I can't believe how fast time is flying by. We are having this long, eight week transfer because of the MTC change. So it's supposed to be really long. But we are already into the fifth week! Crazy! But it's been a good week.
Sorry that I am emailing a day late. It's a crazy week. We have interviews with President Rudd tonight and then the temple trip tomorrow so we are frantically emailing so we can leave at one to get to Hamilton. So it's a pretty lame preparation day, but I guess we will be blessed for working yesterday. (I know we will.) I am just so excited to go to the temple again. We only get to go every six months so I haven't been since October and it seems like forever. I totally took it for granted at BYU when I could go to the temple whenever I want. Plus our Taranaki road trips are always fun.
The past week has been great! Happy Easter! I've been trying to really focus a lot on Christ and the really meaning of Easter. Have you seen the lds.org Easter videos? They are wonderful. They have this one with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the orchestra but then it's a virtual choir with all of these people from everywhere recording their parts. I wish I could have been in it! I have been reading in the New Testament all about the Passover, sacrament, atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection. It's kind of one of those things where I've heard it all my life but I haven't really, really internalized it. I've been trying to make it more real in my life and I am just so thankful for my Savior! "I Stand All Amazed". It's great to get to teach people that don't know much more than chocolate about Easter. There is such a connection between my personal, spiritual growth and my investigators. We grow with these people. It's so cool.
There was also an Easter Egg Hunt for the branch at the Webers. It was so fun and there were a lot of non-members there. I loved group hopping and meeting everyone. We got to wear bunny ears and it was great! Also, our investigator Amy was back from Wellington for the weekend. She has been to church once since she's been there and she said it was a little scary because she doesn't know anyone. But she is taking lessons from the sisters there. I just pray that they are really good sisters for her. But it was so great to see her!
Victoria is also doing well. She found out that her dad was a member of the church in his youth but they left the church over something tithing related. I wasn't exactly sure. But Victoria is still interested to learn more and I'm so glad! She went to another church with her parents for Easter but will be back to our church next Sunday. We visited her on Friday I think and we found her reading the Bible. Bless her heart!
Sadly, Krete and Luke have been out of town but will hopefully be back after the holiday. They got Friday and Monday off for Easter in this part of the world.
But here's some good news! We had four meal appointments this week! It's a miracle. It felt like Hamilton East almost. But I'm so sad. I am probably leaving this area next month and the Malilis are going to Australia and won't be back until after transfers. So we had a special dinner and took pictures. I will miss them so much. I will probably cry on Thursday when we actually say goodbye.
Another family that I just love is Sister Vicki and her daughter Skye. Have I told you about them? They are returning less actives. Vicki's husband John is a recent convert and Skye has two adorable, half Filipino children, Ava and Malachi who are 8 and 6. They are all such likeable people and I feel like Sister Vicki is my mom and Skye is my sister! We are just kindred spirits, you know. But we have been doing a lot of service with/for them. We organized Sister Vicki's bookshelves by topic and helped her other daughter, Rebecca (who's not a member) move. But Ava has been really nervous to get baptized. But she is comfortable at the swimming pool where she swimming lessons so she is going to be baptized there on April 16th. So we are very excited about that.
Church on Sunday was great . . . no drama or problems of any kind in our branch, so that was wonderful. Sacrament meeting was so good and I got to sing in sacrament meeting. We always have a rest hymn and everyone always says that I need to sing so I asked Sister Jones. We practiced Saturday. I sang an arrangement of "In Humility Our Savior" from that book of music that Grandma sent me. I love that book! And I love singing to Sister Jones' playing. She is so good and does the dynamics perfectly with me and just follows me and helps with the tempo and phrasing and such so it just sounds more musical and expressive. I was really happy with it.
Oh, and also this week we went on exchanges with the Hawera Sisters! I love those two. One, Sister Gunderson, was at BYU at the same time as me and I didn't know her. She lived off campus though. But I went with the other, Sister Snow, for the exchange. She is Samoan/American but lived in Australia her whole life so she sounds Australian. She will go home at the end of next transfer. She is worried about going home. But it was a great exchange. They have such a great flat. It's like a little house.
But they are really working on finding. They have like three investigators and they ride their bikes all day to take up time. I don't know about that and I got tired out. Haha I'm a wimp. But we found one new investigator while we were together. And Sister Snow is such a wonderful teacher. She was in the Visitor Center and just explains things so simply and clearly. I love getting to go on exchanges. But I always take upon myself all the sisters' problems. I just want them to be happy and successful so much.
Well, I have to go because we are off to Hamilton tonight. We have interviews tonight and then the temple tomorrow. For interviews we have to give President Rudd a little three minute talk about one of the 8 Fundamentals (a Preach My Gospel/missionary thing). Mine is on "Teach People, Not Lessons". It's good except it was way too long so I had to cut like half of it out. I'm talking about Kayla learning about the gospel. It'll be fun.
But I really am just so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He loves us and knows exactly how to help us. We are blessed in the gospel in so many ways. Please share the gospel! It's scary but it's worth it! Tell someone about what makes you happy and then introduce them to the missionaries. It might change the whole rest of eternity for them. Also, feed the missionaries! :D You are all so, super wonderful!
I hope you enjoyed the last email I will ever write as a teenager. 20 is so old! When you're 18 and 19 you are like in between. Now I'll only be an adult.
Sister Clarissa Johnson
P.S. I took Easter off from my no sugar thing, but everything tasted so rich and too sweet and I ate too much. I'm turning into my Mom. I can't handle sugar anymore! Crazy! Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Haha