Happy Father’s Day!

Kia Ora Whanau!

Ok first of all…..Dad I am so sorry I didn’t say happy father’s day (hahah).  Worst daughter award goes to (drum roll please)….me (haha).  I love you dad and I am so grateful for the example that you have set for me.  I am grateful for all that you did to help me, and for the little things you taught me.  How to do math, changing the tire, and replacing the battery in the car.  I am grateful for our Micky D’s late night runs when you would get food, and I would just get a huge cup of water (hahah).  Now I’m the one eating the big macs late at night (haha).  I am grateful for the efforts that you took, and you take to be a better person.  I know we joked all the time about how you would get angry all the time, but one thing I noticed before I left for my mission is how much you were working hard to not get angry and frustrated.  I am so grateful for that, and I hope you are continuing to strive for that because man we the kids really look up to you.  You’re our superman dad (hahaha)!  Sorry that was the most cheesiest thing I have ever said.  That’s what happens when you don’t see your parents for a long time, you get a little cheesy.  I’m really grateful for you dad!

So a little more about my comp.  She is from Tonga, and her name is Sister Ofa.  She joined the church when she was 9 years old.  Her parents go to the Church Of Tonga, and they are not allowed to have Mormons in their homes, so she was kicked out of her house when she was 9.  She started to live with her aunt and uncle.  I asked her how she knew the church was true at 9, and what kept her strong since she was kicked out of her home so young.  She said because she knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  I thought that was pretty neat.  She cracks me up.  Tongans crack me up.  They are a lot of fun to be around and I have had a great time with her.

I feel like my relationship with the members is better now, because we work more.  I feel like we see more of the members which before we didn’t.  It’s been really neat to see how they have been willing to help us missionaries. Something our bishop told us was we will gain a better relationship with the members when we work hard, and are obedient.  If they see that then they will trust you with their friends and family who aren’t members.  Also, make sure to teach them when we go into dinner appointments, principles of the gospel, member missionary work, and to not spend hours at dinner appointments.  Through these things, he told us we will gain the respect and trust of the members.

Some goals I have as a trainer is to think about me comp more then myself.  It has definitely gotten better but it is still something I can work on!  My other goal is to help her work more with the Spirit and have more confidence with her English.  She’s got it, her English is great, but its just helping her build that confidence that she can.  My main goals are to 1) have a little more humility, because man I need a lot of that, and 2) just have more faith. You come out here on a mission, and all your strengths and weaknesses are magnified.  Man, I am seeing that for sure.  I really need to work on my faith in Jesus Christ.  I think if I can do that then things will go a lot smoother, I will teach better with the Spirit, and be guided as to where the Lord needs me to go.  3) I want to stop being average.  Honestly, my whole life I have been living below my potential, and I don’t want to do that anymore.  I want to become what the Lord needs me to be.

So the day and life of a missionary in Papakura,

6:30- wake up and exercise, say prayers (sometimes they turn into sleeping prayers haha)

7:00-Get ready, eat breakfast,

8:00-10- Study, comp and personal studies

10:00- Training

11:00- Go out

12-Lunch

1-5 – Appoitments/tracting/ get chased by dogs

5 – Dinner

6-9 – Go out again

I am really craving Kraft Mac & Cheese and Reese’s Peanut Butter.  The stuff here isn’t very good.  I am also craving Goldfish (haha) oh and Oreos!  Man they don’t have mint Oreos or even double stuff!  Oh also bath and body works lotion and perfume!  Man they don’t have that here!

I will definitely email the family.  How are the boys doing, are they getting taller?  How is Olivia?  Man tell Uncle Brad and Aunt Angie and everyone that I love them and miss them!

 

Love you!

Sister Vavla

My Conversion Story

Malo-lelei!

Man, crazy week this week, it was defiantly an emotional roller coaster.

The week started off pretty good.  We went to one of our investigators, Jaleeza, and invited her to an FHE (Family Home Evening).  At first she wasn’t very keen on coming, so then we started talking and by the end, she said she would come.  Well to make a long story short, she didn’t come to the FHE yesterday.  That’s ok we will go see her this week, and see what’s up.

We met this new investigator Penny. She is really keen to hear from us, and we are teaching her the restoration this week.  She is coming to a FHE today, and we are going to teach her the plan of salvation, so it should be good.

Man, so funny story.  You might have to edit this one from the blog.  We went to one of our investigators homes, and we were having a pretty serious conversation.  She was telling us why she doesn’t want to join the church, and well she got up to get something in the kitchen.  In the back of her pants, she had some holes in the bum, and she wasn’t wearing any underwear.  Oh man, my comp and I were dying.  It honestly took all our will power not to laugh.  Oh man, it was funny, and the thing is she knew that the holes were there because at the end she said “oh yeah don’t mind my pants they have holes in them but I don’t care they are comfortable.”  Oh man, that was one for the books.

So Wednesday night we get a call from the second councilor in the bishopric.  He asked me to speak on Sunday, so I asked him what he wanted me to speak on.  He said he didn’t know, and that he would text me the info.  Well he didn’t text me until Friday night!  I had to speak on how you show obedience to the first and second great commandment through missionary work!  Man that was nerve racking, but hey it all worked out in the end so all good.

So you asked me for my conversion story, well I have to say my conversion came through the atonement and the scriptures. So I guess I should tell you guys about when I was 12 years old I was really struggling a lot.  That’s why I was the way I was for so long.  Honestly, you don’t have the Spirit with you and it really ruins you.  Well I was fighting it for so long, and I didn’t know how to get over it.  I didn’t want to tell you guys because I was so ashamed of myself.  Well I remember getting to this point where I just wanted to be done.  I was over it, but it was so hard to stop.  I remember one night just being at a really, really low point and really struggling.  I just got down on my knees and pleaded with Heavenly Father that he would help me.  I pleaded with him, and then I started to read my scriptures.  I tried every day, and slowly things got better.  When I would slip I would get on my knees, and plead for strength. Over time it happened, and I realized when I was completely over it.  I had used the atonement and everything I had been taught as a kid was true.  That’s when my conversion came, I knew the Church was true and I knew that if that was true then Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Church had to have been restored.  It’s funny how we go through trials.  If you completely rely on your Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ, they refine us into the person we are to become.  Honestly, I am really grateful for that trail.  Through it my relationship with my Heavenly Father has been strengthened, my testimony has been built, and it feels like a firm foundation. When we go through trails we can’t let them define us we have to let them refine us, and that will only happen if we completely hand it all over to God.

Love you heaps!

Sister Vavla

Learning Lots of Tongan

Kia Ora!

Yes I am still in Papakura and yes I did get the package! Thank you so much! And thank you for the Cheese-its they don’t have any over here in NZ!

Man crazy week, been having a great time with Sister Ofa, and learning lots of tongan! I will probably be fluent when we are done being comps.

This week we did some door knocking.  At first it wasn’t very easy because I did it only twice with Sister Inia, and honestly had no idea what I was doing.  Neither does my comp because she just started, but it was fun and hey we did it!  Man there are some pretty crazy people out here.  This one lady we go see has cats everywhere…..I mean everywhere, and she has a name for ever one of them.  Man she’s living my dream honestly 🙂   Well we went over to see how she was doing and one of her cats came out.  She says “oh there’s my brother”, and we were like where?  She says, “right there” while pointing to the cat. Hahaha it was pretty funny.  Honestly though, after being at that house I never want to own a cat for as long as I live!

Things have been really good, because I can just feel the spirit so much more.  With Sister Ofa, yeah we haven’t set anyone and we don’t have a lot of investigators at the moment, but we can feel the spirit because we are working.  We are obedient, and it just feels good.  We are just going to keep working, and trusting in the lord.  Something I’ve learned is we can’t do anything without the Lord.  We are just instruments in his hands, and if we do the work his way, we will be given the words to say, the people to teach, and the lives to touch. I’ve learned that without the Spirit we can’t do anything.  My comp and I, we don’t know these people, we don’t know what they are going through, and the things they have to face so man you really just learn to completely rely on the Lord out here.

I love this gospel, and I am so grateful for the mission.  I have been able to gain a stronger relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I know that they live and I know that they love us.

Sister Vavla

Transfers!

Kia Ora Whanua!

Whats up, whats up, whats up!?  Soooo transfer news……I am training, her name is Sister Ofa and she is from Tonga!! She is the bomb!! Seriously think of me as a Tongan, and that’s Sister Ofa! She is so happy and really ready to do the work!  It’s been a great few days, and I was a little nervous about leading out the area (Papakura) to train.   One thing I’ve learned is “there is no growth in comfort, and there is no comfort in growth.” Its been a good push for me.

I’m really grateful for the blessing that you sent me, in it, it talked about understanding that my most powerful tool will be conveying the spirit through my testimony. I’ve come to understand how important it is to have a testimony and have a strong conviction in what we believe in. People can pick apart the church, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, but they cant tell you what you do and don’t believe in. And if you have a sure foundation of the gospel and you have had that sure witness that everything we believe in is true then when people try to disprove and people pick at things and friends try to get us to do something that we know isn’t right, we will be able to stand firm in what we know to be right.

I’ve also had to completely just hand over everything to the Lord.  I mean I know what I am doing leading out the area, but I don’t know what I am doing because I just started my mission.  Honestly, I just get down on my knees, and I say Heavenly Father I am handing it all over to you.  I am going to let you direct me, and I will do what you want me to do.  Guide me to the people you need us to see and help me train my comp because I don’t want to ruin her (hahahah).

So I guess since I have been talking about testimony and everything I just want to let you guys know, I know that the Church is true.  I know  that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are alive and that they love us so much.  I am so grateful for this mission and how much it has refined me.  I still have a long, long, long way to go, but I feel Heavenly Father’s approval, and I feel like I am heading in the right direction.  I can testify that Joseph Smith is a Prophet and I am grateful for the gospel and the joy and happiness that is found in it.

I love you so much and I hope you guys have a great week!

Love, Sister Vavla

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