Monday, February 24, 2014

Letter from Michael 2-24-2014- District Conference

2-24-2014   District Conference
Dear everyone,

It has been a good week. On Tuesday Mission President Omer's assistant, Elder Elliot spent the day teaching with us. It was great to have him there and he taught us a lot. He helped us to tract in ways that make it more productive.  That day we found a father lead family that we can teach. We will see them this coming Thursday. At the end of the day we saw a less active who hasn't come to church in a very long time. His name is Sackey. We brought our branch president with us to the lesson. We talked with about a lot of things and he brought up some problems he has been having. President brought up some great scripture about the atonement and bore testimony which was powerful. We explained to him the importance of coming to church and that we were there to help him. He promised he would come to church and his wife was very happy. He actually did come this Sunday. 
This Sunday we had a District Conference which was very long but very powerful. It was a great opportunity to have Investigators there. Cynthia came and brought her son. President Omer was there and Elder Bricknell from the quorum of the 70 was there. Elder Bricknell  is Afrikaans and he is hilarious! He does the funniest things and is a great speaker. The conference was mainly about hastening the work and missionaries and members working together.
Earlier in the week we were tracting and decided to say a prayer. The next house we found a man named Moses who is very interested. He even wants to come teach with us. He has been an answer to prayers and we have been needing a male to come with us to teach the female investigators. 
We had a Zone meeting in Tzaneen. It was a beautiful drive there again. We drove up through green misty mountains with baboons crossing the road every now and then. Fun Fact: We found out that the new Avengers movie is being filmed right now in Johannesburg South Africa! That was pretty cool! I want to serve my next area in Joburg Central. Well... that is all I have to say... about that.
- Elder Johnson

(When Michael was told that Elder Bricknell is Michael’s dad’s principal’s father, he wrote the following: Yeah, I wish I remembered that when I saw him. He is a great and powerful man. Funny guy.)

Some other notes Michael sent us today: What I found in my personal study: Isaiah 29:11-13/Testimonies/2nephi 27/Ezekiel37:15-17/2 Cor 13:1/ Ether 5:4 (Proof that the Book of Mormon is true and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the Earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith.) 2 Nephi 29 talks about why we need the Book of Mormon.

unwelcome guest due to no water to clean dishes 

Parts of Michael's hand written letter sent 1-12-2014

Parts of Michael’s hand written letter sent 1-12-2014 (We just got it yesterday, 2-22-2014)

Dear Family,
                This should be my second letter for you guys. Sorry, my letters aren’t very good and I have a hard time finding the time to write. I don’t know where to start. My mission so far has been great. I am glad to be out here serving. Each week Elder Haynes and I learn and grow. We are getting much better with transitioning, understanding each other, and teaching more smoothly.
                Anyway, we are out of water again. I haven’t showered in days but don’t worry, we still have water stored in bottles to drink. Tomorrow is P-Day. Our P-days still haven’t been so great since Elder Mcclalan and I got here. Every Monday we seem to be busy with taking care of business, cleaning, and fixing bikes every time. This Monday, we also have to do cleaning. That will be hard without water. 
                This week has been good despite all of our canceled appointments,. So far, we have 10 new investigators this week. Our whole group of investigators we have are Monica & her teenage son Majolefa, Precious, Haron, Moses, Pheladi, & Koena, Mpho & Dennis, William, Matabo, Mosana, Jonas, Winnie, Praise, Neila, and a priest. This week we had some good lessons with  Prais, Jonas, and Winnie about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Praise didn’t get though the restoration, but was very interested in the Book of Mormon. Dennis and Mpho got through most of the Restoration. Dennis seemed very interested in the Book of Mormon too and wanted one. Unfortunately at the time we didn’t have one to give. Yesterday, we came back to give him one, but he wasn’t there. They’re new to the area and are looking for a church to go to.
                We also taught a member lesson yesterday. His name is Elton who is a returned missionary currently living and working at a printing shop here. He is great and funny. He made those district ties for us. He also is going to be coming to teach with us on Saturdays.
                Last night we visited with Lionel and his mother, Sister Colleen. We were going to teach the Restoration lesson, but only go to the very beginning. I asked them about the nature of God and it opened up a really good conversation.  They really opened up to us about some things and we could see their testimonies come out. I don’t remember if I told you, but in 2013, Sister Colleen’s husband died.
                Anyway, things are good. Placed some Book of Mormons and Serving with Charity for everyone. You guys are great…   I love the people in the branch and this area. The church is true!
Elder Johnson

Monday, February 17, 2014

Letter from Michael 2-17-2014

Letter from Michael 2-17-2014

This week wasn't bad. We have a lot of potential investigators now but they're all women so we can't teach them. It is very hard in this branch to get male or member present lessons which makes it difficult to teach. Hopefully we can find someone to help. Anyway, Cynthia came to church this week! She was going to go the passed couple times but she was either sick or didn't have a ride. She enjoyed it. She still wants to be baptized too. She just has to come 4 more times in a row. On Sunday the Seshego Elder baptized an investigator named, Rachael, at our church font. Cynthia saw and was asking questions. She is accepting the messages we have to share and is increasing her faith.We have gotten further teaching her than any other new investigator that Elder Haynes and I have received. 
Moses is another investigator we have been teaching. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and understanding it. He believes it is true, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and that he restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. But he doesn't completely understand the priesthood authority. It confused him when we asked him to be baptized because of that. I thought we were very clear but we'll have to sort that out next time. 
Elder Haynes went up to Mokopawne on Friday and Elder Kafusi, a Tongan from Utah, came down here and I lead the area for a day. It was a good day. He was fun and a good teacher. Those were the highlights of the week... at least what first pops into my mind at the moment. I have noticed that investigators never get Joseph Smith's name right. They always refer to him as John Smith, Jacob Smith, or James Smith. It is really funny. Anyway, I am glad we are getting further with more of our investigators. 
- Elder Johnson

( A few words from Michael’s letter to his mother: Haha, I did eat the legs and the head. I did not eat all of it though. It wasn't worth it. It didn't taste good. (Speaking of the picture of him last week with chicken legs and head in his mouth.)

WOW, I never knew I had Spidey Powers!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Letter from Michael 2-202-2014- Baptismal Date

Letter from Michael 2-10-2014- Baptismal Date
Last week I forgot to mention something. A while ago we had a member lesson with Sister Julia. We taught her the work of salvation and have been following up. After we taught her she had talk to an inactive member about coming back to church. Ever since they talked it seems as though the inactive member, Leah, has been coming regularly to church ever since.
Cynthia, the President's daughter made a commitment to baptismal date. I was happy about that. She was going to church this Sunday but got the flu the day before. Her son, who is 10 years old, came though. He said he would like to be there for the lessons when we teach his mom. Also we have had some others commit to a baptismal date. Also a couple father lead lessons. One of them was with William and his family. One of the less active we have started visiting is Muphure. Last time we met with her and I decided to share a certain scripture in the Bible about forgiveness and not judging others. She thanked us and said it was exactly what she needed to hear that day. Cool cool. 
By the way I have a cool story to tell about how Missionaries are watched over and protected. I decided just to send it today in a hand written letter though. We are progressing with the investigators we have and have seen a couple of the ones we have not seen in a while. We had a lesson on Saturday finally with Pheladi, Koena, and their family. The mom is less active, there was another relative who is a member, and then the grandma who doesn't speak much English. It was a good lesson about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. We also had another lesson with Pheladi. That is about all. Good week.
- Elder Johnson  

It is cooked!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Letter from Michael 2-3-2014- Two Months

Letter from Michael 2-3-2014- Two Months

      It has rained almost every day here. I wonder why they say they have a shortage of water here when they get it just about every day. We still struggle with people being there for their appointments but we always end up having a good lesson with some one. We got quite a few new investigators and one of them is a possible father lead family. We taught the presidents daughter, Cynthia, again. We hope she will make it to church on Sunday.
     Lionel came to church again. If he comes two more times in a row I think it is safe to say he is active now. We are close to committing many of our investigators to baptism which is good. Some things just get in the way sometimes. 
     Today we got to see some African animals, finally. We would drive out and if we saw something we would stop and take pictures. Some times we would leave the car and go out to explore and see the animals further out. It is hard to see things far away because there are so many trees and bushes. It was so fun sneaking up on the animals through bushes to get a good picture. It is funny how afraid of people these animals are even though they are so much bigger. 
      Some things we need to work on but there are still a lot of good things going on with members, less actives, and investigators. People are just too busy but we'll try to be as positive and patient as we can be and good things will happen
- Elder Johnson
PS: The photos below are taken at a local animal reserve out side of town.

Some zebra



This is why there is a shortage of water here even though it rains every other day. The streets are often flooded because of pipes

A giraffe