Monday, October 31, 2016

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON – From 10/24 - Woah, this week was really cool! :D

Last P-day we played an intense game of free for all marshmallow dodgeball with the zone in Sister Peacock's backyard, and it was really awesome. Haha we were very sore the next day. 
Wednesday was also the most perfect missionary day ever! We literally went from one lesson to another all day, and didn't have to tract, and we felt the Spirit and loved everything. And then we got home and the youth had heart-attacked our door for mutual :') it was so perfect. 
Also, IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY WEEK. So I have a story for y'all. 
Once upon a time, about 3 weeks ago, Sis. Whitehead asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday, and I said "I want to have the whole zone together and eat Papa Johns Pizza for lunch". And Sis Tyler, our Sister Training Leader, said "Oh, we're not allowed to have birthday parties. Sorry." And no matter how dumb I thought that rule was, the answer was "Some missionaries ruined it for us, so we can't anymore". Well... I believed her because I'm new and she's not and that sounded valid, because most of the rules out here are because a missionary once did something stupid, and they had to make a new rule for it. So Sis Peacock offered to take me and Sis Whitehead to lunch for my birthday. That made Elder Weech, our zone leader, surprisingly upset and he told us to cancel. But since I thought it didn't matter, I didn't cancel. So the day of my birth arrived, and Sis Tyler and Sis Strate picked us up from a lesson, and DRIVED RIGHT PAST our meeting point with Sis Peacock, and I was super mad. They were like "We have to get something at the church, we're so sorry!" (we were already 15 mins late, so I was freaking out, but trying really, really hard to be nice, so I just didn't say anything). We get to the church building and I'm jogging down the hallway to get to the primary room where apparently we had to pick up Sis Tyler's "packages", and when I look through the window, there's this dark room with Elder Harris and his camera staring at me. And then it dawned on me.... 
I got a surprise party!! :D And they made me 3 cakes that I had to judge, and they decorated, and they all laughed because I was so mad when I walked in and then I couldn't stop laughing the whole lunch hour. It was really awesome :) And Sis Peacock was there, so they'd had to invite her and tell her there was a surprise party, haha. I love this zone so much! They had apparently started planning the party before they asked me what I wanted. So it turned into a surprise party that I'm really happy about. :)
Anyways, Hailey is still on track to be baptized on Nov. 5th! We're really happy for her! But I won't be able to go to her baptism, because I'm being transferred today. I'm going to the Spokane North stake (thank heavens it's still Spokane) to the 9 Mile Falls ward, with Sister McFall :). We talked on the phone this morning to coordinate transfers, and she sounds really nice. I haven't heard anything about her, which means she probably isn't crazy, so that's good! So, I'm going to be stopping by Hailey's house tonight to say goodbye and everything. Someday I'll probably find her on Facebook, haha. 
Also, thank you all so much for the happy birthday wishes! All the mail and packages were awesome :) You're all awesome. Thanks for making me feel all special. 
Gotta go pack and deep clean everything now... love you all! :)
Sister Johnson

Ps. Here are some pictures! One of my presents, One of our last district meeting (so sad!), and One from my birthday party! :) 

ELDER MATTHEW LEBARON - From 10/24 - Birthday, too much food, and tattoos

What up party people,

Just another day in the life. First off, thank you so much to everyone who wrote to me and wished me a happy birthday, it much appreciated, I had a great birthday! We did more celebrating than I thought I ever would in the mission field! I guess district meeting just turned into Elder LeBarons Birthday party, which was cool! 

I think that I have eaten waaaay too much food this week, not to say that I don't get over fed just about every week, but especially this week in particular. I'm pretty sure that I have had brownies and Ice cream every night for the last 4 and a half months that Ive been out here. During this week we had a couple double dinners scheduled, which are absolutely the worst, there is nothing worse than having a member feed you until you are about to pop, and then going to another house where the other member is under the impression that you are some malnourished refugee, I have never had to gag down so much food, and then the next thing you know, you get on your bike and peddle down the road, and up huge hills at high speeds, its really a bad combination. After having enough food for a small town in a dinner appointment, we went to a youth event where there were some investigators, and the members guilt tripped us into eating in and out, after that we went to a less active who gave us two servings of brownies and ice cream, and gave us the rest to take home, I don't want to even look at food, don't get me wrong, its awesome to have members take care of you so much, but holy cow, my body can't take this.

There is this little girl in our ward, maybe about the age of 7, and I don't know where she got this idea in her head, but she is convinced that me and my companion have tattoos on our butts, she's probably one of the craziest 7 year olds that I know, but it's kind of become a joke among the ward members, her parents have restricted her from talking about anything to do with butts, or tattoos when we come over for dinner, which is probably a good thing, although Me and my comp thought it to be kind of cute and humorous, her parents were petrified, and went completely red the first time she told us that. 

Anyways, the work is moving along, and we are staying busy, just another week in the life of a missionary.

Elder LeBaron

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON...10/19/2016... It's that time of week again!

Ok so first off, we taught the most incredible lesson on Tuesday and I'm so excited at how good the Spirit is at his job. This girl, Andrea, is a single mom raising two little kids. So it's been really hard for her to really read the Book of Mormon and understand what's going on, because her house is usually a little crazy. She's been meeting with missionaries for several months now, and that's been her struggle is just knowing what the scriptures say. So we decided that instead of reteaching all the lessons again, we'd read with her and help her to apply it to herself. We'd read 1 Nephi 1 with her already, and we decided about an hour before her lesson to go through chapters 2-4 with her, and apply it to her smoking addiction. We showed her how Laman relied on others' testimonies, and when he went to Laban to get the plates, that wasn't enough to get him through. And when all the brothers went and used all their resources and possessions to get the plates, that wasn't enough either and they were almost killed. Laban was symbolic of the obstacles that keep us from getting to the fulness of the gospel (the plates), and specifically smoking. And other's encouragement, and even all our earthly resources are sometimes not enough to get by with. But we went back to 1 Nephi 3:7, and 4:6, and asked her if she really believed that God could deliver her if He commanded it. And she understood! And she cried and thanked us so much for helping her to really understand, but it was 100% the Spirit. She was so happy to see that there was real life application for her, and we're so excited for her!! We're going to keep reading with her until the addiction gets kicked to the curb. :D
 We had Zone conference with President and Sister Dymock on Friday, and they're awesome! President talked about the second coming a lot, which was pretty neat. My favorite quote from his training was "All the easy things the church has had to do, have been done. From here on out, it's high adventure" ~Elder Maxwell. It gave me anxiety, but it also made me really excited to see all the amazing things that the church will be able to do before the second coming. 
Sister Dymock trained us on "The Power of Personality" :D. So we took the color code test, all 4 zones of us. I tested 7-Blue 18-Yellow 10-White and 10-Red, so I'm a yellow! :D Haha no wonder life is a party all the time. But the coolest quote from Sister Dymock was "Every personality strength is needed to create Zion", so there's even room for the kids that just wish they could play all the time, because they keep Zion interesting ;). It's been fun, because now the whole zone talks about all our colors, and it makes for some good jokes sometimes. 
Otherwise, this week has been good! I'm stressing about transfers this next week, because I really want to stay here in Spokane with Sis. Whitehead, but I also really don't think I'm staying. Fingers crossed! 
Oh, also it's my birthday this week. In case you had forgotten about it. ;) 
Love you all! 
Sister Johnson

L.A temple trip, Service, and corn pancakes

Happy Hump day,

Sorry for all the craziness that has been happening with my schedule. We
just barley got back from the temple, and it was incredible. We got a ride
with the Glendora 5th Elders, and boy do they have a wild member. We woke
up at 4 this morning to get ready for our 6:45 endowment session. The
member was running really late, and we got stuck in the insane traffic that
leads up to L.A, we were so late we had to go to the 8 o'clock session, all
is well though we had an awesome time, and got an excellent tour of
Downtown L.A because we got so lost, those streets are full of so many
weird things, and even weirder people. All in all, it was awesome to go
back to the temple and to relearn all the awesome things that are inside,
although I feel super tired, I feel spiritually ready to hit this next

Every Tuesday our whole zone goes and waters trees up in the foothills
because we are in a big drought around here, I'm pretty sure California has
been in a drought since.... well ever. After we come back from that we
normally wait at a members house for a ride, and we do random stuff for
him, this past week we cut down a tree, and it was a good time, after we
conquered the tree we cut it into smaller pieces for burning. I was driving
a go cart to unload all the wood, and I heard something to the effect of a
gun shot, instantly, the go cart slumped to the right back corner, and I
knew that I popped the tire. Fear instantly filled me, and I was sure those
tires weren't cheap, luckily for me I had only ran into a piece of wood
that had busted off the air valve, and it was really easy to fix.

Last Tuesday after lunch me and Elder Katanuma headed to a less actives
house. We found him outside cooking on an electric griddle, he said that he
was so happy to see us, because he has always wanted to feed the
missionaries lunch. He was making pancakes, and it seemed that I had just
enough room for maybe 1 or 2. I watched I. Horror as the member poured what
must have been half a can of canned corn on these dinner sized pancakes.
What is this guy doing? Pancakes are supposed to taste good... you don't
put corn in them. If you are wondering, it's even worse than you think.
Never, I repeat never, put corn in your pancakes, I ate about 2 big dinner
plate pancakes and I couldn't take it anymore, it especially didn't help
that he gave us strawberry jam instead of syrup. That day was a pretty bad
day, there is something that heavy carbs and corn does to you, and it's not
pleasant, throughout that whole day people offered us food every where we
went, I was defiantly okay missing a couple meals after that experience.

Well, we baptized Kimberly, and it was an awesome baptism, but there might
be some complications to it. Were really excited for her, and the choices
that she has made to come closer to Jesus Christ, she may need a little
more help than we thought, but I think that we can get her to where we need
in the next couple of weeks. We had an awesome turn out, and there wasn't
enough seats to contain every person that attended, there isn't a feeling
that can quite replicate that.  I hope that everyone's week has treated
them well, until next week.

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON - 10/10/2016 ...Hey, Hey...

Hey hey! 

So this week was different. Mostly because we had a lot of meetings as a zone, and that was really fun but not super productive numbers-wise. 
And then we went almost as a whole zone to help this older lady to clean her house. But she's kind of crazy, and probably not interested in taking lessons with the elders. She also had at least 4 cats, and turns out my companion is severely allergic to cats in large quantities, and by the end of an hour she sounded like a man instead of a cute girl. So we rushed her home to get her inhaler and it was a little scary. Needless to say, we don't let her come help clean that lady's house anymore. We ended up inside most of the weekend because Sister Whitehead just felt so terribly and was so tired. We're very grateful she's feeling better today. We were worried about her! 
Last P-day was really cool though! We got to make giant bubbles because the elders are actually good at planning things. I might have a picture... but most of them are on my camera without a cord for the computer, so I can't send those. We also got Spokompton shirts, so all the sisters can look like a club today for pday. :D 
Otherwise... this week has been alright. We are safe and finding ways to be warm. I discovered some leftover peppermint tea in a cabinet, and I have been making myself happy with that. And we're starting to make birthday plans already, because sisters are always looking for an excuse to go out to lunch together and party. 
I hope you're all doing really well! I love you all :) 
Sister Johnson