Sunday, July 21, 2013

Don't Count the Days, Make the Days Count

Last week when I emailed I was pretty drained emotionally. My companion was having a really hard time and I was doing my best to help her. I am thrilled to announce though that everything since Wednesday night has been a drastic improvement! It is such a blessing!
Time is picking up and flying by now that I am better acquainted in the area. It always slows down a little bit when you get transferred and everything is new.
Today was transfers and some great missionaries left, including Sister Lee (from Tiwain, Sister Otukulo and Lotulelei-my tongan mission aunties, and the Denisons! My favorite senior couple who have been a big part of my whole mission). I am now the oldest in the mission and it's six weeks to go! Sister Lavaki made me my "dying" planner (my last one) and it's got pictures of my all my companions on the front and on the back a picture of the temple. I send some pictures of it. It's pretty awesome =)
This past week we celebrated FREEDOM!
Happy 23rd Birthday Tristan!!!
Thursday is when things really turned around =) We started our fourth of July off with Sister Morgan (mission president's wife) come to our appartment to make us waffles! She was aware of the difficulties our apartment was having and that really helped! After a lovely breakfast she was able to council with us. This gave Sister Ngosha a chance to really express herself and I was able to identify some misunderstandings.
After that the mood got much happier and lovelier in our apartment. We were able to work on some weekly planning before going to Brother Read's house.  Brother Read is our ward mission leader in New Canaan. He had us come over for a BBQ at his home. We got to play some tennis and have some delicious food before going to the Wavenly Park Fireworks. Missionaries had to be in early that night EXCEPT for us and the elders in our ward because Brother Read got special permission for us to attend because of the great missionary opportunity of having all of New Canaan gathered together. I was pretty surprised he did get us permission. It was awesome though because Sister Ngosha had never seen fireworks so crazy. It was a cool experience for me too because we never had fireworks in Arizona. I remember some good times in Utah at Stadium of Fire with my family though lol. Everyone in New Canaan gathered together in the park and picnicked and played games waiting for the fireworks.
The weekend was a blur but on Sunday our investigator Kevin shared his testimony! He is so awesome! He's progressing very well and we haven't even met with him much, but he has some great member support/friendship and he's recognizing the Lord blessing him in his life for doing the right thing by coming to church.  His excitement is getting others more excited about the work.  Also we have been able to help our investigator Ines break through her difficulties by having two good lessons with the bishop and his wife. Plus on Sunday we found out a member from the singles ward speaks French! Ines speaks French natively so we've been trying so hard to find someone who speaks French. At the munch and mingle Ines was going to ask us a question about why it's only the men who administer the sacrament but then her face lit up and said, "Nevermind, I'll ask her in French!"  Ines is so funny. We're hoping to help her get to the Palmyra trip the ward is taking on the 20th.
There is an increased amount of support from both wards. An assistant ward mission leader has been called for each. There is a lot of great ideas moving forward of ways to help support us with the work.  Now we just have to get a lot better about balancing out both wards.  I know Heavenly Father will bless us. We simply need to seek His guidance and inspiration in the work.
Lately I've been getting asked questions like:
You're going home soon! Is that weird? Are you ready?
What are you going to do when you go home? What's next?
I suppose you might have similar questions. Let me fill you in!
Yes it is weird that my time is coming so soon. I don't think it has fully sunk in yet. However, I'm glad because it's not over yet. This is how I see it... when it's time it's time. I am going to put my heart into it right now and be the best I know how. Then when it's time to close this chapter and move to the next I will. But for right now I'm still a missionary and the Lord is still counting on me in this final quarter.
As for after the mission... I'll be home for a week. Then my parents and I are flying back to NY for a week to visit the places that I served and the people that I love! After that I plan on being in Arizona for a week or two before moving to Utah. In Utah I will start working and figure out my plans with Tristan <3 I might do some school at BYU. Ultimately I want to transfer to the Art Institute of Chicago. However, I know that the Lord is also making plans for me. So I'll consult with Him as well =)
But RIGHT NOW I am a MISSIONARY. There is still so much good I can do for the people out here. I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm not counting the days. I'm making the days count!
I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is about change. Changing us for the better. That's what I've been doing these past 18 months (currently 17 months). I hope when we are together again that you will feel the deep love I have for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the love that I have fore my Savior. I know that it is through Him that we receive a remission of our sins and it's through Him that we can receive a fullness of Joy! So come, taste it for yourself!
Sister Emily Johnson

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