Sunday, November 15, 2015

Love from New Zealand

Dear Family,


New Zealand is wonderful as usual!  We've had such a great week!  I sure love my companion.  It's so funny because we will be a little sharp with each other sometimes and then we just both feel so bad and apologize a lot and hug each other.  We really are the dream team.  Haha, we balance each other so, so well!  


Our District Meeting this week was so amazingly good.  It ended and I felt like it had been written for me.  (Well, it actually had . . .kind of.  Elder Pene, our district leader, asks us all what we are working on and then plans the district meeting.)  But I just love all the missionaries that serve around me.  After District Meeting, we got to go on exchanges with the Lake Sisters.  I got be companions with Sister Sao, from Samoa, and . . . Sister Ye!!!  And I got to serve out of my area for the first time my entire mission.  So that was fun.  I learned heaps from those two sisters.  Even though they are both learning English, their testimonies are so, so powerful and they are so humble and good.  Sister Urgel was really nervous to lead the area when I was gone, but she did amazing.  She is getting more and more prepared to lead it when I leave.  I am mentally preparing myself to leave at transfers because I really feel like I will.  I will SO miss this area, but at least I will be ready.  Last night I wrote a list of people I want to write letters to before I go.  There were 21 on the list, and I'll probably think of more.  Good thing I'm starting now.  


But we have been teaching Shardae a lot.  Did I tell you about her last week?  I can never remember.  She has been going to church for ages but never was baptized even though her mom was.  They have this AMAZING member family that have been fellowshipping them.  We have our lessons there.  But she has been doing so well.  It's amazing how much love I feel for all the people we teach.  


I've been worried for Jayde lately.  Pray for her!  She is so, so ready to get baptized, but she is afraid that she's not ready.  Everyone thinks that they have to be perfect to get baptized, but it's actually the opposite. We get baptized because we aren't perfect.  We have to be worthy and willing to follow Jesus Christ.  I love the qualifications for baptism in D&C 20:37 (at least I think that's where they are).  She has had all the lessons and been to church tons of time.  It's one of those situations where we have to do all we can, but then trust in the Lord to make up the rest.  


I've really been realizing what an impatient person I am.  "If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness."  Well, mine is impatience.  But Jane Eyre in my ward said something I just love.  She is so profound sometimes.  She said that impatience is the fear of time.  So I'm going to stop fearing time.  I get impatient with myself and others and I'm learning to trust more. 


This week we got to eat with my favorite couple, the Sykes, twice!  They just had their 52nd wedding anniversary and they are so adorable.  I want to be just like Sister Sykes when I grow up and marry someone like Brother Sykes.  They are so humble and good and they always have me sing for them.  I love asking members two things.  I ask how they met if they are married and I ask their conversion story.  It seems like everyone in our ward is a convert.  That's really different from Wells Ward, but it's really cool.


I've also been so grateful to spend so much time getting to know children.  We've been helping with the Primary Program and we have two AMAZING families, Margaret's and Patiana's that we visit.  All of those kids in both families have such strong testimonies and are so good, even if they can be crazy!  I just want them to have the gospel in their lives so bad.


I've been working on being the fourth missionary again lately.  I want to do everything "willingly because I want to".  I'm still working on that when it comes to waking up in the morning. 


But time is short unfortunately!  I love you all and LOVE hearing from you so much.




Sister Clarissa Johnson

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