Monday, June 16, 2014
So here in the mission boundaries they do this program called two-week missionaries. Teenagers like 17-20 or somethingish sign up to come out with a set of missionaries for 2 weeks and test out the waters. So today Sister Nash and I got a two week missionary!!! Her name is Sister Bills, she is from Ontario (MY FIRST AREA- but a different ward) and she is 20! She wants to put in her mission papers as soon as she returns from being a 2 week missionary. So we had to drive down the hill (lingo for drive down the mountain to the valley where rancho cucamonga is) this morning to pick her up from the mission office. There is probably only like 10 guys and 10 girls who signed up to do it. So Sister Nash and I were really excited to be chosen to have a 2 week missionary! Anyways, it's 50 miles to the mission office. And of course 50 miles back. And on the way back, we missed our exit to get off the freeway because we were talking and went 20 miles too far. hahahahaha so we ended up in the middle of the desert on our way to Las Vegas (which is surprisingly only like 120-160 miles away). Hahaha fortunately after a while I realized and we turned around. It was hilarious and such a good way to start our day with Sister Bills, so she could see my blonde-moments shining through. Don't worry though, I am a safe driver. Me and Sister Nash know how to use a map like champions. But I have no sense of direction without one.
This week was crazy awesome. we got 3 new investigators!!! Man, I am so lucky to be in this ward. In Ontario, we were lucky if we got a new investigator within 6 weeks. Julia is on the road to baptism like a champion. She is the sweetest. This week she told us how much she loves us and is grateful we are teaching her. I almost cried, because at that moment I knew that I knew her before this life. It was a sweet tender mercy from the Lord for me to see that I was sent here to this area for her. What a privilege to be teaching such a wonderful and humble woman with such a sweet spirit. Man, I love missionary work. Have I mentioned that I probably won't come home??? I'll be a missionary forever, thank you very much.
Both Ashley and Sister Kirchner are still coming to church. They are on the road to being active again!!! Sister Kirchner hasn't smoked for 8 days. I am so insanely proud of her. She is almost 60, but I feel like she is my little daughter that I get to watch out for and cheer on when she chooses the right. Idk if that sounded really weird. But you hopefully know what I mean.
Okay, so I feel like I should say this, because I know that missionary work sounds really beautiful and easy when I talk about it. It is wonderful, but it's not easy. We have to face rejection, hatred, anger, disappointment, distress, heartache, poverty, hunger... Every day I go into people's houses who don't have enough to eat, or they are struggling to find a job, or getting evicted from their homes. They struggle with every sickness, injury, and physical handicap you could imagine. There are the one's who are depressed, angry at God, angry at themselves, or searching for hope. I want so badly to reach into my wallet and hand them everything I have (which by the way wouldn't begin to put a dent into the amount of debt they have). But instead I am called to Preach the Gospel. I am called to deliver a most sacred message, one that won't fill their mouths, but instead will fill their spirits. Jesus Christ lives, and He loves them. Christ died for them, He paved the way for them to return to live with our Loving Heavenly Father. Salvation isn't easy because it wasn't easy for the Son of God. They face these challenges because they need to experience the Atonement working in their lives. We are meant to learn how to rely on Him. I know that God has a Plan for each one of His children, and it pains me to see them reject that Plan. It pains me to see a door close in our faces, not because I feel offended but because I know that they are rejecting the Son of God, the man that we stand as representatives of. I am so grateful for the comfortable life I live. I am grateful that I have always had a roof and food. I never had to question if those things would be there. I have the most wonderful parents who have raised me in the gospel and taught me how to rely on Christ. I am so grateful to teach, to share, to testify, and to be a listening ear. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have to get on my knees and plead for the upliftment and strength of the enabling power of the Atonement, and I know that if a day goes by that I don't turn to Christ for help, then I'm not trying my hardest, not giving my best. And trust me, I still have a long way to go. I just want everyone to know that missionary work isn't easy, but it's not meant to be. The best missionary to every walk this earth was rejected by man, bled from every pore, and was hung on a cross. Out here I see the world, and the world isn't really happy. But we aren't meant to be of the world.
Adam fell that mean might be, and med are that we might have Joy! So Break Forth into Joy! The Lord will Redeem His people, and all ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
With love and gratitude
--->SO THIS WEEK. It was crazy and weird and awesome and wonderful.
So this morning all of us missionaries in our Zone went on a hike!! It was awesome. Except we didn't start till 9 am and it got real hot real fast. But there was a small waterfall at the end and we put our feet in and cooled off. (don't worry, we didn't swim). It was 3 miles long!! My tan line is pretty stinking awesome! #missionarytan It was really fun though! And we made it to the end safely and completely hydrated. ishhhh.
So apparently, once upon a time. There were apples growing here? I don't believe it. I think they call this place Apple Valley as a way to con people into thinking it's a beautiful and lush place so that they will move here.
The three main towns up here in the Cali High Desert are Victorville, Apple Valley, and Hesperia. We call them Victimville, Snapple Valley, and Hysteria. Hahahahahhaa
SOOOOO. Anyways. This week. It's hard to remember what happened. So yesterday at church we had TONS OF PEEPS THERE. We had our investigator Julia- who should be getting baptized soon-- she was there and is loving the Mormon life. The less actives that were there were Sis Kirchner, Ashley, Sister Bartok (she is a sassy Italian lady), The Dubiel family, and Brenda and her husband Bryant.
So Ashley is loving life and the gospel. She randomly decided to follow the prompting of the spirit and finally has been coming to church after so many years of not coming. She brings her friend with her, Roxy, who is an investigator in another ward. They are awesome because they have crazy psycho young kids who run around, but they still hold strong and bring their kidddos.
The Dubiel family is a cool one-- we just stopped by their house a week or two ago and talked to their daughter (who was visiting from another state) and then they randomly text us a couple of days ago and asked what time church starts. Then they showed up and we had no idea what they looked like. But fortunately the spirit was able to help us out with that one and we found them :)
So usually I hate tracting, but we tracted a small random dirt road this week and found some solid people! I'm glad Heavenly Father has a hand in this work. We also have been less-active finding. We are trying to visit/meet all the women in the ward who aren't visit-taught. THERES A LOT OF THEM. We usually just talk to them at the door, just make sure they are alive and doing well. It's crazy when we find houses with the members who haven't lived there in years.. and I'm like how come their visiting teacher or home teacher didn't figure it out sooner. Anyways. Word to the world. DO YOUR HOME AND VISITING TEACHING.
We also came across quite a few people with some crazy ideas about life and about religion and God. It makes me so grateful for the knowledge and stability that the gospel provides us. God is real, Christ is our Savior, and we are on Earth for a reason. We are here to learn, to grow, to make choices, to get a body, and to prepare ourselves and others to meet God. We aren't meant to do it alone, we are meant to do it along side our Christ, for through Him, all things are possible. I know that this church is true and I know that missionary work- whether it be in our home or in our ward or anywhere else in the world- is necessary. Christ wants to come! And we, as His disciples, get the privilege of preparing the world for His coming. What a glorious day!!
"Far from eloquence, I'm not enough. My words are not unique...I'm a witness of His miracles, and how they've changed my life.... When my voice seems too quiet, and my words are not profound, He tells me not to doubt. It's a privilege that He gave me and I won't let my voice be still. I have something, someone needs to hear."
These lyrics have been stuck in my head all week. and I love it! I can't remember all of it though.. that's why there are dot dot dots. But it's the truth. The gospel is true, otherwise God wouldn't allow psycho teenagers to go and preach it.
This song is magic and I would kill for the sheet music. It's called Someone Needs to Hear on the Called to Serve CD by Jenny Phillips. We already looked online to find the sheet music. ahahahah and we can't find it. But it's beautiful. Actually Sister Nash's trainer in Ukraine wrote the song and it ended up on the CD. Cool huh? LISTEN TO IT.
Anyways I love you all!!!
I love the mish, love the people. I love the gospel and I love Christ!
Love love love Sister Johnson
Yes, I am transferred! It is awesome here! Yes hot, yes so so windy, but it is amazing and the people are humble and my companions are hilarious! Sister Beagley is from St George, Utah and Sister Packer is form Layton, Utah. Sister Packer was in Apple Valley before this and came to this area with me and Sister Beagley has been here for 3 months in this area. They are awsome!!! We laugh alllll the time it is sooooo funny. But at the same time, we totally teach with unity and power and we have had so many little miracles this week!!! A trio companionship works the same way as a companionship. We are allowed to teach men alone because there is 3 of us, which is awesome. We are lucky because our apartment is pretty big!! Other than that it is the same. It is so fun to have 2 best friends that you get to labor diligently with and have a blast with! We are already unified and progressing.
LOL FUNNY STORY IT IS SO WINDY HERE. I totally have to hold down my skirt all the time. So I will be investing in some leggings or shorts or something to wear under my skirts. We have a car, but our miles are so limited so we walk a lot and I love it because we get more exercise! Also, when you walk, you get to talk to more people and contact! The ward isn't huge, our bishop is hilarious, we need to help them be more missionary minded... Don't be surprised if bishop Lyon calls you up sometime and talks to you! He said he does that with every missionary here.
This week was awesome. We had so many miracles!!!! We have a baptism this week! Ryan, he is 10 and he will be baptized on Friday! He is so sweet and I am so excited!!! I will send you pics afterwards!!! WE also have another investigator who wants to be baptized, her name is Kenzie. She has some hold ups, but she will get there! We also have an investigator named Jen, her husband is less-active. She wants to be baptized and sealed in the temple, but straight up doesn't want to come to church without her husband. Which stinks because he doesn't want to come. We also got a new investigator named Billie (she is a girl). She is the manager to our apartment complex and is awesome! She fed us lunch this week!
It's a whole different world here in Hesperia. The people are different, the investigators are different, the scenery is different, there are pawn shops and thrift stores everywhere, it's all so random. I love it though. Really, this place is awesome, and I will bring you all here when we come back to tour my mission (assuming ya'll want to do that). We get fed well, the members are sweet and motherly, and the sun always shines. But it's all different in a great way! These people hunger and thirst after righteousness and are willing to get do whatever they can to get it!
I am so grateful to be here. I know it's where I am supposed to be!!!
So this week I finished the Book of Mormon! What a great and rewarding feeling. I can say that I know without a doubt that it is true. Miracles can happen in our lives as we feast upon the words of Christ. When we read the Book of Mormon, we truly can "come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him...that ye become holy without spot." (Moroni 10:32-33)
Love you! I hope I answered all of your questions!
1. I got white washed out. That means sister respecia and I both left. SAD DAY. It's like leaving my family. Only I may never see some of them again. And leaving you guys wasn't sad for me. hahahahahahaahahahahah
2. I am in the desert. Here they call it the high desert. It's like AZ except EVERYTHING is brown. there is no grass. there is no trees. and there is wind. Lots of it. But the temperature and dryness is the same. The summer. 120 degrees. What am I going to do mom???
3. Sister Respecia is in Apple Valley. That place is cool. Some movie stars have houses there
4. I am in Hesperia. LOL this place is the most random place ever
5. My companionS names are Sister Beagley and Sister Packer. Yes I am in a trio! RANDOM. It's cool though and super fun. Sister Beagley is a gem and so cute and Sister Packer is hilarious and easy going. I love them both already!
I GOT THE PACKAGE. THANK YOU! on Easter I wore the cute shirt you sent me from anthro. and Sister respecia was so happy for the shirt too!! it made her day! she doesn't get packages from her family like ever because they are so far away. So things in the mail make her day. THE COOKIES OMYGOSH I LOVED THEMMMMMMMMMM.
Sad day there is no Sprouts here. (yeah the sprouts in ontario was SO busy always) And I left my ezekiel cereal accidentally in Ontario. AH. It's okay I will survive......
I am so glad that you had a good Easter. Easter was our last day in Ontario, so we spent the time going around to everyones houses to say goodbye! We ate lunch at The Santamaria's house- out ward mission leader- and it was SO GOOOD. He can cook. and so can his wife! He is Mexican so you can only imagine! and he barbecued.
Then we had dinner at the Bates house. They made ham and cheesey potatoes and salad and asparagus and it was really good too!! So Easter was awesome. Saying goodbye to all the teary eyes in Mountain View Ward wasn't so awesome though. Especially for Sis R who has been there for 9 months. that place was her home, and they all treated her like their daughter. Her and I are only like 10 miles from each other right now though! haahahahaha
BUT GUESS WHAT. On Sunday, Sister Glogosh, who hasn't come to church for like 30-40 years NO JOKE, CAME TO CHURCH. Also, a bunch of other Less actives came, but that's normal because everyone comes to church on Easter and Christmas. But Sister Glogosh was so awesome. miracles! She is one stubborn cookie, and we were so so shocked that she came. no joke. I am so happy for her! hopefully the new missionaries in that ward take good care of her and she keeps coming.
No, we never got to go to Costco. That's so fun that dad is taking the Elders though! You are so sweet to give them an Easter Care package. That makes my heart happy!
Send me a picture of that ring!!! yes I have seen the setting but not it with the diamond inside! OOOHHHOOOOO!!!!!!!
It's really short today, because we had our transfer meeting and now we are running out of time to shop and stuff. So i will be finishing this email now.
Love you!!!!!!!!! bye bye!!!!!!!!