Kia Ora, Kiora!
Hope you all are doing wonderfully! The days are getting longer in this part of the world. When we started feeding the homeless, it was still light! I sure love doing that. It was a crazy, kind of dumb week. But I just keep thinking about how I'm here to serve the Lord in whatever way he asks. So whether that is taking care of sister missionaries that need help or teaching the gospel (like I want to do), it's the same.
We had fun with the sisters last Monday at "the swing". It's a swing hanging from a big tree on the side of the Mount right by the beach. It's really pretty and you have to climb way up and then let go and jump onto the seat of the swing while you are in the air. It was scary and I almost didn't do but I did and it was really fun.
Tuesday was a great district meeting on working with members and leaders. I've learned so much about that in this area. We have Stake Conference next weekend and apparently the Welcome Bay Ward has MCM (missionary coordination meeting) more than any other ward in the stake, so we are having a 10-minute example MCM for them at the Leadership Meeting of Stake Conference. And President and Sister Cummings are coming as well. So that will be exciting. But Tuesday was probably the best day of the week. I went on exchanges with Sister Aloka and we had such a great exchange. We visited Caroline and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Caroline said on Sunday that our visit was the highlight of her week. She is so prepared to be baptized but she's just afraid to make the commitment. She says that she just needs to figure it all out in her mind. She knows that she will join the church though. But I felt to promise her that if she reads in the Book of Mormon every single day, that she will get that witness and be ready. I just love her so much.
Wednesday we had to give the Te Puke Sisters a ride because their car was getting fixed. At lunchtime we ended that exchange and then went straight to Rotorua to start exchanges with the Sisters there. I got to go with Sister Soane. She is being trained and so I'd never actually met her. She is so, so great! She's from Auckland and she actually grew up in the same ward as Elder Fameitau. But she is so, so cool and obedient and fun. Unfortunately our exchange ended up being mostly driving and then we had exchange inception (an exchange within an exchange). I had to take another sister to get checked because she'd had an operation last year and has been in a lot of pain since she's been in an area without a car (and she's not allowed to bike so they just walk). But Sister Cummings told us to go to the emergency room so we did. And we waited SIX HOURS there before we got in. We took turns taking naps, I read the Doctrine and Covenants, or we just talked. It is actually pretty interesting to watch the comings and going of an emergency room, but not that interesting. Also, we were starving! But the blessed Zone Leaders came and brought us pizza at four which ended up being my lunch and dinner. But she got an antibiotic and was told to not walk for a week. Then I got back with Sister Soane and we drove back to Rotorua. By the time we got home it was nine and time for planning. Only Sister Pulotu just went straight to bed because she felt really sick.
Well she was sick, lying in bed for three days. She wouldn't eat or hardly drink or talk to me or hardly move. She'd only get up when we had to go give the Greerton Sisters a ride and when we had a funeral. So this is a sad story. This Kiribus guy waited at the Greerton Sisters flat for three hours waiting for them to get home. When we dropped them off he told them that he knew that missionaries lived there and that he was a member. Turns out he was a member who lived in Te Puke and he and his wife had had a stillborn baby and wanted help from the church to have a funeral. Well, we set to work on that with the Te Puke Sisters. Sister Solomon is a hero! She made food and bishop bought some. I made a program with Sister Lewis's help. And I played the piano for and sang "Oh My Father" at the funeral. It was such a tender time. There were a bunch of Kiribus people, bishop and Brother Birch, Sister Solomon, Sister Lewis, and me there. Sister Toaripi was in the car taking care of Sister Pulotu. That night we got to go the Kiribus dinner after. It was so cool! Kiribus people are just so good and humble and great. We did this cool song and we did actions with the people around us in the circle. I wish I had pictures of that. They gave us and the one other palangi lady that was there silverware. Everyone else just got plastic spoons or ate with their hands. I loved being there. Polynesian people just completely have my heart!
Then Saturday night the Te Puke sisters really wanted us to stay the night at their flat and I love being with them but I really just would rather go home and sleep in my bed in my own pajamas. But they called and got permission so we had to. I slept in my contacts. :P
Anyway, after the funeral I took Sister Pulotu to the doctor (not the emergency room . . thank goodness) and she has tonsillitis. She still can't keep food down and is in bad shape but I'm taking care of her. Also, tomorrow after district meeting I am taking Sister Aloka to be with Sister Soane (who tore her calf muscle and also can't walk for a week) and then I'll bring Sister Taimona to work in Greerton with Sister Fina'i. So it's all just crazy. I'm starting to feel sick too but I don't have tonsils that at least I can't get tonsillitis. So that's good.
But even with all the craziness, I still love being a missionary every day! :D I love New Zealand and I love all of you. Have a good week!
Sister Johnson :D