This is going to be one of the more boring emails from my mission, sorry.
I’ve been working hard and praying even harder and I’ve been able to find joy and peace by losing myself in the service of others! This week we spent so much time helping people move, serving food to the homeless, helping other missionaries and trying to teach people about the restored gospel. Our success isn’t reflected in our numbers but I feel success in how much better I feel about being here.
This Thursday we had Zone Conference and it was my first one without Sister Kaufusi but luckily I had my girl Sister Matautia to complain to and make me laugh. Our mission presidents wife, Sister Golden, passed out slips of paper beforehand with scriptures on them so when the time came in her lesson she would call on us to stand and read from the paper. She had the biggest smile on when she came and gave me a slip with Alma 36:24-25 on it. Not only is Alma 36 one of my favorite chapters in the whole Book of Mormon, but those verses are exactly what I needed to hear at that time. They read, "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors." Alma and I have the same reason for doing missionary work, because we want people to have the exceeding joy that we have! I need to let the Lord give me joy in my labors. If we have a good attitude about our work then the Lord can bless us and we can feel joy! If we plan on having a bad time then we will. I’m so grateful for the attitide adjustment those verses gave me and for the inspired leadership in our mission.
Despite the challenges, I truly love my mission! I’ve been able to see the joy the gospel brings in peoples lives this week and I still cant believe I’m a real live missionary. I didn’t take a single picture this week but my favorite family threw me a birthday party on Monday. They made me biscuits and gravy and this southern girl was very happy (in California, Florida is "the south" and I’ve just been rolling with it.) I feel so loved, I love you all and so does Jesus, have a great week!
Yep, today is my 22nd birthday and my friends and family got me feelin super #blessed. I’ve gotten so many sweet letters, emails, packages and hugs and I feel way more loved than I deserve. I’m spending my day eating pizza, cake, and ice cream with my friends like a real adult should.
This week was for sure the hardest one yet! I had to say goodbye to my Tongan and I had no idea it would be so hard. Also we said goodbye to so many amazing missionaries this week which I’m sure was bitter-sweet for them but for us still here in the mission it was just all bitter.
My new companion is Sister Goodwin and she’s from Utah. She is a precious, delicate flower and I don’t think she’s too scared of me anymore. She’s been out for a few months longer than me and I have a lot to learn from her!
We got to teach a lot of lessons this week! My goal was to have so much scheduled time that I couldn’t even stop to think about how sad I was. That sounds a lot lamer written down. But I wanted to forget myself and go to work! So that’s what we did, and we saw so much success and blessings from it. Trevor is still a rock star and I think the ward is more excited for his baptism than we are. I’ll never get sick of saying how amazing this ward is and how willing and ready they always are to serve and do missionary work.
On Saturday we got to go to a Samoan baptism which was so sweet and fun and I’m still full. And Ben came too! He loved it and felt the Spirit. He’s still been coming to church and we’re gonna keep working with him until his own baptism!
Not too much else to report on, we got pho again, we knocked doors and tried not to melt in this heat. This week was the hardest one yet but if I’ve learned anything from it it’s that we need to have faith to endure our trials and endure them well! My favorite verses from the Doctrine Covenants are 121:7-8, "peace be unto they soul, thine adversity and thine affliction shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high." I’ve gained a testimony this week of the truthfulness of those verses and a testimony about how the scriptures can really comfort us and provide us with guidance. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who provided them for us. I’m so grateful for all my blessings from Him and it’s hard to stay down for long when I think about how good of a life He’s given me. I love you all so so much and Jesus sure loves you too. Have a great week everyone!
This week was so hard! It’s transfer day today and my sweet Tongan trainer is leaving me. I didn’t think I would be this sad to see her go but it’s been the hardest thing! I’m getting a new companion today, Sister Goodwin, and I don’t know anything about her but I’m sure we will do some great things together in this area.
This whole week we kinda knew Sister Kaufusi would be leaving so we made sure we met with everyone one last time. I’m always amazed at the love this ward has for its missionaries!
We had another lesson with the man that the elders found for us and last time we felt like he had so much potential. This time was a little different….
After we explained that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God and that he was divine and without sin we asked him what he thought about that. And he just said, "So is Jesus an alien?" But not like, trying to be funny or sincere, he was just making fun of us. So long story short, he’s dropped.
Sorry this email is short, this week was a blur with a lot of ups and downs. We had to say goodbye to a lot of amazing missionaries this week because they’re going home and it’s just been sad. I’m gonna miss them and my trainer so much but I know they’re off to do great things! I’m trying to have a good attitude and not be a grump for my new companion. I can’t wait to show her this amazing area and testify of Christ to the people in it. Love you all, prayers are appreciated, Jesus loves you, have a great week!
ALSO SHOUT OUT TO MJ- thank you for the amazing birthday package! I feel so loved and you know me so well 💕
Tuesday we had an extremely unique experience involving a burrito and an entire fried fish and if you want that story you’ll have to email me for it 😂
Wednesday we had zone conference! It was the first one with our new mission president and all I can say is just that I’m so happy to be serving with him for the next 14 months. At the end the missionaries who are leaving this transfer all stand up to give their testimonies and it’s usually sweet and a little sad but this time it was SO SAD cause a few of my good friends are leaving and I will miss them and their support so much. We are all responsible for strengthening our own testimonies but I think we’re also allowed to lean on each other a little bit when times get hard. Missions are hard all the time and it’s been a blessing to have so many strong missionaries around me to help me stay up.
After zone conference we had a lesson with the same kid that went to the baptism last week. After we sit down he just starts with, "So I haven’t told you yet but I’ve decided to be baptized with the LDS church." I was literally speechless and Sister K was like, "You’re talking about our church right? Like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints???" And he was! What a miracle! He’s gonna get baptized at the end of August and we couldn’t be more excited for him.
Thursday we got to volunteer at Mary’s Kitchen again, which is the place that serves hot meals to homeless people and it was so fun. I got to pass out hard boiled eggs and desserts. Sister K got stuck washing dishes 😊
Friday was awesome too! We got an appointment through some elders with a guy that we hadn’t been able to meet yet. But we finally got to teach him and he is so solid! He has read so much of the Book of Mormon and he knows the blessings that come from living the commandments. He doesn’t really understand the Atonement but that’s what missionaries are for. We can’t wait to keep teaching him.
Overall this week was so great and full of weird stories but lots of progress for this area! Today we’re having a little barbeque for some of the departing missionaries and that should be fun. It’s probably mine and Sister Kaufusi’s last week together which makes me so sad but I know that God is taking care of us and we’ll be fine with whatever news that transfer calls bring. I love this work and I love my Savior. I love all of you and I know that Jesus loves you even more. Have a great week!
Dang, this week was hot. I’m so grateful for our car and for air conditioned church buildings. But it’s hard to meet people in our car and church buildings so we spent a lot of time in this unreal Southern California sun. It’s so hot….
It’s kinda hard for me to think about the stuff we did this week because the heat was the thing that stuck out the most but I know we did fun stuff cause we always do fun stuff!
Two of the investigators we met last week are moving next week 🙃
But! There was a baptism on Saturday and one of the guys we’ve been teaching went to it and felt the Spirit! When we invited him to join us at the baptism he was like, "Like to be baptized or just watch it?" Haha, one day it’ll be his baptism but he did come to watch and it was awesome.
On Tuesday we got to do service at the family history library! We got to count entire file cabinets full of microfiche and it was totally not boring at all….
It was fun to be around some silly elders though. And they fed us pizza so we can’t complain.
On Friday just Sister K and I went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and as we were going up to pay a nice lady from the next stake over paid for our meal! I thought that kinda stuff only happened in Utah! It was such a blessing and it made us feel good on a kinda crappy day.
Other than that it was a normal week! We’re still teaching and finding more people to teach. It’s been so hot but we are keeping our heads up! This week I really felt like I am supposed to be in this mission and in this area; I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else right now! I love the gospel and it’s such a great blessing to share it with the people I love (which is everyone I meet, it’s weird.) Thanks to my awesome Dad and his cute primary class for the letters and package! And thanks to everyone for their prayers and support! Love you all! If you didn’t know that Jesus loves you too, now you know. Have a great week everyone!
This week flew by and I can’t really remember what we did….
But on Friday we got to go to the temple with Sister Sturgill! We started having FHE every week with her and her girls like the first month I got here and I’ve seriously grown to love them so much! Being with them is like being home and I felt so honored and blessed to be with her as she went through the temple for the first time.
Saturday we found 3 new investigators within like 4 hours so that was awesome. We have an appointment with one of them today and I’m pumped.
Blaine is still doing great! Ward Council is praying about a calling for him and I can’t wait to see what they have him do! He’s excited to serve the ward and be even more involved. Ben is doing pretty good too, he’s still struggling with coffee but we’re trying to help him best that we can. I’m so grateful for the Word of Wisdom that has protected me from addiction and kept me safe!
We had a really cool experience Thursday! A random former investigator that we had never met called us and asked for the missionaries! He said that some elders years ago gave him the phone number and told him to call if he ever needed anything. He told us about how he needed help moving and he remembers that all the missionaries he’s met in the past have been so kind and helpful! So yes, we dragged 6 elders over there with us to help him move. Luckily they’re only moving 8 houses down the street so they are still in our area! We are gonna keep visiting and serving them and I know one day their hearts will be prepared for the gospel! They are such cool people! Also it was so fun serving with our goofy elders, love those dudes so much.
I think that’s about it for this week, we tried to do a lot of finding, we had lessons with our usual people and just tried to stay busy. I’m learning more Tongan everyday from my lovely trainer which has been so fun. Once again thank you all for the kind words and prayers, I am so grateful for this life of mine and all the people in it. Love you! Jesus loves you! Have a great week!
People in California take the 4th extremely seriously and we’d been hearing fireworks for like the past month. But on the actual 4th it was for real like a war zone around here and by like 5pm you could barely see down the street because of all the smoke. And you can’t drive anyway because all the streets are packed with people and their tents and grills. It was scary and super fun. We ate so much food obviously.
But sad news of the week is that Blake didn’t get baptized. We’re gonna wait until he moves back here permanently in January which we all agree is for the best. It would’ve been super cool to have a baptism on the 4th of July but it was just not what Heavenly Father wanted. But Blake is still a rock star and I’m so glad I was able to meet him and hear his testimony.
This week was kinda hard and slow. Everyone is out of town because school is out and for the holiday. So I don’t really have any cool stories, we just knocked doors, did service, went to Joe’s and tried to find people to teach.
I gave a talk on Sunday! They asked me to talk about missionary work which…. yeah I guess was kinda predictable. But it was for another missionaries homecoming so it was cool to be part of such a special sacrament meeting.
Short email this week cause nothing too crazy happened except trying not to get blown up by fireworks. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you and Jesus loves you too!