Tuesday, August 16, 2016

April 25, 2016 Elder Bednar is my new Favorite


Hope Jeffrey R. Holland doesn't find my subject line offensive, but
I've never seen him in person... But I now have sat and listened to
Elder Bednar for three hours in person now! More on that later.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! It was an awesome birthday
and both Santa Rosa zones even surprised me when we got to the church
last p day. We walked in the gym and they sprayed me with silly string
and got me lots of sour patch haha. I was actually surprised. Then
later on my actual birthday I went on exchanges with Elder Jones in
Peterson Lane (my Greenie area) and it was the best birthday exchange!
My only birthday exchange... Anyways, we saw lots of people I knew and
it was awesome. Inspired by my mothers package which was full of 20
puns, me and Elder jones were desperately trying to make every
sentence we said contain a pun. If you want to know how to annoy
people and make them laugh simultaneously, ask me. Something else
funny I noticed in my email last week was I typoed and said "we"
cracked open a beer. I promise I meant "he." Haha but either way no
one should be right? In response to my family sending me songs of my
name repeated over and over again, all I can say is... Only my family
would sing my name over and over to different tunes from musicals. It
is wonderful to be part of such a unique group :).

We did more taming goats and holding them, this time Bro Hawkins told
us to literally sing hymns loudly to them, so they get used to human
voices. So we sang and sang and sang, it was super fun. Especially
when you try to sing over screaming baby goats. We took out some
stumps too and did a bunch of service as always.

But back to the headline. Yes, Elder Bednar came and visited the
entire mission at our church building. We are special. He was coming
to the stake for a bishop training, so before that, we, all 180 of us,
we're in the chapel and he asked questions, we asked, and the spirit
was incredible. Let me tell you, Elder Bednar is hilarious in person.
He imitated Cookie Monster just like he does in a hard-to-get talk of
his, "Character of Christ." I was cracking up. But all I can say is as
he was there more, I felt the spirit so strongly I was crying
randomly, and I knew this man was called to be a representative of
Christ. No doubt about it. He was so down to earth, so loving, and
told us not even to write what he said, but what the spirit said to
us. A lesson for all of us in spiritual meetings. At the end we all
got to shake his hand and look in his eye. Wow. Crazy experience. So
sorry Holland, but Elder Bednar is the bomb.

What was weird after this was after everyone left and me and my
companion were planning for the week, I was overcome with depression,
the worst I've felt on my mission. I didn't want to do anything, talk
to Elder pike, think about investigators, nothing. I was so confused
why I was feeling this. I had cried for joy of the spirit earlier that
morning with Bednar there, felt an overwhelming witness of the truth
of the gospel and the reason i am here, and now I was crying for
sadness, with overwhelming discouragement. Clearly Satan doesn't give
up. Elder Jones gave me a blessing, and I feel a bit better now, but
it is still concerning to me. I am working now to realize opposition
doesn't mean the good isn't there for us, but rather, the opposite.
Because we know bad, the good is so much sweeter. Alma explained this
to his son, "Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing
so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto
you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite
and sweet as was my joy." I love this chapter, and I felt at least a
portion of it. I hope I can remember the witness I got from the spirit
as Bednar spoke, and the love I felt for everyone around me. I know I
felt opposition, that seems to only be getting worse as I'm out
longer. You'd think I'd be a pro now, but I'm just realizing how it is
getting harder, not easier. But I know God calls apostles, I've shaken
ones hand, seen the spirit in him, felt love emanate from him, and
take that as a tiny portion of Christ's love for each of us. God is
real and loves you. Christ is literally our savior, and the head of
this church. I love him, and want to increase that. When you feel the
spirit, don't forget it, it is a member of the godhead speaking to
you. I know these things are true. I love you all!

Elder Janson

Zone surprised me for birthday! Day before that is

 Zone light saber battles


 Elder Reeder in front is my mom (follow up trainer) he is a parent
of everyone is this picture! He trained or is grandparent to all of
them, AND I AM THE OLDEST IN THE MISSION in this picture besides him.
Scary haha

April 18, 2106 Zone Conference Week

Hello everyone!

Well it was a crazy week of lots of things going on. Went on exchanges
with Elder Bishop who goes home in about a month but is doing pretty
good and ain't getting too trunky! We blew gigantic bubbles like in
the video I sent with the Leclere's, a recently baptized couple who
are so solid! And Bro Leclere always is thinking of funny new ways to
be outside of the box, like extremely large bubbles.

We had zone conference on Thursday, which was just a long training
meeting with four zones in Santa Rosa and San Rafael. It went well,
but me and Elder Pike both had an eerie feeling after. Like it just
didn't lift us spiritually and we didn't feel good like we normally do
after such meetings. We figured not EVERY meeting can be spiritually
mind blowing for everyone, but I was worried about it and told some
other missionaries who said they felt that way. I've been feeling some
discouragement that is so irrational it can only be from Satan trying
to make me stop. He is always employing "plan-stoppers" so we don't
progress and so we aren't happy. But knowing he is doing it doesn't
eliminate the problem, it is still hard to have bad discouraging
thoughts never come. I hope we can work on bringing uplifting
thoughts, which almost always involve serving and helping others.

On the bright side I felt great yesterday and for the first time in
forever (sorry for the accidental "Frozen" reference) I actually felt
like contacting people! Usually this implies just talking to random
people on the streets, which frankly can be scary, awkward, but then
sometimes hilarious. You never know what someone will say. I was just
glad I actually felt like going and talking and sharing with people.
Most said they weren't interested. One man who we walked up to in his
garage, we said hi to and reached to shake his hand as we popped open
a beer. He then says "no thanks." Then I say "no thanks what?" Haha we
literally had only said hi. Sometimes I like to shake things up a bit.
He looked confused but then realized what he had said. Haha he wasn't
interested of course. But it was fun to go out and try our best seeing
people anyways.

I just hope you all know I love you all, and those returned
missionaries I've added on here, I love you guys and miss you!! :( but
I know you will all do great. I know this gospel is true and feel it
confirmed as I seek for that confirmation. It can bless us so much
when we reach out to grab the savior's hand, which is "stretched out
still." Have a good week!

Elder Janson

 Holding goats!

Me and Elder Nordfelt pretending to bug Elder Pike

Elder Searle, Elder Johnson, and Me.
Searle was Johnsons first companion, so his dad. I was Johnsons second
companion, so his mom. So that makes me and Searle husband and wife,
so we always say Elder Johnson was conceived in the MTC. Hahaha
mission jokes

April 11, 2016 I'm with Picky Pike!

Family and friends,

You heard me, I'm companions with Picky Pike! A nickname we made up at
a dinner with a member. The reason being is he is allergic to wheat,
oats, pork, milk, and white potatoes. Like what!? Haha weird stuff. So
dinners are interesting, I may get fat on rice this transfer. Anyways,
he is an interesting guy, but at least he knows Star Wars! So we have
fun with that haha. He is a massage therapist, like legit, nationally
certified. Already took advantage of that haha. He is 25 and doesn't
quite look that old! It's going good though and he is weird, so I get
along with him well :).

The day after Pike got here he got permission to go all the way down
to Vallejo for a baptism! I had never driven or been down there, so it
was an adventure until we hit what I call inevitable California
traffic, because there are too many people and not enough freeways. To
get to some major places you have to take small highways that EVERYONE
takes. This is a terrible place when it comes to that. People need to
move away from here haha. But we went down Wednesday night for that
baptism and made it like 5 minutes before she was actually dunked, so
we were grateful. Then on back to Santa Rosa we went!

So funny thing, I sent you all the "Hello" by Adele parody, it's the
missionaries knocking and singing, it is wonderful haha I love it and
just look at the faces of the people they knock into. It is perfect!!
I've gotten so much on my mission the face that is like, "what are
doing here?" Or "I'm going to smile but have a pained look on my face
at the same time because I don't want to talk to you" look. Hahah it
is wonderful. Another funny thing is not counting the APs in our zone,
who both weigh a lot haha, I am almost the heaviest person in the
zone. Me and Elder Bishop are about the same. Like seriously!?
Everyone here is super skinny, the new Greenie who came in with Elder
jones is like 130 pounds and 5' 10". It's quite sad I'm the fattest

We had an incredible lesson with this guy named Brett yesterday after
church. Members in our ward help him get around as he is mostly stuck
in the Redwood Gospel Mission, a sort of rehab housing. He was a
member but lost his membership and wants to come back. We taught him
the restoration and he is such an amazing person! I love him already
and barely and have talked relatively little with him. He certainly
has intent to repent and return to Christ and the church. I know the
atonement covers anyone, even those who have made mistakes that even
cause excommunication, that is not the end! I'm so grateful for people
like him that make the work worth it. The spirit is what makes me the
happiest when I'm out here, and church yesterday was like a power
punch of the spirit! Good stuff.

I love you all and hope you don't mind it is still about 65 degrees
here :). Hope you have a splendid week!

Elder Janson

 The beautiful vineyards of Windsor, California!

 Elder Pike, new comp

Us playing with swords! The Mormon prom theme was medieval haha

April 4, 2016 Conference Week!

Hello everyone!

Well transfer info came the other day, and I was really bummed to have
to have Elder Green leave, he is going to Vacaville as zone leader so
I told him all about the stake and such. He is excited to be with his
"son" who he trained. They are zone leaders together! Crazy. I am
getting Elder Pike, and I was not excited about that. I've heard
things about him but I'm trying to not be judge mental and I'm sure I
will be fine. No matter how weird someone is I usually am a "weirdness
amplifier" as I call it. I make everyone just a bit more weird! Haha
we will have fun here in Shiloh park ward. We are getting two greenies
in our zone so that's always an adventure. You never know what you
will get!

Random fact, I learned to solve a Rubik's cube now from Elder Bishop
who I went on exchanges with. Elder Sherman is his companion and he is
a Rubik's cube master, he can do it in like 45 seconds. I can do it
now in 1 minute 52 seconds, not too bad eh!? It was fun to learn and
is good stress relief haha. Exchanges is always fun to go to a
different area or different companion and just get out the normal rut
which digs deep in mission life. Ruts acquire fast out here! You have
to be able to adapt and accept new things. More easily said than done.

We had an incredible lesson with Sheri Haverfield, who confirmed she
wants to be baptized on April 16th! That's right around the corner, so
her husband, a member, is very excited. She is so willing and is
reading and came to watch some general conference yesterday. Such a
good place for investigators to be! Old people are sometimes just
better at teaching 😏. It is amazing to see someone so prepared by the
Lord as she is, and the spirit is so strong when someone is willing
like her. We will keep working with her. Conference was an amazing
opportunity, it's interesting to see how they change over the years,
with just minor details you notice, many talks were shorter and very
focused. Our prophet Thomas s. Monson is getting harder to watch, he
is getting old but I know he is still the one chosen to lead us. Not
too many more amazing people than that man. I was amazed to find all
questions I brought to conference pretty much answered in the first
session. I was like, wow! The first talk answered my most personal,
pressing question. I know that's why we have it, as an opportunity to
have personal revelation regarding what they say, and regarding the
fact that they are called of God. I know all what we heard was
prepared by the spirit, and I hope we received by the spirit. I know
Christ lives and he leads this church, the only true and living
church. It is a blessing to be a part of it and learn to love everyone
regardless of their beliefs and customs. Differences are a part of
life, so you better get used to it! Anyways, I love you all and have a
great week!

Elder Janson

 The beautiful countryside of Santa Rosa!

Sister Christianson came out on the mission with us and now she is
dying! (Going home) wow we are old...

 Most of the zone with our amazing #hallelujah shirts! Haha don't judge.

March 28, 2106 Easter and Goats

Hello and happy Easter!

We had a great day yesterday and had a ginormous ham with the members
we ate with, we didn't even finish half of it with the whole family.
It was a great Sunday with the messages so centered on Christ, it was
amazing. On Tuesday we went and saw Sheri who has a date set for
April. She is so willing and is reading and her husband who is a
member is quite fired up about the lessons and we sit down and he's
like, "well let's get studying!" Haha he is something else. She said
she doesn't know if she will be ready to be baptized so Elder jones
who I was with on exchanges with simply read the baptismal interview
questions. She felt a lot better, since you really don't need to know
much to be baptized! Hopefully she can free up her Sunday's to make it
to church.

As you can see, we participated in taming little baby goats. My little
goat I picked up and held was a black one with a bit of white on it,
who I named Squishy. Cutest thing on earth. What we did was literally
just hold them until they fell asleep, and when they wake up in your
arms they are more tame, so simple! We just get them used to us. And
I'm pretty good at speaking goat. I've done service around chickens
and goats, and let me tell you goat poop smells a lot better then
chicken haha. It was a blast! Then later that day we go to help build
a deck for this guy with Elder Jones and Boam in Peterson lane ward.
We are breaking up some old semi wooden beams and just smashing them
in with a bar. One was almost broken so I decide to break it on my
knee, not seeing the screw facing down towards my knee sticking out of
the beam. Of course I thrust down, Elder jones tried to warn me but I
did it too soon. The crazy thing is I didn't know I basically stabbed
myself until he pointed at above my knee and blood is just pouring
down! I'm so lucky because I literally didn't stick myself through the
shorts, it just made me bleed under them, which I still don't
understand... I should have just impaled my leg but instead it was
just like a prick.

We went to the Sjodens in our ward, and they were dying Easter eggs.
So we just joined and I got the amazing eggs you see in the picture,
along with breakfast for two days. Good deal I think. I put my
initials on one because why not. The Sjodens are the coolest members
ever, and their son came to church for the first time basically,
yesterday. It was cool to see them so happy to have him there. This
week was full of just service and it was a nice change. We are still
working with Diego who we set a date with, but weren't able to meet
with him this week. I hope we can keep our motivation up this last
week of the transfer, even though it is 7 week transfer, so longer
than normal, it is flying by! I'm so excited for general conference
which I have come to love, there so much opportunity for me to feel
the spirit, which really makes me the happiest I've ever been. I hope
you all watch some general conference with a question in mind. It will
be answered, either directly or the spirit will help you find it. I
love you all and love the savior, I know he lives and will help us
every day of our lives. Have a great week.

Elder Janson

Check out these Easter zone shirts. Beautiful

Me holding a baby goat. No big deal

 Me and the goat I helped tame, I named him squishy!

 Elder Green bearing a goat

Baby goats... Enough said

Me with the eggs I dyed at a members house Saturday night. Go gators

March 21, 2016 Officially 18 months out ... Weird

Yo fam and friends!

Well you saw it, I am 18 months out on the mission, and I'm a little
confused how the heck I'm this far out, but I shall just continue
forward, the only thing I can do! Me and Elder Green of course came
out together so we are on the same track here. We are realizing this
won't last forever. (When you first come out you are pretty sure you
just signed your whole life away, it feels so long). So we are trying
to make the best of every day. Sometimes the temptation is to waste
time, but I hope we minimize that.

So first of all, we did a bunch more service, the best of which was
freakin taming little baby goats! Literally the cutest things on the
planet. It was for a member in Peterson lane ward, my first area, and
he has a farm on the outside on Santa Rosa. We also herded his goats
into the area in the pics so they will eat the grass, because they are
dumb and have to be forced to eat it. We were literally running after
goats. We also helped a lot of people move this week and helped this
guy who's mom is a member but not him, we helped him build a deck out
in the back yard. It was some good stuff! This week we had to get an
oil change, and we figured oh we'd be fine bringing it in an hour
before dinner, which we did. Well an hour and a half later they tell
us, "oh sorry it took so long we stripped the plug!" It was the
longest wait ever and we were almost an hour late to dinner... Luckily
the family was cool with it, we had a wonderful St Patrick's meal with
them :).

We were able to take a priest out with us last night to see Diego, our
new investigator who we set a baptismal date for May 14th. He is an 18
year old kid who's family is Catholic but he is way open minded and
has already started reading the Book of Mormon. It was an amazing
lesson, especially for the priest, Justin we brought with us.
The spirit was strong for real and he just wants to know how the
message will affect him. Well perfect! Hopefully we can keep working
with him.

Something crazy that happened this week was something we were not
there for. The elders quorum and other guys in our ward meet Thursday
nights for basketball at the church. This time in one timeout one of
the men fell down and was having a heart attack. Two guys in our ward
immediately realized it and started CPR on him, which surely saved his
life as paramedics could come. It was cool to see the ward so happy
and unified yesterday as it was discussed. That is one reason I love
the church, is the unity it inspires and the support everyone has.
Some against the church may argue, but clearly they are not willing to
see the plainness right before them. No one is forgotten here, and I
certainly hope we don't ever purposefully ignore someone in our group
or stewardship. I know this gospel is true and Christ truly only
encourages unity, primarily in the family, which is the core unit, and
will be probably the presiding unit in the celestial kingdom. It's
that important! I love you all and hope you the best upcoming week
towards Easter. I know Christ lives and I love him.

Elder Janson

Us at the mall last Monday. Yes I am wearing a sweet map shirt!

 We legitimately helped a member tame and herd his goats...
Literally the best service ever

March 14, 2016 Service Y'all

Hello people,

This week was interesting, we did a bunch of service for this
organization called Just Between Friends, which is some kind of
consignment sale for children's clothing and toys, etc. we just helped
them with moving heavy stuff, sales, and "security." Haha we wore
security shirts every time we went for some reason, mainly for fun.
I'm sure everyone felt very secure with us there. Anyways, we did a
bunch of that this week and had fun with Elder Boam, an Elder in
Peterson lane, (my Greenie area!) who is absolutely hilarious. He is
just always full of energy and talking, it takes getting used to but
he's a great guy.

Last Monday we had to do service at like 4 which sucked, but we did
it. A sort of investigator is having to move out of his current
residence and his only option right now really is this old trailer out
in Bennett valley area, right outside of Santa Rosa. It has a great
view of the vineyards and hills, but this mobile home is nasty! All we
did last Monday was rip out walls, insulation, anything, because there
is so much black mold and leaks and so since he is desperate, he is
trying to clean it and fix it up within weeks. We got fiberglass all
in our eyes and arms for like a day and it itched haha. It was one of
the worst service projects I've done because of that! But it was
definitely different. His name is John and we are trying to meet with
him, but it is hard to do so. He is trying to get back on his feet
right now, he has been through a lot.

This week we taught less lessons for sure, but we are working on it.
It doesn't help the work when it has been raining for like 2 weeks
straight. Luckily we have a car or this would really be difficult!
(Slight emperor's new groove joke :). Everyone we see is like, "wow
you are out in such bad weather." And we are like, yup you bet we are!
Haha I don't know what to say to dumb stuff like that. But it is fun,
this area has needed rain so I suppose it is good. It's weird here
cause the dry season is the summer, virtually the opposite of Florida.
Everyone here is pretty wimpy when it comes to weather too haha. They
look at us without jackets when it's like 55 and they are like,
"aren't you cold!?" "Where are you from? Utah?" Nope Florida! Then
they get really confused haha.

It has been a week of lots of cancelled lessons, and things of the
sort. But we carry on on nonetheless. I hope we can all remember
Christ this upcoming Easter, and if you haven't already, check out the
#Hallelujah initiative going on online the church just launched
yesterday. Go to followhim.mormon.org. This video is better than the
Christmas one in my opinion, and if I have an opinion that's usually
pretty awesome. :) haha anyways love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Elder Janson

Us at the Just Between Friends children's sale. We are the best security

All the kids stuff!