Monday, July 27, 2015

Letter from Michael 7-27-2015 – 20 Months
I have failed to mention again and again how beautiful the view of Joburg city is from one part of our area. It is so close. In a place we go often called South Hills there is a spot where I tried to get a beautiful picture of the sun setting behind the sky scrapers. My camera does not do well in dim lighting so I will have to borrow another camera for the picture.
This week only Immaculate came to church. The church service went well. Musa who was less active came to church. Even Elder Rouse has not seen her there before. Immaculate is more keen on being interviewed again soon. She seems happier now. She and Nicky love learning about the temple and eternal marriage. I gave them a great big study manual all about it. On Sunday Nicky gave a 12 minute talk about the 10 commandments and did a great job. He was very nervous before but was able to find success. 
 Eleanor who is a recent convert gave at talk 2 weeks ago and is now taking temple preparation classes and is loving it. Kim, a re-activated member is also taking the temple classes. 
We have 3 new investigators. We are not sure what happened to Shane but we did not see him on Sunday. Mphatso and Janie are very interested in coming to church. They have their own car which is a good sign. We met them while tracting.

Part of his letter to his mom:

We had the car and bikes. We saved a lot of kilometers on the car by biking in the general area of where we drove to. The zone leader thought it was a great idea and the advice will spread to the other missionaries.
On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Ainslie to Bedfordview. I met some great member fanilies there and I did do an interview for a 12 year-old girl named, Milka. It was a great experience to be a part of it. She passed and was baptized this Sunday!
We will watch the movie (Meet the Mormons) with the ward on August 20th I believe. I have it in my planner. I think my companion will leave and I will stay.

The most spiritual experience was the baptismal interview. It was an uplifting and spiritual experience. The funniest parts of the week was Elder Rouse falling off the bike and me hitting Elder Rouse over and over again during the bubble soccer zone activity!
I have been receiving post cards. I will send you one next month. Congratulations to Brooke getting the mission call! That is exciting! 

Interviews were good with President Dunn. I got my temple recommend renewed because it has been 2 years now.
- Elder Johnson

Part of his letter to his dad:

I  enjoy the camp pictures. It looks like such a good time! That is typical of the DeDen family about the kids being raptors, haha!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Letter from Michael 7-23-2015  -Late

Hey, I got a call from Sister Thompson. She said you guys were worried about me. On Monday the clutch gave out and we had to get that sorted. Then we had a zone activity that we had to go to so we were quite busy. Our zone activity was fun! It was the bubble soccer thing again. On the 10th most of my district plan on going to a place called Gold Reef City. It is an amusement park. 
Last week we had trouble having appointments with people. So we did a lot of finding and found some new people to teach. On Sunday Elder Rouse's back tire tube randomly popped when he wasn't even on the bike. The air pressure even tore a huge hole in the tire. We walked up to South Hills with the bikes only to find canceled appointments. We started walking back and someone pulled over. The man stepped out of the car and asked if we are Mormons. He is 27 years old and was taught in Durban 5 years ago by some Elders. We met with him on Tuesday. He wants to change and be baptized as soon as possible. So really it all was a blessing. We are probably almost as excited as he is. He also wants the rest of his family to be taught.

Part of his letter to his mom:
Sorry, I only have a few minutes to email. We have permission but I have not had time. We have the car back now! Thanks for the letter!

Part f his letter to his dad:

Immaculate has not had another interview. She did come to church though. Vusi also came to church.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

7-22-2015- Trouble with the clutch- no email

This week we did not get an email from Michael, but we did get the following from the mission secretary:

Brother and Sister Johnson,

I have just talked with Elder Johnson. He is well and very sorry he couldn’t email you on Monday. The clutch on their car went out so it has been in the shop being fixed. Consequently, your son and and his companion were unable to drive to the place where they do their emailing. However, the car should be fixed today and Elder Johnson will be back to emailing next Monday.

Sister Thompson
Mission Secretary
South Africa Johannesburg Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

These photos are from the mission presidents blog and shows Michael's zone's visit to the mission home on July 8, 2015:

Elder Johnson and Elder Morrell have just arrived as the second group from the Bedfordview Zone on Tuesday July 8th. 

Elder Roush and Elder Johnson begin to set the table.

Elder Roush, Elder Downs, Elder Johnson and Elder Morrell were very creative as they used everything possible to set and decorate the table. Their mothers should be proud.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Letter from Michael 7-13-2015

It was a great blessing having the car last week. Everything was much more enjoyable. We are teaching a few families namely the Jonas family, William's family, Richard's family, and Nicky's family. We put William's family on date last week. If they are able to come to church and keep the word of wisdom all should work out fine. Nicky's wife was supposed to be baptized but did not. Immaculate was interviewed on Saturday night. The interviewer said she understood well and was keeping the commandments. However he did not pass her because he was under the impression that she was being baptized because her husband was recently converted. We don't believe that part in the slightest. She only postponed the baptism so that her husband could baptize her. She was more prepared for baptism than even Nicky was.  She was pretty upset that she couldn't be baptized so we talked to the mission president about a 2nd interview.
Vusi came to church on Sunday. There are still many members we don't know so I talked to Bishop Kirshman about having an activity at the ward. No one here has seen "Meet the Mormons" so we will show that to the ward. We will come up with more things as we go. Perhaps we will do some community service with the ward. 
- Elder Johnson

P.S. - People here think I look like the actor, Ben Stiller... shame.
"Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% what we decide to do about it."
- Thomas Edison
"A vicious tongue can ruin the reputation and even the future of the one attacked. Insidious attacks against one's reputation, loathsome innuendos, half-lies about and individual are as deadly as the insect parasites that kill the heart and life of a mighty oak. They are so stealthy and cowardly that one cannot guard against them. As someone has said, 'It is easier to dodge an elephant than a microbe.' "
- N. Eldon tanner

Part of his letter to his mom:

We need to meet with Dell hopefully tomorrow. We did not see him last week. Nothing came of the referrals that we received and my companion is English. Training is okay. 
I will ponder on those two plans concerning college. It is official that I fly home on December 8th this year. 
My best experience was on Sunday when we taught Nicky and Immaculate. We Explained their situation with Bishop Kirshman and we brought him with us for the visit. He helped out a lot. We talked about baptism and getting another interview if she feels ready again. The main part we talked about the saving ordinances and temple work. We focused on Eternal marriage which is basically the only thing they had not been taught before. They enjoyed that and Immaculate was feeling much better after.
Yep! That is President Dunn's vission for the mission. We should just worry about baptizing tons of people but to focus on building the kingdom. That includes re-engaging less-active or inactive members, getting people endowed, and sealed.

Part of his letter to his dad:

I have not started FHE  yet. I will in a few weeks. I will mention it in one of the PEC's or Ward Council. You are making Calvin a master fisherman! I can't wait to try out the new truck and trailer on a camping trip. It will be fun!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Letter from Michael 7-6-2015 – Hallelujah

Happy Independence Day! I sang "The Star Spangled Banner" a couple times on Saturday. Starting today we get to use the car for a week! What a blessing! We have one investigator being baptized next Sunday. Her name is Immaculate. She is the wife of Nicki who is a  recent convert. The both of them and their relatives came to church yesterday. We hope to begin teaching them tomorrow. 
I met another great investigator named Dell. He has been investigating the church for a long time. He is getting married within a couple of weeks and then hopefully be baptized. I have gotten to know a few more members now. We have done some finding and received some referrals. We will see how it plays out this week.
On Saturday night at Nicki and Immaculate's place we ate pap and the cow's intestines. I never had it before until now. I only ever heard bad things about it but I was actually surprised. It tasted pretty good. It still is not one of my favorite things to eat though. 
Six of the greatest words on Earth:
Control Thyself - Cicero
Know Thyself Socrates
Give Thyself - Christ
The Next six greatest words on Earth:
Breakfast Served - Mother
Lunch Served - Mother
Dinner Served - Mother
I love you, mamma! ...& not just for the food!
- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of letter to his mom:

Happy 4th of July! I bought shoes. DL and Training is going well. We email at an internet cafe. The ward is nice. The bikes have problems almost everyday. This area was not always a biking area. But last transfer there were Elders serving here who could not drive. So they lost the car.
I have a clean record. They just got rid of a ton of cars. Bad timing.

(When asked about his best missionary moment of the week, he replied: Either district meeting or discussing about the members and missionary work in PEC meeting. It was intense. My studies have been great lately. I feel as if God is speaking directly to me. I studied the atonement and plan of salvation in Alma. Now I am reading about the stripling warriors.