Monday, November 24, 2014

A picture and a testimony



When President set up the camera, he specifically singled me out and said, "Now Sister Wright, no flashing gang signs in this one." Hahahahahahaha I felt special.
Well this week was a good one. I got to go on exchanges with one of my buddies, who happens to be the Sister Training Leader over here in the West. Remember Sister Mauga? We served here in Lautoka in the same district about a year ago. Wow she is awesome. I love her so much. We were able to really talk about all of the things that we had learned since coming on the mission. We talked about the kind of people that we were before, and we talked about the kind of people that we want to become. Oh man, the past is something I want to leave behind, and the future is something that is simply a little scary. But I know it will be ok. She helped me with that! I am grateful for the friends that I have been able to make out here. I never would have met them if I had never gone on a mission. Sister Mauga is a Samoan from New Zealand. There's no way I ever would have met her if I had never served here in Fiji. The Lord takes people that need to meet each other, and He places them in each others' path. 
I feel so brain dead right now. Nothing creative or inspiring to write. Except my testimony. I know that this work is perfect. It is so efficient, in the way it blesses the lives of those who are serving and those who are being served. Each person's life is touched. My mind is continually blown by how the mission is set up to teach the missionaries every necessary life-skill that a person could ever need, and at the same time invite others to come unto Christ. The Lord is so amazing. His work is truly divine. It was not organized by man. It couldn't have been. The Church is the same as well. Completely incredible. And true, even though sometimes the people within it are not exactly perfect. But as they participate within it and allow it to change them, they get a lot closer! I know that this gospel is true. I know that God is our Father, and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to come and die for all of us. And Christ did it willingly because of his love for God and all mankind. How grateful I am for him and his Atonement! How grateful I am for the privilege of repentance. Repentance is a gift. It is a priceless gift. I know that it is real and that it is possible. And you know what, I love the Book of Mormon. It is my favorite book. Everybody read it!
Basically, I don't know much. But I do know that I did not waste my time out here. I do know that I love these people with all of my soul. I do know that this gospel is the theme for my lifetime. It is now.
AH parting is such sweet sorrow.
If I don't email next week, it is because we went hiking up to some waterfalls. I haven't done that my ENTIRE mission. Why not on my very last p-day? Haha
Love yous,
Sister Wright

Monday, November 17, 2014

2 1/2 weeks!

Oh my goodness. Time goes by so fast. I'm excited to go home, and yet I am terrified because I am so used to the Fijian culture and I know it will be an adjustment, coming home to the good ol' US. I hardly wear makeup, people, even though I need it. I throw my hair up into a curly mass on top of my head pretty much every day. The way I dress is not cute like the way we see the Sister Missionaries dressing in the Ensign. I spend five minutes getting ready. Plus, I have a hard time around palangi people. Islanders are just a lot easier to get along with! So yes, I am scared. Forgive me if I spend the month I have before school starts just hanging out in the house with my family...
It's bittersweet. It is truly bittersweet. Fiji has taught me about myself. Fiji has taught me to become a BETTER version of myself. Fiji has cracked me open like a coconut, scraped out my insides, and made me into a delicious meal. (That's what we do with coconuts around here.) It sounds weird, but you get the idea. The year and a half that I have spent here in Fiji has helped me to grow closer to my Father in Heaven than any other time in my life. I understand Him better. I understand His Son, Jesus Christ. I understand His gospel. And I am so grateful for it. So so grateful. 
This week we had mission tour. The second counselor in our Area Presidency came, Elder Haleck. I have met him a few times throughout my mission, and he is a very amazing man. He's a human being! But he is a man of God. He spent the whole time talking about what we were supposed to be at the conclusion of the mission. It was really weird, because I am the only one in the entire zone that is going home with this next transfer. It was as if the entire mission tour was specifically for me. These questions came to mind: Am I the missionary that I hoped that I would be when I first began the mission? Have I accomplished the things that I wanted to accomplish? To both of these questions, my answer is no. I am not the missionary that I thought I would be. I am different. I am better in many ways, worse in others. I wasn't as obedient as I expected myself to be when I first got here. Not as diligent, I suppose. I made mistakes. But I learned from them. And I still worked hard. I have been the most exhausted of my life out here in Fiji. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. To me, that is significant. And what did I accomplish? Well, I invited many people to come unto Christ, and only a handful accepted the invitation. But these people are so precious to me, and their continued conversion is my hope and prayer. One is waiting for his mission call to come, and is the Young Men's President in his ward. Another is a Sunday School teacher. Another is preparing herself to go on her mission as soon as her year-mark comes. And the most recent one, Errol, should be receiving the priesthood and passing the sacrament soon. This makes me so happy. This is joy. But others of them are less-active now. This breaks my heart. It used to make me feel guilty, like it was somehow my fault that they fell away so soon after baptism. But I have come to understand that everyone has their agency, and can make their own decisions. How grateful and amazed I am when I come across a person that truly understands how to use their agency properly. It is a gift and a power that we take for granted far too often. The mission has taught me to see it this way.
All in all, I am not who I expected myself to be. I am different. I am better. I have learned so much. I have used the Atonement in my life to become something more refined, something more useful in the Lord's hands. I have experienced what it feels like to be cleansed, and to be healed. Regardless of what I did or did not accomplish on my mission, that is the most important to me. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.
As mission tour came to an end, they invited me up to give my departing testimony. I was the only one. It was so weird. Had this day really come? I got up there and for the first time in a long time I was terrified to bear my testimony. It was scary. But I did what I normally do, which is open my mouth and proceed to talk (D&C 100:6). And then it was over. I hope that it edified some people. 
Afterwards Elder Haleck came up to me. We talked for a bit. We discovered that he had a less-active family member living in my own hometown. I told him that I would go and find him and help the missionaries bring him back. Booyah. An assignment for when I get home. LET THE WORK CONTINUE. 
As for the work here...our one investigator who was supposed to be baptized this month went on vacation to Melbourne. BUT we invited another one to be baptized and she accepted and yet another one straight up told us that she wants to be baptized, but we just need to give her time. So this is all going to go down after I leave, but oh well. I am happy to have been a part of it. We also have a couple of less-actives that will very soon be considered active again. They just need callings. Woot woot. I am not trunky, I am still working. See. 
Anyway, this isn't even my last week yet, so I'll leave a little more tears and isa-isas for next time...this email is far too long...
I LOVE YOUS keep it real.
Sista Wright.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Yello

Sorry no long one last week, I had to rush and take my companion to the hospital. She was having a severe headache that brought tears to her eyes, the poor dear. And after that, it never went away. All. Week. Long. So we spent a LONG time getting to know each other in the flat, but hey now I can say that I know this girl better than her own mother hahaha. And I love her. Her name is Sister Siale and she is from Tonga. She is 21 years old and probably a foot taller than me. She is awesome. She has had a really hard nine months. She has a little bit of a bad rep around the mission. But I am so grateful that I was given this chance to be her companion, so that I could get to know who she truly is, and come to love her like I have. She is so strong. She has a beautiful testimony. I know she will do great things, but she just needs to be given the chance. When I prayed for a challenge, I specifically prayed that I would be sent to a companion that needs me. Someone who I could help in some way. Because six weeks is hardly enough time to make a huge impact on an area, but it is enough time to make a big impact on a person. Plus that's where my skills are best utilized, with people (companions). So this was my desire. And I know that the Lord answered my prayer. But it hasn't been a trial or a burden. It has been a privilege.
On Sunday I bore my testimony in Fast and Testimony Meeting. I have been doing so for the past eight or so months, because I realized that I needed to take advantage of every opportunity to bear my testimony while I am still here in Fiji. When I was doing so, I realized that this would be my last Fast and Testimony Meeting in Fiji. And I was overcome with feelings of gratitude and love, for these people. For this gospel. For my Savior Jesus Christ. I bore testimony on many things, but one of the things that I focused on was repentance, and the Atonement. These are some things that I have really become familiar with on this mission. And how grateful I am for that. The person that I am now is so completely different from the person that I was before. The scripture that I put on my plaque back home was Alma 26:16. It ends with the statement: "Behold...I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." Referring to my testimony. I always felt that I did not have the words to be able to describe the way that I felt about the gospel. Being on a mission has helped me to learn how to put my feelings to words, but at the same time, my testimony has grown so much stronger and more deep. Before it was shallow, but now it has great depths. And despite the fact that I am much better at bearing it and describing the love I have for my Savior, I still cannot say the smallest part which I feel, because of how much my testimony has grown. I have changed. I am so grateful for my Savior, who has brought about this change in me. I love him so much. 
This gospel is truly good news, and it can bring us so much joy. I can tell you that I have never been happier in my whole life, than I have been on this mission. It has been so hard, but it has taught me so much. As I am reaching the end, I am finding myself wishing that I could extend. Haha but it's far too late for that. Maaaaaan. 
The mission is not about numbers. It is not about how well you know the language. It is not about how well you know the area. It is not about the leadership positions that you have had. It's not about how many new missionaries you have trained. It is about the inward changes that you have been able to make, and your personal relationship with your Savior Jesus Christ. These changes and this closeness with Him will obviously come faster as you work with obedience and diligence and serve with all your heart might mind and strength. But in the end, if you feel like you haven't accomplished much because of the outward results, but your insides are much shinier and more clean, then guess what you're wrong. You have accomplished exactly what you were meant to. Congratulations :) Feel happy. Be happy. The message of the Restoration is a message of joy. 
I'm on a weird spiritual high, so please forgive me if I sound cheesy. 
I love you all,
take care,
loloma levu,
Sister Wright
the Fijian Palangi.