Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bonjour de Marseille!

Hello everyone! I've been transferred to Marseille, which I believe is the biggest city in the mission. I've only been here for a couple of hours but it is really pretty. There are SO many people. Bordeaux was big but it just wasn't the same. 

I don't have a whole lot to say this week other than I was sad to leave Talence so quickly. I loved the ward SO much. Three months is just enough time to really start knowing the ward and for them to start loving you a lot. I will definitely have to go back to Talence one of these days. J 

That is one thing that is hardest about the mission... is becoming so attached to people wherever you are and then just getting moved like that. You think I would be used to it by now but it never gets easier.... it's too bad. 

I love you all! I'll tell you more next week! :D 

Que Dieu soit avec vous! 

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 29, 2014

Transfer Day- heading for Marseille

Elder Cameron Johnson is being transferred to the city of Marseille. I don't expect to get a letter from him today.  Hopefully tomorrow.  I am sure he will miss all of his amis and Elder Karras but will find happiness and enjoy his new area like he always does.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Hey everyone! This week was super awesome! I can't believe that this is calls week! Second transfer is Talence is practically over! It will be interesting to see what happens this next transfer, since Elder Karras and I have both been here for the same amount of time. Anyway!

This week I went on an exchange with Elder Lythgoe! Elder Lythgoe is still in his first transfer, so he is super blue and super cool. I was talking to him and turns out that he knows Cecil and Nancy Black (his great aunt and uncle)! haha. Apparently Cecil was his keyboarding teacher. LOL Too funny. 

(Blue= Green, meaning new or fairly new missionary)

On our exchange we saw some pretty cool miracles. I think that Heavenly Father blesses blues with really nice people in their paths to build their faith and make them excited to talk to people. 

Throughout the day we were pretty busy so we didn't have a TON of time to talk to people but when we did, the people were SO nice and they gave us their numbers! It was super awesome. After each contact Elder Lythgoe was like "Are your contacts like this everyday?" HAHA. NO! It was a fun exchange. 

We have found these building to porte that are just super fruitful and full of so many college students it isn't even funny. They are really nice and always open to talk... anyway! 

(Porte= going door to door, knocking and hoping that the person inside will let you in. J)

So we are on floor seven of the building and we porte into this woman who doesn't open the door and she says "Who are you?!" And Elder Karras said "We talk about Jesus!" and then she opened the door and we are able to teach a lesson at the door! It was really cool. I don't know if we will see her again but it was still cool.

One floor lower, we get let into an apartment and teach another lesson! We are going to see them again too. Their names are Ralph and Remmie. They are brother and sister and are originally from Lebanon. They are Christians too which wasn't expected at all because they are from a Middle Eastern country. At the end of the rendezvous they asked if it was easier for us to speak in English because they speak English fluently... what the? It was really funny. I'm excited to teach them again. Young people and families are the most fun to teach. 

Another cool miracle that we had yesterday was that we were just walking to the church to print some stuff off and these two guys passed us and then like 30 seconds after they passed one of them asked "What is that thing?" and he pointed at our plaques/name tags. We explained it to him and his brother what we do and why we are here. We asked them if learning more interested them and they were like "YES! That would be awesome!" haha. GAH! So cool. 

Famille Inampudi is doing really well. We are kind of stumped with them though because when we asked them to pray to know if our message is true and they are like "We know your  message is true... your message is for unbelievers and we are already believing!" So, they won't pray to know if our message is true. I mean... we could have worse problems with our amis... hahaha. 

They are still super busy but they came to church and we are seeing them twice this week :) Super happy about that

We found Dina in our area book and she is pretty cool. She was taught by the missionaries when she was 27 years old and is still in contact with one of the original missionaries. She is 60 now. It is pretty crazy. 

She is pretty open but she is mad at God for all of the bad things that have happened in her life, which is pretty normal. But, she said she wants to "believe like she used to." So, we will see.

We have so many potential amis at the moment it is crazy. I'm sure we will have at least four or five new amis by the time we have all of our rendezvous. J Our hard work is paying off! 

We have a member in our ward that we visited right before working in her area of town. We had her pray with us so that we could have success in finding someone to teach the gospel to. So we work the whole afternoon in her area and nothing. People were nice but nothing happened.

On Sunday without even saying hi she comes up and says "ALORS, est-ce qu'il y a nouvelle?!" (SO, any news?!) And we say "No, but everyone was nice!" and as soon as she heard that she went "PFFFFT", through her hands up in the air and walked off... LOL NICE. 

She is a little special. hahaha

We also went to Arcachon, which is a HUGE sand dune! The biggest in all of Europe. It was GIANT. The photos don't do it justice. Look up "La dune du Pilat" on google just to see how big it is. It was so much fun. 

Anyway! That is it for this week! Hope I stay in Talence! We will see :) Love you!

Que Dieu Vous Bénisse 

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 15, 2014


Hi everyone! Another week of adventures has already passed! :) Pretty crazy. I wonder if the time passes as fast as it passes for you as it does for me. 

This week was pretty great. Talence is doing well. 

We had zone conference this week, which went hyper cool, as always. This one was a little special because it was a multi-zone conference. Montpellier, Toulouse, Talence and Bordeaux zones were all there. That is like a third of the mission! 

At this conference we watched and discussed Elder Ballard's visit to Genève and how we are going to implement the things that he taught us. One of the loudest messages I heard from the conference was to talk to everyone that we could. President Roney told us that at the conference, all of the Mission Presidents and Area 70s were staying in the same hotel, do they just spoke amongst themselves and enjoyed it or whatever. They were only there for one night. Elder Ballard found THREE referrals for the missionaries during his stay in the hotel. THREE. haha. He is a beast. 

All he did to do that was talk to people. Keep in mind he is an Apostle of the Lord so he is inspired out the wahzoo but still! How impressive is that. We never know how just a few simple words can change a life. It was a good testimony building conference.  

So, we went to the church of one of our amis this Wednesday. It was an experience. I think the name of the church in English is the New Apostolic Church but I'm not sure. Anyway! We went with him to their Wednesday night meeting and it was really interesting. I could tell that the people there were good people who practice their faith. They were really nice to us afterwards as well. They said that they appreciated what we do and that they found it refreshing to talk to young people openly about faith and God. The only thing that we found really odd was at the very end of the service we all sang "HOSANNA!" Really loud. Other than that it was pretty normal. 

Our ami said that he really appreciated us coming and that he wants to come to our church to see how things go down. We will see. 

So! We were able to meet with the Inampudi Family (Indian Family) that we met this last week. The rendezvous went really well. We get there and they tell us "Ah! We have been excited all day waiting for you to get here!" We talk a little bit as Sheila prepares dinner. Once dinner is ready we put in "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" and watch it as we eat. The food was really good--kind of spicy but good. When I first took a few bites I was like, eh, this isn't spicy but it was a building heat and by the time I had finished my plate I was sweating... hahaha. They told me "Eat a spoonful of yogurt! That will help!" After quenching the fire in my mouth we were able to focus on the movie and start answering questions. 

They had such good questions. Right after they were just asking questions left and right and finally Sheila got to the point to when she said: "Joseph Smith was worried about his salvation and he found out how he could have it. What do we have to do to have it?" Hashtag: the question every missionary in the world wants to hear. With that, we were able to talk about the steps in the gospel and baptism. Shortly after explaining how things work, we invited them to be baptized when they knew that the message we share is true and they accepted! No date yet, but I'm sure it will be soon. :D 

They are such a cool family. Every time I think about them I almost get overwhelmed with emotion at how gracious Heaven Father was in leading us to them. He really does love His children. 

The Inampudi Family came to church the next day and they really liked it. We had to translate for them but they still seemed to enjoy it. All of the members tried super hard to speak English to them (which was really funny---most of them speak really well). They felt really well received. We hope to see them again sometime this next week. The problem is, is that Krishna (the dad) is super busy with work and isn't available all the time. But he said if he even has 30 minutes that he will call us and that he wants to come to the ward activity at the end of the week. Hyper sick! 

I was reading in 2 Nephi 31 this week and I am always impressed with the simplicity of the gospel. God doesn't want things to be super hard to understand and I feel that often times I complicate things when really they aren't that complicated. 

When we are exhausted, when we feel like we can't go any further, Christ is there we can continue to press on happily. When we do, we will get the prize :) 

2 Nephi 31:19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
I love you all!
Que Dieu Vous Bénisse! 

Elder Johnson

Monday, September 8, 2014


This week has been incredible! We worked so hard! It was awesome. Honestly, it was such a great feeling to know we literally did everything possible to fulfill our purpose of "inviting others to come unto Christ". 

So, I explained this a little last week but Paris Mission and our mission joined forces to try to find 1,000 people in a day. We prayed every thirty minutes for guidance to find these people. 

Our day was so intense. We contacted like crazy. On all transports (trams, buses, and on foot). We set aside a lot more time to finding than we usually would in a normal day. 

Halfway through the day we had achieved more than half of our goal for conversations had with people. But we kept pushing hard. The longer we went, the harder it got but we still just kept trying our best. At lunch, we all ate a mille-feuille (an awesome pastry) that translates to "1,000 pages/leafs” as a reminder of our goal as two missions. 

Towards the end of the day, we hadn't really found anyone that seemed really solid. We got three of four numbers but we were starting to feel kind of disappointed at the fruits of our labors. We had gone so hard all day, talked to SO many people and had only found a couple of "iffy" people. With only two or three hours left, we decided that it would be good to end the day with visiting a member family. The family was SO excited to have us and we had planned on only staying for 30 minutes to share a spiritual thought and ask for people they knew who could benefit from the gospel. 

When we were done with our spiritual thought we actually forgot to ask for referrals and it had passed the point of it being an option because it would have been really awkward. 

So, we are about to leave when the dad was like, "Elders, have you eaten dinner yet?" "Literally everything is ready and you have been working so hard today." So we ate a super dinner with them. It was so good and a great unexpected treat. After dinner we are about to go and we ask them if there is anything that we can do to help them and one of the daughters is like "Yes, actually my friend is going to come to church in two weeks and please pray for her so that she has a good experience. If things go well maybe you can teach her!" It was such a cool thing to happen after ALL day of trying to find and then have that blessing just plop into our laps. 

At the end of the day, the missions combined ended up finding about 500 people, pretty short of our goal... but there were so many miracles seen from all around the mission. It was a really neat experience.

So, there was this American that came to our ward one Sunday and was like "I’m just here for a couple of weeks and I have two friends that are German that are super cool that we have to meet up with and you can teach them the Retablissement!” (restoration- of the church)

The day finally rolls around to when we made the appointment and we go to this cafe with him and his friends and the lesson goes SO well. The guys that we taught were so cool. They were normal, had jobs, were religious and really friendly. After the lesson I was just like "GAH! This is how we have to find cool, normal people! Through members!" Really, it is the only way to do things. 

One of the guys politely turned us down to learn more but the other one has more potential and he said that he wants to come to church to see more. They both have Book of Mormons now and they both thanked their friend for showing how much he loved them by sharing what he believes with them. Even though they probably won't join the church anytime soon, they felt the love that their friend has for them and they know more about what we believe. It is a win.

So, this miracle literally made my week, if not this transfer. It was literally incredible. Afterwards I felt SO thankful towards Heavenly Father for His help and allowing us to experience such a miracle. 

Anyway! We are in Parc Peixotto (which is a hit or a miss for contacting... more often than not a miss) and it is just super full of people. It is so full that it is to the point of being kind of uncomfortable to walk around and contact. Anyway, this is on Sunday, so two days after the 1,000 finding day. 

Seeing that it is so crowded in this parc, we decided to go to the other side of it which is less crowded are more peaceful when we walk past this Indian family. They look at us and we say "Bonjour!" And they say "Hi!" 

We stop and talk to them a little bit to see how they know English and what they are doing in France. After just making a little small talk they invite us to sit down with them. Turns out they lived in Connecticut for four years. The dad worked at Yale as a researcher and they have been here in France for about a year and a half. 

As we are sitting there talking to them, he tells us that they are Christian and that he just recently turned to believing in God and reading the bible. (he has been a convert for about a year to Christianity). They start asking us questions and we jump right into the first lesson with them. We tell them about the First Vision and they love it. After getting towards the end of the lesson, we are about to ask them if they would like to learn more when the dad tells us "We would love to learn more about this message. It is incredible." The mom was like "I just feel so happy around you. I know that you are good people and I want my children to grow up and be like you." So we set a family home evening up with them. En plus, they invited us to come eat with them! haha. 

The influence of the spirit was unmistakably there. I felt it so strongly. I felt the love that God has for this family. I could see how prepared they are to receive the restored gospel. It was a truly a beautiful experience that I will never forget. Never before have I felt so confident that these people will accept the gospel. I'm so excited to go teach them again!

This week, I have really felt the love of my Heavenly Father and how much He loves ALL of His children. He loves me. He loves the mean people that yell at us. He loves drunkards. There is literally nothing that we can do that can stop God from loving us. Yes, we can disappoint Him, but He will never be so disappointed that He no longer loves us. 

God recognizes our faith and efforts and He rewards us accordingly. 

I know that God lives. I have felt His love and I have seen how He prepares and places people in our paths so that we can help them. It doesn't always mean that we are going to baptize these people but that isn't what it is about. It is about helping others feel God's love for them.

I love the Lord. I love all of you who keep up with my crazy adventures. Being on a mission has helped me recognize how blessed I am with all of you in my life. 

Que Dieu Vous bénisse! 
Bonne semaine! 

Elder Johnson