Wednesday, February 27, 2013

hursday February 21st - Wednesday February 27th

Thursday February 21st - Wednesday February 27th

Tomorrow will be my one year mark in the field... so closer to my thirteen month mark of starting my mission. How bizarre!
This has been a pretty great week!

Last Wednesday after preparation day was over we went to the Simmon's place to celebrate their 40th anniversary.  That is the couple we've been teaching temple prep to.  We brought cornbread muffins (Brother Simmon's favorite), gluten free brownies and vanilla ice cream.  We watched Together Forever to celebrate them preparing for the temple!

Friday Feb. 22nd:
Our investigator Mary is such a joy to teach :) We taught her the Plan of Salvation and were able to answer her questions by turning to chapters in the Book of Mormon.  I love experiences like that!  Her daughters who are already members were going to do baptisms for the dead the following day so we helped her connect that her daughters would be performing ordinances for those who are in the spirit world.  Also she cracks us up! Mary is black and apparently can cook very well. She's feeding us sometime this next week so we'll see if that is true ;) She was asking us if we can eat food in heaven.  She wants to 'cook for Jesus!' We planned out her baptismal program and she wants a cake that says "Happy Baptismal!" I asked her if she wanted it to say Happy Baptismal or Happy Baptism and she said whichever one is right =P Later she realized which one it should be.
That night we drove around Yonkers looking up different members from the branch.  We were able to see all three of the sisters we were looking for,

Saturday Feb.23rd:
We went with the elders in our area to a nursing home near the church.  We wanted to meet two of the sisters in our branch who live there.  I loved it.  It reminded me of the days I would pick up my Grandma Campbell on Sundays to come have dinner at our home.  When I am home from the mission I want to try to visit a nursing home semi regularly to become friends with the regulars =)

Sunday Feb.24th:
Sundays in our branch are becoming one of my favorite days of the week!  After church we met with two of the Elders Quorum members to discuss in more depth the needs of our branch and how we, as sister missionaries, can be of the most help.  After that the Denison's invited us and their neighbor Rena (the one I was able to be an answer to her prayers when we were unshoveling cars after the blizzard) over for dinner.  Sister Denison is a wonderful cook.  Rena is funny.  She makes the best facial expressions when she tells stories.
Shortly after we left there we had another meal to get to.  It was with the Stilson family. I adore them :) Especially their four year old son Easton! He taught us a cool handshake when we first had dinner there. Double High five (both hands), double fist bump, and wiggle!  Natasha also came.  She is someone the Elders have been teaching and she's getting baptized this week, Saturday March 2nd!  
For dinner they fed us Navahoo tacos and scone desserts! Both were amazingly delicious! I'm going to have to get the recipes.

Monday Feb.25th:
We had an appointment Monday night with a family in our branch and they are great! The daughter has a toy doll and I got to hold it! haha it was a pretty big deal because I miss holding babies/children. It's a mission rule, for safety precautions in many ways to not hold kids because of increasing legal complexities. Thus, I was able to get my baby fix and still be obedient.

Tuesday Feb. 26th:
This was one of my favorite days so far!
We helped Elder McCullam create Natasha's baptism program and then went to eat.
Afterwards we went to do a look up in Tarrytown but turns out it was only the college address so there was no way for us to find her.  We decided to tract some homes near there.  It was a really cold day but the houses were all so cute!  We had pretty good success with yellow houses.  Most people weren't home. The first woman we talked to was really nice just busy but gave us her number and invited us to come back another time.  We met a guy who was pretty nice but his wife wasn't interested or comfortable with us there.
Finally we came to a house where a Jamaican lady answered the door.  She worked their as a home health attendant.  Anyhow the owner was fine with us coming in.  We spent about 45 minutes - hour in the home talking to Herbert (who's probably in his 90s) and Shirlee Louis (who is probably in her 50s).  Herbert served in World War Two as someone who flew and jumped out of airplanes.  He was also at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. He didn't have too many details to tell us but I was so impressed just sitting there getting to know the both of them.
We taught an overview of the Plan of Salvation and focused a lot on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Shirlee was pretty receptive to the Restoration because of the things she had told us about her religious background.  We gave Herbert a copy of the restoration dvd to watch and he seemed excited.  I believe Shirlee said he has dementia. He seemed pretty with it, with the exception of forgetting a few details from his past (war experience).  He has a daughter who lives near by who called when we were there.  We heard hear voice when she was on the phone.  She wasn't totally sure about how she felt about us there. Mostly she didn't want us to bother her father.  Shirlee told her that he liked our company.  I've been praying that we can keep teaching Shirlee and Herbert and also teach Camille and her family.  That would be sweet!
Once we left there we went to the Hippen home for dinner.  We had Hawaiian Haystacks which are definitely some of my favorites now! It was absolutely delicious! I love having dinner there on Tuesday nights! After a wonderful time together we taught a fun lesson=) We assigned everyone a character and had a few props and we acted out 1 Nephi chapters 3-4. Sister Awerkamp and I narrated =) 

The work is picking up and we are building relationships with the branch =)
The Simmons are going through the temple today! We didn't get permission to go because it'll be after pday but we just stopped by there =)

I hope all is well with you!
Feel free to write me letters =P

Transfers are in one week (this is a five week transfer) and it's crazy! So many of my favorite missionaries that I've served with go home this next week.  Missionaries going home are, but not limited to, include: Elder Stratton, Elder Topham, Elder Mattai, Elder Head and Elder McCullam  WEIRD!

I love you! I am grateful for this time I have to serve the Lord and strengthen my own testimony. As I teach others and look at the eternal perspective things become clearer and more important. I invite you to increase your understanding and faith this week about a gospel truth.  Ponder and pray about what you would like to understand with more clarity and then put it into action!

Sister Emily Johnson

Week of Feb. 13th - Feb. 20th

Weekly Report:
Wednesday February 13th - Wednesday February 20th
Follow up:
Last week I ran out of time, but the miracle I got to be apart of last Saturday was because of some service.  Since we were still grounded (not in our cars) from the blizzard the day before we got a text message from our zone leader telling all the missionaries to look for ways to serve and help with the snow.  Our apartment decided to go outside and unshovel some cars.  While we were outside we started working on a few cars.  Mostly I was uncovering the windshield, door, and mirrors/windows.  However, when I was working on one of the cars I had the thought come to me, "What if by doing this you'll be the answer to someones prayer? What if someone is really stressing out about having to unshovel their car for whatever reason... and then they discover it's already been done?" I thought "that would be really cool!" So I decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father to allow me be the answer to someones prayer. I was thinking it might be a mom who has a lot of kids or maybe it would be something entirely different. I simply prayed that I could be the answer to someones prayer. As I continued to clean the car I was working on more than I had the others I was looking around wondering how I was going to know which car it would be. I had the thought come to me, "assume it's this car" implying the one I was currently working on. I thought ok, and worked very hard to clear all of the snow off of this one car.  When I had finally finished working on that car I moved on to one near by and a woman named Rena came out of the building. I saw how excited she looked as she approached the car I had assumed was the one that would be an answer to prayers.
We became friends and she kept saying, "Look at the beautiful Mormons" and "God sent us angles" to the other neighbors that were coming out and being surprised by the work we had done.  Later I talked to her more one and one and I felt impressed to tell her about the thoughts that went through my head when I was clearing off her car.  She got emotional and told me her story: She's older and alone and the snow really stresses her out.  She gets very anxious about it and she doesn't have anyone she can call on and ask for help clearing off her car.  She didn't want to get so anxious about it because it's her day off.  She just prayed and told God how she trusts him.  Later when she came outside she was able to find her car cleared off =D
Wednesday Feb. 13th:
The highlight of Wednesday was when Sister Awerkamp and I went to Young Womens and taught a lesson on missionary work.  It was a lot of fun and I felt the spirit so strong when we taught. Tristan's package came.
Thursday Feb. 14th:
Happy Valentine's Day!
Weekly planning ran long because there was a lot to update now that we are getting our bearings on the area and branch.
We went out to eat with the Hermana's in our apartment at TGI Fridays. A woman was giving out free flowers and talking about Mary Kay makeup. I'm going to attach some of the pictures of Sister Awerkamp and I with the flowers. We had a lesson with the Simmons family. Then on the way home we went to Dunkin' Donuts to get some donuts to celebrate with the Hermanas. We had to go to two different ones, but finally we got some heart shaped ones =)
Friday Feb. 15th:
We had interviews with President Morgan.  I got to share with him about the work we are doing in this area.  He is a wonderful mission president and I love working under his direction.  I always feel spiritually strengthened from him.  We had a very productive day in our area.  We looked up a few less active members President Fillmore, our branch president, asked us to check in on. Eventually, we had dinner with the Hippens family and the Van Beavers.  We taught about the blessings that come from living the Gospel (of Jesus Christ). One of the individuals there has not been active in the church for quite sometime now.  I felt a great sense of urgency and power as I shared my testimony that the commandments are what allow us to return to live with Heavenly Father, how he's not going to force us to do so, but shouldn't we want to? I felt the spirit so strong I started to tear up.  Also, our investigator Mary quite smoking! She's been associated with the church since she was 18 and she's now 37. Her dad is a member and he baptized her two teenage daughters.  She's been wanting to get baptized for years but always had a smoking problem.  A week or two ago she had to go to the hospital for gal stones! However because she couldn't smoke there and enough time has passed when she went to smoke a cigarette at home she found the smell to be absolutely putrid! She didn't even take one puff, she was so disgusted!
Saturday Feb. 16th:
Brendan Hahn was baptized! He is someone I taught in Harlem and he is amazing! I am so thankful I was able to return to attend his baptism and give a talk about baptism.  My whole talk was catered to him, so I'm not sure how much anyone else got from it, but what was important was that he understood :)  It was so refreshing to go back to the city! It felt like home.  On the train ride there a man named "Black Beaver" serenade us with his guitar and custom songs to Sister Awerkamp and I. It was pretty hilarious! I told her that she had the best introduction to the city one could hope for!
Brendan had about 30 people at his baptism and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had! Especially because I got to play such an active part in preparing him for baptism.  It was a beautiful day.  His girl friend Deb who has a beautiful singing voice did a duet and sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me".  It felt like heaven.  The spirit touched my heart so strong as she was singing. I started to record it but my battery died, so I only caught part of it.
Sunday Feb. 17th:
We started off nice and early with branch council. It's a night and day difference from the last time we went (our first Sunday in the area).
Church was lovely.  The talks shared where really profound.  Our investigator Mary came to church with her two teenage daughters who are members.
Monday Feb. 18th:
We went on a trio split with the traveling sisters. One came with us and the other one we drove down to the Bronx to be in a trio with the sisters in our old area.
That night we went and looked up a potential investigator. We talked to him for an hour in the cold!
Tuesday Feb. 19th:
We taught our investigator Mary and set a baptismal date with her for March 23rd! That's also Seth's birthday =) What a wonderful day it'll be.
Wednesday Feb. 20th:
We cleaned our apartment really well so that'll be a great way to start this next week :)
I got to hear about Jill's baptismal experience so that was amazing! Congratulations Jill! I couldn't be happier for you.
Well we've got a few more things we need to get done today.
I am learning so much it's crazy!
I feel the spirit work through me everyday and I am grateful for the refining power of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.
I hope you can all feel the blessings of living the gospel of Jesus Christ on a daily basis.
Sister Emily A. Johnson 

Us going outside for service. That's what my miracle story is about. I'm sorry you'll have to wait a week to hear it.

Saturday, the day after the blizzard

when we went to do service-unshovel cars in our own parking lot

Saturday after service

spanish and english words!

flowers from valentine's day

last week when hermana Dalley did my hair!

sister awerkamp and i

Brendan, myself, Debra

curly hair

Sister Lavaki, Brendan, and myself

Weekly Report Thursday February 7th - Wednesday February 13th

Weekly Report 
Thursday February 7th - Wednesday February 13th
This has been a very odd week lol. I am happy to report that all is well. It's had it's ups and downs but that is life. I am grateful for the experiences I am having here in NY because they are teaching me how to turn to my loving Father in Heaven. The experiences and examples I have with me during these 18 months are going to have a strong influence on shaping the rest of my life.
Thursday Feb. 7th:
Thursday was one of the most spiritual days I've had my entirely life! I realize that is quite the statement but it's true.  We had the opportunity to go to a training where Brother Watson and Brother Donaldson would be teaching us.
Brother Watson oversees proselyting throughout the whole world! Bro. Donaldson was the mission president of the mission where they filmed The District 2 
I LOVE THE DISTRICT 2! Pretty much any of my companions can attest to that.  I've watched some of the clips of him teaching other missionaries or address mission presidents and I love his teaching style.  To be able to be taught by him in person was an absolute delight! He taught seminary and institute for years before getting called as a mission president so I'm pretty sure it's his teaching experience that makes him so effective in my eyes, given the fact that he strives to follow the spirit and build off of what each of us feel and think.
The training was basic but profound. The spirit was at the chapel so thick I felt it engulf me... it was the coolest experience I have ever had!  We learned about teach the doctrine of Christ and more specifically how to teach the doctrine of REPENTANCE.  It was profound to review on a deeper level the significance of how we access the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives.The only way we can and the only way we can be changed by Him is through Repentance, Baptism and continued repentance.
We also were taught a more effective way to involve the pamphlets when we teach.  I felt the spirit the entire time we were there and at the end when President Morgan was talking to us again and talking about the spirit we felt together that day I was so overcome with emotion that I started sobbing! haha I had no control. All I know is that I left there as a better individual.  I will never be able to deny what I felt when I was there. I know the atonement of Jesus Christ is a gift from our Heavenly Father for us to return to live with Him.  However, the only way we can access that gift is through repentance and the ordinance of baptism. Then continuing to repent, truly repent frequently to retain the remission of our sins and be edified and shaped into who the Lord wants us to be, so we can reach our full potential one day at a time. 
Friday Feb. 8th:
Lunch at the Martinez home
Blizzard-getting grounded (our zone leaders text us and told everyone we had to turn in)
I received a package from Mom with a mormon messages dvd and a funny baby toy that giggles-it made me so happy =D Everytime it giggles I can't help but chuckle.
we watched the mormon messages the majority of the afternoon since we weren't allowed to leave our apartment. It was awesome! I'm so grateful my mom sent that DVD because it gave us something to do for a few hours besides bonding with our hermanas!
My one year mark of starting the mission (entering the MTC) It's funny how on significant days I can never leave the apartment EX. my birthday was the day of Hurricane Sandy and we were instructed to stay inside. Now on my one year mark I stayed inside because of a blizzard.
Saturday Feb. 9th:
In the morning we were instructed to not drive yet but to get out and do service.  I got to experience a miracle and be an instrument in the Lord's hand! So I ran out of time emailing but i'm writing it in bold so I'll remember to tell this story next week lol
Brendan's baptism got rescheduled because of the blizzard. It'll be this next Saturday.
Sunday Feb. 10th:
I spoke in sacrament meeting!  I didn't formally write out my talk so I can't share it, but I think it went well. Sister Awerkamp and Elder Aagard spoke as well.
Monday Feb. 11th:
A stressful day for me.  We visited a family with less active individuals and it's not what I'm used to. I have experience in helping investigators see how the gospel will bless them. It's different though with individuals who have been baptized in the church because they don't always see the significance or they can loose focus on what the gospel is all about. So adjusting to that amoungst the many other changes of working in a completely different area (nothing remotely close to what the city was like) was compounding and starting to bother me.  I knew the Lord would guide me but I felt overwhelmed and disconnected from undestanding what I needed to do.  That night I talked to Sister Awerkamp and told her about some of the things I'd been feeling.  She was great and let me get it out. By the end of our conversation I felt pretty good.  Plus we taught the Simmons that night and I always leave there uplifted!
Tuesday Feb. 12th:
During personal study I pondered the things I was feeling the day before. As I spent time reflecting peace entered my heart and the spirit directed my mind to what of those concerns I needed to focus on and which I should not.  I love that through the Holy Ghost I can receive direction in the work and where I should focus my efforts.  One of the things that I felt was that I need to study and learn how to teach people to give their burdens to Christ. He's the only one strong enough to carry them.  I can't carry their burdens that's for sure! I know that the Savior can and will.
Wednesday Feb. 13th:  
Today Sister Dalley is going to color and cut my hair! She went to Paul Mitchell in Provo the same time as my sister Sam and they were in the same core class! Small world =P
I've got to run!
I love you!!!
Sister Johnson

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thursday Jan. 31st- Wed. Feb. 6th

Weekly Report 
Thursday January 31st - Wednesday February 6th
As I mentioned last week we are opening a new area in Westchester. We are taking the Northern part of the Westchester 2nd Branch which includes: Sleepy Hallow, Tarrytown, Irvington, some of Elmsford, Dobbs Ferry and Hasting on Hudson! 
Funny Story:  At this past transfer meeting our mission president was telling us about his birthday experience (January 25th). 
The whole mission surprised him (thank goodness for smart leaders: assistants to the president and senior couples who work in the office) with two things.  The one the Assistants thought up was to tell our whole mission to each write a letter to president and send it to his house. It was to include birthday wishes and our commitment to lock in truth and lock out the world (something president Morgan has been asking us to do). Therefore, he received about 120-140 letters in the mail! The other surprise one of the senior couples put together. We were to write a message in an email wishing him a happy birthday and mentioning Locking in truth. Then Sister Denison printed them out and all the emails were put inside helium balloons and then locked inside his car!  I was not there but he was very surprised. He and some others popped all the balloons to get the messages out.  During our transfer meeting he shared what one of the ASL elders had wrote. "Happy Birthday President Morgan! You are now one year closer to living in the presence of your Heavenly Father!" hahaha  
Pretty much everything changed after I emailed last week.  We are way more connected to the Branch and our area. I still rely on the GPS a great deal lol but that will come in time.
Thursday Jan. 31st:
We got lost a few times haha. We drove to our area to check out Tarrytown and Sleepy Hallow! They are darling towns that are right next to the Hudson River.  Seeing our area helped us be excited for the work! Before it was somewhat abstract and not tangible to us, but actually seeing our area was awesome!  That night we had dinner with our new branch mission leader.  His wife is from Mesa! They have a darling daughter named Sydney and are expecting another girl in May.  The Nelson family lives near to us and they have been a great help as we dive in.
Friday Feb. 1st:
We went to the mission office to get some English proselyting materials. It's weird because it's not where I would expect the office to be located haha. It's a suite within a bigger office complex but it's right next to a Banana Republic and some other nice stores. When we first got there and were looking for it I was definitely confused!  I also found out a lot of important information about the car we were driving! For example we've been going through the EzPass things without a pass... =P
And we're suppose to be recording our miles in this booklet, and some other minor details which no one explained to me on Wednesday when they just gave me the keys! haha anyways I'm proud to say now that I am no longer ignorant in those areas I have not made the same mistakes.  We took longer at the mission office then originally we anticipated because of the education I received about the car policies from Elder Denison. 
We then went to our area where some of the elders where helping us find people.  We got one referral that we're still trying to get in touch with.  We ate dinner at an expensive pizza place (everything in Tarrytown is expensive). Sister Awerkamp has Celiac so we got a gluten free veggie pizza with chicken.  After we ate we ended up talking to a family who was there for dinner and taught them a little bit about the restored gospel.  The wife spent 15 years in Arizona. She actually went to Gilbert High when it first opened so that was cool. What I've found so far in that area is that even if people aren't interested they are still pretty nice about it, which is not the case for the missionaries in South Manhattan!
Saturday Feb. 2nd:
We went to the mission office because President Morgan wanted to have an interview with Sister Awerkamp.  He didn't get a chance to talk with everyone when they were at the mission home so the few others he's been calling in.  I think it's awesome that he is talking to all the new missionaries to help them get settled in.  I remember that's what I thought would happen with President Smith when I first started my mission.  For whatever reason President Smith didn't interview our group.  My first time talking to him one on one was three months after I had already been in the field.  I think it would have been a smoother transition if I had the opportunity to sit down with him.  Anyhow when we went to the office I had a letter from Tristan and a parcel my mom forwarded me from home that a friend from London sent me.  It's funny being near the mission office and having some of the office couples living in your apartment because you get office mail more frequent.  The majority of the day we spent with the Nelson family (branch mission leader and his wife). Brother Nelson does an excellent job at magnifying his calling! He is really on top of it =) Sister Nelson works with the young women and they helped us identify some of the ward members, their situations and ways we could help, including part member families.  I am so grateful they have help us grab a hold of what we are doing here.  It was great to talk about our goals and how we hope to help the branch.  When we were leaving I mentioned how much I love a certain kind of pen (yes those of you who know me know how much I LOVE OFFICE SUPPLIES!) and also how I needed to get some more of the pencils they had. I may have asked if I could borrow the pencil I had been using when I was there and they said I could have it! Brother Nelson let me take a few mechanical pens and he gave me a ton of my favorite pens!!! I know that sounds dumb but that is like my dream come true! Especially with how expensive pens and pencils are to buy on a missionary budget. Anyways I knew that we were going to make a great team! hahah
That night we had dinner with the Matthews family and they are darling as well!  I am thankful Elder McCullum and Elder Aagard have been keeping us in the loop for dinners!
Sunday Feb. 3rd:
We went to Branch council first thing in the morning.  Our branch is located in a really random space and it's part of an industrial office.  The address I had didn't have the suite number so it was really weird to find.  Eventually though, after calling Brother Nelson, we found it =)  The branch council is great and President Fillmore is really on top of everything. They are excited we're here and there is plenty of work for us to do!  We counted about 45 people total at church including nursery-adults! It's small but it is an awesome group who love the Lord. There are plenty of spaces for us to come in and lift.  I am grateful that there is so much that needs to be done for this branch because it makes it really easy for us to be wrapped up and fully engaged in this work.  A few people told us that having Sisters in the branch is an answer to their prayers. That makes you feel good! haha
Truly though a lot of the work that needs to be done here to strengthen the branch involves single sisters(young and old) and single moms, thus it is a lot of work that the elders can't particularly do because of rules the mission has about having another male present.  Plus we all know Sisters have a special way of touching hearts! =) 
It was great getting connected to the branch and we made a lot of appointments to visit people during the week.  After church they had our first choir rehearsal! We stayed to be apart of that.
Sister Fillmore told us about a couple in our ward who are wonderful! She explained how they have a really stong desire to go through the temple and how she wants to help them with temple prep.  Unfortunately the times they are free is when she's in the middle of dinner and homework with her family, plus she lives quite far from where they are.  She asked us about the possibility of us teaching them the temple preparation course. That was perfect because we are 100% flexible to the schedule of others and we're looking for ways to fill our time.  She was overcome with joy and her eyes teared up as she talked about what a positive impact we are going to have on this branch.
After we came home from church we ended up stopping by the Denison's apartment in our building because we wanted to say hello.  We stayed and chatted with them for a little while and it was lovely.  They are a wonderful senior couple who I got to serve with when I was in the Bronx.  They invited us to stay for dinner =) While Sister Denison prepared a few things Elder Denison helped us take the air conditioner out of our wall because it was letting in a draft and freezing Sister Awerkamp! It's nicer than in the cities because they have a slot where you can put the AC unit where as in the city you just stick it in your window! hah.  It was a delicious meal, wonderful company, and we ended the evening by sharing my testimony of Mosiah 4:10-12 and how that scripture taught me how we can experience a remission of our sins and retain that wonderful feeling!
Monday Feb. 4th:
It was a busy day!  We went to our first District Meeting in this area at the Scarsdale chapel.  Afterwards we all went to eat at the mall. It was fun to sit and chat with the Sister's we share an apartment with. I love both of them! Sister Dalley (who was in one of Sam's core classes at Paul Mitchell) and Sister Keanini from Hawaii who is like a Hawaiian version of Sister Ortega to me =P
Afterwards we had an appointment with a woman from the branch who Sister Fillmore said could use some spiritual support and strength right now.  It was such a joy to visit her and her family.  Later at night we visited the couple who wants to go to the temple.  They are living in humble circumstances and you can't help but feel the spirit there.  They joined the church in Giana and are both working to save up money for their son and his wife to come to NY to be sealed in the temple. We are going to start meeting with them twice a week in the evenings! They only live about ten minutes from us so it'll be easy to work with their late schedules.
Tuesday Feb. 5th:
We visited the Relief Society President, Sister Skousen, to talk about how we can help her and the sisters in our branch.  She is such a wonderful woman and her family has written some scholarly books about the church.
We also visited two other wonderful people from the branch! Our schedules are getting busier now that we have a sense of direction =)
Wednesday Feb. 6th:
As for today it is somewhat crazy. We did our laundry after some hassel with tracting down a card to load money on to.  There is a lot we want to get done today and so little time. That being said I need to wrap up this email.
I hope you are having a wonderful week!
Sister Emily A. Johnson
I've heard that one of my very best friends Jillian Bacigalupo is getting baptized this Saturday!!! Which is awesome!!! Jill send me some pictures! =D
Saturday Feb. 9th is Brendan's baptism! I will be speaking and I am so excited to see him take the step closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Sunday Feb. 10th I'm giving a talk in chuch based off of Elder Uchtdorf's last CES Fireside "What Is Truth"

  • Sister Awerkamp and I always joke with members as they try to learn her name. I say, not your camp, but Arrr (our) camp! lol
  • I got a care package from the Elliot Ward Miamaids! Which was awesome!!! I'm planning on writing them thank yous! Hopefully I do that soon.
  • Sister Awerkamp by our car! It was really weird driving again after 11 months!
  • The four girls in our apartment (Hermana Dalley, Hermana Keanini, Sister Awerkamp and Me)
  • Elder denison helping us not have a freezing cold room! haha

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I have a lot of updates

I'm sorry I didn't not get a chance to email you yesterday.  A lot of CHANGES were made in the mission and a lot of those changes impacted me!

I am in a opening a new area and training! I am in the Westerchester 2nd Branch with Sister Awerkamp from St. George Utah.  She is awesome! I love her already.  She is very prepared and we're tackling all the changes together.  We also get to drive a car! Yesterday after the upstate transfers I was THRILLED to be in our car! It was so bizarre because I haven't driven in 11 months! I am the designated driver so I will be doing a lot of driving.  The GPS knows the area better than we do! hahah
We had ten new sisters come into the mission yesterday.  
Our mission president said that the 17 missionaries are just the first of the 89 that will arrive in the next 11 weeks!!! Talk about being a part of church history lol  We also live in the same apartment building as two of the senior couple missionaries and the traveling sisters! We've got support all around us. 

It's funny training in a new area because I keep having to answer all of Sister Awerkamp's questions, "Well in the city..." I told her we will figure it out together and I know she's excited to get to work.  The dynamics of being out of the city are completely different than in the city.  At this point it feels like a car is more of a hassle than the trains and buses were, but I'm trying to remember they are different. One is not necessarily better but there are pros and cons to both.  I'm excited to meet the branch here.  It sounds like a great group of people.

At transfers a lot of other missionaries kept telling my new companion how amazing I am and how she's going to have so much fun. She heard comments like she'll have to keep up with me and your companion is crazy! hahaha it was really cool though to see what my beloved fellow missionaries said to her because it made me feel really good. It's an honor to realize they think so highly of me. Which is exactly how I feel about them.  

We're emailing today so you know we're alive, or rather so her family knows she's alive :)
Today we're going to drive to our area which covers Sleepy Hallow, Tarrytown, Irvington, and half of Elmsford
Last night we had dinner with two of the elders and our old branch mission leader.  Tonight we are going to have dinner with the elders and our new branch mission leader. This is the first time english speaking sisters have left the city.  There is our area and an area in Connecticut.  I'm excited to work hard and build up this area. I know the Lord called us here for a reason and we have very deep faith that he will show us what He needs us to do.

President Morgan also gave us permission to return to the city for Brendan's baptism next week! I'm very excited about that =)
I don't remember much about what happened this past week.  
I found out I was leaving and white washing (opening a new area) last Thursday. From Thursday-Tuesday we had a few scheduled appointments and I did a lot of packing. That Thursday everyone in my apartment found out they were training!
Sister Lavaki is training in Harlem, Sister Broderick is training in the East Side, Sister Woo is training and returning to Chinatown, and I'm training and opening a new area at the same time.

Friday we had a meeting for those who would be training and we focused on some key things that would impact our effectiveness as a trainer.  Thus far I feel I have been able to implement that into our companionship.  I have also felt the spirit in rich abundance as we've talked and shared with one another, especailly with different aspects of the work.
Last night when we were driving to our old branch mission leaders place it was dark and rainy. I decided I do not like driving in those conditions in a new area that I don't know at all! haaha.
Anyhow, please keep us in your prayers. We will need the Lord's help in everything that we do. I feel peace however because I know like Nephi the Lord will provide a way...even when I don't understand, I can be led by the spirit.

1 Nephi 3
 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

1 Nephi 4
 And I was aled by the Spirit, not bknowing beforehand the things which I should do.

I love you very much! Thank you for your support at this time in my life.

Sister Emily Johnson