Well I had another great week here in New Zealand however it was again rather uneventful. Sister Bird and I have just been working very hard but we aren't seeing very much success. I suppose that happens sometimes on a mission. We still have one investigator, Pauline, who is going to be baptized on September 28th and it has been so exciting to watch her grow in the gospel. She is just so happy now and she keeps telling us thank you. I tell you she is the sweetest woman. I am sad that I won’t be able to see her baptism because it is the weekend after transfers and I am 99% convinced that I am being transferred. But Sister Bird said that she will take lots of pictures. Pauline is just the sweetest old Maori lady and she calls me “doll” and “sweetheart” and stuff like that and she also gives me a big kiss on the cheek every time we say good bye. I just love her. The other day we went to teach her about keeping the Sabbath Day holy and we were really nervous because she works on Sundays and we didn't know how she was going to react to the lesson. So we started teaching it and she got a really funny look on her face and I was getting even more nervous. But she then told us that since she has started meeting with us she has been thinking about taking Sundays off so she can focus on church. I was shocked and thrilled at the same time. It is amazing to see how the spirit just prepares people for these changes.Something that Sister Bird and I have been focusing on lately in our area is to work with the less-actives and help them come back. President Rudd has expressed that helping someone come back into the gospel is as important as helping someone find the gospel. He said that if you can help someone return to church that is the same as a baptism. Anyways we have been really prayerful and we have visited a number of less-actives. Some of them weren't interested in coming back but we have found a few that are really promising. It is so cool to see the changes in the less-active’s lives as they start coming back to church and keeping the commandments again.
Sad news this week though. So I mentioned last week that our investigator Mal (Pauline’s daughter) wasn't talking to us anymore. Well the other day we went to have a lesson with Pauline and Mal was there and we tried to act like nothing was different but Mal went into her room and didn't come out. After we left she sent us a message saying that she isn't interested in learning more at the moment because she has a lot going on. She also said that she felt weird about us teaching her mom. Sister Bird and I were really bummed about it but we found out later from her friend that she was really stressed and so she relapsed and was back into drugs again. I guess Mal just wasn't ready to change her life right now but I know that we planted a good seed and hopefully when she is ready to change again she will reach out to the missionaries and come to church.
The highlight of the week was Tuesday when we got to go to the temple! It was so amazing I cannot even begin to describe it. We got to go with half of our mission, President and Sister Rudd, and the McLauchlans. It was truly incredible. Let me just say that due to the updates I cried the whole time. I still get goose bumps when I think about it. Plus the New Zealand Temple is so beautiful inside. I will admit that the outside isn't my favorite because it is built out of bricks so in some ways it doesn't look as nice as other temples, however the inside is spectacular. The celestial room in this temple is one of three in the world that has a mural painted on the walls. It was just so great. After the session there was a nice big lunch prepared for us in the cafeteria and then we got to take some group pictures. I will attach one so that you can see. But the temple was so great and I am sad that I won’t get to go again until March. I honestly don’t know how I am going to survive.
One last story for the week. So Sister Bird and I live in a flat with three other sisters and its not that big of a flat. Anyways the trio’s beds were literally touching side by side in their bedroom and then we were constantly trying to talk over each other during comp. study. Sister Rudd brought us donuts one day and she was looking around our flat and she said “You sisters should move all of the beds into the living room and then turn the bedrooms into your offices.” So that is what we did this week. It was so much fun because we completely moved everything around. We had to move the five beds into the living room and then take the tables apart so that we could fit them through the doors into the bedrooms. Let me just say that we were quite inventive for five young women. I will attach the pictures of our new furniture arrangement for you all to see as well. It was funny too because the night we were moving everything around we had to bang on the metal latches under one of the tables so that we could take it apart and it was really loud. Well the district leader called while this was going on and he kept asking what was going on but none of the sisters would tell him. Finally at the end of his conversation with Sister Bird he said “Alright Sister I have one more question for you. What are you all doing in your flat?!” and Sister Bird laughed and said “Well to be honest we are moving the beds into the living room and the tables into the bedroom…” then there was a long pause on the other end followed by “WHAT THE FLIP??” We laughed so hard. I guess he just didn't understand our ingenuity. We tried to tell him that it was Sister Rudd’s idea but he just thought we were all crazy.
Well I hope that everyone enjoyed this letter. Hopefully soon I will get to tell you about a baptism I had or something exciting like that. I think the Lord is trying to teach me humility and to stay positive even when things are discouraging. Anyways I love all of you and I’ll write ya again in a week! Love ya!
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