Sunday, May 8, 2016

Fall Colors in New Zealand--Light Green and Dark Green

Hola!  Como estas?

I don't know.  I'm trying to be different.  No one here speaks Spanish so Elder Bowman (one of the Zone Leaders) and I have taken it up.  

But anyway, the title of this email is not exactly, totally true.  Some trees do change colors and lose their leaves, but mostly everything is still green all year.  

It's been a good week.  We had a fun exchange with the Greerton Sisters.  I went with . . . Sister Urgel and we had the best time.  We are just kindred spirits.  We are probably the best mission "mother and daughter" ever.  We are both happy and enthusiastic and we laugh so much.  It's so cool to see what a great missionary she is becoming.  Her English is getting better and better all the time.  She says that she thinks of me reminding her to say "th" the right way and always works on it.  They don't have very many investigators so we prayed hard and worked hard to find them some.  And just during the ten o'clock hour we met super keen new investigators that live in their area, our area, and the Otomotai Sisters' area.  So that was wonderful.  Miracles do happen.

Thursday was Zone Meeting and I gave a training about faith and miracles.  I worked really, really hard on it and was really proud of it.  Our poor zone though.  Luckily the sisters are so wonderful and the Zone Leaders are wonderful, but I think there are some attitude/disobedience struggles with some of our zone.  We've talked about it a lot as leaders and want to build the unity in our zone.  

There are sure pros and cons to every area.  Some of the best advice I got for my mission was my dad saying to not compare my areas to each other.  I feel like Heavenly Father is like taking me on a special, hand-crafted journey through my mission to teach me certain lessons in a certain order by giving me different areas, companions, investigators, wards/branches, etc.  It's so cool how the gospel works.

But our investigators are doing well.  Melissa and her girls are wonderful and have been to church three weeks in a row!  Sadly, their family can't come to their baptism on the 14th so it will have to be postponed to the 21st, but that's ok.  

Also we have this great investigator, Kathy.  She is really progressing and we want to get her to church.  She just has such automatic faith!  Also, I got an exciting email from Amy from New Plymouth!  She has been reading the Book of Mormon and is all the way up to Alma 41!  Isn't that wonderful?  She is so prepared for the gospel and I can't wait to see it bless her life.

But the Welcome Bay Ward had this amazing Mother's Day Dinner put on by the priesthood.  The priests were the waiters and they escorted everyone to their seats when they came.  It was so fancy and there was great live music and it was just so, so fun!  Our ward is wonderful.  We had three investigators and two great less actives there.  One of them, Fleur, has this adorable little boy named Veon that just turned 2.  We are pretty much best friends by now.  He is so cute!

But yeah.  I love the Welcome Bay Ward.  I taught Relief Society to their HUGE Relief Society but it went well so that's good.  Also, our Ward Mission Leader is great.  We had the best MCM last night!  I just felt so on fire after it.  I want to take members out with us every day and go so hard.  Also, with one smallish ward and one enormous ward, we get fed heaps!  Our dinner calendar is full EVERY single day for the entire month.  It's so nice of them and so, super opposite of New Plymouth, but I'm worried about my health!  Haha I regret to report that I've kind of failed my sugar thing.  I decided that I will just never eat sugar unless someone feeds it to me at their house.  Some people get really sad when I refuse their dessert.  I don't know.  It's a struggle.  And I'm sure you all care so much about my eating habits . . . :P  Haha sorry!

But anyway, the Mount Ward is great too.  It's just a lot smaller and full of more older people.  The primary is only four kids there.  But it's been fun to play the piano there.  I'm less scared than when I started.  I played for a funeral, Relief Society, and sacrament.  

But life is good and I'm mostly just SOOOOOO excited to talk to my family in two hours!!!  Happy Mother's Day!  The church is true and if we forget ourselves and go to work and lose ourselves in the service of others, we will be happy!

Arohanui,

Sister Johnson


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