Hello! Snowbird sounds amazing! Ah im sad i couldnt go but glad my picture was present! DANG on the tram times! You go Scott and Dad. Fun! So this week was lovely! Well the past four days since i emailed last that is! All right, so i will start with Thursday! On Thursday we taught an investigator Anne, about the plan of salvation. Man i love teaching the plan of salvation! It was good, we then went and tracted and then later in the afternoon taught Cherilee. She is golden, just needs to give up smoking. We taught Word of Wisdom, which by the way i used to be afraid to teach but now its just like BAM, keep the commandments people! :) She knows she has to quit but also knows it will be hard for her. Hopefully we can help her! Those cigarettes are terrible.
|Sister Cocker, Cherilee, Sister Schaelling|
That night my companion and i were driving and she said, "hey lets go visit Sister Vahai and see how shes doing." She is a less active who is so loving to us missionaries and cant always make it to church because she gets sick. So we just went by and knocked and her home teachers, one of which is the bishop, were there. We came in and shared Matt 10:29-31 which talks about how Heavenly Father knows even when a sparrow falls to the ground, because he loves all his creations, but "fear ye not therefore, ye are of greater value than sparrows." We talked about Heavenly Fathers love for us his children and how he is always mindful of what we are going through. Sister Vahai was just in tears and talked about how sometimes its easy to feel forgotten. her home teachers gave her a priesthood blessing and after they were talking i looked over at my open scriptures and re read that verse that says "fear ye not therefore...ye are of greater value than sparrows." I felt the Spirit flow over me and knew that God really is our loving Heavenly Father.
On Friday we were on the bikes and still had to do weekly planning but had a bunch of appointments. So we took our area book and all our planning stuff with us and biked around our area which was an experience! :) Most all of our appointments fell through though so the Lord was telling us that we needed to plan! So we did. We also went to eat at this little pizza place and got smashed by the cashier! He saw that we were mormons and declared to us his opinion. But he was still civil in the way he told us what he thought. I thought of Voltaire i think who said "Though i disagree completely with what you say, i will defend with my life your right to say it." Too many times we are scared to talk about our opinions, faith or beliefs. It shouldnt be that way. Good on the cashier for expressing his beliefs to us. We bore simple testimonies there there was indeed a God who loved him very much and left with smiles.
We also taught Leann who knows like all the lessons and is just waiting til she is not under her parents roof to be baptized. So we taught fasting and how to donate tithes and offerings. Fun! After we went to Cherilee's and the elders came to give her a blessing to stop smoking. She is doing so good. Friday night we had trade offs as they call them here or exchanges. Our sister training leaders exchanged with us, i stayed in Park Ridge, our area, and Sister Cocker went to theirs. It was fun leading the area and driving around like i know where im going even though i totally dont! :) We went tracting and Sister Mafi who i was on exchange with is a boss at everything. She has been out about a year now and she teaches simply and powerfully. We tracted into some Jehovah's Witnesses from Fuji who let us in. We sat and talked. Its always sketchy with J. Dubs because they usually just want to bash. I decided that i would seriously rather look stupid and be kind, than shove a bunch of scriptural knowledge at people and be contentious about it. It is amazing how fast the Spirit can leave a lesson as soon as the bashing starts.Thankfully we kept everything civil and left with a prayer which the husband said, to Jehovah, which was different. Its their home and they can pray as they wish i suppose.
After that we went and taught Kendy! She is a nine year old and i love her. She is so cute. We found her the other day when i was on a split with Moraih a girl from our ward. She said she was sad because her brother died a few months ago and she has a hard time at home. We got permission from her mom to teach her and so on Saturday sister Mafi and I shared Plan of Salvation (simple) with her. She is so positive even though she has it rough. I feel like i am her mother haha. Actually i feel that way about a lot of my investigators, i want them to know what i know and i want to protect them from the storms of life..maternal side of me comes out all the time on the mission.
We tracted a little more after that and people were nice thankfully. Man people have been through so much harder stuff than i have. Sometime contacting and tracting is so humbling for be because here i am a nineteen year old girl talking to people who have been through everything. We tracted into this one man who told us he was 92 and there is no point making an appointment because he could die any day. He said how he had lived a long and sad life, how it was hard for him to believe in God anymore. He told us how his 15 year old daughter swallowed her tongue one night during a seizure and died. If there was a God, why didnt he wake me up? This 92 year old man looked at me with pleading blue eyes. "We could have stopped it easily and yet we just slept." Oh that broke my heart. I cant explain how it feels to see someone is so much pain and yet feel the Spirit when testifying that God really loves them, than "man cannot comprehend all that God can" and though evil and suffering occur, our Father "weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right." Oh what a blessing the gospel is.
That night we had dinner at a members home and it was lovely. These Polynesians spoil us with delicious food in huge portions! Good thing we ride bikes is all i can say. On Sunday Cherilee came to church and it was fast and testimony, she loved it. We also went and taught the Virtue family who are just so amazing. Its wierd i have noticed just before the best lessons i've had on my mission i get the most nervous. Like the first lesson i taught to Jasmyn back in NJ, i was SO nervous for some reason and could have thrown up in the bathroom before hand. (i refrained) then that lesson was super spiritual. Same with the Virtue family, i get this uneasy nervousness right before we start teaching and then bam, the spirit comes. We taught the Restoration and i love the way Sister Cocker teaches it, before we get to the first vision she tells everyone to pay attention to the feelings that come to our minds and heart as she recites the account of Joseph Smith. Then she recites the first vision while holding the picture and says it slowly and with power and authority! Man its awesome because whooosh the Spirit comes and then we can talk about what we feel and how that is Gods messenger, the Spirit, testifying to us all that this message is true. Love it. James Virtue is so amazing and so appreciative that we came into his life. Its these lessons, people like the Virtue family and Cherilee that motivate me. I would tract my whole mission and bike until my legs fall off to find those children of God who need this gospel in their lives.
We also taught some potentials, John and Angie after that! I am learning how to get to know people before rushing into a lesson first because its important to gain their trust. We are going to help them move. We will "win their hearts, and lead them to believe in our words" like Ammon, haha. We had dinner Sunday night at the Turners and it was lovely. We shared one of my favorite scriptures, Ephesians 4:32 which says "and be ye kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ sake hath forgiven you. " MMM that is so good. We talked about forgiveness and shared our testimonies. When we have member dinner appointments, all four of us that live in the flat together go. Its fun.
Also, one of my favorite times of day is personal study. Man i love it. Today i am gonna get some more paper and organize my binder. It is such a .... treat to be able to read the word of God and ponder every morning! I love it and i learn so much everyday. This is coming from the girl that struggled reading like a column a day from the BOM so obviously miracles can happen! :) i also love being with my companion. we always find time to laugh at and with each other and try to always smile. Life is best when you love your companion, because everything can go wrong and you still are happy. :)
I love you all so much! Australia is the place to be! Except sometimes i forget im not in america like the other day i was during a lesson saying "yes, Christ came here to the americas, and we can read about it here..." and they were like what? Here? and i was like "yeah, here in america." ...... um, i mean....yeah...sorry everyone. hahaha
p.s. its so funny here some swear words are acceptable and sometimes my companion or the other sisters will say them and look at me and laugh because im like woah! watch it sister!
pictures are our "four way" (us four sisters) with myself driving
us with Cherilee, and then me and Sister Cocker being silly with bike helmets, any way i love youall!