Wednesday, June 24, 2015



​San Leandro Zone singing to President and Sister Meredith. So sad. :(
 I love the people who work at the Visitor's Center
Nutty Missionaries
Me and Antonia and their kitten! She's playing with clay. :

 Just and Day on the Lake

 ​Lake Merritt in Oakland! We live nearby. This is the nice part of Oakland.
 ​Candy made by Sister Bookman who lives across the hall from us :)

Well, all's good over here in Oakland. Last week we found ourselves amongst more crazy people than normal. Makes for a lot of good memories! A few of the people we ran into were really cool. We went to visit a referral on a particular street and met a few women who were super nice. One of them was a stripper and the other two we think were prostitutes. They were really interested in what we had to say and two of them want to come to church with us. :)  

And like always, we had a few miracles! First, our investigator D*** who is scared to come to church came to family home evening last Monday! We invited him and he said he would come (but we didn't think he'd actually come, lack of faith on our part). But he came! And he loved it. We had Filipino night and someone played the piano and sang and he just loved it so much haha. We also found a new investigator last week who is amazing and had a great first lesson with him. He will be going to the Berkeley ward because he's YSA aged but we're happy because he will fit right in with the Berkeley ward. :)

Yesterday I gave a talk in sacrament. At the beginning I gave a shout out to dad, saying how he's an amazing dad and a few of the things I've learned from him. :) I felt really bad though because my talk went over and the last person didn't have time to give theirs. There were four speakers total though and I didn't know because I didn't have a program and we came into sacrament late. Oopsie!
We also had Zone Conference, which was my last one. Since President and Sister Meredith are leaving in a week, they gave their goodbye talks and I was balling. They are amazing. And I was also crying thinking about coming home because I am going to miss this so much. But, that's okay, I still have three weeks left. :-)
Well I love you all. Thanks for all you do for me!!!!
Sister Johnson
p.s.  only three more weeks until 
Lauren comes home!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


As Jesse would say,

​Giant Burger. This place is GOOD
Okay, I'm not even kidding you. I keep seeing 11:11 EVERYWHERE. It's super weird and freaking me out. I need to write down all the times we've seen it. Even ask Sister Houskeeper. She's my second witness!
 ​<3 Oakland
​Sister Houskeeper and I!!
​Looks like I need a lesson on the Word of Wisdom....just kidding, we found this right outside the VC.
More Oakland

Hello there!

Well, everything here is swell and Oakland is the best. We're seeing miracles all the time! One that I will share is that yesterday we met with an amazing part-member family. The husband is less active and is starting to come back to church and he wants his wife to learn, so he asked us to come and start teaching her the lessons. They are amazing and are such a sweet, fun family with the CUTEST kids. We had an awesome lesson with them as well. And the husband, although he hasn't been coming to church, has such a strong testimony. We're excited about this family and will keep you updated!!

Sister Johnson



 Hello Mother!

Wow that's so fun to hear about how everything went! It sounds like it was a rockin' wedding reception. Lauren Horne sent me a few videos of Brad and Tatum dancing with the fireworks! So happy and awesome!!!

Well I don't have much time left to email because I was emailing other people (hehe), but I'll just tell you a few highlights of this past week. Last Monday we went to PIXAR! A member from the Oakland 1st ward showed us around (fyi the only way you can go is if you know someone because it's not open to the public. So we got the hook-ups :-) ). It was really neat! We got an inside look at the new movie coming out called Inside Out. It looks like it's going to be cool so ya'll should go check it out when it comes out. The member who took us has worked on a lot of the Pixar films, including Toy Story 3 and Up. So it was pretty neat to hear about how they do things there. And it's kind of like a big kid's playground. It's a huge, really nice facility with couches and life-size models of the characters from pixar movies. And there is free cereal and he rode his scooter around when he gave us the tour. So anywho - that's my worldly update!

In other news, yesterday Jesse was confirmed in sacrament meeting! Yay! He also bore his testimony which was hilarious and wonderful. After everyone else's testimonies he clapped. Haha. We love Jesse! 

We also had a lot of fun last week visiting some less-active members. One of them is named Sister BL*****. She is wiiiiild! We took a bunch of her old clothes to a members' home with about 12 kids. And we also did some service last week for another member, Sister B****** (who is also hilarious). For her we grated some nuts by so she can make us some candy. Haha. It took us a while but we are almost finished. We realized half way through that we could grate the nuts in 10 seconds with a magic bullet or something. Hahah.... oh well, it made for good memories. 

Anyways, my time is running out - I don't have time to send pictures but will send them next week! Love you!!!!

Sister Johnson



 Jesse's Baptism
 Bishop and Sister Cain!!!
 Our District -  Temple Day

 Goofy Missionaries!!!

OH MY GOODNESS I'M SO HAPPY FOR BRAD AND TATUM!!!! They're little family is so cute and they look amazing!!!!!!! Especially Tatum, she is stunning!!! Awwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for those pictures! What a beautiful wedding!!! :D 

Wowzers, well, this past week was AWESOME. Yesterday was a historic day for the Oakland 9th ward for a few reasons. Reason 1 - a man named Jesse who has been learning about the church for 4 years and who has had many baptismal dates that have never happened got baptized! A few weeks ago when we met with him, he told us he is ready to be baptized. Before going we planned on extending a date to him to be baptized and we decided May 31st. So, when we went and when he told us he wants to be baptized, we told him, how about May 31st? And he accepted. So, now the thing we had to make sure happen was that he would show up and actually be baptized! (Because a few of his baptisms didn't happen because something came up and he couldn't even come.) So we prayed hard all week, called him everyday, visited a few times, and he had his interview. Then the day came! We asked him to meet us at church early so he could try on his suit and everything (because the baptism was right after church), and he did!! He came right on time!!! So after that, it was all down hill and it was a great day. He was so happy and when he came out of the water he repeated "hallelujah" and "praise the Lord" multiple times, which was super funny. Jesse is so great. He is such a sweet man with such a great spirit. It took him a while but he finally got baptized. We love Jesse!!! His famous phrase is "Keep your eye on the sparrow." Hahaha!

Reason 2 - Our Bishop, Bishop Cain (who is AMAZING) got released yesterday. He and his wife don't live in the Oakland 9 boundaries so they were called in as service missionaries when he was called to be Bishop. Oakland 9 has never had a Bishop who lives in the ward boundaries, fyi. Well yesterday, someone who actually lives in the Oakland 9 ward boundaries was called to be the bishop!! He was Bishop Cain's 2nd counselor. His name is Bishop King and he is going to be amazing. Bishop King is the first black Bishop to serve in this ward and he is also one of the first single Bishop's in the world (I think). So anywho, it was a really special day for everyone - bittersweet because Bishop Cain is leaving but also a new beginning for the Oakland 9 ward. This ward really is so special. Yesterday when I was sitting there in sacrament, I looked around and for probably the first time ever, I understood what it means to have a true ward family because everyone works so hard to help this ward succeed. There are so many special people in this ward and so much love there. And everyone is just so much fun! I don't know how I got lucky enough to serve in this ward! And good news - we got transfer calls on Saturday and we are staying! So, I will stay in Oakland 9th for the last 6 weeks of my mission. :) I couldn't be happier!!!!

I love the Lord and His work. I've seen so many miracles the last 6 weeks and am ready for more! I love you all!!!

Sister Johnson




Brad's groom's cake for the Rehearsal Dinner! - I Love New York!!!
Such a great cake!!!!!

Friends and family at the Rehearsal Dinner

Coming out of the Temple

The new little family

The Littlest Bridesmaid and a handsome attendant

 This was only half of us!!!

 The table setting for the luncheon
Mother of the Bride!

Mother and Father of the Groom

Sister and Brother In Law of the Groom

Mr. and Mrs. at the Luncheon
The Bridal Party


The Beautiful Bride and her Lovely Sister
 All the pretty bridesmaids!

The Ring Ceremony - Waiting for the Bride!

 Here comes the Bride!
 So Pretty
Sealed with a kiss!

Reception Decor


First Dance 

Dearest Lauren!

My job today is to fill you in on ALL of the goings on that happened this past week!  First of all, I have not had the internet in this house for TWO WEEKS!  I will tell you more about that later, but I can say that your father saved a lot of money because I wasn't able to get into my Etsy or Amazon accounts and buy stuff for the wedding!  It was probably for the best.

Two weeks ago.  Dad and Brad embarked on their adventure across country to take all of Brad's and Tatum's possessions to Roosevelt Island, NY and set up the apartment.  They had a great trip without any complications.  They stayed in Amarrillo Texas the first night; at Keith Flynn's mom's house in Springfield, Missouri the next night;  with Uncle Sean and Aunt Becky the third night in Cincinnati Ohio; and the last night they stayed in a hotel in New Jersey, which they said was kind of in a sketchy location.  But they got there the next morning and had a 3 hour window to move in all their furniture.  Brad's friend from ASU, who also got a job at JP Morgan, came over and helped them move stuff in and they got it all done with 45 minutes to spare.  Then they started setting up furniture and organizing the apartment.  Dad's fingers were all sore because he built 3 dressers, a loft bed, two book cases and I don't know what else.  Brad built a lamp with a table attached to it.  haha!  Anyway, they set up everything so they are ready to go for their first day in their new apartment with  food in the cupboards, so they can probably last a few days without going to the grocery store!

Brad and I stayed up all night (I went to bed at 5:00 a.m. - he stayed up all night) and we worked on the birth to wedding video together choosing pictures.  Derek drove all night Wednesday, hit a dear in PANGUITCH, UTAH (not too much damage to his car and he wasn't hurt) and then he came in at 7:00 in the morning! Then, he and I went to the airport and picked up Britt and Alex on Thursday at Noon and Brad picked up Flynn at 2:00.  Alex, Britt, Derek and I went to lunch at Potbelly's in Tempe and then we all got together at the house on Thursday afternoon.

The first event was all Brad's buds met at V's Barber Shop and Brad got them beard trims and facials!  He had a beard trim and the owner gave him a facial a few weeks ago and he decided that is what he wanted to give his bros for their grooms gift.  They had a great time and then a picture was taken of all of them after they had their trims (and some of them had full beards, like Flynn and Vann Childs!).  The next event was the joint Bachelor/Bachelorette party that Isaiah and Dana (Tatum's sister) put together.  All the bridal party and their husbands and wives were invited and Brad also invited Derek, which was great.  So they went to  a place called "The Culinary Dropout" and they ate tons of h'ordivors and then they played games there.  They had shuffleboard, cornhole, ping pong and games like that. Brittany said it was just a really fun relaxing place to hang out.  People could talk and catch up or they could play a few games so she said it was really fun.

The next day was Friday.  Friday morning Brad and his bud's and Dad and Alex went to play basket ball at church.  After that a few of them went to Lunch and Marcus came over a set up his playstation so they could play Madden.  Alex and Marcus played for a while and then it was time to go to the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner.

At the Tarwater's place, there is Granny's house, then Tatum's Mom and Dad's house, then an aunts house, then a cousin's house all lined up on a two lane street with corn fields across the street.  Behind their houses are some newer homes and also a few fields and a coral for a couple of huge long horn cows (cattle?) that Tatum's Dad owns.  So the ring ceremony was set up in the grass in the yard on the East side of Tatum's house.  They had wooden pallets and crates painted white, stacked on top of each other and the back drop was carnations draping down from a bar going across the top.  They had white chairs.  It was simple and pretty.  So they practiced going down the isle.

Then, there is an arched breezeway leading from the East side of the yard, to the patio behind the house.  So you walk through the breezeway and it takes you to their patio and a square back yard were all the tables were set.  She had all the tables in long rows and didn't have any round tables.  There was a head table for all the bridal party and they had a really pretty backdrop for where the bride and groom sat. So it wasn't set up yet because it was Friday night.  They had a lot of work still to do.  Then after we practiced we went to Granny Tarwater's house next door and had Aloha Kitchen that was brought in.  They had all kinds of dishes that we never eat at Aloha Kitchen! But it was really good.  Jill, Tatum's mom, and I had a grooms cake made, so I have a picture of that which I will try to send to you.  So that was the rehearsal and we all went home and got ready for the next day!

The temple was awesome!  I didn't get emotional until the very end.  The room was full with about 8 people standing, so about 88 people there.

But, anyway, what happened next is that we got to the temple in good time.  Brad and Flynn drove together in Brad's car and Brad was drinking a monster and and one point he passed us and help up his monster in recognition as they passed by.  haha.

It was super hot after they came out (it took her 45 minutes to get ready!), but we were all waiting in the air conditioned waiting rooms.  So before they came out we were told to go stand on the east side down the covered walkway and they came out.  Then we got three pictures and that's it!  We got out of the heat in a hurry!  haha!  We went to Noahs, the venue for the Wedding luncheon and we had a delicious lunch of chicken, twice baked potatoes, green beans and stawberry spinach salad.  Brad delayed us a bit because he wanted to show us the birth to wedding video and they had some technical difficulties, but we played that during the luncheon as well.

So then we went home for about 3 hours and we were all exhausted!  After a pretty short rest, we left for the reception!  

I'll have to write you quick note about the reception later!

I love you Lauren!  We are getting excited to see you.  We got our letter telling us when you will be arriving!  So exciting, but I know you love those folks in Oakland and you are still having fun and doing a lot of good work.  You still have a lot of good work to do!  But we are super excited to see you again!

Ok.  Talking Brad and Tatum to the airport now.  Love you so much!  

Love forever!