Saturday, January 21, 2017


What a week. On Tuesday all of a sudden Hermana Thompson was gone, and Hermana Garcia was here and I had to be in charge and I was like WHOOAAA slow down. I first met Hermana Garcia at a church 45 min out of our area where I was supposed to pick her up. Turns out she speaks English! In fact....mostly english! She just knows spanish cause her DAD is from Guatemala. Anyway...I pick her up, I start driving/ trying to get to know her, and next thing I know we are accidentally driving through the mountains toward Mexico. OOPS lets just say it took us a couple hours of driving "scenic highways" to get back home. So that's pretty much who I am. I'm sure that story doesn't surprise anyone. That wasn't the only time I have goofed this week and it won't be the last. So I have been praying my GUTS OUT that Heavenly Father can some how make me a trainer even though I'm actually Annie Johnson. The only thing I do know how to do is work, so that's what we did as soon as we got home. I think Hermana Garcia has been worn out because we have seriously worked relentlessly! I CAN DO IT We have been working with J (one of our newer investigators) a ton. He has involved himself with the church so much right off the bat! He is at all of the meetings, service projects, and activities! He's sooo awesome...the only thing is that we need to teach him the things to know before he's baptized! Last night we taught him the word of wisdom. When we explained he needs to stop drinking he got very sad and serious. He explained that drinking is his only escape from how lonely he feels. We asked him to pray about it, and after the prayer he was just sobbing. He said he doesn't know if he can stop. Right then I had the prompting to get up and leave! I was like WHAT NO! But that was what the spirit I said we needed to go and we got up and left. (Hna Garcia just followed me...perks of being the trainer?) He was still crying and looked so shocked. I told him to look up a video from Elder Holland and then we left. I felt so bad leaving him like that, but sure enough, ten minutes later, he texted us and said "I CAN DO IT!" I don't know what happened in those ten minutes...but my testimony of the Holy Ghost grew. And I was sure to tell Hrn Garcia that normally we shouldn't just walk out on them...ha. Miracle For the Greenie On Hermana Garcia's first day God gave us a miracle! After teaching what was Hermana G's first lesson ever we were walking back to the car, in the dark, reviewing how the lesson went. I opened what I thought was our car and it turned out to be THE WRONG CAR with a ton of fancy equipment and stuff in it. We shut the doors so fast and started walking to the other end of the block where we had ACTUALLY parked. (anybody who has ever gone anywhere with me has seen me try and get into the wrong car. This is something I really wish I could change about myself. Also I wish I didn't pocket dial people so much...I pocket dial several times a day and have even called President a few time. It's terrible. Anyway.) So we have almost made it down the road back to the car and this lady pops out of the darkness SO MAD. She was DEMANDING to know why we got into that car back there. She was so fired up and was yelling at us to call her daughter (the owner of the car) to verify that we didn't steal anything! I said "Of course, you can use our phone. Sorry it isn't that nice, we are missionaries so...." She stopped dead in her tracks. "Oh i'm so sorry I can't believe I..." And so she went on apologizing. I gave her a big hug to help her calm down. Really she was just a nervous mom! Within seconds she was telling us all about her struggles with life, and God, and purpose. She kept apologizing in between monologues of her life story. She kept saying "why am I telling you this? Why did I chase you?" So of course we told her exactly why....:) I don't know if anything will come of that, but I was SO THANKFUL that God gave hermana Garcia a miracle to get excited about. And I'm thankful that God can use people like me to do the work. Miracle For ME In this past week I have felt so many things change. I have so much more urgency and I'm exhausted all of the time. Above all I have felt my prayers change. I know I can't do this alone...and I know that there is only one person who can really I've been talking to Him A LOT. At church I was sitting in sacrament with Hrn Garcia and J, watching the door for our other 5 investigators who committed to come, but nobody did. I was getting really discouraged. I really just wanted to chill. Just to see my family... and I had the weirdest desire to just sing for a sec! Overall I was kind of losing hope that anything that we are doing is making any difference. I was sitting there praying and searching the scriptures for answers...I felt dumb because I didn't even know what I was praying for! I just needed a boost! Then, one of the high councilmen (who is in our ward) came and pulled me aside. He said he would be speaking in another ward in the next hour and he wanted to use my mom's ensign article. He wanted my permission, and of course I said yes! He then asked if I could sing something so of course I said yes. I hate singing in front of people, and my throat was so sore I was barely talking... but I was pretty desperate for a change of pace, so I said yes. So we sat down in the front row of the meeting...Hermano Escobar (that's his name) began to talk about women of faith. He gave so many great stories and examples of keeping faith through trials. He was crying...everyone was crying...his words of faith were SO POWERFUL. Then he said he would like to close with a story that he read in the Ensign. He had translated Mom's story into Spanish so that he could share it with the ward. He began tearing up as he talked about Mom's faith. He said so many beautiful things about mom that I don't even remember (someone else recorded it so I'll translate it and tell y'all later). But really, it was awesome. It was exactly what I needed to feel close to my family and remember why I am out here working so hard. How did the Lord answer my prayer so perfectly? Then he started talking about the fruits of her faith, her 4 musical kids. My heart flipped upside down...I hadn't put two and two together but I knew he wanted me to sing right then...which meant It couldn't sound bad because he just read, out loud, the lie that my mom put a world wide church magazine about me being a "singer". He said, "One of those children is Hermana Johnson....and she will now sing." This sounds dumb, but standing up to sing was a HUGE spiritual experience for me. I had been sick all week...and I wasn't planning to sing...and I had never sung How Great Thou Art...let alone in Spanish. SO basically the odds were stacked. I did my usual and prayed my guts out. I always say in my head right before I sing "Fear is the opposite of faith". Then, when my heart miraculously stops POUNDING and something, somehow comes out of mouth, I know that Heavenly Father is there. My heart was still pounding as I got up to the first chorus and somehow I felt like God wouldn't help me hit the I didn't haha. I literally pictured in my head the image of Peter sinking and reaching out to the Savior. I felt my self refocus on the Savior...and the whole world stopped! All of the sudden I was having more fun than I ever have had singing! And I didn't feel sick anymore! I felt like I was bearing my testimony! I had no fear! Everyone was crying and I felt like somehow everything that we go through to help people feel the spirit is worth it. But we can only do it through faith. Fear is the Opposite of Faith After I received that PERFECT tender mercy I asked myself, what will the title of my life be? Fear or Faith? I started out my day in fear. Fear that I'm not good enough, that our work isn't paying off, that my family isn't okay....but isn't that silly? I know that God can do ANYTHING. He has a plan! But how is he going to help us if we have fear that He can't do it? Who am I to be "afraid" that God can't bring miracles to the work? Why did Peter start sinking as he walked on the water? Cause He was afraid. If I sink in life it isn't because God wasn't standing right beside me, it's cause I wouldn't reach out in faith. I promise that faith WORKS. It can carry you through anything! Pretty soon we will all be looking back and have the chance to say, Wow...I did a lot of scary stuff. But it was WORTH it cause Heavenly Father did it WITH ME. Mom, don't you think it's worth it? Think of all the people you have helped! Some ward in El Paso was almost entirely moved to tears because of the example you have set! You have taught people all throughout the world how to have faith! What could be a more important calling in life? "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles util after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." -Ether 12:18 Love you all!! xoxoxox