Monday, May 26, 2014

6 months (1/4th of mission) Letter from Michael 5-26-2014

Letter from Michael 5-26-2014 -6 months (1/4th of mission)

It has been a tough week as far as lessons not falling through. But we did a lot of tracting and found people to teach this week. One night Elder Dutson, Christopher, and I were walking somewhere to get picked up by the other Elders. They were walking pretty fast and I was walking slow but about as fast as I could. So they were ahead of me by about 30 or 40 yards. A guy in his 20's came up to me and I thought he was going to beg for money. Instead he asked if I was in a hurry and had a question about our church. So I called the others back over. He said he wanted to know how he can join the church. He said he is looking for the true church of Jesus Christ and not just some church built up by man to get gain. He wants to be somewhere where he can feel welcome. We got his number and gave him a Restoration pamphlet. We called and set up a time to meet him this week and he will come to church. Hopefully all goes well.

Anyway, we went to the Johannesburg temple last week. It feels like it has been so long. It has been 6 months. I am now 1/4 of the way through my mission! It was nice being back at the temple again. This Sunday the other Elders had 5 baptisms. One of them is the first white guy (Malungu) in the ward. Who would have thought they would find a white guy here in this Protea Glen township. Fun Fact: Elder Dutson's grandfather's calling is to compose music for the Hymn books. He composed the hymn "He Send His Son." Good one!

This weekend I began to read the New Testimate as I am finishing the Book of Mormon. As I was reading the Sermon on the Mount I also read about Jesus appearing to the Nephites. It was interesting comparing them as I read each simultaneously. The Bible and Book of Mormon truly testify of Christ and go hand in hand with each other. Those were the highlights of last week.
- Elder Johnson 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter from Michael-Third week in Protea Glen- 5-19-2014

Letter from Michael-Third week in Protea Glen- 5-19-2014

Last week went by very fast. We had many member and less active member lessons and got quite a few referrals. While tracting we found some members that haven't had missionaries in there home in forever. So we had some good unexpected lessons with them. Now we can see them every now and then. I have never gotten so many referrals from people in one week. It is great! 

Ephraim we cannot see anymore and can't abandon his church. He gave us a note that we cannot continue with him. His mother doesn't want us there. As we were walking away he said he might come to the church this coming  Sunday. So I'm confused with that whole thing. Then there is Karabo who we probably are not going to see again.
This Sunday I taught the investigator / recent convert class. It went quite well and I taught the class about repentance. I have never been in one of those classes with so many people in it. It is a big difference. The ward is great and the people are very kind and happy. We have a recent convert named Itumelang. He is powerful. He just received the priesthood at church yesterday. He is a great man and has a strong testimony. He even cam to the church on Saturday to clean the church with us. In the middle there is a court yard that is invested with pigeons. It was quite a service project cleaning up all of that poo. Itumelang's wife was already a member for years and now him. Soon they can go to the temple together. Well that is a summary of the week.
- Elder Johnson

Part of his letter to his dad:
Hey, I heard from Haynes that Desmond is still very powerful! He came to church 3 out of 4 times and has a baptism date in mid June. Apparently people miss me a lot in Polokwane. Oh and they found Lionel's sister and family who is also powerful! Only the sister not the brother in-law is a member. Senele was busy last time but he did come to church. 3 times in a row now. We found a guy named Thabiso. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5-12-2014- Mother's Day phone call

Michael did not write a main letter, so here are some things he wrote to his parents

In his phone call Sunday, he said there was someone they committed to baptism. I ask who it was and this is what he said: The guy's name is Senele.

In the phone call, Michael was told to get vitamin E to put on his scare, he said the doctor told him to get something. This is the response: They told me to buy some "Scar Science."

It was fun talking with you and everyone else. Good luck on the rafting trip! Don't fall out.
 I got the stitches out this morning. It is good. Yes, I am grateful for sanitation and things we take for granted back home.

In his call, he also said the Mission President challenged them to bear their testimony to 5 people a day and mention a scripture you read that day and why it is important. They have met the challenge and have done 10 a day.
That is some info from his call and a few notes from emails to his parents.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Letter from Michael 5-5-2014-Transfer to Protea Glen- Soweto-cut head


So my new area is Protea Glen. My new companion is Elder Dutson who is in the same MTC group as Elder Haynes. He is still 18 years old though. I like Protea Glen so far. I was excited to find out that we had a car and it was stick. But after a few day we had to swap it for an automatic. We have to share the car with other Elders because we are in another 4 man flat again. The other Elders are Elder O'rierdon from Australia and Elder Mwale from Molowi who is being trained. Anyway, Elder Mwale can't drive and Elder O'rierdon can't drive manual so we had to get a different car. The people seem nice here. It is nice to be in a ward instead of a branch. There is always smoke in the air here everyday because there are just random fires everywhere that no one cares to put out. Oh yeah, and I might have gotten stitches last night. So it is a four-man flat and we were horsing around. I slipped and hit my head on the edge of a shelf.... boys will be boys. It was pretty deep but no worries. It is all good now. Plus I got some sweet pictures.
- Elder Johnson 

Parts of letters to his parents:

We were in the car last week at night. Some guy walked up to us and asked us if we could teach him English. We explained our purpose as missionaries and told him we could help him with his English as we share with him the restored gospel with him. He said sure and we set a time to see him. We have seen him a couple times since then now. We gave him a Book of Mormon and explained how it could bless his life and even help him with his English. He was very grateful for the help, the Book of Mormon, and the Restoration message we shared with him. He seems like one of those golden investigators. I am confident that he will enter the waters of baptism one day. He is a great kid. His name is Ephraim and he is 18 now. It will be nice getting some more priesthood holders in the Lord's church. Also, we have had some great lessons with recent converts about enduring to the end. They truly have testimonies of the Savior and his restored gospel. We even got some referrals from one of them. It is a family that we are starting to teach.
- Elder Johnson
Sorry, Mom. I started with the group email and was so anxious to send individual emails that I left out a ton of stuff. The area is nice. Almost 100% black. There aren't really any street signs here which makes things difficult to get around but I am learning. Having this change and new area has rekindled might excitement and motivation in the work. Elder Wadsworth also served in Protea Glen as well. The area is huge and time will let me know whether I like it better here or in Polokwane.
Elder Dutson's last companion didn't really take care of the area book for months. So I have been working with him to organize and fill it out. I believe it is very important to keep it up otherwise it is not fair to the next elders.

Tell Blake Congratulations on his mission call. I am proud of him. He will be a powerful missionary.