Monday, November 28, 2016

Grateful for Missionary Blessings

Dear Momma Bear,
So I am sooooo relieved to know that you guys got my package!!! I was so worried that it was not going to get to you guys!! Was everything in there?? 
I am glad that you got the stuff to Amy. haha I too am so grateful to have such amazing support!!
So Friday here, (Thanksgiving in America) I spent the time to write out the things I am grateful for.....What am I grateful for Thanksgiving 2016 

My family allowing me to serve my lord.  My family and their support.  My mission.  Mom for always knowing what to say.  Dad for always knowing what to do.  Both for being such a great team, for marrying in the temple/keeping covenants.  Josh for being such a homie/ good friend.  Ana for her goofy/loving nature.  Kaleb for being the life of the party.  Scriptures/words of the prophets.  The Atonement and road it provides us to come back.  The Plan of Salvation allowing us to come home and live with our families forever.  Weaknesses/challenges, without them, we could never grow.  All those who have helped me get to where I am: Grandparents, family, friends and loved ones.  Amazing friends who have helped me stay on the straight and narrow: Amy, Lucas, Brian, Katie, Ally, Gibson, Tyson, Tyler, and everyone else I've missed! XD  Amazing coaches working me hard and helping me to understand that hard work brings results: Jason, Jason, Cory, (Johnson Family) Kyle, and Audrey.  Not making that sectionals time.  Who knows I might not be serving.  Church leaders and teachers: Bother Rose, Arslanian, Burbage Thurston Scott, Bishop Benedict, President Gifford, the Osbornes, and the Crawfords.  The people of Kiribati.  The blessings the lord has given me during my time as a missionary.  Christ, and his life.  President Larkin and his leadership and support.  All my mission homies.  Elder Osborne for teaching me the importance of having fun.  Elder Seguine for teaching me the Atonement is more than just for sinners.  Elder Powell for helping me see the importance of looking past differences.  Elder Vula teaching people not lessons.  Elder Kennedy for teaching me that it is all up to us if we will get upset.  Elder Carrington for teaching me the true meaning of a successful missionary.  Elder Darm for teaching me how to really love those around us.  Elder Hunter for teaching me that Humility, charity, and Patience go a long way.  Elder Ellis for teaching me how to by example how to be an extra ordinary missionary.  Elder Gilbert on how to make jokes, and not letting the little things bother you (also how to cookXD) Elder Jackson how to be patient with yourself and others, also to just enjoy the little things.  Elder Sagapolu on being a happy guy.
The list could go on, there are so many things that I am grateful for.  This year I have selected some of the most outstanding and amazing blessings I have received and seen the passed couple of years.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!
I love you mom!
Everything is great, I am healthy and loving the work it is so much fun and I love training even though it is hard at times.  I know that as I pray for help all things will work out!
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

hahahahhahahahah I could not stop laughing when you told me about the picture "Ana wanted for Christmas" hahahahahah that is sooooo funny!!!!!!!! hahah
I am doing awesome! Really crazy week with transfers and stuff but things are going great!!!! I love it here in Eita It is so much fun!!! Thanksgiving sounds soooooooo fun! I really wish I could have been there you know? Ah man what a bummer! OH well.  I do like the idea of having fish for dinner.  Maybe you and I could go catch a couple then cook them up!!!! I could make us some fish head soup as a side!! or maybe some cream of squash! I am learning some pretty good stuff! XD All the Elders around me are really impressed with the drawings you did for our yard, it's wayyyyy good! I wish I had more time to draw.... I think that it would be awesome to do that Star Wars one!!! hahaha
Yeah, Every missionary in the mission is coming in.  Christmas day we are just going to have sacrament, then spend the day together.  The Senior couples are holding on to the Christmas packages so that we can all open them together on Christmas day!! hahah President Hallic is the 70 coming in, that is why everyone is coming in from Outer Islands. It is going to be a very hectic time!! No news on skype yet but I am sure they will tell us shortly!
My comp is amazing! He is a funny kid.  He is having a rough time though, he's had bike problems all week.  We had to patch his bike 3 times and I even carried it one day after his bike exploding! XD But he is just a happy kid.  Really funny to pull little pranks on him! hahah He takes it like a champ!
The funniest thing that happened this week is we got fish at a dinner, and well me I love to eat the fish head... including the eye. (it is sooo tasty) So I told Elder Sagapolu to try it.  He sucked on the eye like a boss..... buuuuuuuuuuuut he did not like it! XD He had the must disgusted face on the entire time he was eating it!!!! XD
Most spiritual is a little more difficult... There were so many!!! Lately I have been working on asking inspired questions.  In order to do this you have to have a slight pause in the lesson, that can be a little awkward at times... but I saw so many great amazing things come out of it.  The investigators talk more and the spirit is so strong.  by getting this down we have been able to better focus out lesson on our investigators.
Please pray for Tenati and his wife, they are less-actives that just had a miss carriage.... We just taught them temples and the spirit was so strong testifying to them that they could see their family again.  They just need a little extra heaven sent help.
I love you dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Welcome Elder Sagapolu, New Missionary to Kiribati

Dear mom,
Things go great!!!!! I have everything all figured out and I'm getting back to normal. I think the problem was that I was in a new situation I didn't quiet know how to incorporate myself in with training but I now have it figured out a little more.  The most success I am going to have is BEING MYSELF!
Well you will be as surprised as I was when I heard the news myself that I am training a new missionary....... Again!!!!! They sent Elder Jackson off to Tabiteuea south and I am now with Elder Sagapolu from Taylorsville  Utah! such a great kid. I am sad however that Elder Jackson left me.... I had such a great time with him! Elder Sagapolu is a big kid, whose dad played for The Steelers back in the day... HOW COOL IS THAT??? hahah well he's a big kid, a little intimidating until you get to know him.... He's just a big Teddy Bear, I love him!!!! hahah

I did lose my wallet.... all the money was stolen, but I didn't pray to get the money back, I prayed that I would get my license and my temple recommend.  One of the Less actives in our area found it buried under the dirt, took it and gave it to me.  What I think happen was it was taken on the bus, then thrown out the window after the money was taken out... but I have it!!! XD 

One thing that I would like if you can find it, a book of object lessons I can use to teach gospel doctrine. Thank you so much for getting stuff for my companion and Elder Hunter! 

The lump on my foot is just a callous that is painful from sitting cross legged.... It's HUGE hahahahah

anyway the journal entry for this week is Last Thursday:

"Today was an amazing day!!! Woke up went on a great run, came back did a leg set, then I sat down to write in my journal. I got distracted talking to Elder Jackson.  I talked to him about things to remember as he goes out to Tabiteuea. The things I told him were keeping an open heart, be teachable, remember to stay on the playing field, keep your mind focused, don't tell any when when you get thoughts when he gets brown fever. (Keeping his heart locked.)  He was very thankful, and the spirit was definitely present as we spoke.  

When we were done, we went and did our service with Nei Mwaiango.  We did cleaning around her house.  We joked with a bunch of little kids that Elder Jackson was so strong he could lift up a car! XD  They thought it was so funny.  When we were done cleaning, we got fed orange cake, and a really great tasting soup with half cooked fish.  When we got back to the house we showered in the last bit of our rain water and did our studies.  It was so great! The studies were super spiritual and very productive.  We went out today and we just had so much fun, joking around and working hard.  We tracted a lot of houses and found several potentials that were very interested in hearing the gospel!  

One gentleman was very against letting us in and hearing from us, but we told him that all we wanted to do was listen. He explained his religion to us and by the end of the lesson he told us that we could be friends and stop by any time to talk and we even got him to agree to let us do service for his family. As we walked away we thanked him for his faith and willingness to share his beliefs with us. When we were finished explaining this to him, his entire countenance changed. Very cool experience for sure

When we went to confirm to dinner we almost got drawn into a bootaki, which would have been a huge dent on our schedule!!! but I got us out of it!!!  We taught some amazing people to day even though a lot of our normal plans fell through, I know that god watches out for us and has our backs.

A little later we get a call from the APs telling us to meet at the house to where I met my new kid!!!!! I met him with a new tie and a huge hug! Except I couldn't quite get my arms around him!!! hahah He is a big kid!!! I love him!  He really wants to do good, and is very willing to work our  lesson fell through and I gave him the opportunity to choose some houses to tract and each one had someone very prepared or  a less active very cool experience. 

Elder Sagapolu had an amazing time as we were walking to dinner, we say this guy strumming a  guitar singing in English.  So beautiful, we sang How firm a foundation to him and he explained how god gave him talents and how he was going to use them to praise him and thank him for everything.  I started bearing my testimony to him and he just started strumming his guitar and what I was saying just kind of starting sounding poetic, so beautiful.  The spirit was very strong and it was a cool experience.  Dinner was amazing Elder Sagapolu had the best first dinner possible. Mai chips bread fruit soup, sweet fruit leather made out of a local fruit, bbq fish, chicken. It was so tasty.  As we were waiting for the food I played with the kids pretending to shoot them and they thought it was so funny so we started shooting each other with pretend finger guns and "dying" so funny!  some of those kids were pretty good actors!! hahah.  AMAZING DAY!!!

Love you mom,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Hanging out with the AP's

Looks Like Elder Hunter got a hold of Jeff's camera again! 

Letters to dad were all about college, Jeff is starting to get a bit worried about coming back to normal life!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Working Hard in Eita

Missionaries from Jeff's MTC Intake on Tarawa

Dear Mom,
I am so glad to here that you had that experience with church, God really does know what is best for each and everyone of us.  I know that as we are in tune with the spirit we will be able to be guided to everything that we need to be doing in order to draw ourselves closer to our Father in Heaven. 
The more we listen to the spirit the more heavenly Father is willing to give us what we need.
Honestly applying for school is so stressful.... I hate it so much!!! I wish that I didn't have to focus on it.  It scares me that I am already at that point, time just does not slow down....
Well as for my journal entry I am going to write about the 8th:

"Today was great except for a few small issues along the way.  The start was great, we woke up , went on a great run, except my foot hurt really bad.... I don't know how it happened but I have a very painful lump on the side of my foot.... Anyway, back at the house I did a great push up set where I jut keep going until my muscles gave out on me, I miss that feeling.   After, I was so hungry, so I just ate and ate but was still hungry.  Then Elder Jackson explained that it was just my body that it was me being thirsty.... Well when I drank some water I was fine/ even over full so that's great.. 

Our first lesson was with Babakai (a guy)  and we got Tiito (a member that used to be from the same church as Babakai) come sit in to which I was a little nervous because the last member that they took tried to bible bash with our investigator!!!! So I was a little overwhelmed because of that plus Babakai is a very experienced missionary from his church and had a ton of questions, the main questions were about the godhead, then about Joseph Smith and I just going assuming that Elder Jackson had nothing to say or wasn't following because he kept asking what was going on.  I tried my best to follow the spirit which it was present, especially when telling about Joseph Smith.  Babakai wanted to know if anything happened to Joseph Smith after he saw God the Father and the Son, like Paul and other prophets... I know the answer was yes, but that would have distracted from the main message of what we were saying so I bore my testimony about Joseph Smith, and when I turned to Elder Jackson and asked if he had anything he said I could have at least 10 times but you didn't give me the time!  So that made the spirit leave I felt so horrible... I turned the time over to Tiito who bore an amazing Testimony about how he knows.  He had a dream where 2 Beings came down and he said when the saw them he was so scared.  One spoke to him and said Ko kakabwaiaki (you're blessed.) This was at a time where Tiito and his family were taking lessons from the missionaries.  Tiito was so perfect for our investigator.  

When we left I tried to apologize to Elder Jackson I told him that I didn't know how much he was catching to which he said "I caught all of it I could have said so much but you taught a great lesson. You did really well.... I humbled myself and apologized and he said "Don't humble yourself." Eventually things went back to normal.. He explained how I always say I don't know when he know the answer, I had to explain how we can't give them too much or answer every question or  they wouldn't remember the real reason we were there.  The rest of the day went great three of the potentials that Elder Jackson and I contacted led us to the same house as the the other 2 Elders at the exact time... the cool thing about that was the family was less-active and the mom can't walk, and they had been praying for us to come there!!! The Lord provided with several opportunities for us to be there.  We then tried Tanterawa, Teretia's brother who wasn't home, but we taught her less active sister. Later in the day we get a text saying that her brother came back and wanted a lesson right then!! So cool!  It was so amazing Teretia bore her Testimony about prayer and how she has been praying for her family to accept the gospel and how happy she was to hear about her brother and he cried when he heard her say this!!!  It was too cool! Keaki today was really defensive when we taught him because we asked him to give up selling kouben( chew)but as the lesson went on the spirit touched his heart and he was accepting of our message.  After the lesson he gave us small shell fish and eel! So tasty . 

Dinner was with our investigator, which we had an amazing object lesson on faith, where I had my first aid kit said what it was, they didn't believe me since I didn't show them what was in it, then I showed it to 2 more and they testified making what I told them legit.  Over all an awesome day!!!
Mom I love you,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Dear Dad,
hahaha Oh man that is the funniest story that I heard all week!!!!!! hahaha I cannot believe you!!! But that's okay because anytime I see a dog and it takes after us I leave my companion.... No shame, I've been bit, I've seen my comp get bit.....I do NOT do dogs. 
That party sounds like it will be a blast! Hopefully he enjoys it. Who is he??
Just a hymn I thought of that might help with your work one of my favorites "Did you think to pray" I love that song it is such a beautiful reminder to pray and all things will work out.  This last week I have done a lot of study on prayer. And the one promise I love, Alma 37:37 If we pray every morning and every night we will be able to receive the kingdom of Heaven. 
Have you ever thought to ask the bishop to give you a calling.  Something interesting I read in the how to be an extarordinary missionary... Normal people sit around and wait, Extra ordinary people ask what they can do. It suggests going straight to the bishop and asking him what you can do!
The area is great!!!! and We just had a baptism last Saturday Reiwiia, she is so amazing, and very faithful, she has been coming to church every sunday for the last month or so!
Training is rough.... I am very self conscience, I don't know if I am helping at all and I just have a rough time because he makes me feel dumb sometimes and tries to tell me I am doing things wrong.  He is a great kid I love him, he is an amazingly hard worker, and super great at the language already, I just am overwhelmed... I just don't know what I am doing sometimes to be honest! hahah
We find out transfer stuff this wednesday, but I don't think anything will change with me! XD
Love you dad,
Love your son,
Elder Johnson

Disney Tie from Fiji Thrift Shop

Baptism Nei Reiwiia

Baptism Nei Reiwiia

Elder Hunter

Monday, November 7, 2016

Applying for School, Short Letters Home

Dear mom,

So today I am finishing up my schooling stuff, which is really stressful......but I know that I have to do it!! hahah And that it is important.  So that Neil guy was someone we met in Fiji while we were there so I don't know if he actually got baptized.  Everyone else is doing great Baeua is amazing he is on his way to quitting smoking. so awesome.

So journal Entry for the week November 2 :

Well today was great! An amazing day!  Woke up, ran, got chased by demon dogs...... I HATE DOGS!!!!!!  Then got on personal study. During study we got a call from Elder Peeti asking if we can catch a bus to the Temwaiku chapel.... Fetch!!   Zone meeting was great!!  Elder Peeti and Elder Parrish talked about working with ward conference.  I got a ton of cool things/ideas to talk about tonight's meeting.  After President Larkin pretended to be from so many religions fighting us on what we believe, we were supposed to to come up with things we had that other religions don't.  It was really cool except it went long so we didn't have time to go to lunch... except the first few things we had planned fell through. Then at the clear opposite side of our area from our house the runs hit me worse than yesterday(I got food poisoning) (bad fish) WE book it to the house and I barely make it.... We teach Teoueatara, who had this lady sit in with us who was really great at English!!  Amazingly good, she kept correcting our Kiribati haha But it was super helpful.  We then had a lot of time and only one lesson left scheduled for the day.  So we met up with Elder Hunter and Elder Christensen.  We told them that we were going to teach that one lesson then go see if we could get an interview with President.  

So we taught Nei Eema, who didn't pay attention at all.  I don't know if she even wants lessons.  After we got fed crackers and juice, then we went out and saw President Larkin.  I let Elder Jackson go first because those crackers and the juice went right through me.  Right before we met him, I kept trying to get out of seeing him for some reason. I think I know why, because it was exactly what I needed.  He asked bout my family, I expressed my concerns about them, not being good enough to train, talked about my swimming days.  He then asked me if I was a driven person, had high expectations of my self, a perfectionist, and becoming upset if I don't achieve.  The answer is yes.... he then told me there is one of two things about people like that.  1-they get things done and are good at that and 2- They are too hard on themselves.  He then told me that's why you have to find that balance... Like in swimming, you hit the wall and you're fractions of a second off the time you need, but you hit your best time... be happy and don't be too hard, just know to push harder for the next time.  So awesome!!!! 

We then formed a split so I could go to the meeting and Elder Hunter and Elder Jackson could get our last lessons.  When were waiting I met a RM who served in Magna and knows the Christoffersons, the Thomas' (Jerrica) and the Jeppson's!!! how cool choir and swim friends!!!  His name is Bauro(Paul) or Elder Tune!  We took a picture together and he sent it to all of them!!!  

Ward counsel was great and very productive, I gave them the idea of the service scavenger hunt that we did back home and they LOVED the idea!!!! We then ran to the Jenks because my stomach acted up again... so yeah rough day sick wise.. but we set up service to do with them for tomorrow I am really excited!!! XD

I love you mom,
sorry it's not much I am trying to figure out school stuff. 

Love your son,
Elder Johnson


Thanks for all of your support dad, I love you so much and sorry that my response and stuff is going to be short... 

Things go well with my comp! He is a great kid, he is doing awesome.  I'm getting back to my goofy ways, and the lessons are going great! We had an investigator we taught yesterday on Book of Mormon, who said before we talked about it they said, We wanted that book!!!! WE knew it was gods words and we just wanted one for ourselves!! XD