This week was truly "Miracle Week". It just might have been the best week of my mission. We've been building and building this area, and this week it finally all came together! We took out a member, usually a YSA every day of the week I think. We invited lots of people to be baptized and we had the most spiritual lesson EVER when we were on exchanges with our investigator Chasidy! She is amazing. And it was such a blessing to have Kirsty, a recent convert of a little over a year, with us to share her own conversion story. Kirsty has been going to the temple like twice a week lately to do baptisms and she is seriously dating a returned missionary! She is such a pioneer in her family.
Speaking of Kirsty, we are now teaching her mom . . . and hopefully soon her dad as well. Her mom, Caroline, is so ready for the gospel! She comes to gospel principles every week and we discuss and she learns so much. We had a wonderful Relief Society activity this Friday all about the temple and all those people came and loved it. There were different stations. Sister Pulotu made three boards, like the ones they always make at Girls Camp, that say "Family Forever". One is for our flat and the other two were for sisters there that didn't have time to make one themselves. I made a temple recommend holder that is really pretty. I was really fast at it because of my previous cross stitching experience. It was so fun!
I've just felt so excited and so on fire lately. I had a dream this week that President and Sister Rudd were going home and that I was going home too, at the same time as them. I was so, so sad to be leaving. I'm glad that I still have time to serve with all my heart and change and get better and see miracles as people come to Christ! I just hope they let me stay in this area long.
Friday was ZONE CONFERENCE . . . the last one with President and Sister Rudd. It was so cool because it was at a Marae in Otemotai! We had to be welcomed and stop at the door and think about our ancestors and take off our shoes. And they had us all do a Haungi (which is where you touch noses when you shake hands) with the Marae leaders. We started off in Matthew Cowley grove which is where Matthew Cowley would go to study Maori and the gospel when he first went on his mission. He's a super famous New Zealand missionary who became an apostle. I felt the Spirit so much as President Rudd was talking there! I sure love this amazing country. Also, I got to see all my favorite Gisbornites!!! :D Heaps of my Taranaki friends are now in Gisborne all together. But I got to see Sister Green, Sister Katane, Elder Bredthauer, Elder Lingwall, and Elder Vaea. So that was so exciting!
We are going to go have another fun preparation day. We hiked the Mount again last week with our whole district which was so fun! I wish you all could come to New Zealand with me someday and hike it with me. It's so, so beautiful that it almost feels fake. It's like right off a postcard everywhere you look! But this week we are playing volleyball and (if you're me, especially) basketball!
But I just love the gospel. I feel like my testimony is growing stronger and stronger almost imperceptibly, but it is. I love studying the gospel. I have been really into "Jesus the Christ", my patriarchal blessing (which I never get tired of reading), and of course the Book of Mormon. I'm so grateful that the fullness of the gospel is restored. It is so simple and so beautiful. I'm glad that God loves me no matter what and He sees our perfect potential. He never, ever gives up on his children, even when they make mistakes. I'm grateful for the law of obedience. If we are just obedient and give God our all, He will give us way, way, way more happiness, peace, joy, and blessings than we could ever imagine, let alone deserve. I'm thankful for a completely just and wholly merciful Father who is always on my side.
Miracles happen once in a while . . . and all the time as we keep the commandments and serve!
I love you all. Keep being brave and loving and doing the best you possibly can! Pray and thank Heavenly Father for your blessings. And make the very most you can of the sacrament. We are so blessed to be able to go to church and mingle with the saints, be strengthened, and renew our covenants.
Sister Clarissa Johnson