December 23, 2015
Merry Christmas this week everybody! Hope it is everything you want it to be and more with some snow on it.
Oh yeah, it still hasn't snowed yet. Elder Casela still thinks it's not real. I'm debating spreading rice all over our small patch of grass in the front of our house and pretending it's snow for Christmas... I don't know I'm still trying to convince Elder Casela to do it.
This week we had our mission devotional! We were able to get together as a whole mission which hardly ever happens. We got to listen to the sweet sweet music from the soul of ex drama kids in the New York, New York North Mission. They did great. President and Sister Smith spoke. They basically brought everybody to tears. Then we had a lunch. Since I go home mid transfer this was my last time to say goodbye to all my mission friends that I have come to love. It was super tough. I would say the thing that I most underestimated about my mission before my mission, was how close I would get to the other missionaries that I've served around. The people I've been surrounded with have been the biggest blessing.
We recently just finished a 100 day Book of Mormon challenge as a mission. It was a party being able to do it. At the end, President Smith had each of us pen our testimony of The Book of Mormon. I could send you the whole testimony that I wrote out but that would probably bore you to death and I am far to lazy. I just wanted to include a couple of snippets from what I wrote.
Out of every doctrine or topic pertaining to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints there is none for which I have a stronger belief than I do for The Book of Mormon. When it comes to The Book of Mormon it is the sharpest "arrow in my quiver" so to speak. I began reading the Book of Mormon consistently when I was 13 years old and since then it has become more than a book. It has become something that I find refuge in. I have turned to it for peace when my soul has needed solace. It was something I could turn to for protection. There was many times when I was faced with a decision, a temptation of some sort and I would tell myself, "I am going to go and read my Book of Mormon until the desire to do or make a decision I will regret is completely gone." Sometimes I would read a couple verses until I no longer felt the temptation. Other times I would sit there and blaze through chapters at a time until I was ok. There is no other thing that has blessed my life quite like the testimony of the Book of Mormon has, for without it I would not have a basic testimony of any part of this church.
I've seen some people refuse to accept the Book of Mormon as true until God comes down in a lightning bolt, or a clash of fire and tells them so.... They are still waiting on their answer. But at this point it has helped me feel too much good in my life. I would almost need God to come down in a lightning bolt, or a clash of fire and tell me that it wasn't true before I would recall my testimony of it.
Every time I come to the end of the Book of Mormon and I read Moroni's promise, which is to read it and to pray to God and ask if it is true, I have done it. It's at the point now where after I pray to God and ask him if it is true God responds with something like,"Tyler, you already know that it is true. There is really no need to ask me. I have already answered you haven't I? But, because you asked here you go...." And then I usually receive a confirmation of it in some shape or form.
If you ever have any questions or doubts turn to the Book of Mormon. The words in the book might not straight up answer your question but because reading the scriptures is a "best practice" it is an activity that allows the spirit to enter our lives and give us revelation if we are willing.
So in short I guess I could say that I love the Book of Mormon. Go read it. It's pretty great.
As great as it's been emailing you these last two years and everything..... I can't wait to see you guys in person this next week. Hopefully you guys haven't been Catfishing me these last two years.
(I will still shoot you an email next Wednesday tho but like.... It might be pretty skimpy cuz I am gonna do most of my packing next pday.)
Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!
Elder Tyler J Johanson
|Photo from our Christmas party. #ASaviorWasBorn|
CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Discover why Jesus Christ came. I'm not talking about discovering why he came for everybody. That answer is too easy. He came to live and die for us. Boom roasted. No, I want you to discover why you needed a Savior. Why in your life did you NEED Jesus Christ to come for?