Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Aloha Ohana!!

Aloha ohana!! (ohana means family) :D
Wow, the day came ohana! It came! I can't believe I'm in Hawaii! It's the most beautiful place on earth and I can't believe I get to serve here. It almost doesn't seem fair.
This week was so wonderful and crazy and full of miracles that's for sure. There were miracles of all kinds actually. First off, you probably heard that I got in a car accident my first day in the field......Welcome to Hawaii! haha we were driving to morning exercise when this huge truck turned in to the road we were turning out of and he totally t-boned us! He was going 30 mph and smacked us on the driver's side. We flew back 20 feet and the airbags went off. Luckily, my trainer Sister Johnston and I weren't hurt. We both had to get out on the passenger's side though because the driver's side was destroyed. You can imagine our week was nuts after that with all the paper work, doctor's appointments, phone calls, oh and missionary work since were missionaries over here :D At the doctor's, we were prescibed medication for whiplash AND we have to get massages twice a week for six weeks. Rough right? Can't say I'm complaining about the massages part. I feel bad for the man who hit us though, since he has to pay for it all. Oh! Which speaking of him, we learned that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor, because guess who is the Bishop of the ward we're serving in?.... Yep, the guy who hit us. Of course. Good one.
But know that I'm totally fine and spic and spam! If I didn't think the Lord was going to protect me on my mission before, He sure let me know this week. :D
Man, missionary work rocks! Have I mentioned that? It's even more awesome now that I'm in the field too. My area is Laie, which is on the North Shore. It's super tiny and adorable. The people here are the humblest, and nicest people I have ever met. We are fed everyday, or twice or three times a day. It's Hawaii :D I'm two seconds away from the temple which is gorgeous, the PCC, and BYU Hawaii. Want to know something about Laie that I didn't know before? 95% of the people are LDS here. 95%! It's awesome because eveyone says hi to us or gives us free stuff whenever we walk by, but when it comes to finding and baptizing... it's a little tough. There are also so many missionaries here so we're all just trying to find people to teach. Half the day, I'm at the Temple Visitor's Center too which is awesome! I get to wear this huge bright blue muumuu and everyone who walks in wants our pictuure. I'm still learning how to give tours, but the ones I have given have been incredible. Who knew giving tours could be such a powerful tool for bringing others unto Christ. Sister Johnston and I gave this tour that actually made me more converted to my Savior. We all felt the the spirit so strongly. Someone from the group asked if we could all just kneel and pray because they were feeling something they had never felt before. We prayed and committed them to be baptized and they accepted! They totally knew it was true from that one tour and I'll never forget it. The spirit truly does testify of Christ and truth. There's nothing like it.
Well ohana, I have to go because we're going the the PCC now! Whoo! (missionaries get to go there for free btw) I'll have to tell you all about it. Know that I love you, and more importantly, God loves you. Have the best week! You got this :D Aloha!
Love always,
Sister Annen

Friday, November 9, 2012

Good Morning Everyone!

Good morning everyone!

So I have P-Day again today since my schedule changed now that I am in Visitor Center training! Two P-Days in one week...mmm...not complaining over here :D All I've got to say about Visitor's Center training is that, well, it ROCKS!! After my last district had left, I was super sad because we had all become really close. I didn't want them to go on their mission to serve the Lord because I wanted them to stay here with us sisters and keep us happy and entertained! ha selfish and terrible I know, but that's how I felt! But when we got our new district, I didn't even feel sad anymore because all the sisters are amazing! They are from all over the world and they are sweethearts. And guess what?... they're going to Hawaii with Sister Mckeever and me! Ah! We were so so happy to finally meet them because we thought we were the only sisters going. Two sisters are from Japan (Sister Takatsu and Sister Kunishi) one if from Micronesia (Sister Mark), and one is from Hong Kong (Sister Koek). They are still learning English so charades is a favorite game of ours. 

Wednesday was our first day of training. We went to Temple Square, where on the way we passed 9109 South Mallard Circle, tons of Cafe Rio's, people and cars! ha it was bittersweet since I was so close yet so far. But it was mostly sweet so I held it together! We were taken on a tour of the Visitor's Center and then were introduced to how we will be giving more than feel-good tours. Feel-good tours are good; however, we learned how we want to give tours that will be a climate for conversion. I loved what my teacher said. She said, "Give a tour that the Savior would give." That was so beautiful and profound to me! I have been trying to remember that as I have been "giving tours" here at the MTC. It requires so much prayer and thought and preparation beforehand. But my it is so worth the extra effort. Think about this for a second. As tourguides, we have no idea whom we will be meeting and teaching that day. So we have to be able to prepare and listen to the spirit to know what their concerns will be BEFORE even meeting them! At first, I didn't think it was possible, because how can you be in tune so much to know that?? But let me tell you, if you only have faith that He will tell you and you ponder and pray intently, you know exactly what their needs are. It's incredible! And I wish I could explain exactly how I feel when it happens. But just know, that throughout this week, I have really come to have a testimony about the power of personal revelation. It can happen to all of us! If we only have the faith. 

Well, this is my last P-Day in the MTC! I never thought I would be saying this so soon! I keep forgetting that this is only the training part of my mission because I just figure I'll be in the MTC all 18 months :D We leave the MTC early Tuesday morning so before you know it I'll be eating pineapple and hangin with the polyies. Oh yeah. FIVE MORE DAYS!!! 

I get to call on Tuesday too! So keep your phones glued to yourselves because I'm dying to hear your cute little voices! Til then, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! 

Love always,

Sister Amen

p.s. this church is so true it's not even funny :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Eight Days and Counting!


How are you my dearest ones? Did you just have the happiest last seven days? And how was Halloween? Did you stock up on the essential food groups? (sugar and saturated fats...mmm my favorite :D) What did you dress up as? The MTC let us dress up for Halloween too! It was so fun. We dressed up as missionaries, but not only missionaries...I got to be my companion for Halloween! haha it was so hilarious because I got to wear her badge and she got to wear mine. I felt honored that someone wanted to dress up as me for Halloween :D

This last week was spectacular as always! It was another week of miracles. Seriously, I feel bad ever getting used to this because I love it so much. Life is so good. It was the last week with my wonderful district because they all leave either today or Wednesday. I'm going to miss them! Even though I've only known them three weeks, I feel like we're family and BFFs.

I can't believe I have ONE more week left in the MTC! Where did the time go?? I promise I only left yesterday. Starting Wednesday, Sister Mckeever, Sister Brownell, and I begin our tour guide training! Oh baby! I've heard it is so fun, but pretty super intense training. But that's how it should be! I mean, this is people's salvation we're talking about here! We get to go to Temple Square on Wednesday for a tour and then go back on Saturday and actually be a tourguide! So even though I'll still be in training, I can't tell people that I'm in training haha.I have to pretend I know what I'm doing just fake it till I make it. Even though I'm a little nervous-okay a LOT nervous- Saturday can't come sooner. I can't wait to see Sandy too! 

So part of our training here is to role play. We role play everyday where either our teachers, volunteers, or paid actors come to the MTC and role play as our investigators. And I'm gonna be honest, at first I dreaded them! I didn't like them at all because it seemed like the real deal even though I had no idea what I was doing. I worried about them all day long! But you know what? I have learned probably the most from these role plays. You teach what you practice and I have really come to learn that. Even though, I still get a little anxious about them, I look forward to teaching with the spirit and coming to love the investigators even though they are role playing. I have had the most spiritual experiences teaching in the role plays (like tear jerking spiritual experiences) and I wish I had time to talk about all of them!

Here at the MTC, we get to watch past devotionals from apostles and leaders. Let me tell you, their messages are life changing. They truly are called of God. We got to watch a devotional from Elder Holland who was talking about our duty as missionaries and the responsibility we have to the people of the world. He asked us a question that really hit me. He asked, (now I'm only paraphrasing) "even though our message is from God and is for everyone, why don't people just flock to the font? Why is it so difficult?" And he answered by saying, "it's so hard because salvation is NOT a cheap experience. It was not intended to be easy. Why would it be easy for us if it wasn't easy for him? How can we be a disciple of Christ if we do not experience just a little bit of the suffering from Gethsemane? There was nothing easy about it. If we do it the way we are supposed to and the way God wants us to, then no doubt our mission will be tough." But we can do it! That's what so incredible! God wants us to succeed and if routing for us every step of the way. I LOVED listening to those words by Elder Holland. I hope all of us can learn from his words.

Well, duty calls once again! Thank you for all of your letters and emails and DearElders and packages! They make my day everyday. Know that I am the happiest I could be and love serving the Lord. The church is so true and I love all of you!!

Love forever,
Sister Annen

p.s. I got another nickname this week. Sister Annikan! haha I've never been called that before! Clever huh? This elder totally just thought it up and now whenever he sees me he says, "May the force be with you" :D ha I feel like I really do have it since I've been at the MTC. 

p.p.s. this same elder actually made my a tiny light sabor the other day. He made it! Since when do missionaries have time to make light sabors in their spare time I would like to know!