Hello beautiful world,
The work is rolling forth in the beautiful land of New Zealand! And I have big news. I have a new companion!!! I'm still in Hamilton East (Thank goodness! I will only leave this place kicking and screaming). I'm training again the sweetest little sister from the Philippines. Her name is Sister Urgel. She's 20 and is so sweet and good. Her name doesn't rhyme with gurgle as you might think but is pronounced Orhell. I couldn't believe it! Right after emailing last Monday, we were at the mission office with the Frankton Sisters who were picking up a sister about to go home. Well President Rudd called me into his office and told me that he was transferring my companion to Temple View and that I would be training again. It was deja vu! It was crazy. Just like I did six weeks ago I said yes. He said, "Now, she's a lot smaller than you" like it was a problem. I thought, "Well, sorry I'm so big!" But I was so, so excited!
Transfers were super fun as always. It's like a big family reunion. Especially because I really do have family there. I always just love seeing Sister Rudd! President Rudd always says that the best part of the mission is Sister Rudd and it's pretty true. Also I met Elder Egbert! That was really exciting! He is tall and blond and Egbert-looking and awesome. We only talked for a minute but I think he will be a great missionary. Except we had a million bikes and suitcases and folded packs of bedding and missionaries in the parking lot and it was pouring rain. That's why I look so wet in the picture. But we survived. But Sister Urgel is the youngest of seven kids. Her house was destroyed in a cyclone last year and she only has one little suitcase. Her English is pretty good though but we still do language study every day! And she needs her patriarchal blessing. I think Heavenly Father knew that I have experience in clothes getting/English learning/patriarchal blessing organizing from Sister Namariel. She is really quiet but she is so happy and good and always has the Spirit with her. She is learning so fast and has already been really courageous with talking with everyone. And she invited someone to be baptized already and they said yes!
She doesn't like the food in New Zealand but she made fried chicken in our flat. Also we accidentally went to a huge Filipino party. Our less active who is Filipino invited us over at a certain time and said there might be food. Well it must have been every Filipino in Hamilton and a ton of Filipino food. She was in heaven. It was so great! It's amazing how just when Sister Namariel came we found two investigators from Vanuatu and on Sister Urgel's second day we accidentally went to a Filipino party.
But we are busy with investigators again. Jayde is finally living the Law of Chastity and I'm so, so happy. But she is feeling really stressed and pressured by school and relationship problems and such that she doesn't want to get baptized really soon after all, but she really does want to get baptized. She came to the missionary fireside tonight and the Elders gave her a blessing afterwards. And Brother Tichborne gave them some inspired counsel in true Brother Tichborne fashion.
Auntie Kei is doing amazing! She is just so, so ready to get baptized but she is still waiting for Leanna to get endowed. We visit Leanna every day and she's always so, so good and ready and excited.
It was hard to say goodbye to all the missionaries going home this week. They were all such great examples. We have a lot of new missionaries in our district but it will be a great transfer. I just love being a missionary!
But this week has just been such a testimony to me that God knows us. He helps us through our struggles and they slowly and surely improve. He gives us exactly what we need. I have grown and matured spiritually and emotionally so, so much already on my mission. I sure have a lot to learn and I'm excited to learn it. This week I've also just been so struck with how the church is so true and how bad things happen in our lives, but as long as we are active and strong in the church everything will be alright. I want all my siblings to promise that they will always be active in the church and strong in the gospel! It's the fruit on the tree of life: the joy of the gospel. It's more precious than anything else in our lives.
Keep sharing the gospel!
Sister Clarissa Johnson