Friday, September 16, 2011

First Month and More of Pictures and Letters

Hi Family and Friends...

Thank you for your show of support and love to our Sister Johnson!! I can hear through her letters how grateful she is for all your letters and packages. You are all such an important part of her life!

Less then a Month now and Tiffany will be off to Budapest.

August 17. 2011 

 SZERVUSZ CSALADOM!!!! (Hello Family!)
Three weeks into the MTC now! So crazy. Time here is weird. The older group of Hungarians that have been here before us, leave for Hungary in 2 weeks!! Which means that 3 weeks from today we will be the older group, and another group of hungarian missionaries will be the newbies. My companion has been called to be the new coordinating sister in our branch. Which makes me the senior companion (by default)haha which really doesn't make much sense if you think about it. But that's how they do things here at the MTC. Last sunday she had a meeting and i had to be passed around to different companionships while she was away. It is so weird how you start to rely so much on having your companion there!  I felt so weird being alone with other companionships!! Her and i get along so well! on mondays we have our service day.. which usually in the mornings we clean. We are assigned to clean the gym. Last week we did the bathrooms, but this week they gave us these sweet vaccum backpacks to clean the stairs! We felt like the ghostbusters!
Our "investigators" are doing well! They seem to be really accepting of our message and willing to learn more! its fun to see how much we are improving with the language each time! I feel like i am finally able to go in there and improvize more on things i am directed to say and teach by the spirit! its really cool! I am starting to love teaching so much! We are having a "Speak your Language" friday in 2 weeks! (not this friday but next) where we will only speak Hungarian for the whole day! (It might be more like a day of silence for me) but hopefully it will be helpful!
Oh!-MOM! i saw Uncle David in the Cafeteria this week! He teaches the senior couples i guess. He came and sat with us today at lunch. I introduced him to my companion and a couple people in my district. So that was cool to see him. Holly, that is so awesome about your workout schedule and your personal trainer! I am really excited for you! I'm going to gain 50lbs, and you'll be ripped when i get back!- awesome! haha i really hope i don't gain weight. Dad, that is awesome about your trips to Peru and Ecuador! one of these days i will take a trip to South America!
We sang "Lead Kindly Light" this week for choir! That is one of my most favorite hymns so i was really happy we got to sing it! The choir here is so awesome! Every seat was full this week! Which means that there were about 688 people singing! I don't want to brag or anything- but we sound awesome! :) I also got a bunch of letters from the young women in our ward! That was so special for me! lots of them drew stick figures of my with my name tag.. or me and my companion. They all thanked me for serving a mission and said how they looked to me as an example. I was so touched by their letters. I made such to write them back and say thank you.
Umm.. What else? I don't really know. This morning for breakfast i ate some of these all-bran stick things. Its kindof like cereal- but looks like rabbit food (i'm trying not to eat too bad here) but my companion and i were eating outside and there are birds everywhere that come up really close to you so that you'll feed them. I threw some of the bran flakes to them.. and they wanted nothing to do with it! haha i thought it was funny that not even the birds wanted to eat that stuff.
Well anyways, sorry there's nothing too overly exciting to tell you this week. most of our days here all blend together. We have lots of the same routine everyday. But i still am loving it! The language is coming slowly. The grammar is the hardest part for me i think. Hungarians speak so weird. "missionary i am, book of mormon you will read?" I feel like a caveman and yoda combined. but i'll get it eventually! Pray for me lots! i need prayers. Well love you all! hope all is well! Missions are the greatest! the church is true!! :)
Sister Johnson

Sister Gallion & I posing on our temple walk 
(We are awesome models)! :o) 

August 24, 2011
Hello Family!!
Another week gone by here at the MTC! Can you believe i've almost been here a month! I feel like i've been here forever- but at the same time not long at all. Anyways, This week has been great! I love it so much! I am learning so much about the language, and our investigators, and just the gospel in general. I have been reading in Alma this week. I am getting into the war chapters. These chapters use to be so confusing when I read them last time- but now they are so exciting! and i am so interested in everything that's happening. I'm reading about Amalekiah (that's probably not how you spell his name) but he's so evil and so deceptive! Its crazy how exciting the scriptures can be! I LOVE IT!
My companion and I decided to try out the 6am pilates class on Saturday! haha i thought I was going to die, but it wasn't really that bad! i liked it a lot! except, the music they play sounds a lot like barney and sacrament hymns mixed together. haha We also decided we would go off sugar for the week! We made it two days before i got a package from mom with these amazing carmel apples!!- We decided to break our rules for just one day so we could eat them. haha Thanks mom! they were amazing.
Our SYL is this friday. So... i will have to go a whole 24 hours without speaking english! AHHHH!! i hope i can keep my sanity. lol it should be good though. Our district is learning so much! I really am amazed with how quickly i am learning everything. I still have a difficult time with all the conjugations, but i already feel like i speak hungarian better than spanish. and i took spanish for 2 years! the lord really blesses His missionaries with the gift of tounges. The older group of Hungarian missionaries leave on Monday! So, the next time you hear from me- we will no longer be the "Kicsi"- or the Littles.
Oh I wanted to ask Mom, or anyone else if they have a copy of a quartet or double quartet of "Come Thou Fount"? My district would like to sing this song in one of the devotionals, but we don't have the music. So if its possible that anyone could mail me a copy- that would be so awesome! And also, i was wondering- i don't think i ever recieved a missionary plaque. Do i get one of those? Mom, Maybe you could ask the bishop about it sometime if you can. That would be great! I was really hoping to have one!
Umm.. Our "investigators" are doing well. One of them (Mate), we feel is getting really close to baptism!! We extended the invitation a few days ago. He feels like its important, but says he's already been baptized in the catholic church. So now we are teaching him about the apostacy and preisthood. He is really so accepting of everything we've taught him so far though! TRC is so fun!! you should come vollenteer sometime for the english speakers! it is such a cool experience and anayone can do it! Lots of the people that come to ours are return missionaries. But they just play as themselves and we teach them lessons and bare testimony in the language. Its really cool! and great practice for teaching lessons! Oh, Scott! Congrats on passing your driving test! That is exciting! Is he going to be driving my car? Or are you still going to try and sell it? Just wondering.
Our devotionals are so awesome here! The speaker yesterday said some really cool things. He compared life to an echo, and said that life always gives you back what you say and do. He said that happiness is a choice. and that "the object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves the blessings He is already willing to give us." I thought that was insightful!
Well i love you all! Mom- sorry, i forgot to bring the addresses to forward this to diane and everyone. so i will do that next week. Take care! Talk to you soon!
-Sister Johnson

Us and our new orange dots! We had to keep the dots on 
our first two days so everyone knew we were new to the MTC

August 31, 2011

Szervusz a Csaladom! (Hello Family)
This week has been another great week! The Osi (the older hungarian group) left on monday! Crazy. Its weird having them not here anymore. I can't wait till its our turn to go!! Our all Hungarian SYL (Speak Your Language) day on friday went well. It was pretty tough.. and i have to admit i slipped up with a few english words occationally. But its fun and kind of funny trying to have normal conversations with eachother throughout the day. Mostly the only workds we know are about the gospel.. but i was impressed with our ability to begin having day to day type conversation.
Elder Holland came and spoke to us yesterday at our devotional! I had been waiting and hoping to hear from an apostle.. and my favorite one came!! YAY! you probably shouldn't actually have "favorites" with apostles.. but i do. haha Elder Holland is just so sinceer and powerful when he speaks. He basically called us all to repentance.. haha but with love. It was incredible. I wrote down a few things he said: "No time in the history of the world has missionary work gone forth with such impact and power as this dispensation." "I believe that every ancient apostle saw our day and took heart with your success... Just as we look back to the apostles and prophets in the scriptures, they are looking forward and looking to you to complete the work they can no longer be here to finish." "Missionaries are the most prayed for people on the face of the earth" "While you are not perfect- people believe that you are... people in this world have a right to think that you are perfect- and you have no right to give them any reason to think otherwise." We are representing Christ and His church in this work. It is so important for us to stay clean and worthy of our responsiblity. Who are we to call others unto repentance, if we are not first clean ourselves- at least of major sins. He also told us not to turn our backs on those people who need us, and also those who are depending on us (past, present, and future) I thought that was really powerful. The spirit felt in the gym during the devotional was so strong. There were a few moments where i felt like he was looking right at me (even though he was probably staring at one of the other 2,000 people in the room- but everytime he glanced in my direction, i could feel a powerful spirit coming from this man. I know that he is a chosen apostle of the Lord.
Well, on a different note. Last wednesday was an interesting day. I wasn't feeling too good in the morning, and then after the temple my stomach was hurting a lot. My companion suggested we stop but the Health clinic really quick before class. I told her i wasn't sure what they could do to help me- but figured i could stop in for a few minutes and maybe get some medicine. Well, it was about 10min to 5. They close at 5 i guess.. but we were unaware of that at the time. So, a nurse brought me back and asked what the problem was.. i told her how i was feeling and then she stepped out for a min. When she came back she told me i needed to get my companion and we would be taking a trip to the E.R. "THE E.R??!" I assured her it was nothing serious and that i would come back tomorrow. But she said that since they were closing and i had already come in and told them i wasn't feeling well, i would have to go to the hospital to get it checked out just incase it was anything serious. I tried my very best to convince her otherwise... but she wasn't having it. I even thought for a second- maybe i could take of my shoes and book it out of there.. but i thought that might turn out badly. So.. my companion and i took a little feile trip to the E.R. Next thing i knew i was in an apron, getting x-ray, and tubes of my blood taken from me, and and I-V sticking up my arm! It was a nightmare!! We were there for 4 hours! It turned out to be nothing serious (just as i thought)- the food they feed us here doesn't always settle right. They said that losts of missionaries come to the hospital for the same type of stomach problems.
Yep, that was my exciting story of the week. 5 weeks into the MTC and already crazy things are happening to me. All i know.. is i do not want to co back to the health clinic anymore.
Anyways, thanks for all your letters and emails. Dad and holly thanks for the Cookies! Mom, thanks for all the packages you send! i thought of a few things i might need. If i could get a copy of that song you sang at my farewell that would be great! and maybe some kettle corn and dark brown eye shadow? I will try and send you another letter soon! and dad and holly too! umm... oh and can you check on the missionary plaque with the bishop for me? i am still curious about that! I really want to have one when i get home! Love you all lots! Dad- please tell brother Molina thank you for the kind email! i love that family! well talk to you all soon!
Johnson Nővér

Me & My Companion!
I Love Sister Gallion! I seriously have the coolest companion.

September 7, 2011

Hi family!
Its been another exciting week here. we've had lots going on- like always. can you believe we've been here 6 weeks now! That means we are halfway done with our MTC experience!! only 6 weeks left! or flights are expected to be on October 10th.. but we don't recieve our flight plans until atleast 2 weeks before we leave. AHHH!! i can't wait to go to Hungary!
This past sunday was fast sunday, which means we also have mission conference. During mission conference the whole MTC meets together once a month to hear from the mission MTC presidency and thier wives. Well, our branch president told us we should make an extra effort to sit in the gym. I didn't think much of it- but we did as he said and found some seats a few rows back from the speakers. the MTC president- Pres. Brown is always the last to speak on fast sundays. I've talked to President Brown a few times. I think he like the Hungarian district! He even sat with us at lunch once our first week here. He doesn't know me all that well- but he remembers me as the Hungarian Sister from Arizona. haha Well, anyways sometimes before his talks at mission conference he likes to call one or two missionaries to come up in front of everyone and bear their testimonies. When he stood up to speak, i was minding my own business and preparing to take notes- when i heard "is sister Tiffany Johnson in the room today?"... uhh... after a double take.. i reluctantly stood up and raised my hand. He then asked for me and one other elder to come up and share our testimonies. At first, i was scared out of my mind! Me?!! Speak?! in front of all these people!?.. I was praying despreatly in my heart as i headed toward the pulpit. I could feel everyone's eyes on me and i was unsure of what i was going to say. But once i got up there and i looked out on everyones faces and started to speak- i was suprised with how comfortable i felt. All of the sudden the words started coming easily to me. I felt honored that i was given the oppurtunity to share my testimony of the gospel with so many people all at once! There are somwhere around 2,400 missionaries here at the MTC right now. I've never stood in front of so many people in my life!- let alone shared my testimony with so many. But it was an incredible experience that i will never forget. I know that this gospel is true. And i am so glad that i was able to bear geniune testimony of the things i truely do know to be true.
I was reading the other day during personal study in D&C 11 and i came across verse 21. "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your toungue be loosed; then, if you desire, your shall have my spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." This scripture hit me so strongly. So much time here at the MTC is spent worrying about speaking the language. I spend half my day- and sometimes part of my personal study, studying the language so i can be more efficient in my lessons and people will be able to more easily understand what i am trying to teach them. But this scripture taught me a powerful lesson- my priority should not be to be the best hungarian speaking missionary Hungary has ever seen- but instead i should be focusing more on the principles of the gospel, and feeling the spirit as i study. Then, if i strive to have the spirit with me and gain a greater testimony of the lessons i am teaching.. then, if i desire, the lord will help me to be able to declare his word, and preach the gospel with power.
Hungarian is a tough language, but i know that the most important thing to have as a missionary- is the constant companionship of the holy ghost. Because it is the holy ghost that converts and can touch the hearts of others, not the language alone.
Well, i love you all. Thank you for all the emails and letters and prayers of support! They are always much needed. Dad, its great to hear that you are able to go visit so many cool places. Holly, i'm glad you are doing so well and enjoying your calling in relief society! Granny B, thanks for the email! i'm glad your garden is growing nicely. Music makes everything better! i will try and write you and grandpa lynn soon! mom- i wrote you a letter you should get it in a few days. also, the scripture i'd like to use is probably the one in D&C 11:21 that or Alma 29:9 or D&C 88:67-68. I'm not sure? i like them all.
Well, talk to you soon! Take care!
Sister Johnson

Our room here at the MTC! 
My companion (Sister Gallion) & I are in the middle, and then
the other two girls from our district, Sister Kramer (on the right)
and Sister Christensen (on the left) 

September 14, 2011

Hello Again!
So it's been another great week! This morning my companion and i met a real hungarian! He is a missionary that just got here yesterday. He grew up in Hungary and is serving his mission in England- so he will be here for 3 weeks! His name is Elder Jenei. We attempted to speak some Hungarian to him.. but luckily he speaks really good english. He was very nice and told us a lot about what to expect in Hungary. He also said that the people love chocolate chip cookies and brownies, because they don't have them there- so we should make some from them alot. haha Now i know how i am going to get invited into more houses! it was exciting being able to talk to him today though.
Yesterday at devotional we had another apostle come and speak to us- M. Russell Ballard! Two apostles in two weeks! That might be a record! He had some really incredible thoughts though. He talked about the times when the mission will be tough. He read a quote from Wilford Woodruff that said "No matter what may come upon you- round up your shoulders and bear it." I liked that a lot. I know that my mission is not going to be easy. Already, i have had moments that feel overwhelming.. especially when you are trying to teach something you are so passionate about in a language you can hardly speak. But i know that the Lord is giving me strength beyond my own. I am so glad that i am enjoying this experience as much as i am! When i first left for my mission, i wasn't exactly sure what i was doing or what to expect.. but being here is the very best decision i've ever made!
My best friend Kassie is coming to the MTC today!! I haven't seen her yet.. but i am excited for her to get here! Mary's little brother just left at the beginning of this week for Russia! Mary comes to the MTC in December! I have the best friends ever! I can't believe all 3 of us are going on missions! I am really lucky to have such great examples in my life and such awesome friends!
One of our teachers Brother Daybell is quitting. His last day with us in on Saturday. Its sad because i've really grown to love our teachers here. They both do such a great job and they and such a good balance for eachother. He made sure to tell us he's not quitting because he doesn't like us- but his wife and him decided when his wife found a job that he would focus on school. So i guess that's what he needs to do right now. Brother Daybell is also one of our investigators.. Mate. So when he leaves we won't be able to teach Mate anymore. Its weird, because in my mind i know they are the same person. But in our lessons it truely feels like we are teaching a real investigator. Because we only have a few more lessons with him, my companion and i decided to teach about Joseph Smith again and possibly commit him to be baptized again. We tried to committ him once before, but he told us he had already been baptized in the catholic church- which brought up a lot more for us to talk about. But our last lesson with him was really powerful. We started of by singing "oh how lovely was the morning" to him in hungarian. We talked about the first vision, and read to him the verse in James 1:5.My companion and i have both memorized josephs words descibing the first vision in Hungarian, so we recited that to him. Then we both bore our testimonies about Joseph Smith. We asked him if he believed our message about Joseph Smith was true, and he said yes. Then we asked if he would be baptized. He asked why it was important if he's already been baptized. I told him that there are different covenents and promises made when he is baptized in our church. and i explained to him about the priesthood power and why it is necessary for the ordinances performed. I don't know how he understood what i was saying but he did. and after we asked if he would read more in the scriptures about baptism and pray about it. He said yes.
After the lesson our teacher invited us back in to talk about it. He said the spirit was so strong and asked why we didn't commit Mate to be baptized again after we answered his question. I wasn't sure why we didn't. He said that when the spirit is that strong in the room- we shouldn't be afraid to ask the investigators questions or committ them when we feel impressed to.
We have two more lessons with him. I really hope he will accept and believe our message! I'm going to miss teaching Mate alot! i know these aren't even real investigators, but i really grow to love the people we teach! I can't wait till i get to go and teach the Hungarians!
Well Family, thanks for everything. Thanks for your emails and letters! dad thanks for the last letter you send, it was a really amazing blessing. I am so grateful for that. Alan, i'm glad that you and princess are doing well! i sent you both a letter. i'm not sure if you've gotten it yet or not but it's from my first few weeks when i was here. Mom, thanks for the packages! and for your letters! Granny B, i'm glad that all your plants are growing and tasting good! I don't really have much more to tell you.. I love the MTC but i think i'm about ready to get on a plane and head out of here! :) I love the gospel! its the greatest blessing in my life! I can't wait to help others find it! Love you all!
Sok Szerettel, (with lots of love)
Sister Johnson

                          The whole district! They are all so great! I love these people!
           It's so fun to get to know them more and draw closer together as we all struggle 
                with the language and prepare together for the same awesome cause. :o)

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