Monday, October 26, 2015

Letter from Michael 10-26-2015 - Dell and Tendai's baptism

On Sunday of course Dell and Tendai got baptized. The services went quite well. I really enjoyed the speakers and the Spirit was strong during the ordinance and during the testimonies. As I said before Brother Youlton baptized Dell and Tendai. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures with them. Everyone was a bit rushed.

We had 7 investigators come to church. Renato is starting to come to all 3 sessions at church and seemed to enjoy it. These last couple weeks of the transfer we have found many new people to teach. Sylvester and Caroline came to church and conveniently live right next to it.

On Thursday both Elder Hughes and I got calls from President Dunn. I have been released as district leader and am opening the 2nd Tsakane area. Apparently it is near Springs. It is a nice township. It has been a while since I have served in a township area. Elder Hughes is training and district leader of a district of 3 greenies. That will be quite interesting for him.

I got all of the birthday cards last week. Thanks to everyone!

In reference to October 21, 2015, he wrote the following:

That day you mention was a very good day for us. We taught many people and relieved and cooled of by the rain. It has been hot lately.


Rob Davidson- Alberton Ward Mission Leader




Monday, October 19, 2015

Letter from Michael 10-19-2015- Fruits of Finding

This week was a good week for us. We actually found people to teach from our finding efforts. We have 9 new investigators from last week. We are teaching 3 new families and some individuals as well. The first one is a typical Afrikaans family. They love braais and rugby. Usually Afrikaans people don’t even want to talk to us. Gerhard actually spoke to us first as we were walking by his gate. He even asked us if we wanted to come in for a visit. Their names are Gerhard and Carla. They have a baby boy and they are very social people. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and even read some of it with them. Carla said it sounded beautiful. We are now teaching a Zulu family and a Zimbabwean family. The Zimbabwean family actually lives right next door to the church. The mother and the daughter in the family came to the church yesterday for General Conference. 

Eleanor is the pregnant lady in the picture I sent last week. She is a recent convert and she has had the baby already. Her mother is not a member but came to watch General Conference last week. Dell and Thendi also came. They were interviewed for baptism and they passed. They will be baptized on the 25th of October. Brother Grieg Youlton is going to baptize them. Dell works with Grieg as a plumber. The Youlton family is a great family. We have lots of fun with them and they often have us over for dinner. They are actually moving to Utah in January just after I get home. 

Yes, I loved the conference! You were right about most of them having to do with the Sabbath and also women. I really liked Holland's talk as well as Uchtdorf's talk in the priesthood session. Can you believe it...? I actually saw all of general conference this week! 

I think this last transfer I will be in a new area. We will probably get the transfer news on Friday evening. Love you!
- Elder Johnson 

Quote: "If for a while it seems the harder you try; the harder things get, take heart for it has been the same for the best people who walked the Earth." - Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Monday, October 12, 2015

Letter from Michael 1-121-2015- Eight Weeks Left

This week we did much finding. For a while my attitude about finding people in this area wasn't the greatest. Everyone we talk with is from somewhere else. Then I thought to myself as long as I am giving people the opportunity and at least finding for Elders in other areas than I'm doing some good and doing my part. It is about making the word of God known and building his kingdom. I must be prayerful and hopeful in all that I do as a missionary and good things are will come. We set up a booth last week and passed out many cards, pamphlets, and copies of the Book of Mormon. Hopefully we can teach some of them this week. Renato and Vusi were at church yesterday. Dell and Thendi are going to be interviewed on Thursday for baptism. 
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." – Philippians

The slip N slide P-day was loads of Fun. The zone leader that was next to me in the pic at the Dunn's home sprained his shoulder. He is in the pic the day Hughes broke his shoulder.

Yes, the interview was nice. He mostly talked about how I feel about the last bit of my mission and he also talked to me about my plans for post mission.

I don't know the dates of the letters but recently I received letters from you, one from Dad, and one of the DeDen grandparents. 

Dell and Thendi's baptism is on the 25th of October and the transfer is on the 27th of October. A long time ago I made a deal with Nicki Pasi. He gave me a South African soccer jacket for the weights. He really wanted them and I got them for cheap anyway.
Serving a mission has been the most important time of my life. I do realize that what I am doing is not just about me. Obviously there is a greater purpose in all of this. The focus of my mission is not necessarily about what I can gain but about what I can give. It is a time of sacrifice and selfless service to the God and his children on the earth. I have enjoyed seeing people change and develop testimonies of the savior and the restored gospel. I have learned that it is always worth keeping the rules and commandments that have been set and the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in the work. If I don't have the Spirit I cannot teach.

It is interesting how serving God works. I can never be able to pay him back for all that he is done for me. I say this because every time I serve him or obey him he blesses me and my family so greatly. I once read a quote that said something to the effect, "If you give the Lord a crumb, He will give you a loaf." Sacrifice is something the I am grateful for and have understood better as I serve. We give up something important to us to the Lord for blessings of much greater worth. If I stayed home from mission I would lay up worldly treasures which will not last but my experiences and and blessings from serving a mission will be treasures in heaven where it will last forever. I came on mission with many weaknesses and even some fears. If I had never served a mission I wonder if I ever would have been able to over come them. I still have much more to learn and a long way to go but I know that I have overcome much in these last two years. I have strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father and have become a stronger individual.

 My mission has been the highlight of my life. I would not change this experience for anything in the world. I would encourage any young man that serving a mission is worth the short 2 years. If you serve the Lord you will never regret! I Know that there is God. I know him because I serve him. I have seen answers to every sincere prayer I have offered him. I have felt the Holy Spirit testify our Heavenly Father and our savior Jesus Christ. Anyone can know this if they become not just hearers of His word but doers of his word. I say this humbly in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
No, the temple trip was moved to Wednesday this week. In my studies I read a talk by Spencer W. Kimball about the apostle Peter. It mostly was about how Peter denied knowing Jesus three times but it wasn't the end for him. He was forgiven completely and was given all the keys of the priesthood. 

When asked how his interview with his president went, he responded:
I said it feels surreal to think that I'll be home so soon. It will be sad to leave South Africa and the mission but it is exciting to go home and continue on with life. He said he knows we are working well and he said I'm a good man. He told me that I have helped Elder Hughes with a lot these couple transfers.

Quote: "I may not always like to work, but I like what is in work, which for me is the chance to find myself and make a difference, for it is quite possible to work without results, but there will never be results without work." - Dick Plaistowe, SVP Sibanye Gold

Bishop Kirchman


The District: The Germiston Elders are in the back. (Elder Vataiki and Elder Morrill)
Elder Hughes and Johnson in the front

Monday, October 5, 2015

Letter from Michael 10-5-2015

It was an interesting Saturday for us last week. We got permission to go to the temple because a family that Elder Hughes was taught was going to be sealed for time and eternity in the temple. So we went there to support the family. We got there early on Saturday morning. It was actually too early so we found something to do while we waited. We went to the baptistery and witnessed baptisms and the did confirmations. I had never done that before in all of the times I have been to a temple. The Holy Spirit was definitely strong and present there.

After that the family came and we did an endowment session and then proceeded to the sealing room. It was my first time to ever witness a sealing ordinance. Even though I didn't know the family it was still nice to see. I don't remember the last time I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly. Afterwards the temple worker turned to me and the other 3 Elders and told us that our turn was not so far away. I said, "That is both a joyful and a scary thought."

Dell and Thendi are progressing very well. They were at church as well as Renato. I don't know if I said last time but Renato is on date for baptism as well. We still have not done the mega booth but we will this Saturday hopefully. We will set up a table and a big banner in Alberton City. then we will have some members with us with BOMs and pamphlets while we talk to people walking by. On Wednesday we are going with the ward to help out with the temple trip. We of course also got permission for that as well. We finally found a recent convert / less active member. His name is Washington. We had a good talk with him and will help him find a way to church this Sunday.

- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
We will watch conference on the 17th and 18th when we have the DVDs.
The Church is so true! I will never forget that!

Today for zone activity we are going to have a slip n slide, water balloon fight, and braai!