Monday, January 30, 2017

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON - 1/23 - Hello again, everyone!

The first is that Sister Mitchell is a power house, and we are going to rock at taking over both Quail Run ward, and the Potlatch Branch. She and I spend most of the time laughing, and we get along super easily, which is awesome! I feel like I've known her for 10 years, and it's been barely a week. Missions are weird like that. 
The second reason, is THAT JAKE WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED ON FEBRUARY 4TH!! We had the coolest lesson with him, and he brought up that we'd invited him to be baptized on that date before, and he'd reconsidered and wants to be baptized! We are out of our minds excited for him!! AH! The Lord is so good at his work and I'm so honored I get to be a missionary, and I get to watch people learn how to work with the Spirit. Man, life is so good!
Also we had a lot of fun trying to figure out the Potlatch branch. If we wanted to go to the furthest north part of our area, it would take us about an hour. Everybody out there is super nice, though! There are lots of tiny towns we get to try to see people in. Not a lot of work is out there right now, but we're really excited to build it up, and the members are really excited to have sisters in their area now. It's like a mini road trip to the boonies every other day to get out there. We pack snacks and extra blankets like we're going to be stranded for 5 days, but you never know, right?
Well.... not a lot happened other than that. Mostly we've been organizing and meeting members and trying our hardest to get our feet back on the ground. But here are some pictures too! 
The little group shot is of Sis Atwan and me, and Elders Nelson and Weech just before Sis Atwan and Eld Weech were sent away to faraway lands. 

Also Sister Mitchell!! And a very, very icy sidewalk we had to brave this week.

And a picture of Sis Mitchell's nephew that I think is absolutely hysterical. She let me cut him out and keep it and put it on my wall by my study desk. And I crack up literally every time I look at it. Enjoy. 

Love you all!! :) Look up the scripture 2 Nephi 5:27

 when you have time, it's my new life motto. 
Sister Johnson

ELDER MATTHEW LEBARON - 1/23 - Rain, Rain, Rain and transfers

Hello from Cali,

As you can tell by my subject, it rained so much this week, holy cow. Everyone here in California have been freaking out. They say this is the most it has rained in over 5 years, which makes sense, considering the drought has been about 5 years. Every single day it has rained, and on Sunday it literally rained all day, and not just a light little pitter patter, no it rained hard. The streets flooded, and a lot of the drains got clogged, so we had rivers, which was pretty terrifying seeing some of the cars fly by, knowing that any moment, some merciless anti mormon could soak us to the bone, not that we weren't
Already pretty soaked, but man I wanted to keep what little left I had dry, dry. 

The rain makes things really really inconvenient, biking is so dangerous because your breaks don't catch as well after you ride for awhile, so we always have biked and bussed, but after a couple weeks of doing this, me and Elder Crane got sick of it. We decided that we were going to take our bikes for one of our appointments so that we could at least beat the horrible bus system and make it on time for once, and for the first time that week, it stopped raining, and so we were in the clear, or so that we thought. We made it through the appointment, got outside, and still nothing, but while we were on our 30 minute bike ride back, it started to pour. I can't remember the last time that I got that wet in the rain, but man... if you have ever wondered if you will get more running in the rain than walking, you will definitely get more soaked running, at least thats the conclusion I came up with while trying to peddle faster to get home. 

Transfers were today, we are in a trio, also, the Elder that was going to come to our area got ETed, (emergency transferred) and so there was a quick Shuffle around the mission, but other than that, me and Crane are still together, Until he dies, and then it will just be me and Elder Mitchell, I'm pretty happy with the companionship thus far. Actually I have been sleeping so well in this area, I think that its because I have been experiencing a lot less stress, I'm grateful for Elder crane, he is awesome!

Juliet is ready for Baptism, she is super solid, even though she has been going through some pretty serious challenges getting ready for her Baptism, she's ready. Unfortunately we had to drop the date we had for James, one thing that I am so grateful for is the word of wisdom, I never truly had a concept of what addiction can do to you before I came on the mission. I know without a doubt that the prophets truly are inspired by God, and that they are lead by Jesus Christ himself today. Also, I have been so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve a mission, especially lately. If there is anyone that is reading that that has every considered going on a mission, and is still able to, do it. Going on a mission has completely changed the perceptive I have on life, It has challenged me, shaped me, and polished me, even in the short amount of time that I have been out.  I could not imagine trying to raise a family in the future without this new perspective that I have attained on a mission. There is no sacrifice when it comes to God, I know that to be true. If you give him a little, he will bless you beyond measure. I love this Church, and I love God, and I love all of you. Thank you so much for all the support and love that I have received thus far on my mission, I couldn't have made it this far without it, today my heart is full of gratitude. I hope that everyone has a great week, you deserve it!

Elder LeBaron

(These pictures were taken at an older members house while we waited for dinner)

Monday, January 23, 2017

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON - 1/16 - I'm back again! :)

So transfer calls were this weekend, and I am staying in Moscow! But they are adding the Potlatch Branch to our area, so we'll be covering 2 wards. Also.... they're taking Sister Atwan away from me. I'm very sad. But she'll finish up her training with like, the best sister in the mission, and she'll be going to Spokane! She's going to be just fine :). My new companion's name is Sister Mitchell, and I'll meet her tomorrow. I'm way excited for this next adventure, even though I'm really sad I won't be seeing Sister Atwan every day anymore. 
This week was pretty good though! We had a lesson with Jake about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was so great! That kid is way more mature than I was at 17... I'm so grateful Heavenly Father trusted us enough to teach him. Man, good things are coming his way, I'm so excited! He's thinking about baptism right now, and we're just waiting to hear about it :). 
Funny story! I high centered the car on an ice bank. It was thoroughly embarrassing because we were supposed to be going to a lesson (with Jake and the Walker family), and we were only 3 houses up from where we needed to be.... so after I hopelessly and fruitlessly tried to dig myself out for 10 minutes, cutting my thumb in the process, I humbled myself enough to go ask the Walkers for help. It was a good bonding experience, Sister Atwan says, because Jake came out and helped us too. I just felt like a distressed damsel and I didn't like it. We got out though! That was good! I won't be cutting it close on a U-turn ever again, haha. 
Isabeau is also progressing again! She's actually reading and praying on her own now :) and asking questions instead of just sassing us. She's also asked God for a sign that he's there, which is always interesting! AND! We planned a lesson on Faith based on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego... and we were like "Hey Isabeau, guess what we planned??" and she said "It's not about Nebuchadnezzar, is it?" and we just jaw dropped and were like "IT TOTALLY IS AH!" And then! a few days later we called her to read with her, and were like "hey guess what we're going to read?" and she asked what, and we said "David and Goliath!" and she said "No way.... I was just thinking about that story today and how I needed to study it!" and we were freaking out! And THEN, we had a lesson with her about Alma 7, and talked about how to have faith we need to show that we are applying Christ's teachings, so we need to read and pray. And I started talking about how those simple things are like Moses holding up the staff with the snake and healing the people who would actually look. And she stopped me and with these wide eyes, and showed me some notes on her phone she'd taken a few days before. And right there was a question about Moses and the Staff. She told us that she had asked God, that if he was there, we would just talk about that story. IT WASN'T EVEN PART OF THE PLAN IT JUST HAPPENED. It's amazing how the Spirit works, and you don't even know it sometimes. Man alive. 
Well, I can't really think of anything else that happened this week. It's going to stop snowing though! And.... it's going to start raining. It's going to be a mess trying to drive around Moscow. Good thing we pray before we leave the apartment. 
I love you all! :) I hope everything is well! Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! :)
Sister Johnson

Here are some pics. I'm too lazy to explain anything. But there you go! :)

ELDER MATTHEW LEBARON - 1/16 - Grafitti & Gambling

 Hey party people, 

This week dragged a bit longer than I expected it to, but hey, party day finally rolled around, so here we are. We have been focusing a lot this week on the people that we have on date for baptism, which is Juliet and James, both of which have a date for the end of this month. Juliet is a lot more solid than James, and I'm starting to think we might have to push his date back a bit so he can be more prepared, but other than that, there hasn't been too many exciting things. 

After one of our lessons with Juliet she wanted to thank us, she told us that she didn't have much, but she got us something really special. She reached in a bag and pulled out two things, Fiji water, and a dollar scratcher lottery ticket, she told us that she hoped that we won, and also that Fiji water is the best water in the world, and the best at hydrating us apparently? The water was pretty cool and all, but I was pretty excited about the dollar scratcher, I won 4 dollars, so that was cool, but I couldn't bring myself to turning it in to the gas station. I can't imagine that would look too great for the church, but man it was tempting. on a side note, gambling is fun. 

A couple of weeks ago the church got vandalized, so I couldn't help but at least get a picture with it. The jehovah's witnesses down the street seem to be a pretty good culprit.

other than that, that's pretty much it, so in the least I can give you guys some aesthetically pleasing photos 
Elder LeBaron.

Friday, January 13, 2017

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON - 1/9/2017 - Hello my cute people! :)

It's been a really interesting week. Sister Atwan got pretty sick after church last week, and was put on an all liquid diet by the mission nurse. BUT the problem is that left her pretty weak, and we didn't leave the apartment much. 
We did get to go to the Missionary Leadership Council though, because I'm an STL now :). It was awesome! I can hardly believe I get to associate with so many amazing missionaries. We had a pretty funny/scary experience driving to Spokane though! I got to drive a little Toyota Corolla with two sisters from Lewiston, and we followed the elders up highway 27. But the elders have a Subaru with 4 wheel drive, and they are far more bold on the road than I could afford to be in the little Toyota. And apparently, highway 27 was closed because of dangerous snow conditions. But we were just following the elders and we didn't really know so we just went for it. And then about halfway to Spokane, we got pulled over by a very angry cop who was pretty mad that the elders had taken this highway despite the road closed sign (way, way, waaaaay back in town) and threatened to have us all arrested. It was pretty scary... but the cop got most of his yelling out at the elders, and when he walked back to talk to us he was a little nicer (I think because he realized we were just following and trying not to get lost). He let us continue on but on the condition that we self report our law breaking. So Elder Weech and I told President that we had driven down the closed highway, and he was really chill about it. At least we were on time for the training! But we definitely won't take that road in the winter anymore. 
Then on Friday, the zone leaders and I were able to deliver all the training and discussion from MLC to the rest of the zone! I was super nervous because I've never trained the zone before, but it turned out so amazing! The training was on repentance and how "In this mission, we chose to repent." For the month of January, the whole zone is going to be studying repentance and how to both apply and teach it better. Because as missionaries, that is the whole point of our work; to show people how to repent and turn back to God. We also got to watch part of Elder Holland's talk, The First Great Commandment. It is always an inspiring listen or read. Go look it up sometime :). 
Also this week, we have had rain, and snow, and wind, and sun, and it always seems to make driving an adventure. We pray, and we pray hard every time we have to drive. This Arizona girl is not happy with the weather. But at least I have warm clothes! 
I hope everyone is doing so great! I found a scripture this morning, 1 Samuel 17:37 i think, about how David is not afraid of Goliath. It gave me some hope for this week :). Satan (like Goliath) has far more war experience than I do. But! God has more experience than he does, and God is always with us to deliver us. He's done it before, and he can do it again! There is always hope. 
I love you all! 
Sister Johnson

Here are some pics! Me scraping ice off the car=not fun. 

Me photo bombing my cute comp.

Me washing the car even though it's 2 degrees outside. (not literally, I'm just whiny)

And a picture of a picture of our zone a couple of pdays back! It was 80s/90s themed. 

Pretty great!