Monday, August 24, 2015

Back in Belgie

Good Morning, my friends!

Wow. Wowie wow wow. Well life for me is fantastic. :) I am loving everything!! 
Sister Faasavalu, or Sister Fa, is great. We are already pals. We are talkers, and talk about anything and everything. I'm so excited to be in Antwerpen!! The ward here is wonderful. There was a man who was confirmed on Sunday during sacrament meeting, and that was a beautiful way to start off the transfer. We have 4 new missionaries in the ward, me and 3 elders, and I think that it is a great change for the ward. We are so pumped to do work here! There are a lot of English speakers in the ward, and an American family that just moved in, so that's a fun adjustment for me, speaking English and everything. 
Antwerpen is big, and that's so new for me. It's fun to be in a big city, and to see so so many people. It's incredibly diverse. I am so tired at the end of the day from all the biking everywhere and from so much public transportation. Big cities are fun times. And every time we open our mouths for a second, miracles come out. For example, we were on a tram for just a couple minutes, and we asked the woman across from us where she was from, and she's from Armenia. She thought we were Jehovah Witnesses, but when we said we were the Mormons, she said that she had our book! But she had it in Dutch, so she needs an Armenian one, and we will bring one to her. See? So easy. God is so good. 
I was really sad to leave Assen and Sister Harris, but I know that it will be in good hands and that I did what I needed to there. I'm so excited that God needs me here in Antwerpen, and I can't wait to see what kinds of miracles we wiill experience here.

I love you all very much and pray that your testimonies are bright and strong and that you are happy in all that you do.

Much love from Belgium,

Sister Johanson

New Address:
Alfons Schneiderlaan 172 bus 2
2100 Deurne

Last pic in the elevator before transfers :(

Sister Harris vacuuming fruit flies up in our kitchen haha
Assen apartment

My boots. I couldn't carry them around with me, so I took pics and threw them away. I walked everywhere last winter in these. Sentimental :)

Okay these ones aren't entirely the best, but they're funny
sister Harris and I and Bernadette
Emmen district

Us and Jeffrey, our faithful lone investigator :)
Assen! View from our balcony

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's a Party in Assen!

Hey Pals!

We had a party in Assen this week! Unfortunately, it was BYOB- Bring Your Own Bacteria- so only two people came: Sister Harris and I. The party lasted an entire week, with much sleeping, no eating, many talks on CD, and all the Church movies (Haha Together Forever is my new favorite. I think because the old songs remind me of home and my dad. :) And as cheesy as it is, it really does help you realize just a little more how blessed we are with our families in the gospel!) Luckily, by the very end of the week, we were back outside and grabbed a couple miracles, like a new investigator.

But, they've done it again. They are taking me and my sad little heart out of a city that I've only known and loved for two transfers. Sister Harris and I are both leaving Assen and elders are coming in!! But call me the Belgian Babe, cuz guess who's going back! Ya! I'm going to Antwerpen, the big city in Belgium. :) Sister Jo gets a big city! Woo hoo she graduated! So now that we are back on our feet again, we are going crazy with packing and cleaning. Those elders better take good care of this city and love it with all their hearts (I have no doubt that they will; missionaries tend to do that). Goodbye Assen :(

Much news, yet so little to say. I love you. :)

Much love,

Sister Johanson

Sister Harris and I made a bouqet... :) long story
I made a smore! With the graham crackers the Loorbachs brought me from America
Our indoor movie theater...
I made a planner while we were sick
Us with the darling children we help watch :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Wij Gaan Voort, Steeds Voort

Goede dag meneers en mevrouws!

Reporting from cloudy skies and warm winds (I feel like I'm getting moldy; humidity is just not my thing. I am also rocking a classic 80's frizz-curl most of the time, especially with the bangs)

Fun times of the week: I went on exchanges with my other old comp, Sister Manning! She is sister training leader now, and it is strange to get to this point on your mish. We just talked about the things we've learned and how much the other has changed. Aren't missions the greatest?

Wonder of the week: I love Brazilians. I guess I love two in particular this week, Cynthia and Phillippe. They are scientists, temporarily in the Netherlands, that let us in the other day and let us share what we believe. Cynthia knows the Mormons, and is very intrigued by "believers," being a scientist herself. The respect and appreciation that they showed us were truly - by Dutch mission standards - miraculous. We were able to become good friends with them and gave them a BoM with the invitation to read it and just ask God if He exists or not. Aw man. They were so cool!! And they felt kinda familiar to me (maybe cuz my name is Brazilian? :D), and I hope that I can see them again someday. I am so incredibly grateful for people like that.

Dearest Sister Harris is sick. :( And that is sad. She made it through church yesterday because she had to because I was giving a talk and our friends Patrick and Melanie came to church. It was a great service. With vacation ending, our building is filling up a little more, and that is nice. But we have been taking it easy so that she can recover and we can hit it hard this last week of the transfer.

That's all, folks! Have a sunshiney week!

Sister Johanson

All these pics I've sent: Pannekoeken Schip, a delicious place to eat Dutch pancakes
Sister Harris and I on a typical Dutch missionary day

The Wartan kids!!

Sister Harris and the bouquette of wildflowers that we picked when we were late for a dinner appointment :) God even sent us a blue plastic ribbon to tie them beautifully with!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Love in the Netherlands

Howdy Folks

I learned a new trick this week: Riding on the back of my companion's bike. Very Dutch.

Small miracles this week, but miracles nonetheless. We were able to give a couple copies of The Book of Mormon away to some pretty positive people, so that is good news. 

We also helped a couple, Jelma and Rido, move this week and it was fun haha. I like helping people move; the atmosphere is just fun and it really makes you feel like a missionary for some reason.

I have to tell you about the love we received on the door the other day. We've been doing a lot of door knocking lately (what else is new..) and ya, of course, that is not always the most positive experience. But one night, we picked a street that looked pretty suburban and pleasant, and we quickly learned that looks can be deceiving, until we got to the last door. A little boy that looked like Ammon opened the door and ran around the whole house looking for his mom. When she came, she was very receptive and kind, accepting both a card and a BoM. She then just started talking to us, about mission life, about her life, about family, etc, and she didn't really want to have lessons, but was still nice. I suddenly just asked her if she had any advice for us, as young Americans in the Netherlands. She said, "Just drink it all in. Be open, and get as much as you can. Focus on the positive, so that when you look back one day, you remember all the good things. Let all the negative things just roll off your shoulders. When people are unkind, that's not your problem, that's theirs. Just let it go and focus on the positive. Do what you are doing with me. You seem very friendly and kind and are doing a good thing without pushing people. Be strong and just enjoy." Ah, what a blessing and a mercy from God. We needed that very much. I have never felt so much love from someone on the door. 

I hope you are feeling the love of God in your lives. I pray for that for you often, and it's something I'm trying to work on myself. Thanks for your support. :) I am blessed.

Love from the Neverlands,

Sister Johanson