It was a great week. We had our 4th of July celebration last Monday so that was exciting. Our district is so funny!
This week flew by as usual. We have this miracle new investigator! Her name is Erena. Her partner/friend, Victor was speeding out of his driveway last week and it was pouring rain. We hadn't even planned to got to that street but we felt like we should contact some potentials there. We went to the end of the street to contact a woman we'd met. It turns out that she had moved so we were heading back to our car when we saw Victor! He called out to us, "Sisters! I'm a member of your church and I have someone that I want you to teach about the Plan of Salvation." Of course we said yes, we could come now or come back later. He said to come right then. We came in, said a prayer with him and he started crying. He said he'd been praying to come back to church and that his partner only has 6 to 8 weeks to live. He'd thought about going to find the bishop but then he saw us. We were literally an answer to his prayer. I know that Heavenly Father puts us in the path of the people we need to find and teach! It was a huge miracle. We've involved lots of members with them already. She wants to be baptized and I just feel like I connect with her so much. She has some commandment concerns but she can do it.
It's so true that we have to use members in everything we do. Our recent convert, Chasidy, went to the YSA CTR weekend in Hamilton and loved it. She was just gushing about how wonderful it had been and how Mormons CAN have fun over the phone last night. She is truly here to stay! She loved getting to know the YSA and serving at Camp Tuikaramea, and spending time with the Prestons. She also said something that I'd never thought she'd say. She said, "You know. This weekend I've realized that I don't need to depend on a man in my life to be happy. Of course, I will find one eventually, but in the meantime I have the gospel." I was like, "Yes!!! You are right!" That was a good moment.
Also, I forgot to tell you this story. So back in Hamilton we found this eleven year- old girl named Shekainah. She was such a smart, wonderful girl and we taught her all the lessons and had people pick her up for church and she had a baptism date. But then, all of a sudden, her family was just gone. We went to her house a million times and no one was ever there and we just had to give up finally. Well, on exchanges the other week, Sister Machen said that she had moved to Otemotai (which is where she serves--part of the Tauranga Zone) and that she had come up to the missionaries on the street and said she knew who they were and that Sister Judd had helped to baptize her! Isn't that wonderful. Now she is moved back to Hamilton, but I guess she had turned 12 and the Young Women's leaders would always pick her up. I just love her, so that was really exciting to hear!
So this Thursday we had a mini Zone Conference where we got to meet President Cummings. He had a little meeting beforehand with me and the Zone Leaders to talk about the Zone but he was late so it ended up being really short. But at first it just seemed so different from the Rudds and I just missed them, but then Sister Cummings spoke and then President Cummings spoke and as they spoke the Spirit whispered really powerfully that they were called of God and that they are perfect for this mission and us specific missionaries at this time.
President Cummings has such spiritual power! He is fairly unassuming and he doesn't say "REPENT" and "GO TO WORK" and joke around like President Rudd does, but his talk made me cry. He talked about how we are allowed to be stubbornly, exactly obedient and how there are no little things to the Lord because it's how we show the Lord we can be trusted with his children. It just really spoke to me. It was great.
Then yesterday was another great Marathon Sunday. I'm sure you don't care but I . . . sang and played the piano for a special musical number in Welcome Bay sacrament "If You Could Hie to Kolob", taught gospel principles, made sure our four (HOORAY!) investigators that came to church all found their right classes, played the piano for primary the third hour, helped direct choir between churches and took the men to go over their part (they are so good . . . better than the Wells Ward choir men's section, sorry!), played the piano in Mount sacrament, organized the missionaries to sing "Folo fola" for the fireside (which is the BEST song from the Tongan hymnbook", and played the piano in Mount Relief Society. Then I sang with the missionaries, played the piano, and directed the primary song at our missionary fireside. President Fitzpatrick (stake president who's son was in my MTC district) gave the best talk about faith! :D I love the gospel.
So yeah, life is good! I'm really anxious for transfer news this week. I hate waiting for it every six weeks. But I'm sure that whatever happens will be right. I just sure hope I stay in this area. Oh, and we are getting sisters in Te Puke, which I'm excited for, but we'll have to give them all of our Te Puke investigators. But it will be good so that we can focus more on the rest of our massive area!
I just want you all to know that with God, nothing is impossible. The more that we pray to him, have faith, and really trust him, the more peace we will feel. I feel like I've learned a lot about being emotionally and spiritually self reliant on my mission. I used to be TERRIFIED of trials and I still would rather not have them, but now I know that when they come, I will be prepared because I will know how to face them. I will turn to my Heavenly Father and figure out what I'm supposed to be learning. I will at least try to keep an eternal perspective. Missions are great that way. Sometimes, the only person available who will understand you is your Father in Heaven.
The church is true!
Sister Clarissa Johnson
P.S. Sorry my emails are always so long these days. If you read this whole thing, you are a star! :D