Can you believe how time has flown? I can't! I'm gonna be honest and say that it doesn't feel like I'm going anywhere. I think I'm just blocking the pain to save myself.
I wanted to send a really deep inspirational letter to finish off, but I realized I have more things to do here and I'll be able to talk with each of you and share more personally. So this is it!! Too much happened this week to share in one letter, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
I've only got 10 minutes so we'll see how much I can get down.
Still truckin' along here in Suva 3rd and loving life. I've only got a few weeks left (gasp!!), so I'm trying to make the most of it and do all I can. I re-discovered a scripture the other day, Moroni 9:6. No matter what, just keep on working!!!
We should be having a baptism next week! Our investigator is right on track and her testimony is shining through. I've seen a change in her life and her appearance since she started learning more about the church. It's the gospel in action! Talk about gaining the image of Christ!! We had a hard lesson on the law of chastity with her this past week. She's a single mom and was never married to the father. We tried to be very sensitive to her feelings but still get the commandment across, focusing on healing that comes with repentance and becoming clean from past sins. First time for me to teach a single mom like that. Definitely opened my eyes to the power of the atonement. Still doing the mission read form pmg lesson 2 and loving it!! The book of Mormon truly is a testimony of Christ. If any of you have a Preach My Gospel (that means all of you cuz its online!!) check it out and do some reading. I came across a few talks by Elder Bednar about the empowering nature of the atonement. holy awesome!!! I don't know the names, but try and find them!! I've been really praying for the Lord to give me understanding and to help me strengthen my weaknesses through experience. and recently I've been feeling his hand in my life everyday holding me up and leading my thoughts. The atonement can truly be a daily part of our lives as long as we let it. well im out of time!! Love you all and hope you are doing well
Yet another week has passed in this paradise I call home.
We are getting used to our area and stocking up our investigator pool. It's amazing to see the blessings of the Lord and how much can change in just one week. Last Monday we had one investigator that was too busy to see us, and now we have five that are moving forward. Testifies that when you do your part and work hard, the Lord leads you to the people who are prepared.
We've been going around meeting members, finding shortcuts, and trying to see every street in our area so we can start working in the right places. Exploring has been way fun, it's just a little embarrassing when you get on the bus planning on a 20 minute ride then realize the street you're looking for is only a block away, and you hop right back off a minute later...... awkward!! That happened this past week when we got a referral from a member in another ward. She just started dating a non member in her university classes. We had a hard time finding them but felt really strongly that we had to see them that day. We finally met up at a park by Suva Point and had some amazing lessons! He's Catholic but says he doesn't feel right about the way they pray, etc. He was asking all his Christian friends about Christ and he liked what the LDS member said. He got a Book of Mormon, started reading and has been asking questions ever since!! We are so excited about his progress so far and can't wait to see how he changes as he learns about the gospel.
This past week I've been seeing investigators and members from all my past areas. It takes me back to the beginning of my mission. It's been so great seeing them and it makes me feel better about the people I served. There was one investigator that I hadn't seen in over a year. She never got baptized, but she was so excited to see me we both started crying and hugging on the street. It turns out she's working just down the street! moments like that give me hope that they'll have another opportunity to hear the gospel. Whenever I read scriptures about being in the celestial kingdom with those you teach I wonder who will be there with me. There were so many people I grew to love who weren't quite ready when I came along and more who have wandered since I left. All I can do is show my support and pray that they'll have the faith to move forward and find out for themselves.
We're still reading through the gospels for our mission read and this week I noticed how crucial the spirit is when you're trying to learn about the gospel. Every time Christ is teaching in parables he says something to the effect of "understand what you will". Those who were in tune with the spirit were able to see deeper than the surface moral and find the true doctrine. As we are teaching investigators or even studying on our own, we need to create an environment that invites the spirit if we want to learn anything. I never realized that the spirit can be such a huge part of my life until I came out here. Whether its something huge like an invitation to baptism or as insignificant as packing my Chapstick, the Holy Ghost is there to help every step of the way as long as we are willing to listen.
So that's life for me right now. I'm down to a nine more weeks and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Following the spirit each day and trying to to as much as I can in the time I have left.
To all of you who are out already, don't waste a moment. and to those who are thinking about it, nothing else in your life will make such a huge impact on who you can become. It is way worth the sacrifice.
sorry its been a while, things have been a little crazier than usual here in my island paradise.
we had president layton's first transfers this past week and let me tell you, there were some major changes!! i was called to train and white wash in the suva 3rd ward. it was hard leaving samabula. ive learned so much in my 6 months there, and i didnt want to say goodbye, but i knew my time was up. i had been praying for an opportunity to train again before i went home, and i got my wish. the lord has some work for me to do in suva 3rd! monday night, my trainee flew in from the mtc and stayed with me and sister chong in samabula before we went to our area. shes the only sister in her intake so i already knew we would be companions, sister chong and i had a great time keeping 'my identity as her trainer' a secret until she opened her letter with the rest of the intake. we spent tuesday and wednesday driving to the airport and bus stand a few times helping with transfers and departing missionaries before sister matheson (chongs new companion) came in from lautoka. then wednesday afternoon we unpacked and hit the streets
my daughters name is sister Levave from samoa/hong kong. shes 20 and is the oldest of 6 in her family, first one to serve. so far im loving the Suva 3rd ward. its been a bit of a struggle figuring everything out since all four missionaries in our ward just got transferred in. we've spent some time wandering in the squatter settlements looking for members/investigators with nothing but names and a house color to go on. these first few days have been an adventure and im sure it wont calm down anytime soon. theres so much work in this area that we have 4 ward mission leaders!! (one is an RM from fiji and i keep calling him elder by accident .... awkward!)
anyways, we have some great members in this ward who are so willing to help. a few awesome investigators and tons of recent converts to strengthen. im excited to be training again and am looking forward to the adventures in the weeks to come. only 12 more before i die, and im gonna make the most of it.
we are still doing the gospel read here in FSM and im learning so much about how the savior teaches. everyone, get out our new testaments and start reading cuz theres a lot to learn!
im sure ill have some great experiences to share with you next week, but for now im out of time!
Love you all so much, but I’m out of time, I sent a super long
letter to Lauren so blame her!!
Everything is getting better here, we had an amazing zone
conference with the Laytons on Saturday. They talked about how the Godhead is one in
purpose, then added the living prophet, apostles, mission president, and then
us, as missionaries, to the list of 'one in purpose'.We should be so aligned with them that there
is nothing we do that is not Their will. Definitely a highlight.
Also, found a great verse this week. D&C 88:70-80
diligently and my grace shall attend you that ye may be instructed more
perfectly..... that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you
again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you and the mission with
which you have been commissioned." As we do all we can in our teaching, he will help us learn more
about the gospel, strengthen our own testimony, and prepare for future
callings. Read all the verses!
And a great quote from our dear Elder Olmstead! (recently returned
“testimony=what you know, conversion=what
you do.” How’s your personal conversion vs. your testimony? What can you do to strengthen both?Food for thought.
Annie was so busy reading birthday emails last week she didn't have time to write a blog, but I thought Sister Chong's blog post for the week was cute so I copied it to Annie's page. I hope they don't mind. I've posted a link to Sister Chong's blog in the upper right hand corner. I dread the day that they get new companions because I learn more about what Annie's doing from Sister Chong's letters than Annie's!
IT'S SISTER PYNE'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!! i made her breakfast, found her a can of spam from one of the senior couples and made her cookies and all that fun stuff. it was so fun!! some sisters brought her a cake and it was way good. hope she had fun :)
well this week we went and knocked on doors a lot!! we took some of the YSA girls with us and we just picked a street and knocked on every door down that street. it was really good and fun!! man it was so fun! in the beginning of my mission i hated knocking on doors but now i love it!! i think its so fun to talk to random strangers. i might keep doing it when i come home.
we had a ward dance on 4th of july. we made cookies for them and helped work the cookie booth. a lot of our members brought non member friends that we were able to talk to and it was really good.
okay funny stories this week. so while we were knocking on doors we were walking past this dogs....which by the way, i hate dogs! and it was just lying there as we walked past and my companion decides to yell, "tiko vakadua!!" at the dog and all of a sudden it jumps up starts growling and gnashing its teeth at us and i literally almost jumped in the drain right next to me. it was so scary!! oh and did i mention that the dog only had 3 legs!! hahahaha!!
my second story is i was backing up my companion after an appointment one night and right as i was going to open the door to the car i saw that there was a gecko on the handle. so i jumped back and wouldn't open the door.so sis pyne had to put the car in park and come around, grab the gecko, throw it on the road, and said "alright, get in the car." it was so funny!!! it still grosses me out that she just grabs geckos but im not gonna complain because i don't have to touch them. she's the bomb!!
My dad speaks Fijian!!Bula Vinaka to you too, pops.Sounds like life is movin’ over there. When I get back I think im gonna spend alot of
my time hiking in the canyons before the snow comes. I miss that. Isa, those pups. Did they freak out? Hahah! Sounds like the weather here. Last week was pretty cold. I’ve actually resorted to wearing my jackets
everyday and scrubs at night. Sister
Chong and I share my big blanket to keep warm Lol! Hmm, no sauna eh? Maybe we can find a way to route the dryer
vent into my flat.....Yay for boating! But don’t think I forgot about windsurfing, I’m still gonna try it. Hopefully I’m buff enough to pull on the sail,
I’ve gotten a little wimpy here. Way to go on the kneeboard! Was that a yardsale find?I heard it was just a major junk swap as
EFY!! Way to go Scoot! Tell him to send
me awkward first date pics!! Funny story by the way. Remember when I went to EFY and I was still
13? My birthday was the week after so
they let it slide. Anyways, during the
dances these senior guys kept asking me to dance and during the chatting they
found out that I was still 13. Awkward
on going to Lagoon for Frightmares when I get back!! I think I’m gonna get
butterflies on the little kid rides. I
almost died on the elevator in town today and it was only 4 floors up! Yea,
all the elders were like wow!! It was pretty funny.
so Mom is getting Facebook friend
requests from people in Fifi? :D I
think a ton of them might be from the ward. We were taking a group picture the last week
and one of the YW behind me said "so your birthday is on july 7th?" I
had never told anyone! Turns out all the YW totally stalk my Facebook and see
all Mom’s posts. And, speaking of
looking at pages, our new mission president’s wife read my blog and said it
helped her prepare and get excited. Pressure!!! I wonder what she read.....
hopefully she didn’t see anything embarrassing!!
Scott to take better care of Granny’s car, although it’s in for a wake up call
when I get home. You know how I’ve
always been the super-cautious-always-yields person? Not any more!!! Fiji has turned me into an aggressive driver. I actually honked at someone today, everyone in the car was shocked because I’m
the only one who doesn’t honk all the time!! I tried to hold on to my Utah ways, but you
gotta fight for the right to drive here.
are going well here in Fiji!! Typical missionary week. In the beginning nothing goes according to
plan, but by the end you realize who's plan really matters and everything works
out for the better.I’m blessed to see
the Hand of God in everything we do. Sometimes
it doesn’t make sense, but if we keep moving forward with faith, you know you’re
in the right direction. Starting the week we had some rough appointments
and a ton of fall throughs. during our exchanges on Wednesday every appointment
fell through, we used up our list of referrals and former investigators with
only a few lessons to show for it. but we were able to give those people a
chance to hear the gospel. or their second chance. or third!! And honestly, that’s our purpose as
missionaries; to give people as many opportunities as they need to accept the
gospel and align their lives with Christ. To quote one of the elders here, “When we have
to drop an investigator we didn’t fail, we just haven’t succeeded yet!" So true! We just keep on keepin’ on…doing what we can
until it’s their time.Things are really
picking up here in Samabula 1st. This
past Friday we had our ward farewell for the Klinglers.It was so much fun and we had a ton of
investigators attend. We were running
around like crazy trying to take care of them all, helping with the food and
picking up things for Sister Klingler.I
think Heavenly Father know how crazy things were, because all at once our
investigators were sudden hanging out with members and we had nothing to
Today is my official 4 months left mark, June 23rd!!!! Aahh!!! Where did the month go?
is gearing up for some major work. We're getting lots of referrals and
new investigators from the members, and it's wonderful!!
We had some sick sisters staying with us all week so we were a quad
at the flat with two running out at a time to do appointments and the
sick sister being taken care of at home.
news for the week.
We had dinner with President and Sister Klingler this week. This is the last week for President Klingler, so everyone has been
busy doing farewells and such. A very well off member invited us to
dinner along with President and Sister Klingler. It was a little nerve
wracking at first, but everything went well and we were able to hear
some of their stories from former missions.
is a new guard at the temple. She is amazing!! She's reading from
the Book of Mormon, meeting with us almost everyday and already wanting
to share with her family. She has her eyes on the temple and can't wait
for her baptism. She has been searching for a long time and was
currently attending a denomination called "The church of Jesus Christ of
PRESENT Day Saints'. First time I've heard of that church! We have been
focusing on the need for priesthood power in the true church and
leadership from a living prophet (which they do not have). She has
accepted everything we share and is receiving daily confirmation that
she has found the truth here. Her testimony is on fire!!
is doing well. She's very excited to continue learning about the
gospel and begin working on her personal progress. We received another
referral from Sister Kaititi (as soon as her latest referral gets
baptized she finds us a new family to teach). She moved this past week
and the referral is for her tuvalu/kiribati neighbors. They seem pretty
interested, the whole family came to church and even brought some
relatives along! We're very excited to begin teaching them this week.
Random news for the week. While I was on exchanges on Saturday,
my companion heard some weird noises coming from the stairwell outside.
She went out to check and found the senior elders lugging a clothes
dryer up to surprise us!!! We were shocked!! Thank you for being so
thoughtful elders!!! We love you! We did a celebratory load that night
and I fell asleep to the sound of a dryer. Sounded like home!
Well, that's it for this week, the computer is gonna shut me off if I try and send more. Much love to you all!! Read your Preach My Gospels and go share with some friends!!!
Well, life is good. Tons of stuff going on as usual, and I'm learning more about myself everyday and changing for the better. Today we went on a crazy hike that kicked my butt, we will definitely be paining tomorrow.
We have an amazing new family that is doing well. The husband is constantly feeling the spirit, and even though he can't speak English he struggles through his prayers so we can understand. His first time he was nervous so we told him to pray silently for help first. He immediately closed his eyes and prayed. Then, when he began we could barely make out what he was saying but the spirit was so strong it didn't matter. Reminded me of how simple our relationship with God is. He is our Father, we are his children, and he is always willing to listen and answer us as long as we have the faith. We are hoping for a baptism this saturday, the 14 year old Kiribati girl. She has been going strong and passed her interview (poor Elder Rainsdon had to have a translator the whole time). We tend to have alot of investigators that need interpreters lately, not sure why but it has made me think a lot more about what to say. When youve only got half the time and they don't really know what you are saying (before help) we have to do all we can to help them feel the testimony of the spirit. We are putting some investigators on hold, picking up formers, and getting some new referrals. Our new mission president is due in a few weeks and everyone is getting prepped. The work continues on. That's all I've got time for now, but know I love you all!! Also, one of my new favorite hymns is 'Count Your Many Blessings'. Have you ever actually counted your blessings? Not the usual food, family, home. I'm talking about really thinking about the small things that make a huge difference. Something that hit me as I wrote some down, is that I'm truly grateful for the experiences I've had in my life, both the good and the bad. Without going through trials we can never learn or grow. I know I wouldnt be the missionary I am today if i hadn't fought through the hard times and relied on the Savior. I love who I am and I'm grateful for that. M aking a list was an eye opener for me and I hope you each have the opportunity to do the same.
Hey!! Sorry I'm on late today, we went on a hike this morning. Actually it ended up taking us 7 hours to get to the peak and back, we got lost a few times and ended up bum sliding most of the way down because it was so steep. Sounds like my kinda p-day eh?! It's called Mt. Korobaba and I've wanted to go on this hike since I was in Tamavua!!! That's one check on my mission bucket list.
Here's a "before" pic of some of the group. (Those are our crazy Canadian ap's sporting their gear)
This is what your feet look like after climbing a mountain barefoot. It was so muddy that
our shoes kept coming off and we eventually gave up.
V0ew from the top of the mountain. You can see all of Suva!! Try and find the temple
Finally made it to the top!!! Signed my name on the Fiji flag
Cegu Mada!! We were so dead. We barely survived! Didn't help that it had been
raining all night..... we all fell at least once. Good zone bonding time.