Hello people of the world! This is Sister Johnson reporting to you from Woodstock, Virginia! The beautiful land of tree’s, old mountains, and happy people! I’m pretty sure this is as close to Idaho as it’s going to get for me. The only problem is the sky is still closer to the ground, but I can live with that.
Before I tell you all about the good ole mish I want to wish my sister Bella a happy birthday! She turned 13 yesterday and is the sweetest, kindest, funniest, most caring human I know. She’s rocking the world with her big beautiful eyes and her daring sidekick Felix the Firebreathing Hedgehog. He’s a youtube rock star. check him out.
For real though I want you all to know how much I love my sister. She has always been there for me and even though she’s 6 years younger she has been the grown-up many times when I’m having a hard day and throw a temper tantrum like a certain 4 year old I know. She is the best person and has the biggest heart. Love you Bellabalooba, you’re my best friend.
Speaking of friends, I got a new one! Her name is Sister Polly Evenson from South Jordan Utah! She’s almost 21 years old and came into the mission field 9 months ago, but came into the Maryland Baltimore Mission just a few months ago from the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission.
She’s the most amazing missionary and she knows her stuff! She testifies like a boss in her sweet, kind, and very honest way. She’s definitely the most sarcastic companion I’ve had and we plan on contacting at least 200 people by the end of this week and baptizing at least 200 of those 😉
The minute we began teaching I knew this was gonna be good. It’s like we can read each others minds! We’re on the same page and we’re teaching the same way. We’ve picked up 7 investigators since Wednesday and we’re not gonna slow down any time soon! She’s the bomb.com!
I love the Woodstock ward too. We drove past the church and I did a double take because it’s so small. There’s no gym and no pews and the chapel is so teeny it isn’t even dedicated. We had roughly 175 people attend last week and I think that’s a little above average.
Oh is there work to do!!! The Bishop here is Jason Wright which brings me to the title of this post. A few years ago I read two books; The Wednesday Letters and The Wedding Letters. I fell in love with them. The setting for the books was a place I wanted to go to and the imagery has never left my mind.
When I think of a place where I can find peace I think of the place where those stories are from. Well guess what. Bishop Wright wrote those books and to my knowledge they’re based out of Woodstock and the surrounding areas. I’m literally serving a mission in one of my favorite books. Am I the luckiest Sister Missionary ever? Or am I the luckiest Sister Missionary ever?
He’s also the most missionary-minded Bishop in this mission and I’m not kidding. Sister Evenson and I have seen him or been in contact with him everyday since we got here and it makes the work so much smoother. Since we’re both brand new to the area we have no idea who we should and shouldn’t visit, the places to avoid, the members who are the most helpful, and basically…everything. So having a Bishop who is involved is incredibly beneficial to the area, plus he gives us treats.
I feel like I’m back home!! The deer are everywhere! This is an awful picture of our GPS….but if you’ll look closely you will notice that we were conveniently in the middle of nowhere.
Fortunately there were some people! Sister Evenson and I were looking for a potential that lived in house #535 and we couldn’t find it anywhere! There was only one house and it had a sign for 537 on a tree next to it. We searched for maybe 10 minutes, then turned around back to 537. We stopped and said, “We can either pray for a miracle or move on to the next address.”
Miracles are always the better option. We decided Sister Evenson would say the prayer since she has more faith and she asked God to lead us to the house we were looking for. The first thought that popped into my head was “Go knock on the house in front of you.” She finished the prayer and had the same impression so we did!
We went and knocked on the door and as we were waiting my eyes wandered a bit and there on the side of the very door we were knocking were the numbers 535.
It may seem small to anyone else, but in that moment I saw evidence of God. He answered our prayer in a very small and simple way but answered it nonetheless.
“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” Alma 37:6
Saying goodbye to Braddock Heights broke my heart!
These people are my family.
Before I left I said goodbye to the very first family I met on my mission, the Daniels, sister Daniels put her arm around me and said,
“You’re ready to fly little bird.”
I’m soaring now. I feel like I’m flying through the days just loving every second of this work. There are times when i get tired, discouraged, and hangry, but they are greatly outweighed by the overwhelming joy that I just can’t contain. I’m bursting at the seems with happiness and The Spirit! Alma really describes how I feel when he said,
“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!”
“Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.” (Alma 29:1-2)
I want to testify to the whole world of the greatness and glory of the Gospel! I know it’s true. It makes my heart burn and fills me with energy and joy. I cannot stop smiling when I bear my testimony.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the church of the ressurected Christ. He lives and through a prophet He has called thousands of missionaries to go into the world and declare repentance and the good news of The Gospel! My friends and even my family are among that missionary force who are called to serve full-time missions, but we CANNOT fulfill our purpose effectively without the help of the members around us.
If God only wanted missionaries to do missionary work then we would be called for more than 2 years or 18 months. “Every member a missionary.” As an authorized representative of Jesus Christ I challenge you to bring your friends, family, and coworkers into your homes. Bring them to church, church activities, dinner with the missionaries, firesides, conference, anything! Just bring them!
If a missionary knocks 1000 doors 1 person will get baptized. If a member invites a person into their home and the missionaries teach them there, roughly 600 people will enter the waters of baptism out of those 1000.
“The field is white already to harvest” so go and bring people to Christ my friends. You don’t need to teach them doctrine and invite them to be baptized, that’s the missionaries job, but you do need to be their friend. Be their support. Be their ally. Be like Jesus Christ.
I promise you, as a missionary, that if you do this you will find the kind of joy I have found. You will be filled with The Pure Love of Christ. Your life will improve in everyday and you will come closer to Christ.
Therefore, “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.” (D&C 121:45)
I love you all.
P.S. My new address is 213 Patriots place Woodstock Virginia 22664
😛 Please please please write me and tell me how you are doing! I love mail!!! Love you!