Monday, December 23, 2013

I can do hard things!

Last week was such a good week! And the beginning of this week was wonderful as well, and then Sister Holmes and I found out that we were staying in Pukekohe and we would be training a new sister! We were both pretty nervous and we weren't really looking forward to having a third sister, but we were helping each other to be motivated and excited! I love Sister Holmes. (: The day of transfers rolled around and we rode to Hamilton with Elder Hester and Elder Dellaca, and we finally got Elder Hester to sing for us! We've been trying to get him to sing for the whole transfer and he finally did! He has an amazing voice. Holy cow. I...just...dang. He's really amazing. (: So, the car ride was really fun! Then we arrived at the chapel and we just hung out with all of the people getting transferred. In our zone there were only three people, Elder Johnson, Elder Oliva, and Elder Dellaca, but we gained four new! Elder Otto is Elder Hester's new companion. Elder Kaio is Elder Wright's new companion, and we got a new zone leader! Elder Terry is Elder Brann's new companion. He's from England and he is so funny. Like a comedian. (: And then there's Sister Holmes' and I's new companion, Sister Miggin. She is 22, from Ogden and she is really funny! The first three days of our companionship were the hardest days of my mission. It was so awkward. And it didn't help that I was feeling extra emotional because I got my Christmas package and I started to feel really homesick. So, I think out of all three of us, I've been the one having the biggest struggle. But, then, we were all struggling to get along and to find our stride. The second morning, we were a complete mess, like it was terrible, so we had an emergency comp inventory and we had companion study with Elder Wright and Elder Kaio. Elder Wright really helped us, but it was still really hard. I've never prayed to Heavenly Father so earnestly in my whole life. I've never hungered so much for an answer. I've never cried so much in one prayer. But I did. And I poured my soul out to Heavenly Father. And He listened. Yesterday, our tripanionship hit a breakthrough. We had another inventory and we all decided that we waned to get along. We wanted the unity that we had all been praying for. And we had a really wonderful day yesterday. Sister Miggin is really really awesome. She is a super hard worker and she is really good at talking to everyone. And that is something that I've struggled with, and I've learned heaps from her just in the past three days. We still have an insanely long way to go, but we are getting there. And we have all grown so much closer to each other and to Heavenly Father in the past 3 days that it is immeasurable. The Atonement, and the power of the Atonement are real. I've felt it's power buoy me in the past 3 days more that I ever have before. Jesus Christ died for me and I will never ever ever forget that. What is it about us, His imperfect siblings, that made Him want to do all of that for us? It was His love for us. And I have felt that love deepen and grow in just a few days. I love the people of New Zealand. I love the people of Pukekohe 2nd Ward. I love Sister Holmes. And I love Sister Miggin. I can't deny, nor will I ever that Jesus Christ lives! That He died for me, that Heavenly Father's love is so real and He does answer our prayers! And I love seeing people come to that realization. (: It makes my day when one of our investigators feels the Spirit. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL. I LOVE ALL OF THE THINGS!!!!!! (: (: (: (: (: (: A couple of scriptures that really helped me were Alma 26:22, 27: "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works and prayeth  continually without ceasing-unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance. Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy bretheren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." Just thinking about Ammon and the wonderful missionary that he was and the fact that their hearts got depressed makes me a little let stressed that my heart got and is depressed that I can pull through it, if I bear it with patience. (:

Okay, so, Sister Miggin is really really awesome. (: She made up a fake scenario, making it seem like I would marry Elder Hester. (; Haha, it was a hoot and a half. It all started when I told her that I hadn't ever been kissed and then it all escalated from there. Man, it is a hoot and a half, I already said that, but it emphasizes how funny it is. I'll have you heart is supa locked, but Elder Hester is pretty darn attractive. (; Basically, it included Elder Hester, showing up in Herriman and asking me to marry him. And then of course I said yes, I mean, who wouldn't? (: Man, being on a mission has made me so much more confident in myself. I can't even tell you how much confidence I've gained being out here. I mean, let's be honest, boys are more attractive when they're missionaries, but, it goes downhill. BUT! It's really nice to be able to get to know Elders on a completely no strings, not looking to get married basis. I love it. I have made so many friends both missionary and member and non member. I love it. And I really love the accent. (: The people here are so funny! All so cheeky and sarcastic. It is so great! They think I'm funny. I'm pretty much like a comedian here! So, yeah it's really awesome. Not gonna lie. (:

So, we set one of our investigators, Billi for baptism! She was way pumped and we felt really good about it. Then we went to visit her the other day and she had decided to not get baptized. She wants to learn more before she commits to a date. I mean, she's only 11 so, it does make sense, but we think she'll get there eventually! All of our investigators are progressing nicely and we are constantly striving to find new ones! Our area is so huge and so we are going to start expanding our borders and go outside of where we have been tracting. (:

I can't believe Christmas is on Wednesday! That's in two days for us Kiwis. (: TWO DAYS! We have a dinner appointment with an awesome missionary oriented family named the Cooper's! I guess Christmas feasts here are like...CHRISTMAS FEASTS. So, our feast starts at 2 and will probably last for a long time. I'm so stoked. Food here is so delicious. (: Different, but delicious! And the Cooper's make some really really really really really good food. (: We had a feed with them a couple of Sundays ago and they made this delicious mushroom chicken...and no one can go wrong with mushrooms and chicken. A lot of people here make this Rhubarb Pie. I'm not going to say it's gross because that's not very nice, seriously isn't very good. Maybe I just need to get used to it, but I do not like it so far. (: Adapting. I need to work on that. (: NO, I LOVE IT HERE. Man, I wish you could all just come and experience it with me!

So, something I struggled with before coming out is calling people! And Sister Holmes makes me call people all the time, so I'm getting better at it. I like that I can say, "Hi! It's the Sister Missionaries!" So, they don't actually know that I'm the one talking...ah, jokes. (: But yeah. I'm growing in so many ways! Luckily not, out! I'm actually losing weight! Wahoo!! It's really awesome. (:

Okay, picture time!!
#1 and #2: Are the same sunset, just different...anyway, so pretty, eh? And that's just outside of our flat. (:

#3 Sister Holmes, Sister Me, and Sister Miggin. (:

#4 Sister Miggin and Sister Me (:

#5 This is the sky just all of the time. That was twilight on a really hot day. (: Earlier that day, we had a crazy random thunder storm. And thunder here is like 100x better than in Utah. It's so loud and since there aren't mountains you can here it for miles and miles. The Elders in Waiuku, which is 20 minutes from Pukekohe could here it. It is so amazing.

#6 This is on the way to transfer meeting. Elder Hester is on the left and Elder Dellaca is on the right. (: And then Sister Holmes and I in the back. Elder Hester thinks he's a cool cucumber with his sunglasses. Elder Dellaca is just a character. Unique and one of a kind. Haha, and then Sister Holmes and I are just way awesome. (:

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