How are you all? Let's all hope this email doesn't get erased somehow this week. It's been a good week but a crazy one. I feel like time is on fast forward and I can just barely keep up. Last Monday we left at four to go to Hamilton. I think I told you last week that I went with Sister Flake from Bellblock and Sister Watson stayed here with Sister Katene because she was sick. But I just adore Sister Flake! We had the greatest times. I kind of live off of singing and harmonizing and really, really good conversations. We had plenty of both on the way to and from Hamilton. It was just the kind of trip that is good for the soul.
But that night we stayed with Sister Asiata and Sister Likuborebore in Claudeland! They both came from Taranaki in the last two transfers. It was great to see them! Also I got to talk to the Hamilton East Elders. They said that everyone asks about me all the time and misses me. That really made my day! I miss those Hamilton Easterners!
MLC (Mission Leadership Counsel) was so fun! It was at President Rudd's house. It was interesting because there were 22 Zone Leaders there from the eleven Zones and only seven Sister Training Leaders. We all stuck together a lot because we were all companionless. But it was great. I just felt the Spirit so strong during the meeting. I loved how it wasn't so much a training, but a counsel. President Rudd gave us notes to take back to our zones and then he brought up different goals/concerns/etc. and we all just talked about how we could help the mission. I just felt so much appreciation and love for President Rudd! He is just a normal, good guy but he is doing everything he possibly can to do the will of Lord here. He has such a big responsibility and he does great! We talked a lot about the protocols (extra mission rules specific to our mission) and he said that if they have helped facilitate the salvation of even one missionary then he is glad we have them. In the missionary handbook (it's not the white handbook . . . according to President Rudd because it teaches us how to be missionaries not how to be white), but anyway, it says that your loyalty is "first to the Lord, then to your mission president, then to the missionaries." I love that! I've also liked going to branch council here in New Plymouth, even though it is sooo long. It's good to see all the leaders just doing their best to magnify their callings and serve!
On Thursday we had Zone Meeting. I helped the Zone Leaders plan it. I gave a training that I changed about a million times in two days, but I think it ended up going really well. I talked about using time wisely and remembering the urgency and greatness of our calling. I also talked about Abinadi like I did in my email a few weeks ago. I made Sister Sterzer cry. I just really, really love our zone. Then last night we had a zone leadership meeting with the Zone Leaders, the two district leaders, and me. We talked about what it means to be a good leader. Someone said that a good leader is a good follower. . . of Jesus Christ! I want to be like that.
Our area has been really interesting this week. The Sterzers (the Senior Couple here) are going through the branch list that is like 20 years out of date and we're visiting all these old inactive people and seeing if they still live there or where they live now. I've been amazed at how many are so cranky and don't want anything to do with the church. They just really don't know what they are missing!
But we have two great investigators right now. One is in a part member family. I think I've told about them before. Freedim is a 14 year old member and her brother Ainsley is our investigator! They are so great! The other is Maureen. She broke up with her partner and is now living at . . . the Malilis!!!!! Isn't that perfect! They are our Samoan family that feeds us and we love them. It's an islander thing. They feed you every time you go over no matter what. I always feel so bad and try to say no but they don't care! So we are getting fed a bit more and Maureen (who is also Samoan) has some amazing fellowship! The only hard thing with her is that she works at Countdown (a grocery store) really long, random hours so she is often working during church. Pray for her to have Sundays off! :D
My new companion, Sister Watson, is doing great! She is good and really good at validating and supporting me. She has such a strong testimony.
Finally, I know I say this a lot, but I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON! It is getting easier and easier to understand and I just fly through it sometimes. Other times I'll have a certain scripture that just helps me so much and I'll spend the whole time just studying that couple of verses. In Preach My Gospel one of the headings is, "The Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul". That is definitely true!
Sister Clarissa Johnson
P.S. Remember me talking about Kira Brown from Utah who married a Maori and lives here now. Well she is the seminary teacher now and she is going to have a baby!!!!! :D Isn't that great!