up and be lifted up by His always outstretched hands. For when I am weak, than am I strong. I love you all and hope all is well, continue to be great and rely on the Savior for help.

Love Äldste Johnson