Monday, August 18, 2014

Hi, I'm back!

Sorry about not being a good emailer the past few weeks. Lots has happened. So much. Allow me to update the lot of you. 
1. We dropped the Ali family. Or actually they dropped us. Things had already been getting weird with them, and then they went and asked us for money, and we said that we couldn't really help (it was a BIG sum). And then they stopped coming to church and were avoiding our calls and finally they said they'd call US when they wanted us to come back over. Ok we can take a hint. Haha the joys of missionary life.
2. We picked up like TEN NEW INVESTIGATORS. The blessings have been pouring in. Not even sure if we deserve it, but that's just whats been happening...HERE'S HOW-------->
3. SISTER TAITO: She is the Stake Relief Society President. She is a member of our ward. She is so close to the Spirit I can't even explain. And she has a HUGE desire to help us with our work. It all started with her coming and being a member present for lessons with Kelera. Then she suddenly had referral after referral for us. She also took us to all the less-actives that she could find. And it was like suddenly the orange that was Nasinu was not only completely peeled (whereas before we were just scratching the surface, barely making a dent), but also opening up and tasting delicious. That's a weird metaphor. Not sure how I feel about it. But it manages to illustrate my point. WORKING WITH MEMBERS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO. Now Kelera is getting baptized this Saturday and next month we have four baptisms scheduled. Like I said, we don't deserve these blessings haha but we sure are grateful! 
Sister Taito is seriously one of the favorite leader ladies I have ever met in Fiji. She really knows how to be active in the church. She visits people like nobody's business. She goes out with not only us (though we are the favorites) but also the other missionaries in the two Suva zones. WOW WHAT A WOMAN. She also dedicated their van to the work of the Lord. What?? Who does that? So awesome!! So if we ever need a ride somewhere, we just give her a call and she comes speeding to our rescue. She also is a dedicated fellowshipper. When she commits to being an investigator/less-active's friend, she is 100% there for them. Ah I love her so much. She has helped our work here explode in the last couple of weeks. And it feels good :)
4. Training has been going a lot better. For a minute there, I was having a hard time, but I really started to realize that there is no point in worrying about things that you cannot control. There is no point in beating yourself up over choices other people make. You can't control them. You can only teach them the correct principles and then let them govern themselves. And set a good example. And be willing to step in if things get ugly, but still give them their agency. And you know what, prayer is a huge relief for me. My last slightly long email went over just how grateful I am for prayer. Wow what a blessing it is. I love my Heavenly Father. He is really there for me. He has got my back. I love Him. And then suddenly, this past week has been a breeze. I don't have to compel her to do anything, I just have to tell her and then she is willing to comply. What a blessing. And she has been happier. Joking around more. And telling me that she is grateful for me and that I have taught her so much. That makes me happy. That's all I need. I can do everything for someone, sacrifice everything for them, as long as they tell me they are grateful. Wow my husband will be a lucky man if he figures that one out hahaha.
5. Just a little discovery that I have been adding to basically my entire mission: we are all brothers and sisters!! We are all on the same team. Every one of us. Before we came to this earth, we were totally aware of this, and we joined together and fought Satan together, under the leadership of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But then we were born and the veil of forgetfulness was placed over our spiritual eyes. And we forgot that we are all friends and brothers and sisters. And that we have only one enemy, our common enemy Satan. He is the only one we should be fighting against, not ourselves. But Satan is clever, and he knows that the best way to destroy us is to make us destroy ourselves. So he whispers in our ears, planting jealousy and pride and over-sensitivity and grudges into our hearts. We start to hate each other. We start to reject others, even though we may have been best friends with them in the previous life. Imagine! Imagine the person that you have always hated. Imagine that they were fighting right beside you in the battle against Satan in the premortal life. But then you both were born and forgot about it, about the joy you felt when Satan was cast out and you discovered that you would both be born at the same general time in the same general area. And that you would meet each other. What a pity that you chose to hate them instead of love them. Because of some mistakes that they made that hurt you. What the heck we all make mistakes, forgive others for theirs or else you yourself will have a hard time finding forgiveness in the future.
This is something that I have really been thinking about a lot lately. Because believe me, I have always had a hard time with this. I have always been competitive. I have always been overly-sensitive. I was once the queen of holding grudges. But the mission has really changed my perspective. Now I see everyone differently. That doesn't mean that I am perfect at this, no. But I am working on forgiving those that have hurt me, and seeking forgiveness from those that I judged harshly and hurt because of my (former) narrow-minded and abrasive personality. I still have a lot of people to apologize to. Sigh.
6. I have 3.5 months left. Sister Uoka has two more weeks of training and then her work permit for Fiji expires on the 16th of September. She'll be going to Brisbane as soon as she gets her Visa and then I predict I will be staying in Nasinu until the day I die. This is my prediction.
I love you people. So so much. AHHHH.
Adam, make good choices at college, ok? Stay away from girls. They are bad news.
Sam, don't worry about high school, it ain't no thang. Just stay away from the girls. They are bad news.
Sophie, you are so adorable, stay away from boys. They are also bad news.
Everybody else, all of this advice applies to you too.
KEEP HOLDIN ON, STANDIN STRONG, SINGIN SONGS, LIVIN LONG, AVOIDIN WRONG, and being awesome (which still slightly rhymes). Amen.

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