Last week was a really bumpy, rocky, rough road for me and looking back I can honestly say that Satan was trying his hardest to tear me down. It worked for a minute, but then I climbed back up! And the only way I did that was through Faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were going to help me, Hope that all was going to be okay, and Patience whilst enduring. I'm not sure what chucked me into the abyss of sadness, but I can testify that Jesus Christ's hand was what yanked me out of it. I can also testify that Jesus Christ's Atonement is for EVERYONE! It's for sinners, it's for depressed missionaries, it's for all the people who've ever felt sad or happy or confused or lonely. And this week, His Atonement was for me. I can't describe exactly what I went through last week and I don't think that anyone would want to hear, but the SECOND that I put my hand in Christ's hand, the SECOND I put my trust in Him, the hole I was in seemed so much smaller, brighter, and more friendly.
So, this week was HEAPS better than last week. (: It's still, in no way, perfect, but it is better! We had Zone Meeting this week and something they really stressed was that the Elders CANNOT counsel the Sisters. Not that anything inappropriate has happened, they were just stressing the fact that feelings come from feeling the Spirit together. And they just wanted us to like Sister Bird, and that story will come in just a few seconds. (: So, the morale of this story is that we have a really obedient District Leader, Elder Hester, who kept encouraging us to go to Sister Bird and talk to her. Well, on Saturday, Sister Leung-wo and I weren't really getting along in the best of ways, and I had no idea how to bring the Spirit back into our companionship. And for some reason, I just felt this prompting that I needed to call Sister Bird. So, putting aside my pride and my hurt, I called Sister Bird. I told her what was going on and that I had no idea what to do. Tender Mercy Moment: They were in Pukekohe getting Petrol, so she said that they would come over and help up out. So, Sister Samataua went in the room with Sister Leung-wo and Sister Bird and I talked in our lounge. I can seriously tell you that Sister Bird was called of God to be our Sister Training Leader for a reason. She helped so much and I was able to get so many things off my chest. I love Sister Bird now, and that is exactly what I needed to grow to love her. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. (:
So, yesterday, we had this awesome Pacific Area Presidency Leadership Training about working in unity with our wards and branches! It was such a good training and I learned so much about how the members can help in such a big way with conversions and retentions. And our Area President challenged us to read the Book of Mormon twice this year! I'm so excited to complete this commitment! And I also challenge all of yous, TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON TWICE THIS YEAR! I'm assuming you'll all say yes, but I can promise you that as you do, your love for Jesus Christ will deepen and your conversion to the gospel with grow. I can promise you that you will come to know for yourself, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I can promise you that you will come to know the Saviour in ways that you never thought you could. (:
Something else they have been encouraging a lot is Family History! I know that Family History seems cumbersome at times, but I can promise you that as you search out your ancestors, you will find a greater connection with them! You'll be able to come to know them as real people and grow to love them! The ward that I'm in right now, Pukekohe 1st Ward is an amazingly Family History centred ward. It's amazing to see how much they love to work on finding their family! And not only that, but they love to take the names to the temple, even though the temple is over an hour away. It's absolutely inspiring. (:
This week was a crazy spiritual week for me! And on the other side, it was just an awesome week! Our two investigators that don't want to marry their partners, they decided to get married! No, they didn't, but I got yous there, didn't I? Nah, what I was going to say was that they've just been teaching us a lot about Maori culture! I'm not sure if yous know what a Hangi is, but is a traditional Maori meal. (see 4465) So, what you see is Pumpkin, Kumara, Potatoes, Chicken, Stuffing, and Cabbage on the bottom. So, how you prepare it is you put the Pumpkin, Kumara, Potatoes, Chicken, and Stuffing into a huge as Cabbage leaf and then you rap it in foil. Traditionally, they dig a huge hole in the ground and the heat up rocks, coals, and then cook the Hangis in the ground, but since they couldn't dig a huge as hole in their yard, they just cooked them in the oven. (: But I'm telling you! It was so stinking good. (: And I'm not even joking with you.
Even though I have been going through a hard time, I can see the bright side! And I am learning so much from this trial! I have grown so much spiritually. Even though I haven't grown taller physically, something people here like to remind me of, as I am quite on the short side here, (: I have grown heaps spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and personally. I am loving the mission! And I will endure to the end! And not only endure, I will enjoy to the end. (:
P.S. Yes, I did use a Hannah Montana quote as my subject line, but I'm sure you'll all get over it. (:
4467 -> This is the sunset after the Area Presidency Broadcast...I know you all just fell over our of it's beautifulness, but that's how they always are. It's absolutely beautiful.
4472 -> This is the room that I keep my suitcases and my clothes in, it's also where we keep our bikes. (:
4475 -> This is currently our torn up laundry room. Our landlord had some guys come and tear out our floor and now it's all sticky so we have to step on these gross as carpets. Some guy came to fix it up the other day, but the floor under the washing machine was completely rotted, so they have to come back on Thursday and replace the floor. Our flat is so old. (:
4478 -> These are our studying desks. (:
4479-> This is us. (:
4481 -> And this is...us. (:
4476 -> And a little out of order, here is our kitchen...it's actually really disgusting and we don't cook much, but it works. (: