Monday, July 14, 2014

Have I Told You Lately.... That I Love You??

Well I dooooooooo!!!!!!! And I appreciate all of you: friends, family, neighbors, wardies, SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! Being out here on a mission, you see your fair-share of people lives that have been HARD, and I thank Father everyday for everything He has given me at home and in my past.

AND HERE!!!! I NEVER regret coming out here on my mission.. on His mission. I have learned so much, seen so much, and I won't be the last to say that missions are HARD. The hardest thing I have EVER had to do! But they are SOOOO WORTH IT!!!!! The light and understanding we receive and have the opportunity to witness come to pass in the lives of those we come to love, is INCREDIBLE!!!! It's easy to get discouraged, but we build up the strength to RESIST Satan as we go through more and more trials. They get easier and easier as we face them with a stronger Faith in God than we had in the past.

Today we got to go to one of the members in the family ward's dorm (he works at UNK) to do our laundry for free (I will never take laundry for granted again) and we played this awesome board game called LEGENDARY. It's the best thing ever. Family, you should get it, just saying. I LOVE SUPER HEROS. And we're going to play more v-ball with the Elders.

Anyway, this week has been eye-opening. Really EVERY week is eye-opening. I look back at the last week every Monday and see how much I have learned. And that just builds upon itself week after week after week. Line upon line. Building our foundation stronger on Christ.

So we went to the famous Archway Museum here in Kearney last p-day. IT WAS SO COOL!!!! Can you believe our country went from Oxen ---> Internet in only like 150 years?? Incredible... and the coolest part about this disneyland -like museum, was that they talked about MORMONS soooo much! We listened to headsets and saw pictures of Brigham Young and took pictures at every Mormon sign and the other tourists that were there were like staring at us all funny. BE PROUD OF OUR HERITAGE!!!! I got to see a GIANT picture of my ancestor when we passed through the Promontory Point picture:) Too cool:)

 Anyway, this last week was my year-mark. SCARY!!! YIKES!!! EEEK!!!! Makes me a little upset in the stomach when I think too much about it. I've started to go back and re-read my journals from this day a year ago as I start my studies every morning and it's hilarious. The MTC was a HOOT. I was also a very selfish person.... hahah But hopefully I've changed in that aspect too.

 I LOVE SISTER MUASAU!!!!!! So since I didn't do a TON on my 20th birthday when I was in Red Oak, she was determined to surprise me and give me a great year-mark party. She secretly talked to the branch members and they all bought me a cake and we had a party during mission prep. I love them. ALSO, since Muasau and I are together CONSTANTLY, I don't know HOW she did it, but she bought a bird magnet board (cause I love birds... ;)) when we were at Hobby Lobby and surprised me. She's the best:)

We have been working on FINDING PEOPLE TO TEACH alllllll this week. There was a day this week where we did NOTHING but tracting....... that's ALL. Oyyyy..... We've been trying to find people through our talents, so we just go up to random strangers and start singing to them. It's the best. I can't tell you how many people we've made cry by doing that... okay maybe I can. Like 4 people! It's sweet:) Elder Tatafu here-- our ZL taught us a sweet song that we've been singing to everyone. "You never really know what it means.... to need somebody.... until you fall down, yeah..... until you fall down" Repeated over and over again, but it's GREAT!!!:) It's hard to find success tracting all day when you're serving in a YSA branch.... and so the only places your really tract are apartment buildings.... and it's summer.... and all the apartments are empty. Needless to say, we didn't find A TON of success, but hopefully we were showing Heavenly Father that we will do anything right now to get people to teach.

I fasted the entire day that we tracted and it was hard, but I just want to teach people that are sincerely interested and prepared. Right after I ended my fast, we got a text from one of our investigators, saying that he was playing in a softball game that night, so we couldn't meet. I was so sad :( BUT then we realized that we didn't have any plans for Family Home Evening yet, SOOOOOO I had this genius idea, (okay, prompting) to get the branch to go support him at his game. SO WE GOT TO WATCH A SOFTBALL GAME FOR FHE!!!! There are incredible perks for being YSA <3 It was the greatest thing ever. We taught a lesson about supporting one another, bearing one anothers burdens, and not being afraid to share your trials with others. Because "you won't have anyone to support you at your baseball game, unless you LET THEM KNOW and give them a ticket to it" So let people know about your hard times, we're all here to help each other, and by doing so, we're helping others fulfill their baptismal covenants by bearing one anothers burdens. It was SOOO fun <3 FASTING WORKS.

Also, I've seen some other results from the fast towards the end of this week. OUR MEMBERS ARE HAVING SO MANY MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITIES!!! And I know that we won't get the greatest success in tracting... we never do, but the members ARE preparing people, the Lord is allowing THEM opportunities to be missionaries, so we've been meeting A LOT of their friends, and my FAVORITE thing about Sundays is when our members come running up to us saying "I HAD A MISSIONARY MOMENT THIS WEEK!!!" NOTHING. I repeat. NOTHING. Makes me happier <3 We actually got a text a couple of days ago from one of our members non-member boyfriend-- Ruben. He is hard-core catholic. But he contacted us, without even telling his girlfriend Taylor, that he wants to make some changes and wants to meet with us. So we actually have an appointment with him RIGHT after we're done emailing here. (sacrificing p-day time :):)) We are SO excited!!! Another one of my favorite things, is after we introduce our investigators to our branch members, and they begin to pray for our investigators by name. IT WORKS. PRAYER WORKS. And the more people we have praying, the better:)

We set one of our former investigators-- David, for baptism this last week. He is trying SO HARD to quit smoking, so we set him for January 2nd so he has a date to work towards. Speaking of prayer, please keep him in your prayers. He says a lot of things just to make us happy, so we truly hope that he is truly sincere about everything he tells us, but we have faith that he can do it!!

We had interviews with President Weston this last week. I LOVE THAT MAN!!!!!!! I swear, all that happens in interviews is he asks me some questions about how everything is going and then he just talks. I could listen to him for DAYS. He is sooooo inspired!!!!! But usually I just sit there, nod my head, and go "yeah, okay, yes, alright, yeah" It's quite humorous actually. He's the greatest and we joke with him lots. We keep asking him when these iPads will be coming..... That will help things SO MUCH in YSA. It's not even funny:) So do any of you have information on world-wide missionary iPad's? Knowing president, we might be able to get them as soon as September, but he would hold them from us until Christmas and wait to give them as a Chrsitmas present... the little joke-ster:) Love him.

Anyway, I learned a ton in interview that I am trying my best to apply. Doing my best to pray throughout the day AS MUCH AS A REMEMBER. AS MUCH AS I CAN. And it has made the biggest difference. He challenged most of us to pray AT LEAST 30 times a day. Asking Father about EVERY decision we make. Making sure we are doing HIS will and not our own. Then at night when we kneel down to say our nightly prayers, we will know that we did most everything that day the way He wanted us to. If people only knew how much we prayed for them.

Sometimes, as I have had hard days on the mission, I lay in bed at night just staring at the picture of Christ by my pillow and asking "How on Earth did you do it? How did you not get discouraged? How did you not falter? How did you not care what others thought? How did you have the desire to suffer for me? HOW HOW HOW???" And as I've pondered those words throughout my mission, I have come to the never-ending conclusion that He did it because He knew Heavenly Father perfectly. That veil for him was non-existent. He asked Father EVERYTHING He needed to do and ONLY cared about what Father wanted Him to do. And that is what we as missionaries are trying to do. Keep Heavenly Father the most prominent thing in your mind. It's HARD, and it takes PRACTICE. But it is possible to slowly but progressively let Him take over.

I love it here. I love the people I serve. I even had some members stop and buy me some movie-theatre popcorn this last week because they've heard me talk about how much I miss it. It's the BEST!!!!!!!

Keep your head up. Make your thoughts, HIS thoughts, and you will NEVER falter.

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