Monday, September 23, 2019

September 23, 2019: Let Go

Hey Everyone!

It's been a good week this week. It was nice and busy, which is always the best as a missionary. You love the work best when you have stuff to do. It was also transfer calls, but there is no change happening here! Sister Dixon and I are staying together another transfer, which will be good. I have a good feeling about this next transfer.

We were able to visit some people this week, which was a lot of fun. It felt like there was just always someone who we needed to go out and contact. But now we have visited everyone and we will have to figure out what to do now!

I'm super excited about General Conference in a couple weeks. It will be so good! I've been counting down the days since the last conference. I love being able to listen to the prophet and apostles and get spiritual guidance.

On Friday, we were invited to a members work party to talk to people and interact with them. It was interesting, but it was a lot of fun! We got to know some people and there were some fun activities like a corn maze, hay rides, and s'mores! It was kind of weird because everyone knew everyone else and it looked a little bit like we were crashing the party, but it was still a good experience. We went and sat by this one couple who were pretty apprehensive at first. They thought we were going to preach to them, but we just had a good conversation and got to know each other and I think they were able to feel more comfortable around us.

On Sunday, we got to teach our Chinese family again. It was so good. We are starting to just focus on teaching the Book of Mormon. It's been a little bit of a struggle with the language barrier, but we were able to read the first chapter and then show the new Book of Mormon video. It helped so much! They were able to finally understand and make some sense of it. It truly was something made specifically for them.

This week, I learned something that maybe isn't the happiest thing in the world, but truth nonetheless. Sometimes we can do all we can to change, become better, do what we can to make things, and nothing will get better. That is where you have to really trust the Lord in His work and justice. We can only do so much in this life to control some things, which is why we have to rely on the Lord so much. He is the most reliable source and stone in my life. I know I can always rely on Him and His plan, especially when it never looks how I think things should play out. We have to learn in repentance, forgiveness, and love to allow justice to play out.

This week, what do you need to find God? Where do you stand? Where is He in your life? How do you find Him? Find things that can help you in your life and become better. That is our purpose in life. We are meant to learn and improve.

I love you all!

Sister Savannah Johanson 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

September 16th, 2019: Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust

Dear Everyone!

Hello, hello, hello! How is everyone doing this week? I hope you all have a had a fantastic week. I wish I could say mine was as well, but I can at least say it was a better week, which is good enough for me. It was another week of learning and growing, but so is every week in the mission.

I'm honestly not quite sure what to write about this week. It was a little bit of a struggle to try and find things for us to do. It felt like a lot the people we are teaching weren't able to meet with us this week, so we weren't able to see a lot of people. But we had service, and that is good. We volunteer at the Humane Society and I have learned a lot about different skills. I've learned a lot more on how to deal with dogs and also on how to wash dishes. We have done a lot more of the later lately. But it has been a lot of fun and we now have the process done to a tee. 

Also, this week, we are realizing that we need to try and limit our miles, so we thought we would try and do biking. That was an adventure. We only did it once for, like 10-15 minutes, but we got plenty of perspiration on ourselves. But there was a tender mercy to it. We had biked our to this one house where this girl had recently gotten baptized within the last year, but she hasn't been active. We had tried before, but no one answered. So we went and knocked on the door and there still wasn't anything. So, we walked back to our bikes and were talking about what we should do. As we were talking, outcomes this girl and starts talking to us. She turns out to be the girl we were looking for. Her dad wasn't home, so we weren't able to set up a return appointment, but we got to meet her. If we had driven, we probably would have missed her.

This week was a lot about faith, humility, and patience. All of those are major attributes to what I have learned my entire transfer. I've gone through some rough stuff and it hasn't been my favorite, but I have to learn to let things go, to trust Heavenly Father when He tells me it will get better, and humble myself in being willing to learn what he wants me to learn. It is so easy in life to doubt, to judge others, to be led into pride, to give up before we are willing to see the result. But if we will practice slowly working on these things, little by little, bit by bit, eventually we will be places that we never thought we would get. Things take time, they take love and patience. It takes the willingness to learn.

Heavenly Father loves you. He is cheering you on and is willing to help you in whatever you ask for. You just have to believe that He will take care of you.

I love you
Sister Savannah Johanson 

Monday, September 9, 2019

September 9th, 2019: We are all learning

Hello friends!

This week has been a week to be sure. It was pretty weird and a little all over the place. It's been a little rough this week for many reasons, but I won't delve into that. It was a week of learning, changing, and repenting for me. But there were still some good things this week!

We had interviews this week, which was pretty fun. It's one of my favorite part of the transfers, mainly because I get to talk to my mission president's wife. She always has some great insight and I'm able to talk to her and get some help on things. We have such great chats.

We got to talk to some great people and were able to work hard and do what we need to. I love going out and talking to the people around me. I still get nervous sometimes, but when I put myself out there, I usually love the results. It's always a good time.

We had dinner with Renee and her two boys this week, which is fun. Liam and Landon are so cute! I love getting to be around them. Renee is so funny! She told us how she was reading the Book of Mormon and there were some things in it that she thought was super awesome!

We really got to know some of the members of the ward this week and the told us a lot about themselves and their conversion stories and how they are trying to implement the gospel in their everyday lives. I think they are amazing and I love them so much!

We got to meet this new family in the ward and start talking to them. The husband is a nonmember and has been taught by missionaries before. He is very spiritual and wants to be able to have that spiritual connection with the people and things he learns. It's going to be interesting with him and will really test us in some ways.

Saturday was really fun! We got a call the day before from the sisters up in Bolivar, asking if we wanted to do a half day exchange. They had set up a booth at an event up there and thought it would be fun if we would go up there and do it with them. It was a chalkboard with different questions on it that people could write answers to and it's a great way to get to talk to some people. We also had a board next to it that said "Do you know where your family is from" with a map drawn on it and people could put a pin on where they knew their family was from. It was a lot of fun and I got to talk to some cool people. There was also some music, so sometimes I would jam in the street with it going on. I really enjoyed it.

This week, I've learned a lot about aligning myself to the will of the Lord. The truth is that we have the ability to choose in all things and Heavenly Father has a plan for all things. But if we so desire, we can become exactly who He wants us to be and we can accomplish all that we can by listening to the Spirit and being directed to where He wants us to go and do what He needs us to do. He will never force us and we can always figure things out no matter what we decide to do. But the outcome can be so much greater when we let ourselves be as clay in the Lord's hands and allow Him to do what He would like us to do. Sometimes in life, we don't get an answer. There are two reasons for that. One, is because He trust us to do what is right and knows that we can do things that will make us better. The other is that we are not ready for the answer. This is either because it isn't the right time, or we are not allowing ourselves to be open to what the Lord has to say. He is not going to answer you if He knows that you will not obey. I know that I am not perfect and I probably make many of these mistakes, but I'm so grateful for repentance and how I can do better and can allow Christ and Heavenly Father to pick me up and help me go forward and do better so that I am going where they need me to go.

So, my invitation to all of you this week is to look inside yourself and make sure you are on the right path. That you are willingly saying "Not my will, but thy will be done". It sometimes can be hard and we don't always have to be excited and happy about it, because we know that it can be hard sometimes. But we can make sure that we aren't dragging our feet. I love you all so much and I feel this is my everyday life of how important it is to be in tune with the Lord's plan and to always know that He loves us so very much.

With all my heart,
Sister Savannah Johanson 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

September 2, 2019: It's all about the mind

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all doing good. It’s been a pretty good week for me. We had a few rough spots, but we were able to get over them. Life isn’t perfect and sometimes we have to go through hard stuff to learn. But it can be good, if we will let it.

I got to start my week off with exchanges with my sister training leader, Sister Clayburn. It was actually really fun. We get along pretty well and we have a lot to talk about, partly because she also was in Greenwood! I actually heard about her when I was there and I was so excited to meet her. Now, I get to hang out with her sometimes and be her companion for a day. We got to do some fun finding and talk to a lot of people. We had some time to kill, so we decided to go contact a couple people and do some tracting. It was actually a lot of fun. We got to talk to this girl named Logan. We were asked by a member to go drop by his friend's son's apartment, just to see if there was anything we could do. We went and he actually wasn't home (or just didn't answer the door), but while we were there, I felt like we might as well go and knock on their neighbor's door and see what came of that. We met Logan, who we talked about Jesus Christ with and were able to give a Book of Mormon to! It was amazing, and it was definitely a learning experience on my part, being led by the Spirit and reminded how some of his promptings work. After that, we had some time, so we decided to go and contact some people. We were kind of driving around, so we decided to go see a person on the map named Alexia. We were just going to do a standard tracting approach with her. We had parked down the street and decided to just tract houses before it. One of them was Randy! We talked to him a bit and asked what he believed in Jesus Christ. He said he was a christian, but that he hadn't been to church in awhile. We asked if he would be interested in learning about our church! He said yes. He said we could come on weekends and talk with him. On another note, no one lived in Alexia's house. But clearly we were there for Randy.

At the beginning of this week, we had actually gotten a referral! Which was the first time ever in my life! So we got to see her this week and she has learned a lot of the lessons and was almost baptized! But there were some complications, that she wasn’t able to. But she wants to keep learning until everything works out. She believes everything and is just so awesome. I was so excited!

Thursday was a weird day. Our schedule had gotten majorly messed up, so we ended up having a couple HOURS of free time, which is normally spent tracting when you have some time available. It was a hard time for Sister Dixon, and I don’t know if we accomplished anything doing it. But, we did our best.

Friday, we met with Lois, and she is so darn close! She is so amazing and I honestly think that she is almost there. We are just chipping away at it and she will be there in no time. We also talked to Renee, which I think is fun. She is so funny and I can tell that what we talk about is kind of weird to her, but she just accepts it and keeps learning, which I think is awesome!

This week, I learned a lot about change. Our entire purpose here on earth is to gain experience and to learn how we can become more like our Heavenly Father so that we can live with Him again. Everything we go through has a purpose and there will never be a moment of your life when you aren’t learning something new or changing in some way. None of us are perfect, which is why it is so important to repent and become closer to our Heavenly Father and letting ourselves be open to His will. There is a huge difference in our lives when we allow ourselves to grow versus just letting it happen accidently. When you go through anything in your life with the open mind of learning something new and becoming a better person and learning new skills, you can grow so much faster than you would have just thinking that you will always be the same. There is definitely a degree of patience with anything we learn and not everything will come quickly, naturally, or easily. But we can learn better and grow better when we put ourselves fully into it and decide that we can become better at something and work at it. Our state of mind has so much influence on every aspect of your life.

So, my invitation to you this week is to talk that road block off and be willing to learn. It may be something entirely new or something you have been working on for a long time. Just find something in your life that you had decided was going to take too much effort to work on and decide that you can improve on it, with the Lord’s help, set a goal, and tell yourself that you can learn it. We are only as limited as we think we are.

I love you all and I hope you are doing wonderful things in your life and allowing Heavenly Father direct you. He will guide you in all things.

Sister Savannah Johanson

Sister Savannah Johanson

Sunday, September 1, 2019

August 26th, 2019: Weird Week

Hello everyone,

This has been such an eventful week! So many things happened, I don't even know where to start. It's been pretty good and pretty fun. This week has been an adventure for my companion, Sister Dixon, as she is trying to navigate missionary life out in the field. But it's been good and we've had some good experiences.

We started a Come, Follow Me class in the ward, kinda arranged like a bible study. We have a few people who aren't entirely sure how to do it and we thought it would be good to make a group to study it together and help everyone out and have them help each other. Only 2 people came on Monday, and they were married. No one came Tuesday. But that's okay. We'll figure it out! It’ll take time to grow and develop.

We went to the Humane Society a couple times this week for service. It's an animal shelter where we go and help out. Mostly walking dogs. It's so interesting how much I have learned about pets and animals since I've been on my mission. I would say im m a pro at this point! Just kidding, but I do know quite a bit more than I used to. Sister Dixon has a hard time when we walk the big dogs, because she only has her small dog at home and really isn't into bigger dogs. What a great learning opportunity for her! There are always lots of dog experiences when you are on a mission.

We had a couple finding opportunities this week. One went pretty well. The other......not so much. It was honestly the worst experience I have ever had with tracting. The first door we went to, we knocked on the door and we saw this lady got up from her chair. She walks over and looks through the window to see who it is. I see her look down at our badges and is reading them. She then walks away, back to her living room, and sits back down. The rest of the houses were not that much better.

Zone conference was this week and it was so amazing! We had Elder McKay come, who is a member of the seventy. He actually spoke in last general conference on the Immediate Goodness of God. It was one of my favorites and I was so excited to have him come. He talked a lot about the power we have teaching with the Spirit and using the Book of Mormon and why it is so important. He told us we were all cheaters because we had the best mission president and in the best mission. One of my favorite things he talked about was how important it was to learn the spiritual language. It is the most important language you can ever learn in your life. Even when we think we are doing pretty good, we can always learn, grow, and improve. This life is all about progression and learning and we need to make sure that we listen to what the Spirit has to tell us as far as being willing to learn in our life. 

We got to meet with Lois this week, which is honestly one of my favorite parts of the week. It's kind of exciting because for the longest time she has had some objections based on baptism, mainly based on some fear, as she is afraid of water, I felt prompted to try and bring it up with her again. So we read 2 Nephi 31 and she seemed pretty open to it. It is something she has now been thinking of for awhile and will be thinking about it even more, so we are going to get her on the path to be able to commit to it. It may be a little bumpy, but I know it will all work out. I’m so excited for her and I just want her to be able to receive all the blessings that come from the small sacrifices we make for our Heavenly Father.

We also went and saw this certain family that was referred to us by the New York missionaries. The family moved here from there and is interested in learning. We were finally able to get in contact with them this week and give them a Book of Mormon. The hard part about the whole scenario is that they only speak Mandarin, except the son who can translate some, but it's still rocky. We are trying to get a translator, but our worries are about that is we don't know what is being said when we translate and how well gospel terms are being translated. It's been pretty awkward each time we go over and we don't really know what is the solution for it. But hopefully we can figure something out!

Saturday was interesting. One of the office missionaries who are in charge of service asked if we wanted to help out at a 10k in Springfield that was at 6am-9am. We said sure! So we got up at 5am to go help out at the race. It really was a lot of fun. We got to direct the runners and cheer them on and it was great to be able to encourage those people who were trying so hard and just wanted to do their best. But we were so tired afterwards! I’m grateful we did it, though.

One of the biggest things I have learned this week is how we approach the challenges Heavenly Father gives us. Life happens and we can go through some really tough stuff sometimes and it can be hard to know what to do when that happens. Most of the time we wonder why it is happening and how long we will have to endure it. We may constantly pray for deliverance from our current struggles. Which is okay! However, we must also learn how we should react to their circumstances. One of my favorite stories, well technically two, is in the Book of Mormon with the people of Limhi and the people of Alma. Both of them had been captured by the Lamanites and were bearing heavy loads and enduring a lot of pain. It was a hard time for both of them and both would continue to pray for deliverance. However, there is a difference on both reacted to their situations. The people of Limhi prayed that their burdens would be eased and that the Lamanites hearts would be softened. The Lord answered their prayers and their trials were less difficult, but they still endured challenges, but were eventually delivered. The people of Alma prayed that they would be strengthened to be able to bear their burdens. The Lord answered their prayers to where they could no longer feel the pain upon their backs, but they also still endured challenged and were eventually delivered. What we can learn from this is that when we come face to face with our trials in life, do we ask for it to be softened or do we ask for strength? I firmly believe that everything in life happens for a reason, and most times, our trials are sent so we can learn and grow from them and become stronger in this life and the next. The Lord will answer for whatever we ask for, but if we are willing, He will make us stronger in the hard times of our lives.

This is something that even I am still working on. It is hard to want to be stronger from our challenges and to be willing to bear them as long as the Lord will have us bear them. But I do know that we can always rely on the Lord for strength and that we can get through anything that He asks us to do. “For I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” I would invite you all to try and ask for strength rather than relief from your challenges, and I will work on it with you, and try on rely on the Lord for strength and to become better from your challenges. I know it will infinitely bless your lives and you will feel yourself become closer to your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love and pray for all of you and hope that you are doing well and are able to get through the hard things that Heavenly Father may send our way.

With all my love,
Sister Savannah Johanson

Sister Savannah Johanson

August 19th, 2019: What is Important

Hey Friends,

What a week it's been! We've been pretty busy this week. For those of you who don't know,  we got transfer calls last Saturday, saying Sister Thomas was leaving and I was staying.....and training! Aaaahhh! Just a little stressful, but you know, it's fine. So we have been busy this last week.

The first couple days was a lot of Sister Thomas packing and saying goodbye to people. The silly girl had so much stuff! I guess that happens when you stay in one place for 6 months. She ended up having 5 suitcases, a tote bag, and her proselyting bag, all stuffed full! She's a funny girl. I was really sad to see her go. I loved her so much and we became good friends. I hope I get to see her again, especially after my mission.

So, when Sister Thomas left, I got the amazing Sister Dixon. She's really cute and wants to work hard and be exactly obedient. She's amazing and is doing so good. We have been busy the last couple days, trying to get her to have a feel for the area. She was able to meet with some of our investigators, Lois and Kathy and is starting to bond with the ward. It's been a good week. It's been a little stressful, as I feel I'm still trying to figure out the area myself, and then I have to introduce a new Sister who has just got out into the field. But it's okay. I'm fine.

We actually went to a funeral yesterday, for a young man named Spencer Bird. It was really sad. We had so many people come, both member and non-member. He had passed away a week ago, fixing something on his truck on the side of the highway and someone had driven by and hit him. His parents were on a cruise while it happened, and he had sustained a lot of head trauma. The hospital kept him on life support until the parents got back. He sounded like he was an amazing person who was friends with everyone and was just happy about life. It was amazing to see all the people who came to love and support. It was really eye opening for everyone to realize what is really important and how minor our challenges in life our. 

Sometimes, we forget how much we are actually blessed and fail to see everything Heavenly Father has given us. It is so easy to lose sight of what is actually important in life and we lose our focus on our loved and our lives.

So this week, I would invite you to look at your life and realize what is actually important in your life and make it a priority. You never know what might happen and we only have so long to be able to do what is actually meaningful. One of my favorite videos is a Hope Works video, and the guy sets up a question for himself to make sure that he is focusing on good, important things. The question is, "will this matter in a thousand years?" Find what is important and will impact eveything and everyone for the better. If you find yourselves rationalizing and making excuses, I invite you to read President Nelson's talk, "We can do better and be better." Hopefully, that will help you with some things.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and know how much I love you and pray for you.

With all my love,
Sister Savannah Johanson