This week I attempted to explain what the word "crazy" means to Sister Namariel. It was harder than I thought. Elder Butler (one of the Zone Leaders that serves in our ward) asked Sister Namariel how she puts up with "her crazy companion." Anyway, this whole week has been crazy. Parts of it have been really hard and others have been really good. I still feel overwhelmed but things are slowly getting better. Everything takes longer with Sister Namariel which is sometimes really hard for me. I want to do the work of the Lord full speed ahead. However, I've been reading my little book of mission advice from Olivia and it has helped a lot. She said that sometimes the one you have to be a missionary to is your companion and they are the one that needs your love and service. So I have studying and working on my patience a lot. I really love Sister Namariel and it's been amazing to get to talk to her more. Slowly she has started to tell me more about her life. She came from a poor little village in Vanuatu. Her dad died when she was ten and her mom provides for their family by selling food at the market that she grew. They grew all their own food. She has been SO, SO cold this week. I feel so sorry for her because she's never experienced cold weather at all. I have been getting more confident in my ability to teach and plan and do all the things that missionaries do. It's been scary and I make a LOT of mistakes but it's good for me. Sister Namariel has been testifying very well this week. She has such a sweet spirit.
We've had a couple of investigators disappear, including one that was supposed to get baptized next week so that is unfortunate. We call them and text them and visit them at different times of the day but we can't find them. But we taught Ripeka's mom, Auntie Kei, about the Word of Wisdom. She already knew what it was because of Ripeka so she was expecting it when we committed her to live it. She is the BEST lady with a heart of gold but she can be a little stubborn. She wants to do things on her own timetable. She said that she would drink up all the tea and coffee (she doesn't drink or smoke) she had in her house and then start living the Word of Wisdom. We asked her if she could think of anyone she could give it to and suggested just throwing it away but she refused. Well, the next day during church she whispered to me, "Guess what I did yesterday?" I asked what. She said, "I threw my tea bags away and gave my coffee to the neighbors. And I don't miss it!" I couldn't believe it! She has such a heart of gold! The gospel truly changes people.
But a big highlight of the week was when our heater broke so they brought us THREE new ones! We are so, so happy! Plus they gave us a vacuum that actually works. It's wonderful.
I LOVE our new district. It's been awesome to feel such support from our Zone Leaders, District Leader, and Sister Training Leader. At District Meeting the Zone Leaders had me come write up our numbers for the week on the board. I was stressing because with transfers and learning to drive and such, they'd been pretty low that week. I said that I was sorry that they were low, but apparently they were actually high. They used them as a good example to the District. They asked why everyone couldn't have high numbers like the Hamilton East Sisters. Then I felt bad, like everyone thought I was prideful. Anyway, it was a good realization that we actually are doing well. (Plus the University and our car help us to be able to talk to lots of people. It's not just us.)
To end I want to share a quote I read this week about patience. I love this!
"Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstances. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be."
-Neil A. Maxwell
I know that I am learning so much from my experience here. I am growing closer to my Savior and I am finding a lot of comfort in singing hymns. Sister Namariel is a good singer and we hum or sing and harmonize a lot. It's great.
Sorry this email has been really scattered. I love you all so much! Thanks for your prayers. We have this quote in our flat that says "There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother." -Boyd K. Packer. So mom, thanks! :)
Remember to always share the gospel, study the scriptures, and really pray and talk to your Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you!
Sister Clarissa Johnson