Monday, January 18, 2016

The Storms of Life

Bula family & friends!

I hope you all have had an amazing week! It's been a great one here in Toukley!

I had an experience this week that I struggled with for a while. I didn't understand why I was having this experience, but through the enabling power of the Atonement, I was brought to my knees in prayer and lifted off them to get back to work. Though I was struggling, I was able to continue working normally and I felt the joy of missionary work lift my spirits. But at the end of the day, I was confused as to what Heavenly Father was trying to teach me. I asked Him to help me to learn from this and His answer was "to help someone else." And at that, I ceased my questioning and continued on with enduring.

Then, later in the week, we went to a lesson with one of our investigators. When I first saw her, I noticed she didn't seem like her normal self. As we began our lesson, she started sharing what she had been struggling with lately. She felt she was going through this experience because God was punishing her and she didn't understand why He would allow this to happen. Tears filled my eyes as I shared how I had been struggling with a similar experience. I testified to her that I knew that God had allowed me to have this experience so that I could be there for her. And I testified that she was having this experience, not to punish her, but to teach her.

The miracle continued on as she shared more and I felt prompted to share one of my most tender life experiences.  As I shared, she began to cry. "I know that God sent you to me to tell me exactly what you've just shared."  It put everything into perspective. Who would've thought that at the time I'd had that experience, years later I would be a missionary on the other side of the world sharing it with someone who needed comfort? In that moment, every ounce of suffering I've ever experience transformed from a burden into a huge blessing. It is such a blessing that Heavenly Father allows our lives to become rich and full with experiences that allow us to help one another.

It is so easy to look inwards when times get tough and question why we have to suffer. But if we can focus on others, and cheerfully submit, we become living proof of the healing and enabling power of the Atonement. We become eager students of a Master Teacher.

In this life, we are designed to feel a spectrum of a emotions. We were created to experience. The vibrant blues, pinks, and yellows are given depth and dimension by the deep blacks and dull greys.

How grateful I am for this time to be tested and to be taught. I can testify that the stormy days of life have made the sunny days sweeter. And I have found deep, lasting friendships among those who have provided me with refuge from the storm and vice versa.


-CATHERINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's a Texan lady who we met before Christmas. (She is adorable and basically Charlotte from Princess and the Frog.) We hadn't been able to see her again since.

After District Meeting, we were going to go to lunch with everyone, but we felt really strongly to go stop by Catherine's house first. When we knocked on her door, she opened up the curtains to the window to see who was there. We see make-up and tears streaming down her face and signs of serious distress in her eyes. "I'm so sorry ya'll. Now's not a good time. My husband just went into the hospital."
I said something like "Oh, Catherine! I'm so sorry to hear that."
And then in her thick southern accent she goes "Wait... are you from Florida?"
I nod my head. And then she comes outside and we all sit on the ground and have a lesson. We testified to her of the Atonement. We read scriptures from the Bible and the Book of Mormon and she loved it. She said she felt so much better before we left. When we expressed that we felt prompted to come to her home today, fresh tears filled her eyes and she exclaimed "God is so good."

-Toukley storms are gorgeous. I will send pictures next week because my camera cord is not working today :(

-We got a 4 lb bag of frozen cassava from Tonga from one of the members.

-Sister Koi taught me HEAPS of Fijian this week. I was pretty excited because she finally taught me all the slang I've been wanting to learn. I also learned how to pray!

-Sister Koi and I have been teaching primary for 3 weeks and it's actually gotten pretty fun. The kids memorized 1 Nephi 3:7 this week. :)

-While walking down the Main Road in Toukley, 4 different members saw us and honked and waved. #famous

-It was SUCH a hot week some days this week. It was fun though! I'm getting some pretty great farmer's tan. Ice blocks have become our best friend!

Well, I hope you all have an amazing week! So sorry for the lack of pictures. We're going to a reptile park today for P-day so I'll make up for it next week! :)

Stay strong. (Romans 8:18)

Au lomani iko!

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