Monday, October 19, 2015

I Love to See the Temple

Hi over there!

This week was temple conference, and it was beautiful. :) I am so grateful for the temple, and the blessing of always having one close by. I loved focusing on the Atonement this time I went, and pondering how Adam and Eve were the first to receive the blessings of the Atonement. They had to believe that the Savior would come and save them from their fall. That is a different kind of faith than we use to believe that He has taken it all on Himself.

Zr. Faa has not been doing too hot, so this week was a little slow. But God still let us have miracles and we keep getting referrals and appointments and I am grateful. Phew. This is all in God's hands.

Thanks for your prayers, in my behalf and in behalf of those around me. :) You are blessed people.

Much love,

Sister Jo

Monday, October 12, 2015

If You Just Believe

Dearest of Friends,

Welcome! To another weekly letter from Sister Johanson the Old.

Miracles are everywhere, especially when you look for them, and especially especially when you've been waiting for them. We have begun teaching! I like teaching. We have taught several 1st lessons in the last two weeks, and they have all been to women. All of these women, except for one, have been moms with kids at home. I find that amazing. And each one is more positive than the last. It has been incredible to testify of Joseph Smith and the Restoration and of my Savior - some of my favorite topics :) - and see the potential for change for the better for these daughters of God and their families. If you would like to have some names to pray about this week, here you go: Inge, Ellen, Romela, Jannick, Samantha, Nathalie (not new, but still falls into this category).

Ann is still doing great. :) She is the cutest, sassiest little Asian, and does so much good. Baptism is still good for November 8, and everyone is getting excited for her.

Cool personal miracle of the week: 2 things you first need to know- 1. We never catch the tram 2.The crosswalk light is always red (usually causing us to miss the tram). We were going to walk to an appointment, because we didn't think we would make the tram Tuesday morning. But as we walked up to the crosswalk, the tram came. And then the light turned green. Yay! So we ran onto the tram. We sat down, and across the aisle, there was an open newspaper folded in half. It said "South Carolina" and had pictures of flooding. I know that place. I picked up the newspaper, and was able to read about Ali's area and what she is probably dealing with. I was so surprised, but felt at peace, knowing that God would watch over my sister missionary. I felt so loved knowing that God had made that all work out so that I could get an update on my favorite person and receive a reassurance that she's okay. Incredible. 

I hope things are okay, wherever you're at. I have so much love for you and am grateful for your faithful prayers. I pray for you too.

Much love,
Sister Johanson the 1st

They have bread vending machines here... what da heck
Uh, check out that super "Dressa face"  in case you were worried I changed..

Monday, October 5, 2015

We Listened to the Prophet's Voice

Dear Friends,

I would say that this week went well.

We were able to teach two awesome first lessons! And we set an appointment on the door to go back and teach another one this next week. All three of these are women with children at home, which I think is not coincidence. We need strong moms, and moms need the gospel.

Speaking of which, wasn't General Conference amazing? I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland's, because it made me cry and want to hug my mom fifty zillion times. And Elder Foster talked about dad's, and I just thought, wow, why was I so blessed to  have angels sent to me in the form of my parents? 
My theme for General Conference was "trust in God." That's something I'm trying to work on, and will obviously be a life long process.

Ann watched GC with us at the Schiltz, and we ate delicious Thai food. What a little wonder woman. We continue to help her prepare for baptism in November. 

I was a good citizen this week. Our tram was coming, and the light to cross the non-busy street turned red right as we got to it. At this serendipitous moment, a flock of small children with their teachers came walking down the street. Dilemma: Run across the street to catch our tram and set a bad example for the impressionable young people, or wait like good citizens and representatives of the Church and miss our tram? The teachers tested their children: "Can we cross the street?"  A chorus of chipper voices: "No!" "And why not?" responded the teacher, with a direct look at the sister missionaries. "It is red!" "Yes, and we must wait, even if there is a tram." Oh. Oh. We must spare the young people. Obviously we did not make that tram. We and the teachers had a good laugh together. :) 

Other fun times: When you are about to talk to someone on the street, they wave you away, and your comp says "oh, we just wanted to ask for directions. Do you know where this is?" They get very red and apologize and then help us. See, kindness is key. :) Missionaries are not so scary.

Also, we had a number of people talk to us first this week. An African man on a tram, who is actually an inactive member, a Russian guy on the street who recognized us as Mormons, and also some intimidating other-religion people.. But still, that is very convenient of them.

Happy birthday to Savy this week! And happy October to the rest of you! Yay for cold season. Stay healthy and happy and warm and blessed. :)

Sister Johanson

the one in Belgium

Sister Conference
Sister Harris and I reunited! with Sister Romney..haha

Sister Caldwell! Do you recognize her from St. G?

More sister conference

My hair always looks the worst...but that's Harris, Fredrickson, and I. We are bestest pals.

Zr Faa and Elder Holt



An iguana escaped..

Belgium. They do it right.

Antwerp street

Beautifulness outside Antwerp

A beautiful forest path

Snack break (much door knocking that day)

Sister Nuyens, such a sweetheart. Always gives us yummy snacks

Sister Faa and Sister Nuyens

A typical street corner in Antwerpen

Typical street in Antwerp