Monday, November 23, 2015

Be Fankful

Dear Friends,

My favorite part of this week was sweet Aida's baptism. :) She was so cute and happy. She kept thanking Jesus and everybody present, even our other investigator. It was funny and endearing in her Spanish-Dutch. It's so incredible when you get to see moments like that.

We also had zone training, and Zr. Cowles and I were asked to do role play of the First Vision, and were told a real live investigator would be coming to make it seem more "real." We were so anxious! We, and all the other missionaries, were praying like crazy for this guy while we taught. It was a really Spirit-packed role play and he responded really positively, so we all got excited. Good news. The guy already has a testimony and actually got back from his mission 3 weeks ago. Ha. Darn zone leaders.

Today we played Turkey Bowl, which is always a blast. I've really come to love American football as a missionary. So funny. 

It is turkey week! Remember to be fankful for all your blessings and eat lots of yummy food. There's nothing like family this time of year. I am grateful that I have such a wonderful, supportive, gospel-loving family and that I can come be a missionary in the Neverlands. Love you guys and thanks for all you do. 

Sister Jo

Zr. Bradley and Young

Zr. Faa and I with Julie, our beloved FHE mama
Aida's baptism :)
Our ward mission leader, Joshua Boom and then my comp, Sister Cowles
Traditional mcflurries with Faa
Toki and Riki Sariki! I love them
Last day in Antwerpen train station (Elders, and then Sisters and Ann)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

God Made You Special

Hello Friends

Tilburg is a cool city. It's smaller than Antwerpen, but bigger than all my other cities, the branch is awesome, and Zr. Cowles is fun. She is my first comp that is not younger than me. We were actually in the same MTC group, so we know each other and that is fun. It's such a breeze to work with someone who is your same mission age. You both know what's up and just go to work. 
We already have a baptism date for next week, so that is just nifty to walk into. She is a cute middle-age woman from Columbia named Aida. She was scared to get baptized because she thought it was in a big swimming pool, and she can't swim, haha so we let her practice yesterday after church. 

This is my first area where there is a lot going on, and it's neat to see how quick the work is going here. These sisters have worked really hard to get it going, because Zr. Cowles and Zr. Fredrickson were actually the first sisters in Tilburg, so that makes me the third. I hope that we can see lots of miracles and just enjoy this 10th transfer of our mission. :)

I am super into writing inspiring things down in my big notebook lately, so I'll share some thoughts with you:
"Above all, never lose faith in your Father in heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend." -Elder Holland

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:1-5

God made you special, and He loves you very much. :)

Sister Johanson

who is getting old

Monday, November 9, 2015

Go Out With a Baptism

Hey over there

Let's start off positive: Ann is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!!! :D It was beautiful. Her friend from Arizona, that introduced her to the Church, came to baptize her. So cool. The service was lovely, and Ann was all glowy and pretty. I am so proud of her. She is a wonderful person and is going to have a wonderful life.

We also had Canadian Thanksgiving this week (ya, I didn't know it was a thing either) because Elder Holt is going home to Canadia this week. Ah it was so Belgian and so fun. We had it with Steffi and her mom, and we ate Belgian turkey and stuffing. Haha I love them.

Goodbye Antwerpen. Hello Tilburg, and the Neverlands. Don't say anything to me about it.

Also, literally for the record, Sister Faa is a wonderful wonderful companion and person, and she takes such good care of me and is one of my bestest friends. She is a great missionary and I love her guts (except her cyst, I don't love that guy). Shout out to best comp! :D Also, my other bestest friends, Sista Young and Sista Bradley. What beauties. This has been an incredible transfer with them. I will forever be grateful for these incredible women in my life, and I hope you all get to meet them someday. #4man #crazywithareason 

Much love to you all,
Sister Johanson
the 1st

New mission office address (not my personal address)

Belgium/Netherlands Mission
Schuttersveld 2
2316 ZA Leiden

Our fearless, or fearsome, zone leaders on Halloween, Elder Hirsch and Elder Harrop

Sista Bradley

Sista Young

Sista Faa

I am squinting in all of these...but the idea is there :)

3 course meal prepared by the ZL's....or cereal ;)

We found a castle! Sometimes that happens in Belgium (really, there are a lot of castles here)

Belgian moments

Ann! <3

Ward mission leader pics

Monday, November 2, 2015


Goede dag! 

We made it to November, friends. Congrats. I hope Halloween was a bucket of laughs and treats for ya. Halloween is becoming more of a thing here, kinda funny. Our ward did have an activity, but our cute little old mission leader had us over for dinner instead (he and his wife don't believe in Halloween). Funny times.

Cool experience: We went to go look up a less active with some spare time we had, and she was actually home this time. Not only that, she let us come in and was thrilled to see us. We were the first sisters ever at her house. 😊  We quickly became good friends and she brought her cute little family to church the next day. Yay friends 😄

Sister Young came on exchanges with me and we met the coolest American mom and thought she was Dutch! She was happy to meet us too, and is going to becoming friends with us after fall vacation. I love Americans.

I also went on exchanges to Gent with Zr. Robbins and it was cool to see how much the work is progressing in our other areas. They work a lot with young adults, and let me tell you, the young adults over here are incredible. They are strong and valiant and super fun for missionaries. They are an example for me.

Sister Faa and I are doing well, just enjoying the freakiness of the transfer together. We are better pals than ever and are just hanging in there and trying to get the work done. We so appreciate your prayers in our behalf! What saints you all are. You are in my prayers, too.

Happy birfday Samyo! 

Have a beautiful warm week!

Much love,

Sister Jo the elder

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Other Side of Missionary Work


Did you know that half of Belgium speaks Dutch (Flams) and the other half speaks French? If we go down to that half, no one understands us.

Missionary work has taken a turn here in Antwerpen. It doesn't involve doors or street contacting or finding members for joint teach. But we have four progressing investigators, and they all wear a name badge. We have united with another set of sisters in order to "save one of our own," and I feel so privileged to be a part of this scene in Heavenly Father's perfect plot. I am learning about patience and love and kindness and endless other valuable relationship skills. I have never felt like I was being so prepared to become a wife and mother, and what a blessing to receive those lessons while in the mission field. Thanks so much for your prayers, they are truly sustaining us right now.

We did have cool experiences with dear little Ann this week. We had a spectacular dinner appointment where we talked about noticing God's hand in your life and then a dinner appointment at Ann's house with her visiting sister who unexpectedly wanted to know about the plan of salvation. The gospel is powerful. My favorite part was when Ann bore testimony to her sister, saying that she had found hope in the gospel. This really does change lives, people.

This week is Halloween! And my old man's happy birthday! Happy Birthday, young buck! :D Eat lots of treats and enjoy your week. God still blesses us, even on creepy holidays. :)

Love ya!

Sista Jo