Sunday, November 15, 2015

Keep it Hundred

November 11, 2015


No Shave November has been going really good actually. I made it a full 24 hours without shaving. It was nuts. 

Today for P day we went to the mall. We had to buy a coat for Elder Casela so he could survive the winter here. He has never had to wear a coat in his life being from the Philippines and stuff so it was quite the experience. It was super hard to find a coat for him because he is a classy man and likes to dress nice but he is so small that the only sizes that he can fit into are the children's sizes. The only coats we could find had Star Wars and stuff on it or had bright colors, or had bright colored Star Wars stuff on it haha. It seemed like we were never going to find a coat that would work but we finally found one at Macy's. Now he looks fresh to death without being frozen to death. It's kind of funny because he starts to shiver whenever we go outside but it's only like 50 degrees outside. I'm going to be scared for him when it starts actually getting cold.... I'm sure he will take it like a champ though. He always does. I love this guy.
My companion, Elder Casela
The week has been full of finding. Elder Casela and I have been trying a bunch of  angles to jumpstart this area. There is a ton of potential in this area for a lot of really good work.... It's just not quite there yet. But we just opened the area 2 weeks ago. We got our hands on the ward list and have been going through that trying to find all the prospective elders and unbaptized children over 9, as well as trying to find all the less actives that are willing to meet with us. The problem is that it is super hard to find people home. A lot of the guys here are super busy with work and aren't home during the day. This is one of those areas that once people have gotten fed up with New York City living they move to. But a bunch of the guys still work down there. With all this finding we have found a couple solid potential investigators to try to work with. It's all Gucci. 

Random funny story from when we were doing some finding. We stopped by the house of a man that had requested a bible online. A woman came to the door and we told her that we were missionaries coming to drop a bible off and honestly she was kind of rude to us and started shutting the door. We asked if the guy was home so we could give him the bible and she said, "Nope I'm not interested." Clearly not even listening to what we had just said. I asked her what her name was so I could thank her and she said,"I'm here." (Side note: I don't know if it's an east coast thing or just not a Utah thing but a ton of people are super paranoid for whatever reason and won't even tell you their first name.) so then she started shutting the door and I said, "Pleasure meeting you "I'm here" have a great day." Elder Casela and I thought it was pretty funny but clearly the way the woman slammed the door, she didn't agree. Soooo I kind of felt bad a little that she didn't seem to like that but I have come to the conclusion that one day in the spirit world I will have the opportunity to teach her the gospel and we will be laughing at the time...... Hopefully. 

I gave a training in district meeting on being genuine this week. I'm pretty sure that I get more out of these trainings by studying and preparing for them by any missionary in attendance haha. The thing with being genuine is that being genuine doesn't just stem from our actions. It stems from the very core of our thoughts and desires. If we want our outward actions to be pure we have to "keep it real" and be pure from the source of our soul. 

Moroni 7:11 For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

If our thoughts and desires are impure so will our actions. The benefits of being genuine spiritually are that we can't be fake with God. We can't with our actions profess to be one way but inside we are another way. 

A cool quote: "Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance."

If we are genuine with our Father in heaven it allows us to have the spirit flow through us more easily. Think of a drain. When there is a drain on a sink and it is clean from the inside it allows the water to flow through it nice and smooth. When the inside of the drain is clogged with gunk or your sisters hair or whatever it may be, the water can't flow through easily. After a while if it keeps building up nothing is going to be able to flow through the drain. We have to be clean in the very core of who we are so the spirit can flow through us. So yes, being a genuine person, especially genuine with our Father in Heaven can help us feel the spirit more easily. 

So basically what I'm trying to say is, keep it hundred!!!


Elder Tyler J Johanson

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rice. The breakfast of champions.

November 4, 2015
Some of my mission posterity. 
I don't know how I got so lucky to have such short people 
to surround myself with. 
We are the best hide and seek players in the game. 
Short = the best hiding spots available. #RollWithUs 
Elder Casela my current companion is the one to the right of me. 

This week has been one of the more interesting weeks of my mission. Elder Casela and I are opening this new area and we pretty much have no work to start out with. We have been spending tons of time going through ward lists and old area books to try to get in contact with some of the people missionaries in the past have worked with. Just in the last week or so, we have been able to scrape together a teaching pool. There are many prepared souls here in this part of the Lords vineyard. Who knew Stamford, Connecticut of all places would be so sick? 

Area: The area is beautiful. Connecticut is off the chizain this time of year. Trees errywhere. The city of Stamford is a decent size and then on top of that the surrounding areas are fairly wooded. I can kind of see why there are so many horror films that are shot in Connecticut. It's cuz once it gets dark it's flipping scary. It's getting dark pretty early here and every time it gets dark I'm afraid to get out of the car because I'm afraid that a witch is going to bite my head off. #NomNomNom

Companion: Elder Casela is sooooo sick. He is a new missionary but he doesn't act like it. This guy has a powerful testimony. He is from a small island in the Philippines and comes from humble circumstances. The whole "America" thing has kind of been a shock. Things are apparently super different. The littlest things amaze him. 

For example the other night he saw a fire truck pass by with its lights on and he was staring at it passing us like Frosty the Snowman had just come to life and was streaking across the park. 

It's been so fun because he gets excited about the littlest things. It helps me remember how gratitude is a choice and there are a ton of blessings everywhere if we are willing to look for them. 

Also, Elder Casela eats more rice than Joey Chestnut eats hot dogs on the Fourth of July. He literally eats it for every meal. The other day I got out of the shower in the morning and he had made me a huge plate of rice for breakfast. Rice is the breakfast of champions. He is such a boss!

Roommates: I currently live with Elder Brown who I was companions with in Scarsdale and Elder Pulu who I just served around in the Bronx for the last 6 months. Life is a party. 

Spiritual quote of the week: "There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone." -Elder Bednar

That quote gave me strength this week as I felt super inadequate. God will help us with the work if the work is His will. We can feel reassured and strengthened when we do Gods will. Even if the task is hard we can know it will all work out if it is what God wants us to do. 

Think of Nephi for example. He was asked to go back to the city that his father was just about stoned to death in to get the plates from Laban, probably knowing full well that there would be a chance that they could suffer the same death that their father almost had, or worse. But he knew that the Lord wouldn't ask them to do it if He wasn't going to help them out with the task. 

We do receive help in our lives from deity! I know it because I can feel it. If you can't feel it just remember that we put the limitations on ourselves of how much we feel of Gods love and guidance. 

Love you.

Elder Tyler J Johanson
Saying goodbye to my homegirl Barbara in the Bronx. 
It hurt leaving that place. 

Deuces Bronx

October 28, 2015

I don't have that much time today to email cuz it's transfer day and I am getting transferred. I was released as a zone leader and I was called to be a district leader and to train in a new area. I'm getting pulled out of the Boogie Down Bronx after 7 and a half months and I'm going to s(w)erve in Stamford, Connecticut. The whole thing is pretty crazy and has taken me by surprise, but I'm good with whatever the Lord wants.
Olmstead Zone Pics
 My last week in Olmstead was amazing though. Joseph was baptized and confirmed this week!
Joseph's Baptism
He has such a cool story. Originally his brother wanted to prank Joseph, so he requested online that missionaries stop by and drop him off a bible. When the sisters showed up to give him the bible he ended up being interested. Haha it's been crazy how quickly he has progressed. The most ironic thing of all is that his brother who was pranking him by having the Mormons go by, is mad and upset with him that he is baptized. Hahaha lolz. The Lord works in mysterious ways. 

I met my new companion too. His name is Elder Casela. He is from the Philippines. He seems pretty foreign, but he also seems like a stud at the same time.

Sorry the email is short but like............... A picture is worth a thousand words right?
Legen....dairy ice cream pic
Elder Johanson