Aloha, everyone (:
So first of all, thank you all SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING. I received many cards and packages, and it was so amazing. I really do feel so much love and support from everyone at home, and I just hope you know how grateful I am for all of it.
Dang. My Christmas was such an amazing Christmas. At the beginning of December it was hard, with all the changes/transfers/madness of mission life, and I wondered how I would make it through Christmas without my family here. I have grown a lot though, and I've really had to rely on the Lord more than ever. To start off, we had a zone meeting the Tuesday before Christmas and we had a White Elephant gift exchange! It was super hilarious, all the random things us missionaries can find for $5. I ended up receiving Elder Vae'nuku's present, which was a picture of him and a few other elders flexing, and he signed it. Lovely gift for a sister missionary, right? :P It was a lot of fun though!
Christmas Eve we spent a lot of time with our Bishop and all of his family in his home. Not including Sister Lasike and myself, there were only 2 members of the church at this dinner, out of probably 18 or so. Our Bishop asked us to share a message, and Lasike and I were SUPER nervous. It's amazing though, how the Spirit can calm you and really deliver the message God intends for these people to hear. We shared the "He is the Gift" video, and we shared our testimonies of the Savior and how through Him we can have eternal life. Seriously, it was dead quiet and the Spirit was SO strong. It was a testimony builder of a moment, for sure.
Christmas morning, I awoke and was able to open my packages from my family, and also Mady & Gabe. Dang, I have extremely thoughtful friends and family, they really know me and found the perfect little things to send (including some much needed bug spray and money, thanks everyone!). Christmas was such an amazing day, I cannot say it enough. We had several families in the Kaneohe 1st ward invite us over to their homes for meals, and really made us apart of their Christmas traditions. I have never felt so much love. I honestly can't begin to express how thankful I am for this ward, and for them taking us in and including us as if we were their own children. Gosh I get teary eyed just thinking of the love I feel. (: We also got together as a zone Christmas night, and watched FROZEN!!! Sister Lasike hadn't seen it, and hearing her reactions was the best. When Prince Hans was revealed as his true self, she yelled "I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT" it was so hilarious!!
Best part of Christmas day, though?
|Skype with my family!!|
We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders on Saturday, and guess what? I had to take over the area and be senior companion for the day. It took my one hour to plan for our day, and I had to direct Sister Lamplugh for the day. Dang, I have never been more stressed in my life, or had to rely on the spirit so much. We saw quite a few miracles, though. We met with several less active families, who are wanting to come back to church, and a few of our investigators. My favorite moment of the day was when we went tracting. Because I was in charge, I had to pick which street and area to tract in. I had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. I had Sister Lamplugh pull over, and I said a prayer. It was one of the most sincere prayers I've ever said, and I felt the strongest prompting to go forward and tract on the street in front of us. The FIRST HOUSE we knocked on was a less active members home, who hasn't been to church in over a year. Lasike and I have planned on seeing them for a while, but have never gotten over. I had no idea where they lived, and we just happened to knock on their door and share a message with them. THEN THE NEXT HOUSE was an investigator of ours I have never met, a very strong Catholic with a heart of gold. We had a great discussion with her. The Lord really does direct the work here, and I am just an instrument in His hands. After Saturday, I know that when the time comes, I will be able to take over an area. I've never felt so confident in myself, or in the Lord.
Sunday was a normal Sunday, sacrament went well, felt the spirit a lot. The bishop asked me a lot of questions in ward council, and asked me specifically what the ward should do to help these certain families. It's so crazy, I can feel myself getting lost in the work. It's the best feeling ever! I can't believe on January 1st I'll have been on my mission for 3 months! Everyone here says that once I hit 6 months the months will fly, and by no time I'll be home. I love my mission, and I love Hawaii! My testimony grows stronger each day, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is God's true church upon the earth.
Hau'oli Makahiki Hou, everyone! 'Ofa atu, talk to you "next year" (lame joke I'm so sorry).
|taking selfies at the library|
|Christmas Eve Eve - Kaneohe zone|
|Elder Gale and myself|
|Exchanges - Sister Lamplugh and I|
|I LOVE Kaneohe|
|On my desk - thank you Mom!!|
|On that street with all the amazing Christmas lights there is one house that literally has a pink wreath and Edward Cullen in a Santa hat as their decor|
|Super rad cat shirt|