Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Letter from Michael 8-26-2013- Nine months in the Mission

Letter from Michael 8-26-2013- Nine months in the Mission

                        Putsoletso and Welhaminah were confirmed members of the church on Sunday. They are very happy and being fellowshiped very well. The releif society in this ward is great at being friends to new people. I am very greatful for them. Bullelani is still doing well. Joyce and her daughter Imbuso came to church on Sunday. They said they enjoyed it. Sister Beatris is the member in Joburg who referred us to Joyce and her family. Sister Beatris came this Sunday to sit with Joyce and Imbuso through all of the meetings. It was good to have her there. 

            The weather last week was a bit colder and often overcast. It wasn't a week as good as usual for us though. It was a tough week even for the whole district. On Friday we went to the temple. It was really nice going there again. We have been anxious for the spiritual boost. We are struggling but trying to get more of the men in the ward to come teaching with us to fellowship the investigators. Part of the reason is becuse they and we want the members to baptise the new converts. But the missionaries are always chosen to baptise because our investigators only know us. Anyway, I am glad to be out here. The work is bringing forth many blessings.
- Elder Johnson

Part of letter to his dad: Hey! Yes, we taught Amos about Spiritual Whirlwinds from Elder Nelson's general conferance talk. Going to the gym feels great. I am very greatful for that priveledge we have been given. 

Part of letter to his Mom: We didn't get a chance to meet many more referrals yet. I have learned some cool stuff about temples and eternals marriage. I have been enjoying studying out of the D&C manual. The internet was down yesterday but we couldn't. We had time but there was no way we could do it.

Baptism of Putsoleto and Welheminah 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Letter from Michael 8-18-2014- 2 baptisms and 1 confirmation

Letter from Michael 8-18-2014- 2 baptisms and 1 confirmation
Bullelani was confirmed a member of the church on Sunday. The mother and daughter we have been teaching got baptised this Sunday as well. Elder Harris baptised the mother whose name is Welheminah. I baptised the daughter whose name is Putsoletso. They were very happy and excited. They were nervous about the cold water but the baptismal service went well.

We have a recent convert named Tshiamo who is 21 I think. He got a job this week which was good but he also got a very bad tooth ache. Pain killers didn't help much so we taught him a bit about faith and priesthood blessings for the sick and afflicted. He would like to have one. So we did and immediately the pain went away. We told him he should still go to the dentist though.

A while ago I wrote about our family home evenings with the members and how we planned to fast together to find less actives or people to teach. It was a huge success. We received 15 referrals from those members and they say more are on their way. We just need to meet with them. Out of those 15 we received so far we contacted 14. It has been great! We met a great family on Thursday I believe. The father wasn't there but the mother and 2 kids we. The mother's name is Joyce, the son's is Xolani, and the daughter's is Imbuso. Joyce asked many great questions and said she was very interested in the church. She asked us about all sorts of things and asked what she can do to be baptised into the church. Anyway, it was a fun family to teach. Imbuso is 17 and Xolani is 21. Xolani was pretty quiet but at least he was paying close attention. Those were the highlights for this week.
- Elder Johnson

Part of  letter to his mom:
Yes, president interviewed me. It went well. I like him a lot. We just talked about family and getting to know each other. Then talked about Rabie Ridge, my mission as a whole so far. Amos and Rams might be baptised soon. Amos has been investigating the church for 5 years. He is super powerful and knows tons. His wife is the only thing holding him back. I'm glad you got the letter and so quickly, wow! Just pray for our investigators and recent converts.

Part of letter to his dad:
We haven't seen Kennedy again yet. I was reading section 2 I think in D&C. The one that talks about Elijah coming to the Kirtland temple if I remember correctly. I thought it was pretty cool. The Paschal Feast is the Jewish tradition and on the third day they have "the third cup" which is the 3rd day of April. So on April 3rd 1836 the Jews opened their doors to see if Elijah came and were disappointed even though he actually did come. But he came to the temple before Joseph Smith to restore sealing ordinances, I think it was. Cool cool, huh!? All prophesy is eventually fulfilled.

The gym here is trying to find out a  way to fix the system to where we can get memberships here. So in the mean time they are allowing us to exercise here for free. Plus there is free internet but no plug to be able to send pictures. So we are using this one for now and then next month when we have money to afford the email shop we will be able to send pictures.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hand written letter received from Michael 8-14-2014

Hand written letter received from Michael 8-14-2014

Dear Mom, Dad, & Jessica,
July 21 [2014]
                Hey  Fam! I emailed you guys today and I forgot to tell you one of the highlights of my week. It is about a less active member Lazerous. He hasn’t been to church in so long that not even Elder Dutson has not seen him at church. We visit him every now and then and have been teaching him about the principles of the gospel, baptismal covenants, and the importance of church. We tried teaching his wife and his 16 year old daughter too but only got as far as the Book of Mormon. Lazerous kept promising he would start coming to church but he never did. He would say something like “ I definatly will maybe come to church. I have to. I must.” But there was always an excuse whether it was culture or something else. His family began to complain to him that he doesn’t even come to his own church. He always breaks his own promise. He wouldn’t keep a lot of appointments. Then last time we taught him he explained to us that he was feeling sick because he is not doing what he needs to do. Sure enough he actually came this Sunday. I greeted him at the door but my mind didn’t even register who it was because he was one of the last people I would expect to be at church. It is a good thing we never gave up on him. At times I felt like it because there was zero progress for so long. At church he told me that after he comes a few times he will bring his family with him. He said his wife has even started to read a bit of the pamphlets and I think the Book of Mormon. Hope we continue to see progress. I ‘d love to teach the whole family and have them join the church. That is why you never give up.
July 24, [2014]
                This past Sunday Lazarus came to church a 2nd time.  We have transfers on Tuesday. Elder Dutson to Orange farm and myself to Robie Ridge. My new companion is elder Harris who has been out almost a year. He also is from Utah. He is very funny and talkative guy. This area seems pretty great. I only heard good things and people raving about Robie Ridge. They get a lot more success with teaching here. There are many powerful people here. 7 investigators on date. One investigator just got baptized last week. His name is TJ. He came a long way. He used to be a drug dealer but the gospel changed him and he helps us with teaching appointments often.
                Yesterday, Elder Harris took me to a Kota shop. It didn’t taste that great. Not long after I felt sick and had very bad stomach pain that came in waves. Last night I felt cold, achey, and nauseated. It was a horrible sleep last night. I still feel it today but not as bad. Oh, by the way I’m in a two man flat. About time. I was getting sick of noisy 4 man flats.
(August 3, 2014)
                Sorry, writing letters are difficult. It is hard to find the time and also I end up emailing you stuff that I write. On Friday I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders so that one of them could interview Bulleani for baptism. It was a good exchange. The zone leaders came up with a good idea, they make a deal with all the members that they would come teach them the 1st three lessons but by the 2nd or 3rd the members have to bring a friend or someone to sit in for the lesson. Elder Wilkinson, the zone leader and I taught a member family about the restoration. It went well and they had a nanny come for the lesson. She didn’t understand English well though…bummer.
                Later that night we visited and Afrikaans member family. They were pretty crazy and fun. I love that family. It reminded me of home. It is quite different teaching and working with the Africaans people. We did tracting that day too. It was very unfruitful. It is in town full of whit people. Everyone rejected us as soon as we started to speak with them. It is very different from tracking in a township. I’m glad to be serving where I’m serving.
                The other Elders in Centurian are struggling a lot. They had 5 lessons last week and 3 of them were members. Anywayin …In the morning Centurian we had a great wok outs.  It was my first real one on mission. We just hop over the fence to the guy who owns the little placer where the Elders stay. We did a ton of abb workouts, bent over rows, military dumbbell press, pull-ups, and bench. I’m SORE! Thankfully my bench isn’t too much worse that it use to be.
                Anyway, I am learning the area and the people. I love it. It is great how well some of the members here are involved in the work. I wish I had been a better fellowshipper back home. Or helped out somehow more than I did. I had not realized how much help the missionaries need from members till I became a missionary. President Gordon B. Hinkley said something like, “There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work… unless they get fellowshipped by members” If I were an investigater why would I go to a church where no one knows me or cares about me. Everyone must feel like they belong. We should love everyone as family. I will try to help out a lot more when I get home. I ‘m out of paper… love you all!

Elder Johnson

Buleani's baptism

To see the photo and read what the Mission president's wife said about the baptism of Buleani go to:

to go to the front page of the mission presidents blog go to:

You can read about his survival of an attack by a bear attack 20 years ago.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter from Michael 8-11-2014 Bullelani got baptized

8-11-2014   Bullelani got baptized

So, Bullelani got baptized yesterday. He is quite powerful. He actually was found through tracting which doesn't usually happen. President and Sister Dunn were actually at the church yesterday. They came for an interview with Rams, who is one of our investigators. Apparently it helped him a lot. He might get baptized pretty soon. He just has a lot of depressing stuff going on with family. He has a testimony though. So President and Sister Dunn spoke in sacrament meeting. I loved president's talk. He talk about how the members need to be engaged in missionary work and be as a team. It inspired the members and hopefully we will see some improving result from it.

Saturday we did some service. We helped fix Sister Indlovu's  roof. She is not actually a member yet but her husband and children are. She was very nice to us and kept sending treats out to us. Later we found a guy named Kennedy. We offered to help him carry two barrels of water to his house and started a conversation with him. We will be seeing him again tonight. There is a mother and daughter who we are teaching. They got interviewed for baptism last week. The daughter past but the mother needs to go over the commandments again. Plus the mother did not come to church on Sunday but at least the daughter did.

Today we tried to get a gym membership here but it is not working. They don't take credit cards and we can join unless we have a job. There are so many obstacles in the way it is like they don't even want us there. So that was a pretty big bummer today. We were excited to be allowed to go to gyms now and still can't. Other than that it was another good week. I'm getting to know the members a lot better.

- Elder Johnson

Letter to his Mom: The baptism went well. No friends or family of his came. Ye, it was very spiritual. President Dunn was very impressed how it went and said it was the best Sunday he has had in South Africa yet.  We will know tomorrow about referrals from the members. Cindille waqs sick last time we taught her. She is better now though. Paintball was fun. It was at CryWolf. We still are not able to get a gym membership. Yes, we definitely felt the earthquake in the middle of a lesson with Bullelani. 
Letter to his dad: It ( paint ball) was a blast. It was a zone activity and the zone is pretty big. We have an 8 man district.

We are getting a manual car today, by the way.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Letter from Michael 8-2-2014- Week 2 in Robie Ridge

8-4-2014   Letter from Michael-Week 2 in Robie Ridge

This week went by much quicker than the last. This week as far as teaching goes this week was the busiest I have ever had. We taught 25. Bulelani passed his interview and will be baptised next week. He has a girlfriend who we are going to start teaching next hopefully. Rams is another investigator. He is an older guy. He loves the church and wants to be baptised one day. 

On Tuesday last week we had a "family home evening" with the members. It went well and we talked to them about missionary work. We agreed to fast together to find people who could be taught. We are teaching a new family. The mother's name is Cindile. She has a few children who she pays for to get transport to church. Hopefully one day she can get transport for herself. Every time we teach that family we are introduced to and teach new people. We are going to teach them next about the plan of salvation. Another lady we are teaching is Sister Ndlovu. Her whole family has converted except her. It is a bit difficult teaching her because we have to have a someone with us who can translate. She only speaks Zulu.

We have a lot of people close to baptism. Zuele is one of them. He is 19 and we started teaching his brother, Gift. He is interested in the Book of Mormon and said he would come to church. It is nice when you even get referrals from investigators. Another guy we are teaching is David. He loves the church. He is always listening to hymns and watching general conference DVD's. He is pretty powerful. I'm not sure when he will be baptised. He has some marriage and lebola stuff to figure out first. He loves Elders and even gave us a couple ties.  
We have a lot of people who like to come help and teach with us. Tshiamo (RC), Comfort, and Tumi.On Friday we went on exchanges with the ZL's so that Bulelani could be interviewed. It was nice. I went to Centurion which is in town full of Afrikaners. Tracting was rough as you could imagine but teaching the members that night was great. The last family was pretty crazy and fun. It reminded me of home. Hopefully I see them again next time I go on exchanges there. In a nutshell that was my week.

- Elder Johnson

Part of letter from his mom:
 Our new mission president allows us to play paintball! So guess what we are doing today... he wanted to come with us but something came up. Also we are allowed gym memberships. I am glad I will be able to stay in shape now. Awesome!  Yes, I did not like the Protea Glen post office.  :( We don't have to tract a lot. We share a car with Robie Ridge 2 elders. We live in Midrand. I like the ward.

Part of letter from his dad:

Great to hear you are not Diabetic! That was some bad virus. GOod pictures. Remember when we went paintballing with Flynn and his grandpa?... Well I finally get to do that again today. The mission president even almost came to play with us.

What is lebola? An African silly tradition that the devil came up with  where you have to buy your wife before you marry her. It keeps people from keeping the law of chastity and being baptised.