Monday, December 29, 2014

Snow Biking!

Lieve Family!

Yay Christmas! It was very nice. Christmas is more chill here, in fact, some people don't even know why they have it, but nonetheless, it was fun. Us missionaries went and caroled in the big centrum in Haarlem and some of us handed out cards and talked to people. It was fun times. And skyping of course was wonderful. I love everybody!

It snowed the day After Christmas. Man, so close. Biking in the snow is almost funnier than biking in the rain. It is nicer though, because it is a different sort of wet and cold, so I do not mind too much.

L. didn't come to church, so now we have to move her baptism date. But it's okay, because the other day we were teaching about the Atonement, but we had to back up because she didn't even know the story of Jesus' birth, let alone His life and atoning sacrifice. She didn't know the Christmas story. That was so foreign to me. So I think she may need some more time so she can truly understand things, which is important. God knows her well and what she needs, so it will all be done in His timing.

Sister Goodman and I were realizing the other day how ridiculously happy we are! I feel like I shouldn't be this happy yet... Last transfer was wonderful, and I didn't see how it could get any better. But this transfer is a blast! I feel like you don't have this much fun until the end of your mission, when you figure out how to not stress so much. I feel like I'm truly learning about the virtue of having fun, and it is a beautiful blessing. Things should be so hard right now! It's my second transfer, we are both greenies, it's Christmas, it's cold, we don't know Dutch, we are barely teaching anyone, but we are so happy! Being friends with the other missionaries helps, and I think a lot of the fun of this transfer is due to working so much with the Haarlem elders. They remind us that missions are supposed to be fun, and that reminds me that God wants me to be happy, even when I'm working hard. It makes me kinda nervous for when things do get super I'm going to enjoy this bliss for as long as possible.
I love being a missionary. :)

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a wonderful new year! Much love and blessings to you all!


Sister Johanson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Prettige Kerstdagen

Dearest Loved Ones,

I don't know how it's working, but it is! Sister Goodman is awesome and lovely and we have grand times together. The highlight of our week was her bike getting stolen while we were in an appointment. We were so shocked, we kinda just walked around laughing for a bit, and I thought "nobody trained me for this sort of thing!" Bikes are very necessary here. We didn't feel quite right about buying a new bike, and both the bike shops in town were closed anyway. I kept saying, "Sister, I don't know how, but I really just feel like a bike is going to come our way." So we inconveniently used public transportation for a couple days and continued praying. It was amazing! Somehow, even though we had to run for a couple trains and buses, we were never late for an appointment. In missionary life in Nederland, that never happens!  And one time while we were waiting for a bus, we knocked the door of this man, and had a 45 minute conversation with him. It was great! We gave him a Book of Mormon and will go after the holidays.
At zone training a couple days later, I was talking to Elder Hunter about our week, and he said, "Wait, so do you guys need a bike? Because Elder Cooper left his when he went home." And then a bike fell from the sky! It was amazing.God takes care of His silly little missionaries, even when they forget to lock their bikes.

Lindsey and Jenny are still investigating well, though they didn't come to church this week. Our lessons are a little crazy, because we don't speak much Dutch and they don't speak English, but somehow God gets His work done using teenage kids, so we are still able to have great lessons. We sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer"for them in Dutch this week, and it was really powerful, and they both said that they have a testimony of Joseph Smith. Miracles never cease.
Holidays re busy and people have a hard time committing to other things. So hopefully we can get a bunch of new people after the holidays.

Christmas is beautiful and wonderful and such a comforting time of the year. I hope you are all truly enjoying it and feeling the special spirit of the season. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the missionaries, I am confident that they often save us.

So much love,

Sister Johanson

Monday, December 15, 2014

Is it really December?

Howdy Friends

So, my new companion is a darling little redhead from Colorado. She understands Dutch pretty well, which is great! Because I can speak okay, but sometimes understanding is harder for me. Good team. We have done lots of contacting and proselyting, which is Always...nice. :) Guess who's getting baptized! Lindsey!!!!! Ahhhhh!!!!!! Our one investigator! Well, Jenni is still investigating. But Lindsey wants to get baptized in January, and she wants it so badly. We are very thrilled, obviously, and we just pray that she wiill stay the course and that we will understand enough Dutch to be able to answer all her questions. They Always say to you "oh well everyone speaks English in the Netherlands." Jenni and Lindsey don't really speak English. Ha wham! Training and no English speaking investigators. Adventures never cease. Fortunately, neither do miracles.

I didn't know that next week was Christmas. That is weird. I hope that it is nice.

I think that is really all that has happened this week. Pretty typical week, nothing over-the-top exciting to share. Hope all is well in America! I thank you for your prayers and I pray for you as well.

Tot ziens!

Sister Johanson

(Thanks Zuster Clement for the pictures!!)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Transfer Week

Hiya Pals :)

Almost got eaten by a dog this week! Really, it was terrifying! Check that off my missionary to-do list. Sister Clement saved me. Ah, the shame. I swear,  next time a dog charges, I will save my companion.

It was Sinterklaas on Friday, and that was fun times. We ate with the elders at the Scholten's (he's the bishop) and we ate gourmet, which is super cool. There's just a big long frying pan in the middle, and plates of raw meat and vegetables and fruit and you pick what you want and cook it up for yourself right there at the table. Ah, super lekker. Haha and then we played Jenga and the wood pieces had truths and dares on them. It was really funny, but such a lovely evening. It reminded me that I do have a family back home and we do fun things like that together. Miss you guys.

Everyone is dropped or dropped us, so that's that. Familie G. had us over for dinner again, but they don't seem too keen on coming to church any time soon. Jammer. Hopefully she'll want to meet with me and my new companion, even though Sis. Clement will be gone. And! Actually we have this incredible of investigators! Haha we just seem to keep acquiring them at this house. Oh oh, I love them. Jill and her daughter, Jamie, and now their friend, Sally. Jill is the one whom we went to her birthday party accidentally. She loves the gospel and feeling the Spirit and she Always thanks God for us when she prays. We met Sally at the b-day party, but now she is living with Jill. Oh, my heart breaks for her. She really needs the gospel right now and is very interested and is a strong progressor. I love these people so much. They don't have very much, but they share everything with us and are so kind and open to us. These are my favorite kind of people. I really hope we can get them on date this week...

It's Sister Clement's last week! True to my setting-apart blessing, I love her. She has been the most wonderful trainer (not all trainers are wonderful, I am very blessed) and has become a very dear friend to me. I am really going to miss her. But, I am exctied for her to go home and have awkward RM experiences. :) Luckily, I have learned much from her, and I will sorely need it. I am staying in IJmuiden, which I just knew, because it feels so right to be here (despite the lack of teaching appointments haha) but I don't know my new companion yet because she gets to the Netherlands on Wednesday. They're giving me a greenie. This looks impossible from here. But, ïf the Lord commanded me to do all things, I could do them." Nephi had never built a ship before, but God asked him to, and he said okay. 1 Nephi 17. And that was that.

Thank you for your prayers. They bless me and the work here and will certainly bless you as well. I love and pray for you. Merry Christmas season week!


Zuster Johanson

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Heya Fam,

Sounds like Thanksgiving was wonderful for all of you. I'm so glad that you got to be with each other and eat yummy things.

We had a Thanksgiving dinner ward activity, and everyone thought we were crazy for trying to do it. Two sisters, two elders, and a French ward mission leader cooking Thanksgiving for an entire ward. But it turned out amazing! (Mom, your recipe was too complicated for us..Brother Letort just kind of did his own thing haha) The food was so good! 2 turkeys, cranberries, green beans, sweet potatos, mashed potatoes, mini pumpkin pies. Mm. The Nederlanders totally liked it. And we did a talent show, which was fun. Sister Clement and I did the cup song, and now the entire ward is singing and playing with cups all the time. We had a couple non-members come, which was awesome! But Familie Gonzalez fell through, so that was kind of a bummer. We're still trying to get them back into the ward.

Elder Moreira came for zone conference this week and he was super funny and awesome. He reminded us to be obedient and put the Lord first.

Thanks so much for praying for me and the other missionaries. You are wonderful. Don't worry, holidays here are totally different, so I'm fine. :) Thanks for all the concern.

Hope you are all well and your life is full of love and blessings!


Zuster Johanson