Monday, November 10, 2014

Raising the Title of Liberty!‏

Aloha once more, everyone!

So, on a really sad note, we didn't go to Jurassic Park today. One of our zone leaders rolled his ankle, and wouldn't be able to do the hike we planned. NEXT MONDAY THOUGH. 

Okay, so anyways, hi! I am doing extremely well this week. Had a few anxiety moments though, they asked me to speak in Sacrament meeting and I was so nervous. They had me talk about my conversion, and I spoke right before a sister who just returned from her mission. She was serving in the California Anaheim Mission, Samoan speaking. She was super sweet, everyone so so happy and excited to have her home. Reminded me how quickly my mission's going to fly, and really put me in perspective. 

Some fun things that happened this week:

We committed 2 of our investigators to baptism! We went into the lesson not planning on it at all, but the Spirit really prompted and led us to do so. Her name is Leni, and she and her family moved here from the Marshallese  islands. Her daughter, Jasmine, loves going to activity days every Wednesday and has a good bond with many people in the church. They taught Jasmine about the Holy Ghost, so we expanded on that topic. There came a point when Leni was saying how much she'd love to have that constant companionship of the HG. Sister Teuscher turned to me, and told me to "pop the question". So I did, and both were very excited! Unfortunately Leni got very sick this weekend and wasn't able to come to church. We are keeping her and her family in our prayers, though (:

On Thursday we had zone conference in Mililani, so we woke up early to drive over there. I found out that Elder Gee is serving in Mililani! So it was cool to see him, hopefully he sent the pictures home to his Mom and she's sharing them. (:
Anyways, we had a full day of training with President and Sister Warner, and I really learned a lot about finding people and the importance of reading the Book of Mormon every single day. Our testimony of the gospel isn't something that we can just have forever as it is in the beginning. We have to constantly strengthen and nourish it, pray, read the scriptures, go to church and all our meetings, and not shy away. It is so easy to lose something as precious as our testimony, and I really realized how important it is to do my daily studies. I am grateful for my time I have to read and ponder the things our Heavenly Father has given us.
It was an extremely long day, and we took so many pictures. Again, can't send pictures this week. I promise, ASAP though!

Friday we went on exchanges with our Sister training leaders, so I went and served with Sister Talanoa in her area. Not too far from where we are, but definitely different. We had service at 9:30am, and our member took us to Denny's for breakfast. She's super sweet, and very talkative! She has a rottweiler who is super fluffy and sweet, named Roxy. Roxy and I played with the hose, it was a lot of fun (: We met a lot of super kind people, and I was happy to meet them. At the same time though, I found myself missing my own area, and wanting to be with my own companion and members. It was such a great day though, I literally met SO MANY DOGS. BEST DAY EVER. But seriously dogs are the best. I loved having that one on one time with Sister Talanoa. She told me "You are a natural missionary. You have the spirit with you so strongly with you when you speak, and you are so genuine. We can all tell how much you love the gospel, everything we talk about, you are able to somehow bring it back to the gospel." I needed that so badly! It felt really great to know I'm doing the Lord's work, and not completely ruining the church :P

Saturday, Sister Teuscher and I went tracting! Most people either ignored us and hid, or they turned us away. I am grateful to be in a place where everyone is very chill and loving, so far no doors slammed in my face! As we were tracting, we knocked on this one door and met this super sweet lady and her husband. They are older, and they're the Souza's. They were so loving and welcomed us into their home, where we talked for about an hour about what we do, and about their lives. They are some of the most Christ-like people I've met, and the spirit told me that they are special. Like. I don't know how to explain it, but it's a good thing (: Phillip (the husband) is an activist, and he just loves to talk. He found out I was Mexican, and he said next time we come over that we'll be discussing the Alamo. (: But seriously, everything they were saying, it was like they were Mormon's already. They prayed with us, and after Sister Teuscher had finished, Phillip continued the prayer. He thanked God for sending us sisters to him and his wife, and thanked us for the work we're doing. He asked Heavenly Father to bless that more people would be willing to hear our message and let us in to invite the Spirit into their lives. He also said the last line in Spanish (and he was holding my hand and said this line because I think he thinks I speak Spanish awkward) and then hugged us. They said next time we come over they'll bake us something and have us eat lunch while we're there. It was just an amazing experience, and I cannot wait to go over and see them again (: 

We had a really amazing FHE with our ward mission leader, Aulani and her family, and Uncle Gabe and Aunty Shelly. We talked about our "Flags of Liberty" and made our own flags. It was sweet, to see what the everyone had written. I'll send a picture of mine when I can! Sya, the 5 year old, he held up the flag from the scriptures and played Captain Moroni. It was THE cutest thing I've ever seen. If you don't know this story, I included it below so you can understand better (: Basically though, Moroni writes on this flag all of the things they will lose when they let the bad guy be king. He writes on the flag all the things he's fighting for. I want everyone to think about what you would write on your own Title of Liberty! 
((seriously I'm terrible at explaining stories though, read the little section I included below))

On my Title of Liberty, I wrote "Family, friends, Christ and His Atonement, Chance of Recovery, the Scriptures, my testimony, and love". Those are my motivators each and every day. I am grateful that I do have these things to fight for, and to motivate me each and every single day.

I am grateful for my life. I am grateful to be in this mission, and to be able to serve the Lord for 18 months in Hawaii. I love everyone here, the people I've met and continue to meet. I love my district, and my zone. I love my mission President, and his guidance and all he does for us. I'm also extremely grateful for Christ and His Atonement, that no matter how many times we've messed up in our lives, we can always come back to God. I love this gospel, and how it has saved my life. Thank you all, for your constant love and support for me! This is the Lord's work, and I know I am where I need to be. (: Love you all!

Ofa atu,
Sister Noriega

Chapter 46
Amalickiah conspires to be king—Moroni raises the title of liberty—He rallies the people to defend their religion—True believers are called Christians—A remnant of Joseph will be preserved—Amalickiah and the dissenters flee to the land of Nephi—Those who will not support the cause of freedom are put to death. About 73–72 B.C.

 And it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren.

 And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them.

Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah.

 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.

 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.

Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.

 And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord.

Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.

 Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.

10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.

 11 And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah.

12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

 13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—


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  2. DOGS ARE GOOD. It just goes to show that even during tough times there are dogs and they will always help