Monday, April 27, 2015

April Showers

Hallooo Friends!

Welp. Nother week. Already second week of the transfer, stressing me out as I'm trying to reach these goals and man, there's just only so much I can control!

I'm loving working with Sister Hanny. She's summery and fun and we just like to get the work done while enjoying the flowers along the way. Really, we pick a lot of flowers. The weather here is lovely right now. 

Weird week, with not so many appointments and Sister Hanny had 24-hour flu thing, so we had a "day in," which was weird. Guess every missionary's gotta take their turn with that at some point. I read a lot, and for anyone who knows me, you'll know that it definitely wasn't the worst day I ever had. :) But let's not get sick anymore. You just get antsy after a day.

Highlight of this week: 1831 :) Members, investigators, in-betweens, from 18-31 years and of the female species, whom are unmarried, that belong to ward Sint-Niklaas, come together on Friday nights every now and again to unite in an evening of awesomeness. Haha this week we went "bos wandeling," or "walking through a forest with different challenges along the way," and I just want to let people on the other side of the world know that I really love these women. :) We had so much fun, and wrote a song that is now on Facebook but I cannot show you until I am home, and I am just grateful for the experiences that I get to have here with people that I grow to care very much about. Also, I want to make a t-shirt for our 1831 group. We are that cool.

April is ending! Sheesh, May brings too may things, I do not know how to feel about it...

I love you and thank you for your prayers. I pray for you too. :)

Zuster Johanson

Monday, April 20, 2015

Transfer 5

Gah, 5 transfers, I'm like a real missionary now.

Not much new this week, other than a companion. Sister Hanny :) She's great, and beautiful, and a fantastic worker. I knew she was going to be my companion. I always know what's happening with my transfers. Call me psychic, or spiritually in tune, whatever, but it's worked every transfer so far.

So, most of our lessons fell through this week, and we almost had investigators at stake conference, but it just didn't work out. Darn it. So is the first week of a new transfer! The miracles will come. Just gotta keep working. Luckily, it's been sunny, so it's easier for me to stay happy. Lots of bugs keep going down my shirt while I'm biking, so that's gross, but other than that, longer daylight hours is great for missionary work.

Oo funny story from yesterday: We were door knocking, and we rang, but we weren't sure if it worked, so then we knocked. A woman came to the door in her towel, with soap on her legs, and was very put-out that we had interrupted her bath. We don't need to keep knocking and ringing, didn't we know she was enjoying a bath? Hahahaha no, she didn't accept a card. Ah, I love people in this world. :) It will be such a party to see them in the next life.

Okay, keep praying, and stay in the light! Have any of you studied light recently? It is just my favorite thing. There are some great scriptures and talks and mormon messages about it. Light is the essence of who we are. :) And of course, that light comes from God. (a good starting place is D&C 50:24; that's my favorite scripture)

Much love from the country of chocolate, bread, and horse sausage!


Zuster Johanson


Sint Niklaas

Den Haag Temple

 At Keukenhof (flower gardens)

 Sister Jones and I at Keukenhof in a shoe!

Me in a giant shoe!

 My beautiful companion :)

Selfies with Keukenhof


Shania and Leana: Mini missionaries! I love them so much

I don't like this pic of me...but that is Dominka and Fernando :)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I want to stay forever

Heya Pals!

Whoa, amazing week! Exciting things coming your way.

We had temple conference this week! Aw man, it was so great to go to the temple. I miss the temple. As many amazing spiritual experiences we have, there's just nothing quite like going to the temple. It's still powerful, even in Dutch. :) And seeing all the missionaries in white, and realizing that the next biggest step of our lives will be something that affects our eternity and will take place in a building just like's beautiful and unimagineable. 

Transfers are this week. Sister Jones is going up to the Netherlands, and I get to stay in Lokeren, with ward Sint-Niklaas. Oh my goodness, I am so grateful I've got to and get to serve here. This is the golden part of the mission. And Jo Jo Team is breaking up! :( Coming to Belgium and being companions with Sister Jones is the best thing that could've happened to me right now. I've loved it. I just want to serve here for the rest of my mission. 
  We had 2 new investigators come to church yesterday!! I'd seen some of the "older" investigators come to church here, but I'm 1/3 done with my mission and I hadn't seen anyone come to church for the first time. I was worried they wouldn't come. When the meeting started, they weren't there, but I kept checking back to see if they'd come late. When the sacrament began, I just exercised all my fasting powers and prayed that they would please please come to church today. And then I looked back, and saw them standing at the door. After the sacrament, I went and brought them in. The entire ward saw, and just jumped on board. That was one of the most amazing testimony meetings I have ever attended. The ward here is so missionary-minded, and it's amazing how much the work is going here. I've built some better relationships in one transfer here than I did in 3 in my last area. And I've never felt like this before, but I just love these people so much that I want to serve them and do anything that I can to help them and to bring new members into their ward. I sound like such a cheesy sister missionary, but if you all came here, you would understand! 

Also, I saw the tulips this week when we went to Nederland. :) Now I am a real Dutch missionary.

I am very full of love, for this mission but for you all back home. Thanks for your beautiful testimonies. :) The world needs them.


Sister Johanson

Sister Jones and I and our pal Anna at the castle

View of Gent from the castle

Sitting in a castle tower

Sister Jones and I on the castle top

Us with the Gent sisters, Fleming and Begazzo

A harp picture for Nanah (it was in the castle and reminded me of her)

Castle itself

Castle courtyard

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Week

Dearest Friends,

We are still busy here in Lokeren, and it's making the time go quickly and impossible for me to keep things in my head. Seriously, my memory is the worst this transfer. 

It was a week of all plans falling through. So, a pretty normal week here. But God sent beautiful little miracles to keep us going. We had to do some good door knocking, which I actually haven't done much this transfer (if you added up all the door knocking I've done this transfer, it would probably be less than the amount of door knocking that I would do in 2 weeks in my last area) We met the Catholic mom of a member in our ward and she let us in and now we are friends. :) And we had a great conversation with one of the nicest Jehovah Witnesses I've ever talked to (they tend to not care for Mormon missionaries much), and just these sorts of happy little things every now again. I love Heavenly Father.

April Fools: Kind of a thing here, but not really. Unless you're a missionary. Oh, were Sister Jones and I the April fools...
   So we hadn't done anything out of the ordinary all day, and during dinner I said, "hey, let's just text the Sint-Niklaas elders something for April Fools real quick." Sister Jones texted: "Sister Johanson was just hit by a car. She's mostly okay, but what do I do now?" They didn't text back. We went to an appointment. During the appointment, they called us, sounding just a little concerned. :) Sister Jones held true to the end, saying just before hanging up, "oh, and happy April Fools day." Hahaha we got them so good!
   But 10 minutes later, we receive a text, addressed to our entire mission zone, with information about me getting hit by a car! For the rest of the evening, everyone in the mission was calling us to see if I was alive! Gah! It was absolutely ridiculous. (also, I died at 8pm and the missionaries were asked to send condolences to my home in Utah, so if you guys get any good stuff, just send it to Belgium)  We were getting so stressed and I felt bad that I Wasn't hit by a car, because everyone sounded so worried about me! I felt so loved. <3 Until we found out that the elders had really only sent the text to us, and then told everyone to call us like they believed it. Good grief. So we celebrated April Fools with half our mission :) You're welcome everyone. Now I'll be remembered as the sister missionary who died on April Fools. Splendid.

Easter was wonderful. All our plans fell through for the day, so we prayed earnestly, and just went out to work. Luckily, it was beautiful because it was Easter Sunday. so we didn't mind being out talking to people. After an hour and a half, we were heading back to eat lunch, and were about to contact this couple in our path, but they ended up being members of our ward! So they invited us for lunch, and I said a little prayer of happiness and gratitude to God. We also got to watch the Sunday morning session of General Conference that night with some of our favorite members, Jo and Linda, and that was wonderful. General Conference seemed so power-packed this year! Bold testimonies and strong doctrine. I'll just have to read the rest of it later. I hope you were all able to enjoy it.

It's not perfect out here, and you definitely feel the refiners fire hit ya hard sometimes, but just so you all know, I'm loving being out here and some days I really feel like I'm living the dream. I'm so grateful that I get to be a missionary. Love you :)

Sister Johanson

Note: I'm sorry I don't write much about investigators, but having a blog, you never know who will look up what you write. But we are teaching, and I've met some fantastic people, so just pray for that generally. :) Thanks!

Trying to dye eggs.... :)

My eggs!
Sister Jones and I with Belgian Easter eggs.

(their city animal is a bunny)