Monday, March 27, 2017

Everyone Finds Joy In Doing Service For Others

Hey Everyone! This week Elder Houghton was a little sick and whatnot, so we spent a good chunk of it inside. So not much happened except a little story from our one venture this week that is worth sharing.

Even though Elder Houghton was sick, we still needed to send a couple documents up to another city and needed to leave the apartment to do that. So he mustered up some strength and we went outside, went to an Internet club, printed everything, shipped it, and hopped back onto a little bus to get back home. It was the perfect operation. Before I go on with the story, I need to elaborate on just how sick Elder Houghton was. Imagine a dead body that coughs sometimes, he was pretty bad, but we needed to send out these documents. Anyway, we've accomplished the whole plan and we're on the bus back home. Elder Houghton is lying against the window just chilling and looking like death. I'm sitting next to him when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around to see this very drunk man smiling at me and he asks were I’m from. I tell him Arkansas and he falls back and blubbers "No Way! That is my favorite city!". Smelling the alcohol on his breath and not wanting to mess with anyone drunk, I smiled and slowly closed the conversation. He then noticed that my companion was not looking too good and suddenly got really upset and said on the edge of tears, "Is he okay?"

"He's okay, just a little sick, we're heading home right now"

"He's probably cold, he needs a sweater"

At this point Elder Houghton popped up a little and told the man he really appreciates the offer, but no thank you. The Drunk man wasn't having it. He stood up, starting taking off his clothes and put the sweater on Houghton's lap. Houghton gave up, said thank you, and left the sweater on his lap. Drunk man was not done.

"Put it on"

"It's okay, no need"

"You need to put it on or the cold is going to kill you"

Drunk man then stood up again and dressed my half dead companion in this really odd looking sweater. I didn't know if I should've laughed or been scared. I went for the first option.  After my comp was dressed in this sweater the drunk man said, "Keep it, I got like twelve." We walked off the bus later and he was smiling really big with his 6 or 7 teeth.  It was easily the most memorable thing this week. The sweater is still in our apartment. haha

We made some new friends!

Sadly, that was about it for the week due to some sickness.  If there's any message from this week or from this story is that everyone wants to do something nice for someone, even if it doesn't seem too visible.

I hope everything is going well with y’all. Love you all and keep doing great things!

-Elder Johnson

Monday, March 20, 2017

Zone Conference, a Long Train Ride & the Lords Work

Hey Everyone! Hope you all well. This week was pretty busy with meetings, lectures, train adventures, and working but we had a great time during all of it.

The first half of this week was filled up with a zone conference. Once every transfer (6 weeks), we have a meeting with President Sullivan (current mission president) and discuss what could be done better in the zone. Elder Houghton and I presented and President Sullivan spoke on some great points and then we hopped on our train back home.

Our train ride home was quite the adventure because we had all been spread out throughout the train and found our selves in random cars every few hours due to some "logistical problems". Here is just a rough outline of how the train ride went:

Hours 1-2: Shared stories, had good laughs.

Hour 3: Got moved to about four different cars, finally settled into one
with some other missionaries.

Hours 4-6: Made good friends with our fellow train riders and took selfies. HA HA.

Hour 7: Got off the train and found a super cool bus driver named Denice and made our way home.

In short, it was a super fun.

The next two days we presented lectures at one of the economics university and a foreign language university. Later in the week we met with a lot of faculty and helped them with their programs as well.

Although our week has been super busy and packed with lots of work I am constantly reminded that this is not our work, but the Lord's work. We had called a couple news companies by some weird grape vine way and one of their stylist heard about us and came to our English class. She ended up staying for the second part of the English club (which is the first of the missionary lessons) and afterwards came to us and wanted to learn more. She is now set to be baptized this April and is progressing quickly. Maybe that's just a coincidence, but I feel that it is a miracle. This is the work of the Lord and that means it won't fail, regardless of what any of us do.

I love all of you guys and I hope you're all great!

-Elder Cody Johnson

A couple nights ago I caught a photo of the rare McCleary. A very agressive night creature.​

Monday, March 13, 2017

More Presentations...

So this week was pretty crazy and we tried out new things. Elder Houghton and I had set up a couple presentations with different colleges explaining the differences between student life in Ukraine and student life in the U.S.. We had gotten about 10 new people at our English club from that, and two of which stayed for our restoration lesson. One of them is now meeting with the other missionaries. We plan on doing these presentations further and are excited to see how they progress.

It's been fun presenting with our district (6 other missionaries total). We all have different backgrounds, skills, and opinions but we all work well together. It's sort of like the avengers...except we don’t have any powers and we're not good looking. haha. These presentations have been a super fun way to meet other people and here their stories as well.

Unfortunately, I don't have much time this week to write you guys due to zone conference, which is in another city about 5 hrs. away. I love you guys! I hope you're all having a good week and are staying out of trouble.

With love,

Elder Cody Johnson

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Baptism & Much Success With the Conference.

Hey Everyone! This week has gone super well with the baptism of Jack and the conference that had happened.  The baptism was in a little sauna/hot tub that we had rented out for the morning. It's been a great experience working with Jack and we look forward to continue working with him. I would go into more detail about Jack and his stories but they are not really my stories to tell.  This week has also been really busy. We had the conference that we have been planning for the last few weeks and it turned out to be a hit. We had about 500 people there from different universities from all over Europe. It was a little crazy hearing all the different languages bounce back and forth from across the conference hall. It turned out really well though. We made a lot of new friends and have standing invitations to almost all of the universities in eastern Ukraine, which will really help the other missionaries in other parts of the mission. Along with that we have had a couple of doors open with Arcelor and Metal and a couple other companies to teach English to their employees. 

 President Sullivan spoke at the conference about something that separates companies (and people) from those who fall short of the mark and those who succeed, and that is, purpose and understanding potential. Often times people and companies will look at a result of a purpose and then consider that same result their own purpose and they will do well, but will not really be hitting their full potential (if that makes sense).  An example would be Apple, one of the bigger companies out there. They make new things, their purpose is to discover new things and hence all their fancy phones, TV's, and computers. These are the results. People see that result, and now their purpose is to make something similar, and they can't keep up. This is because their goal is to keep up, not discover. I wanted to bring that up because we as people can be similar to that situation. We may see little pieces of the big picture and attempt to make that little piece our big picture, when really we have the potential to achieve the whole thing. This may not be too interesting to you guys who are reading this blog entry but that principle just really stuck out this week to me. Once we understand or find our purpose, as opposed to striving towards the results of other's success, we can be able to do so much more with our life and leave a positive influence on those around us. I love you all and I hope you are all loving the spring weather.  Keep your cool and doing something kind for somebody! -Elder Johnson