Good morning! Good morning!
I know it is really cold where you are, but it is really hot here. I take two showers a day usually because it's so humid. And NO ONE has air conditioning. But the upside is that I'm losing weight! People at church tell me that I look thinner and it just makes my entire life!
This was a good/weird/hard week. I don't know. That's just missionary life for you. We had an amazing Zone Conference and I learned so much! We just seem to have fantastic trainings/meeting every week lately. So that's exciting. I always love seeing the Rudds. President Rudd is so, so inspired. And I learned a lot about charity and using the area book more effectively. We can always use that. We also gave all our blankets back to the mission and got new brand new ones! My bedspread is blue and yellow and adorable so that 's exciting. But the best part of that trip was the Sterzers. We have this wonderful new Senior Missionary Couple in our branch! They are from Highland and they are so, so good. They are brand new, have never been on a mission before, are a little nervous, and are just so excited and ready to serve. They are kind of trying to figure out exactly what they will be doing here. They are going to make such a huge difference here in New Plymouth. I think we kind of have to share them with the Waitera branch, but I guess that's fair. :D
Tuesday we went on exchanges and I got to serve with Sister Likuborebore from Fiji again. This time I got to go out to Stratford for the day! I love Stratford. It's this adorable little town. We mowed lawns and weeded (actually we did that three times this week) and visited some people. I just love spending time with Sister Likuborebore because she is such an AMAZING missionary. I just learn heaps from her. Also, we decided that we are kindred spirits. I just love exchanges. We had another mini hour long exchange later in the week which was good too.
But this week we worked hard in the heat. We did a lot of service and talked a lot of people out of feeling bad about themselves. Emma, bless her heart, is doing alright. She thought she was losing custody of her two boys, but she didn't. But we just happened to be there at just the right time to calm her down and convince her to not do anything drastic or illegal. She was screaming and swearing on the phone while we cleaned up her flat. Then we said a prayer. We actually fasted this week with her and she really liked that experience. She is still working on her smoking and her testimony of Joseph Smith. But we keep trucking along.
I think that Heavenly Father is trying to teach me humility this week. I just want to be a good missionary and help people come unto Christ. We had a Zone challenge/goal to get heaps of investigators to church. We only had one, which is better than none I guess. I was feeling a little sorry for myself that other missionaries are having more success than me. I'm just so competitive. Well, I realized that that is bad. I've been studying humility and praying for it. We are all on the same team and it's great that they are doing so well. And we are truly doing our best. Even if our efforts aren't necessarily ending in baptisms right now, that's alright. We are here to serve and do the will of the Lord. It's been really good for me to realize this and feel peace.
So yesterday was a bit of a crazy day at church! Testimony meeting was just wonderful! I was feeling the Spirit and feeling rejuvenated and happy. All the investigators were loving it (at least I felt like they would be). Well then, at five minutes to the hour, this member guy gets up and starts talking about how his family has been bullied for years. I guess there's like this crazy family feud going on in our branch. There was crying and hugging and anger and a lot of tension. A bunch of people got up and finally the District President got up to stop it all. The things that happen! I don't really understand the problems going on. I really love all the people in our branch. I just wish they would solve it on their own time.
But I've been reading Jesus the Christ and the Book of Mormon like nobody's business. We are so blessed to have the scriptures. We take them for granted way too much.
Last night after a long day of fasting (that's another thing . . . I'm actually thankful for fasting. I'm getting better at it. My companion is a really good example,) we went to dinner at the Malilis like we do. I just love them. They are so funny! I just love Polynesians in general. But they are so, so funny and I always leave full of food and full of the Spirit! We were talking about my no sugar thing (which is the topic more often than I wish it was). Everyone here talks about weight and eating without much thinking and they love to joke about it. Brother Malili told me a story and I have to really listen closely to understand him. But in his story there was a lady who thought she was too fat so she went to a doctor. The doctor told her that she could eat whatever she wanted, as long as she didn't swallow. :D He thought was so funny. Sister Malili said, "I think that's the stupidest story ever!" They are so funny.
District shirts. Who knew they were a thing?
District shirts. Who knew they were a thing?
But life is good! The church is still true and we are still blessed!
Sister Clarissa Johnson