Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stretched Out Still

Wow what a week! And I really mean it too. I feel like I say that every week, but it's so true being a missionary! Every week is either the craziest, or hardest, or happiest, or funniest, or shortest week. There's always an -est at the end of whatever it was. Don't know if that makes any sense, but hey!

First off, TRANSFERS! WHOO! I made it through my first one everybody! Can't say it didn't come up fast because it totally did. I'm staying in Laie and finishing up my 12-week training with my momma. aka Sister Johnston. We are changing wards that we're serving in though, and I was totally caught off guard at how sad I am to leave them! You totally come to love each of them. I'm going to miss them even though it's only been a few weeks; but I'm so excited to serve in a family ward now! We've mostly been serving in the BYU student wards and it's so funny because I totally feel like a student when I'm in those wards. I forget that I'm not like everyone else until I see the student's reactions when they see my badge after talking to them for a little bit :) It's all good. 

Sis. Johnston and I are moving from our beautiful beach pad so I'm going to miss living there! Not gonna lie though, I'm not gonna miss waking up to cockroaches or maggots sleeping over every morning, but living on the beach was kinda nice! But hey, living right next to Laie temple is better than any shore I know of so I'm really stoked about that. Really, it's the closest neighbor we have. 

Serving at the Visitor's Center was super awesome this week! It's starting to become more crowded with the holidays and such and so we meet so many people from all over the world. And even better than that, I'll meet people from places that are special to me whether they are places I've been before, or whether they are places my family and friends either are serving now or have served before. It's so cool! I get to take them on tours and get to know them a little bit. And every so often they will self-refer and I can't help but to think that I get to refer them to one of my friends serving in that area! It's the greatest feeling. 

Tons of Koreans come to Hawaii and since Elder Annen is just rocking it over there, I, the second I meet them, I already feel like we're homies! I get so excited, but can't express it to them them except through charades. So help me out here: How do you act out the phrase, "My brother is serving a mission in your home land and because of that, I love you!" It's been one of the tougher ones to act out. 

The VC is beautifully decorated for Christmas too. I can't help but to think that life is so good everyday when I walk in and see the beautiful Christus. I mean, how blessed can you get to see this big magnificent statue of the resurrected Jesus Christ every day? I love how His arms are stretched out and extended to me and to all of us. His arms never change position! It's so symbolic of how He actually is and how He actually expresses His love for us every minute of everyday. I've come to learn that as blessed as I am to see the statue everyday, I know that we can all see and feel Him everyday without physically seeing. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much don't they? What a gift to know that.

I love my Savior with all my heart and know that we can come closer unto Him everyday and be one of His disciples. 

I love you so much my dear family! I'm just dying to talk to you on the phone next week!
Mele Kalikimaka!

Love always,
Sister Annen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sister Annen's Hawaiian Address

Sister Ashley McCall Annen
Hawaii Honolulu Mission
1500 S Beretania St. Ste 416
Honolulu, HI 96826

Monday, December 3, 2012

Heyloha Family!

Heyloha  family!

So this week, Sister and Johnston and I went out on my first tracting excursion! Chihu! Oh man guys, I was sups nervous, but more excited than nervous. We were thinking about where to tract and we decided to tract in Sunset. Now let me tell you a little bit about Sunset, Hawaii. Sunset is beach bum town. Everyone surfs here. Everyone! Oh and a sidenote… I totally walked passed Jack Johnson’s house. Heard of him? Ya, we’re totally planning on baptizing him the next time we go. We’re thinking of bringing our ukes with us so that when he answers, we’ll start jamming “Banana Pancakes” and then ask him to be baptized. Good tactic? I’ll keep you updated on that one :D

While we were tracting, we saw this adorable old man sitting in a wheelchair in his driveway. Now you couldn’t miss him because he was wearing a bright neon green Yankees sweatshirt and shorts and was just rocking the bling bling (watches, rings, earrings, etc.) We walked up to him and just started talking, not knowing what he would say to us white sister missionaries. We told him we were representatives of Jesus Christ and told him our purpose in talking with him. It was then he told us his name was Joe. We asked Joe if we could pray with him and he was totally up for it. I prayed, and then afterward stood and waited for a moment. After a few seconds, I asked him how he felt during the prayer. We could see it in his face, but it was incredible to hear the words “I felt something different. I feel really good for some reason!” come out of his mouth. We explained what that feeling was and told him we could feel this way all the time by following the example of Jesus Christ. It was then, that we had the strongest impression to ask him to be baptized. Wait, hold up, what?? Ask him to be baptized?! Now Heavenly Father, remember that we met this guy only five minutes ago! But we felt it again, “ask him to be baptized”. So with that, we asked him if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. Now normally, waiting for their response to that question is the longest few seconds of a missionary’s life. But in this case, Joe immediately answered “Yes!”! It was awesome. We set up another appointment with him and will teach him again soon. I can’t wait to tell you how it goes.

 There’s nothing better than walking away from something like that! Really, I have never felt such pure joy before. I’ve totally been happy, but nothing like this kind of joy. I understand what Elder Annen meant when he said that months ago! There’s nothing like it. I can’t think of a better work than helping others come unto their Savior Jesus Christ. Seeing them recognize the spirit is the greatest sight to see. I know I say it all the time, but the life of a missionary is the greatest! The hardest, but the greatest. And it’s incredible that we can all be missionaries. Just think about what Heavenly Father COULD say, versus what he allows US to say instead. What a blessing Heavenly Father has given us. I know this gospel is the way to live with our Heavenly Father again. It’s perfect evidence that His love for us is an eternal love. EVERYTHING we have is a blessing from Him. I love him so much.

And I love all of you! But more importantly, Heavenly Father loves you.

Have the greatest week my wonderful Family!


Sister Annen