News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pittsburgh area, counsel from its leaders, and reflections from its members.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Welcome, President and Sister Johnson!

At the beginning of July, we said goodbye to President and Sister Topham, who presided over the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Mission for three years. Shortly after, we welcomed President and Sister Johnson to Pittsburgh. They kindly answered some questions to help us in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Stake acquaint ourselves better with them.

Tell us about yourselves.

We were both born and raised in Northern Utah in the Logan area, but the majority of our lives have been spent in other areas of the country: eight years in Minnesota, seven years in Boston area, four years in Wisconsin, a year and a half in Maine, eleven years in Seattle, and the past two years back in Cache Valley, Utah. We have eight children (four boys and four girls) and eight grandchildren. Our youngest son, Andrew, who is a senior in high school, is here with us. 

Rumor has it that President Johnson left an impressive career to serve a mission. How did you both spend your time before coming on your mission? 

President Johnson had a long career in executive management at large retail companies around the country. He was CAO/CFO at REI and Lands End. He is pleased to give his time and efforts serving with the missionaries here in Western Pennsylvania and finds great satisfaction working with the great members of the Church here. 
Sister Johnson has been a full time mother and homemaker. Her passions are grandchildren, music, and the gospel. 

How did you decide to serve a mission? Tell us about receiving your mission call.

This call came as a surprise. Elder Perry’s secretary called one day and asked if we could meet with him at a local hotel while he was in the area for a conference. Elder L. Tom Perry interviewed us and President Henry B. Eyring made the call. It was very humbling, but we felt peace and confidence knowing the call came from the Lord. 
Brad had just been asked to teach a business finance class at Utah State.  He went ahead and taught that semester as we were preparing to make this move. Rosie was taking care of her 96-year-old father at the time and wondered how this would all come together. But the Lord’s timing is perfect. Brad’s teaching experience prepared him well for this calling. Rosie's dear father was called home (passed away) 2 months after our call, and we feel him with us all the time. We feel very humbled and blessed to be called.  

What do your responsibilities consist of?

For three years we are responsible for the work of the 260 missionaries that serve in this mission. We oversee training, placement, health issues, and any other problems that may arise. We are amazed at the spiritual maturity and dedication of these missionaries. It is truly an honor to serve with them!

What do you think of Pittsburgh so far?

We have loved getting to see much of the state of Pennsylvania as we travel around the mission. We think this is a beautiful place and enjoy the lush green and thick woods we hike in just across the street from our neighborhood.  The city is picturesque and, most of all, the people have been accepting, warm, and friendly.

What do you look forward to most about your time here?

We greatly look forward to our association with the members, missionaries, and those interested in learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

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