Monday, December 26, 2016

Dec. 26th

This week really was a blast and just an all around blessing. The Lord has blessed us so much and this season is one of His tender mercies. Families are brought together and friendships forged.It's been a wonderful week and I was able to speak with my family for the first time in over six months. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and very special new year! 🎄 There are 2 videos attached, the first is a Christmas message and the second is for humor.



New Friendships being built...Merry Christmas

Talked with my family for the first time in 6 Months! I sure Love them!

                                       video
If you've ever watched Fear Factor you may enjoy the video. On the other hand, if you get queezy watching people eat eggs with chickens in them, you may want to skip watching this one! Sometimes meetings are full of fun!
                                     

                                             Sharing Christmas with Elder Marz

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dec.12th

Well a very merry Christmas to you all!! I'm super excited for this season and can't wait to share it with others. Oh by the way this is our awesome albino Christmas tree that we found in the closet!


Speaking of this awesome season one of our friends, Santos, decided to give his family the best gift possible and join them in the kingdom of the Lord through baptism. I'm so excited for him to be sealed to them in a year!


Our ward is a tender mercy of the season, they treat like family and love us just like their own 😊

Sunday marked the annual Fireside from the Spanish missionaries of New Jersey. It was an incredible experience and the spirit was super strong. I loved seeing a lot of the missionaries their and past companions who have really brought a light into the mission for me and for countless others.




I am very grateful for all of you and even more grateful for the Savior we have been given. He lives. He loves us and all we need to do is seek out the spirit. I know this is true with all my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.🎄

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dec. 5th

So this was my first week with Elder Marz as my companion and he is incredible! Super super kind heart, very close to people and Heavenly Father and he likes all the same things I do! I'm so very very grateful to have had so many wonderful companions and I'm even more grateful to continue having new ones. Elder Marz is very talented at fly tying, anything to do with fishing, swimming and getting along with people. Plus he's super humble.

The Lord is starting me off in this transfer with many blessings and one of those is Journal Square, Jersey City. This place is super different than my last area! There's a lot more Indians, a lot less Spanish people and a whole lot more city. Plus we're in a driving area so it's a whole new world in the way of proselyting.

I haven't quite gotten completely submerged in the culture here yet so I'll send a more thorough report back next week, but one thing is for sure the members here will fill your stomach until food starts coming out your nose 😂

Ever since Thanksgiving I've been seeing more and more of the Lord's hand in my life, especially during this Christmas season when we focus on giving rather than just receiving. I've realized that the more we turn outward the more we grow in not just our power but how to tap into the Lord's. I wish I had my study journal because there's been some amazing scriptures I've found over the past couple weeks..
Here's an awesome one!

Mosiah 24:
12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

Afflictions are hard and often times they come even when we don't ask for them, that just happens to be how much the Lord loves us. With afflictions and trials we grow, we blossom. We gain Christlike Attributes and learn to "submit" more frequently to the point where afflictions become "cheerful" and cherished moments. "Patience" allows us not only to let the Lord bear our burdens but to also spend our energy helping others during the meantime.
I bear my testimony with all my heart and energy that it does not matter how strong your belief is. It matters how strong your heart is. Pray for trials and the Lord will answer them and help you recognize His hand. Look forward with hope for the best and the faith you gain will become a tool to strengthen the hearts of others. Let us do all we can this Christmas season to aleve the burdens of others and #LIGHTtheWORLD!


Love Ya all Tons!

Elder Lucas Michael Johnson.
Elder Johnson and Elder Marz

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28th


Thankful Heart Today 💗

Well this day marks the last of the third transfer in the mission
field. It also marks the last of my days as Elder Langi's companion.
During last nights transfer call I was reassigned to proselyte in the
Journal Square area of Jersey City. This holiday season has taught me
a lot about the true nature of the giving of thanks so I would love to
spend some time to do that.

First I want to give thanks to my companion. For spending hundreds of
hours teaching and trying and serving with me and never once giving
up. Thank you Elder Langi for pulling our pioneer wagon. Thank you for
loving me and teaching me to love you back. Thank you for loving
Heavenly Father and always putting him first. Thank you for your
example, to change to something even greater over the weeks, something
even more beautiful at heart.

Thank you, I love you man.


The next people I want to give a hug full of thanks to would be the
members and leaders of the Newark Spanish Ward, the most consistently
loving people I have met in my life and it has truly changed my aspect
of what people can be. It could feel it as it permeated the chapel
air, too thick to cut with even the sharpest of knives, every Sunday
morning at 9:10 sharp (Latino equivalence of 9:00). I felt it when
they would nod their heads and support my Spanish even though nothing
I said made sense. I felt it in their love for each other and their
true desires for others to continue on this journey, enduring to the
end feeling filled with the love of Christ. I felt their love and saw
it most in the leaders who dedicated their lives to the mission work,
never hesitating to be a member present in a lesson or share something
on Facebook or even to fill our bellies when our other appointments
bailed! I felt it in all extra 35 pounds of me to love I have been
acquiring 😂
To you members who have made all the difference in the way I look at others,

Doy a Dios gracias por cada uno de ustedes. Que Dios les bendiga por
todo de su servicio, especialmente en la obra misional.

                                                So Grateful to Everyone in Newark











TURKEY BOWL 2016!~


Just A Little Service!
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Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21st

RED CAR. BLUE CAR. GREEN CAR. BROKEN CAR.
There's something about the street in front of our apartment or maybe
it's just us 😂 but it seems like we can't go a week with out there
being some sort of accident on either corner of our block!
So far the total is 2 on the corner of Summer and 3 or 4 on Garside. I
think we're going to start lining the streets in bubble wrap..

video

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14th

What a beautiful day to WORK. We were able to attend the Manhattan, New York Temple and filled the subway with Missionaries! Here's a few photos of this Amazing experience.

Love You All,
Elder Johnson

There's also a video at the end sharing Luke's experiences from the week they all went to the temple. Take a minute to watch and listen if you want to brighten your day
             BEST  PICTURE EVER! We love seeing that they've actually worn holes in their shoes!
                                                         -Elder Johnson & Elder Langi                      


                                                         Manhattan, New York Temple

           
   Filling the Streets with Missionaries!

                                                               Filling the Subway Too!!!!

                                                       Look at all those Happy Faces!

We Love These Missionaries!

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Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24th

"Well the fridge broke this morning and we talked to the landlord and he was pretty indifferent. Well that led us to harbor some ill feelings. Turns out he was right and the fridge is our responsibility. I am convinced that God will never give us a good reason to harbor ill feelings on our missions. And that in our normal day-2-day lives if there ever were a moment where we were flat out wronged we would not be able to distinguish it from "wrongs" that have a reason. It is always better to seek an unwavering Christlike love. Appreciation is the place to start and end.

IT'S NOT ABOUT ME

No matter how wronged we've been, no matter how much we may feel wronged or stressed or forgotten, there is ALWAYS another side the life."

I love you guys and really hope the best for every one of you. I testify that Heavenly Father wants the best for everyone of us no matter how complicated or dire things may seem.


Sincerely,

Elder Johnson

video

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17th




I'm happy to say that Elder Langi and I will be staying together for at least another transfer!
I am most grateful for from yesterday was the opportunity to receive love from the children. Yesterday the primary had an activity to feed the missionaries and to share their testimonies. Check out the video and pictures! Anyways it was a great tender mercy and a much needed moment of gratitude.
Life is truly about continually reminding ourselves to be better. Jarom 1:12 "They did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance." It's also about learning to have the spirit with us always. And the instructions are already there. They are in one book. And our way to change, grow and keep the spirit with us is by actually reading it (like opening the instruction manual), and from that the spirit can teach us (actually reading the instruction manual). Haha and if any of you are like me and my dad you'd hate reading instructions but:
     They leave no room for doubt.
     Installation is so much easier.
     You can actually start using it.
     They allow you to add your personal touch.

There has been a lot to be grateful for this week. There have not only been so many opportunities to have fun and feel the spirit but also to feel the spirit by having fun (see the pictures!).
In the last several days I have learned many lessons on the spirit. Most especially of its role as our perfect teacher. The greatest things we can ever aspire to become are brought to past by the fruits of the spirit. And while achieving those goals, if by the spirit, trusting God, you can and will have fun (or for the old Geezers, joy). In Elder Langi's words, "If you aren't having fun you're doing it wrong!"

Let's not forget one of the simplest scriptures ever! (The only one I have memorized haha)
    2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.

If you are having a problem, if you are stressing out, if you feel like you rather stay in bed in the morning than get over yourself and let yourself fall into His hands. Read. Pray. And rest so you can do the things in this life that are necessary. There is ALWAYS a greater perspective (even for those of us who are perfect 😉). Try using the instruction manual and actually do the things it says to do. As remedial as the tasks are, each letter was chiseled into metal/stone for a reason

Piggy Back Rides!
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Primary Event

                                              First WalMart Shopping Trip

Monday, September 26, 2016

All Missionaries Are Safe

Just a short update from Mom and Dad. We received an email and Facebook message that no missionaries were injured in the Hoboken train wreck that occurred this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured or killed.

September 26th, 2016

So a couple quick thoughts from this week in my journal that have really helped me out and keep coming back up.

"I am, we are in His hands and the experiences that we have and the events that surround us will always be for our eternal good if we let them. Humility plays a key role in conversion. And the lock to that conversion is our motive; real intents to learn and grow for the reasons that matter most to us. And when those reasons begin to align more with His all that we learn will lead us to grow continually in His pattern. Meaning that we will be able to live in the moment and appreciate every good thing for its origin, our Heavenly Father. That is the true meaning of humility and that is what will make life not only worthwhile but enjoyable for the individuals that we uniquely are."


First Taxi Cab Ride! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sept. 12, 2016

Hola Friends and Family,

So the thing I really want to share this week actually came up in
stake conference. Marcel, a spiritual giant who was quoting Buddha in
front of not only the stake but also an Area Authority!, gave a really
incredible talk about truly improving. He talked about how the only
way to be true disciples of Christ is to act. And instead of just
leaving that vague statement in the air he spoke about how to act and
one of those ways just happens to be in Preach My Gospel. The PMG is
an incredible tool for the missionaries to use but there's a reason
it's available to everyone in Gospel Library. At the end of Ch 6
there's a Christlike attribute activity that has helped me so so much
to inch closer to the man I want to become and the disciple I want to
be.

I want to encourage those who are reading this email to fill out that
57 Question survey in the PMG and I promise that it will bring you
closer to Savior. Not only will you learn to know Him more but you
will become more like Him.

I know the Lord blessed us each and everyday, I'm so grateful for that
and so grateful to be in His arms. I know that He truly does love us
and it's a marvelous work to see that knowledge change people's lives.
Hopefully you've seen some of the Facebook posts! They're staring off
a little on the rough side but eventually will figure it out :)

Love you guys!

Elder Lucas Johnson




video
video



Monday, September 5, 2016

Sept. 5th, 2016


Last week we were able to do a little "busting", which was an Amazing experience. This is when we go with a brand new "greenie" missionary, split off into companionship's and start talking and teaching people in the middle of Newark. The diversity in the middle of the city is immense, the buildings and stores are Huge, it's almost like a whole new mission, since we have just been in our neighborhoods. It's still extremely hot, but I'm learning so much and my perspective is opening up to what's most important in life. I wouldn't change this experience for anything right now. It's the best and most difficult thing I've ever done. This past week I was affected by General Conference talks, journaling and loving people I hardly know. 



                     Improvised Head Phones! Next thing we'll see him using a cassette player! :)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Our General Authority Experience

Finally got my iPad! It's an incredible tool and has helped so much in
planning and even more in finding new investigators and sharing our
message!

So we set our first solid baptismal date. The fun thing is that she
was the first person I ever contacted in Spanish! I'm super excited
for her, she's 16 and already looking to serve a mission!

There were some really awesome things that I have learned in the
exchange this week. The main thing being the initiative to go and do.
A lot of times it's hard to go straight out and take actions. As
members and missionaries we want to fellowship people into the church
but a lot of times our nonmember friends need our message before our
friendship. Hope this experience can help you. Love you guys!

We had a General Authority, Elder Dubei, come and speak to the
mission! Incredible experience and normally it would just end there
but while he was here he decided to tag along with a pair of Elders to
see what they did throughout the day. And no those elders weren't me
and Elder Langi, but they were the other companionship in the 4 man.
So you can only imagine our surprise when we came home and a member of
the Seventy is cracking jokes about how messy our apartment is 😂



I didn't take too many pictures but here's a pretty fun one.
Apparently my companion is really good at cutting hair.

Monday, August 15, 2016

3rd Week in Newark

So not to freak you guys out but this week has totally been crazy haha! Like I've been saying for the past couple weeks New Jersey is well.. Different. One of our appointments ended up being a guy who was pretty tipsy and a little too into my "pretty eyes" and then yesterday we got off the bus to see a guy casually strutting, very much naked, down the street! Anyways I guess if I were to put in words my experience of this week it would be that overused phrase in the MTC, " There is no growth in the comfort zone." Well it's very much true and often times it also means that there is no growth in knowing where you are going to end up.

      I really burnt myself out this week. I think that God gives us talents not only to help in His work but to also humble us in knowing that those tools are a gift. Being doubled into an area that just opened has really been difficult and it's taken all of our effort to utilize our skills and get this area up and running (For those of you who don't know mission terms we pretty much started from scratch in finding people to teach each day). My lesson from all the work we've been doing lately is that you can get burnt out. As members, missionaries or even just people we follow a monotonous cycle of being humbled to the point where we learn to use our tools and talents, and then working ourselves to death because we start depending on one way of using our tool.
    

  Hopefully some of this makes sense but the main message I'm trying to get across right now is that in order to break the cycle we must always turn to Lord. I personally know that such a commitment is unrealistic but it should be our end game. It should be on our minds. I have never regretted a moment in peace to gather my thoughts our seek for promptings. The world trains us to live that monotonous cycle, to be effective and efficient machines. Sad things is that we'll probably never be "efficient" but we can be "enough". I'm not quite sure what I'm getting to and I'm sure you want to get down to the fun stuff right below this but as a representative of Jesus Christ I am beginning to figure out what He wants from me. And if I can worthily and rightfully declare His word without ever fully understanding it then don't we all need a break? Take a step back an meditate for awhile, see if He has an extra tricks for using your tools in a way that only an old timer could.

-Elder Lucas Johnson

                                 We are Officially biking Misisonaries, at least for a short time.

                                   This is the Willy Wonka door...my companion, "The Giant"

Monday, August 8, 2016

2nd Week in Newark

Newark is absolutely incredible and like I said in my last email the people here are incredible! This week they have had a huge impact on the way I see mission work. 

 So there's been several times this week where we've taught people who were either drunk or just different. What I mean is that it can be difficult to give our message. And that's how they've taught me so much. I guess if I were to explain what I've gotten out of this week is the fact that I need to "Stop preaching and teach... A lesson!" I've come to learn that some of the most spiritually nurturing experiences come when the only thing I can do is listen and be taught by the spirit. These incredible people talk by the spirit and are some of the kindest hearts that I have ever met! 

 Oh and speaking of fun experiences there was a guy who started bible bashing me and Elder Langi at the train station. Anyways it resulted in people crowing around us and my companion got really really into it 😅 And at some point before it got confrontational I had the prompting to separate a couple boys from the group and speak with them. (For the record my companion was in sight and sound the entire time.) Just so happened that the boys spoke English and they were full of questions. Questions that I was able to answer, that led straight into the Restoration. Anyways we started teaching them and we are going to fallow up today on how their prayers went!

So the Phillie temple is opening in a couple months and our mission president just allowed us to take two trips to the open houses with some of our investigators and less actives! Anyways it's an incredible experience and I can't wait to go!

Well if there were any way to describe Newark it'd be this video one of the Elders took haha 😂

Elder Lucas Michael Johnson

video

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

First Area...NEWARK!!!! Loving it!

Hi Everyone,

So coming into New Jersey was pretty crazy. Driving around the city I was sketched out! There are so many gangs and some seriously rough looking people. Anyways I was really nervous to just go around walking in the inner city talking to convicts about God. 
Oh! I should probably mention that I've been assigned to the North Newark walking area! 
My companion's name is Elder Langi, he's a super chill Tongan from Texas and I know that he's my companion for a reason.

Serving a mission is the greatest blessing that I have ever been given other than my family. Although every day is about work and planning and giving up more, and this area is super sketch, I don't think that I have ever been more comfortable with where I am or even who I am. I wish that I had more time to write about my experiences but there are just too many "best" things to do. 

I want to share my testimony that I know that life is hard. It can be incredibly difficult. But I know that the atonement is for our use in those everyday things that make life heavy. For those of us who are members of this church and even for those outside, too often we take the atonement for granted. Too often we're told that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins. So if there is one thing that I could tell you about being a missionary in the field this last week it would be that He suffered that we may be happy. Happy in everything we do. 

Personally, I've struggled a lot with trying to be the best that I can be. I'm a lot like a wide-eyed child right before an Easter egg hunt, wanting to find everything at once so I won't lose my treasure. If we do that, if we place significance in every Easter egg than we will never truly value what is inside. In terms of counsel that we receive and experiences that allow us to better our selves, we must continually "become" because "becaming" is no fun.

Valuing the experiences and admiring the beauty within New Jersey is what makes me happy. It helps me love who I am as I continue to become. This place is beautiful and despite all the sirens and car alarms, despite all the trash littered in the streets and parks, there is a serenity in the service I am given as I do my best to serve the people.
The people here in New Jersey are incredible and I learn to love them more everyday. I don't see them anymore but instead there is a happiness I feel when I encounter them. It is absolutely marvelous to where His name on my chest. It is incredible to walk down a street, listening to gang bangers cursing each other out and then to see them stop their conversations just to turn to us and yell "God bless". 
It's these moments that I find beautiful, the cleansing power of the Lord and the Spirit in giving people a chance to be better. And I consider myself the luckiest man alive to be a tool, solely dedicated these two years to help people have the opportunity to do nice things, to become nicer people. Even if that means that they say "God bless" to one more person then us, that is progression and in the words of Alma 32, it must needs be good. 

Hopefully my words make sense and hopefully you feel the Spirit through my words. But thank you family, thank you friends, I love you all but now I must get back to work.

Elder Lucas Michael Johnson
New Jersey, Morristown Mission

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Last Week at the MTC!

Well it's the last week at the MTC and it's been full of so many different emotions! I guess this time around I just want to share the things I've learned here and how I've grown. I know with assuredly that this is where I am supposed to be so if any of you feel that you should serve hopefully this email will give you that extra boost to change your lives forever!

From start to end I've been chewed up, stomped on and fed to the MTC and yet I have never been so happy and close to my Father in Heaven. There were SOOO MANY challenges but even more blessings. Here are some of them: 


  • Four the past 4 and a half weeks my companion and I have been assigned as zone leaders. 
  • Meaning that we ran back and forth everyday running missionaries around campus, taking care of logistics and any drama having to do with the 60 some odd missionaries in our zone. All the while trying to accomplish the other billion tasks that every missionary has planned on their overcrowded schedule!
  • I had no idea how to plan and schedule all the tasks I had to accomplish.
  • I had no idea that I was over-stressed, and that that stress was taking a toll on my personal relationship with Heavenly Father.


I really don't like talking about this stuff so let's move on to the blessings!


  • I grew to depend on the Lord in all that I do.
  • I learned to express my feelings and ask for help.
  • I was taught how to manage time, tasks and day to day life.
  • I grew closer to the Lord.
  • I realized my need for personal revelation and I now listen knowing that He will answer!
  • I am learning to love others and to act in true charity.
  • I now know that serving others is the greatest thing we can do to be happier, to learn to love ourselves.
  • I now love myself.
  • I receive personal revelation.
  • My testimony has never been so strong and it continues to grow!
  • As does my companionship with the Spirit.
  • I am beginning to understand just how significant my calling is and the power that comes to me when I earnestly seek to fulfill it.


I know that my redeemer lives. I know that I am here for a reason. I know that God loves each and everyone of you. Never doubt yourself if you are in the service of your God. Doubting yourself in His work is doubting Him and that is why our burdens become heavy in our callings and overall in our lives. I am giving Him my all and commit to do so every day.


Hopefully this email helps you! Email me if you have any questions or want to know more I would love to help in anyway. 

Thanks to everyone who support us, your prayers mean everything to the missionaries that need love!

Elder Lucas Michael Johnson


This just happens to be the most amazing missionary, with the name tag of an RM. He helped me so much and there is no need to be modest about that. Love ya Brother Amacher!​
Love these Elders.​
Love these Elders.​
Love these Elders.​