Hi I'm Michael Johnston
I'm a college student at Oklahoma State University, studying music! I also play clarinet for local musical productions, and I have worked as a piano accompanist for the high school I graduated from. I currently work doing insurance exams as a paramedical examiner. I enjoy working out every day with a couple of buddies and trying to get better at exercises that I'm not good at. More than anything, though, I love spending time with my friends and family.
Why I am a Mormon
When my father died when I was 11, I began looking for God. I went to other churches and couldn't find Him. Heavenly Father didn't feel personal. However, when a Mormon family from Utah moved into my area I got to know them. A couple years later, they arranged a trip for my school's choir to go see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (I go to school with some of their kids). As we left, I got really interested in the church, so I looked up "Mormon Church" on google. Needless to say, I got a bunch of nasty rumors and was pushed away from the church for a few months. Well, after a few months I got interested again after we visited this family's house to go Christmas caroling. I then realized I was being called by God to learn. At that point, I went to mormon.org and began having online chats with Elder Bryan Sabin about the church. Everything I learned felt familiar and I realized it was all stuff my dad had taught me before his death. Then I decided to speak with the missionaries at the local LDS church, after the second discussion with the local missionaries I decided to make the decision to be baptized. I was baptized and confirmed on January 17, 2010. Best decision of my life. I finally know my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
Please share your feelings/testimony of Joseph Smith.
When I heard the First Vision for the first time, my heart burnt within me. I felt at peace and I broke into tears. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of extreme joy. I knew in my heart that Heavenly Father loved all of his children, and so when I found out that there is still a prophet today to guide us, it definitely made perfect sense to me.
Can you talk about the missions of the Church and your participation in them?
I didn't participate in this mission, but I was involved with the Referral Center Mission, because Elder Bryan Sabin was the missionary who first taught me about the church. This summer, I took a trip with a local Mormon family to Utah to attend their son's wedding festivities, and while in Utah I received the opportunity to meet Elder Sabin. What a blessing, and exciting opportunity to meet and personally thank the man who brought this Gospel to me! He is the missionary in my profile picture! I served as a full-time missionary for the Utah St. George mission. I did not get to serve the full two years, due to health issues, but I do feel that my mission was worthwhile, and my time in the Missionary Training Center with other missionaries and my time in the field was the best thing that ever could have happened to me. I loved my mission, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to better myself and hopefully better those around me.
In what ways have your prayers been answered?
My prayers have been answered many ways, but they are often answered through other people, very often soon after I pray. I have a couple of friends who instinctively follow the Holy Ghost, and without even knowing will say or do something that I know was an answer to my prayers. Also, there have been times where I have been upset because of something, and prayed for relief and then shortly after someone shows up and enriches my life and my faith in Jesus Christ.
Could you talk about your baptism?
I remember very distinctly how I felt when I was baptized. It was so wonderful to feel that my Father in Heaven was pleased with me for my decision. I will never forget the feeling I had when I came out of the water and walked out of the baptismal font. After the baptism, I was given the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After years of searching, I had found the church of Jesus Christ and had become a part of it.
How I live my faith
I try to spread the gospel at every chance I get. My friend Allyson came to my baptism and was interested by the peaceful spirit there. Two months later (March 14th, 2010) she decided to be baptized and confirmed (I got to perform the baptism). I absolutely love seeing people gain a testimony of the gospel and understanding the eternal truths within it.