Monday, October 20, 2014


See the video that started Lauren's journey to the 
California Oakland/San Francisco Mission

Lauren informed me that she is at the midpoint of her mission, her "Hump Day". 
She said "Guess what, isn't it weird that I only have 9 months left of my mission?? That's crazy huh!  Actually tomorrow, October 22nd is my exact half-way mark because my mission is 17 1/2 months.  I come home July 15th just so you know!  I have to figure out eventually what I'm gonna do with my life!"


"It felt like my spirit got jumped by a gang of angels."

Hello Mother!

Last week, we had a conference with Elder Hamula of the Seventy! He came to our stake conference and he also spoke at General Conference (his talk was about the Sacrament and it was SOO good!!!!!!! Do you remember that one?!?) Well anyway, basically, it was the coolest conference of my life!!!!!! Seriously though- he said things that blew my mind. I wish I could share it all with you but I can't type out the 10 pages of notes I took. He talked first about how to receive revelation. Now it may not seem like that great, but the way he explained everything and the steps to receive revelation he told us completely opened my eyes. He said that what he told us is how the General authorities receive revelation. Here are the points he made:

We receive revelation by these 3 steps:
1) All revelation starts with a specific question.
2) The question has to come from a deep desire to know the truth.
3) The sincerity of the desire is determined by your willingness to act on what you receive.
Then, Heavenly Father answers back in 3 main ways:
1) Through His servants.
2) Through the scriptures.
3) Directly by His spirit.

Again, seems so simple and obvious, right? But there is so much more to it than just that! He dove into the scriptures and took us on a doctrinal journey like no other. He also gave us the opportunity to ask whatever questions we wanted and the answers he gave were even more mind-blowing! He also talked about in order to really talk with people, we must be focused on asking inspired questions. I have learned about inspired questions my whole mission but the way he explained it just helped to solidify it all in my mind better. It's not enough to just throw doctrine at people and hope something sticks, but instead we need to ask them questions that will help them search their souls. And then we respond with doctrinal truths. When you ask an inspired question, something is revealed about them to you, then them to them. President Meredith also gave an amazing talk on how to become a more consecrated missionary and the steps we need to take; that it's a continual process and used a lot of great examples from the scriptures. I just wish I could tell you everything I learned!!! Also Sister Meredith and Sister Hamula spoke. They spoke about diligence and becoming a disciple of Christ. All of their talks were amazing and the spirit was almost tangible because of truths they bore and how they unfolded the truths in such deep yet clear as crystal ways. By the end it felt like my spirit got jumped by a gang of angels- it was that good! 

What is also cool, even though it didn't end up happening haha, is that we were asked by our zone leaders if Elder and Sister Hamula could come with us the evening after the conference to a lesson! We were like, sure! That would be amazing! So we were told Monday night that both of them would come. Then the next day we were told that only Sister Hamula would be coming and Elder Hamula would be going with another set of missionaries. So we had planned on this all week, right? Well 30 minutes before the lesson the ZL's called and said Sister Hamula couldn't come! So we were bummed, but also a little relieved because some pressure was taken off haha (although it would have been awesome for her to have come with us). We ended up having a great lesson though with Brother and Sister Graves about the Priesthood and Brother Hilton from our ward came. So, that was Thursday! Great day. :)

We've also had some neat miracles in the Visitor's Center! A few weeks ago, a guy named R*** (from India) came in with his member friend who lives in Colorado. He recently moved to Texas to finish a pilot program. Long story short, his friend felt like she should take him here. He ended up having a great experience a the VC and is really interested in learning!!  We are all spiritually connected! 

Also, a few weeks back we met a Chinese couple at the VC. Sister Wang taught them a little at the Visitor's Center and the woman was really interested. The man had to go back to China shortly after but she is staying until Christmas. So Sister Wang got her information and has been teaching her over the phone ever since! At first she only wanted Sister Wang to teach her over the phone but has accepted to have other sisters come and teacher her where she is living. But, Sister Wang has done amazing at teaching her and she wants to be baptized! She has no Christian background but has such a strong desire to know if God exists and which church is His church. Sister Wang taught her how to pray and she said she gave a beautiful perfect prayer over the phone!!

And also another miracle! While on the phones the other day I received a call from a man who lives in Nashville. He said he found a card in his mailbox about the Book of Mormon and decided to call the number because he is really interested in receiving one. I talked to him for a bit and he is the sweetest old man on the planet!!!! I asked him some questions and got to know him. He says he just wants to have a purpose in life because he has no family and is all alone. I testified to him that he does have a purpose!!! A purpose greater than he could ever imagine! I didn't have a lot of time to talk so I couldn't teach him right then, but I am going to keep in touch and teach him until the missionaries come. What a neat experience though! Such a miracle! He thanked me for my sweet spirit and said he could feel God in my spirit. 

These are the moments that make everything worth it! I tell ya, I'm so darn lucky to be a missionary.

So, those are some highlights of last week. Also had interviews last week with President Meredith. Let me just say what an incredible man he is and how lucky I am to be a missionary under his leadership. He is one of the most loving, faithful and humble men I've ever met. All mission presidents are amazing, but I gotta say that President Meredith is the best! :)

Love you all and thank you for your prayers. If you have a question in your life, follow those steps listed above! Haha :) Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are real. Work hard every day because you're going to meet them again one day!

Love you all,
Sister Johnson

Monday, October 13, 2014



This was about a month ago at a zone activity next to the bay. So pretty!

Sister Wang and I! It was really windy as you can tell!

Giving Sister Housely a piggy back ride. She's super tall!

Me being weird! Also these are our zone t-shirts. :)
Sister Chen from Canada! She left this past transfer. She's the coolest!!
Me in front of the Moraga building! It's a pretty building :)

Greetings Mother!

You go girl! I'm glad you and Dad saw Meet the Mormons! Wasn't it good? Have they been advertising it on TV and stuff? You should invite a friend to go watch it with you!!
Something gross happened this morning! We went to the public laundry room at our apartment complex to do our laundry, and when we walked in something smelled rancid. Then I looked down on the floor and there were maggots all over the floor!! It was disgusting!! Sister Wang couldn't see them at first because she wasn't wearing her glasses but when she looked closely she freaked out because she hates bugs. It was so creepy. We think something might have died in there. We called the manager and he went and cleaned it up but when we went back to check it out again, there were more maggots! Luckily there are two laundry rooms so we used the other one. It was just nasty though. After that we were freaking out at everything we saw that resembled a maggot haha. It made for an interesting morning though. :)
Hmm let's see....well last week was good, but another slow week. We had two appointments scheduled with M****** but both of them fell through. Then we rescheduled for Saturday, but he didn't show up to that one either and since then hasn't been responding to our calls or texts! So that's been a big bummer. The only reason we have needed to meet him so often is to finish teaching him everything for his baptism which is next weekend. At this point though, if we can't meet with him this week, it doesn't look like it will be happening which is sad. We just need to find out what's been going on and how we can help him. He's been having a rough time at work because his boss is kind of a meany.  A couple of weeks ago on our p-day we were talking to him outside of where he works because he works doing landscaping stuff in that complex, and his boss drove by and yelled at us to "talk to him when he's done working!" Haha it was a little rude but funny because it was like something out of a movie.  Anyways, we have faith that his baptism will still happen on that day but first we need to make sure we're on the same page with him. A couple of weeks ago things were going great! But, when good things start to happen that's when Satan likes to jump in and be dumb.

Other than that, things are going good - Brother G****** is doing awesome! Everyone is so surprised and excited about his decision to get baptized. He is such a funny, nice, easy-going guy. During my time here I've seen a big change in him. He's a lot more enthusiastic and open. It is so neat to witness how hearts can be changed because of the Gospel. :) Oh also on Friday Sister Wang had to go to the eye doctor because she had a weird bubble-looking thing on her eye that had been there for a few days. It turned out to be nothing serious though, just an eye blister that can result from rubbing the eye too much or from contacts. So she got some eye drops and it's gone now. :)

Last week we also had some neat things happen at the Visitor's Center! Yesterday we got to the VC 30 minutes early to eat lunch, and when we got there there was a Chinese family that couldn't speak English. Sister Wang was the only Chinese speaker there at the time so she talked to them and asked if they wanted a tour. They said no because they had already looked around, but she had the brilliant idea of taking them to the Chinese branch which was still going on in the Inter-stake Center across from the VC! So we took them over there and quietly introduced them to the Elders. They were super sweet even though I couldn't communicate with them. And it's funny because Sister Wang said when they got there and the Elders starting talking to them, the dad turned to the elder and said, "Shh....I'm trying to listen." Haha. Anyways, so that was awesome. I think they go back to China soon (which is a bummer because they can't get baptized there) but, at least a seed was planted and they got to go to sacrament.
Well, that's it for this past week. I hope everyone has an awesome week this week! Halloween is coming soon! We get to do deep-cleaning on Halloween and I'm super excited. Haha. I love you all! Read your scriptures every single day and spread the Gospel!!!

Sister Johnson

Also a few tidbits from our back and forth e-mail from Monday:

What have you done today for your P-Day?

Today we got some groceries, went to the dollar store and I bought a kitten calendar!! I am going to write miracles that happen on each day (I wish I started this at the beginning of my mission!!), then we ate at burger king because we had some coupons hehe, then cleaned a little, then came to Oakland to wash our car but a lot of other missionaries were washing their car at the mission home so we came to email then we went to wash our car and then we came back but Sister Wang started talking to a Chinese guy and we showed him around the VC and now we're back emailing :)

Do you ever meet any really mean people?

Actually I haven't come across that many really really mean people, people have been rude but not any extreme ones yet. I talked to a lady on the phone and she was pretty rude though. The other day I talked to a lady who was just really upset off the bat and asked all these questions about what we believe and I was just calm and answered the best I could but she still wasn't happy at the end. But honestly I have no problem talking to rude people. It doesn't bother me at all haha. I'm just really nice and if they are rude back it ain't my problem! And they'll regret it a lot some day anyways which stinks for them and then I feel bad for them hehe.

Look for another post next week and a special post for her half way mark next month!  Bye for now!