Happy Easter!

Talofa Familia!

Happy Easter! Wow sounds like a typical Easter back at home hahah snow storm in March, I almost miss the snow almost haha but with this weather in the 70’s its hard to miss it hahah. You guys are awesome keep up the good work with your missionary work. Seriously we get taught how important the members are in missionary work and how we can’t do the work without the members, so I promise you are helping the Elders heaps!

 

Things are going ok with our investigators, the one girl we have set for baptism has an excuse every week why she can’t come to church and she has started to avoid us but when we finally did catch her and ask her if baptism was still something she wanted to do she was like oh ya it still is, but she isn’t putting any effort into progressing so its hard, and then the other girl she came to church last week but then didn’t come this week and we asked her what was stopping her from progressing and she said she is just lazy and she won’t keep any of her commitments because she is to lazy to do it. She told us that and that’s a big problem we have been having with our investigators here, a lot of people just won’t keep the commitments we give them and they have to do them or else they will never progress and they will not gain the faith they need in Jesus Christ.

So a lot of our investigators, we are just going round and round in circles with them.  It’s hard but its given me a chance to step back and look at what I am doing, what I need to do and what we need to do as a companionship to stop these people from going around and around in circles. But the Lord is good and we have two really good investigators, Pele and Fawn. Pele is 14 and she has just come recently from Samoa and so her English isn’t very good and we have had to teach in Samoan a little!  Things with her are good and oh man Fawn is keen as! She was a referral from the Elders and we asked her what she wants from the missionaries.  She said she wants to come to church because our church is the only church she likes, and she wants to know everything she can about it! She is golden as! Seriously she is the happiest person ever and she is just awesome! I am so excited to teach her and I know she will benefit so much from the gospel.

Man here in NZ they eat potatoes with almost everything! So many potatoes haha and there is always ketchup on the table, they eat it with everything here! Oh I also had pig and they just put two pigs on a long pole and hung it over a fire, it was so good! and I am pretty sure they had killed the pigs that day! I would send pictures but I am really terrible at taking pictures! I promise I will take more its just hard here because we are in the city so there isn’t much to look at just a bunch of houses but I promise I will get better at that!

Some neat things that happened this week:

~ We felt prompted to go to this one house that was a referral and when we went there this lady came out and said come in, so we went in and she said I have been expecting you.  Well turns out she is a less active member of the church and she had been praying all morning for the missionaries to come over because her hearing went wack and she couldn’t hear.  She needs someone to come over and make a phone call to the doctor so she can get her ears checked out.  Low and behold we show up! She was crying at the end and she ended up coming to church on Sunday!

~ You know how I was struggling a little with my comp at the beginning of my mission, well this week we were talking and she said Sister Vavla I am grateful for your obedience and how you didn’t stop being obedient even when I wasn’t being obedient, I only have 5 months on my mission and I wasn’t to make it the best and you have really helped me pull up and work on my obedience . It was really neat and I have just learned from it, that no matter how unpopular it is to do the right thing, there are so many blessings that come from it!  I have learned I would rather please God then people.

The fleas are biting and the waist is expanding but I am loving the work!

I love you guys!  Thank you for making me the person I am, and for making us read scriptures in the morning!

Love you Heaps!

Sister Vavla

Exchanges this Week

Here is Savannah’s latest email to us.  We talked to her about the snowy weather in Colorado, sending her new contacts, her acceptance to BYU Idaho, some scriptures related to her investigators, and what type of candy her companion would like.

Thank you so much for that thought that was exactly what I needed to hear! One of the investigators we have set for baptism hasn’t been keeping her commitments and what you told me was exactly what I needed to hear for her! Yes I did get my contacts, the peanut butter cup kind, and awwww you guys are the best! Sucka 16 degrees no thank you hahah its been sunny here and I think for the first time I’m tanner than all of you hahaha Man I thought my letter to BYU was so convincing hahaha 😉 That’s awesome I know that’s where the Lord needs me and it is probably all for the best since by the time I get back from my mission it will have been a while since I have been in school! Could you send me the cookie recipe? Thank you! You know its crazy, I’ve been out on my mission for a little over a month now! Holy Moly time flies! Its going way too fast!

This week was a really good week!  We had exchanges this week.  I was super nervous because I have only been in the area for a few weeks, and I was leaving out my area, but everything went well and we got 4 new investigators in 1 day.  I was with Sister Anderson she is the STL (Senior Training Leader) in our zone.  She is super nice!  So I had a good day with her. Also when we were on exchanges we rode around on the bikes and it was the best! It was so nice to get more than 30 minutes of exercise!

So that was good, and then we got some of our investigators to church on Sunday!  That was a miracle let me tell you.  It’s one of the investigators that is getting baptized and they have to come to church at least 3 times before they can get baptized.  We have had no luck, but finally this week we got her there with her sister and that was awesome.  They didn’t mind it so that’s good.   They said it’s a good start to the morning, haha church starts at 8 here so its really hard to get people to come. Something I’ve really learned this week is that.

Something really neat, there is a less active lady in our ward that we have been working with, and she has done some amazing things lately.  First of all, she has started to come back to church, and now she is getting her children to church.  Also she had a problem with drinking and she had a fast with us Sisters so she can resist the temptation to drink. Its been amazing to see her make all these changes and to see the blessing in her life because she is making all these steps in the right direction. Her husband, who isn’t a member, has started asking her questions when she studies her scriptures, and her kids are more interested in the gospel and so much more! Its been amazing to see all the good things that are happening in her life now that she is making the right choices.

Something that I keep working on is trying to see how the Lord blesses our companionship each day because there are a lot of frustrating things that happen with our investigators. Whether it is investigators not keeping commitments or us just going round and round in circles with them, the neat thing is there is always every day miracles that happen. Missionary work is so much better when you focus on the miracles instead of what went wrong. Sometimes with life if we are so focused on what isn’t going right we are going to miss what is and then we will be miserable.  However, if we can focus on the blessings we are given EACH and Every day we will be happy and find so much joy in this life. I love you guys and I hope you are all doing well!

Love

Sister Vavla

One Month!

Talofa!

Most of the people in South Auckland are Samoan and Tongan and I’ll hold true to what I said I love Samoans and Tongans! They are just the best! They treat the missionaries like royalty and we are most definitely not royalty. They just have so much love! This morning we were in the store buying groceries for the week and this couple from the Samoan ward saw us and after they were done shopping they came out and had bought us all of these muffins! It’s stuff like that, or there is this other family they are the Lungis and they make sure everyday we have had dinner, if not they will go buy us some Mickey D’s or something like that. They are the nicest family ever they would do anything for Sister Inia and I. My Book of Mormon started to fall apart and Sister Lungi took them and she is having them fixed! They are our parents here in NZ so don’t worry we are being watched over out here. We go to their  house every night for family prayer which is really nice! I actually appreciate family prayer and miss having it with the family! Man people just feed you and feed you here!  Yesterday we went to a family home evening (FHE), it was in the middle of the afternoon and they fed us a whole dinner!  Then afterwards we had our dinner appointment! I’ve kind of given up on the whole “I am not getting fat thing” (hahah). I am just going to roll with it.

So this week we set two people for baptism! The one girl her name is Cheyenne, she has two boys and she is 20 years old. It was really neat because we were in a lesson with her and we where trying to figure out where she was.  She was telling us how she really wanted to change, move out of her house and just get a fresh start.  My companion was talking to her and I was just listening.  Then all of a sudden I could just feel the spirit whisper to me, “invite her to be baptized”.  In my head I was like “heck no, I’ve only been out here for two weeks”!  The thought wouldn’t leave me so before you know it the words were coming out of my mouth (haha) and it didn’t come out very smooth (haha).  You could feel the spirit and she was like uhhhh I dont know.  My comp asked her what was holding her back.  She said she didn’t feel like she knew enough and stuff, and we just told her that understanding would come over time.  Then I asked her again and just told her of the blessing that would come from joining the church and then she almost started to cry.  It was really neat and I really hope she sticks with it because we can just see how much this would help her and what the gospel can do for her life. So far she is still wanting to get baptized, so we are just going to keep on working with her and get her prepared.

The second girl, her name is Teawa, and she is 18. I don’t know very much about her and she had already been set for baptism but everything feel through because her Uncle died the week of her baptism.  He was the only family she had besides her siblings because her parents died.  She still wants to get baptized so we have a date for her too.

I just want to say how grateful I am for the gospel and how focused the church is on the youth. There are so many teens out here with children at the age of 16 or 17, and that’s pretty normal. There are so many people who just have no direction.  It’s so sad but I am so grateful for the fact that we know who we are, and we have direction in our life. If there is one thing I could say to you guys it’s this, the gospel is such a blessing and I am so grateful that each and every one of you are a part of it, don’t take it for granted. There is this girl we met, she has to turn to drugs everyday, she doesn’t feel like anyone loves her and there is nothing better then being able to tell someone that there is someone who loves you so much and only wants the best for you. I am so grateful to know that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us so much.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference that can make in your life knowing  that, but it makes a huge difference. I am also so very grateful for you guys, seriously thank you mom and dad for pointing me in the right direction and all you crazy kids for being my siblings!

I love you guys!

Sister Vavla

Here are some new pictures sent over including her current apartment:

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Papakura 1st Ward

Had a great email from Savannah on Sunday.

Here are some of the things we learned based on some questions we asked her:

  • Her companion, Sister Inia, is from Australia
  • She bought a bike but is driving a car right now
  • She will be able to drive a car in about 6 weeks (good luck on the other side of the road & the other side of the car) – we will be saying prayers for her, and the people on the road 🙂
  • She is living in an apartment
  • She does eat breakfast everyday:  “Eggs every morning”
  • She is serving in the Papakura 1st Ward near Auckland

Here are a few pictures she sent over to us, and that we found on Facebook:

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And now for her latest email home.   Pay close attention to the story about the dogs 🙂

Some neat things that have happened this week!  First there is this girl we are teaching, and she just came to New Zealand not long ago.  She is living with her family, her family are members, and they wanted us to start teaching her. Well she doesn’t know much English.  She can understand pretty well, but she can’t speak it very well, and we have a set of Samoan sisters that cover a Samoan branch, so she should be going there. However, her family wants her to go to our ward so we taught her in Samoan! hahah and the miracle was there was no false doctrine taught (hopefully hahah) and she understood it!  It was really neat you could feel the spirit so strongly.  At the end after we taught the Restoration, then we asked her if she could pray about The Book of Mormon to ask if it was true and if what we taught was true.  She did it and felt it was true!  Also she came to church on Sunday so good stuff!  We have a visit with her this Saturday and we are going to ask her if she wants to get baptized, she seems super keen so I think she will say yes.

Another really neat thing that happened was, we were looking for a former investigator and we went to their house, and Sister Inia remembered that they moved, but we decided to go anyways.  So we went to their neighbors house to see what had happened to the investigator and we started talking to the girl that answered the door, who was about 16.  As we were talking her uncle and aunt came to the door and started to talk to us, well then they let us in and we sat down, they gave us ice cream and we all started talking. Then the 16 year olds mom came in and we were all talking and so then the uncle started to talk and he told us that his mom was a member of the church back in Samoa and his dad used to feed the missionaries all the time but wasn’t a member of the church!  Then the sister (the mom of the 16 year old) said that she used to come to church with her mom all the time as a kid! So that was crazy! Well we had to leave and the brother asked us to come back, they were having a farewell for his Sister and her children because they were moving to Australia on Saturday (which was a bummer) and they were opening up their Sabbath which is on Saturday because they are 7th day Adventist.

So we go back on Friday and we found out some really cool things 1) the sister moving to Australia had a son, who was given up for adoption, that was serving a mission in Washington, 2) One of the daughters to the brother had a partner who is a member of the church, 3) we got to sing some hymns and say the closing prayer for there opening of the Sabbath day! It was really neat and they treated us so well! They fed us and yeah it was really neat! and then when we were leaving the Brother and wife told us to come back over when ever and that their house was our house! This is only the 2nd time we have met them! It was amazing and I think there is a lot of potential in this family! and to think if we had never gone up to the door. So some cool things!

Oh and one more story, I was backing Sister Inia out of a members driveway and we got to the end of the street and then all of a sudden I saw these dogs running down this alley way towards me! So I freaked out and ran to the car and jumped right on to sister Inia’s lap and shut the door because I didn’t want to get bitten hahah and the dogs wouldn’t leave so I climbed on top of the car to my side so I wouldn’t get bitten and we were cracking up because we drove by the dogs and they weren’t even that big and one of them was a puppy but man it was scary!! hahah  Dogs have been forever ruined for me.

Love you!

Sister Vavla