Monday, May 21, 2018

Happy Ramadan


Selaamee boys and girls,

Wonderful to be back here with you all digitally yet again. I am writing this on a train on the way to Plauen for a district pday because heaven knows there will be a large lack of bock to write this email during / after our district activities. So we had a lit week. It was full of lots of boring uneventful missionary things, and some pretty cool stuff. On Wednesday we met with our legend Samer. We practiced German with him, talked about life and we’re teaching a lesson and reading in the Book of Mormon with him when his doorbell rang, and my legend was like „ohhhhh fetcchhhhhhhh I forgot my dude was coming over“ (that was an exact quote 😉) and he then explained to us quick and quiet that we needed to put all the church things away because this guy is very Muslim and Ramadan was starting the next day, so it would be dangerous to talk about our church with him there. So that was basically our invitation to get out of there before it got weird haha. Just an idea how it is teaching Muslims here in Germany. Not easy haha.

Thursday was the beginning of Ramadan, basically a month long fast participated by the Muslims. I’m not a master on it but from what I know they believe in these 30 days the gates to hell are closed and the gates to heaven are open, so they have the best chance to get close to Allah (God) in this time so they fast from sunrise to sunset. It’s pretty interesting. We met with our Arabic Persian couple on Thursday and the Arabic girl is participating because she’s Muslim and wants to, and the Persian boyfriend is just doing it to lose weight. So I guess to each his own, haha. I guess it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to try it with them cuz you know #Oct12.  Nah but they made us food and that was cool of them and a little weird, because they didn’t eat, but it was tasty. Unfortunately they didn’t make any of Elder Rasmussen’s favorite falafels or maté or anything. We got to have a good lesson with them on fasting, though, because this is also a time for them to only read from the Quran and learn things from it. It’s not easy for us to teach a lesson like we usually would so we had to adapt and that we did.

Other than that, we played volleyball and had both of the legends Lukas there, whic was great. I destroyed, like usual #sorryrosa. We also basically ran church on Sunday. I played the hymns, Elder Rasmussen and I blessed the sacrament, we both gave talks, we brought sacrament stuff and prepared it, set up and unlocked the church, we were the Sunday school teachers (even though we didn’t even end up giving our lesson because people just wanted to go home earlier I guess, haha). But it was good, we had more people in attendance than ever before—it was nice—haha. Mostly because some members from all over Germany were at a family reunion in the area so they decided to triple our numbers of attendance and visit our little branch. We had about 28 or so people so it was nice. Something else cool happened afterwards. A lady from Munich or somewhere in Germany came up to me and thanked me for my talk, which was nice, and then she began to explain that one thing I said was truly inspired. So this being like my 3rd talk in the branch, I was running out of stories to tell. Since I had already told the story of Georg, my legend from Hamburg, to the branch, I wasn’t going to bore them with that one again. But I needed to tell one story and I just couldn’t think of one until I got up to talk. I just had the feeling to tell the story of the great Georg again, because most of the people there hadn’t heard of him anyways. Well this lady afterwards told me of her son that came to church that day that hadn’t been to church in years because he is dating a non member of the church and they live together which creates problems between him and the church. She told me that that was the exact thing he needed to hear and hopes that will plant something in his heart. Just thought that was pretty cool, it made my day for sure.

I also made a pretty funny mistake when explaining the story I thought I should share. When explaining the part of the story where Georg got his wife to want to marry him, because being baptized was a thing he really wanted, I mixed up the German word for convinced (überzeugt). I told them that he forced (gezwungen) his wife to get married to him. Not pretty close words at all idk why that came out, but it was pretty funny and everyone was like hahaha what the fetch but then I had realized what I said. Funny stories.

Anyways my legends, I’m out see you next time


 im sorry

morgen Sport cuz we’re Gehorsam


cool Tower in Hof we visited, kinda looks like some Disneyland stuff

district pday without 2 elders who thought a Pentecost party was more lit than us


Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany

Monday, May 14, 2018

Y’all mind if I....


Salami

First off, I’d like to give all a fat Happy belated Mother’s Day to all mothers, future mothers, fathers, uncles, the cousin that nobody likes but is in the family so is loved, dog mothers, the rest of the dogs, and myself.

Also it was a big week in our family as well. My father had a birthday, sister had a birthday, brother in law and sister had their anniversary, other sister survived yet another week without me, and they all had the blessing to get to speak to me over Skype. The Skype was pretty fun, crazy that it’s the last time I’ll see them until I’m back in America.

my legends
It was also a nice week here on the other side of the flat earth, in Hof Germany. I taught/translated a few Persian lessons which took up our entire Tuesday basically, we had a street display where we received phone numbers of some legends here who are interested in learning about the restored gospel. We also had a long trip up to Leipzig and had interviews with President Fingerle which was also pretty good. I think we hit a record high of the amount of delay—almost 4 hours behind we were—I believe. Poor man has to deal with that like 10 times every 6 weeks.

MTC / T-Pose Tuesday

interviews / y’all mind if we t-pose?
Thursday was an interesting holiday here in Germany, known as Christi Himmelfahrt (ascension I believe?) or also known as Father’s Day, where almost all of the men in the country go around the city pulling weird carts full of beer and music and just be weird. We celebrated the best way two Americans could celebrate, by meeting with an American man named James. He’s an opera singer and goes all over Europe singing in shows and performing and teaching other singers how to sing. He was a cool man. He also had a very friendly Labrador. He has been taught before by the missionaries and really respects our church (has a daughter in America who’s a member) but isn’t really too interested to change churches but loves to learn more about Christ from us and talking about religion. And obviously, who wouldn’t want to chill with some Americans in a different country? So that was fun. We also played a German knock off version of dodgeball called Völkerball with some members and non members, and obviously I destroyed them all because as we all know, if you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

But yeah, we’re still working with a few of our investigators to help them progress, and our friend from Syria who’s golden is still doing great. He is starting an internship in a few weeks that will help him a lot to get his family over here so he can get baptized and join our church.

We’ve seen some cool stuff the last couple pdays. This place is beautiful and just packed fetching full of cool things to see. 

a cool castle in Hof with Lederhosen


an oldie: i call this one, "when you didn't prepare for snow on your ride to Hamburg and it starts snowing"

Anyways, I might bounce out of here I mean why not shoot guys we’ll hit youngish a fat Tschüss then.



Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day Skype - LAST PHONE CALL!!!

We had a great day today as a family. We go to have our last phone call with Elder Glenn Johnson before he makes his bittersweet way home...

Monday, May 7, 2018

Young Mocc


Iyi akshamlar my friends.

Sorry to inform you, but by the reasoning of a packed pday this weekly will be a shorter one.

Man what a week of normalities again. We had 2 exchanges, one with Elder Wride of California who has quite a beautiful taste in music about which we were able to converse for quite a while. Except I had a flashback like the one you see in movies/TV shows where it’s all instant and fast when he pronounced, „Bon Iver“ like „Bone Eevehr,“ because I remember many many moons ago as I was still such a small unknowing missionary and Elder Samuel Douglas Mehr had told me about the way this one elder pronounces Bon Iver, so that was neat. Other than lots of music talk, we did missionary work such as a Sport evening where we got to play volleyball and basketball with some legends, great time.

I also ate a lot of Pizza with Elder Wright.


Elder Wright and I had the blessed opportunity to take part in an exchange with one another and let me tell you a bit about this glorious exchanging of companionships. We met some legends. First, we met an American on a train who was from San Diego which was neat. We had no idea until he pulled out an American passport and couldn’t speak any German to the ticket checker. We also met a German youth guy who was obsessed with American basketball and James Harden and his jump back look shoot cereal move, he was hilarious. We met a couple super nice feminists who we talked to for a little bit, which was also pretty sweet. Hmmm who else, a legendary African who studied at New York University, an Arabic guy who spoke really good English and was suuuuper confused asking why we would leave America and come to that city we were in, which was lit, haha. Let’s just say most people we met were pretty pumped that we were American. Elder Wright became a mother and choked. We found 20€ on the ground. I can’t begin to explain to you how great this Tausch was. Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off another this transfer before he most likely leaves me.

street display after the legendary tausch

I bought lederhosen today and if you don’t know what those are, just google it. I’ll send pics next week, had no time to take pics today because we were busy doing the Lord’s will and translating a solid Persian lesson in Plauen. Good stuff.

the plauen sisters, us, and a legend from zwickau
Anyways tell your moms something nice this week I sure do like my mom a whole lot 👍

well bye  


Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany

Monday, April 30, 2018

Hexenfeuer


Welcome once again, peers and colleagues, wonderful to see you all here gathered together here on this beautiful pday.

I’ll let you guys who these two stunners are (check out the matching ties)
 
pics we took from our cute hike today (Beautiful Germany)

والله what did we do this week, hmmmm. We went on splits this week with E Blanchard Blanchard and Elder Dawson, which was good. I was up in the giant city of Hohenstein with Elder Dawson. Some noteworthy parts: We went finding and walked towards a place called the Sachsen ring, a very large motorcycle race track, in fact (could be actually fake news, someone fact check me) the largest in Germany. We also met a new friend from Afghanistan when we were finding. He didn’t have much time to talk, but I was able to explain a little bit about what we do, what the Book of Mormon is, and we gave him one in return for his contact info. As we were messaging this week, he said to me „Sorry, I can from you question ask?“ (meaning: excuse me, can I ask you a question), so I replied „Yes you can.“ (meaning: yes you can). He then asks me, „Why I book number read?“ (meaning: *I had no idea*), since this was a confusing question, he reworded it with his next text. „Why you want that I about church understand?“ (meaning: *you can figure it out*). I was a little afraid when he asked this, because it’s usually just his way of getting ready to roast us and say he is without interest to learn more, but I took the opportunity and told him about the greatness of this gospel and Book of Mormon and he was pleased with my answer. In fact he told me „Very comment of goodness is,“ (meaning: that is a great comment). Persian is a very weird language my friends.

Anyways, aside from the hours on hours of talking about baseball, we had one other pretty awesome highlight of our Tausch. We met with a family of their ward, whose dad went to Greece on his mission and I am happy to announce that I have finally met a former Greek missionary DID in fact go to jail on his mission. I have asked everyone I meet that went there, but was yet to succeed in finding one. Even though the story wasn’t as you’d think it would be, he was put in jail in Greece as a missionary, pretty crazy.

We have made a lot of Arabic/Persian/Turkish/German friends from Sport finding. We take our basketball and head over to a public basketball court, find some legends balling up, and challenge them to a pickup game. It’s actually quite effective. We were playing when some guys came up and started throwing an American football around and I asked them, „So do you gentlemen enjoy yourselves a bit of American football?“ They actually had just bought the ball yesterday and were just learning how to throw it, but they were pretty pumped when they found out we were from the birthplace of that sport and knew how to throw it right. We threw around with them for a bit, and then they challenged us to a 2v2 (I wanted to decline and go for the 1v1 on rust, but that wouldn’t work), and we beat them obviously.

Quick shout out to the Diamondbacks #all9series‘

Other than that, we met with another Persian friend to whom I taught the first lesson, which went pretty well. We had another couple lessons and we are meeting with an American this week we found in our contacts. We met some Americans in the store Galleria today, one from Virginia and the other from Prescott, AZ, so that was awesome. Go America.

Also the Turkish missionaries are getting kicked out of their mission again and being put into other missions so I wouldn’t be surprised if we receive some Turkish missionaries soon, but more to that next week I guess.

Hexenfeuer (witches burning)
The Walpurgisnacht (also witches burning) is a traditional Northern and Central European festival, partly with fire smoke on 30 April. The name derives from the sacred Walburga whose memorial day was celebrated until the Middle Ages on the day of their canonization on May 1. The Walpurgisnacht was the Vigilfe of the festival. As a "Dance in May", it has also found its way into private and commercial events as an urban, modern festival event on the eve of the May Day, because of the opportunity to dance and socialize.


Have fun this week and #GODBACKS #BeatLA



Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany



Monday, April 23, 2018

April April, der macht, was er will


Shooooooooot man, how are my legends doing?

Well, not gonna lie to you, but we had quite a normal, unexciting week. You’ll have that every now and then. Let’s see some of the highlights though.

Me and my legend, Elder Wright

Well we left the mission this week. Before you try calling David A Bednar to get me sent home, we had permission, no worries. We have a member of our ward who lives in the Frankfurt Germany mission, but our church is closest to her so she comes to our ward, which gives us permission from President Fingerle to go minister to her. That was fun, I got to practice my almost fluent Italian that I learned from the legend Cralissa, including being able to say that her granddaughter is crazy. Elder Rasmussen was a big fan of her little granddaughter, almost in a weird way. We talked with her about the new ministering program and about the new changes we learned about in general conference, it was a good meeting for sure. Quite legendary was that she had 2 small dogs who were very friendly, I like friendly dogs.

Here’s a lowlight of the week. So we met a really solid Persian man a few weeks ago who was very interesting in reading the Book of Mormon. He gladly accepts the book, tell us he’ll read it, and would like to talk about it once he’s done reading it. Classic, we think, as this is a classic response from many people. We got his phone number, and talk to him every now and then to ask how his reading is coming, and he always said he’s reading a few pages every night and he’ll finish it soon. Well, he finished it this week (in only a few weeks) and being one of the very few investigators who actually reads the Book of Mormon, he ended up not liking it and not being interested to learn more, which was pretty sad. We’re working with him now to see what he didn’t like and how to find out if the book is really true or not.

On a much higher / hotter note, it’s getting really hot here. Not nearly as hot as the greatest city in the greatest state in the greatest country Mesa, Arizona, USA; but enough to get the Germans worried. Apparently this is the hottest it’s ever gotten this early in the summer in all recorded history. Not much I’m afraid of, I like the hot weather.

Other than those parts of my week and a few random ones I’m sure I’m forgetting, we had an alright week. Not too great but not too trash.

Have a warm week my friends


Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany



Monday, April 16, 2018

Elder Rasband, the legend?


Moin boys and girls, nice to have you back.

I’m sure many of you are thinking, „When is he going to find a different way to open up his weekly emails?“ Let me tell you when. Probably never actually—they will always be weird to start.

ANYWAYS this week was crazy. We basically spent our week on trains and in different cities again, so that’s cool. I guess I’ll start off with the highlight of my week, I got to meet an amazing man. A man who taught me much, showed me how a legend lives his life, and is a great example. His name is Elder Payton Wright. Great man.

I’m just kidding, as most of you know, we had a very special meeting with Elder Rasband from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles this week, and it was really an awesome experience. Not just because of the life changing sack lunches we got after, but because we got to hear from an apostle of the Lord on how we can be better missionaries. But more from what he said later.

Where is this place? Never seen it before

We met with our golden investigator that is going to be baptized sometime in the unforeseeable future, and that was also good. He had a lot of deeper questions about Adam and Eve, which is really good that we had Arabic translation there. He said to the translator, „I’m not asking all these questions because I am doubting the things I’ve learned, but because I want to know everything so that I can teach my friends.“ How cool is that? I feel like we as members could be better at that, trying to learn as much as possible so that we can teach our friends and answer their questions.

Tausch (splits) Bavarian wursts

We were in Berlin 2 times this week. That means we made the 6.5 hour trip to Berlin 4 different times. On our way back after the first time (Zone conference) on Wednesday, our one train that could get us back to Hof in time fell out which meant we could get back to Hof at around 12AM but that’s a no no for missionaries. Instead we took the fastest alternative and went back with my legend Elder Wright and his comp to their area near ours, and slept over there again. We didn’t get home until 11PM but at least it wasn’t midnight, right? There’s been a lot of getting home late this week because of all this craziness in Berlin.

ZoKo legend meet up


Hamburg pic?

On our way to Berlin the second time I made about 15 new 12 year old girlfriends. They entered our train and sat near us talking being crazy until they realized we were speaking English and then we were the main attraction of that ride. (The girls probably thought they were in an American boy band, haha!) Once one of them pulled it together to speak to me, and found out we were Americans, they just lost all dignity and started talking over each other in their broken English and telling me all their connections to America, including one girl whose uncle lives in some city in Canada. The city didn’t matter though because it wasn’t Toronto and we all know any city in Canada that’s not Toronto is a waste of land 😉. It was pretty funny though. At one point I switched over to German as they were all staring at me and I hit them with a, „Wir sind keine Tiere meine Freunde,“ or for you lesser species who don’t speak German, „We aren’t animals my friends,“ and they had a good laugh at that one. Funny experience, I choked though and didn’t take a selfie with them. Next time.


checkpoint Charlie and crazy flag holding dude

Elder Rasmussen and me at the Reichstag building in Berlin




😍😍
some az legends


pay close attention to our name tags (my mission goal of getting a Sister Johnson name tag has been fulfilled)

One thing that Elder Rasband shared that I found very deep, heartfelt, and profound, was when he was talking about President Fingerle being almost done with his mission and said the profound words, „Don’t get trunky, President Fingerle!“ Just kidding those weren’t the most profound things I heard from him, but they were pretty funny ones. 

He recounted a story of when he had heard the news of President Monson‘s passing, and knew it was going to be time soon to set apart President Nelson as the new prophet of God. He knew it was always the most experienced apostle/President of the Quorum of the 12 that would be the next prophet, but he needed to get the spiritual confirmation that this was God‘s will. He prayed and fasted for a long time and received his confirmation as they all had to put their hands on President Nelson’s head in the upper room of the temple, and President Oaks said the words, „Russel Marion Nelson...,“ he got his confirmation and knew this was God’s next prophet.

our small little mission, aww

He then invited us all to receive this confirmation for ourselves, which I think many of us have lacked to have done. He promised that with this spiritual confirmation, our testimony will be strengthened so much when we say the words, „I know President Russel M. Nelson is a Prophet of God.“ So try it, will ya?

Anyways, overall pretty good week besides a few blaspheming, but it’s all good.

See you all next week I guess bye



Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany