I am in Taranaki!

Alright probably shouldn’t keep you in suspense anymore.  I am in Taranaki!  In a little town called Hawera!  There is a little branch here, and its almost like being at home except its a little bit bigger than mead and has a bit more!  Oh, and is 10 times more beautiful (hahah jk).  Mead is a different kind of beautiful.  There aren’t heaps of sheep but there are heaps of cows!  We can see the ocean when we are on longer rides!  Man its amazing out here and I am so excited to be out here!  There is a lot of work that needs to be done!

My new comps name is Sister Namariel, and she is from Vanuatu!  Which is somewhere between Tonga and Samoa and Fiji and all that jazz (haha).  She is awesome!  I am very excited to serve with her and to work with her, she is sweet as 😉

Ok, and last thing, I’m the STL for Taranaki.  STL stands for Sister Training Leader.  So I go to meetings, watch over all the sisters here, conduct exchanges, give trainings and other stuff!  I was pretty surprised when President called me, and asked me to do it.  I thought he was going to ask me to train again, but nope (haha).  At first I was really nervous, but something I realized is if I didn’t have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and has got my back I don’t think I would be able to do it.  Since I do I know I can!

Had a cool experience this last week.  I think the Tuesday before I left Papakura, we went to this one girl’s home we were teaching.   Her name was Seini and she is 15 with a 1 year old little boy.  We started teaching her, taught the whole restoration and at the end Sister Ofa and I both felt very prompted to set her for baptism.  We did and she said yes!  It was really cool because the gospel will help her so much in life especially since she has a little son!

One more neat thing yesterday, Sister Namariel and I went up to Patea which is about 20 minutes away from Hawera which is part of our area.  We taught this part member family about the plan of Salvation, and then afterwards we invited the ladies partner who is a member to pray and he did!  Man, sometimes it’s so hard to get people to pray here, and he actually did it (hahah).  It was neat!  When he said the prayer he prayed that they would be able to know if the things we taught were true which was even better (hahah).  So man good things already happening here!

I am loving it out here, I love my new companion and I love the area!  The people here are a bit crazy but hey that’s alright…..keeps things interesting.  One of our less active members thinks the world is flat and the 1st councilor in the bishopric gave me a hug (hahahaha).   Man, there is never a dull moment here!   The one sad thing is there are NO islanders here, I miss the islanders!

Love you heaps!

Sister Vavla

Getting Ready for Transfers

Lot’s of pictures in the slide show below!

Hey!

Yes mom I am getting your emails! I have been doing well! I think I am just ready to go somewhere else (haha).  It’s all good, I love Papakura, but I am ready for a change (haha). We should find out news tomorrow!   The next time I email I will probably be somewhere else!  Yes, the weather has gotten way better.  It’s nice and warm during the day, but still pretty cold as soon as the sun sets.  Hey, I will take a 3 month winter over a 6-7 month winter (haha).  Sorry, I don’t tell you guys my scary stories.  I promise I will start telling you guys.  If you guys would like to know the craziness of Papakura, there has been 2 shootings, 1 stabbing, someone found dead in a creek, someone found dead in a park, and heaps of fights all the time.  Most of them are gang related, but man God is watching over us because we have never had to deal with anything out here, and we walk around all the time.  I promise to keep you updated on the scary stories 🙂   Yes Dad, the black sand beaches are in my zone, but its about a 30-40 minute drive.

Man I can’t imagine school.  I’ve forgotten what that is!   Wow I can’t believe the kids are back in school.  Time is flying by!  Makayla is in college, and she is going to be a grade ahead of me (haha) that’s weird!

I saw pictures of the Fort Collins Temple inside, man its beautiful!

It’s been a bit of a slow week.  Nothing too crazy going on, just kind of getting my comp ready for transfers and everything.  A few neat things did happen, first we have one investigator named Evelyn she is in her 60’s, and she has been investigating the church for about 5 years now.  The only reason she hasn’t been baptized yet is because her partner doesn’t want to marry her because of some mental illnesses he has.  Well we have been praying for her, and we have been fasting for her.  We got this impression that we just need to set a date, and get her ready, so we went over to her home, and told her about what we had been talking about.  We said maybe what we do is pray and set a date, but she turned it down and so we left it at that.  Well the next time we went over to her house, out of nowhere, she told us she wants to get baptized on October 7th!  We were really surprised…we were not expecting that!  Second one, the bishop told us to go meet some new members in the ward and go get to know them and stuff, so we went over and introduced ourselves.  Then we decided to invite them to church and well they came!  We didn’t think anything of it, but we learned that they are all really less active, and they haven’t been to church for a while.  They said it felt really good to be back, and their mom who is the only active one in the family, was really happy to see them in church.  So heaps of miracles in Papakura.

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The mission has been really refreshing.  You guys know how it was for me before the mission, how my friends treated me, and how I got really walked all over and stuff.  Man I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for all the experiences I have been able to have, and the friends that I have been able to make.  Nice people who don’t walk all over me, and treat me well.  Man it’s just been really good.  The elder I sent a picture of, and his comp Elder Johnson, have become some really close friends along with both of my comps and some of the other sisters and elders.  It’s just been really nice.  A lot of gratitude to Heavenly Father.

I am really enjoying myself out here, man things are just really good right now!

Love you heaps!

Sister Vavla

Black Sand Beach

Kia Ora Whanua,

Wow, mean man that really changes the whole look of the house with that tile in there! Can’t wait to see what it looks like with new carpet, paint and baseboards!  Man, its so weird seeing the house (hahah) looks so different than the homes here in New Zealand.

Cool story, we were teaching one of our less actives about tithing, because she is really struggling financially.  We told her the blessings that come from it, and so she called us up one day and asked us to hold her money until Sunday so she wouldn’t feel like spending it. So we went over and talked a bit more of tithing and then she gave us her last bit of money.  She didn’t have anything else until the next pay check, and she has kids.  We told her that tithing is not so much about your money as it is about your faith.  Man, craziest thing, after that we left with her money, and about an hour later she called us up to tell us someone gave her $100!  Man, that really strengthened my testimony on tithing, and having faith in Jesus Christ!

No I haven’t been transferred to the Black Sand Beach.  I wish! (hahah)  I just went there for P-day!  I am still in Papakura and transfers are next week so I will let you guys know what happens!  Good to see some pics, Josh what an ugly dude 😉 Just kidding, he is a good lookin young man.  Man, the pic of Livvy on the floor cracked me up…..what is she up to. Man, Dad don’t ruin your ankles completely because we still have to do some hiking when I get back (after I get back into shape haha and its not hard to walk…shame).  Man, I can’t wait to go to the temple when I get back home! (dont worry not for marriage)  It looks beautiful from pics I have gotten from other people!  It’s getting warmer again, still a little chilly, but its getting better!  Can’t wait for the warmth again.  I can’t stand the cold!  Honestly, when I am creating my own worlds someday I will not be creating a place that’s cold (hahaha).

I love you guys, Ofa atu!

Sister Vavla

Walking…It’s Good For You!

Whanua!

Man finally! so proud of you dad! 🙂 Want to see lots of pictures of the house and man some pics of you guys and the family!  I promise it won’t make me trunky (missionary term for wanting to go home)  I love it too much out here!  Maybe some pictures of Chloe (our dog)? I miss her, does she miss me (hahah)  Was she sad when I left?  I just wonder if dogs notice when people are gone.

It was a really good week this week.  We found some new investigators, and one really good one is Ashley!  She is a mom with twin boys, 6 years old, and a partner.  One of our members, Jen, called us up Saturday morning, and told us she had a friend with a lot of questions.  She wanted a new start, more happiness, and wanted to know more about church.  Well perfect because we have all of those things! (hahah)   We told her that if her friend was free that day we could come over and talk to her.  Her friend said yes, so we planned to meet her at lunch.  We decided to walk over there, because it isn’t very far, and if you had seen my dinner the night before you would have walked too (haha).  I don’t know, just felt like we needed to walk over there.  On our way over there we ran into this older gentlemen, and he told us he used to see the missionaries.  He knew the Book of Mormon was true, and he told us there was too much proof for it not to be!  He believes Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the only reason he stopped seeing the missionaries was because he moved!  So we set up a time to see him again.  We went over to our lesson with Ashley, and taught her the plan of salvation which went really well.  We were able to answer all her questions, and then we invited her to church the next day.  She came!  With her sons!  And they all loved it!  When she asked her sons what they learned at church they were able to tell her.  Man, I love the gospel!  It was awesome, and afterwards, we gave her a Book of Mormon and a Bible.  It was cool too because we were teaching our gospel principles class, and she asked us, “so what if my kids don’t want to come to church, and I do and what if my kids don’t want to get baptized?”  At first I was like oh my goodness I have no idea how to answer that question, and then all of a sudden the Spirit popped into my head.  The parents need to set the example.  It was such a neat moment because I have never felt the Spirit that clearly.  I have never just known so clearly that the spirit was the one that gave me that answer.  It was a really neat experience!  So good stuff happening! Moral of the story…..walking…..it’s good for you!

I honestly love being on a mission, and I am so so grateful to Heavenly Father for this chance to be in New Zealand.  I feel so blessed and I can’t even imagine having to face the rest of my life without a mission.  I don’t think I could do it!  Man, it goes by so fast.  I can’t believe it has already been 6 months!  Man I have a year left!  Time flies by, and I just want to soak it all up while I can!

Our zone leader Elder Butler left today to go home man it was kind of sad seeing him go. He and Elder Johnson are the Elders Sister Ofa and I double cover with.  He came to Papakura same time as me!  He was the bomb hahah

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Love you all!  Glad the house is coming together!

Sister Vavla