Monday, October 27, 2014

"Why do they love me?"‏

Aloha everyone!

We've had a super busy, productive week! Unfortunately there isn't a slot for my SD card, so I will not send pictures this week, sorry about that!

I don't really know where to begin. This is probably going to be so out of order, but hey it's whatever, accurate to how I talk :P

Last Tuesday we had a district meeting, so I was able to meet the rest of my district/zone. We have so many hilarious elders, and the sisters are so sweet! So because I'm new to the mission (I'm the baby of the group), I had to be initiated into the group. Elder Moala had poke (raw fish). He mixed up his poke with hot Cheetos, and then he offered me some. I was set on saying no, but then the rest of our zone started cheering and playing dramatic piano music, how could I say no? Sooooo... I ate it. And then I vowed to never have it again. End of story.
(: I love my zone though. We have zone conference tomorrow, so that'll be fun! Papa Warner is making us pancakes because we hit our goals!

On Wednesday, Sister Teuscher and I did a lot of work, meeting with less active members and such. While we were tracting, it started POURING HARDCORE. Like. Cray-cray man, choke water! It cooled down, but like we were pretty far from our car. I welcomed it though, it was hot that morning! Then it stopped raining when we got in the car (of course) and then as soon as we got out it poured AGAIN. It's like it knew I was from Arizona or something :P Anyways, for lunch my comp and I decided to go to a beach park. We only drove 5 minutes away, and it felt like we were in a completely different island. It was such a beautiful place, and not too crowded. The waters are this gorgeous blue, and the mountains and trees SO GREEN. I'm sad I can't send pics, I can't begin to describe how beautiful it was. AH. I often forget I'm on an island, since we don't see the ocean often.

Thursday we had a lesson with Carmen, our investigator. She's been cruising through the Book of Mormon, and talks like she's been a member her whole life. I taught a lot of the lesson, and felt the spirit so strongly. Honestly, it was my favorite lesson to this day. After talking for a while, she asked if she truly needed to be baptized again (she is Catholic), if she needed to pray, and if she had to be a member to go to our church. What beautiful music to a missionary's ears (:
After a while, I felt it. During a pause, I bore my testimony of the gospel. That's when I said it.

"Carmen, will you follow the example of Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper authority of God?"

She said she would pray about it, and ponder. It wasn't as scary, to invite someone to be baptized. I wasn't even nervous before or after I said it. I felt good, and I knew the Lord was pleased with me. (:

Friday was such a long day. We were able to teach many people in Weinberg village, though, and visited with almost everyone there. They're so kind, it breaks my heart to be there, but it's also heartwarming. They have almost nothing, but they give us everything. The Lord has truly prepared many of these people for baptism! There are also so many kids here, and Sister Teuscher can't believe how quickly they warm up to me. This little girl, her name is Noelani, she is maybe 2 years old, she yells "SISTERS'' every time she sees us. She also insists on praying, and she was absolutely crushed when we left. She cried, and wanted to come home with us. Aww. Also that day, we were able to teach Chauncey and her 2 girls the plan of salvation, and showed of a Doctrine of Christ DVD featuring a family that was sealed in the Temple. Chauncey, she felt the spirit and was crying. She's an amazing woman, but she goes to a different church. She's sweet though, and is warming up to the gospel. (:

ALSO ON FRIDAY: We met with Patrick, a recent convert. He has lived a rough life, with drugs, alcohol, and crippled body. He found it hard to live with himself, but he's gained so much happiness just from the missionaries, and from the realization that his Father in Heaven does as well. Patrick said to himself "Look at me, why do they love me? And then I say, because God loves me, and these Sisters are His representatives." I almost cried <3

Dinner on Saturday night was with Aunty Lilly and Uncle Willy, and they always invite us and the Elders. We sang, we laughed, and we ate SO MUCH FOOD. I kept saying "As my stomach grows, so does my faith in Christ" and "I can to all things through Christ which strengthens me" when I thought I couldn't eat any more. They made this awesome beef with Hawaiian BBQ sauce, French Fries, Boston Crème Pie and a melon bar. I felt like I was going to die, but knowing that we had hardly any real food in our apartment made it easier to eat! We also sang "Silent Night", and just. So many laughs, I was so happy (:

Sunday was a lot less overwhelming. I'm finally adjusting more to the area, and remembering more faces and names. I love the work here, even if it is hard. I know there's a purpose for me here, in Olamana. I have also been blessed big time with Sister Teuscher. She and I are like sisters, and joke around and have such amazing conversations. I'm going to be sad soon, she flies home on December 4th. GAH.

I love and miss you all very much. Please continue sending emails and letters, they brighten my day (: I encourage everyone to look up Hebrews 10:35-36. I have been struggling with many different things out here, but I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and is always listening and answering my prayers. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to serve!

Ofa atu,
Sister Noriega (:



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