It has been, as usual, a really, really crazy week! But first things first, my companion just got on her email and found out . . . she got into BYU!!!! Hooray for that blessed place. We are so excited and all the missionaries had a mini party in this internet café when we found out! But life is good. It's getting warm and raining less . . .kind of! Haha And the work is moving right along.
Monday all the sisters hung out at the chapel and Sister Reynolds taught us line dances and Sister Tufariua taught us Tahitian dances. (I'm a lot better at line dances!) The only sad thing was that we had no music. We did, however, sing the Cotton Eye Joe. So that was fun. That night we had a really good dinner/family home evening with Sister Cockrell (wonderful primary president from South Africa) and her daughter, Shayna. Shayna had this amazing, spiritual experience and has decided to come back to church! We talked all about the sacrament and it was way good. That night the Gisborne sisters (who is now Sister Machen) stayed the night.
So on Tuesday, I got to go to MLC (Mission Leadership Council) with Sister Machen. That was great. I sure love those! I feel like every month the MLC group gets smaller. It doesn't. It's just that I know everyone. And it's so fun to see all my favorite missionaries from my other areas who are there. (I'm sad though. I might never see Sister Urgel because she's in Taranaki . . .which is exciting!) Anyway, the Mental Health Specialists for the Pacific were there and they gave the funniest training. But it was really, really good and all about not having unhealthy perfectionism, getting along with companions, and emotions and stuff. It was good for me because I have discovered that I am an unhealthy perfectionist in myself and I'm going to change! Sister Welker and I have this thing where whenever we say something negative about ourselves, we tell each other to "rephrase" and then we have to say something nice or say it in a nice way. It's really good for us.
Wednesday we had John again! He's one of our star returning less actives. That's kind of been our thing lately. He has just been so eager to learn lately which is awesome. And we bring Brother Solomon or Brother Kohu with us every week so that's really great. Another star returning less active is Rangi! She has been going to Mount Ward and wanted to just stay in Mount Ward. Well Bishop worked on it and found out that to have ordinances done or get a calling, she needs to go to her own ward that she's in the boundaries for. We were nervous to tell her, but she just said, "Oh yeah. I kind of expected that. I think that will be good. I kind of received revelation that that was coming. I want to just follow the plan the Lord has for me." Isn't that cool? And we have been teaching her eight year old daughter, Madison. She is preparing to be baptized next Saturday! But Wednesday night we had a CRAZY thing. So we get home at like 9:25 and the power in our flat is off. It's not off in the stairs up to our flat or the other flats, only ours. We don't know what to do (I changed tenses here. I hope that is permissible.) and so we called the Elders. We ended up talking to two senior missionary Elders over flats and two different landlord people. They were all telling us that we needed to find our fuse box. They kept telling us to look certain places in our flat and they all kept asking "Are you really looking?" We promise. We were really looking. We only had our phone as a light but our flat is only so big and pretty soon we were sure that we didn't have a fuse box. Finally our landlord said it was in the business downstairs. It was just a mess and we finally ended up staying the night with the Te Puke sisters. We FINALLY got it fixed the next day. It was quite the adventure.
But Thursday was Zone Meeting. I was stressed about my training as usual. Haha But because Elder Fellingham is a single Zone Leader (he's training) he and I were it so we worked together on it quite a bit. It ended up being about unity and was good I thought. Even though I worry about them, I always really love giving trainings. That afternoon we helped the Greerton Sisters with their baptism program.
Friday we had the hardest core, most effective weekly planning session of my life (probably). Then we rushed to Te Puke to sing for a rest home there with the Te Puke sister and the elders. It was SO fun! Sister Lewis played her violin a little, Elder Tahiata had his guitar (he's really good and can harmonize so that's so fun) and I played the piano. I just LOVE doing that. We had an amazing experience with Chasidy that night. She has really been struggling with lots of things (lost her job, her grandpa passed away). When I was in Greerton last week we had a lesson with their investigator, Shelton. Brother Matenga was the member present. So I met Brother Matenga when I first got to Tauranga on exchanges. He wanted to come back to church but he had lots of challenges and concerns. Seeing him the other week, I realized how much he has changed! He is active as, an on fire missionary, and just a different person! But I had the thought that we really needed to bring him to meet Chasidy because he has a really similar conversion story.
But it's been crazy and it hadn't happened. We finally had him set to come but then she cancelled. But then that night she ended up calling us and saying that she needed us after all. So we went over. It was like 8:15 and we got there and I just felt so much that I needed to text Brother Matenga. So I didn't even tell anyone I just texted and said, "I know this is crazy but if you want to, we are at Chasidy's right now, and you can come if you want." So he did! He shared just exactly what she needed to hear and just bore his testimony. We were so happy!
Saturday was our big lesson with Sharee! She is the on fire one that has been flying through the Book of Mormon who works with Brother Preston. Well, she said something to him about how she needed to decide if she was going to get baptized and then the next day her sister showed her some anti Mormon stuff online. So sad! Satan is real, folks! But so is God. There just has to be opposition in all things. We brought Sister Preston along and had a pretty good lesson. I just can see so clearly that if she will just focus on the Book of Mormon and the basic doctrines of Christ, she will get her answer. I really think that she is an honest seeker of truth. She will find her way! We fasted for her on Sunday. But also, Saturday night was the baptism of Shelton in Greerton. I'd been there to teach him twice on exchanges and it was so, so good to see him be baptized. He was late though so I had to play prelude music for like 45 minutes! But I sang and played "You Can Believe in Christ" for a musical number and everyone loved it. I really just love singing so, so much! And that night at like 9 I had to take another sister to the doctor for an allergic reaction. But she's all good now!
Sunday we had both wards Ward Council at 7:30. (I go to one and my companion goes to the other). Then all the missionaries spoke in Welcome Bay. I talked about repentance and then we all sang "Amazing Grace". Also, Brother Joyce in Mount Ward asked me to sing "Come Unto Jesus" for his Gospel Doctrine lesson and Bishop Crawford printed out music for this song called "My Soul Hungered". It's so pretty and I'm going to probably do it next Sunday. So fun! I felt like we had missed seeing everyone at church because it had been General Conference. I just love being with the saints. Also, 3 of the 6 hours of church we went to were lessons on eternal marriage, so that was funny. But we had our last MCM with Isaac last night. We will get a new ward mission leader because he's going to go travel New Zealand with his mission friend in his green camper van before he goes back to the states.
But life is good. Sorry this email was just a travel log of my crazy week . . . mostly so I can remember it all for posterity. Thanks for all the constant love and prayers and support. A huge reason why I have a great mission is because I have great people across the world cheering me on . . .and a great Father in Heaven! I am so grateful for the influence of the Spirit to help me though my crazy life! Love you all heaps!
Sister Clarissa Johnson