Monday, August 25, 2014


Hello Everyone! This week has treated Elder Karras and me wonderfully! We have found a lot of new people and are really starting to pick up steam. It is so great to see that we are making visible progress. 

So! Unfortunately, we still have not been able to see Manu. He wasn't even at Samedi Sportif, which is really weird for him. We called him a few times and he told us that he really just isn't feeling well and is feeling really down. We asked him if he wanted to get a blessing and he said yes but never showed up... so, we just keep praying for him and hoping that he will feel well enough to see us. 

Lisha, the Chinese student that we met a few weeks ago is back from her vacation and we were able to convince her to see us a few more times before she chooses to NOT see us. It's a tricky situation because she has been meeting with another group who is teaching her at the same time. So, we shall see about that! 

Nicolas, is a new ami that we found out of the area book. He hadn't been taught for about two years, so we called him up and he said, "Yeah, I would love to meet with you. I was actually thinking about coming to your church again." Definitely prepared by the Lord. He asked some SUPER hard questions and he uses super big French words that I don't understand but we had a great member with us that saved the day. 

Patrica is a new amie that we contacted a few weeks ago and is now just seeing us. She is pretty cool. She is from Cote d'Ivoire and is super religious but doesn't really see the need for "a church". I think she has quite a bit of potential. 

Nesur, is also a new ami! We were riding the bus home and we had these two black guys behind us speaking this really, really weird language so we asked them were the were from and what they were speaking. Nesur is from Guyenne (south American country that speaks French). Anyway, we starting talking and we asked, "Would you want to learn more?" And he was like "Uh yeah, if it is about God it interests me!" 

It has just been super cool to see all of these amis come out of the wood works.  It has been hard these past two weeks and we are really starting to see progress.

So, Elder Ballard is coming to our mission! Just the missionaries in Suisse will be able to be there live but we are all going to watch the conference. Anyway, as a gift to him, we are all working towards a mission-wide baptism on the 27th of September. 

This has really motivated us to push hard these next two weeks because time is running out to find someone so that they will be ready to be baptized by that date. 

We have been praying a LOT for new amis so that we can be a part of the mission-wide miracle present to Elder Ballard and I know that our faith and prayers are paying off! It is really neat. 

Well, like always, we met some crazy people this week. The most notable was this SUPER drunk Muslim guy. We had to wait at the same bus stop as him and as soon as he saw us he came over to us and was like "MY BROTHERS! PREACH ALLAH!" It was an interesting experience. He was standing SO close to Elder Karras. I thought he was going to kiss him! hahaha. The guy then slings he arms over both mine and elder Karras's shoulders and says: "Touch my heart! Don't be afraid!”  So, we pulled a hard pass on that one and then he kissed his hand and then touched both of our missionary plaques, said "Allah Bless you!" and then he walked off. Only in France :) 

I love you all! I love my mission and this work! 

Elder Johnson

Monday, August 18, 2014

Talence Times Two

Hi everyone! This week was all right. We have kind of slowed down on our teaching and really need to find some more amis. 

In other news, I'm staying in Talence with Elder Karras! I'm happy to stay here. 

Other than that, this week has been kind of lame for missionary work. We didn't really get to focus on missionary work fully this week but that is just because we had to move into our new apartment. But, now that we are actually living in our sector things will be much easier. 

Each time that you kind of have a bad week, you just got to look ahead to the next one! And that is exactly what we are doing! We have set some pretty ambitious goals for this next week and I know we are going to find some cool and prepared people to teach. 

In my studies this week, I came across a scripture I really needed to read and it really helped me not become a big ball of depression, lol.

It says :
2 Corithians 4:17 -"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

What a perspective! As trials and afflictions come, we will succeed IF we have an eternal perspective. We have to see past the moment and look forward with hope and trust in God that he will help us. And that is how I survived this week! Haha. It wasn't easy or super fun but I never became discouraged because I know that everything that happens to us (if we react well) has the potential to refine us and make us stronger and more determined.

I love you all

Elder Johnson

Les Missionnaries 
Rue Auguste Renoir Apt 135
Residence Celuta B
33400 Talence

Monday, August 11, 2014

Patience is a Virtue

Holy cow. I think that this week has been one of the weirdest weeks in my whole mission... and that is saying something considering the people that we have come across. This past week, we had actually decided to focus on working on patience AND of course, our patience was tested to the maximum... because that is just how life works when you decided to try and improve something. Suddenly it gets super hard. So here it goes:

So! Because both Elder Karras and I had our birthdays this last week, we had a lot of dinner appointments with members because they wanted to give us some birthday love. On Wednesday, we went over to the Grattepanche Family's house and ate some really good food with all of their super funny children. When I was there, the family really reminded me of us and how we acted when we were younger. Lol. They are too much. Anyway, they made us a cake with a "2" candle on it because they didn't have any other candles and it was just a really good experience.

So, at the Grattepanches, I realize that we should probably go because it takes us close to 45 min.- 1h to get our apartment and it is around 8:30 already. So we head out, and are on our way to the bus stop when a man in a car pulls over, gets out, and waves us over. At this point I am thinking, okay usually if this happens they are either crazy or really elect people looking for the truth. Well, I will have you guess which one he was. 

He tells us that he just drove past our church and asked when the hours were or whatever and we tell him and then he starts asking some really pointed, doctrinal questions that are blatantly insincere. We stay and are very patient and nice with him but we really have to go, but he won't let us go and he keeps talking and whatever. Then we are starting to get a little angry because he is seriously being super rude until finally we just start walking away without even saying goodbye.  

This man is probably 5'4'', 50ish and has huge glasses. Not scary. haha. So, as we start to walk away he LITERALLY starts running after us and is saying "Stop, Elders, two minutes PLEASE, TWO MORE MINUTES!" At this point he is in front of us and he tries to stop in front of me so I just walk around him. He writes me off as a lost cause and goes in front of Elder Karras to try to stop him. He keeps grabbing his arm and trying to block him with his tiny French man body. Elder Karras keeps saying "STOP TOUCHING ME!" "STOP TOUCHING ME" and the man says "IM NOT TOUCHING YOU. DONT GO!" lol. Anyway, after about three blocks, he finally gives up and starts yelling at us from afar, "WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY GOODBYE!?" Then we yell goodbye back to him and he says "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF!" We then yell "WE LOVE YOU!"... Which provokes him to say "NO YOU DON"T, YOU’RE A LIAR!" hahaha "DON'T STOP AT JOSEPH SMITH!" "YOU AREN'T CHRISTIANS.... YOU'RE JUST MORMONS!" 

... At one point when this was all happening... when he was running back and forth between us trying to stop us I just started laughing hysterically and said "IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!" A little tiny French man was trying to block me from walking away so he could tell me that I needed to repent and accept Jesus... I really was just beside myself at how hilarious the situation would be to an outside viewer... lol Goodness.

After a different RDV with some members we had to wait at a bus stop and there were three guys waiting there for the bus as well. Two were really drunk and one wasn't. There is one with swimming goggles on and a jar of olives and another that has a big bottle of whisky, the third one is sober and watching out for his buds. So, the one with the whisky goes up to the side of Elder Karras and says "On fait COMME CA!" (We do like this!) and he bumps shoulders with Elder Karras really hard. The sober guy was like, "Bud, leave him alone... I'm so sorry for my friend, he is drunk." So, still waiting for the bus and the man stands back up and comes up to Elder Karras, face to face and for a second he is just standing there until he says, "uhhhhhBAHHHHHH!" and tried to push him over but almost fell over doing it. His friend grabbed him and told him to stop being dumb and then he said "But they are talking about... about... JESUS!" hahaha. Again, I was just beside myself.

They ended up leaving the bus stop before the bus came and the one wearing the swimming goggles (which are crooked.. one on his eye one off) says "Don't worry... we will NEVERRR forget!" bahaha... Moral of the story: drugs and alcohol are bad. 

Well, that is enough about crazy people. 

We had district meeting this last week (day of Elder Karras' Birthday), which was awesome. We talked a lot about how important it is on following up and that as members of the church, inviting isn't enough. We need to follow up on our invitations with our friends.

District meeting lunch was a big birthday lunch. We ate really good tacos. Elder Karras' mom sent a bunch of birthday stuff, so we used it at district meeting. I'll send some photos, which are pretty self-explanatory. 

For some reason we had been having a really hard time meeting with our amis this week or not even amis but just anyone in general aside from the members that set something up with us on Sunday. A lot of people are on vacation right now and our amis were just kinda being flakey. Honestly, I am amazed at how many miracles we have had this week despite all of the weird crazy people and the fact that we couldn't see our amis as much as we would have liked to have. 

Let me tell you something about going door to door. It is the LEAST effective way to find people, aside from sitting in your apartment and not doing anything. To be honest, I could have a better attitude about porting. It is fun to see who opens the door and what lies BEHIND the door but I don't really feel like much good ever comes from it. But this week, something great came from it! It truly was a miracle. We had been porting for about an hour and were finishing up and there were just a couple more doors to do. We had been joking throughout the porting session that "A hundred door slams is worth a golden ami!" So, we knock on this door and a normal person answers. We are talking to him and suddenly he is like "Hey, do you want to come in and talk about this over some water?" I was so surprised! hahaha We were able to go in and teach a lesson to this man that we had just ported into and he was normal and nice! It was such a cool experience to have. 

Another miracle, we received a phone call from one of potential amis who told us that he was ready to meet with us. I found out that he was actually an inactive member who wanted to come back to the church. We end up going to his house and the whole time I'm thinking, please don't be weird, please don't be weird. The area of the town we were in wasn't the most "normal" or "nice"... so I had my doubts but he was actually super cool and has been waiting to come back to church for a long time! He said that because of his work, he hasn't been able to but now he has some time off and wants to focus on church and building his relationship with God. Pretty awesome.

Honestly, I feel just so blessed to be a missionary. It literally is a dream. Despite all of the weird people, the disappointments, and the things I wish could be changed, it all so worth it. I haven't been happier in my life. Logically it doesn't make sense. The life of a missionary is hard and sometimes not fun but I am SO happy. 

I wish everyone could feel as happy as I do. I know that the happiness I feel only comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ and following His example. I know that through Him we can become clean and improve ourselves. I know that He lives. 

I love you all! I really do. I am so blessed!

Que Dieu vous benisse!

Avec Amour,

Elder Johnson