Monday, August 14, 2017

Hallo?

As many of you may know, "Servus" is a greeting in parts of Germany such as Sachsen, Bayern, and other southern parts. According to popular belief, you can't say "Moin" anywhere south of Hamburg because nobody will know it, but I conquered that myth many times here in Brandenburg. The real goal, was to get someone to say Servus back to me, and this week it was accomplished. The borders of where you can say what fell harder than the Berlin Wall. Nonetheless, it did take many tries, everywhere from people saying "hallo?" quite confused back, to them just making sounds that are similar to a villager in minecraft. It makes it fun saying hi to people.

Man, this week flew by. Elder Pen Rah See (Elder Penrose) and I had a wonderful Tausch, where I continued my streak of beating him in chess every time he tries. We also had ZoKo, (zone conference) which was pretty alright. The best part about it was having it in Freiberg.

Since we left so early, we made it to the temple earlier and got to do more work than some of the other missionaries, which was pretty sweet. The temple is a sick place, and nice that me and Elder Oliver are now famous among the workers there. (after going 3 weeks straight.) Now we just need to find a way to get there this coming week so we can keep our streak going on that one.


​our cute district at the temple (elder pen rah see lookin' the best)​

We had an investigator come to church which was quite fantastic. We met this wonderful Arabic lady at the Tafel, and she ended up asking us for the address of our church this week, and actually came! She had a great time, and said she wants to come every week now.

What's interesting about her that I had never heard, she is from Syria, but was raised Christian. Like what? Syria, Christians, didn’t think those mixed, BUT her city had mostly Christian churches and only a small amount of Muslim ones, how sick is that? Hopefully we see good things come from her.

Anyways, that was just about a recap of my week. This week come the transfer calls and I’m really hoping I stay here, because of how great this branch and area is, but we will see!


Have an above average week,



us doin' good ole dishes at the Persian trip


generations pic- my trainer (ex father, Elder Mehr), and my trainer's trainer (ex grandfather, Elder Powell)


​the calm before the storm





Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770
Deutschland

Monday, August 7, 2017

Email till Death

Hey my dudes,

This week was one for the books, it was quite great. There's not too much other than the Persian temple trip to report. We let ourselves the hair be cut (insert Allen quote), had a few lessons, and got ourselves ready for his legendary weekend. We had a great eating appointment with a member in our branch on Thursday right before interviews, which was quite amazing. The food there is about as German as it can get and that is dope. Then we went straight to interviews and had a wonderful time there. Had to miss out on the pizza because our wonderful zone leaders have no clue what they're doing waiting until right before we have to leave to order the Pizza.

After a meeting and getting ourselves prepared on Friday morning, we headed on over to Berlin to pick up Elder Morrell. He is a Turkish missionary whose visa was rejected by the government so he gets to be in Germany for about 5 or so more months. But he is learning Persian as well, so we picked him up and brought him to Freiberg with us. Very interesting guy to say the least. We got to good ole Sachsen, without even losing the phone. Legendary already. We then had the rest of the night to help everyone get settled in and have some good food. Elder Hickenlooper who came from the border of Poland basically, didn't have a phone and his ride fell out at the train station in Freiberg, so he had to walk 30 minutes to the temple by himself to us, pretty funny.

Saturday was a big day. Lots to do. But I'll condense it for your sake. We started out with 2 baptismal sessions split between half of us and we stayed behind so we could wait for our best friend who was still coming from Frankfurt. Ah man that was a great reunion with him. He left Frankfurt at 11pm Friday and got there on Saturday at 9:45am, that's a true disciple of Christ right there. Well, we had baptisms which were super awesome, me and Elder Oliver went and did some more temple work, and then we went to go eat some food. Luckily there was a little left for us, so we didn't have to starve haha. 


our boy

Persian mission squad


my bestest friend ever

schön ain't it


another view of me (and the temple)


cute chocolate thing in Dresden

We got the chance to watch 17 miracles together, while a courageous member translated the whole movie into Persian. The Persian members are literally pioneers. They have been through hardships and trials getting here to Germany, so that they can receive the Gospel here. The stories these humble members tell just hit you right in the heart. How easy we have it sometimes. I have never met a more humble people in my life. To end the night we had a awesome fireside in German and Persian. It was great to hear from President Fingerle, the Temple President, and from Elder Leima of the 70 who hung out with us the whole weekend. What an awesome experience.

I could just go on forever talking about different experiences and awesome things we saw there, but nobody got time for that. On Sunday we got to have a Persian Sacrament meeting, with everything in Farsi, Sacrament prayers, hymns, testimonies, everything. How wonderful. Luckily it was also translated into German so that helped as well haha. The testimonies of these members were just so strong and incredible. One of the women said, tearing up, "I am so excited that I can be here, because I finally get to share my testimony in my language." These people are just outstanding. I wish you could all get the chance to you know how great they are.

We experienced one last miracle on the way home. We were bought different tickets than we thought we were getting, and it turned out to be a blessing. We took a bus from Freiberg to Dresden, and as we got our seats, we realized the people we sat next to were all speaking Farsi to one another! That was really cool. We jumped right on that and they thought it was so lit that 3 white dudes from America could speak to them in their native tongue. We got their phone numbers and facebooks, awesome stuff!!

Sorry for the length of this week’s letter, enjoy.

Liebe Grüße,  ارشد جانساون


P.S. We're going to the temple again this week for Berlin zone conference 😎





Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770
Deutschland

Monday, July 31, 2017

Disappointment

Hallo,


saw an LDS license plate and thought that was pretty neat

For those of you who knew how well I bowl, I am sorry; for that part of me has been lost somewhere on the train from Oldenburg to here. For in Oldenburg, I could definitely please a crowd of children celebrating a birthday. But not here in East Germany. Today we went bowling as a district and might I say, excuse my strength in language, I sucked. I can't even begin to explain the amount of times the ball helplessly rode down the lane in what is called the "gutter". My spin that I mastered during the summer of 2016? Gone. My ability to get a score higher than 60? Gone.

if you look closely in the back you can see a large group of children cheering us on at bowling

The other parts of my week were much better though. Wednesday was yet another German holiday. It was national "don't be home when the elders try to come visit you" day, so everyone we tried to visit wasn't home. That’s alright though, later all 4 of us elders went and ate with Schwester Musehold and had a grand ole time singing “Called to Serve” like a German teenage girl would sing “Despacito” by Justin Bieber.

Me and Elder Oliver worked a lot on Persian this week. That is because, there is a temple trip coming up this Friday-Sunday with all the Persian members around the temple and our mission, and only the missionaries who can speak "level 6" Persian get to come with. Well I made it up there and get to go to the temple this weekend which will be amazing. Also an amazing opportunity to hear a Sacrament meeting all in Persian too.

We met with a very interesting man this week. We eventually were able to teach him through the first lesson and get all of that squared away through just a very odd appointment in which many odd things were happening. We then talked later to some members, just to find out he met with the missionaries here 4 or 5 years ago and did the same thing to them. He also told some interesting things from him and kindly suggested we be careful with him.

We made s'mores on Friday for spiel Abend, so that was pretty sick.

I was given the opportunity to give a talk this past Sunday. I thought it went quite well, especially because I wasn’t roasted by my companion this time. I spoke about the power of the Holy Scriptures. As I studied I thought to myself, what is the real point or goal of the scriptures? Why do we even need them? Well their goal and purpose is to testify that Jesus is the Christ, and the son of the living God. We need them because the only way we can understand that and receive a testimony of that, is by reading the words which they have spoken to us. Just thought that was a neat little thought. Go ahead and ponder on that one if you so please.

Well, we've got a big week ahead of us, enjoy the rest of your summer my legends.

our army of mini figures



Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770
Deutschland

Monday, July 24, 2017

Die Woche des Tempels

I’ve talked about the temple in like my past 3 weeklys, but technically none of you can complain, because complaining about the temple is borderline blasphemy. Well, this week wasn't really the week of the temple, but we did go. We can speak more about that later.

We had an unexpected/unplanned appointment with our fav Arabic family when one of our appointments fell through and they happened to be home, that was great. We actually had a sister from our mission call in and speak to them to kind of explain a little better what we do in a language they could understand good. We also played some good ole European football (soccer) with the kids and destroyed them like usual. I'm not even sure why they even try against me, they don't understand how much soccer I placed when I was 6.

We actually didn't even eat once at our apartment the whole week, just filled with eating appointments and being in Freiberg, so I’d say that’s neat. We ran into a group of African dudes who were speaking English very loudly in the Bahn, and it was nothing less than humorous. One of them was telling his friend that his mom is excited to see him because he doesn't eat KFC, but makes him and his friends all eat corn and rice, so they've all lost weight. The original also told him he was going to go to KFC right then and just eat it right in front of his face, it was quite the situation to witness. Gotta love those angels.

Well, let’s just get on with it and get to the craziness of getting to the temple. Well after a night of not too much sleep, we wake up bright and early to head on over to Berlin very early. On our ride all the way through Leipzig, Chemnitz, and then to Freiberg, we didn't run into any problems which was quite surprising. No delays—nothing. Until we got off the train in Freiberg, I pat my pockets making sure I have everything, and don't feel the phone. Can this really be? We ran back on the train before it left and checked our seat and, phew, it wasn't there so it had to be with us somewhere. But no, we checked all through our things and there was no phone to be found. So it must be on some train somewhere in Germany just riding around. So we had no phone, no way to contact anyone if something happens, but nevertheless we made it to the temple in time to be in the endowment session with Sister Musehold, as she does it for the first time. It was a very sweet experience for all—these worries of not having a phone and whatnot just go away in the temple and just live there in this place away from the worldly things. We did two back to back sessions which was quite tiring but very worth it. The House of the Lord is definitely the coolest place to be it was great to be able to go again after 8 months without being able to.

good times in freiberg

Dresden is cute

took this ICE to Leipzig, rip Oldenburg 
(Inter-City Express train with speeds up to 185 mph)

We finally got a new phone today and everything's just slowly going back to normal after that craziness this week.

That’s about it though, so enjoy your week I guess?


Tschüß




Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770
Deutschland

Monday, July 17, 2017

T-4 days till the temple

!سلام

Well this week was just fantastic. Again, we met with our favorite Russians, and were treated with some very nice Russian food (and tons of it). And had with them a nice little lesson on prayer and how they do it as Muslims and we told them how we do it, but all in all we had a grand time. We're looking forward to our next lesson with them

Our next legendary family also invited us over this week--the Arabic one. We came over and nobody was home, but the kids were out on their bikes, so we went and asked them where everybody was. Since they had also no idea, we went to the Spielplatz and played a game of soccer in which the little boys destroyed us both. Afterwards, we went and checked and the rest of the family was there, so we got to say hi and make out an appointment for them not to forget this time.

We also met with another couple people this week, nothing too crazy eventful though. We finally caught our friend from Africa who had a lot of potential and we were able to finally make an appointment out with him, so we're pumped about that one.

So it's finally here!

This Friday we are making the trip out to Freiberg for the temple!!! I'm super excited, but it's really about the new convert and not too much about us, but we're still pumped, because neither of us has been in the temple since we got to the mission a loooonngggg time ago (for him). You will hear alllll about that next week for sure, don't be too excited.

That's about it for the week to be deadly honest. Today we went out to Oranienburg, where the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is, and my oh my that was neat. It was crazy to read all the stories about the people who were murdered here, and people who escaped barely--neat stuff. I will drop some pictures here for your enjoyment.

some after-concentration camp Doner

not too sure what this is

big memorial

actual campgrounds

the housing

a previous mass grave



I hope you all have an alright week.

Yöurs trulie, élder Johnson

Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770
Deutschland


Monday, July 10, 2017

R.I.P Jens

Hello everyone, it's me here again.

It is pretty rainy and cold here in Eastern Germany, unlike most of you who are being roasted in these 117 degree days. Speaking of rain, we had a pretty good week. First off, to relieve you of your trouble and worries, I am honored to announce that I will not be transferred, me and my Lego buddy are staying together for another good 6 weeks or so. We went to a wonderful eating appointment with our favorite Russian family an der Havel, and we had some great food. They are very strong in their faith in Islam, so we weren't too sure what we could do with them, so that we’re not just going over for free food and socializing. Well, what is our real goal as missionaries? Exactly, to help others come unto Christ and Heavenly Father. Some might mistake this purpose as baptism, but baptism is just one step in the ultimate goal of coming unto Christ. We decided we can still fulfill our purpose with them by helping them read in their Qu'ran, pray more, and strengthen themselves as a family. Although it’s not what most people would see as mission work, but if it helps them come closer to God, then that exactly is.

it's 4th of July somewhere

Today we went to an American store in Berlin, might I say I felt at home it was quite amazing. It's this random little shop in Berlin and it has everything from license plates (not Arizona) to American flag towels. We all ended up getting a lot of sodas. I got some cream soda, real Dr Pepper, grape soda, Barq's root beer (better than A&W), just wonderful. They didn't have hot Cheetos though 
😔. If any of you ever have some money laying around you don't want, you know where I live, send some hot Cheetos on over. We also visited a church in Berlin where Elder Oliver's great great something grandparents were married, pretty sweet. He's really excited to post about it on Facebook 😊.

the lute

a church


the inside of before-spoken church

Something sweet that happened this week, was when we had an appointment set up with an earlier investigator who apparently is always out of town but had time for us on Sunday. We went over there, and lo and behold he was in Berlin for the weekend. Since he lives near our Arabic family friends, we decided we might as well just go visit them, and it went awesome! They were home and welcomed us in and we got to have a good conversation with them and make an appointment for this week. We might end up needing to take the same path with them as we do with our Russian family, we will see.

Well, to prepare for a lesson this week, I studied a little bit of forgiveness. Something that I really enjoyed, is what it says in Collosians 3:13-Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. So, if you have someone you haven't forgiven for something they did to you, don't hold on to that grudge and forgive them, just as Christ did.

Well, have an alright week, not too good not too bad ok




🙂
Elder Glenn Johnson
Kirche Jesu Christi
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel 14770
Deutschland

Zone Conference

Berlin Zone
Elder Glenn Johnson has his face squeezed in behind two sisters in the front row! He's hard to find otherwise!