Sunday, November 30, 2014

Letter from Michael 11-24-2014- 1Year –Transfer News

                We have received the Transfer news but the Transfer is on Tuesday as always. Elder Harris is leaving as expected. I will be getting the new district leader whose name is Elder Coldits. Elder Matos and Elder Warton are staying in the district as the Zone Leaders and Elder Todd is training.
We have 4 father lead families that we are teaching now. I have never had so many to teach. There is Charles and Mpho, Andres and his family, Rose and Timothy, and then Sediso (David) and Mapule. We saw Sediso and Mapule on Tuesday. She had read the pamphlet we gave her and she understood very well. She also started reading the Book of Mormon.

                On Sunday it was raining hard and we were worried that investigators would not be able to make it. members. Oh yes, and we had finished teaching him about the plan of salvation. This Sunday we had a two hour stake conference. It was not the usual stake conference though. They played a DVD (recording) of Robert Gay, Elder Badnar, and President Uktdorf speaking to the people in Africa. It was great! All of them taught a lot about Labola, Ebola, cultural traditions, priorities, and excuses. It was just what Africa needs to know.

- Elder Michael Johnson 

Part of his letter to his dad:
HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY! You are getting so old. I was going to send you a birthday post card but the post office has been on strike. I still have it with me though.
Yes, we taught David and Mapule. We had a short visit with Vundisa. Mphumsi came to church.

Part of his letter to his mom:
Okay, we already figure out where we are skyping for Christmas. It is at a member's house in the Rabie Ridge 2 area. They do it almost every year for the Elders. At least one of the 2 letters I got from you last week was from August. Awesome, about the AF band! Mphumsi is kind of like that. I can't take any credit for his acceptance to the gospel or his testimony. I know he has it because of our Father in Heaven who prepared his heart.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter from Michael 11-17-2014 Middle of November

Letter from Michael 11-17-2014  Middle of November

Last week was a good week for Elder Harris and me. We got to teach many people and found more people to teach. We taught two father lead families and both of which we found just this last week. We had two exchanges last week. The first was with the zone leaders on Tuesday. Elder Matos from Venezuela came to our area with me. Then on Thursday I went to the Rabie Ridge 2 area with Elder Todd. It was nice to finally go to another area for the exchange. In the area I have been on many exchanges but the only one where I got to go to another area was the first week when I went to Centurion.
On Saturday we saw Ram's son walking on the street. We talked to him briefly. He said that Ram's trachea cracked and will be in the hospital for at least 4 more weeks. I hope he will recover well.

My first transfer here I think I wrote about an investigator named David or in his on language, Sediso, who was a great guy that got caught up in work and we never saw him again. Well on Tuesday Elder Matos and I found him again and we set up an appointment. We saw him last night. He was happy to see us again and wanted to teach his family. We did some catching up with him and then taught about the Book of Mormon mostly towards his hopefully soon to be wife, Mapule. He also has a son named Sean. We gave Mapule a copy of the Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet. We will see them again on Tuesday. On Wednesday we saw Vundisa. She loves the Book of Mormon and she was already finishing up Mosiah. She is reading from the Zulu Book of Mormon though. The English is a bit difficult for her. 

Sunday was a pleasant surprize to us by the way. There is an investigator we have been teaching in Muyibuye whose name is Mphumsi. We taught him the first half of the plan of salvation on Saturday and he made a commitment to come to church on Sunday. Sunday came around and I called him up at 7:00 in the morning to see if he was still coming. He told me that he forgot to tell us that he actually had to got to some society meeting and could not come to church. Elder Harris and I were a bit disappointed. Then at the beginning of Sacrament Elder Harris whispered my name and pointed to Mphumsi walking into the chapel.  He stayed for all 3 hours and loved it. He kept thanking me for the call in the morning. He said after he hung up the phone he had a change of heart and decided to keep hi promise with us. He said he learned much more than he had imagined he would. He said will come every Sunday to the church. Nobody knew him but members came up to talk with him and treated him as a good friend. He belonged already. After church I saw him talk for a while with Bro. Ronald, Bro. Amos, and Bulelani. Amos, Bulelani, and Mphumsi all live in Muyibuye so they even walked back home from church together. It was great. And I could ask much more from our members and great recent converts Amos and Bulelani. Amos said he is getting pretty involved with the bishop in less active work in Muyibuye. He also wants to start having us and Members in Muyibuye to come over weekly for family home evening at his house. Anyway, Mphumsi coming to church was our highlight for the week.

Well this last week it has rain a ton which is awesome! I love it! We saw a dead guy in the street on Thursday.(who had been hit by a car) We protected a recent converts house from a drunk man until the police came. The police never came though but he ran away anyway. Apparently he does this a lot. But the recent convert family in the other Elder's area said that he does this a lot and they just threaten him with the "calling the police" trick and then he runs away.

- Elder Johnson

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do so is increased." - Heber J. Grant

Letter from his mom: P-Day: so the ball was different. The ball had a tube that we would fit in. There we 2 handles that we held and then shoulder straps. Our legs poked out the bottom so that we could run and kick. It was indoors and sooo hot! We would play soccer but you could run top speed at each other and blast them. Then you just roll and roll and get back on your feet. I have some pictures of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Letter from Michael 11-10-2014 2nd Week in November

Letter from Michael 11-10-2014  2nd Week in November

It was a better week for us thankfully. On Sunday Onkabetsi was confirmed a member of the church and I had my first time of conferring someone the Holy Ghost.

There was a guy named Francis who we met on the street a while ago. He said he had been taught by the missionaries before but then they left. He said he still wanted to be baptised though. We got his contact information so we will see how that goes.

Fortunately we got to meet with Charles and Mpho again. The lesson went so much better this time. Charles was sober and we talked about the restoration of the gospel.

There is a Lady named Dorcus who we tracted into a while ago. We met with her for the 2nd time on Saturday. She is a very nice lady. She said she was once taught by the missionaries and then never saw them again. She said she wanted to learn more and come to church. Surprisingly she did come to church on Sunday. Most people who say they will commit to something don't actually keep their commitment. She has a good friend who is a member of the church somewhere else and Dorcus has been talking with her over the phone. Her friend's name is Maria. Maria came with Dorcus to church on Sunday.

At church we received many referrals but only one of them lives in our area. The others stay in Rabie Ridge 2 area which is closer to the chapel.

This week was much better than the last one. Even the weather was better at the end of the week. Saturday, Sunday, and Today have been much cooler rainy days. I definitely appreciate rain more than I used to.

FUN FACT: (Johannesburg is the lightning capital of the world. More lightning strikes occur here more than anywhere else in the world. I can testify of that. It hasn't stopped all weekend.)
(I was reading the other day in the bible dictionary and came across "weights and measurements."  I figure out that last time I checked weigh approximately 8,250 shekels or 2.75 talents. I sound much bigger in shekels.)

There is a quote from Gordon B. Hinckley that I really enjoy. He said, "Don't be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. 'Accentuate the positive.' Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your hear. Love life."  This was my quote of the week.

- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
By the way on Saturday night I dropped my top retainer in the dark and the wire got bent. It doesn't fit anymore. If I force it will scrape my teeth. I will try to bend it back into shape if possible.

I have been studying new testament and Helaman in the Book of Mormon. I really enjoy teaching about the restoration. Book of Mormon, and Plan of Salvation. I can't decide which one I like teaching best.

Part of his letter to his dad:

Today we are having a zone activity. We are going to a place where we play soccer but everyone will be in big individual blow up hamster ball things. I will tell you more about it next week. Should be tons of fun!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Letter from Michael 11-3-2014 (Beginning November –Baptism)

Letter from Michael 11-3-2014  (Beginning November –Baptism)
            It is the Holiday season now... I guess at least for America. For Halloween last week we went to the temple. I can safely say I have never celebrated Halloween in such a spiritual way. On Sunday our investigators that came were Onkabetsi and Kabelo. Onkabetsi got baptised yesterday. The funny thing about it is that she asked Elder Christie, a missionary in another area, to baptise. I am surprised she even knew his name. Elder Christie today doesn't even remember her name. It is what she wanted though.
            Last week we started doing some less active searching. We set up a couple more appointments for this week. There is a new guy we have been teaching this lately whose name is Mphumsi. We taught him the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and then the Book of Mormon. He was very happy to receive it and read it. Rams is unfortunately still in the hospital and we have not seen him in a long while. I hope he comes out this week. As for Joyce's family we don't see them anymore. So this week hasn't been any easier than last week. Hopefully we will jump the work back up where it usually is. We had a zone meeting on Friday. It was a short one. We mostly talked about some announcements and about being happier missionaries. He said he wants the mission to come closer together, be happier, and have some more fun in missionary work. President Dunn also gave us a compliment. He said we are doing great and that our zone is the most successful zone in the mission.
            Fun Fact: Apparently I laugh occasionally in my sleep. I scared Elder Harris a few times. At least I am not having nightmares.
            Testimony meeting was nice yesterday. In fact it is really nice every month. I must say they are much nicer here than back home. The nice thing about Africans is they give pure testimony. There are no unnecessary stories, they don't do it to make themselves look good, and they are not afraid. It is powerful. Even in the little branch in Polokwane there was never spaces of time between testimonies. They love the gospel and all testify of it often.  That is something I would like to try to take back to my home ward where there are even more members who can bare their testimonies. I know the restored gospel is true. It works and I see it bless my life and the lives of others every day. God loves us all and the worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God.

- Elder Johnson