<![CDATA[Sister Johnson takes Pittsburgh, PA - Blog]]>Mon, 07 Dec 2015 16:09:39 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Happy 4th of July!!! #murica]]>Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:57:44 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/happy-4th-of-july-muricaHey everyone! How was your 4th of July?! Ours was great but I'll get to that 😊 our week has been full of tracting and finding investigators so hopefully we'll see the rewards and blessings of that this next week.

Last Monday for pday we went to the Arboretum on campus. I could spend forever there! It was so pretty and so fun! But the Elders didn't like it very much so we only stayed for a little bit. We're going to try and go back again this week though with an investigator! Yay I love that place! We also played some ultimate frisbee which was really fun! We did ultimate frisbee for FHE too so lots of good practice that day.
I guess you could say I'm pretty good at frisbee now! And running to haha man that game has so much running! Yuck lol but super fun! Tuesday we went to a mental health hospital in our area to go visit someone else's investigator who's there temporarily. She's a super sweet lady who's had a tough life with lots of abuse and assault so
she's just there for recovery and therapy. She is getting baptized in August and is so excited for it! She loves the gospel and has been sharing it with everyone at the hospital. She has already handed out a Book of Mormon and a Bible and some pamphlets to some of the other patients there. She's already doing an awesome job with being a member missionary even without being a member haha. We bought her a cute stuffed animal cause she needed a comfort item so I have a pic of it.
It's a cute pink Elephant 😊🐘

Wednesday was full of tracting. We group tracted a whole apartment complex with the Elders. We meet a couple people her were interested though and even handed out a Book of Mormon and got a return appointment for this week so hopefully that goes well. She said she been looking for a religion as she feels the need for church in her life. That night we went to institute and studied Moses 8 and the 1st half of Abraham 1. I learned that the Book of Abraham is a translation of some Egyptian scrolls that Joseph Smith purchased in the early days of the church. That's pretty cool!

Thursday we had district meeting where we learned about stress management which was good because missions are pretty stressful. We also learned that they took away social media from all of the missions because they want to do more training and figure out the logistics of how to be most effective in missionary work on social media. So we won't be getting that for awhile. Not sure when but ya it'll probably be awhile...That evening we went tracting and got some good potential investigators. We met a guy named Zac who is seriously so cool! He's Christian and you can tell cause he's so nice and sweet and he asked if he could pray for us and if we could pray for him. We gave him a brief overview of the restoration on the spot and he thought it was
really cool. He's interested in learning more and coming to church to meet new people. He's so awesome and definitely prepared! Hopefully we get to meet with him again.

Friday wasn't super eventful. We were supposed to have a lesson with one of our less actives but he accidentally fell asleep so we rescheduled it. We did forums though and there was a lady that came up to us and asked us for our info and if we could go to her house and pray for her husband who is dying. We offered her a Book of Mormon and she tried to pay us for it but we told her to just take it and that they're free. She felt bad for just taking it but definitely felt loved. We're going to try and go over to her house this week and speak with her more.

Saturday....4th of July...ah it was sooo fun! We went to so many BBQs with members and then we finally did our area book bonfire so of course we did s'mores with it then we watched fireworks from our apartment. It was hard to see them because there is so many tall trees around here but we got to see the tops of them. I love the 4th of July so much!

Yesterday was fast Sunday which is always great. I love hearing everyone's testimonies in sacrament meeting. It's so inspiring and uplifting to hear from others thief conversion stories. After church we did a Mexican potluck for break the fast. YUM! One of our members brought steak and venison fajitas. Super good! After break the fast we did a lesson with the less active that we were supposed to do on Friday. He's awesome! He's been coming to church a lot lately and he's been really good at fulfilling his calling. We taught him about member missionary work and that sharing our testimonies with other helps strengthen our own testimonies.

Pday today should be pretty fun. We're doing water balloon volleyball and sports. We're also doing an exchange tonight with the Lockhaven sisters so hopefully that goes well. It'll be Sister Hansen's first exchange and she's kind of nervous but I think it'll be ok. Hopefully this week goes well though and we find some good investigators!

Love you all and hope you had a good 4th of July 😊🇺🇸💥🎉
-Sister Kayla Johnson
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<![CDATA[Mahjong, girls camp, Thai food :)]]>Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:53:28 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/mahjong-girls-camp-thai-foodHey how is everyone?! This week has been good. Still a bunch of area book stuff but thank goodness we are done. Monday for pday we played volleyball at a park and then went to the creamery afterwards. Yum! Then for FHE we did a service project for United Way and then had some time afterwards so we played some games. A Chinese member I our branch brought mahjong and taught us how to play. I've played in on the
computer before but that is NOTHING like how the game really is played haha he had to dumb down the rules for us though for us to be able to catch on at first. It was super fun though!

Tuesday we did area book stuff again all day but luckily we were able to finish all of our part that by that night. The only thing we had to do after that was have our district leader check off that we had done all the records and then shred or burn all the records.

Wednesday we had district meeting in the morning where Sister Hansen and I felt rebuked because once again we talked about OYMing. That's the third time that has come up within the last week...I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell us something lol. That afternoon we did family history research. Our mission is really pushing family
history. Our mission President wants us to have stories of our ancestors within the next month so we've been doing some research for that. Families are so important and if we're going to be teaching people about that everyday then we should probably know something about our own family history as well. It's been so cool to look more
into my family and where I came from. I feel like I tell about this every week but it's seriously because it feels so good to do it. I'm glad that we've been emphasizing it so much lately. For dinner we went out to Hoss's (steak and seafood place, it's like sizzler) with a couple from the family Ward. They're this super cute retired couple
who have so many great stories. He was in the military and served in the Vietnam war and she had her own private investigator business that they did together for awhile. They've moved all around since they've been in the military so they have lots of fun stories from all around the world. One of the Elders here in State College who went with us made a bet with Sister Hansen to see who could make the tallest ice
cream cone at the dessert bar and in order to win, you had to eat it all too. Sister Hansen made hers the tallest and of course she ate it all. Surprisingly she didn't feel too sick afterwards which was good. We didn't have our cameras with us which is sad but it was super funny. That night we did institute where we studied Moses 7. We talked all about Zion (what it is, where it is, what it'll be like). We got off on a tangent about the economy because in Moses 7:18 where it talks about Zion it says that there will be no poor. So of course we discussed the economy and how that could be a thing haha ultimately it came down to the law of consecration though and the fact that since God gave us everything, if we recognize that, are grateful for it and are willing to give it all back to him then things will work out and there will be no poor.

Thursday we went and helped out with our stake's girls camp. They asked us if we would give a devotional in the evening so we went up for dinner and participated in some of their activities after that and then finished off the evening with the devotional with them. They did skits which were pretty funny and then a faith walk where along the way they heard the testimonies of some of the women in church history about the restoration. The theme for their camp was D&C 50:24. It was
all about the light that comes from the gospel and sharing it. We talked about the restoration and testimonies in our devotional and based it off of a talk given by Elder Uchtdorf called "Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth" and a talk by Elder L. Whitney Clayton called "Choose to Believe." It was fun to be there with all the young
women and feel of their love and testimonies. Man I miss girls camp. Those were definitely some times that strengthened my testimony. Also Thursday was my 4th click day which means I have been a missionary for 4 months now. That's crazy! It feels like it's been forever haha 


Friday was good because we went out to lunch with one of our former investigators, Izzy. Man I miss her a bunch. She dropped us about 2 months ago because she didn't have enough time to meet with us between school and work and family but she's done with school for the summer so she's going to try and meet with us again if she can. Her family is awesome and is way supportive in her meeting with us. She says she misses us and the peace that came into her life when she did meet with us. Hopefully we get to see her again soon. The other thing that made that lunch appointment so good was that we went out for Thai food! Man I miss Thai food so much! It's been so long since I've had some and man I sure love it! On the bus we ran into one of our former investigators who told us that gay marriage is now legal all
throughout the U.S., that's pretty crazy. It hasn't affect us or our work too much yet so hopefully they're aren't any complications with that as far as the church goes.

Saturday we had two meal appointments, one for lunch and the other for dinner. Lunch was with the Banya family and they are seriously so cute and I want to grow up and be like them someday. They have amazing kids who are already so accomplished but are under the age of 6. They definitely have a gospel centered family and you can tell. That makes such a difference in a home. Dinner was with the Bench family. They
made us this nice, fancy dinner that was so amazing! Brother Bench made us Lion House rolls which were so good. They have awesome testimonies and it was fun to sit and talk with the about their lives. In between our meal appointments we had our district leader check off our area book to make sure we were done. There were a couple changes that needed to be done but they're quick and easy. We were supposed to have a bonfire that night to burn our area books but it got rained out so we're gonna have to do it another night. We also went and saw Raisa at her work that day. She was busy and didn't have a lot of time to talk but we gave her cookies and a talk so hopefully she liked it. She texted us afterwards and told us she loved the cookies and wanted the recipe haha

Church yesterday was good. My favorite part was relief society where we talked about questioning, pondering, and finding answers to things within the church. I love that it is encouraged within the church to question things and to find the answers for ourselves. We tell people everyday not to take our word about what we teach but to study and pray to know for themselves. We can each get that confirmation and find the truths that are in the gospel. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"- Dieter F. Uchtdorf 😊 After church we tried to take cookies to one of our less actives but he wasn't home so that was sad. Then for dinner we ate with the Moss family who is in our branch. They're like a perfect couple; so cute and they basically have they're lives all figured out all ready. Then that night we had a sleepover with the other Sister missionaries in our branch which was really fun. We made popcorn and had cookies while talking about some fun mission stories we have. We love pday Eve (the night before pday lol) 😁

This morning we had to go talk to the office at our apartment complex because there was a leak in one of our closets that started Friday night but progressively got worse through the weekend. The maintenance guys showed up and found out that our water heater is rusting and had a leak in it so they're replacing that for us this morning. Hopefully that solves everything and we won't have any more problems with that.


For pday we are going to the Arboretum which is a pretty park/garden on campus. I haven't been there yet but I've heard it's really pretty there so we're going to go walk through it today and then we're going to Denny's for lunch for an Elders birthday. So it should be a fun day
😊
Hope ya'll are doing well! Happy 4th of July this week!!!

Love ya,
Sister Kayla Johnson
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<![CDATA[Happy Father's Day!]]>Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:49:21 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/happy-fathers-dayHey how is everyone doing?! Happy late Father's Day. I hope it was good for all the fathers out there especially my own father 😊


This week hasn't been super eventful again because were still doing area book stuff. We basically just sit inside all day and type on our iPads to convert all of our records. We've been pretty cranky about it all week but we're getting there. We'll still have to do it this week but we're getting close to the end of it so that's nice.

Last Monday I think I already told you about pday and that we hiked mt nittany again. And then afterwards we did FHE at the branch. We played games which was a lot of fun. Some people played phase 10 and others played Bang! Bang is a hard game to explain but it was pretty fun. We had a lot of treats there too and it was fun because someone brought Dorito Roulette. Idk if you've seen that in the stores or not but it's a bag of nacho Doritos and then like 1/4 of the chips are super spicy
and so it's a game of roulette to see if you get the regular nacho cheese ones or the super spicy ones. It's so fun! I feel like my family would love it!

Tuesday we did dinner with the Gardner's again. They're so sweet! They had us over last week but because the elders weren't able to make it they had us over again this week so the elders could come too. After dinner we had to do more area book stuff so we decided to make it fun by making a fort! Haha it was super hot in there but it was fun. Ohand also earlier that day we got roses from some Muslims who had a booth on campus. They were telling everyone about how Ramadan started the next day and they had lots of treats and drinks from their culturethat they were handing out. They gave us tea and we felt bad for telling them no so we just took the cup and then walked away and dumped it out down the street lol they were so nice and sweet though!

Wednesday was Sister Busath's (one of the other sister missionaries in our branch) click day so we went to the waffle shop. It was yummy! That night we did dinner with the branch as usual and as we were sitting there Loveday just randomly asked us if we could have a lesson right then lol it was so awesome of her to feel so comfortable with us to do that. So we took a member and did a lesson with her. She hadsome questions about the restoration and the timeline of it so we went over that with her and showed her Joseph Smith history. It was cool too because I searched "restoration" on the gospel library app and it came up with a new institute manual which is dedicated just to the restoration. Apparently it was brand new that week so we thought that was cool and probably not a coincidence that both of those things
happened that same week. After Loveday's lesson we had institute and we learned about Moses 6. It was funny because we read a couple scriptures that morning for studies on being better about opening our mouths and how we need to talk to everyone as missionaries and then in institute that night we read the same ones as part of the lesson plan. We felt pretty rebuked and decided we need to be better at OYMing (open your mouth, basically talking to everyone we see).

Thursday we had zone conference. We had a training on how they want us to us social media in our work. We'll be able to use Facebook, Skype/FaceTime and blogs. We probably won't be able to get all that for the next couples weeks. We can't get it until every single missionary is done converting all their area books. Yuck! Haha we're
really trying to push social media in missionary work though. If you don't already have a Mormon.org profile, I encourage you to make one. They are so helpful to missionary work to be able to have your investigators relate to Mormons. So ya...get one 😁

Friday we did a dinner with all the missionaries again. We're trying to do those once a week when our schedules match up. It's so fun to be in an area when there's so many missionaries. I love hearing and sharing stories of the work in other areas. It's motivating and helpful. We made pancakes and grilled muffins. It was funny cause the
elders did the pancakes in crazy shapes. They did stars, Mickey Mouse, a shark, and this is a pic of a horse pancake lol. Silly elders. That night after we finished our planning we heard weird sounds outside so we went out and saw fireworks!!! It was so cool! I love fireworks and am sad to miss doing them with my family for 4th of July but it was cool to see them already this season 😊💥🇺🇸#murica

Saturday Sam took us out to lunch at the Diner. They are famous for their "grilled stickies". It's like a grilled cinnamon roll with ice cream on top. Super yummy! And then that night Sister Busath got a package with s'more stuff so we roasted them over our stove that night haha. It was also Sister Hansen's first click day on Saturday so that was fun. We were going to go to the creamery but never got the chance so we decided we'll go sometime this week.

Yesterday church was really good. One of our recent converts, Rav, spoke in sacrament. He shared his conversion story which was super cool. He has such an amazing testimony. Also it was Father's Day so that was good. Definitely not as eventful for us as missionaries as Mother's Day is but is was still good. I love and miss my dad that's for sure haha

This week should be fun. We're going and helping out with a devotional at girls camp and we have a lunch appointment with a former investigator so we're really excited about that. Hopefully we can survive one more week full of area book stuff. If you don't hear from me next week it probably means we died from boredom from doing too much area book stuff haha

Love you all and hope you're doing well!
Sister Kayla Johnson

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<![CDATA[Fireflies, tracting, humidity, fun stuff]]>Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:40:55 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/fireflies-tracting-humidity-fun-stuffHey! How is everyone doing? Things are ok. Training isn't too bad. Sister Hansen is pretty awesome and we've had a good week together. We've mostly just been putting our area book on our iPads which takes forever. It's really hot and humid here. I feel like I'm always sweaty and sticky it's gross!

Last Pday we played sports at a park and it was pouring rain but it was so fun. We played volleyball and ultimate frisbee. There was a cute little playground at the park too so we got some fun pics on it. After we went to the park we went back to our branch building with all the missionaries played apples to apples. That's such a fun game! Then we had FHE with the branch and we made magnets as a service project for a company called Meals on Wheels and watched Meet the Mormons. I love FHE with the branch. Today for Pday we hiked Mt Nittany again but it was way better this time since everything is so green. We got lost for a little bit though so it took forever but it was fun to be out and active. Tonight for FHE we are going to play board games with everyone which should be way fun. We're trying to get more Chinese investigators so one of our members is going to bring mahjong and inviting a bunch of his friends so that should be fun. I don't think I've ever played legit mahjong before so we'll see how it goes 😁

Tuesday we taught a lesson with a guy named Krishna. He is from India and is studying petroleum engineering so he's pretty smart. He had a lot of good questions about who God is and how you come to know him so we taught him about faith and prayer and scripture study. He said he's too busy right now with school and looking for work so he doesn't have time to meet with us or pursue anything right now. We were sad to hear that but we left him with a Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet
so hopefully he reads from those and has the desire to meet with us again. Also that night we saw fireflies! That's the first time I've ever seen one before. We all thought that they were fake and didn't really exist cause they're not a thing in the west. Haha they were so cool though. A couple of the Elders caught some and put them in a jar
in their apartment for a couple days. They actually stayed alive but after 3 days they decided to let them go.

At institute this Wednesday we studied Moses 5 and about Cain and Abel. We talked about our attitude in offering sacrifices like taking the sacrament. We talked about how it doesn't really matter what we eat or drink when taking the sacrament but that it's more about our inward commitment to change and renew our covenants. It was pretty rebuking but that's what the Atonement is for right haha I'm gonna work hard to be prepared for the sacrament this week 😊

Nothing too special or out of the ordinary happened on Thursday. We did service at St Andrews again for Community Cafe. And then afterwards we went to a members house who works at a grocery store called Wegmans. They had a lot of extra food from  the store that was about to expire so they gave a ton of food to all the missionaries in the area. The members in this area are seriously so awesome! Oh wait I
remember something that was out of the ordinary for Thursday. We went tracting for the first time ever haha. We had some extra time and the Elders were bugging us cause we've never been before so they took us to an apartment complex and told us to knock till we talk. So we knocked 3 doors and was able to talk to a girl from China who already has a Christian church she attends here. She wasn't interested in
meeting with us but it wasn't too bad to tract so it was nice to get the first time out of the way. Maybe we'll be better at doing it this summer. We'll see...

Friday we had a dinner appointment with the Gardner family. They are the BEST! We were supposed to have dinner with them on Thursday but then Sister Gardner realized she had a meeting that night so she rescheduled it to Friday but the Elders already had an appointment Friday night so the Sisters all went on Friday and then they're going
to have us over again this Tuesday so we can all be there. They take such good care of us. We love them so much! 


This weekend was stake conference so Saturday evening we went to the adult session which is always really good. It was in Altoona which is about an hour away from us. That's so weird to me to have to travel that far for stake conference! It's pretty normal though. Some people even had to travel 2 hours away. Crazy!!! 😯 It was all about how the Ward councils help the work progress. Elder Steven Snow from the
quorum of the 70 came for our stake conference. He's really cool! He works as the churches historian so he talked to us a lot about what he and the church has been working on within that last little while. They're working to digitize all the journals, newspapers, pictures and stuff of the prophets of the church. He also told us that they're working on a church history site in Harmony, PA where the priesthood
was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. I wish I could see that! I also learned that they dedicated the Payson, UT temple this week. It's SO pretty! And the new Provo temple is going to be open in January. I'm sad I'm missing that.

Sunday for stake conference they talked a lot about families and that we need to strengthen our family relationships. They said that we can do this by centering our homes on the gospel. There were some good tips for raising a good family that'll be useful for the future 😊

This week we have zone conference where we'll talk more about getting Facebook and FaceTime and Skype and all the rules and guidelines for that so we'll be getting all that stuff within the next couple weeks. We'll see how that goes. This Saturday will be Sister Hansen's first click day so that'll be exciting and then next week will be my fourth.


Man that's crazy! I hope everyone's week has been good!

Love you all,
Sister Kayla Johnson
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<![CDATA[Tackling Training]]>Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:37:07 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/tackling-trainingWell first week of training down...it was stressful but mostly because we don't have a whole lot to do here in the summer. But we did pretty well with what we've got.

Monday we mostly just got Sister Jones all packed up and cleaned the apartment and finalized everything for the end of transfers. We left for Pittsburgh that night because we had to go to training meetings early in the morning. We were about 10 mins on the road and then our tire popped! Heavenly Father was looking out for us though because we luckily weren't on the freeway. It was a car full of Sisters and we thought we were stranded but thankfully we were a few mins away from the Gardner family's house (members who always have us over for
dinner). We figured out where the spare tire was and how to get it down from the car and then Brother Gardner showed up in time to change it. In the meantime Sister Gardner took us back to her house and gave us dinner. After he changed our tire, we drove over to a car shop and
the Gardners were so sweet cause they followed us the whole way there to make sure we made it safe then sat there with us while the mechanics changed got us a new tire. We didn't make it to Pittsburgh till 11:30 that night but it was a blessing how it all happened.

Tuesday morning I had to go to meetings to be trained on how to be a trainer haha. It was kind of overwhelming because a trainer is the highest calling you can get as a missionary but it was good to get some advice on how to fulfill that calling. We did a training with all of the trainers and then lunch and then another training with all of the trainers and the trainees. Afterwards was transfer meeting where I found out that my trainee and new companion is Sister Hansen. She's a
really sweet girl from College Ward, UT (which is just south of Logan). She lives on a dairy farm and misses the farm life. She also does cross country. We left Pittsburgh around 4:30 and it took forever to get home but we made it safely with no complications that time.

Wednesday we mostly just did stuff to get Sister Hansen settled in. We had to renew the apartment contract under her name and then we went to Walmart to get some basic stuff to hold her over till p-day. Then we had to redo ipad training for her but it was a good refresher for me. We had a lesson with Loveday that night about prayer and scripture study and how it can help her stay active in her faith and grow her relationship with Heavenly Father. Afterwards we had institute where we learned about the fall of Adam and Eve in Moses 4. It was really
interesting and I got a greater perspective on it.

Thursday we had a combined district meeting with 2 districts here in State College and our Zone Leaders. They trained us more on ipad stuff and told us that we'd be getting a new app for our area book and planners. We have to input all of that info from all of our records this week so that's gonna take for ever but it should make things better and we'll be able to have more accurate and up to date records. Afterwards we went and did service at the community cafe which is always fun; cooking and cutting stuff up for salads and all.

Friday we watched Elder Perry's funeral. They were great services! It was cool to see how many lives he touched whether they were members or not. He was a great guy and we were proud to have him as our apostle. It'll be interesting to see who replaces him, but we probably won't here that for awhile. We tried  to do forums that afternoon but campus is too dead right now so we just went and called potential investigators. That night we had dinner with Kendall family. They are so fun cause they always do themed nights when we come over. She just made us American food this time but last time we did Italian and another time we did breakfast for dinner.

Saturday we did correlation with the branch in the morning and then we did family history in the afternoon. This week I learned that I am related to Porter Rockwell who was Joseph Smith's body guard. He did a lot of cool other stuff but ya that was cool to learn about. Also I tried to see how far my family history went back and I got as far back as 126AD. That's so cool! That evening we had a lesson with Raisa which was cool because she decided on a baptismal date. She chose July 11th which was cool cause that was the date that we had in mind for her but she told us the date before we told her what we were thinking. That's pretty cool huh?

Yesterday (Sunday) we had church and Raisa was there! It's always so exciting when we get investigators to church! We've been praying and working real hard for it  so it was cool to see her there. We did break the fast with the branch afterwards. We had hot dogs and hamburgers so that was good. We also had two lessons, one with a recent convert and the other with a less active.


Things are looking up for us for this next week so that'll be good. We got two potential investigators on the bus this week and we already have a lesson with one this week so hopefully that'll go well.

I hope everyone's week has gone well. It sounds like just about
everyone is done with school so that's nice! Any fun plans for the
summer?

Love you all!
Sister Kayla Johnson
#fakeittillyoumakeit
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<![CDATA[Transfer news...]]>Mon, 01 Jun 2015 18:11:08 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/transfer-newsWell transfers are tomorrow and there's a lot of changes for me...I'll leave that for the end though. I hope everyone's weeks have been going well and that people are enjoying their summers and end of school years.

This last week has been a little slow cause we've had to do a bunch of training for our iPads and how they want us to keep records and planners and stuff on it. Tuesday we did breakfast at the Waffle Shop with the other Sisters, Loveday and Elana who was the other Sisters'
investigator. After breakfast we went and did family history with Loveday. It was so cool to get her started on her family tree. I've never seen an empty tree before. It was weird cause mine has always been filled out and it goes way back. She didn't know a whole lot about her family but from what she did enter she was able to request to take her grandmother as a name to take to the temple. The hard part though was the fact that Loveday's mom wouldn't give her permission to go to the temple. It was sad and hard for Loveday but we assured her that with time things would work out. It was cool though cause we were showing her our family trees afterwards to see what it could look like after it was all filled out and we were looking at where our families
come from. I was surprised to see that both the Wensel side and the Davis side came from Pennsylvania. That's SO cool! A lot of them were from parts of my mission like Bedford, Hanover and Lancaster. Maybe I was called here for a reason and will potentially be able to expound upon my family history with some of the records I can find here. I'm really excited to look more into it! I truly believe that the Pittsburgh, PA mission is where I'm supposed to be.

Wednesday was good. We taught a less active that we had never met before. He is engaged to someone who lives in DC so he spends most of his time with her when he's not traveling to and from State College to finish up his degree. She is of a different faith than him but it's cool to see her support him in being a Latter-day Saint. She's been trying to emphasize prayer and scripture study as a couple which is cool. They switch off going to each other's church when they can. He usually travels on Sunday's though so it's hard. But we taught him about faith, especially faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. He said he'd commit to making scripture study more of a priority by listening to the scriptures or conference talks while traveling in his car. I'm excited for him and his graduation this summer and for their wedding this fall. It's a crazy busy time for him now so it was a miracle that we even got to meet him but I'm excited for him and his future.

That evening we taught Raisa about the importance of baptism and service within the church. We're really sad because she didn't come to church again yesterday. We haven't heard from her since Saturday and hope she's doing well. It's just hard cause we've done all that we can at this point in teaching her what she needs to do and why and it's in her hands right now to decide. Agency is frustrating sometimes. So as of right now she's not on date for baptism cause we're trying to figure out with her how's she's feeling about it and when she feels like a good day would be to work towards that. Until she comes to the branch though it'll never happen. We'll see what happens...

Institute was also Wednesday night. This summer we're studying the Pearl of Great Price which is super cool! We talked about Moses chapter 2 and the creation. A lot of people like to debate about howlong it took to create everything, whether it was 7 days, 7,000 years, or just a period from start to stop. Either way, it doesn't matter as long as we know that through Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father created the world with His power (also known to us as the Priesthood power). The time frame of it isn't important and with time we'll come to know all those little details like that. It was a cool perspective of the creation especially coming from our awesome institute teacher Brother Done who has so much scriptural knowledge.

Thursday was a crazy day! We haven't really had the best leadership in this area so far and this week has really confirmed that to us. We were supposed to have district meeting at 11 with the zone leaders (they were going to come to teach us more about how to use the iPads). They didn't tell us till right before we went to bed the night before that they wanted to change the meeting to 12. Then the next day we found out from other missionaries who are in the next district over
from us that the ZLs (zone leaders) weren't coming till 1 ( they found out cause they had the ZLs car) but they didn't communicate that to anyone else. By the time we finally started district meeting at 1:15 we were furious because there was no communication and then they treated district meeting and training as a joke. So ya hopefully this transfer will be better with our leadership and we'll be able to figure things out with them. After district meeting, we went to service at St. Andrews where we help prepare food for the community cafe. I always love doing service there. We're in the kitchen which I love and we're surrounded by a lot of cool people.

Friday we mostly weekly planned and got things ready for transfers like updating records and making sure our area book was put together. It was a long and boring day but we got a lot done. That evening we had dinner with the Liechty's. They such a cute family and we love going to their house. It's pretty chaotic cause they have a boys with lots of energy and craziness but it's always fun. We had grilled personal pizzas. I've done homemade pizza before but have never
grilled it so that was good.

Saturday was fun because one of our branch members, Sam, who is preparing to serve a mission did a mini mission with us so she spent the day with us. She's so awesome and is so prepared for a mission. She's a convert of about 4 years now and loves the church with all her
heart. She goes with us to lessons all the time so having her for the day with us was the best! We ran some errands that morning to get ready for dinner and a baptism that afternoon. We did a lesson with Loveday and made dessert with her. We made chocolate chip cookies and
she made a Chinese dessert to take to the baptism. She created the recipe and hasn't given it a name yet but she compares it to Chinese yams. It's not what I was expecting but it was good. Chinese people don't like sweet stuff so it was nothing like an American dessert.

Then we went to Elana's baptism. She was the other Sisters investigator but we've all become really good friends with her so it was cool to be there and support her in that.  Lot of her family came from the Scranton area to come and support her too. None of them are members but they loved the service. Baptisms are the best. It makes me so grateful for my baptism and just for the opportunity I had to grow up in the church. I think I take that for granted a lot but I know that my life would be so different if I hadn't been raised in it. Thanks to the good examples of my family I am where I am today and am happier than ever.

That evening we did dinner again with all of the State College missionaries since it's our last time being all together. We were going to do fried chicken and waffles but then decided it was too much work and then we decided taco salad but it wasn't working out so we ended just doing German pancakes which was pretty good! It's so fun to do stuff with all the missionaries. We were all very nervous and on edge for transfer calls that night though. So then that night we got a call from the ZLs about transfers. They told us that Sister Jones was being transferred and I was staying in State College. It was expected but I was still sad to hear that it was real. I have really come to love and appreciate Sister Jones. I'm nervous for a new companion but I've been praying real hard that things will go well with my new comp.

Sunday was good. We found out that the ZLs didn't call the other sisters so they got a call that morning that said that Sister Peterson was being transferred too. Then we went to branch council. We love our branch and the support they give us! We then had church which was really good. I love the spirit that comes from church and the this that I get to learn and feel every week. Church is so important! It really sets the tone for the week!

Well here's the best and craziest news that happened this week...after church we got a call from President Johnson. He told us that Sister Jones was going to go be an STL for her last transfer (which doesn't ever happen) and then...he told me that I have been assigned to be a trainer! Agh! That's crazy! That's the highest calling anyone can receive on a mission. While I'm honored and blessed to have heard that news, I am definitely nervous for it. My trainee's mission is dependent on my training skills. Hopefully I'm ready haha. So ya we'll be heading to Pittsburgh tonight cause we have to go to meetings in the morning to learn more about training and how that all works out.
We'll meet all the new missionaries as well and then in the afternoon is our transfer meeting where I'll find out who my trainee and comp will be. Hopefully this goes well...pray for me and her haha

Well I hope ya'll are good! I love you all and will keep you posted on everything within the coming weeks. I don't have a whole lot of pics today cause my card reader doesn't work on my iPad but I'll send some on the computer probly next week.

Love you all,
Sister Kayla Johnson

#fakeittillyoumakeit

Pics: me writing in my journal after transfer calls. I may or may not
have been crying haha
And then Sister Jones putting Loveday's hair into a sock bun
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<![CDATA[Ipads! Memorial Day! Exchanges! Pittsburgh! Fun Stuff!]]>Mon, 01 Jun 2015 05:31:42 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/ipads-memorial-day-exchanges-pittsburgh-fun-stuffWell it's official!!! We got iPads! I am currently emailing you from it! The mission never thought this day would come. We are all so grateful and blessed! It's been a crazy week that's been kind of hard but it has helped prepare me for the rest of my mission. As I said last week I would be in charge of leading out our area. So I have had to schedule and plan all that we did and be in charge of lesson plans and leading out in lessons. It's been tough and a big test to my
patience but I have learned that it's ok to not know what to do all the time.

Monday was pday and we went to the park and played soccer and frisbee. Then we went to the creamery cause it got really hot. Afterwards, around 5:30, out STLs came and exchanged with us. I stayed here with Sister Ludwig and Sister Jones went with Sister Sampson to Lockhaven.
That night for FHE was fun. Every year Penn State does a "trash to treasure" sale which is basically like DI. Anyone can donate anything that they want to get rid of (clothes, shoes, furniture, book, etc.) and then Penn State sells it for really cheap. So for FHE we helped
them sort through clothes and put them in bins for different sizes so they'll be organized when it comes time for the sale. It was fun to do that with the guys in the branch because a lot of the things we sorted we women's clothes and they were baffled about how many different styles, shapes, and sizes there were. Between spaghetti straps, halter tops, tube tops and everything in between, they were real confused haha

Tuesday we taught Raisa and it was really sad because she didn't come to church that week so we had to move her baptism date back a week. It's even worse because this last Sunday she didn't come again so now we're working with her to figure out a day that she feels comfortable
with in June. We'll see how that goes. It's just so sad when you do all that you can to get your investigators at church and then they don't show up. It really showed me the importance of church attendance though. She's doing awesome in all other areas like praying and reading her scriptures everyday but just that 3 hour meeting on Sunday, even just the one hour for sacrament, is so important. That's the only thing that's holding her back right now. We're working with her though and hopefully she'll come next week and be on track for baptism again :)

Wednesday we figured out some more marketing ideas for campus. We were able to put out pamphlets at the spiritual center on campus so that was nice. Hopefully people will look at those and be interested. We also had a lesson with Loveday about the temple and family history. We are working with her now to be able to find a family name because we are getting ready for another temple trip hopefully on June 1st to Palmyra. So excited! But ya family history is hard to do with Chinese people because a lot of their records have been burned and also it's their culture to not be religious so to be able to get permission from her parents to be able to take names to the temple is next to impossible. Her Mom found out what it means to be baptized and she wasn't happy with Loveday at all. It's a very touchy subject with their family and just with that generation of the Chinese. We'll see how things go though. Only time will tell. For now though we're hoping to still be able to go with her and just have her bring a family name of someone else in the branch. If we can pull this off it'll be amazing. I've been able to do so many things within the first couple months of my mission that a lot of people haven't even had the chance to do in their whole entire mission so I am truly blessed for that.

Also Wednesday afternoon we had a lesson with Ryan. I think I told you about her last week. She is our investigator who is Catholic but is taking online courses at BYU. We found out that she is moving to Georgia in a couple weeks to be closer to her boyfriend so that's really sad. She's a way cool girl and would totally fit in here at the branch if she were to stay. We taught her about the Restoration though and emphasized the Priesthood and how that sets us apart from other churches. We also talked to her about the importance of the Book of Mormon and Prayer. She liked it all and said she'd love to keep learning more from us as well as other missionaries in Georgia. I wish we had more time with her but hopefully the other missionaries will be able to take care of her in the next two weeks.

That night we had institute. It was the first night of the summer institute class. We are studying the Pearl of Great Price. That book is always so cool to read so I'm glad we're studying it this summer. It really shows a good perspective on the Plan of Salvation and the things that we learn in the temple. It can be confusing at times but what scriptures aren't haha

Thursday was a crazy long day. This is that day we got our ipads! All the missionaries from the mission traveled to Cranberry Pennsylvania (north of Pittsburgh) for a conference to be able to be trained on the ipads and to receive them. It was cool to all be there at once. It's not a common thing for us to all gather together, actually it never happens, but we were able to have fun in seeing everyone there. We got a picture of all of us that I'll send. It was a 3 hour drive for us there. We got up at 5:30am and left our apartment around 7am. We drove through Pittsburgh on the way there and stopped for lunch and shopping/touring on the Strip. We went to Pepie's for lunch where we had really yummy cheese steaks. We were only able to be there for 40 mins so we took it to go and went shopping instead. We found a lot of cool Pittsburgh gear for really cheap. A lot of missionaries don't have the chance to go to the strip district so I was also blessed to have been there for even just an hour. I hope to go back someday though.

Then we headed to the conference. We had a couple people from the missionary department there who I don't remember their names haha and then there was supposed to be someone from the 70 but he wasn't sick that morning and wasn't able to make it. It was a really good training though! It lasted about 4 hours and most of it wan't even spent on how to use the ipads. We really didn't get into the logistics of it. We mostly talked about our purpose as missionaries and our agency. They told us that there are extra temptations and responsibilities that come with them but that as we use our agency wisely then we don't need to worry about those temptations. They said that the best filter for bad websites, distractions, etc. is our hearts. As we turn to Lord and help his work move along then the ipads can be an extra tool in that work. They also talked about how if we weren't good missionaries before then the ipads won't miraculously make us better. It is just an extra tool that we have been given and that ultimately we and the Spirit are still the only teachers. Basically it's not about the ipad haha

After the conference we took pictures and then were given the ipads. We drove home and stopped through Punxsutawney on the way. If you don't know what/where that is then you probably don't know what Groundhog day is either. Haha it's a movie and you should watch it. It's also a holiday...lol ya I was there. Groundhog day is our mission president's favorite movie. We took tons of pictures with all the groundhog statues though it was super fun. We didn't end up getting home that night till like 10 though. Man it was a long day!

Friday morning we went to our branch building to set up our ipads. The church has set up different parts within the operating system that are good for missionaries that help keep us on track and blocks stuff that we can see and all that good stuff haha. It took forever because surprisingly (well not surprisingly) a lot of people are technologically challenged and were having a hard time with it haha. Good thing I'm real good at that stuff from working at Server Plus so I was able to help them out. A lot of people have come to me asking for help cause they can't figure things out haha I love it! It reminds me of the good ol' call center days. I never thought I'd say this but I kinda miss that job. That evening we had a lesson with a less active that we're trying to help get to the temple as well about family history. He's a grad student and is finishing up his thesis to be able to defend it in mid-June so he's super busy and swamped. Not sure if we'll get him to the Palmyra temple with us on the 1st but he wants to go this summer for sure when he's not so busy.

Saturday we taught a new investigator named Klonter. He is Chinese and yes that is his English name haha I'm not sure how he picked it but it's pretty cool. He wants to learn more about God and see if there really is one so it was cool to teach him about the Restoration and start off with the fact that there is a God and that He is our loving Heavenly Father. I always love teaching that to people. I wonder what it'd be like to hear that for the first time. It's so cool to know that we have someone who knows us each individually and love us and is always looking out for us.

Sunday was really good. We were sad that none of our investigators showed up to church, but the talks and lessons that we learned were amazing and just for us. After church we had a lesson with a recent convert who just had a bunch of questions so we just answered them all. Then that night we had two dinner appointments lol We did dinner with the Bishop family who made us Walking Tacos which are tacos in a chip bad. They were really good and super easy to do. And then we did dinner again after that with some branch members and one of the other Sisters investigator (Elana) who is getting baptized this Saturday. They fed us pulled pork sandwiches and then brownie sundaes for dessert. Good night but we were stuffed haha

Yesterday was Memorial day(Happy Memorial day to everyone by the way). We went to the Boalsburg festival with the branch. Boalsburg is the city where Memorial day first started. It was super cool to be there. There were tons of street vendors, car shows and reenactments of the civil war. Also we found a snow cone shack which is crazy because snow cones do not exist in PA so we were all super excited to get one. It makes me miss the Hokulia in Provo! Then we went back to State College and went shopping for Penn State stuff. We did dinner that night with Elana. We made hot dogs and then roasted s'mores in the oven lol it turned out pretty good though. 

It's been a fun and busy week. This week will be super busy too. We are getting more training on our ipads and we're all gearing up for transfers which are on June 2nd. We'll hear Saturday night about who will be going where. Sister Jones thinks I'll stay here and train and she'll be transferred to a new area. I'm not really sure what will actually happen but it's very likely that that's what it'll be. I'd like to stay here with her for her last transfer but who knows. 

I hope you all have a great week!

Love you,
Sister Kayla Johnson

#justdoit
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<![CDATA[I basically saw Obama]]>Thu, 21 May 2015 15:01:01 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/i-basically-saw-obamaHey everyone! How are you doing?! I'm doing well. It's been a week full of ups and downs but overall it was good. 
This last week on Monday, because we didn't take a P-day, we helped put things together for FHE that night. It was the last FHE where most people were going to be there before they all left for the summer so we did a big FHE night that they called the "elementary field day on steroids." It was super fun! We went shopping that afternoon with some of the branch members and went to the church afterwards to set up. We did a fire and roasted hot dogs for dinner (it was funny cause we only had hamburger buns to we did "ham dogs" haha) and then made banana boats for dessert. If you don't know what a banana boat is then you should look it up. It's super good. It's a banana with marshmallows and chocolate chips then roasted over the fire. YUM! After that we did a water balloon toss and water baseball. Super fun night and a good day to not have P-day :)

Tuesday we went to lunch with a branch member, Sam. She took us to a restaurant called Otto's. It was super good and I had my first experience with authentic Pennsylvanian food. We had Perogies for an appetizer which is like a noodle stuffed with potatoes and cheese I think? And then I got a Philly Cheese steak. Yum it was so good! They told me that cheesesteaks are better in the West and that they're disgusting in actual Philadelphia. It was good though. 

The highlight of my week was being able to go to the temple. We went Wednesday to the Washington D.C. Temple. It was so beautiful! Pictures don't do it justice. We brought two recent converts with us and one of them brought a family name. We had tried to get a family name for the other, but after searching for two hours the night before with no progress, we just decided to try another time. Sister Jones and I did splits for the temple. She went with a couple of the members to do baptisms for the dead and then I along with some members and the other Sisters in our branch went and did endowments. I love the temple SO much! Every time I'm there I just get an overwhelming feeling of the love the Heavenly Father has for us. He has given us so much and it is so cool to go to the temple and get a greater perspective on the things that we learn about from primary. I can't adequately describe how blessed and loved I felt being there. There is just a great Spirit and peace that come from the temple which strengthens my testimony that it is the House of the Lord.

After the temple we went to Ben's Chili Bowl for lunch. If you haven't ever heard of it before then that's crazy because it's famous! Haha no worries if you haven't heard of it though. I hadn't either. It's super good though. They're known for their chili dogs. Lots of famous people have been there like Obama and Bill Cosby and it's been on a lot of food network shows. You should look it up and then be jealous that I went there haha. Also I kinda saw the Washington Monument which was super cool! We didn't have enough time to drive through the city and see the Whitehouse or anything but I saw it from a distance. It was crazy to be so close to that!!!! I basically saw Obama lol  

Thursday we had district meeting in the morning and we were all really sad because it was the last one with our district leader Elder Shuppy. He got emergency transferred that evening to go fix some problems that other missionaries caused in another area. He was an awesome DL though and it was sad to see him go because we had all really learned to love him. He was a good example to us and always had good advice and helped us when we needed it. We also taught a new investigator on Thursday. Her name is Ryan. She goes to Penn State but it also taking online courses at BYU. She's catholic but has heard her BYU professors talk a lot about the Book of Mormon and religion and stuff and so she was interested in learning more about it. It was cool cause she approached us and asked if we could meet with her. That morning when we were studying for her we had planned on teaching her the Restoration lesson because obviously she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon, but then Sister Jones and I really felt like we should teach the Plan of Salvation instead. It didn't make sense at all but we did it anyway and the lesson was way good. She had a lot of good questions and really liked the idea of the Spirit World and that everyone will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and be able to accept it. She said it really shows that God is just and loves all of His children to be able to give them all that equal opportunity, which is so true! She liked what we had to say and was interested in meeting with us again so we have another appointment with her next week and hopefully it goes well. 

Friday was full of goodbyes since everyone is leaving for the summer. Goodbyes are hard haha. We had to say goodbye to a couple of our favorite branch members Sam and Mikelle. We may or may not have cried, but that's only because we love them so much. I think the thing that makes goodbyes so hard is not knowing when you'll be able to see them again and knowing that when you do see them again, things will be different. Change is just hard. Thank goodness I'm a missionary and have to deal with that everyday haha XD Friday morning we put together a display for the Spiritual Center on campus. We made a flyer for our church; when services are, FHE, institute, all that fun stuff. We also gave them a Book of Mormon, Bible, and a Restoration pamphlet to put in the display case. It turned out really cool. For lunch we went to a Chinese restaurant downtown that everyone loves. It's called Big Bowl. It's good food and it's fairly cheep so that's nice. We also ate dinner with the Kendall family that night. Sister Kendall is so cool and always does themed nights when we come over. So Friday night was Italian night and she made Spaghetti with salad and bread sticks and then gelato for dessert. YUM! Haha I love how all of my highlights involve food and what I ate for the day. Food really is the most important thing in life ;P haha jk but it's super good!

Nothing too special on Saturday. Haha of course the highlight of my day that day was dinner. We decided to do a breakfast for dinner night with all of the missionaries in the area. We did it in the lounge of our apartment complex. It was a lot of fun to be with everyone and we learned a little more about everyone's families. We've got a great group of missionaries here in State College! 

Sunday was really good. We taught a lesson to a Chinese investigator that morning. His name is Shaun. He's 38 and was here for the last couple years studying agriculture but mainly researching mushrooms haha. He is a professor back in China and has a wife and a couple kids. It was the second lesson we taught him and it was so good. I love teaching Chinese people because they have no concept about God or who He is just cause they don't have that opportunity in China so I love teaching them about God and that He is our Father in Heaven. It's cool to teach people that and see them gain that testimony for themselves. He said a really good prayer at the end of our lesson. The best part was when we asked him if he'd want to meet with us one more time before he goes back home (he leaves next week for China), he told us he was too busy. We were sad and just left it at that but then he asked us if the church was in China as well and if he could keep learning more there. Man that's so cool! So we got him the contact info of the area 70 in China and hopefully he'll be able to contact them and keep learning more! 

I'm excited for this week because on Thursday we will be getting our Ipads!!! YAY! All the missionaries from our mission will be going to a training that day in Cranberry, PA. We'll be learning more about how to use our ipads and keep better records and teach more effectively from them and all the resources we'll have on them. I'm super excited to see everyone. Because we have so many missionaries here and over such a big geographic area, we don't really ever all meet at once so it'll be a cool meeting to have everyone there. I'm also super excited for Ipads and all the new opportunities  we'll have with them. Our work will be so different but it'll be a lot more effective and we'll be able to reach a much wider range of people. YAY! Get ready for that PA! 

Also this week I'll be in charge of leading out the area with me and my companion. So I'll be in charge of our schedules and what we teach and all that good stuff. It's a lot of pressure but it's part of training and it'll be a good test to see if I'm really ready for a mission lol Wish me luck!

Well I hope everyone is doing well. Congrats to Jake and Drew Wensel for your engagements. I saw some pics of the family parties and it looked fun. 

I love and miss you all!
Sister Kayla Johnson
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<![CDATA[Happy Mother's Day]]>Tue, 12 May 2015 04:18:01 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/happy-mothers-dayWell we're not technically taking a P-day today because we're going to save it and go to the temple sometime this or next week instead, but I just wanted to send some quick pics and highlights. Happy Mother's day to all the Moms out there! I got to skype home to my family last night which was great! I love my family so much! Hopefully those of you who have missionaries out were able to talk to them as well. 

The first pic is of us last Pday. We went on a hike with some members of our branch and one of the other Sister's investigator. We hiked Joe's Vista and it was really pretty.

We took a pic by the front gate on campus at PSU. All the flowers were so pretty here and then there was a huge rain storm that killed them all lol but ya the trees are all blooming and everything is getting all green out here. It's so pretty!

Saturday morning we invited some members of our branch over for studies and breakfast with us. We made German pancakes. Super yummy and fun to have the members participate in a missionary morning. 

The last pic is of my family on skype. Super fun!
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<![CDATA[Can't wait for Mother's day!]]>Tue, 12 May 2015 04:13:16 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/cant-wait-for-mothers-dayWell I hope everyone is doing well this week. I don't have a ton of time to write today cause we're trying to coordinate everything for Mother's day this week and then we are going hiking and on a picnic with some members in awhile. But ya this week was good and I can't wait to be able to talk to my family on Sunday!!!! YAY! 

It's still been slow here with finals and everything coming up. This week is finals so next week things will go back to normal. A lot of people are going home for the summer which we're really sad about. But we'll get a lot of new investigators and people to work with as well this summer. So ya lots of new changes.

I have a couple highlights from my week that i'll share. On Saturday we usually have correlation with our branch mission leader. This week he and his wife invited us over to their house for correlation and they made us breakfast. They made German pancakes which are they best, with hash browns and fruit! It was super good! They have a cute little apartment and we love spending time with them so that was fun. Then that night we went out to dinner because it was one of the Elders in our area's birthday. We decided to go to Chilies but it was packed so we ended up just going to Denny's which was super good and fun. There were a bunch of us there and we always love doing things with everyone. 

Yesterday was fast Sunday which was super great! We had a break the fast afterwards and it was yummy. We had sloppy joes, salad, chips, fruit, dessert. We had tons of food and were so stuffed by the end of it! We had a lot of people show up to church that day because of break the fast which is pretty normal. What college students don't like free food? Haha! Then that night we watched the CES Devotional. Elder Lynn G. Robbins (presidency of the 70) spoke. He's so awesome! He talked about our faith and testimonies and used Alma 32 to show us that most of us probably have a stronger testimony and knowledge of the gospel than we think we do. I set the goal to be more diligent in my studies and to always find joy within it. If you didn't get the chance to watch it, you should cause it was that good haha. It should be on lds.org.

My favorite highlight though was yesterday at church. Sister Jones and I decided to buy Loveday (our recent convert) a quad (set of scriptures that contains the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) with her name on it so she could have a set of her own scriptures. We gave them to her yesterday and she was SO happy! She was taking pictures of them and looking through them and her face was just so excited and happy! Man I love her so much! She's so cool! She just got called as the Chinese Gospel Principles teacher for the branch so we're helping her out with that. It's cool to still see her testimony continually growing! 

So ya it's been a good week overall. Hopefully everyone's week goes well and you have a good Mother's day with your Mom.

Love you all!!!!
Sister Kayla Johnson

I bought these boots for 90% off! Originally $60 but I got them for $6! Woot!!!!

Sorry I don't have many pics this week. They are all on others people's cameras so I'll send so more hopefully next week

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<![CDATA[Slow Finals Week]]>Tue, 12 May 2015 04:08:51 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/slow-finals-weekWell how is everyone doing this week? I'm doing good. It was weird to not have a baptism on Saturday because we've had two in a row these last two weeks. Haha oh, that just gives us more motivation to keep working hard. 

Nothing too exciting this week. It's the week before finals here and not a lot of people have time to meet with us because of it. It was cool though because we made a goal this week to have 10 lessons and we have been praying and working hard all week to be able to accomplish that goal. It was cool to see the Lord's hand in that and us being able to accomplish our goal. We taught a lot of on the spot lessons at forums and were able to meet with a lot of our recent converts and less actives. Because we have had two baptisms though our investigator pool has gone down. They moved from the investigator pool to our recent converts. On top of that we've had a couple people drop us. So now we only have 2 investigators that we're working with and we might drop one of them this week because she is Korean and really struggles with English so there's a huge language barrier. So ya we're working hard to get more people to teach. Hopefully it'll be better within the next two weeks though after finals. We have a lot of good potentials and some good ideas lined up. 

Wednesday we had a lesson with Loveday and then afterwards we went out to eat with her and her friend, Jane, at a chinese restaurant called Little Szechuan. Loveday said it was the most authentic Chinese food that she has had around here. Szechuan is a region in China that has really spicy food. We were a little worried we wouldn't be able to handle it but we got it a little mild and it was sooo good. I love the flavors and spices that they use. We had a vegetable hot pot, fish fillet with tofu, and fried green beens and potatoes. Super yummy! One day I want to go to China and see how it compares. 

Friday night we had dinner with a family in one of the wards in the area. They were so cute! They were from Sierra Leon (I think that's how you spell it) which is in Africa. The mom and dad converted to the church when they were teenagers and then had two kids and moved here so he could go to school. They are such a cool family! I wish I could be as accomplished as them. They have a 5 year old daughter who has read the BoM twice already by herself and is on her third time around. She has a bunch of scriptures memorized, and the MLKJ speech and Gettysburg address memorized, and is working on memorizing the Family: Proclamation to the World. She's a dancer and is learning chinese and spanish in school. The other kid is a boy who is 4 and he does all kinds of sports: football, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. He has a bunch of scriptures memorized as well. They're whole family is just so great and accomplished and centered on the gospel. One day I want to be like them.

Saturday was my click day so we went to the creamery to celebrate. It was really good! That's where Ben and Jerry's learned how to make ice cream. It was a fun day and really hit the spot. 

Yesterday (Sunday) for church we did a multi-stake conference with all of the stake within the North-eastern part of the states. It was super cool. I think it was broadcasted from Salt Lake. They had Elder Kacher of the seventy, Sister Carole M. Stephens one of the counselors in the relief society presidency, and Elder Hales and Anderson of the quorum of the twelve. They all spoke and it was great. So it lasted two hours and they had some really inspiring messages. They were so personable and shared a lot of personal experiences. It was fun to hear their messages and things they've learned through their lives. 

So ya that was some of the highlights of the week. Things are going really well. We also had transfers last week so we have a lot of new missionaries in the area. We're happy they're hear and i'm excited to get to know them more. We have an update on our ipads. We'll be doing a mission wide conference on May 21st where we'll get some training and more info on how we'll be using them and then at the end of that conference on that day we'll be getting the ipads. Then throughout the next couple weeks after that we'll be getting more training on specific apps that we're using for our records and stuff and then we'll slowly be converting our paper records to online and electronic records. I'm super excited! 

I hope everyone is doing well! And good luck to all of you in school with finals coming up! Keep studying but don't forget to make time for the Lord. As you pray for help, He will give you that extra strength that's needed. I love you all and hope the best. Especially for the Johnson family. I hope the funeral went well for Grandma J and that everyone is adjusting well. You're all in my prayers!

Love you!!!
Sister Kayla Johnson

I also forgot to add these couple pics and stories that go along with them.
We made foster care kits on Saturday as a service project. The part that we helped with was making stuffed animal bunnies from socks. They were super cute and actually not that hard to make.

That night for training sister Jones and I watch some movies from the District series so we decided to make a fun movie night of it. I popped popcorn and we got our blankets. Sister Jones was funny and said "you know Sister Johnson, other missionaries are out tracting and you're just in the kitchen popping popcorn." Lol we laughed about it for hours but had fun with it. We weren't even being disobedient, it was in the training booklet to watch the movie. Haha #movienight #training #neverbeentractingyet




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<![CDATA[One Transfer Down]]>Tue, 12 May 2015 03:47:22 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/one-transfer-downWell I survived my first transfer here in Pennsylvania! Man that's so crazy! It's been really great and I've learned a lot. Transfers are tomorrow and there are a lot of changes that are being made. Just within our zone the changes are crazy. One missionary from every companionship within our zone (except for Sister Jones and I because I am still training) is being transferred. That's a huge change! So we're excited to see all the new people and see what's in store for our zone. We're sad to see some go but we know it's for the best. 
This week has been a good one. It went by so much faster than last week. I'm not really sure why but ya it just flew by. Monday we emailed and then afterwards we went to lunch at Chickfila and then shopping at Ulta and Plato's Closet. We went back to the apartment for a bit and then decided it would be fun to go to Target too so we got the bus all figured out and then walked out and forgot if we had to take the VN or the NV. So we asked one of the bus drivers that stopped at our stop and he said to stay on that side of the road and take the VN. So we did and it came and then ended up going in the opposite direction but we thought it went in a loop and that we'd eventually get there so we waited. It ended up taking us like 30 mins and we got to downtown and still wasn't even close to Target and we had a lesson within an hour so Sister Jones and I got off the bus and the other Sisters that we were with didn't have anything so they stayed on. The funny thing is, is that the bus didn't even end up going to Target so the other Sisters just ended up right back at our apartment after an hour long bus ride. Oh well haha we might try it again today but get the right bus this time haha. When Sister Jones and I got off the bus we decided to go look at Penn State stuff since we had time before our lesson. We got some postcards but decided to keep looking around for shirts to see what the best deal was. Then we walked to our branch building for our lesson. It was with our investigator named Raisa who we haven't seen for almost a month cause she's been out of town and sick. So since it had been so long we just decided to review the Restoration with her. It was a good review and she liked it. She came to FHE with us afterwards where we went geocaching at a local park. It was supposed to be a 6 step geocache but we never found the second step so we just ended up playing Frisbee and hanging out instead. 

Tuesday we did Forums at the library on campus. Forums are our only opportunity we have to proselyte on campus so that and Friday are our biggest times where we can find people to teach. We found us some good potentials. Afterwards we went to the church house to call potential investigators from previous forums but didn't have any success there. Then we had dinner. There is a senior couple who makes food for the branch on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it's always so good so we do dinner there! On Tuesdays after dinner we go to institute. We learned about symbolism in the scriptures and how we can use our resources to figure out what they mean. We have an awesome institute teacher. He's been teaching for a very long time so he really knows his stuff about the gospel. 

Wednesday we had zone training in the morning. We focused on the power of the Holy Ghost in conversion. It was cool to learn more about that and how we need the Holy Ghost in order to teach and learn or else we might as well not teach because it is only by the power of the Holy Ghost that we can gain a testimony of these things. We also had a lesson with Loveday that day. We taught her more about the Priesthood and the two different offices and their roles within the church. She is now working on getting a temple recommend to be able to go and do baptisms for the dead so we are really excited for her and are helping her with that. She also just got a calling as the Chinese Gospel Principles teacher so we'll be helping her prep lessons each week. She is the best! That night we had dinner at the Gardener's house. She is the best cook. She loves trying new recipes so she knows what's good and what's not cause she's always trying new things. We always look forward to dinner at their house. 

Thursday we did service at the Community Cafe. We love going there and helping them prep meals for the community. It's a fun way to get involved with others. We meet lots of cool people through this. We also had a lesson with Yuchen that night. It was his last lesson before baptism so we just went over how he's feeling about it and how that was all going to work out. We also talked to him about the 10 commandments. He's such a cool guy. We have only been teaching him for about 6 weeks. His progress he's made has been a lot and it has been fast. We were nervous about it and weren't quite sure if he was ready but after hearing his testimony we felt he was ready. 

Friday we did service for one of the members of the Bellfonte ward (that's just one of the family wards within the area). The dad of the family found out that he had cancer back in December. He ended up going to the Huntsman Cancer Center in Utah and his family came with. Their house here in PA has been empty since and they decided that they should just make the move permanent to UT while he was still going through treatments and because their family lives there so he flew to PA for the weekend and packed up the whole entire house in one day and cleaned and moved out the next day. It was a huge move so all the missionaries in the area helped out and a lot of the ward members came too. It was a huge thing to pull off in a day but we did it. I think it's so cool that the church teaches to serve. We couldn't have done it without the help and support of the members and I know the family felt truly blessed with all the help that came. We also did Forums that afternoon and then went to the Hawkin's house for dinner. They are a cute newlywed couple. Well idk how newlywed, but she is pregnant with their first child. It was fun to be there with them. That night we played the movie Meet the Mormons at our branch building. A lot of the branch members came and brought nonmember friends too. It was so cool to watch it with everyone. For those of you who haven't seen it or don't know what it is, it's a documentary about Mormons and how we live our everyday lives with the extra strength of the Lord and His gospel. It has such a great Spirit and everyone loved it. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. I know it's in store at Walmart and it's on demand and I think the church is trying to make it available on Netflix. If you have seen it, share it with those who haven't. 

Saturday was a big day for us. We sat down in the morning to weekly plan and got 20 minutes into it and got a call from President Johnson. He asked to speak with me and told me that he had to give me some bad news that my Grandma Johnson had passed away. It was really sad to hear but I knew it was coming soon. I got to call my dad and talk with him about it for a little bit which was nice. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the Plan of Salvation and to know that she is in a better place now and that I will be able to see her again someday. I am happy for her to be reunited with her husband once again. The Johnson family are in my prayers and I hope all of you are doing ok. After I talked to my family for a bit, we had to go do correlation with our branch mission leader. So that's when we coordinate our efforts with the branch to let them know who we're teaching, what we're teaching, how things are going for us as missionaries, and how they can help us out in our efforts. It's so nice to be able to do that and be on the same page with the branch as we are all working together to bring souls unto Christ. We went to dinner at the Green's house that  evening. They have a cute family. We love going to family's houses for dinner since we don't get to see very many kids or families on a daily basis since we mostly work with the college students. 

That night we had Yuchen's baptism and it was amazing! It started off so crazy and chaotic though! So the baptism was at 7pm. We got a text from Yuchen at 5:30 saying he was out biking with one of the members of the branch (Jamie) and that they were just going to bike there so he didn't need a ride anymore. We had told them originally to be there around 6pm to make sure everything was ready and so we could find baptism clothes for them that fit and everything. Jamie (the guy he was biking with) is notorious for being late so we were a little worried but we had faith that things would work out. We got to the church around 6 after our dinner with the Greens and Yuchen and Jamie showed up a couple minutes later. Yuchen had thought that they were going back to his dorm before the baptism though so he showed up in his biking clothes and cleats and didn't have a change of clothes or a towel or anything. So we had to scramble to get him church clothes and shoes and everything. At the same time this is all happening we found out the the person who was baptizing Yuchen  (Li) was nowhere to be found. Li was supposed to be at the branch building at 6 so that someone could pick him up and give him a ride to the chapel where we were doing the baptism but he wasn't there. Apparently there was a miscommunication and Li thought that he was getting picked up at his apartment instead. So the member rushed over to get him but there was a lot of traffic because there was a PSU football game that night so there was lots of traffic with that. So we had no idea how long that would take. So ya were trying to figure this all out and set up for the baptism and everything. Things finally came together though.  Li showed up around 6:50 and we got Yuchen some clothes around that time to. So they hurried and changed and all was well after that. The baptism started about 15mins late but it was so great. We had Loveday give one of the talks who just got baptized last week. It made me cry cause it was so good. It is so cool to see her progress and how much she has grown. Man it was good.

Sunday we had Yuchen's confirmation. It was a cool day. We were able to see a lot of progress from the first sunday that we were there. Two of our most recent converts were there and two of our less actives were there, one of which even blessed the sacrament so that was cool. It is cool to see the change the gospel makes in people's lives and how happier they are because of it. I am so blessed to be apart of this work and I can't wait to see what's in store for me for the next 12 transfers. 

I hope all of you are doing well! 
Love, Sister Kayla Johnson
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<![CDATA[Epic and Eventful Week]]>Mon, 13 Apr 2015 17:14:08 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/epic-and-eventful-weekHey how is everyone doing?! My week has been good. It's been very long but I think it's because we've done so many different things. I'll try and touch on it all. 

So last Monday for P-day we went on a hike. We hiked Mt. Nittany. It was super pretty. There were tons of trees everywhere. I wish we had gone a couple weeks later so we could see all the pretty colors of the trees and flowers in the area, but it was beautiful regardless. I'll send pics of it. We went with like 10 other missionaries in the area. It was fun to be with them and get to know them better. There were very beautiful views of the city of State College below. Lots of fun and not a hard hike either. Those are my kind of hikes haha ;) ThenMonday night we went to the Vest family's house for dinner. They were so cute and they made me a "greeny" dinner. So they made chicken cordon bleu, rice and beans, and a spinach dip. She dyed everything green and gave us a green sparkling water drink. And then cupcakes that were frosted green and in the shape of a monster. Haha it was really cute and I really appreciated it. I have pics of that too that I'll try and send. Then that night our STL's (sister training leaders) came for exchanges. So I went to Lockhaven with Sister Hodson and Sister Jones stayed here in State College with Sister Sampson. Sister  Hodson is diabetic too so that was cool! I have a pic of us with our pumps haha. But ya exchanges were cool. 

I spent Tuesday in Lockhaven and it was really interesting to see another part of Pennsylvania. It was SO different than State College. Our area is nothing like the rest of the mission so it was cool to actually get to experience what the Pittsburgh mission is like haha. They do a lot of work with less actives rather than investigators which is different. But it's cool to help them get back on track and bring them closer to Christ. 

Wednesday wasn't super eventful. We had district meeting like we usually do on Wednesdays. It was the last district meeting for one of the Elders in our district cause he's going home next week at transfers. He's a really good cook so he made us an awesome lunch and we had a lot of the other missionaries from the area come and eat lunch with us too. It's always so fun when we get together. We usually play games or just sit and talk, but it's nice to be around other people like you who are doing the same thing you are. 

Thursday we were finally able to go and do service again at the Community Cafe. We've been sick the last two or three weeks in a row so we haven't been able to go. But we got to go again and help prepare a dinner for the community. I love cooking so it's so fun to be around other people and doing that together. We usually just cut up fruits and vegetables and make salads, or we plate desserts, or do dishes; a little bit of everything. And they always send us home with food to so that's nice.

Friday wasn't super eventful either. On Tuesdays and Fridays we do forums so we just did that. So we go outside the library on campus and just talk to everyone about the gospel and see if their interested in meeting with us. This is where we find most of our investigators. It's very intimidating to just walk up to a stranger and start a conversation with them, but as you just jump into it, it's not too bad, Sister Jones and I have been practicing and praying about it a lot this past week and we definitely were blessed for our efforts. 

Saturday!!! So this was a great day for us! We had Loveday's baptism which was amazing! We spent most of the day at the church preparing for it. It took about 3 hours to fill up the font. I never knew that much preparation went into a baptism. That's crazy! It was a little stressful but it ended up working out really well and we had a great service for her. It was cool to see her come out of the water. As we were in the changing room helping her with everything she was just glowing. It took a lot of faith on her part and she was definitely blessed for it. She was so happy and felt so good afterwards. Also on Saturday, before the baptism, our other investigator Yuchen had his baptismal interview. We were really worried about it this whole week and didn't know if he was ready or not cause it has been so fast since he's been meeting with us to the time he wanted to get baptized but we had a really good lesson with him on Friday. We went over all of the interview questions with him and asked him about them and how he was feeling. After that lesson we were feeling a lot better. He has a really simple but strong testimony. Then like I said on Saturday he had his interview and he passed! Yay! So he'll be getting baptized this Saturday

I have been super blessed to have had even one baptism within my first transfer and now if everything goes according to plan we'll have another one. It's super crazy. This mission is one of the lowest baptizing missions so it's pretty hard for most missionaries here to get more than one baptism and there are even some who don't get any at all. So I definitely feel really blessed to have started my mission so strong. The Lord has been a huge help in that and He has helped His work really progress in this area. Thank goodness for prayer and guidance from the Holy Ghost cause we couldn't have done it without Them.

Sunday was great too. I was supposed to give a talk but ended up not having to because our program was pretty full. It was a good experience to prepare the talk though. It was on humility and I learned a lot from it. So ya in church we had Loveday's confirmation and also a baby blessing which is super rare because we work within a YSA/Newly Married couples branch so there are no kids. Usually when a couple has a kid that's when they start going to the family ward in the area. But  ya they blessed their baby and it was awesome. And then after the sacrament they had Loveday bare her testimony and it was so great! She really knows her stuff and has a strong testimony. A huge struggle she's had while meeting with us for the past year has been the question of if there really is a God. She's come a long way and it made me so happy to hear her say in her testimony that she knows that there is a God and that He is our Heavenly Father and that He loves us. Man! That's sooo cool. It made me tear up a little :P

So ya it's been a great week! It's the last week of the transfer now but I already know that I'm staying here with Sister Jones because I'm training. I'm excited to stay and continue to see the work progress. It's so great to be a missionary :) I hope everyone is doing well back at home. It's nice to finally start seeing Spring here! I hope the weather is good there too. It's fun to see things starting to bloom here and get some color. I love you all and hope you're doing well!

Love,
Sister Kayla Johnson

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<![CDATA[#LDSConf]]>Mon, 06 Apr 2015 15:48:08 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/ldsconfHey how is everyone doing this week?! I hope you all had a great Easter weekend and were also able to watch General Conference. It is always so great when those two events collide. Easter is an amazing time for us to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the things He did for us to make living life a joy. It's so great to be able to remember that as we also experience one of the many blessings He has given us of modern day prophets and revelation as we watch General Conference. 
This last week has been pretty good. We've been having a lot of success in the area and finding new people to teach. We have two investigators on date for baptism and we're hoping to set two more with a date this week.

Last week I had a tooth filling fall out which was weird because I wasn't even doing anything when it happened. I was sitting on my bed and writing in my journal and felt something in my mouth. When I looked at it, it ended up being a filling. Lol and just my luck it was on a Saturday night so I had to wait all weekend to even have a dentist look at it. On Mondaymorning I called a dentist in the area that people in our branch recommended. They were booked and couldn't get me scheduled till next Thursday. So I asked another girl in our branch who works as a dental hygienist. She told me that their office was closed that Monday for training. But I called them on Tuesday and was able to set up and appointment for the next day on Wednesday. Thank goodness because my tooth was very sensitive to the cold so it hurt when I drank cold liquids. So I went Wednesday morning and got it filled easily. No more teeth problems after that.

On the other hand though I finally got sick. So Sister Jones and I decided to go to urgent care on Thursday because she still wasn't feeling good either. So we went to the doctor to see what was wrong and to hopefully get some meds to help us feel better. She ended up having a sinus infection and I had an upper respiratory infection. Uck! Haha I've been blowing my nose like crazy this last week and have had a sore throat with lots of coughing so that makes sense. But it was nice because we were both able to get antibiotics. We've been taking those and can slowly feel ourselves getting better! YAY! It's hard to be sick as a missionary. We both felt disobedient for staying in and sleeping. But now that we're getting better the work has been progressing. It's cool to see Heavenly Father's hand in our lives as we try to work hard and push past not feeling good. He definitely blesses us for that and we have seen that this week. 

As I said we have two people on date for baptism. One of them is this Saturday. Her name is Loveday and she is from China. I think I've already told you guys about her but ya she's about 22 and is studying linguistics at Penn State. She's been meeting with the missionaries for about a year now but she has come a long ways with her testimony. It is cool to see her progression even just within the last 4 weeks that we've been here. It's cool to be able to see people learn and grow. The gospel truly blesses people's lives!

We've also gotten a couple new investigators this week and we're really excited about them. They're really prepared for the gospel and are truly looking for a relationship with God in their lives. I'm sad because all the missionaries with me in this area keep telling me that this is nothing like the rest of the mission. Baptism and these promising investigators are not common here in Pennsylvania. It'll be hard to go from this great "promised land" to a new area haha but it does make me truly grateful to be apart of the work in this area and to see this much success. I think it'll motivate me to work harder in other areas because I know that there can be this success. We'll see how it goes though.

General Conference was great! Hopefully you all had the opportunity to watch all 4/5 sessions. If you haven't then no worries, that's what the internet is for haha. And if you have already seen them all I encourage you to read them again and again and to study them and apply them to your life. We are so blessed to be able to have the resources that the church offers us today. lds.org, mormon.org, the Ensign, etc. They are all great tools for us to be able to study the gospel and share it with others. My two favorite topics that we prominent in conference this year were recognizing the Spirit and having an eternal perspective. I think as we focus on both of those topics, we cannot fail. There was a lot about fast offerings, be united, serving others, and strengthening family relationships. I think there are going to be some troubled times in our near future. As we listen to the council of the prophets, though, we will be ready for these times and will be able to endure to the end. 

I hope all of you are doing well. Hopefully you had a great Spring Break, Easter, and General Conference. The weather looks great in Utah! It's warming up here in Pennsylvania which is so nice. We can see the flowers are starting to grow and hopefully they'll bloom soon. I can't wait! Stay strong in your faith and do the little things of praying and reading scriptures daily especially if times are hard for you now. Ya'll are the best and I'm grateful for your prayers and support. Thanks for all you do for me :)

Love you all!
Sister Kayla Johnson

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<![CDATA[#BecauseHeLives]]>Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:27:50 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/becausehelivesHey!!!!How's everyone's week? Mine has been good!!! We have two people on date for baptism now!!! So Yuchen is one of them, as I said last week. We had him set for the date of May 2nd and then we met with him this week and asked him how he was feeling about it and he asked if we could move the date up to April 18th! Crazy huh?! So we moved it up and he's exciting and progressing towards that date. We also have Loveday who is on date. She has been meeting with the missionaries for almost a year now. She's from China so she has been struggling with the concept of God just because that's the Chinese culture. They are taught in school that there is no God so this is a new concept for them. But just within the past 3 weeks that we've been here it's been cool to see her progression and her faith building. The missionaries have already taught her all of the lessons a bunch of times. She is very knowledgeable in the Gospel and knows all the doctrine, she's just having a hard time applying it to herself and gaining a testimony of it. We told her though that we've taught her all the lessons and there's nothing more than we have to teach her. At this point her next step is baptism cause we have nothing else to offer her. So we told her that and she knew that was true so she decided to take a leap of faith and accept a baptism date of April 11th! It was nice because we have a member with us who is a convert of about a year. He bore his testimony of his conversion and how he didn't get his answer about if he should get baptized or not until after he actually did get baptized. It wasn't until then that he got the answer that it was a good decision for him to make. I think that really helped Loveday to hear that. So we're really excited about that. Sister Jones said that she didn't get a baptism until 9 months into her mission so this is really uncommon for missionaries to have this experience. Basically it's downhill from here lol jk but I'm truly blessed for these experiences and can't wait to see what else is in store for me on my mission.

We've slowly gotten better this last week so that's good. The other Sisters that we work with went to the doctor and found out they had bronchitis so that's no fun. It's nice to finally know what it was that we were dealing with though. So we've just been resting and we're definitely better this week than last. I still have a cough and sore throat but nothing I can't push through. 

This last Thursday we had Zone conference with another zone in the area. It lasted pretty much all day but it was fun to be with other missionaries and here some of their experiences. We did a lot of training from different leaders and learned more about what's been going on in the area numbers wise and goals and stuff for the future. We also learned about the new Easter video that the church produced and it is amazing! It was just released on Friday so if any of you haven't seen it yet then I highly recommend you see it and share it with others. It's called Because He lives. Basically it's a 3 minute video about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The message that it shares is that Because He lives again, we can too after we die and that we can do all thing through Him. It's really cool! It's on a website that the church created called HeLives.mormon.org. It's cool because not only is the video on the website but it also talks about the events that took place the week before the Savior's Resurrection and it has people's testimonies about it. The church is going to update this website even after Easter and keep it going with different things about the Savior. So ya go check it out if you haven't and share it on every social media that you have! Haha also the church has purchased the youtube banner on Easter. So all day it'll have the BecauseHeLives video as the banner. It is estimated that 240 million people will see a 15 second clip of it that day. Man that is awesome!!!! We as missionaries have found this to be a great tool in sharing the gospel. We invite you to use it in your missionary efforts as well. As you share this video with others, the Lord will bless you in your efforts!

We also had the opportunity on Saturday night to attend the General Women's Conference. The topic was centered on Families. It is the 100th anniversary for FHE and the 20th anniversary for The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Families are central to Heavenly Father's plan for us. I feel like a lot of times we take our families for granted, I know I do. I gained a greater appreciation for my family and how much they truly mean to me. If you  haven't seen that yet either I would invite you to look it up on lds.org. Whether you're male or female, the message of the importance of families is for everyone! 

I'm really excited for General Conference this weekend! I have always loved conference but I've heard that it is so much better as a missionary. I advise everyone to watch. It's a big time commitment but it is so worth it! Think this week about questions that are on your mind and then write them down. As you listen to conference I PROMISE that those questions will be answered. And I think writing them down really helps. It's good to have them in your mind, but when you write them down you are more focused on what you're looking for as you listen to conference. We only get to hear from the prophet and the other leaders of the church two times a year so take advantage of it! They have been praying and studying for you and what you need to hear. Their messages are truly inspired and will help greatly in our lives as we apply the things they teach to ourselves. 

Well I hope everyone is doing really well! Keep in touch and let me know. I know some people's spring breaks were last week? How did that go? Do anything fun? Let me know how conference is for you and how you like the Because He Lives video. They're both amazing!!!!!

Love you all!!!!
Sister Kayla Johnson

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<![CDATA[Slow but Steady]]>Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:08:11 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/slow-but-steady     Hey! How is everyone doing this week?! Hopefully all is well. This last week has been pretty slow for us here. Every missionary in the area has gotten super sick, except me thank goodness. I'm just waiting to finally get it next week though lol idk we'll see. So ya last week there were two sisters that came to PA with me from the MTC. I can't remember if I told you about them or not but ya they were supposed to go to Taiwan but hadn't gotten their visas yet, so they got reassigned to our mission here in PA and ended up serving in State College with me and Sister Jones. But ya one of them got super sick from the MTC and brought it here, and it's super contagious so pretty much everyone has gotten it. We're not really sure what it is. It's like a mix between a cold and the flu. Everyone has had really bad coughs, sore throats, and congestion and they've also had body aches, nausea, and exhaustion (a lot worse than normally missionary tiredness). So ya we're not sure what it is but it's been around for the past week and we're still waiting for it to get better. I've had little symptoms but nothing compared to everyone else. Sister Jones had to stay in one day because she was throwing up. Hopefully not mono? lol idk we'll see. 
Through all that, though, we've been trying to make the best of what we've got. We have an investigator on date for baptism. His name is Yuchen. He is from China and is a student here at Penn State. I have never seen so many Asian people in one area before Lol! About half the people we teach and that are in our branch are Asian. It's hard cause there's usually a slight language barrier, but I love it and we're learning lots from teaching them! So ya Yuchen hopefully will be baptized May 2nd. We told him to pray about that date and see what he thinks! Pray from him! 

    It's weird to be back in a college town. I love it though and this area feels like home. I think it was a good place to start out the mission. This week on Wednesday will be my one month mark. That's crazy! Time on the mission is so weird. It feels like I've been out here for years, but at the same time I feel like my family just dropped me off at the  MTC yesterday. I'm not really sure how that works. Maybe that's how Heavenly Father sees time? Wow I can't even imagine that haha

    This week we have zone conference so that'll be exciting. They're training us on the new Easter video that's coming out. It'll be out on Friday and I can't wait for everyone to see it. It's called Because He Lives, and it's so cool. It's about all that Jesus Christ did for us and how we can do everything because of Him. Man can't wait for that! 

So ya mission life has been pretty good. Nothing crazy besides us getting sick has happened. Oh ya! There is a Penn State wrestler in our branch who went to Nationals on Saturday. He got 1st place!!!! He's the first RM to have ever won nationals so that's super exciting! Everyone was really happy for him and it was cool to see the branch cheering him on.

Hopefully things are going well with everyone! Send me letters and emails. I love to hear what life has been life for you since I've been gone. 

Love you all!!!!
Sister Kayla Johnson
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<![CDATA[One Week Down]]>Mon, 16 Mar 2015 19:41:27 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/one-week-downWell I survived my first week here! Haha it wasn't bad at all so that's good. It was really slow as we were trying to figure things out since we're both new to the area but it's been good. We taught a lesson to an investigator the first night I was here. Her name is Raisa. Her mom is a convert of about 2 years. Raisa got into a really bad car accident recently though and really recognized God's hand in her survival. So she's been meeting with the Elders in her mom's ward, but because she is a YSA they are handing her over to us since we serve in the YSA branch. So we taught her about the Restoration and committed her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. And then she also said she'd come to church and FHE with us this week. She ended up being sick yesterday though so she didn't make it to church. But we have a lesson with her tonight and then she's coming to FHE with us afterwards so that'll be good. I think the Elders have already talked to her a little about baptism and she says that she wants to be baptized, but we're kind of starting from square one with her just to make sure she is ready because when the Elders taught her she was still on a lot of pain meds from her accident so she doesn't remember a lot of what they taught. So we'll see how that goes :)

On Thursdays we do service at a Lutheran church. They call it the Community Cafe. Every Thursday night they make dinners and anyone from the community is welcome to attend. It's free for all. They get donations from the grocery stores in the area with food that they need to get rid of or that is about to expire so they just use all that up and donate the rest to the people who go to the dinner. It takes them all day to prep meals. I think they start at 10am and then the dinner is at 5pm and then they don't get out of there till like 8 or 9pm because of cleanup. It's a really cool thing that they do in the community and it's cool to be involved with that. So we go at 2pm and are there till 5pm. We just help cut fruits and vegetables and basically just help with whatever needs to be prepped for the meal. It was fun and there were a lot of people there helping out so it was good to meet other members of the community.

On Tuesdays and Fridays we do forums. We aren't allowed to proselyte on campus so we've made an arrangement with the school to be able to proselyte at certain times and places on Tuesdays and Fridays. So we just talk to everyone that passes within our little area. We hand out cards with our info on it, hand out Book of Mormons, and see if anyone is interested in learning more about our beliefs. We were able to get a couple people's contact info from that on Thursday and meet with them about it. We met Mario, our new investigator, from forums and have met with him twice now. 

Mario is a student here at Penn State. He is studying econ and journalism. He wants to work for Time magazine one day. That'd be so cool! He's from El Salvador and moved here with his family when he was 12. He was born a Christian but decided around 12 or 14 that he didn't know what to believe in anymore. Now he just believes that if he just does good then things will work out with him. He doesn't believe in God, but from our lesson yesterday we taught him about Heavenly Father and how we came to know that He is real and invited him to do the same. He's not really looking for religion or anything in his life right now but was open to at least trying it. He's read a couple chapters in the Book of Mormon and he said he likes that it's so beautifully written. Hopefully he'll take our challenge though and pray about it and that he'll get an answer from those prayers.

We've been doing a lot of dinner appointments with the members in the area. The members are so nice! I love them so much! They're really awesome and so willing to help with the missionary work in the area. We've been able to get them to all of our appointments with investigators even some at the last minute. A lot of them are converts themselves so they know what the missionaries do with the investigators and a lot of them can relate with questions that they ask and things like that. We're really blessed to have so many great and dedicated members in the area. 

Well hopefully this week is good. Nothing to crazy or hard happened this last week so hopefully it stays that way. I hope things are going well with everyone at home. I'm sure life is just the same there. It's crazy to think that I've been out for 3 weeks now. It feels like so much longer than that. Next Wednesday will be my one month mark or the 25th is also known as my click day. It's just the day that you enter the MTC so every month on that day you add another click to how long you've been out LOL. It's exciting though and I'm already seeing the blessing of missionary work in my life and in the lives of those around me. I sent my new address last week so send stuff to that address now. I love you guys and hope you're doing well! Let me know how ya'll are doing!

Love ya!
Sister Johnson

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<![CDATA[Out to the field!]]>Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:56:52 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/out-to-the-fieldHey all! I'm writing tonight cause we're doing laundry right now and getting ready to leave the MTC Monday morning. We got our flight info and we have to be at the travel office at the MTC Monday morning at 3:30am. That's sooo early haha and then our flight leaves at 7am. So ya we're preparing now for that. It's crazy that I'm already leaving this place. It feels like I've been here for ever but at the same time like I just got here yesterday. It's hard to explain.
I've learned so much within the past week and a half of being here! I love the gospel so much and can't wait to bring that to everyone in Pennsylvania. The gospel is the cure for sadness, guilt, anger, and maybe even world peace LOL. But for real! If everyone had the gospel in their lives and lived by it's doctrine and principles then we could obtain world peace. 

So ya today was full of lasts. It was our last classroom time with all our teachers that we love so much, and it was the last time with our investigators that we've been teaching. I'll send a pic of our district with some of our favorite teachers. It's the 6 of us in our district and then 5 of our teachers. It's funny because some of our teachers are short so they look like missionaries but they're not. So the teachers are from left to right Sister Smith, Sister Mills, Brother Craw, Brother Bird, and Brother Sorenson. Mills and Sorenson were our two favorites. They also played the roles of some of our investigators. Sister Mills was "Tilly," a woman from London who loved talking about God and wanted to learn more about Him. And then Brother Sorenson was "Jordan," a man who just had a baby a month ago and the mom left them and he was wondering how to be a good father for his son Nash. It was amazing to teach them and see them progress. Even though they were really our teachers, we felt the love for them as investigators and really wanted to help them come unto Christ. We were able to see them grow and progress and just be so much happier because of what the gospel did for them personally. The gospel TRULY blesses lives!!!

Our other investigator was Leah. She is an Evangelical Christian. She was very stubborn and set in her ways. She's been coming to the MTC to meet with the missionaries for the past year and a half though and has learned and grown a lot from them. She suffers from really bad anxiety and PTSD because of some dramatic event involving Mormons. Her doctor recommended that she meet with them and get to know them better to be able to get over her PTSD. She didn't even think she'd last a month here but she's been so touched with the love that we've shown her. She still struggles with anxiety but slowly she's grown to love us. She not ready for conversion anytime soon but I know that she will be here for awhile as she learns from us and as we learn from her. It was really cool to see her perspective on things. She has a huge love of the Bible and of Jesus Christ and she knows that he's done so much for us. I've learned a lot from her and will love her forever.

Hopefully things are doing really well for all of you. Thanks to those who have sent me letters and packages. It really means a lot to me. I know that the gospel is real and that if anyone even has any doubts or questions about that, we can pray to know of the truth of that and we WILL get an answer to those prayers.  Keep sending me letters and emailing me. If you ever have any questions let me know and I will do my best to answer them. Ya'll are amazing!!!!

Love, 
Sister Johnson

P.S. the other pic is of me and my companions and Leah

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<![CDATA[MTC]]>Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:29:24 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/mtcWell I'm in the MTC! Can you believe it?! It's still hasn't really set in for me but it has been a great experience so far. I am in a trio companionship so it's me, Sister Wilson and Sister Blake. Sister Wilson was going to join the military but things didn't work out for that so she prayed about a mission and decided it was a good thing for her. She loves to read and she has a lot of energy haha oh and also she is from Tuscon, AZ. Sister Blake is from St. George. She is very quiet and reserved but if you bring up Dr. Who or Harry Potter, she'll talk to you for days and days. She is a theater education major so she loves acting and singing and all that fun stuff. We all get along really well and have enjoyed being companions. 
Our district also consists of another trio of Elders. There was supposed to be a 4th elder but he is from Canada and didn't get his visa yet. So it's just the 6 of us. We all get long really well and love to joke and laugh with each other. The other elders are Elder Slade (short brunette) who is our district leader and then Elder Hardman (the tall readhead) and Elder Cuthbert (the blonde) who are co-zone leaders. 

We have truly been blessed here with good companions, district, zone, teachers, and branch presidency. I have been asked to be the Sister Training leader which is like the girl version of a Zone Leader. So it goes companions and then district and then zone. So it's pretty cool. I get to be in charge of and help all the sisters in the zone. 

I have learned a lot so far being in the MTC. A huge thing I've learned is patience with myself and with the Lord. It's been really cool to learn all the doctrines of the gospel in a basic and simple way. I know for sure I take the church and the gospel for granted. I have really been trying to improve on my prayers and being more sincere with them. I have felt that relationship with my Heavenly Father grow as I have worked on that.

 I don't have a lot of time but thanks to everyone who has written and sent packages. Letters are the best here at the MTC and on the mish. Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going. 

Here's some pics of my district and my companions. 

I hope all is well with everyone. Keep going to church, reading your scriptures, and saying prayers. If you don't do that already then do it!!! The gospel is what will bring us true and lasting happiness and joy in life!

Love, 
Sister Kayla Johnson

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<![CDATA[It's Not Goodbye, it's See you Later]]>Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:45:04 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/its-not-goodbye-its-see-you-laterWell folks....today was the day....Kayla is officially Sister Johnson and is officially in the MTC. Last night she got set apart as a missionary by members of the stake presidency and this afternoon we dropped her at the MTC. She's seriously so excited and could not be more ready to take on this new adventure. Here's some pictures from today: 

We had our favorite restaurant for the "Last Meal." It was Terra Mia and her favorite is called the Pulcinella. There's this super awesome guy there named Manuel who we have become friends with over the past year. He's so nice and always says "hello my friends!" when we come in. He knows our order and always makes sure we are taken care of. It was good for Kayla to get to say bye. 


We stopped at the temple grounds because...well you have to....and there were millions of people. It was nice though, seriously we couldn't have asked for better weather. 


The girl that helped Kayla in at the MTC was a girl that used to be in our ward so that was nice to hand Kayla off to a familiar face. The MTC part seriously is a blur and so we don't have really any pictures from it. We did film part of it, so I'll see if we can get the MTC video part added on. 


After we dropped her off, we went to the Cocoa Bean (a little bakery in Provo) and we are having some cupcakes delivered to her. Apparently there's a bunch of Provo places that can do MTC deliveries...WHO KNEW!!? But yeah she should be doing great. She's so happy and there's no where else she would rather be. No tears shed yet from Kayla, myself or my dad
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<![CDATA[The Farewell....icymi (in case you missed it)]]>Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:53:28 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/the-farewellicymi-in-case-you-missed-itHey guys. In case you missed Kayla's Farewell, here's a TRANSCRIPT of her talk. I would post the actual recording....but it wasn't very good quality:

Good afternoon Brothers and Sisters, I'm really excited to be here and to see all of you guys here. Like Bishop Allen said my name is Kayla Johnson and I've been called to serve in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh mission and I leave for the MTC this Wednesday.

So two weeks ago I went up to Bishop Allen and said "Hey do you have any idea, you know, of what you would like me to talk about in church for my farewell?" And  he said "You know I thought about it and, well lets talk about it now." And he said, "What's a topic that you know and that you have a testimony of, but that testimony took work to get and didn't come easy for you." And I instantly thought of prayer and I think it's so cool how you can say many different things about prayer. Just as they were speaking, and talking about it in mission prep this morning, there are so many different ways that you can answer questions just depending on your audience. So hopefully I can speak something to you guys today and you can take something away from this talk. 

I instantly thought of prayer, and prayer for me, it is sometimes hard for me. It's hard for me to have relationships where I can't see a person or talk to them. So the fact that I can't see Heavenly Father everyday, is kind of hard. But then I think of prayer, and through prayer I can have that relationship with Him. It's so hard for me to pray sometimes, but when I think of my relationship with Him, it makes me want to pray more. 

In the Bible Dictionary under prayer it says: "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God, (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship." I went to went to girls camp one year and we had a guest speaker, I don't remember her name, who talked to us about our relationship with the Father. It was really cool and it stuck with me. She said, "It doesn't go Heavenly Father, Adam, Moses, Nephi, Joseph Smith, Us. It goes Heavenly Father and then us. We are his children. And I just really feel that and I believe that love that he has for us because we are His children. 

So when we think about that relationship, it puts it in perspective that you would want to speak with your father. In True to the Faith under prayer it says "As you make a habit of approaching God in prayer, you will come to know Him and draw ever nearer to Him." And I feel that as I have prayed I have been able to gain that relationship with him and build upon that. So because we're His children, He loves us SO much and he wants the best for us. In Matthew 7:9-11 it says "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" So He's our father, you know, just as parents are going to want the best for their kids, so would Heavenly Father want the best for us. 
As we ask for those things, He's going to give it to us. But, because we have our agency, He can't interfere with that, so we have to be the ones to ask Him for that. He can't just say "Here's what you're going to do" or "Here's what's best for you," we have to ask what's best for us and ask Him for his help. So a little bit before that in Chapter 7 of Matthew in verses 7 and 8 it says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to himthat knocketh it shall be opened." 

And that just makes me think of that picture where Jesus Christ is standing at a door and He has His hand stretched out like He's knocking on it, but if you look at the picture, there's not a knob on the door. That's because the knob is on the other side and we're on the other side of that door. We have that power of agency to be able to open that door and let Him in. He's there standing and waiting for us and ready for us as soon as we make that decision to open the door for Him. 
So when Jesus is giving the Sermon on the Mount, it speaks about it in Matthew and then  Luke. In Luke 11:1, One of the disciples asks  "Lord, teach us to pray" and he's saying you know you teach us that we need to pray all the time and to talk to Heavenly Father and ask Him for help, but how do we pray? So he then goes on to give an example of how to pray and that is known as the Lord's prayer
I read a talk called the Privilege of Prayer by J Devn Cornish who's one of the seventy and he explains the L:ord's prayer. So I'm going to use some of his examples. We'll just kind of read the prayer and then dissect it a little bit. So in Matthew 6:9 he says "And after this manner therefore pray ye", so he starts his prayer and says:: "Our father which art in heaven." So when we start our prayer, we address Heavenly Father. We have the privilege of addressing Him directly. We don't bring in anyone or anything else, we get to speak directly to our Heavenly Father.


 Then he continues on and says "hallowed be thy name." So when Jesus addresses His Father, He addresses Him in an attitude of worship recognizing His greatness and giving Him praise. So we need to tell Him that He is great because, In True to the Faith under Principles of Prayer it says, "When we pray, we should use language that shows love, respect, reverence and closeness. If you pray in English, for example, you should use the pronouns of the scriptures when you address God -- Thee, Thou, and Thine, rather than the more common pronouns you, your and yours. Regardless of the language, the principle remains the same: When you pray, you should use words that appropriately convey a loving, worshipful relationship with God. So as we address Him and speak with Him, we want to use language that's respectful and loving towards Him. 


Jesus then continues on in verse 10 and says "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." So we should freely acknowledge our dependence on the Lord and express our desire to do His will. In the Bible Dictionary again under prayer it says, "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others, blessings that God is already willing to grant that are made conditional upon our asking for them." So we need to ask Him, we need to do His will and ask Him "what's your will?" Richard G. Scott said, "The key to improve prayer is to learn to ask the right questions. Consider changing from asking for the things you want, to honestly seeking what He wants for you." 


Then in verse 11 he says "Give us this day our daily bread," so that's when we ask for the things we need from the Lord. When we ask for things that we need, we should do all that we can to assist in it being granted. When we pray, we pray in faith, and in the Bible Dictionary under faith it says: "Faith is a principle of action and power." So when we use faith and action, we use that to assist in our prayers being granted. Cornish, in the talk, he says, "It is contrary to the dichotomy of heaven for the Lord to do for us, that which we can do for ourselves.: So we have to meet Him halfway. Because, He for sure can grant us things that we pray for, but a lot of times we have the ability to grant those things for ourselves. So we need to meet Him halfway and do what we can to aid in  getting those prayers answered. 

And then in verse 12 He says, "Forgive us our debts," and in Luke it says "Forgive our sins" and if you look in the footnotes in Matthew, it also says: debts, offences, faults or sins so those can all be used interchangeably. So an essential part that is sometimes forgotten about personal prayer, is repentance. We've got to ask for that forgiveness and that repentance from the Lord.. And then He continues on and says: "As we forgive our debtors." So the Savior made a clear connection between being forgiven of our sins and forgiving others who have wronged us. So as we ask for forgiveness from the Lord, we also forgive others. And I think that forgiving others also includes ourselves. When we ask Heavenly Father to forgive us, we need to forgive us. So forgive others as well as yourselves as you ask for that forgiveness.

And then in verse 13 He goes on to say: "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." So we should ask for protection in those frightening times where we don't know how to face things. Ask for that protection to be delivered away from evil. In Alma 37:36-37, this is when Alma is counseling his son Helaman and says, "Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and He will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that He may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning, let thy heart by full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." We should pray to Him for everything and as we ask for the Lord's help in everything, he'll give us guidance to do what's right. 

So then he finishes verse 13 and ends His prayer by saying, "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever." So Jesus concludes His prayer by praising God again and expressing his reverence and his submission to the Father. We should all remember where we stand with Him and show our respect towards Him. Cornish ends this example of prayer by saying, "I found that one of the secrets to a joyful life is to recognize that doing things the Lord's way will make me happier than doing things my way." I found that to be true, as I pray and do the will of the Lord and the Father, I'm a lot happier. 

Gordon B. Hinckley said, "the trouble with our prayers is that we give them as if we are picking up the telephone and ordering groceries. We place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we're praying about and for and speak to the Lord as one man speaks to another.:" So as we pray we need to think about how He is our father, He is a person, and He is there, so speak to Him as if speaking to another person with that respect It goes back to praying sincerely and with real intent and in Preach my Gospel, real intent is defined as "When we are committed to act upon the answer that we receive." So we pray sincerely as we would speaking to another person and then with real intent to act upon the things that we say and the answers we are given. We must never feel like we are not good enough to pray. That idea comes from the devil who teaches us not to pray. It's tragic to think that we're too simple to pray as it is for a person to think that he is too sick to go to the doctor. That's crazy right? Who's too sick to go see a doctor? That's why they are there. That's the same with Heavenly Father. He is there for us when we need Him. 

Elder Richard G Scott said, "Sometimes as a child you may misbehave and feel like you cannot approach your father with a problem. That is when you need to pray. Never feel that you are too unworthy to pray. When you don't feel like praying, pray until you do feel like praying. And the great thing about prayer is that not only can you speak to Heavenly Father, but we can receive answers to our prayers as well. We can receive that guidance from Him. In 3 Nephi 18:20 it says, "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." In the Bible Dictionary under prayer, it says, "Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ's theme at all. They no way represent his mind and reflect the selfishness of man's heart." So when we pray, it needs to be for the Lord and His will. It can't be out of our selfish hearts. We wouldn't pray to win the lottery or for someone we hate to trip and fall. It's got to be what Heavenly Father would want. And again, bringing your will in correspondence with the Father's will. 

In True to the Faith under Receiving Answers to Prayers, it says, "Answers to prayers come in many ways. They often come through the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. They may come in the circumstances of your life or through the kind acts of those around you. As you continue to draw near to your Heavenly Father through prayer, you will recognize more readily His merciful and wise answers to your pleadings. So answers come in different ways. It's really easy to define prayer and how to pray, I just told you that. But how to receive answers is different. It's not as easily definable, because it's personal, it's different for everyone. As we pray to Heavenly Father personally, he answers us personally so we're going to get those answers in personal ways. Most the time it's through thoughts and feelings and as it says, as we pray and recognize those feelings more, we'll be able to recognize His answers more. 

I just want to close in saying how I have come to be at the point in my life that I am going on a mission. My whol life I've wanted to go on a mission. Both my parents served missions, so I felt like "hey I guess I'll serve a mission too, it sounds great." And then this past year, I was down at UVU going to college and there was a lot of ups and downs and I really doubted whether I should go on a mission or not. And I turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer and I said, "Is that what I should be doing? Should I go on a mission? What do you want me to do?" And I received so many promptings that this is the right thing for me to do and I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I'll have to serve the people in the Pittsburgh mission. I'm grateful to bring the happiness and peace that I have found in the gospel to those people in Pennsylvania. I do have a testimony of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that they are there and that they love each and everyone of us. I have felt that love so much. I have a testimony of Joseph Smith, that he restored this gospel here on earth and that he was a prophet in this dispensation. I have a testimony of Thomas S. Monson, that he is our modern day prophet. I'm grateful for the opportunity that we have for modern day revelation through the prophets as well as personal revelation to our prayers and to ourselves. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and know that it's the word of God. I know that it came from Him and I feel happy every time I read it, I love it. I love this gospel and this church and I'm grateful to be able to go on a mission and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

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<![CDATA[1.5 weeks before 1.5 years]]>Mon, 16 Feb 2015 01:50:00 GMThttp://kaylainpittsburgh.weebly.com/blog/15-weeks-before-15-years
Hey guys, it's Maren. I'm starting the blog before Kayla heads out for the mish. I'll be updating it with letters from Kayla in Pennsylvania. Kayla's farewell is coming up so feel free to come! Let me know if you have any questions. 
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