Bula family & friends!
I hope you've had a fantastic week! So happy to hear that many of you made it to the temple this week. :)
Things are going great in Toukley! Sister Koi and I have received so much revelation on what we need to improve on. We have really sought miracles this week and we've been led to so many. We have definitely learned, miracles take WORK. Like sweating, limping, running from dogs, praying on the side of the road, kind of work. We are hilariously tired all the time. Being a missionary is the weirdest, most wonderful thing in the world.
I've learned that the Lord wants us to be happy. He wants us to smile, he wants us to laugh, he wants us to be cheerful to everyone we see. Even if they reject us, I can safely say that when we meet people, they cannot deny our joy. I know they see it. I know it softens hearts.
I've also learned that the Lord is merciful to us in our weakness. It is not a sin to be weak. It is a sin to sin, it is not a sin to struggle. (D&C 38:14)
This week I had a moment where I felt like I had nothing left in me. I felt like all of my enthusiasm had been wrung out. I was trying to find some source of strength. I was falling and flailing, looking for something to grab onto with nothing in sight.
Sister Koi was a little freaked out because her ever ecstatic companion had finally cracked haha. She told me that this was the first time she'd seen me stop pushing. She was used to me pushing her when things got tough but now that I was broken, there was no one to push us.
In this predicament, I quickly realized we were wasting time dragging our feet. Even feeling the way I felt, I could not tolerate that. So we stopped the car, said a prayer and got out.
"Let's knock. Let's just work until we have the spirit."
We knocked on one door, no one answered. I sighed. I could already feel it was going to be one of those days, but this time I didn't know if I had the strength to do it.
I wanted to get back I in the car and drive to our next appointment, but the spirit led my thoughts to the Saviour. I was able to think of Him. To think of His Atonement. To think of how He has already felt exactly how I was feeling. I knew He understood.
I knew He felt the emptiness in my chest. I knew He felt the exhaustion behind my eyes. I knew He felt the pit of disappointment in my stomach. These feelings seemed to be tearing away at me from the inside out. But in my falling and flailing, I had finally found something to grab onto.
I forgot for a moment that He was there. His always outstretched hands were pierced and scarred for moments like this. I took a second to just feel. I felt everything I had been feeling but this time it was different. Because this time, I realized He was by my side feeling it too.
We were led to knock another door. An older man answered it. He smiled and nodded at us. I began introducing myself but he walked away mid sentence. "Oh, okay then." I said laughing to Sister Koi. We both giggled and shrugged our shoulders ready to walk away.
But before I knew it a woman replaced him at the door. She invited us in right away. She was a beautiful Maori lady with flowers in her plaited hair. Sister Koi and I sat in shock on her back porch as she told us that she had many Mormon friends in her youth and had even visited the temple. We taught her a powerful Plan of Salvation lesson and invited her to church. She declined because she doesn't leave the house very often for heath reasons, but she thanked us for sharing our message and let us know we were welcome back in her home to share more.
We left her home beaming from ear to ear. I felt like my spirit had been refreshed. I was overjoyed at the opportunity to teach a beautiful child of God about the gospel. Sister Koi and I had hearts full of gratitude and our energy was restored. We were able to continue to work and taught many more people that day. We also found a miracle father and his young son who said he is "looking for a new direction" after the loss of his partner.
I felt so much gratitude to Heavenly Father after this experience. Brothers and Sisters, WE ARE DESIGNED TO FEEL. Not just happiness and joy and strength, but at times we need to feel despair and sorrow and weakness. "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." -Ether.
If there is no struggle, there can be no strength.
-WE ARE TEACHING A FAMILY!!!!! A gorgeous family who are so prepared. Sue, Rebecca, and Daniel. Sue is the mom and her other daughter, Lauren already got baptised. Sue saw the huge change in Lauren's life and had a desire to learn more about the Gospel. She's been coming to church for a couple weeks and we were able to have our first lesson with her this week. She love the Gospel and is so keen to learn. She is reading like crazy. It's amazing to see the light that's come into her life in such a short amount of time.
-Sister Koi and I played Santa a few times this week and have been dropping off little notes and gifts for some of the members who are struggling. It's seriously so much fun! #TheDifferenceBetweenSisters&
-THIS WARD! Man they are warm and friendly and I just adore them. You can tell these people live next to a beach. #Beachpeoplearethebestpeople
-Melvin! He's a less active member that Sister Koi had been working with for a while. I am so lucky that I got to be here for his firstback on my first in Toukley. We were a little worried because he didn't come to Stake Conference last week and we didn't see him when we were greeting everyone . But after sacrament meeting we turned around and who else was sitting there but Melvin! He is working on getting married to his partner so that she can get baptised! He has such a strong testimony.
-Sister Koi is seriously amazing! That girl is secretly hilarious and those who really get to know her are some pretty blessed people. One of these days I'll trick her into taking pictures with me so I can send some haha.
|Three Generations. Sister Hosea, Sister Froemming, & Sister Eteaki. From Stake Conference last week.|
-German chocolates from an RM who just returned from the Berlin mission! She was nice enough to share these with me (they were supposed to be for her Grandparents but she gave them to me instead hahaha #PerksofbeingGerman).
|PCB YW - The Best|
-I meant to send this a few weeks ago, but getting a package from the YW!!! I adore them and I'm so grateful that they do such kind things to brighten up my life! THANK YOU YOUNG WOMEN OF PCB!!!!!! :)
-Speaking of, I already have Christmas presents from my gorgeous family waiting to go under our Christmas tree that we will probably set up the day before Christmas.
-MY GRANDPA AND GRANDMA WENT TO DO WORK IN THE TEMPLE! I can't even believe it's true. Heavenly Father never gives up on any of us. I'm so grateful for their example of dedication and conversion! My Grandpa who is in a wheel chair who has only been baptised for a little over a month is already making the sacrifice to go to the temple.
Never give up on yourself or anyone else.
Have an AMAZING week everyone!
Au lomani iko!