Monday, September 28, 2015

Go Hard or Go Home

Good Morning, Friends

I realize that sometimes (many times) my weekly emails are rather crumbly- I eat lots of delicious crunchy toast during the week and all I leave for you to see is the crumbs- and I apologize. I will try to write better ones. Sometimes. :)

Okay, so this week began great with family home evening with family Sariki! We adore them. They are from Africa and have 4 teenage kids. Having family home evening with them makes my mission feel worth it. Truly, there is so much love and the Spirit is strong and we have so much fun together. This week, we had them write a "thank you note" to the Savior. It was a lovely lesson. And then, as I am much accustomed to at house Johanson, we had our favorite part and that was enjoying many delicious treats. :)

We had zone training on Tuesday, and that is always uplifting and helpful. We are still focusing on ward members and how to use the scriptures effectively as well as making sure that we ourselves are personally converted. Important stuff.

We went back to our friend Piet this week, whose house is a museum and gives us golden spoons to eat our garnished ice cream with. He says we can't convert him, but he loves it when we sing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and says that we have to sing it every time we come. (haha I do not think he realizes fully that it is about Joseph Smith and the Restoration..) Evidence that the Spirit of the Restoration is powerful no matter who you are.

On Saturday we had sisters conference! I want you to know that the sisters in this mission are incredible. We are so blessed. Each sister is beautiful and bright and loving and hard working. There is no one to dread as a new companion. :)

Speaking of which, transfers came, and Sister Faa and I are staying! Phew, good.

Also, I had a dream that I came home, and my parents were disappointed in me for not being a good missionary. I wanted to argue back, but I knew in my heart that I wasn't a good missionary because I had given up and hadn't worked or helped like I could have. I didn't even have the "RM glow." I woke up realizing that I gotta go home with no regrets! Fellow missionaries, trust me, you don't want to go home with regrets and guilt and knowing that you didn't do your best. You don't have the Spirit with you, and it feels awful. Don't give up! Go hard or go home! We have got to do all we can, and we can do that, through Christ, which strengthens us.

Much love to you all :)


Sister Jo the old

Sisters Conference Pictures

Friday, September 25, 2015

Don't Run Faster Than You Have Strength

Dag vrienden

It goes slow here in Belgium, but good. This week I got to go on double exchanges because poor Sister Faa was sick. (she is better now) Ann has a baptismal date for November 8, and we couldn't be more excited for her. The ward here is just embracing her, and I think that it is good for them and for her. We could all use a little more unity in our wards and missionary efforts.

If you need inspiration for doing missionary work, watch on "The Lord of the Harvest: The Adams Family" and "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go." We are starting to share these with our ward.

I love you all a lot, and thank you for your prayers in all the missionaries behalf. We appreciate it.

Sister Johanson

the old one

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Year of Missionarying

Howdy Folks!
(is that a Dad line or what?)

Things come and go, like people and time and stress, and we are still missionaries here in Antwerpen. My favorite happening this week was probably the Mormon Arts Festival here at our church building. Mormon musicians and artists from all over Belgium and the Netherlands came to present their work and perform at a free event for everyone in the area. There was so much talent! I was incredibly impressed. Mormons are the coolest.

Zr. Faa had her bike stolen. That was sad. My bike was still sitting next to it, with her lock chain around it. Ha go figure. We will be taking many trams for a little while.

Ann, our dearest of dear investigators (and only..), continues to be wonderful. She is an incredible example of someone who takes the initiative to immerse herself in the gospel, and acts instead of being acted upon. We had dinner at the Schiltz yesterday with her, and for our spiritual thought, everyone wrote thank you letters to Jesus while I played the piano in the background. It was powerful. (highly recommended, fellow missionaries)

Well, this week I've been a missionary for a whole year now. I can't believe that I've been waking up at 6:30 every day for an entire year. But the next 6 months, rather than my "molding" period, I think will be more "refining" - I will be solidifying the person that I want to be when I go home. I have so many goals! As they say here in Dutch, "it comes good." 

I send much love and pleasant thoughts to you all. I hope wherever you are at is treating you well. Have a good week and tot ziens!


Sister Johanson Sr.

Turnhout (another city)
Ordering fancy-style at McDonalds :)
Zr. Faa and Steffi and I
Darling cafe! I could be a cafe goer, and live in a big city, I think
Beautiful beautiful Antwerpen <3
More of Sister Faa's birthday
At Family Sariki's
Sister Young and Faa with sandwiches at our fave sandwich shop
Our favorite chocolate bar :) Oo sweet temptation
Sister Faa's birthday! :D

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Make Your Own Weather

Good Morning America,

It´s gray in Belgium, but we've got enough sunshine in our souls to keep the rain at bay.

We had an investigator at church! Actually, we met her at church. She lived here before, then moved to Paris and was taught all the lessons, and now is back and ready to be baptized. We accepted. :) Ann is such a sweetheart, and we are excited to work with her.

We had an exciting day this week with an old gentleman named Piet, who is an avid collector of old things. We ate homemade pie with silver forks and ice cream with golden spoons. I kid you not. We gave him a Book of Mormon and are planning to return next week.

Zr. Faa turned 20 this week! We made cupcakes from a box from America and had a party with family Sariki. They are a fantastic African family with 4 teenagers and they are always ready to laugh with us. Mission birthdays are the best.

We continue the "finding efforts" and pray for missionary efforts. Hope you're all doing the same, you member missionaries you. ;) Love to you all.

Sister Jo the 1st

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Feeling Fine in Belgie


This week was so long but so quick. But that's just mission timing.

We had the opportunity to go to zone conference this week and listen to Elder Dyches of the 70. A couple days before, I felt like I was missing "something," but didn't know what it was. I felt like I found a lot of answers at zone conference. Elder Dyches talked to us about using our planners effectively and our time wisely, and I was grateful for the reminder and the tips that can help me be a more effective missionary. He also talked a lot about strengthening our relationships with members, which is actually something that Sister Faa and I really want to focus on this transfer. We left feeling inspired and ready to work hard.

Yesterday in church was a missionary farewell, and all the speakers spoke about their missions. It was so strange to sit and listen to someone talk about a mission as a past experience, as I am sitting here living my mission experience. The new missionary read his call letter, and my heart skipped and the Spirit overwhelmed me, just like it did when I first read my very own mission call. What a blessing to be a missionary.

We went to a stake picnic the other day, and I got to see some of my old Lokeren friends, including my best friend Michelle! ;) It was a fun activity, and I hope that we can do more like that; I feel like it really strengthens the members and is a great opportunity for missionaries to get to know the members. (hint hint)

I hope you are all enjoying life as you return to school and normal schedules and anticipate the oncoming fall weather. Yay September! Happy B-day little Ammon, and happy baptism! (ha my very first baptism on my mission ;) ) Love you all!

Sister Johanson

Savannah store
Suuuper old bible! We geeked out 

Delicious ice cream after getting lost
I found a hat :) Love big hats
Delicious fat brownie with a pot of Belgian chocolate to drizzle over
And Sister Faa and I
You can see why I would send you this pic of this store :)
My favorite snack