This week has been INCREDIBLE!! I had to write down everything I wanted to put in this letter so I could make sure I get everything in! Can I just say, I love this mission? It is seriously amazing. I love the miracles that I get to witness every day as God prepares and guides his children for the teachings of this gospel! So just some little updates, my companion and I are now over FOUR wards! It's crazy, but so awesome! Two BYU wards (1 & 19), one YSA (2), and one Married Student (6). I love it.
Well, let's start with amazing miracles of the week:
Miracle #1 part 1: This week has truly been a testament of how God is truly using me specifically to help bring the gospel into people's lives. So first, a couple walked into the VC, just on vacation, of course. SO we start talking to them, getting to know them, and we find out, that they are visiting from Houston, Texas, and the husband was actually born in Guatemala (where my companion is from...so cool) and so once we discovered that, they started speaking Spanish. Hah, I'm starting to understand Spanish now! So she gave them a tour in Spanish, and it was so perfect. The husband was asking all of the questions, and the wife didn't say one word the whole entire tour. At the end of the tour Hermana Rodriguez asked (in Spanish) if he would like to have the missionaries come over and teach them more! He said he would like that a lot, and gave his wife the referral card to fill out. After we got the card back, on her comments she wrote, "Loved what you taught us, I would love to have this a part of my life." IT WAS AWESOMEEEEE!!! Just how perfect it was that he just so happened to be from Guatemala as well...God loves his children :)
Miracle#1 part 2: So, a couple of days laterrrr, a couple walks in, and guess what? They're from Indiana! Not only are they from Indiana, but they are from Carmel, Indiana...heck yes! They just built a house in Fishers off of Allisonville Road. I was SOOO stoked to talk about Carmel with them. It pretty much made my day. Then, I mentioned how they are building a Temple in Carmel just as we have the Hawaii Temple right outside. They thought that was really neat. We showed them the Book of Mormon, and simply explained that it was another Testament of Jesus Christ, around the same time period as the Bible was written, just taking place in the Ancient Americas. We explained that it started with a Prophet who lived in Jerusalem and how God commanded him to leave, because of the wickedness. The wife then said that she had been to Jerusalem, and although a beautiful and very sacred place, she could definitely see why God would want his children to leave. Bahhh, it was so perfect how prepared she and her husband already were to here this message. I especially knew this when they told us that they had been to Hawaii at least 18 times in their lives, and have been to the Polynesian Cultural Center many many times!...but never to the Visitor's Center. They said for whatever reason they decided to come in today....the day that I was there, the time that I was on shift. Pretty cool. We then shared about temples, and she said, "Well, it only makes sense, right? I mean, if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, why wouldn't we have temples, and why wouldn't God want his children to be able to live forever in happiness." I just looked at her and told her she was exactly right. I just testified, that God loves all His children so much! He has a plan, and that although sometimes that plan may seem unfair or hard, we have God's promise that by keeping the commandments and keeping our side of the promises we make, we WILL have eternal life and happiness. So, of course, they self-referred, and said to send the missionaries on over when they get back!!!!!
Miracle #2: So one of the traditions of this mission is that the VC directors or one of the senior couples (VC directors for me) takes the new missionaries to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the Island Feast (dinner) and then the Night Show. Being that I am the new missionary, I got to be taken to the night show on Saturday!!! But, what makes this miracle so neat isssss....so, at the VC that day, Two families came into the VC...one family, but consisting of aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews, etc. So we took them through a presentation called God's Plan, which I absolutely love. It is just a 15 minute presentation that goes through the life of this family, and how the gospel of Jesus Christ has helped them through the trials that we will all face in this life. It also talks about the blessings of the temple and how families can be together forever through the sacred ordinance of sealings! This family is not LDS, are from Samoa and Hawaii, and were just in tears at the end of the presentation. One of the girls, probably about 15, opened up to us and explained how their dad died a year after she was born, and how hard that has been for them. She then explained how she loved this message, because she knew that they could be with him again. Their auntie, the dad's sister, then spoke about it a little bit more in detail. We asked if both families would like to have the missionaries teach them so that they could prepare to do the ordinances that will allow them to be with their family forever. They said they would love that. SOOOO, then, later that night, my comp and I went to the PCC for the night show, first for the Island Feast, and guess who was sitting right next to us? This family! It was amazing, we gave them all big hugs, and spoke with them all. Then we went to the Night Show, and they were sitting two rows behind us. You could just see the light in their eyes of how this message of hope and brightness made a difference in their day. They are the family in the pictures!
It was such a good week. We also got to go to what is called ward camp. The whole ward goes and camps out by the beach for a week, and so Hermana and I went for the Big Feast on the last day. Don't ask me what I ate, because I have no idea. I think it was edible...(?). It was even really cool to be at the night show, because all of the performers and dancers, being students at BYU-H are in my wards! So I knew a lot of the dancers, it was pretty sweet. And oh man, if any of you plan on going to the PCC, make sure you go see it. It was one of the most beautiful performances I have ever seen in my life. But I don't think I could have expected anything less. Seriously, the people here are just so amazing. Hah, Hermana and I had a dinner appointment with a family the other night, and we had a picnic at the Kahuku Park. Anyway, the dad, insisted that we call him Uncle Benny, and then upon our leaving, insisted that we take food with us. We took SOOOOOOOOOOO much food home with us!! Bahhh. Then we went to go visit one of our less-actives, and somehow we left with a huge plate of Monkeybread! Hah, I love this place. I've learned so much about giving everything we have to others. I know that as we serve and give, we will gain a love for everyone and anyone! I know that is why these people have so much love in their hearts.
Well, as I've gotten to know this culture a little better, I've started using some "slang" words of the Islands. So I thought I would share some of those words with you so that when I get home and I use them you won't think I'm crazy.
*By-da-way- by the way
*Da Kine- the "what-ch-ya-ma-call-it"
*Pau- go, or leave
*Chee-Hoo - YEAHHHH!! X 10
*Howzit - How are you?
*Da tingy- same as Da Kine
*Oh-bah-dea - over there
*Palangi- white person
Yeah, everyone pretty much says these things ALL the time. I love it.
Well, this letter has been long enough. But thank you again for your prayers and letters! Especially your letters! Wow, everyone has been so amazing in sending me mail. So thank you! Hermana and I have our baptism this week for our investigator, so please keep him in your prayers (Ceasar). I love you all, and hope all is well. Don't ever forget how much you are loved as a child of God, and that all of our trials will be for our good. I know that :)
Have a great week everyone!! Maholo!!!