Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter from Michael 12-29-2014  Father Lead Families

Last week was pretty great! We all enjoyed Christmas very much with skypeing family and the Christmas party. At the Christmas party we got fed break fast and were given Christmas presets by the senior couple missionaries and some of the members. They got us all gifts since the post office has been on strike and Elder probably wouldn't get packages. We also got to watch the movie "Meet the Mormons." It was amazing! All of the Elder were stoked and especially got excited when it showed the part at the Johannesburg, South Africa MTC. It is very special that we got to watch it since it is still in theaters in America. President Dunn used to advertise for and produce church movies. That's how he was able to get connections so we could watch it so early. 
On Saturday we did some tacking on one street after teaching a new investigator who was a referral from a member. We just skipped around following the feelings of the Holy Spirit and each house we tracted into we met families and scheduled appointment with them. The last family we tracted into actually came to church this Sunday like they said they would. That almost never happens. I remember the father's name was Gorgeous, the son's name was Vision, & I don't remember the name of the mother or daughter. The whole family accept the daughter made it to the church. They arrived a bit late though because they got lost looking for a tent church. You will never find an LDS tent church, haha! Another father-lead family came to church as well. It was Tshedis and Mapule. They enjoyed church and Sthediso and Mphumsi realized that they are neighbors and just at church started to become friends. Mphumsi said he wants to come to our lessons with Sthediso as well. Mphumsi obviously came to church and is still on date for baptisms. Everybody in the ward loves him and wants to come with us to visit him. He is truly a golden investigator. Another investigator who came to church was Sam who is a member's cousin. He is Evanz's cousin. He said he always felt something was not right when he went to other churches. But he said this time at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints he said he felt happy and spiritually uplifted. We won't be teaching him anymore but the Rabie Ridge 2 Elders will be. He is moving back over to there side. He was living with Evanz because he got in a huge fight with his brother. So we taught him about forgiveness and prayer which helped him with that. That was about all for last week. Happy Old Year and Happy almost New Year!
- Elder Michael Johnson
P.S. - I have been inspired this week to write more in my journal. This quote I read yesterday motivates me. "HISTORY WILL BE KIND TO ME FOR I INTEND TO WRITE IT."-Winston Churchill  

Part of his letter to his mom:
Yep, we are spoiled! It was great to talk to and see you guys!
Yes, I opened the Christmas package early. Jessica told me about her postcard. In the interview he said this new year is my time to shine and he say he has good things in store for me. 
(about being chased by rhinos)
No, I hid behind the tree and then snuck away. We read in the brochure that there were jaguars but we didn't see any.

Part of his letter to his dad:
Shame about Ariel's car. Thanks for inviting her! It was great to see her and each of you on Christmas. It made my Christmas.I am glad you got to record it all. Technology is great but can be frustrating sometimes. We tried so many gadgets on Christmas that did not work. Shame about Simon. I will pray for him. Thanks for the updates about the BYU Brawl, haha! Tell the Smith's hi back for me! It was great to hear from you!

To see pictures of his mission Christmas party go to:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Letter from Michael 12-22-2014  Merry Christmas

Last week even more people left to Limpopo. We did our best though. Hardly anyone was at church on Sunday. Mphumsi came to church as always and the four of us Elders sang a Christmas song in sacrament meeting. We tried... The other elders had a baptism planed for that day but the pipes burst and we had to shut off the water. So, Tsshepo, their investigator will have to wait to get baptized the same day as Mphumsi on Jan. 11th.  We started teaching Mphumsi's  friend whose name is Bongani. He seemed excited. We will hopefully see him on Friday.
On Wednesday last week we had a lesson with Mphumsi. We brought a member with us and reviewed the restoration as we watch "Prophet of the Restoration." After the movie we talked about the movie and then one by one we bore testimony of the Restored gospel. Mphumsi was the last to bare testimony and we could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost strongly there. He and Elder Kolditz got pretty choked up. That is saying something for an African. They don't normally get emotional. In that lesson we learned how converted to the gospel Mphumsi really is. Perhaps the same can happen with 2 of his friends we are now teaching.
On Sunday yesterday I saw something I never thought I would ever see in my life. That was my week. Now Merry Christmas to everyone!
"Never give up... Never surrender" - Captain Taggart (Galaxy Quest)
- Elder Johnson

part of letter to his mom:
Yes, I will most likely Skype you around 7:00am Utah time. It will be about 4:00pm here. No, I don't cook special things. Just quick things. We never have time. Last week we did make "no-bake cookies" for members. I got a lot of letters from you and one from Uncle Jack. I need to email him. Yep, we found, Bongani, Mphumsi's friend. Love yoyu!
- Elder johnson

part of his letter to his dad:
Rams is okay. I gave him the last general conference issue.  Joyce made it clear that she never wants to hear or see us ever again. We did not teach Jack. I miss the Dutch oven cooking. It is great! Wow, I like that little lesson they taught. Good job grandma & grandpa! Yep, we have had some Christmas lesson's. All great to hear! I will see you on Christmas!
Elder Johnson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Letter from Michael 12-15-2014 Mission Tour

     Another week in Rabi Ridge. Last week we had a mission tour. It was basically the same as our zone conferences except Elder Carl B. Cook of the 1st quorum of the seventy was there and spoke with us. It was great! We discussed loyalty 1st to the Lord, then mission president, & then companion. Also, we discussed putting out thoughts and studies towards the needs of our investigators. President Dunn wants us to have a goal on not just baptizing but building the Kingdom. For example goals for less active and helping recent converts get to the temple.
  We can definitely tell that it is the holidays now. Everyone including investigators and members are out of town in Limpopo, Zimbabwe, or Cape town. It is a bit frustrating but we are doing our best to make the most of what we have. We have been finding a lot lately. We found 2 people who are actually staying in Rabi Ridge. One of them is a man in Mayibuye named Jack. He is great! We have taught him twice now and he has a baptismal date for February. He understands the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and has a testimony of the Book of Mormon already.
     Mphumsi is still coming to church and still progressing. We are trying to reactivate a less active family and it is slowly happening. The family name is Mlhanga. The husband still has a firm testimony but is try to get his family back.

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you already got."
- Henry Ford.
- This quote was used in our mission tour when discussing how there is always a way to reach your goals but we have to be willing to try new ideas and not get stuck in the rut of doing the same old thing.
- Elder Johnson

Part of letter to his mom:
There were multiple clean awars. I won won of them and you saw me holding a prize which was clothes detergent. So may go ahead and pass out now....
Interviews are on the 23rd.
So the Skype thing... we have to do it now in Centurion with our zone leaders. We will discuss it with them today. I will let you know every detail next Monday. I have not gotten letters recently.

Part of his letter to his dad:
Hello! Only Mphumsi came to church. Last week we saw Xolani, Joyce's son, on his street. We talked with him briefly. He got a new job where he does not have to work on Sundays. Saturday night we talked to Mpumi for some time. She was very happy to see us again. From what Mpumi said it sounded like Joyce didn't read any anti-Mormonism stuff she is just still in great shock because her mother died. She is going a bit crazy it seems. Her brother might die soon too. So sad. Mpums said that she and Xolani would come to church next week. Rams is actually staying here a bit longer before he goes to Limpopo. This week I will give him the most recent general conference issue.
Letty and Alvin are in Limpopo.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter from Michael 12-8-2014 -20 Year Old

Happy birthday to me! It was a good birthday thanks too my family, companion, zone leaders, Brother Kevin, and all of those who wished me a happy birthday! It is weird to think I am 1/5 of a century old now. I enjoyed all of the gifts and delicious food that was prepared for me.
Well, on Tuesday last week we finally finished moving the other Elders into their flat. After the Christmas party last week everyone got the squirts because the chicken was bad. Elder Todd had it the worst... poor thing. Also, on Tuesday Elder Kolditz and      I went to court. Yes, court. It was held in Carletonville. A while ago in one of Elder Kolditz's previous areas he got in an accident. It was at night on a multiple lane road with no cars around. Then out of nowhere an ambulance smashed into the back of the car and totalled it. The ambulance did not even have any sirens or lights on. So obviously it was the ambulance driver's fault. But they tried to sue Elder Kolditz. So this last Tuesday in court was his 4th and last time. It all got resolved. I met his attorneys and one of them is a member in our Centurion stake. Anyway, all is well.
We receive 6 referrals last week and most of them are father lead families. We have so many to teach but last week was hectic and people are busy or out of town so we did not get to teach those families. Letti, an investigator, was supposed to go to church but the member who was supposed to take her to church forgot. ...Oops. Mphumsi and Mkosinthl came to church again. Mphumsi already wants to pay tithing and fast offerings right now! Incredible! He loves the gospel.
     On Saturday we saw Rams back from the hospital. His trachea is 90% healed now. We will see him again on Thursday and then on Friday he is going up to Limpopo for the Holidays. Last week Elder Kolditz and I gave talks in sacrament meeting. He talked about Christmas and I talked about Christ-like attributes. It went pretty well. It was just the 2 of us speakers.
"Sometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or woll not see them...
"I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will find Him- on Christmas and throughout the year." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

 Merry Christmas time!
- Elder Michael Johnson

part of letter to his mom:
Yes, I had a great Birthday! What a pleasant surprise! I was so shocked as too how you knew Kevin until I read your letters later on. I went on exchanges to Centurion. I thought we were going to a member lesson and going to cut a guys hair and it turned out to be a b-day party for me. We didn't have a lot of time but we ate, talked, had cake, and opened the gifts. The food was great. There was steak, chicken, fried pumpkin stuff, and cake... Delicious!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter from Michael 12-1-2014- Last Week of November

        It was quite the week this week. Like I said last Week Elder Kolditz is my new companion. He is from Indiana and has 4 months left on mission. Elder Ainslie is Elder Todd's new companion and he is from England. I love him. Elder Ainslie's jolly British accent cracks me up all the time. Elder Kolditz and I are doing well. He is a great missionary. We did so much finding last week and found more father lead families we can teach than I ever contacted before! We are teaching a new father lead family now and they are friends of one of the great members in our ward. They are young and only married for 2 years now. Letti, the wife, said she will come to church next week. Alvin, the husband, has work but said he would ask his boss to change his work schedule.
        Elder Todd and Ainslie are moving into our flat complex today. We are doing it to save gas and miles on the car. This morning the senior missionaries came up with a truck and trailer. They help us move the other Elders out and then we found out that the apartment they are moving into yet still hasn't been emptied yet. There is still someone there. So we had to do a lot of waiting and ended up just putting all of there stuff in our little apartment. We will have to move them in tonight I guess.
        After all of the moving we went to a place called Spur. After that Elder Kolditz and I went to the mall to email. We met a lady at the mall who lost her home and was going through a lot of hardships lately. She was in distressed  and confused so she prayed for God to send her help. She said that within a minute after she prayed she saw the 2 of us Elders walking toward her. We went to a quiet corner in the mall garage parking lot and we gave her a blessing. We talked with her and listen to her. We told her where to find the 2 nearest LDS chapels. She is going to stay tonight with someone in the Rabie Ridge 2 Elders area. So it is a member's house. But it is fascinating how we were in the right place at the right time to be an answer to her prayer. God often uses people to answer prayers. If we had not had so much trouble moving the other Elders then we would have come to the mall much earlier having missed the lady who needed help. I don't have a lot of time to explain all of the details but at least you got the summary. Anyway, now we are here emailing at the mall.
        Thanksgiving was last week but we were too busy and too poor to do anything for it. However, our ward did have a Christmas party (more like banquette) yesterday. It seemed kind of silly since it technically wasn't December yet but that is the way they do things here. The food was good and we had fun. Mphumsi, Kabelo, and another investigator whose name I don't know how to pronounce let alone spell came to church. We taught Mphumsi the word of wisdom and law of chastity. He is still doing great! 
        Well... that was my week in a nutshell. I can tell it will be a great transfer with Elder Kolditz.
- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
The only one of those father lead families we saw last week was Tsediso and Mapule. But we didn't get to have a lesson with them. This week though. Vundisa has been busy and we have not heard from Rams in a long time. Yep, I saw both Elder Dutson and Elder Haynes at Transfers. Haynes is doing great and is still DL. Elder Dutson is still doing great in Orange Farm. He gave me a couple pics of us from earlier this year.
Sounds like you had a great week. Thank you for the B-day wish!
Elder Johnson
p.s. - Elder Christie is now serving in Protea Glen. Do you remember the investigator Jimmy who lived on the same street as the church? He had a friend named Douglas who Elder Dutson and I also started teaching. He is now getting baptized very soon. He has also had members I think do some temple work for his ancestors.