Sweden Stockholm Mission

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gratitude as a Saving Principle

It's getting cold and dark
Dear Fam and friends! First off, Happy Birthday mommy!!! Hope it was a good one!  I also want to congratulate my brother for passing the bar exam!! Nice work! It got pretty dang cold at one point-4 degrees celsius (39) with a wind current that made it feel like -1 degrees celsius!!! Holy cow! It's too early for that, especially since St. George is about 80 degrees in October!! haha, but I love it!

Mån: No sightseeing today. Just laundry, groceries and stuff. I got to jam with my uke for a while, so that felt good. We had dinner with the bishop and his family -the best. He really knows how to have missionary work as the center piece of the ward. I love it. We went to teach F and had a topic to teach but it just wasn't working. Finally, we let the spirit take over and we talked about baptism and that was it! We invited her to be baptized in November and she said yeah!! Amazing!

Tis: We met with this recently activated member who wants to serve a mission. We went to teach him but turns out, he brought a friend who isn't a member and we ended up teaching her! Awesome!! Next we taught M about the purpose of life and she seemed to get it. We totally spaced a member dinner. They called us and said, "Where are you?" We were so confused, but it all worked out. After dinner we sang songs to them as compensation, ha:)

Ons: We did a lot of updating our area book and contacting on the streets. It is a goal of ours to have the area book up to date, and have a constant flow of people to teach and receiving new investigators. We had dinner with the L's and did a role play of them inviting their friends to church. It was fun, simple, and easy, and it worked! 

Tors: We had a great district meeting. Every companionship has gotten a baptismal date within the last week. We are on fire!! We met up with our american friend. He has philosophical tangents about the book of Mormon. And at the end, man this was funny, it was like he was breaking up with us. Hahaha. It was super awkward and totally cliche: "let's all learn from this...it's not you, it's me...I need some time..."etc. Hahaha. Oh well, he said he'll continue to read the book of Mormon. We went to interview our district leader's baptism candidate. He was super ready and super awesome. His first day in church, he told some members he was always gonna come back because it was His church now. 

Fre: We taught M again with a member there this time, and it went great! The member bore a solid testimony of Christ and the Book of Mormon and the spirit was strong. M is moving forward, I think we just need to meet as often as possible.  PS, we had a member dinner 6/7 nights this week ha!

Lör: We taught E for about 2 hours. It is hard with the language barrier and his many questions. But the main thing is whether the book of Mormon is true or not, and how he is going to find that out. L is doing great so we set a new date for him to go to the temple in December!! Awesome! 

Sön: We were able to meet with H before church. We are trying so hard to meet with his mom and sister-please pray that we meet with them! We were a little disappointed because we worked super hard, and had lots of people commit to coming to church but no one came:( That was sad. But we then had a great member dinner and that made us feel better ha. we had quite a few cancels after church too, but its all good.

Last week Elder L and I invited our zone to go throughout the week only saying gratitude prayers, not asking for anything. It was very hard, but very rewarding. It opened up our eyes to see all of the little things that God has given to us. We were inspired from the Liahona Sep 2013 talk called My gratitude prayers. In it, it said Gratitude inspires humility, humility leads to faith, and faith brings miracles. Wow, how powerful is that! We saw many mighty miracles this week from the gratitude prayers. I loved it. I was able to pray in a whole new way and it felt really good. Another great talk is Gratitude as a Saving Principle from James E. Faust in 1990 may. God has given us so much, it is amazing. I love this work. I love Him. Hope you all try this out, and see the miracles that come from this! Love you all,

This pic is for of all my friends serving in the Philippines.
Love Elder Johnson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Couldn't have said it better.
Hello everyone! Wow, what a great and stressful week! Seriously, lots of good things happened and there was just a lot to do; I'm surprised that my head is still on straight:) Thank you all for the emails, prayers, love and support. It truly helps a lot.

Mån: For Pday we headed up to the YSA center and hung out with a bunch of missionaries. That night H made us dinner -it was so dang good! His sister was also there so we decided to teach her the Restoration. Christ tells us to be childlike -submissive, humble,etc. This sweet girl is the epitome of what Christ was talking about. We asked her to pray, she said she didn't know how to, we taught her, and she held the most sincere sweetest prayers ever. Man, that was powerful! That was fantastic!

Tis: We were finally able to watch the last session of general conference and that was amazing! I loved it all. We had a farewell lunch with some YSAs for Elders L and S leaving (transferring.) We then went about our normal day of teaching, finding and having a good time. We had a great member dinner to celebrate of Elder W's birthday. We had tons and tons of food, and tons and tons of dessert. It hurt to walk afterwards haha. 

Ons: We had to wake up early to get to T-central on time. I was there from 7.30 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon helping missionaries as they were transferring and because my new comp was the last one to get in ha. I had lots of fun though seeing tons of missionaries and even the new greenies. We have 3 in our zone! I finally picked up elder L and it was a sweet reunion (he is from my mtc group.) 

On the Ferry
Gotland Island
We immediately came back and taught F. With her it sort of feels like things go in one ear and out the other. But we will work on that. We had to quickly pack up because we were going out to Gotland on exchanges with the Visby elders. Elder L served there awhile ago so it was fun for him. We took a 40 minute train ride south to Nynäshamn and then boarded the ferry that took 3.5 hours to arrive at the island. We didnt get to port until midnight. The elders picked us up and we went straight to bed.

Tors: We took some great pics on the coast and then got to work. I was with elder I on the outskirts while the other two covered the big city. We taught a couple of people and made them investigators. That was super cool. Its always fun going on exchanges with new missionaries because they have so much fire -its a good reboost. We ended the day with a bastu (sauna.)
City of Visby
Not that dangerous, really.
A little too much climbing because.....

...oh, oh- I ripped my pants but good.

Love me them kebabs!
Fre: We got up early to catch the ferry back to the mainland. We made it back time to meet up with our zone. The training was fantastic. We have 9 new people in the zone, and it just feels like a really good refresh. We talked about Prayer, and it was a discussion not us teaching -which was awesome. Everything that we wanted to be talked about was! It was amazing how strong the spirit was there! We also talked about becoming unified as a zone through prayer because President said that if we do not become a more prayerful mission, we are just gonna stay on the same level, never increase. We have already seen a great improvement and excitement with our missionaries. It feels good.

Lör: We taught several great lessons this day. C has been praying but doesn't feel a change, but feels good when he meets with us-so hopefully he makes the connection soon. We met with J and had a great philosophical discussion with him. We also showed him Patterns of Light from Elder Bednar and he loved it. We had dinner with M and as usual it is great! We were supposed to meet with D again, but she bailed ha. 

Sön: Sadly none of our investigators made it to church. We sang (in Swedish) Joseph Smiths First Prayer to the tune of Come thou Fount. Elder L did a little solo -he is super talented. We had dinner with the Ö's again - love them. We had their son who is going on a mission soon- help us teach the first vision and it was super powerful! Loved that! We then finished the day by swinging by to see T.

So, with regards to Prayer with our zone training. We decided to do a week of gratitude prayers. No prayers of asking for anything, just thanks! It's been a bit difficult but lots of fun trying to dig deeper and just thank God for the many wonderful blessings that He has blessed us with. I am grateful for all that He does for me and allowing me the sacred privilege of representing His son here in Sweden. I know this work is true. I know God hears prayers. Let Him hear yours. I love you all. Have a great week!

Love Elder Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Leaves are dropping
Hej hej, Sounds like you all had a great week! Special shoutout to my cousin Jennifer with her homecoming talk. Thanks to all the Johnson family for the love and support they have given me and Jenn. Well, fall is here. The leaves are changing drastically and the mood is a little nostalgic here in Sweden as I ponder upon past years of the fall season. But this week was good. Let me tell you why...

Mån: We did some shopping around Stockholm and ate some kebab, of course. Later we had dinner with the Jonnsons (related? could be, way back). We went on splits to do some tracting. Elder W and I had a great conversation with 20 year old female. It was awesome -hopefully we see her again.

Tis: We swungby a former investigator to show that we still care and are willing to help them out, and to see if they are ready for our message. We then met with our new investigator F. We spent a huge time talking about our Heavenly Father. She has no basic background of who God is- but once someone discovers that truth, things become smooth. So pray that she will be able to discover that relationship.

The sisters and the Tolleys at MLC
Ons: Mission Leadership Council! Wow, that was great! I got to see a lot of familiar faces and be spiritually uplifted. We talked about being a more prayerful mission. I love how the Bible Dictionary says the so-called difficulties of prayer arise when we don't understand the true relationship of God as our Father and we as His children. Prayer is powerful. It shouldnt be just a checklist. It should be well thought out, a spiritual experience every time. We also talked about PUSH -pray until something happens. I'll let you interpret that wherever you will. Sister Beckstrand brought up some health stuff and then spoke about how once you master charity it becomes second nature, and you feel gods love for you as you love His children.

District meeting with Skype
Tors: We had district meeting again with skype (because we have visby (gotland) in our district). We later taught 4 lessons with some good people. G was someone we tracted into earlier so we brought a YSA with us to teach him. He is american and was super open and the spirit was strong. Then out of the blue he said he didnt want to meet again. But after some time we were able to schedule another meeting. To close the night, we taught a new move-in couple from Norway who live just right below us. They have been less active recently but want to come back -its perfect!

Fre: We taught a guy on the street who said "Freak Yeah, I'll take the Book of Mormon" (except he didn't say freak) hahaha that's the spirit:) It was funny. Later on, we met as a district to go out on a Blitz of contacting and informing people about the music fireside we've been planning. We found a long lost less-active who said he'd come! Wow! Cool.

Saying bye to W

Lör: We had a ward party Olympiad of doing games and activities and all sorts of things. We received our transfer calls and though my comp will be leaving, I will be receiving elder L, who is from my MTC group. I am beyond excited right now. It is going to be such a blast. I love this kid!!! Our zone is getting a lot of new people which will mix things up. We met with W and she told us she was moving back home for 8 months. I was sad at first, but this will be the best for her. She was excited to find out that she could keep her Book of Mormon!
Brother G, me, J, Elder M - one year later

Later on, we went to the YSA Center in Stockholm for J G's missionfarewell party -my favorite guy from my first area. He had a lot of his non-member friends there and it was a great opportunity for him to tell them what he is doing for 2 years and have us missionaries there to explain. It was awesome. A lot of them are super interested! 

Nice note with my burger: "Spread some love."
We stopped by Burger King on the way home and the cashier was super sweet and left me a nice message in my burger box:) "spread some love."

Sön: Church went great. Later we set up for our music night. It was titled "Han Lever" or He lives. We had a great turnout. Lots of YSAs, lots of Less Actives and even lots of non members came! It was super. The spirit was so strong, Oh I loved it!!! Lots of songs and testimonies of Christ, and boy was it amazing! I wish you all could have been there.
I couldn't help but just cry and cry during the fireside because I know that My Redeemer Lives. He sacrificed His life for me and for you. He suffered and died, and then rose again. And because He lives, so can we. If we but follow Him. Come unto Christ and partake of His goodness. He is the way the truth and the life. I know He is my savior. It is because of Him that I am where I am today- in Sweden serving a mission to represent Him and invite all of Gods children back to HIm. That means so much. I invite you all to come unto christ. I know He lives. I love Him. I am forever His. I love you all, have a great week

Love Elder Johnson

Monday, October 6, 2014

HELLO! Hi everyone! Wow, what a week! Conference is just the best thing ever!!! I love it! It's nice to know that all around the world, we are all listening to our beloved prophet. How amazing that is! 
FHE spin chart (like home)

Mån: We had another sports afternoon for pday and that was a lot of fun. It feels good getting nice and sweaty every once in awhile, you know? I have played sports all my life and it feels weird going a long time without really sweating ha. That night we had Family Home Evening with a great member family and it was a blast! They know how to do it right. Gosh, family home evening is such a great tool to help strengthen our family relationships -please don't take it for granted.

Tis: We got to do a huge service project of planting all of the new temple flowers!! Over 6,000 flowers were put in by us missionaries for 6+ hours!!! It was a ton of fun and we have gotten a lot of nice compliments. It feels good taking care of the Lord's house and the surroundings leading up to the Lord's house. Man, I just love being near the temple! 

So after that great excursion (it was back breaking, but worth it), we came home to get all cleaned up and then go help out with a primary activity. Kids are crazy!! Hahaha, not all the time. But it was good. We had a spiritual thought with them and then played some games like Heads up 7 Up and Four Corners -the kids were getting really intense about it ha.

Ons: We had lunch and did service with members. We taught a guy who came to church last week, and it was disappointing. He says it's too late for him. If it was 20 years ago he would be baptized. But now that he is old, he just wants to enjoy nature...? Yeah, so we will see what happens. We had a funny experience tracting. This guy was a bit drunk, he showed us his airplane collection, joked around with us -he thought I was an Arab, and then we left. Of course there is a lot more to it than that, but you get the jist. We tracted more and got return appointment out of it so all was not lost.

Tors: District meeting, then taught a new investigator. We had O (the YSA)  with us and he bore his testimony and did great. The spirit was strong! We went back to that lady we tracted into yesterday and taught her.  Things look hopeful.

Fre: It was my companions birthday so I made him pancakes. Not my best ones, but hey its the thought that counts right? Am i right? (Brady knows the voice) We taught H the Restoration in steps so he could help teach and testify to his mom and sister. We had a member dinner where we sang to my comp and had cake! We shared a thought about the Title of Liberty: what are we willing to fight for and defend? If we do not stand for what we believe in, we will fall.

Lör: We taught C. He has a lot of deep questions -which is amazing. I havent seen any investigator do as much personal studying -smart studying like from the BoM, pamphlets, etc.- as he does. I think he knows its true, he just wants to be really sure. The rest of the day we seemed to get blåsted one right after the other. But its all good. We tracted into an American will be meeting him later this week. We then went over to M's place to watch conference (Sat morning session) and have dinner, yummy:)

Sön: Watched conference: priesthood, saturday afternoon, and then sunday morning session. Lots of people came to the church, but most like to stream it live from their homes. We had T and his son come to one of the sessions and liked it. C had to work, he was really sad he missed it.

I LOVE CONFERENCE!!! Let me just share some notes, quotes, thoughts I had from it...
*It doesn't matter how big the church gets, each individual is needed.
*Which way do you face?
*Understanding the sacrament should be our weekly goal. It is a renewal of the soul.
*Do your part to find or strengthen a testimony, it will come, and it will be GLORIOUS.
*Decisions determine destiny. It's not so much the big decisions we make in life -though they are important- it's the day to day decisions that are the key to success and happiness.
*Is it I Lord? Don't look to blame others when you are imperfect yourself. Take responsibility.
*Show me how to live the gospel, don't just tell me.
*Nothing will give us greater happiness or success than by living the Gospel.
*Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers FROM GOD.
*Though Christ was homeless, we are not homeless if we live in his light and love.
*Following the Prophet is ALWAYS right -amen.
*Make Christ the center of your life. You'll always know where to go, what to do, and how to do it.

The question is NOW WHAT? Well, I'll tell you what. Conference means nothing if we don't do anything about it. The things we learn are vain if we don't apply it. So my challenge is thus, ACT UPON that which you have received for inspiration. Act on the impressions of your heart. Act. Live the Gospel. I know that as you do so, you will see an increase of understanding and enlightenment in your life. God will bless you as you move forward. This is His kingdom once again established on the earth. It will carry forward no matter what. I love you, have a great week!

Love Äldste Johnson