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Sister Johnson - 4/10/2023

Happy Easter! and Happy birthday to my beautiful sista Leah!

I know it has been a couple weeks and that's my bad. I cannot tell you how crazy this transfer has been. We have the responsibility to go to each individual zone conference and train. All last transfer, we tried, tested, and tried again to find the most effective way to find people to teach through social media. We eventually narrowed it down to 5 steps that if the missionaries follow everyday consistently and faithfully would result in people to teach. Last transfer on its own was quite exhausting, but this transfer is exhausting in a whole different way. We have now trained at 5 out 9 zone conferences. Although it has been tiring there have been so many miracles that are undeniably God rewarding us for striving to fulfill our calling. Here are a few great experiences I have had this transfer so far:)

1. When we went to the hickory zone conference (my old zone) I got to see a few of my favorite missionaries. I had mentioned previously to Elder Moon some of the struggles that come with this calling. At the zone conference, he showed up with sister allphin and I's favorite sodas! He told us that he supported us and that he knew it was hard sometimes. Sister Allphin and I were so grateful and it felt like such a pick me up. 

2. Gideon knows that the church is true! He loves it and cannot wait to go to the temple and do the work for his family. Despite not being able to be in our area as much this transfer we have been able to have multiple lessons with Gideon where members are present and participating. This is a big miracle especially with our YSA ward. 

3. Sister Allphin and I have a little bit of a reputation of setting really high goals. This transfer we have continued to set really high goals even as we are outside our area quite a bit more. We have been so blessed as we have continued to work diligently in and outside our area, We have been able to reach many goals that we really shouldn't have been able to reach! We got lots of our friends to watch General Conference, we are consistently finding more people to teach, and we have seen miracle after miracle with each of our progressing friends. We have even been able to do a lot of phone lessons with people while we are away. 

4. When we went to the Lake Norman zone conference, we grabbed some dinner with some other missionaries. We were at this Mexican restaurant and a man came up and asked if we had any song requests. Elder Torrens (my District leader for three transfers) requested a song that he didn't know. So he asked if Despacito would work.... Torrens all too quickly agreed. Picture this. Six missionaries sitting in a restaurant, being serenaded with the song Despacito. At the chorus, the man shouted "Now Everybody!". Let's just say it was definitely a sight.

5. One of the biggest miracles is Patience. We met Patience this week and right away stated our purpose as missionaries, she responded with "well that is great because I have been looking to be baptized!" On Saturday, we had a lesson with her where we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the entire lesson she was super responsive and seemed to comprehend it all very well. She is not afraid to ask questions which really helps with her understanding. We invited her to pick a day to be baptized and she chose May 11th! This is crazy because it is transfer day and will be Sister Allphins last day in the area! We are hoping to plan it all for the evening so that Sister Allphin will be able to stay for the baptism before she goes to her next area. Patience is super excited to work towards that and excited to start learning more about and reading from the book of Mormon. The one downside of this lesson was that she had a really short crop top on and nothing on underneath... so every time she moved a little too much we got flashed! We will work on that, but she is so excited to start coming to church and she is going to start to take sundays off starting next week! She said "dang I wish we had met sooner because then I would have been coming for a while".

6. Shanell! She is the biggest sweetheart ever! She was being taught by some other missionaries, but was super flaky. Once we were able to get in contact with her in person, she has been nothing but receptive. She understands our purpose, is excited to learn more about baptism and how she can work towards it. She is so receptive to the spirit and almost every lesson she has been brought to tears. She is in a pretty bad situation with her boyfriend and knows that God wants her to break up with him but it is really hard. She has tons of faith and loves learning and growing closer to Jesus Christ. She can feel the difference in her life. 

7. Because I have gone to so many zone conferences, I have been able to see all the missionaries. This has been so much fun because I have been able to build really good relationships with missionaries I have never and probably will never serve around. I am now more convinced than ever that the best missionaries in the world are in the Charlotte, North Carolina Mission. They are each so hard working, dedicated, and imperfect; And I love them all so much! I have been learning throughout the last few transfers how to stop comparing myself to others and how to have charity and excitement for other people's successes. It is not hard to have charity for these missionaries because they are ALL so incredible and making so many difficult sacrifices to be here. They are each so inspiring to me.

I know that as we are urgent in fulfilling our callings that God has given us he makes it a good experience and he provides miracles everywhere. I have studied a lot recently a devotional titled "the inconvenient messiah". Jesus Christ is the inconvenient messiah because following him is not easy nor convenient. It requires patience in God's timing which is a really hard thing to have. However I have learned that true spiritual growth comes from being intentional. The moment we stop moving forward we are moving backward. One of my favorite quotes says "idle hands are the devil's workshop". So be intentional and deliberate in your spiritual growth. Be obedient! It is always worth it. Yes, Jesus Christ is the inconvenient messiah, but thank goodness for it because I am learning to be a deliberate disciple.

This week, stickers made me happy!

Sista Johnson:)

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