Monday afternoon, we began our drive up to Hamilton! It is really such a beautiful drive, the scenery is amazing. We drive through a couple of gorges, which is terribly long and crazy curvey, but up either side of the gorge is tropical and green and beautiful. Really just what I thought that all of New Zealand would look like. So, it was so awesome to see once again. Heavenly Father really does love us!!
We stayed the night in the Frankton Sister's flat, which is Sister Perry's old flat and so that was pretty cool!! Tuesday morning, we caravaned with three other zones up to Auckland. The drive to Auckland isn't as beautiful. It doesn't help that New Zealand is experiencing a very rare drought right now either. There were a couple of towns and villages that we drove through that had water restrictions placed in the town. PRAY FOR RAIN!! Even though it's not fun being a missionary in the rain, we need it!
We arrived in Auckland and headed to the Kerr's road chapel to wait for the Assistant's go. We had to plan it so that we wouldn't be seated 30 minutes before, but also so we wouldn't be there 40 minutes before. It was crazy! So, Sister Perry and I got to sit on the very front row because I played prelude! It was so awesome playing prelude in front of 600 missionaries, both from Auckland and Hamilton missions. The Spirit in the room was almost palpable! Elder Bednar was about 40 minutes late and so I was playing prelude music for about an hour. Which was fine! But I only had so many books and only one hymn book. It was so fun though.
Then...then Elder and Sister Bednar, Elder and Sister Robbins, Elder and Sister Nielson, President and Sister Rudd, and President and Sister Ballie walked in the room. And if I thought the Spirit in the room was palpable before, heck, I was almost in tears. It is really an indescribable feeling.
Elder Bednar did something different than I have ever experienced in a conference before and he turned the teaching and the learning right onto us. He asked us before the conference to study three of his talks and come with the things that we learned in mind. And so he asked us all what we had learned. There were a lot of really good comments. And the Spirit taught me so many things that I was absolutely astonished. And then he turned the questions out to us and invited us to ask him some questions. There were really really awesome questions asked and Elder Bednar was completely in tune with the Spirit. He taught a lot, but he also let the Spirit teach a lot. He did teach us a little bit about the Priesthood that I thought was really interesting, "The Priesthood is not man. The Priesthood is like an umbrella that protects everyone under it's influence from rain, wind, snow, the sun, etc. But the difference is that the man must hold the umbrella. He is not the umbrella. Men need to hold and be worthy of the Melchizedek Priesthood to enter in the House of the Lord. Women do not." It was really enlightening for me. (: Also, the question that I went with in my heart was answered. It was almost like he was speaking right to me and I couldn't believe it! The Gospel is amazing, isn't it?
Then, we drove home Wednesday morning. It was a whole heap of driving and I was hammered by the time we got home. So, I just slept through our lunch hour and then we got back to work!
It was then that we learned that there must needs be opposition in all things because Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday were some of the hardest days that I have had in quite a while! Absolutely no one was home and we were getting so discouraged. We were trying so hard to do the Lord's Will and we just felt that we were failing. By Saturday I was sure that if something didn't change, I was going to die. (I was being a bit dramatic, I know.) Friday night, we went through our area book and made plans to contact each Former Investigator that we had in there and we prayed with extreme faith that we would be able to contact each of the people we planned on. Saturday rolled around and we had contacted each person, plus more. And we found 6 new investigators from our efforts that day. And Sunday was the exact same with some of the exact same miracles. Sister Perry and I really learned that we really much pass through the trial of our faith before we receive a witness. (:
So...remember how I told you about Crazy Cat Lady last week? Well, we went back again! And we cleaned her bathroom this time. The upstairs wasn't as stinky as the downstairs, but it was just as dirty. I have never seen a bathroom in such a state. We found some really interesting stuff in there as well. I won't gross you out with the details, but it was pretty bad. We've talked to someone about the situation though and hopefully it'll get resolved. (: Oh, life as a missionary. It's never boring, that's for sure. (:
The Gospel is true, everyone!! If I could just shout it from the rooftops, I so would. (: I love being a missionary and serving the Lord full-time. I cannot believe how fast time has gone and I am so excited to finish off strong!
May the Lord bless you throughout this week. (:
7104, 7105-> Us, and Crazy Cat Lady. (: