Monday, June 11, 2018

The Last T Pose


Well there ya have it folks,

I can’t believe those 2 years are finally at an end. As of this Wednesd—Whoaaaaaa alright alright I gotta chill, I’m not done just yet, **cue the sighs of relief from literally every single one of you who loves reading my weekly letters**

WELL this week was great, but different. It was also sad, happy, frustrating, zeugnis stärkening, depressing, legendary, trash, and pretty alright all at the same time. So the former Elder Cole Rasmussen had his chance to say goodbye to friends and to this cute little Bavarian city and we headed up for one last supertausch with the legend himself Elder Payton Morris Wright. We had a good time, I beat him ALMOST every time at basketball (he beat me once, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that Columbus didn’t discover America), including a legendary game where I had him 21-2; kinda sounds like as if he was playing as the Utah Jazz. It was good though, had to say goodbye and all that sad stuff, and then me and Elder Smartt made our way back to Hof, making a pit stop in Plauen to teach an Arabic lesson.


the last t Pose until the going home t pose
😭

shoot man we'll see you on the other side

This week we had a cool opportunity that was a, „once on the mission“ type thing. We were given the invitation this month to try to watch the Disney movie „Coco“ with someone who’s not a member of the church or is struggling to be one. Our Branch President’s family was blessed to have movie night with the elders (we were actually blessed to be able to watch with them) and we had a few non member friends there. Luckily youth in Germany are quite obsessed over American culture so they all learn English (they’re also required to because the government is just as obsessed), so we watched the film in English. We were able to watch it and see the many messages of the importance of family history and that we don’t forget our ancestors. It is a very important message that’s sadly not very popular nowadays. But if you watch the movie Coco you will understand why it is so important, and that would be that we do it to allow our ancestors to make it through immigration on Dia de Los Muertos when we put their picture on the table.

Coco Family
Anyways, that was a fun experience, shout out to those of you who made it possible 👹.

Another cool definitely large highlight of the week was the Persian temple trip, where, if you remember from last year, as many Persian members/investigators as possible will tell you they will be coming to the temple with you, 80% of them cancel, and we meet with some of the strong non-cancelling Persians at the Freiberg Germany temple. It was a great experience though. The legend from Brandenburg / now Frankfurt, Hassan was there and I could actually understand a tiny bit more of what he’s saying compared to last time I saw him! Let me tell you, he speaks in a way that’s like almost impossible to understand. There was also a friend of mine there, Mohammod, who I translated for a month or 2 ago for the first time he had met with the missionaries in forever! That was cool to see him there, and to see his excitement for our church and to be baptized. Cool things are happening, boys. The rest was just great, I feel I don’t need to do much of a run down of what you did just know this: the temple was visited, the Persian was spoken, the Abendmahl was genommen, and the Geist was felt. These are some really great people who are pioneers for their culture and the church. I’m very grateful for the chance I have to learn this language and to work with these cool people.

a pic I took of the temple (imagine a bunch of Persians and missionaries standing in front of it, for I am unfortunately not allowed to send pictures of us all because of safety reasons)
the Aussie


Otherwise yeah, should be fun this transfer we’re already working hard and are just gonna work harder and harder. Hopefully we can spend a day or two a week in Hof at least 😉



göödbyë


Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany

Monday, June 4, 2018

Unwetter pt. 2


Salaam aleikom dustaanam

So I’m sure literally not a single one of you remembers, but about 1 year ago to this exact time, I had a weekly email named „Unwetter“. The rough translation for this German word means „the crap hits the fan and deutsche Bahn basically ceases to be a working company,“ where the real translation is, „severe weather“. Well if you can remember a bit now, you’d remember that last time we had this problem we ended up stuck in Potsdam for the night, which wasn’t too bad; it meant a night with the elder penrahsee. But this time the crap hit the fan, we were in the middle of nowhere dependent on 1 train to get us home. We were in a city in a far away part of our area on Thursday, when it started raining pretty hard and it was a pretty solid thunderstorm. We received news waiting for our train that a tree had fallen on the one track between this train and the station we were at, so it would be a while until the train back would get there. About 2 hours later our train finally makes it, and we are so relieved because we can finally head home, and classic, another tree fell on the track. So we went really slow for a long time as the driver drove by it, he ended up scratching the side of the train apparently because they kept going out and looking at it. Then we stopped at this random village and a different lady comes in and starts doing a bunch of paperwork which sounded like it had to do with the scratches on the train. By this point we’re like, my legends can I PLEASE get a Waffle? We eventually made it back home around midnight. Best part about it, our phone was dead the whole time so we had to borrow someone’s phone to be able to call our mission leaders and explain the situation.


basketball morgen Sport with the choke king

I was also approached by a prostitute and offered cheap Geschlechtsverkehr while Elder Rasmussen was in the bathroom, so that was a first for sure.

On a bit of a lighter note, I translated a few Persian lessons this week, one of which was very interesting. My legend read some things online that he had questions about, and let’s just say it was not easy, and I did not have the vocabulary ready to explain in Persian about polygamy. I somehow got my point across and cleared it all up, but that was another first haha. He asked me a good question though in our appointment, as I was explaining our beliefs of the life after death in a spirit world, he asked me, „Okay so if everyone there will have a chance to hear from the gospel; and I choose to listen to you now and not accept it, will I have that same chance then?“ I was taken back a little by that question, because it’s a really good point. After a bit of thinking and trying to figure out some words I can say to explain this, I ended up just saying „most important thing is that God loves us and wants us to be able to live with him again, and He will do what He can to get us there.“ Both he and I felt pretty satisfied by that answer. It was the Geist saying it not me 😉.

Other than that, the legend Elder Cole Rasmussen is minding if he kicks on a young plane trip and heads back to America this week. He’s gonna kill it out here and be engaged within 4 weeks, no doubt about it. Gonna miss that kid, I mean why not shoot guys it’s Rasmussen here. And I’m getting another companion from Utah to add to my large amount of them, classic. Elder Wright is also leaving me to go north so I’m sad for all of you not going to be able to see those good looking pictures I send every week of us. He’s going to destroy it up there #mocc #18weeks


district Mexican food (for Germany, 7/10)
mmmmm gotta get that young kiwi Becher


roar (means give yourself a try in dinosaur)
what a BEAUTIFUL CITY (right, rosa?)

we thought this place was a cool old castle thing but it’s just a restaurant haha 
me and Rasmussen at a tower a few weeks ago
I am climbing said Tower

Alrighty wellllllllllllll bye


„mom said it’s my turn in the trash“


Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany


Von meinem iPad gesendet


Monday, May 28, 2018

Schlappentag


So ihr lieben, belwome cack.

Let me tell you something about our legend Samer. We had a great lesson with him this week on prayer and it’s wonders it can work, but that wasn’t the legendary part. He told us of a friend he has who is having trouble believing in the religion he’s a part of, and that he’s just struggling to know what’s right. Well sometime this week we are going to be going over to him and telling him that we got the perfect solution for his troubles, without him knowing his friend sent us, I’m quite excited.

Zoko - Me, Elders Wright, and Taylor, 3 amigos

Zoko Reunion - Elder Brown, Rasmussen, me, and Wright (we were all comps with elder Rasmussen and each other basically)
Last Zone Conference with President Fingerle

So besides today being Memorial Day for us fellow Americans, here in Hof we also have a holiday that’s just for this city, called Schlappentag (Schlappen-slippers & Tag-day). I’m sure you’re wondering, what kind of city celebrates a holiday called slippers day? Well that would be Hof. Allow me to explain the story of this day to the best of my knowledge why this day is here and what it means. So back in the year 1415 or so, there was a Czech Reformer named John Hus, who was a fighter against abuses in the church, and was condemned to death and was burned. His followers then tried to carry out a reformation of the church, violently, and in the year 1430 they conquered the city of Hof and completely destroyed it. In this time the population turned to the margrave (a military leader in medical Germany times) of Brandenburg and they told the citizens of Hof that they would be exempt from taxes for 10 years to help rebuild their city; the only condition was that the citizens equip themselves with weapons and learn how to shoot to be able to protect themselves in later attacks. This turned into craftsmen having to go once a year to shooting practices and competitions, to which they always went lazily in their work clothes and their „Schlappen“ to go shoot. They made a special beer for this one occasion, Schlappenbier, that can only be consumed on this one special day. Now to this day, the Monday after Pentecost we Hofers celebrate the men who went and practiced shooting and drank some special beer by having parades, wearing lederhosen, and...you guessed it....drinking Schlappenbier (not us of course 😉).





video and pics from the Schlappentag Parade 

I hope you feel enlightened and just a little bit more German than you were coming into this email. Some other highlights: we had kindergarten day at volleyball and had a bunch of children who played with us but that was fun anyways, haha. Titian in particular had 0 chill. We had a girl come to church for a little while which was cool! Unfortunately she was kinda like a mouse because she came last week and asked for money and a visiting member gave her 10 euros so she just came back for more money but we offered her something better than money, eternal life, but she wasn’t too interested in that and left. She took a Book of Mormon though, mal sehen what she does with it but let’s pray she reads it hahaha. I got to see Dusty.
me serenading Dusty
Well that’s about it my legends, enjoy your Memorial Day bbqs 🇺🇸


an idea of what a Tafel in Germany looks like / Action pic 



Elder Johnson
Ludwigstrasse 52
95028 Hof
Germany

Von meinem iPad gesendet

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