Sunday, January 17, 2016

Knock! Knock! Knock!

P-Day at a waterfall with Sister Pantoja

Kiora Whanau,

Can you hear the sound of us knocking on doors?  We are getting creative and do the rhythms of songs on different doors.  We have lots of different patterns.  We've come to a place where we have really sifted through all the investigators and have stopped visiting many of them because they don't have real intent or are not really interested in our message. It feels good to step away from some of the "eternal investigators" and put our energy into finding new investigators that really want to hear our message! I just know that the Lord prepares people for the message. They are here in New Plymouth and like Preach My Gospel says, He will lead us to them or He will them to us. 

Transfers came and went without notice in New Plymouth.  All four of us (we call ourselves the fantastic four) are staying!  Except, did I tell you last week?  They are doing it differently now.  Instead of having "transfer meeting" in Hamilton, everyone just has to bus to their area by themselves and leave their bedding and bikes in their old area.  A lot of people were not very happy about that.  Elder Egbert left to Gisborn and had a 12 hour bus ride.  Poor guy!

This week has been kind of hard, but I am still happy!  Monday we went to Dawson Falls which is a beautiful waterfall!  There were six of us sisters there and guess who slipped on a wet rock and hit their leg?  You're right.  It was me.  I had this enormous goose egg (I thought goose eggs only happened on your head, but I guess not) and now the entire front of my leg is super black and blue and is still super tender.  I can't kneel.  (But I still pray.  Don't worry about that!)  But speaking of that, I'm strengthening my calf muscles today.  There are randomly a million people at the library today and I've been doing my emailing in 15 minute increments at a computer where you have to stand up.  But it's so good!  I'm still going strong on my no sugar plan.  I was offered ice cream THREE times this week!  But I am invincible.  Emma and Sister Pantoja said that my arms and face look thinner but I don't know if that's true because it hasn't even been three weeks of doing this.  

Emma is still doing well but she has so many struggles.  I am trying to see her as God sees her.  She is a brave lady.  She has two sons Brook and Thomas.  Thomas is the older one.  He's 12. The young president, bless his heart, came and met him and invited him to their surfing activity, but Thomas didn't go.  Emma has only partial custody of her kids but she had Thomas on Sunday and he refused to go to church so they both stayed home.  We are trying to think of ways to help Thomas. 

We had a combined fast with the Elders for Linda and Ashley.  We called them and invited them to church but they said they wouldn't be able to make it.  We will visit them hopefully this Saturday because they still want a break.  I'm praying so hard for them. 

But I am growing to love this branch more and more all the time.  We've been visiting members and serving and teaching them and trying to help and encourage them to do missionary work.  We will keep working on that. The whole focus of Sabbath being a delight is working out for me.  I just love going to church. 

This week I have really been focusing on becoming as 100% consecrated as I can. Of course I sure fall short but I just want to show the Lord that I am giving my will to Him in everything I do, say, and think. The members will trust us with their friends and the Lord will trust us with His children if we just continue to press forward and be hardworking, happy, loving, personable, and strive to always follow the Spirit. I probably say this every week, but missions are so good for people. I am learning so much!  It's so true that when life is hard you can decide if it's going to bring out the best in you or the worst in you.  I've had a bit of both this week.  I just know that miracles always, always come after the trial of our faith.  And each trial of faith prepares us for the next trial of faith.  And then when you keep going the best you can the miracle is even sweeter when it comes.  I love the feeling of giving my all to the Lord.  When the days are long and SUPER hot and no one wants to talk to us, I think about the pioneers and Jesus Christ's sacrifice and some of the new converts I've met on my mission that have given so, so much for the gospel.  Suddenly my life doesn't seem all that hard.  Olivia sent me a little, cute block that says "There is always something to be thankful for."  That is so true. 

This week I was especially grateful for my cute new journal, my bed, prayer, personal and companionship study, sacrament meeting, nature, and the TWO dinner appointments we had this week!!!  I’m thankful that God cares enough about us to give us personalized experiences that make us better.  I'm thankful for the progressing investigator that we do have and the miracles that are just around the corner.  In the meantime, we will be knocking! :D


Sister Clarissa Johnson

P.S. Oh so this is crazy.  Next transfer (not this one that’s just starting, but the next one) will be eight weeks long instead of six like normal.  It's because the MTC is going to start keeping missionaries for three weeks again instead of only 12 days so the intakes will be different.  So that changes when everyone goes home.  I don't know how that will work.  But I love you so much everyone!  Keep being the amazing people you are!

We washed dishes for two hours!

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