Monday, April 24, 2017

Service and Delays


The moment you have all been waiting for, I have made it alive to Brandenburg! It took about 5 hours and 2 missed trains, but it worked. When I got on my first train to Bremen, it randomly stopped on the tracks for about 15 minutes, which delayed us and ended up delaying my connecting train.

Once I went and talked to the information desk for the next train to Hannover, I found out that that train was 25 minutes late too. I finally got on (with my 3 bags of everything I own for 2 years) and headed towards Hannover.

Of course I was stressed because I knew this train being delayed would result in missing my train to Berlin. Once I got to Hannover, though, the train I needed was also delayed by 30 minutes. I was relieved and waited for that train. When I finally made it to Berlin, nobody was there to pick me up. I ended up waiting for about 15 minutes for them to find me, because the other missionaries had no idea where I'd be.

our legacy left in Oldenburg: hot cheetos (me), cholula sauce (my father, Elder Mehr), and coke (my grandfather, Elder Powell)

The first thing we did when I got there was service. We went to Neukölln to a place that helps a lot of refugees get integrated into society and feel at home. Elder Noland, my new comp, and I did mostly painting. There was a DJ there, but unfortunately no starbursts going around.

Before I left Oldenburg, my week started off pretty legendary on Tuesday. We went to Amjad’s and he made us pizza which was amazing, I had my last soccer time with my boys there, that was always freaking fun. But, Nils met us at Mom's Diner that night and we both partook of the Shrek. Man, it was tough I'll tell ya. I had just eaten pizza and then played soccer, but nonetheless I prevailed and finished the Shrek. Definitely worth the 25€, 700 grams of meat, and hours of stomach pain.

I don't know which is more beautiful: the Shrek, or Nils

Thursday, the first thing in the morning, we went with a couple brothers in our ward to an elderly man’s house, and helped him move. We had to take everything out of his house and take and put it into his new house. It took from 8am-3pm. Wasn't too bad, except for the bathroom--because his cat had “diarrhea” all over the place (and the keyboard), and apparently they think his cat has cancer. It was pretty interesting though for sure. Later we ate with two elderly ladies in our ward who were pretty cool.
On Friday we had a lesson with Andreas! He had a baptismal date for this coming Saturday, but now it's pushed back a week because the ward can't do this Saturday. But, he's still cool with it. We taught him the law of chastity, which was the first time I've ever taught it in German, but it went pretty well. He said he'd follow it haha. He's a pretty cool dude. We taught him again on Sunday. We had a “joint teach” to help us teach tithing which is tougher, especially in German, but it went super well. This week we have to teach him a few more things, and then he's ready for his baptismal interview.

On Friday we also did a service thing we do every Friday called, “Tafel.” It's another benefit for refugees, where we give them a ton of food for just 2€. All the stores around the area donate their basically expired food and stuff and we help give it out to them. I would call people's numbers out to come get their food, I felt pretty powerful haha. But it was pretty fun and we got to take some food home too lol. So yes, we have been doing a ton of service lately hahaha, but it’s not too bad.

Saturday, we had a German class with this Persian investigator that we have. He speaks Persian, zero English, and zero German. Haha it was pretty fun though, because I got to practice my Persian with him. I just said a bunch of random words, and didn't understand a word he was saying to me but it was fun. We taught him a little bit and I wrote down a couple sentences in Persian for him to translate in German for homework so we'll see how that goes. We also had district meeting in Potsdam. The district is pretty cool, kind of weird having 2 sisters in the district, though, lol.
Sunday was church, naturally. Our branch is freaking tiny, there's only about 15 people who come regularly haha. They had about 45 minutes of priesthood/relief society first, and then a 45 minute sacrament meeting, if even that haha. It was so short, I was really confused why everyone was leaving. But the people in the branch I've met so far seem pretty cool. Then we ate with a pretty cool family, had our lesson with Andreas, and I finally had the time to unpack all my stuff.

So far I’m loving it here in Brandenburg!! Oldenburg will be missed auf jeden Fall, but life goes on.

Have a wonderful week. We see us.

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

goodbye to my second favorite district leader ever (Elder Pruett, you took the W on this one)

my favorite American missionary in this mission, Elder Wehrend

Tschüß, moose


my son David, legend

Bruder Lehmann, my dude, can play a good game of football

Monday, April 17, 2017

Frohe Ostern / Transfers

My people, 

It is great to be writing to you all once again. To begin this rollercoaster of an email, I feel the need to tell you all that I'm being transferred to Brandenburg! It is a city near Berlin, and I'm pretty pumped. My son Elder Seegmüller, the German one, was trained there. My new comp is Elder Noland and he is one transfer less than me on the mission, so I'm greenie breaking for the third time in a row! 

I'm pretty excited to see a new area, that's for sure. I'm hoping the weather will be a little warmer there too (if you feel me). It's in the Berlin zone, which means we get to go anywhere in Berlin on our pdays, that will be super sick. Where in Berlin will I go first?

McDonald's?  Mac's Kebap? President Fingerle's house? Any of those attractions would make for a solid pday.

Anyways, on to my week. Tuesday, our sweet wonderful neubekehrt (new convert) Nils, accompanied us to visit some less/non active members of our branch. That was pretty not too bad, we didn't get any lessons taught, just 2 set up appointments for later in the week. Nils is an absolute legend though, he will be dearly missed. He was a champ for coming with us and seeing what a mission is like, when you don't get much success after a long day of work.

Looking back on this week I'm realizing how uneventful it was haha. Thursday was a pretty busy day not gonna lie. We started off going to search for a Serbian family that lived in a village thing pretty far away from us. We took a bus and then walked for like a half hour and got pretty lost haha. But it wasn't in vain, we found probably one of the cutest parts of Oldenburg I've ever seen, that was sick. But since we got lost, we had to get back to our next appointment so we didn't get to find the family. Thank the heavens for the Stewarts, they found us with their handy GPS, and were dolls and picked us up to take us to our next appointment. We met with a less active, he's a legend.

Then we had English class right after that, which is always a great deal of fun. Right after, we had 2 more appointments that we needed to get to. After getting all the way over there, they both cancelled on us, which sucked haha. Here's a part of that cute Oldenburg spot I was telling you about.

Beautiful Oldenburg

Friday we met with Amjad again! He's seriously a legend. We had a wonderful lesson about the commandments and all that good stuff.

Oh yes I have Facebook now!! I'm sure a few of you noticed, pretty crazy. Not too much to report on that except I'm pretty excited to work online to help the work go smoother! Oh also, my best friends the Stewarts brought me over some leaving gifts, because they go home at the end of this transfer (this Wednesday)!!

Hot Cheetos and Cholula--My Favorite!

I just need to mention the Diamondbacks. They're playing good this year so far--of course when I'm gone. That is all.

Saturday I did some more Facebook work and we cleaned a lot of the day. The apartment is looking lots better. Then, after hours of agonizing waiting, we finally got our transfer calls from, “Mr. Show Some Respect” (Elder Lex). He told me that I will be going to Brandenburg, I just about lost it, I was so nervous. Turned out good though, I'm super excited!!! I will for sure miss Oldenburg, and the branch is amazing. Gonna be crazy serving in East Germany, if you can't tell I'm pretty excited though.

Fischer Family from the Oldenburg Branch--I'm gonna miss them!

My Boys from the Berlin Doner
Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Plauer Straße 11d
Brandenburg an der Havel
Germany 14770

Monday, April 10, 2017


Hello my little Flüchtlings. I hope you all had a fantastic week.

On Tuesday, I got to go on Tausch with the one and only, Elder C. My son is a legend, and it was quite a good Tausch. We went to a member’s house there and I let myself the hair be cut (that is the way "getting a haircut" is described in the German grammar system.) I find it quite cute-- a direct quote from the legend Elder Allen. She did quite well though, considering she's 3/4 blind. That wasn't true, her eyes are fully functioning. We went to some random village and did some finding there, which was great. We showed the Easter video (The Prince of Peace) to a very nice woman, and she found it beautiful. We also talked to a kind fella who was speaking something us missionaries (and the rest of anyone else in the world who speaks German) call "Platt Deutsch". This is a dialect of German mainly spoken in northwestern parts of Germany, like forever ago though. This was the first person I've ever talked to that spoke Platt. I couldn't understand like a word he was saying, my son Elder Colemere obviously couldn't, so I translated for him. Just kidding, we both struggled a little bit, but I bet it was a good conversation. All in all, it was a pretty nice Tausch, 10/10 would Tausch again. Oh, and my legend Elder Wehrend left me some flowers and a note for when I got back to Oldenburg.

Note left by Elder Wehrend (MTC companion)

We got to have a double zone conference in Hannover on Wednesday. That was pretty fun, we learned a lot of stuff like usual. President Fingerle is still a legend. The meeting was focused a lot on using Facebook. Apparently somebody thought it was a good idea to put the Germany Berlin mission on the Facebook program. We are the first German mission, and second European mission to have Facebook, it will be pretty interesting. So far to me it sounds pretty lame, mostly because they said no FarmVille. I'm pretty bummed about that, hopefully they change their minds about that.

On Thursday, guess who we found. Stretch? No, that was Monday. For real we saw Stretch on Monday, I got a video of him doing some weird stuff, being Stretch and all, that was crazy. I wonder sometimes if he ever goes home at night after terrorizing people all day, or like does he have pets that he just like yells at all day? Naja Mal schauen (rip). Anyways, we found my son AMJAD!! Apparently he just didn't have any minutes on his phone, so he couldn't call us or text us so we got his email now so we don't have to worry that he got kidnapped or something not as extreme. He's doing wonderful, for those of you wondering. He put on the most legendary jacket so here he is being his usual legend self.
We found Amjad!

Friday was pretty legendary. The day was a pretty normal Friday, but then my best friends (the Stewarts) came and picked us up and we drove to a city called Varel for the best thing that's happened to me in a while. We went to a buffet at a fish restaurant by the harbor. It was quite lecker, although I was a little afraid at first, because fish is probably one of the grossest things on this earth. But then we found out it was a buffet, and they didn't just have fish. I'm talking spare ribs, meatballs, schnitzel, everything an American could ever dream of. But, Sister Stewart used her mother powers, and made me get at least one thing of fish. I was quite surprised, I was a fan of the fish. No idea what it was, but it was pretty good. I also got these things that looked like onion rings, but apparently they were squids. Yes, mom you're reading this correctly, I did eat fish on my own will. It was a super nice restaurant and a very nice time was had.

Awesome Buffet Dinner with the Stewarts

Then Saturday, we had another harvest day in the mission, where we harvest as many people in the day as we can. Our whole district came down to Oldenburg to celebrate (harvest with us). It was a really good time, I enjoyed it quite well. On my time with Elder Wehrend, we met this dude who's super into Legos, and it was a very fun conversation. We talked with him for like 45 minutes about tons of stuff (including Jesus). It was great. Then when I was with Elder Seegmüller (he's German), we talked to one of the chilliest couple of people ever. It was my legend Umut, and his friend Rieka. They were so chill, we talked to them for a long time too, it was nice. Later that day, I got a call from the Farsi group leader in our mission, telling me that I have been officially put in the Farsi program. I received a ton of files for learning Farsi, and all I learned from it is that متشکرم means thank you, and it's pronounced "merci" like the way to say thank you in French. Interesting stuff.

I have been studying towards the end of Matthew this past week, perfect timing for Easter because I get to read all about Christ's crucifixion, the resurrection and all that good stuff. One of my favorite parts has always been when Christ doesn't think He can handle it anymore, so He asks His father, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done." When I was studying this, I read a quote that I really liked. It talked about trials, and when we need help with them. It said stuff about when we are in a trial(s), should we be asking God to change it and get us out of the tough times, or should we be asking God for His help to endure through it? I liked that question, it put me into deep thought for sure. 

Anyways, there's my week. I hope you are all doing fantastic, and by this time next week I will know whether I'm staying in Oldenburg or getting transferred, so I will talk to you legends next week!

ارشد جُنسان

Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Bürgerstraße 61
Oldenburg 26123

​Land near Wilhemshaven

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hanover and Oldenburg Zone Conference

Elder Glenn Johnson is 5 people left of the center of Christ picture wearing his favorite blue suit. (in Hanover, Germany)

Monday, April 3, 2017


Hello everybody,

Another week down haha. This one went by super fast at some times and super slow at others haha.

Tuesday was really good. I had my interview with President Fingerle and it was really good. It's always fun meeting with him, he helps me a lot! I actually have some big news about my interview, but I'll save it for later. Anyways, that was a stressful day though because I had to coordinate a ton of stuff, but it was pretty good. We then had our street display and it went really well! We got some contacts from it and it was pretty fun. I also got to chill with the rest of our zone which was nice.

Street Display in Oldenburg

Then right after that, I got the opportunity to go on splits with Elder Teuscher, our zone leader. That was a bunch of freaking fun. He goes home in like 2 weeks, but he's still super motivated, its dope. I've got so much respect for him, and he's hilarious too--so we had a good time. I got to meet one of their investigators who speaks Persian and sit in on a lesson where one of the Persian speaking elders in our mission taught him over Skype, it was sick. It'll be sicker when you read the end.

Oh also the shower in the Osnabrück apartment (where I stayed the night) got ripped out for some reason a couple days before, so we got to take sponge baths hahahaha.

Also on our Tausch we were informed by Sister Skalka, a sister in our zone who has been out about 9 months, that she's going home early for medical stuff. It was sad, she was super cool and we were pretty tight. All good though, I was super glad I was on Tausch there and got to find out first person from her, because usually when people go home for "medical problems" there are always like “conspiracies and stuff” but it's all good.

Then I went back to Oldenburg, where at least we have a shower haha. Then on Thursday, we had English class which was good. I had the idea right before to start the Book of Mormon--with everyone learning English--in English, so that we could go one chapter per class and discuss and make sure it makes sense to everyone. We did that as the last part of the class and I think it went really well. There's one non-member who comes and I think she enjoyed it.

Then Friday, we started the Easter initiative and it went pretty well. We showed the video to a few people who really enjoyed it. One said he wanted to share it on Facebook and with his family--so that was pretty sick. 

Oh yeah, our investigator, Amjad, has fallen off the face of the planet. I have no clue where he is. We've called him for the past 2.5 weeks plenty of times and haven't heard anything from him. We also have tried going to his house twice and still nothing. Hopefully he's not gone, and just ignoring us haha. That would still suck though if he was ignoring us. But for real we have no clue what's up with him, hopefully he shows up sometime.

On Saturday we had a pretty interesting experience. We had just finished doing our district finding activity in Willhemshaven, and we were waiting for our train back to Oldenburg. This dude comes up to us (obviously drunk:  you could see the empty bottle in his pocket, he wasn't walking straight, smelled like alcohol) and he said, "I would like to talk to you guys about the Bible." I said, “Okay, what about it?” He just stood there for like 10 seconds and then asked in English where we were from. We said America, and then he just freaking went off on us. He like was yelling at us about how bad Trump is and how Obama shouldn't have left and all this stuff and he was so mad. Everyone was staring at us. Then he asked us how much we get paid and when we told him that we pay to serve a mission, he didn't believe us, because we're from America, and America is all about money. Then he asked why we were here in Germany (in English) so I replied simply with, "Why not?" And he just stopped and we had a stare down for a short eternity, and then this dude got so mad. He said,"Your English is very good, do not make me angry by using English words I don't understand, that makes me very angry!" Then I explained to him in German that all I said was, “why not,” and he kept yelling at us for being so stupid for coming from America. It was a great time haha.

So for my BIG NEWS…Two interviews ago, President Fingerle asked me to start thinking about learning a third language, because my German is already super good apparently. So I've been thinking about it and I was thinking French.

He asked me about it again this week in my interview and 100% shot the idea down for French. Then he just stared at me for about 45 seconds, and said Farsi.

Farsi (also known as Persian) is the language spoken in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other middle eastern countries. I’m pretty nervous about it because it is so difficult. I’m definitely excited that he has extended the invitation to me to learn a third language in just the few short months I’ve been in Germany! He asked me to think about it and let him know.

Oh, and sorry, mom, I was so busy organizing the street display that I forgot to take pictures like you asked. I’ll see if I can get some from another missionary and send them to you for the blog.

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Johnson
Germany Berlin Mission
Bürgerstraße 61
Oldenburg 26123