Monday, March 27, 2017

Warm Weather

Hello all my children, glad to have you back this week. 

So this week wasn't too bad. 

We met with a really nice couple from Iraq, who didn't have much time, but we got to squeeze a little bit about the Book of Mormon in and Joseph Smith and they invited us back so that was pretty sweet. 

That same day, we were finding and a guy invited us in that had met with the missionaries a few years earlier. He was very Muslim and basically gave us a 40 minute lecture about why we need to convert to Islam, so we just got to chill for a while and drink some juice and bear a small testimony and thank him, haha. He was pretty nice though. OH and he offered us weed, which was quite nice of him...

Anyways, we were pretty successful this week, but I can't think of much to report. We met with Franzina, an awesome German girl who is for sure ready to be baptized, and it was a really good, but they're super busy so we can't come back for like 4 weeks haha. 

I was on splits with Elder Wehrend this week. He's a super cool elder from Stuttgart, Germany, so I got some good German practice in haha. He's super crazy but insanely chill so we had a good Tausch. 

Also on Saturday we went to Leer to have a district finding activity, and that was super fun to get some time finding with the other members of my amazing district.

Me on splits with German missionary, Elder Wehrend

On Friday, we got a random call from this random number, but I didn't feel the phone vibrate, because we were out finding. Then we had a text from the same number saying, "hey missionaries, please call ___" so we called the number and it was some dude who said he's from Canada and wanted to come check out the church. So we were pretty excited, thought it was some kind of golden investigator or something, but nah this guy was much cooler. His name is Sadesh Dodd-Dowloat and he lives some place in Canada. All I can remember is that he said he used to live in Toronto, aka the 6. Toronto is freaking dope. 

Anyways, he just wanted to check out the ward building and talk to us for a little, because he's here for work and needs some help figuring things out. We had a good little basically "home teaching-type" lesson and then we left him with the Stewarts for a ward party. The next day, he took us to Pizza Hut for dinner so that was super nice of him, he's a sick dude. 

Also, I found out one of the missionaries serving in his home ward, was one of my good friends from the MTC, Elder Nakamoto, from Japan haha. The kid's a legend. 

But then church on Sunday was pretty cool, everyone thought he was an investigator, so they were being extra nice for him which was cool Hahahah. I did translating for him too, because he doesn't speak any German so that was cool. 

Us with our new Canadian best friend

But yeah, tomorrow should be good, because we have a street display plus interviews with President Fingerle! I'm super grateful for the chance we get to meet with him so often. He's a legend. 

Today I was reading in Matthew 20, about the parable of the vineyard, where the Lord of the vineyard hires workers every couple hours, all until the very end, where the last workers only had to work an hour or so. When it was time to get paid, the Lord gave them each 1 penny, no matter how long or short they worked. Some of the laborers who had worked for 12 hours began to be irritated that they were getting paid the same as someone who worked for 1 hour, but this parable has nothing to do with workers doing yard work, it is Christ teaching about eternal life, and the compassion and patience of God. 

I read, along with this, a talk from Elder Holland in the Ensign from 2012, which had some really interesting points. Just like the laborer, he touched on how one of God's favorite things about being God must be being merciful to people, especially those who weren't expecting it, and might not have thought they deserved it. He then talks about how it does not matter how far away we are from Him or how many mistakes we've made, we're never too far away from the love and mercy of God. "His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there."

Anyways I hope you all have a great week!! 

Enjoy conference, and look out for my man Elder Sabine speaking!!

Cute Leer ships
Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Bürgerstraße 61
Oldenburg 26123

Monday, March 20, 2017


Hello my dearest friends and family,

It is an honor to be able to give another report of my week with you on this P-Day. So this week wasn't too bad!

Tuesday was quite a legendary day. We started off in Leer painting this member’s house there, not sure why she would want four 19 year olds painting a house for her, but we didn't mind because we got to paint a few walls the color of Shrek (green). Then we all headed back to Oldenburg for one last night altogether. This also means one last Mom's Diner altogether. So Elder Mehr and I went to soccer like usual and had a fun time, and then we all met back at Mom's Diner with our new convert, Nils, for one last good time altogether. Elder Mehr ended up ordering something that would end up changing the course of the world. He ordered “the Shrek.” A burger twice the size as their largest, with about 700 grams of meat, with the ingredients of a Harry's cheese, our normal burger. It was a total of 20.80€ which was cheaper than we expected. Elder Mehr 100% destroyed it and was the first person in the history of Mom's Diner to order and finish “the Shrek.” But then, we went by Klaus' house, our eternal investigator, and had a good little meeting with him.

Elder Mehr in the middle, the Shrek on the left and Harry's on the right.

Goodbye Father

The last time this legendary district will be together...(left to right) Elders Johnson, Colemere, Mehr, Sinclair, Hofeling, and Rasmussen.

Wednesday, I received Elder Sadowski! He's from Chicago, and is in the same group that came to Germany as me, so we have almost the  same amount of experience, but we still manage haha. We did a lot of good finding and contacting people this week, and it turned out to be pretty successful, so hopefully we see further successes from it! We met a really cool guy from Iran, and another sick one from China and we've got high hopes for them.

Yesterday, as we were going by to visit some less-active members of our ward, we were stopped by two guys in a car who asked us if we were Mormons. We said yes, and then he pulled over and got out and explained that he's a member of the Jehovah’s Witness faith. So he then began to ask us any controversial topic you could even think of, which was a bunch of fun, especially in German. We tried our best to answer his questions, but it was obviously they were talking to us just to try to prove that their religion is correct and ours isn't. As the time got on, we asked if they would like to meet another time and we can teach them about what they believe, and they were sure to call us as soon as they can to make an appointment out. We'll see how that goes.

Anyways, that was a good little recap of my week. I hope you are all doing well. Feel free to email me if you would like, I’m always open for a good checkup from you guys.

My dude Elder Hofeling with our Tausch minecraft characters

Sick bridge over abandoned train tracks

Good luck to those of you starting school back up after Spring Break, don't give up! 

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Bürgerstraße 61
Oldenburg 26123

Monday, March 13, 2017

Absolute and Total Destruction

Hello all,

It's me back for another report of my week. I feel like you're all on your toes waiting for the results of our competition with the zone leaders, so I will start with that. So this week, we had a few appointments and we were busy with some other stuff throughout the week, but other than those, we focused all of our remaining time on finding. We would go for hours in our downtown area and talk to every single person we could about the Book of Mormon. After a week full of that, the zone leaders came down to Oldenburg for the Grand Reveal. For lunch after the ending on Saturday, we went and ordered our Mom's Diner. This was everything, the burger, curly fries, milkshake, and soda. We ordered it all and decided we would open the sealed envelopes with the totals right when our burgers got to us.

Well, right as our burgers are set down in front of us, Elder Teuscher receives a call from the APs, also known as his transfer call. Well, this is also another huge Grand Reveal, and we couldn't start with the other until he's off the phone. So very soon after that, we found out that our zone leaders can't keep a secret if their life depended on it. Haha then Elder Allen tells me that I'm staying in Oldenburg, and my new companion will be Elder Sadowski from Chicago. Then by the process of elimination and process of zone leaders not being able to keep something from us, we figure out that Elder Mehr will be going to Annaberg to serve with Elder Santos.

Anyways, after a 10 minute rollercoaster of a phone call, we decide it's time for the other Grand Reveal. We slowly open each other’s letters up and both read the numbers simultaneously. Our zone leaders had a total of 11 Books of Mormon, and we came close behind them at a tight 141 Books of Mormon out.

They thought we were just messing with them when they read our number, but this is not something we joke about. We then showed them our proof, of every single name time and date of every book we shared out. Therefore, absolute and total destruction.

A rare picture of our zone leaders paying for our Mom's. Check out that 50 Euro bill!

Anyways, more about this transfer. So it's sad to have Elder Mehr leave, but hopefully he has a lot of fun in Annaberg. I've heard only super good things about the area and his new comp, so he is without a doubt gonna have the best time of his mission there. I'm kinda nervous to be in charge of Oldenburg now, it's gonna be crazy. And my new comp came from the Preston, England MTC the same day as me, so we both have the same time experience, so hopefully it goes well hahaha.

Our district is getting pretty changed up too, which is also sad because of how fun our district was. We're starting the Easter Initiative pretty soon here, which is super exciting. It's always fun to have a time of the year where you can talk to people just about Christ and what He's done for us. 

We met a ton of really interesting people this week haha. One guy walked up to us and said he knows about us and our church, and that God loves gays. We agreed with him that He does, and then explained our beliefs considering that topic, and we got to clear some stuff up with him so that was nice, but kinda funny haha.

On the other hand, Amjad unfortunately didn't make it to church again this week, but he came as soon as he woke up, and we got to make him some lunch and teach him a lesson. It was a wonderful lesson about temples, and a bunch of different commandments that a lot of people think are really dumb about our church, but he thought it was wonderful and loved it, so it's been going really well with him, he's just gotta get to church!!

Me and Elder Mehr with Amjad, our investigator.
Well, I hope you are all doing wonderful, and my address will be staying the same for the next at least 5 weeks, so all of you who are just dying to send me letters, it is the same.

Last FHE with our Crew.

Me and Elder Sinclair a few weeks ago, he's going to Forst now, R.I.P.
Have a great week, I'll see you all next week!!!

Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Bürgerstraße 61
Oldenburg 26123


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Hey guys, it's Rasmussen

Hello everyone,

Man it feels like just last week I was typing a weekly. Time really flies by man. Things are going pretty well out here in good ole Oldenburg.

Crazy to think that this transfer is almost coming to an end already, and I won’t be a trainee anymore, but I’m still waiting for President to call me to AP. Haha nah but this Saturday we will be getting our transfer calls, and it'll be exciting to see where Elder Mehr goes, and whether I stay here or move somewhere too. I also have some grape soda and Cheetos and American candy I've been waiting to eat until transfer calls to celebrate, so it will be unite the night that's for sure.

Anyway, this week was great! We had another great lesson with our investigator, Amjad, and talked a lot about baptism and the importance of it. We didn't get him on a specific baptismal date, but we challenged him to have a date prepared for the next time we meet.

On Wednesday, we went to Hamburg for a meeting with Elder Sabin of the Quorum of the Seventy! He had a ton of experiences and a lot of awesome stuff to share with us, along with his wife. He is speaking in General Conference in April, so look out for him! 

I also got to see Elder Wright from the MTC, it was bomb to hang out with my dude after a while.

me with the legend, Elder Wright (3/1/17 for U.S.)

sick church in Hamburg
This Saturday, we started a competition with our zone leaders. Last week, I talked about me and Elder Mehr trying to beat the record set in, "The Best Two Years," of 62 Books of Mormon out in one week, and our zone leaders wanted in on the competition. So now, we have to both beat the record, and beat the zone leaders (who only have about one month left on their missions). The prize for the winner though, is what gives us the ultimate push. Besides a desire to further the Lord's work, the losing companionship has to buy Mom's Diner for the winning. And we're not just talking a burger. We are talking a burger, fries, a drink and a milkshake. So this is the real deal. We started on Saturday at 12, and we did pretty good on Saturday. I unfortunately can’t release the number of how many we have out so far, because there can’t be any risk of the zone leaders seeing this email and getting any ideas. Haha but you guys will for sure find out next week what our total number was.

We had another couple lessons this week, nothing too special to report though. We met with our other investigator, Klaus, and just talked over what his concerns were and figured all that out. But yeah that's about all for this week, it was pretty good! The work is moving a lot now up here and it’s so awesome to see, makes me hope that I stay here and get to continue, but we will see on Saturday!

Something Elder Sabin shared that I would like to relay to you guys, is about the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was talking about certain ones, and how some of them were doctors, lawyers, judges, just men with really good paying jobs, amazing lives, and some of the smartest people you would meet. But they were called to serve a full time job as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. They were asked to drop everything in their lives, for the rest of their lives, and serve the Lord. Next, I believe he was talking about Elder Holland in particular, and I believe either he or someone else asked Holland the question along the lines of, "How could you just drop everything, and do this for the rest of your life?" And he responded simply with, "What I do is very little compared to what He did."

Sometimes I think of how hard it was to leave everything at home and give up 2 years of my life in service of the Lord, but I just need to think of this. What I do as a missionary is very little compared to what Christ did for me, so I should have no complaints. And that can be applied almost anywhere in our lives. Whenever we are going through a tough trial we can just think, "What I feel is nothing in comparison to what He felt". I love this church, and all the blessings that come from it!

coolest guy in Oldenburg, white beanie, white scarf, blue McLaren

I hope you all have an amazing week, and I'll be back next week!

Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Bürgerstraße 61
Oldenburg 26123

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Friday, March 3, 2017

"It's like Living in a Storybook!"

The following is an actual demonstration of the real life "storybook" these missionaries are living in!

Photo taken by a Sister Missionary in the Germany Berlin Mission

Watercolor copy done by a Sister Missionary in the Germany Berlin Mission

Edited to show the two pictures side by side. Taken in the Germany Berlin Mission

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Mission Tour in Hamburg 03-01-2017

Elder Johnson, 5th row, far left. First time to Hamburg!
We were privileged to learn from Elder Gary B Sabin and his wife, Sister Valerie Purdy Sabin, at our mission tour in Hamburg! Elder Sabin is currently serving as Second Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency. There was a special spirit present at the meeting, and we are grateful for their uplifting teachings.