Aloha, and Happy New Year!!!
Can you believe it's 2013? All of us "older" sisters had a little sad moment last night when we realized we go home this year : ( BUT, never mind that now, lets talk about the miracles of the year 2012!
Miracle #1: President left a voice-mail on our phones last night informing us that although we did not reach our goal of 1200 baptisms for the year, we did beat the highest number of baptisms that this mission has ever seen with a total of 1,108! The last time the mission hit even close to 1100 was in 1950, with 1101 baptisms. We could not have felt happier with these results. Behind every number is a soul; a soul that entered the waters of baptism and the gate towards exaltation!! Truly amazing. That being said, we hit about 150 baptisms just for the month of December!! Our high-water-mark was 130, so the bar has definitely been risen. I cannot wait to see those numbers rise each month as we do everything we can to put our faith in the Lord to help us find those who have been prepared to receive the truth =)
Miracle #2: I've been having a really hard time breathing and sleeping at night because of the allergies from the dust and mold that are so easily cultivated here. For this transfer, Sister Tsai and I were assigned to move into pad 117, and I started to feel a cold coming on, but felt like a pretty intense cold. Well, I began getting really sick when President Dalton called out of the blue, saying that he felt inspired to move Sister Tsai and me into pad 115. I had such a spiritual confirmation that this was right (even though this meant we had to pack our stuff right back up again). As Sister Tsai and I were packing I began to find mold everywhere! It was in my closet, it was in the shower, on the ceiling, etc. We have a Mission President who truly receives guidance and revelation for this mission, and I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that Heavenly Father loves me. I know that He helps us as we listen to the guidance of our leaders who are truly set apart as disciples of Christ.
Miracle #3: Well, we all know that Polynesians know how to party...but let me reassure you, they know how to PARTYYY! For New Years eve they close down pretty much every street in Laie, turning it into these huge block parties, with LOTS of food, lots of fireworks, and lots of music! It was AWESOME! Hah, it was so much fun!! The miracle in it was, we were able to meet one of the non-members in our area as well as get to know the members in our ward a lot better. They of course offered us food at every corner we went to, and of course we accepted, and of course I had a food baby at the end of the night! Hah, it may sound simple, but it truly was a miracle that allowed us to gain the trust of our members, as well as help us to feel more comfortable with the ward as well. It was such a blessing!
After we left our area we headed back to the stake center by the temple and met up with the rest of the missionaries in the zone to play games! It was so fun! Sister Shin (from Korea) and I played basketball pretty much the whole time, just shooting hoops, then we all played night games outside just having a good time together. Midnight was CRAZY! It was so loud, and the whole sky was lit with fireworks from all over Laie. It was cool to feel the spirit as we all sat down on the pavement of the parking lot looking up into the sky and remembering how blessed our lives have been, how amazing the year 2012 had been, and all that we are ready to accomplish in the year 2013!
I am so grateful for this life that we have here on earth, and the experiences that help us become who Heavenly Father sees us as. I know He has a plan of happiness, and I know that each and every one of us feels that through the small and simple things this wonderful life has to offer. I know that if we grab on to those simple things, that "great things will come to pass," ( Alma 37:6). May we let the gospel fill our hearts to resolve to do better! Now is the time. Don't look back, but towards the bright future that lies ahead!! I love you all so much. It has been such an amazing year, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 has in store!!