It's been such a great week. Time just flies. I feel like I was just writing my email last week. It rained HEAPS this week, but it rained water and it also rained blessings! So I'm happy. Also, today I got a couple of wonderful emails from people I love in New Plymouth. They are doing well and progressing in the gospel, which is so exciting to hear! :D I will have amazing New Zealand friends for the rest of my life (and the next, for that matter).
So first, last Monday was so fun. We played basketball, touch rugby, and volleyball at the chapel with the whole district and it was so fun! I was the best out of all the sisters at basketball, semi/kind of decent at volleyball and by far the worst at touch. But we can't be good at everything, now can we? But we have a good district. All the sisters are really doing well and they are great so that's good. We had dinner with the Burtons (who are related to my Brad and Olivia) so that was fun. They have some amazing stories of adopting their two youngest kids. It made me think of Morgan! I sure love that guy!
It was nice weather Monday and Friday, but all the other days it rained so much. We have still been trying to take members out with us almost every day and it is so fun. On Wednesday/Thursday we did exchanges with Rotorua so I had to drive through the winding gorge to and from Rotorua twice in the POURING rain, but we survived so that's good. Just a little swerving, but that's the norm! But I went with Sister Judd again and it was her last exchange. She is an awesome missionary. We wore our animal onezies from the Warehouse to bed. (I have a frog. She has a cow.)
But our investigators are doing so well! We had a good lesson with Chasidy. She is so strong and her struggles are so sad. She is SO, SO good. I can just feel her spirit every time we meet. She's the one who says really powerful, sincere prayers. She has now been alcohol free for three weekends and she's come to church three weeks in a row. She is all set to be baptized but her partner is back again. We had a really cool lesson (it was actually over the phone after planning Saturday night), where I just KNOW I was led by the Spirit. She has been praying and praying all the time to know what she should do about the whole partner/law of chastity/baptism situation and she says she's not getting an answer. I thought to tell her about the scripture in the Doctrine in Covenants to Oliver Cowdery about how you have to study it out in your mind and make a decision and then take that decision to the Lord for confirmation. Because I know that she knows what to do. She knows the church is true but she just doesn't want to accept the answer that Heavenly Father is trying to give her.
Then the Relief Society lesson on Sunday was just MADE for her. It was perfect, talking about how to receive answers. Heavenly Father orchestrates our lives so amazingly!
Then we have Kirsty's parents, Caroline AND the dad Alan came to church! We had the coolest lesson with them ever. It was so cool to be teaching such a wonderful family that is really interested in the gospel. The Spirit was so strong as we shared about the Restoration and the First Vision. Caroline went to the Visitor Center at the temple last week and she kept saying that she just wants to go back there for some reason and that it felt so good. So they've organized a trip and the THREE of them are going to the Visitor Center this Friday. But the church just makes sense to them. It's hard for them to go against their family's religions they said. Caroline said that the line "True to the faith that our parents have cherished" really bothered her because this isn't the faith that her parents cherished. Again, I felt like the Holy Ghost really helped me as we resolved her concern. I told her about my ancestors that joined the church in Europe and crossed the plains and how a lot of them, their parents had taught them to believe in God and to be honest, good people which helped them make the decision to accept the gospel. I said how grateful I was for those pioneers in my family. I told her that they were the pioneers in their family and how the gospel is not taking away what Caroline's parents taught her, but adding to it.
I feel like it really rang true to everyone. The gospel is really not against any other religion. It is just more. It's the fullness. It's building. It's the same with the Book of Mormon! It strengthens and testifies alongside the Bible and completes the whole picture. I love truth. Whenever you hear or read truth, you feel the Spirit. I remember being in Mrs. Walker’s in High School and finally understanding something in Physics or Chemistry and how it felt so good to get the answer. That's the same feeling I feel when I study the gospel and learn truth. I'm grateful that we each can be a "seeker of truth". And no one but the Holy Ghost can really put that truth in our hearts! What a blessing we have in this gospel!
But the coming week will be good. I'll probably eat a lot of big, delicious kiwis as usual, find some more wonderful new investigators in Te Puke, be sad as I think of President and Sister Rudd going home on Thursday, and see even more miracles!
So much love!
P.S. Precious (one of our favorite YSA’s) and I sang a prelude and musical number in Mount sacrament meeting. We harmonize together and it's SOOOO fun. We are also planning a musical fireside with Sister Ngakuru! So hooray for music!