Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Best Six Weeks of My Life...No Sarcasm

Hello family!!! I have SIX DAYS LEFT in the MTC. Wow things are getting real. I will really really miss it here. The spirit is soooo strong. I literally have been living in Zion's Training Camp. I LOVE my district and my teachers so much. My district has become really really close. It's a really great thing, until our inside jokes make us bust up laughing in the middle of class every 5 seconds. I have not laughed as much in my whole life as I did this week. A day with my district is easily as entertaining as a day with my Hillsdale Homies (shout out...miss you guys<3). Yesterday in particular I got elder Faber laughing so hard that he was doubled over and had to grab a trash can because he thought he was going to puke. I don't even remember what I said...but I guarantee it wasn't THAT funny. But being cooped up in a classroom for 9 hours a day makes anything hilarious. On top of my district making me laugh, Katie won the dear elder competition this week. That girl is hilarious....We read all of her letters out loud and died at all of the random things she says. If you don't know my sister....bummer for you. She's awesome. 

This week, one of our teachers left to go get married (so selfish) and we have really been missing him. His name is brother Workman and he is more than likely one of the three Nephites. He is the nicest, most caring teacher in the world. He has changed the lives of all of us, just by being who he is. He is so centered on Christ and humbly represents Him in everything he does. It has been so amazing to have him as a teacher....just remember this e-mail when you hear Jared Workman get called as a general authority in 60 years. It's going to happen.

Being centered on Christ brings me to my main learning theme of this week. Christ said "Come unto me all ye heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Of all of His commandments, that is the command he gives that makes the most sense. Sometimes we get so caught up in all of the aspects of the gospel. There is so much to learn to do, improve on, and perfect. It can get really overwhelming at times. But what is this gospel really about? It's about Jesus Christ. It is a MIRACLE that He was able to save us from our sins. If you think about it, how perfect and just God is/has to be, we should be lost and fallen forever. But by some miracle God created a way for mercy to overcome justice so that we can be clean and return to live with him again! That way is Jesus Christ! He suffered for all of our sins, and afflictions. It truly is a miracle. BUT that doesn't get rid of our personal responsibility to be good. Because how do miracles happen? Through faith. (Ether 12 haha...<3) So we have to have faith in Him and take that step to go to Him! He knows that we will make mistakes, but what does he ask? "Come unto me" and what does he promise? "I will give you rest." His arms are out-stretched in mercy ALL OF THE TIME. He is just waiting for us to come to Him. He doesn't care if we have never made a mistake in our lives or if we are the worst sinners in the world, He just wants us in his arms. (hah..side note: I realize every day how many mistakes I made. Even when I thought I was doing good, I was missing the mark. For example: People come up to me all of the time and say "Sister Johnson!"... like they know me and are excited to see me. Turns out basically my entire YSA ward is here and I don't recognize/know ANY of them. How is it that they all know me and can remember my sunday school classes/talks/testimonies in detail but I don't even recognize them!!! This has happened more than 8 times....I'M TERRIBLE! I was missing the mark big time. Teaching about Jesus and not caring about anyone I was teaching? ew...I am the worst. Thank goodness for repentance am I right?) Anyways...back to the point. Christ doesn't want us to sin or to stray from the path, but he would never punish us for trying to get back on the path. He just wants us in His arms. And I KNOW, because of the miracle of his atonement, he will get us back to live with Father in Heaven again. And he will make our journey to get back so sweet, happy, and peaceful. 

SO this is my advice to myself this week as all of the crazy mission stuff is unfolding. Trying to figure out how to be a better teacher, companion, sister training leader, friend, sister...I truly believe that the answer will always be Jesus Christ. If you want to be better, be like Him. If you don't know where to go next? Go to Him. If you don't know what you should be doing? Do what He did. Just look at his example and try to follow it. I know that as we try to follow Him, even if it is just by smiling at someone or being a friend to someone, He will bless us for walking in His footsteps. 

Thanks for all of the love and support! And especially for all of the e-mails about conference!!! I forgot to say this but it was SO FUN to spot Natalie and Katie out in the crowd. And I got to see Nick and Nat at my temple walk this week!<3 So awesome!

I love you all! And I loveeeee being a missionary!

Hermana Jo

P.S. Said goodbye to Bobby Hinkley this week! He was headed to Taiwan! And GUESS. WHAT. He is companions with Zack Johnson the best cousin evvvaaaaa (that's just a saying I <3 all of you equally. Had to clarify because I'm pretty sure that out of the 150 people that get this e-mail my cousins make up more than half HA) Anyway Robert is the MAN. I remember in his farewell talk he said "Thank you all for getting me to where I am today...but don't take too much pride in that." Lol...funny kid. GOOD LUCK ELDERS JOHNSON AND HINKLEY! 


"a photo collage of what happens when we decide to get REALLY productive and test all of the filters on my camera with a mini photo shoot. You're welcome"

"Cool filter right?"

"Jackhijo and Johnhijo"