A miracle happened this week! The Dorothys are our number one family. Leanna is less active and her daughter Aaliyah was recently baptized. Ripeka, our girl set for baptism is their cousin, and Tony is Leanna's ex partner who comes over every night. Well the first time I met Tony he totally scared me. He has horrible ADHD and has been to jail a bunch and was addicted to drugs for 25 years. But we talked to him and got him talking about how he wants to change. He agreed to come to the Visitor Center with us to watch Meet the Mormons. And he actually came! Our whole klan went down with Brother Tichborne and watched it. Of course I bawled at the airport/missionary part again. But that's ok. Tony sat through it intently (which was surprising to me) and asked tons of questions and really, genuinely wants to know more. He switched his schedule around to come to church and the fireside last night. We are going to teach him Lesson 1 tomorrow. It's just amazing how I can see the Light of Christ coming into him. The gospel is just true and simple truths sound so good to people who have never heard them before. I hope he stays with it! It's exciting.
We are working on getting Ripekah and Leanna to stop smoking. They really want to but Ripekah smokes a lot more than Leanna and she's the one who needs to get baptized. I pray for her so much.
Our ward fireside last night was at the Visitor Center. You can always really feel the spirit there and the VC sisters are darling. I love them all! But they set up the chairs facing out so you could see the Christus statue reflection on the window on top of the temple through the window. It was really cool! We did this really cool activity/role play were people acted as either missionaries, investigators, or people on the other side of the veil. It was all about the importance of missionary work and temple work. I feel so blessed to be in such a good ward! The bishop and Brother Tichborne are SO supportive. Sister Aldridge and I sang "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" at the fireside and we sounded good together. I sang high harmony and it was SO fun. Everyone loved it and Sister Hawkins at the VC asked if we want to sing another musical number at a different fireside next week. Of course we said yes! It scared Sister Aldridge but she really has a good voice.
I got to introduce myself in sacrament meeting and I talked a little bit about member missionary work and how we are all doing the work of the Lord's Kingdom together. I challenged everyone to pray to be able to think of someone they could share the gospel with and what they could do (like give a Book of Mormon or invite someone to church or something) and then to do it! I also told them to introduce themselves to me so I can meet them! And they did. I just love so many people so much already. I feel like I either love them tons or I can't remember their name. It's a fun time. :p
But we focused REALLY hard on church attendance with all our investigators this week. I think seven people said they would come when we texted to remind them again and only two actually did. It's frustrating. The gospel can't change your life unless you come to church! I am really realizing how the basic Standard Mormon Answers are SO vital for everyone to do with sincerity.
I love our study time! I feel like I am getting way more out of the scriptures than I ever had before. I write down a question every day before I read and it never fails. My question is answered every time. But we got the Standard of Excellence for the week with TWEs (talking with everyone) to spare! We just have to get a baptism this transfer. I hope we can get more than one.
But I'm slowly getting less scared/overwhelmed and more happy and understanding. Like at MCM on Thursday I could actually contribute to the conversation and talk about our investigators. We have SOOOO many people to teach and we get new investigators every day. A lot of them never progress but we are kept busy. And our planning at night always goes quite a bit longer than half an hour and we go fast. Lots to do. :) It's really such a good problem to have. There is heaps of potential in this area.
The only way I get through is by napping at lunch. I'm the queen of the 15 minute lunch nap. It's great. We exercise hard core in the morning. I'm really bad at it but am getting better slowly. It's so good for me.
I'm become a professional backer upper of our car. It's a fun job. Sometimes people look at me weird.
Last P day afternoon we played volleyball at the park with a bunch of other missionaries in our district/zone. I'm not sure exactly. It always scares me to play volleyball. I found out both the Zone Leaders like basketball a lot so I said we need to play basketball instead. That would be a better choice for Sister Johnson. :) But it's so fun to see other missionaries. I feel such a sense of camaraderie with them. They know exactly what I'm going through with crazy mission life.
Sorry that this email has been a lot of random, separate things. But I just know the church is true. Missionary work is definitely work. It's hard and cold and not fun sometimes, but it makes me so happy because it's the most important thing I could ever be doing. Talk to your friends about the gospel. It will be one of the most important conversations of their lives, even if they don't accept it. They don't realize how important it is, but you do! The scriptures, prayer, and church attendance seem like unimportant things, but they make people happy! The gospel changes lives. \
I love you all tons and tons and tons. I'm sorry I can't give longer responses to your emails. I LOVE hearing from you so much. You should all send me regular mail because I'll have way more time to read it (and it might make me cry and really miss you like it did this week, but that's ok).
PO Box 9542, Hamilton 3240