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Sister Johnson - 7/24/2023

This has felt like the fastest and longest week all at once! We had transfers! I am still in the Hilliard YSA Branch! This is my 5th transfer (6 weeks) and by the time I leave, I will have been here for almost 7 months! I am genuinely super excited to stay, because I love this branch so much and these YSA are so incredible. There is so much work to do and we are just scratching the surface. I am so excited to just dive in and work like crazy my last 6 weeks here! Honestly I am just really honored that the Lord trusts me enough to keep me here a little bit longer. 

I am going to give a social media and technology update because I rarely give those! Holy Cow the work is moving forward so fast in this aspect! I swear things are always changing in advancements, standards, best practices and so much more! It is so fun to be a part of something so new! When I got to this area and this calling I was honestly really confused why I would be called here. In the past I have not been the biggest fan of social media and I wasn't scared to tell people that. But boy does the atonement have the power to change people. I love this work so much and it is such an incredible resource. The current ads that we are running for the month of July are doing better than any of our previous ads. Our first responders team (missionaries that reach out to/ talk to people that interact with our page) is so incredible and so excited for the work they are a part of. We have so much support from President and the leaders in our mission, and the quality of our content is just getting better and better with the help of members throughout our mission! Basically I am so humbled to be here and so excited to stay!

So the story of this area for the last 5-6 months has been to teach people and help them progress really well, then they hit a wall and are unwilling to continue progressing... or they have a kid (we only teach young single adults, so we send them to other missionaries if they are married or have a kid). This week we found out one of our most progressing people, Justin, not only has a kid, but also a wife in Africa. It is very culturally normal, but still we had to give him to the family ward missionaries to teach. Honestly, this seems to keep happening to us. It is a little frustrating, but I have finally realized that it is time to focus on our Branch and how we can strengthen it. On that note, we have several friends that are starting to come to church regularly and are getting callings. It is really exciting to see. One that we met this week is Toe, from Thailand. We went over this week and had a powerful lesson from Luke 24 about taking the sacrament. He said he would be at church this next sunday. Another friend of ours is working on getting temple worthy again, so that he can go and gain the peace and blessings that come from going to the temple. Kayla was baptized almost 3 years ago, but has never been to the temple! We are helping her go do baptism with her mom and grandparents soon! We are also starting temple preparation classes with her so that she can start preparing to make even more temple covenants for herself. Our recent convert, Xavier, gave his first ever talk in sacrament meeting yesterday! He did so GOOD, and so many people made comments about how good it was. Just after church he received the Aaronic Priesthood, and came up to us, basically bouncing, to tell us how excited he is to bless the sacrament next week!

Holy smokes this is long! Sorry I am just really excited about the next 6 weeks. 

I'll end with a quick thought I learned in church this week. I learned that when clay is put on a spinning wheel, to be sculpted into its intended form (please forgive the lack of correct terms here, I am not a ... potterist...), it must be placed in the very center of the wheel. If it is even slightly off, it will be crooked and warped. It must be placed in the center. Just like that, Jesus Christ must be placed in the center of our lives. We cannot just let Him be in our lives, he must be the center of our lives. When I say center, I mean that everything else revolves around it and is connected to it, much like the Sun. Putting Christ at the center requires effort, it requires prayer, scripture study, church attendance, listening to the prophet, standing for truth, fulfilling your calling, having faith, repenting, and so much more. But each of these things allow us to grow and become more like Him. I will never say that being a disciple of Christ does not take work, but it is worth it and it does make a difference. So put in that work, I promise it brings joy: real, true, eternal, joy. President Nelson said, "My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives." So make him the focus!

This week object lessons made me happy!

<3 Sister J

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