Monday, May 14, 2012


Lights! Camera! Action! Ok…just ACTION.  Our sixth graders were both thrilled and terrified to perform their plays, skits, and readings on Friday, May 11th. Behind our makeshift curtain they waited for their turn to go out. Luckily Sister Johnsen was behind the scenes. She literally had to give several of them a gentle shove to get them to go out.   They loved it though!  It was very fun for them and for us. Even though AMATUER hardly describes the effort, we felt great about spending these past weeks preparing for the performance. We hope that some other group may ask us to help them out in the fall.

The ACTION continued when Elder Johnsen and 11 year old Alfonze Roberto were out in front performing their song for the Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration night.  As the opening number for the program, they sang the Primary song, “The Priesthood is Restored”.  Actually, Elder Johnsen had more to do than just perform…he prepared the program, made the invitations, passed out the program parts, then bought and cooked the food. There were about 20 people there so they considered it a big success.   

Our institute teacher came down with a case of Chicken Pox so on Thursday Elder Johnsen sprang into ACTION again and quickly prepared the lesson about the book of Daniel. Thanks goodness for an easy topic. It is always faith promoting to learn about Daniel and his three companions, their challenges, and example.

Sister Johnsen promised that on Wednesday night she would set up the DVD from the Church’s annual broadcast for Young Women. After spending several days looking for it, she finally decided to take ACTION and go with something she knew about.  When no one from the YM’s program showed up, she invited the YM to join with the YW and learn about how to prepare and present a talk in church.  Sister Johnsen covered many parts of the procedure for giving a talk including something she learned from Karen’s Texas A & M public speaking class. Karen learned that people can only see about 10% of how nervous you are.  On a whim Sister Johnsen confided to her class that she sometimes wears a long shirt when she has to speak so no one will know if she is shaking. At the end of her presentation she asked the group, “What’s the one thing you are going to do when you give a talk?” (Correct answer:   give a great introduction).  Cullen’s Carlson thought he would be helpful with his answer:  “Wear a long skirt!”

The air conditioning went out in the car last week so the Johnsens haven’t been driving around very much, but their ACTION item list for things to do at home is so long, they kept very busy. After waiting almost all week for the parts for their car to arrive from Guam, and then getting the mechanic to come and start work (the ONLY one on the island who dares to pull the dashboard to replace an AC evaporator), it was the end of the week before the car was repaired.   It was finally finished and Elder and Sister Johnsen are ready for ACTION again.

Saturday morning Elder Johnsen started wondering what the branch did for the sisters on Mother’s day; so he texted President Kesolie, who was off island, to ask about it. President Kesolie said the young women usually gave the mothers flowers so Elder Johnsen contacted the YW President, and she said that because she had been gone all week and because she was so busy she wasn’t going to be able to do anything. Then Elder Johnsen asked Sister Johnsen if she would be willing to cook something for the sisters. Sister Johnsen had already planned to make homemade rolls, a birthday cake, and twice baked potatoes for Elder Adam’s birthday. To that she added a batch of peanut butter cookies, lemon bars, and chocolate chip chewies.  She was baking from about 11, or was it 10, to 4 in the afternoon with virtually no lunch break. The water was still off from 11 to 5 so dishes (lots and lots of baking dishes) had to be washed with the stored water that is kept in the apartment.

When Mother’s day dawned, Elder and Sister Johnsen put together 18 small plates of cookies and bars. They attached a quote from Elder Ballard to each plate, and took them to church. Later that day they had a birthday dinner for Elder Adams!  Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and Elder Adams blew out his candles. When the Elders came back in the evening Elder Adams opened his birthday gifts. He just turned 21 and only has 9 days left in the mission field! Way to go, Elder Adams!

Another ACTION-packed week for the Johnsens!

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