It's been such a great week. I decided to make an extra conscious effort to serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength in every way this week. I did the best I could and it was good. It's been a bit of a struggle with daylight savings though. Suddenly it is dark really early and town just shuts down. Like everyone was out until like 8:45 in the light and then the time change happened and they all suddenly go to bed at seven. There are barely cars on the road and most people we try to visit in especially the eight o'clock hour get kind of mad at us because they are going to bed. We have a part member family and a recent convert we can visit, but we want to branch out and use our time as wisely as possible. It's kind of rough.
But we had the best lesson EVER this week with our investigators Krete and Luke. We are working on teaching from the scriptures more. So we read part of 3 Nephi 27 with them and talked about what things they could do to get to heaven and return to live with God. Then they picked out the steps faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Then we did this object lesson that involved making Luke jump from one side of the room to the other, which represented heaven. He was a long jumper once upon a time and he could jump really far but he could never get all the way to the other side of the room until we let him use sticky note "stepping stones" that had the first principles and ordinances on them. It made me realize how dependent we all are on Jesus Christ. Without his gospel, even if we are really talented or successful or whatever, can never get anywhere.
It's been so cool to see Krete and Luke change. When we first started teaching them, Luke was really skeptical and just kind of made fun of it a little. He said he only believed in aliens. But now he is humble and such an eager learner. He just wants to do what is right. He said that even though coming to church was WAY out of his comfort zone, he was surprised that he felt so comfortable being there. No matter who we are, we have that divine nature and we belong in holy places. I just can see their potential so much! I just want them to have a temple marriage someday. Of course they have a long way to go before they get there, but that's why we do all of this anyway.
But the highlight of the week was General Conference!!! Holy cow! There's just something about being a missionary that makes General Conference like better than Christmas. All week we taught all of our investigators about how we have a living prophet on the earth today, how that is such a blessing and how we can hear from him and his apostles this week!!! It just made me more excited. No one else has that. We have living revelation to guide us and help us understand how to best live the gospel in our day. There was almost nobody at the Saturday sessions. Good thing all the missionaries were there. But on Sunday more people came and there was a potluck between sessions so that's fun. But I just feel like all of my questions were answered and all of my problems were addressed and either solved or I know how to solve them. I just felt so overwhelmingly blessed to have the gospel. Then I went out into New Plymouth and saw all the people who don't have it. This missionary work really is urgent!
But Emma came to conference and so did Skye!!! We were so happy. They are such polar opposites but they actually kind of made friends a tiny bit. Emma took all these notes and had me write the names and callings of all the people for her because she couldn't write them fast enough.
And Skye came by herself even though her family couldn't come. She called and made sure she could sit by us. I assured her that she could! I so love her! There are some people that I just connect with extra a lot and Skye is one of those! I feel like I was sent to this area partially for her. We have both helped each other a lot. And her daughter Ava is getting baptized this Saturday and we are very involved with that so that's so exciting!
Sometimes I feel like I kind of ramble on these emails. But life is good! If you didn't watch General Conference, I invite you to go to lds.org and look up the talks. Jeffrey R. Holland is my hero and his made me cry. Actually, lots of them made me cry! I know, astonishing! But really. It's the best.
Remember that you are children of God. He loves you so much and you are amazing! That is your identity and it is your destiny to be happy forever if you just live the gospel the best you can and trust in God.
Sister Clarissa Johnson
P.S. Thanks to everyone who's emailed me! I love to hear about your lives. And if anyone else wants to send me an email, you totally can. Don't worry about me not having time to read it, because I do and would love to hear from all of you!!!! Have a good week!