Saturday, December 21, 2013

Copy and Paste

Aloha to you!
I have so much to say. So much to say! I wish I could copy and paste my mind family :) I feel this way each Preparation day and I even feel this way every night before I'm about to write in my journal! Heavenly Father never ceases to bless me with unlimited experiences, lessons learned, people met, and miracles seen or felt that I'm dying to write down for others to read and for me to remember later on in the future. I'll be sitting like Nephi in front of a desk instead of a bolder, with a pen instead of a chisel, a paper journal instead of gold plates, and think to myself, "Where on earth am I going to start??" I never feel I can write fast enough. Can you imagine how Nephi must have felt as he tried to describe his father's dream, or his experiences with Heavenly Father, or the miracles that he witnessed unto golden plates letter by letter with a chisel? Wow, I'm just amazed. You've got to know that Nephi along with all the other prophets knew that what they were chiseling line after line, word after word, letter after letter was true. It was no copy paste. I am continually in awe of the scriptures!
I'm kind of going off, sorry about that. What I've been dying to tell you is that, as you know, Sister UV and I have been teaching Quentin. He has known that the gospel is true and even cried as he gave the closing prayer. It was so sweet. We met with him on Friday and he wants to be baptized this Sunday!!! He had his interview a couple days ago and it went great. We couldn't be more excited. What a wonderful Christmas present for Quentin, his family who are members, for me, and for the Savior.
Sister UV and I have also been teaching Shantel (age 8), Chanelle (age 8), and Naturelle (age 10) who are adorable recent converts. They have such strong testimonies and have been through so much already in their short little lives. They live with their grandma who is a member and also with their mom, Agnus, who is not a member. We have been trying to teach the girls' mom as we teach them their after baptism lessons, but with no success. She would normally leave or go take care of the baby. Due to certain circumstances, about a week ago, she accepted to start taking the lessons with us! Oh boy we were so excited :) We met with her for the first time on Friday to see where she's at, and to teach her the Restoration. Without hesitation, when we talked to her about baptism, she said "I want to be baptized and I want to baptized on the 22nd." Jaws dropped, hearts attacked, we finally get out, "Of January?"....

So let me stop here and tell you that we have two baptisms this Sunday the 22nd. Ah!! Two! Needless to say, it has already been a pretty crazy week getting everything ready for the both of them. I am so so happy. Nothing can beat seeing the gospel change the lives of people you care about ya. Nothing. It's the best feeling and the best present Heavenly Father could have given me this year.
Time is out already, but I also just have to say that I will SEE you on Christmas! Yep, there's this thing called Skype... :) WHOO!! I'm super happy and I can't wait to see you! And Elder Annen is coming home in TWO days!! Wow, that is amazing. Take pictures for me ya? I'm so happy for you all to see him!
I love you all so so much! Keep smiling and spreading your sunshine. It hits people. It really does.
Sister Amen

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Called to Serve Over the Rainbow

Malolele everyone!
Well the time has come! I honestly cannot believe it's here. I am out for my full-field experience here in beautiful Aiea, Hawaii. It is part of the Waipahu Zone and boy am I loving it! Waipahu is the southern part of the island of O'ahu and it's beautiful. A completely different world from Laie that's all I have to say! There are big beautiful homes EVERYWHERE and we live right outside of the city. My new companion is a dear and her name is Sister Uasila'a-Vaha! Try to say THAT five times fast...or once :) ha. She is Tongan and you say her name like this: Wasila a vaha. Everyone has given her the nickname of Sister UV, but I'm taking the challenge to say her full name everytime I say it. I'm getting better. She just finished training and is solid. She doesn't have a license and so I have the privilege to drive in a city I have no idea where I'm going; but it's all good because Sister Uasila'a-Vaha is a wonderful navigator. Plus! driving in Hawaii-even though I'm convinced the island will sink from the choke amount of traffic, is so so much fun because if you ever need to merge lanes, you just throw out the shaka sign, and they will let you right in. It's called 'driving aloha' and it's a real thing. Ah I love Hawaii so much.
So I must talk to you about tracting. Well, I only LOVE it!! Oh my goodness I could tract all day. Ha maybe. It totally reminds me of serving in the VC! It's pretty much exactly the same except rather than waiting in a muumuu for people to come in to share the gospel, you go from house to house. At first, I was a little terrified because the homes we tract into are huge and beautiful and on this gigantic hill where you can see the entire city and you can see ALL of Pearl Harbor. People are very well off here. It's terrible on my part, but I figured people would slam doors in our faces (which I was ready for!) and be rude since they had everything they could want, or they think they could want. But anyway, they're not like that at all! If they aren't interested, they tell us so kindly and thank us for doing what we do. What missionary gets thanked for knocking on a door of someone they've never met before?? Who gets that luxury huh? Missionaries in Hawaii I guess :) I tell you ohana, Hawaii never ceases to amaze me. I ofa Hawaii. (Ofa in Tongan means 'love'. I learned that from my great companion. She is teaching me a LOT it's so cool!) Sorry for the choke tangents, I just have so so much to tell you! My first day tracting together, we ended up finding a Filipino man named George and he wants to learn more! We have an appointment with him again and I'm so excited. We have been so blessed with new investigators through tracting, member referrals, and listen to this!

So back in Laie, Sister Munoa and I were teaching this golden lady named Desiree who was progressing and learning and doing well. She wasn't from Laie but went to work at a member's home to take care of their son. She agreed to take the lessons and so that's how we had the privilege to teach her. She didn't want to be taught back home yet with her kids because she wanted to learn it for herself first. Well, a few weeks ago, she told us the exciting news that she is ready to have the missionaries back home teach her and take her to the ward she would go to after she was baptized! We were so excited! I guess it was bittersweet too because I had been the one teaching her, but hey, it's all the Lord's work whomever gets to share it. Anyway, knew I was leaving full-field anyway, so I told her goodbye, when I hear that I am being transferred to Waipahu. Guess who lives in Waipahu? Desiree!! Yes! Oh my goodness, I cried. I cried! Now I get to be the one to teach her and her family and I feel just so grateful.
Also! Man, sorry everyone, I'm going 100 miles per hour here. But listen to this. So, Sister Uasila'a-Vaha and I received a referral for a lady named Maria Castro. I looked at her name and thought, "Hmm...this name looks so familiar to me. But I don't know how because she's from Waipahu and I've been in Laie this entire time. How could I know this lady?" We went over to give her a copy of the Book of Mormon that she requested. She answered the door and when I saw her she looked familiar! Okay, I KNOW this lady I think to myself. We ask her how she became interested in reading the Book of Mormon when she says,

"Oh yes! Well my family and I went to the Polynesian Cultural Center a little while ago, and a sister took us on the tram tour to the Laie Temple Visitors' Center. Have you been there before?"......…..

Oh my goodness, have I been there before?! I raced through my brain and totally realized that I had been the sister who had been their tour guide and had taught them about the gospel at the VC and they were the ones who wanted to learn more! Once I realized all of this, I gasped/exclaimed and scared Maria poor thing :) She wants herself and her daughter to learn more and so we set up an appointment for Tuesday. I can't wait 'til Monday to tell you all about it! I never thought that I would get to see the other side of serving at a Visitors' Center. I knew that it wasn't possible to see all the fruits of my labors (as with all missionaries of course, but especially at a Visitors' Center) but for Heavenly Father to let me see and experience THIS! Wow, He is too good to me.
He is so good to ALL of us. I am seeing more and more each day how much He truly is aware of us and loves us.
Know that I am so grateful for all of you. I love you so much and am so so proud of you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo!
Sister Amen

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Tour with the Savior

ALOHA my ohana!

Happy November! How was your Halloween? Are any of you still on a sugar high? Halloween over here was exciting. People come to Laie from literally all over to trick or treat. It's because Laie is so safe and Polynesians over here know how to have a good time. Poor Sister Munoa was sick so we had our own Halloween party at home eating chili and cornbread (that our Bishop and his family so kindly brought over) and watching Mormon Messages. Mormon Messages are wonderful, I have to say! Why didn't I watch them before? If you're ever just cruising on a weekend or something, you have to just sit down and watch them. I know I told you this before when I was a cyber sister, but it's still true. They are so inspired.

Sister Munoa and I were serving at the Polynesian Cultural Center a little while ago inviting everyone to join us on the Tram Tour. To our surprise, no one wanted to come! We were a little bummed because we only give five tours a week and we really wanted to work on being bold and just sharing the gospel with all of our tram guests. We wanted to do all we could to really weave gospel principles into our tours. Even as we talk about the PCC, BYU-H, and the community of Laie, we wanted to focus on giving a tour the Savior would give. We were so excited! But no luck this time :( As we were leaving with our sad empty tram, two older men ran to catch us on the tram! Yes! We asked where they were from and what had brought them here, when they both said, "We are priests for the Catholic church" ...gulp

And now this is where I must end. Sorry I don't have time to finish the story! That's a way to keep you in suspense ya? :) haha I totally didn't mean to do it on purpose I'm sorry. But I'll finish it next p-day! Just know that not only did I survive, but my testimony was strengthened from it.
I love you across the universe and back 100 times! Smile and keep your chin up :)

much aloha,

Sister Annen 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Forever Families

Aloha Ohana!

Happy Monday! How's it everyone? What a week you know what I mean? Goodness, I'm exhausted. A wonderful exhausted though. It always is out here :) 

We had a mission conference with Elder Schwitzer of the seventy this last week. It was amazing! All the missionaries from the islands except Big Island flew to O'ahu to hear him speak. I have never seen so many missionaries in one place! We normally can't all get together with flights and stuff so this was a treat. I got to see the VC sisters who are out full-field including Sister Ogawa! (my sweet Japanese companion from two transfers ago) She's on Kaua'i now so it was so fun to see her.

There are so many things that Elder Schwitzer talked about and I wish I could list them all! But one of the main things he talked about was the importance of the family unit. He said that when we are in Heaven, the organization of the family will be more important than the organization of the church. Have you thought of that before? I sure hadn't! Wow. The organization of the church is to help strengthen the organization of the family now, for the day when the family will help the organization of the church. I hope I explained that okay. Elder Schwitzer did a much better job. But how incredible is that? The family really IS ordained of God. It's why Heavenly Father has commanded us to cherish, strengthen, and nurture our families. We are preparing these small units on earth now to become eternal powerhouses with our Father in Heaven! I just tear up at the thought.
There are so many other experiences and lessons that I want to talk to you about but once again my time is up! Someday, I'll be able to just talk story with you all for hours. I feel like Mormon who talks about how the Book of Mormon is only 1/100 of what really happens. My emails are only 1/100 of what I get to learn or experience and I don't even have to engrave on gold plates! I have a keyboard! ha oh well. Life is good. Just know that missions are the best okay? I can't imagine my life without it.

I love you all more than my Hawaiian friends love poke, musubi, lepulu, spam or otai. (I'll tell you all about those someday.)

much aloha!
Sister Annen

Monday, October 7, 2013


My Ohana! Aloha!

How ARE you all?? My my I have to ditto what Elder Annen said weeks ago about feeling like I just got back from a loooong vacation whenever I write the family email. Please forgive me! I promise I'll do better!... haha I think I said that last time. But I know repentance is a real thing! 

How is school and work all going?? Are you loving all your classes and homework? I hope so! I can't remember what it's like, but I hope you're loving it. I can't believe Elder Annen and I will BOTH be home before the end of the this school year! And Elder Annen will be home before the end of this YEAR! Wow, how the time flies. If the rest of my life zips by the way my mission has zipped by, my life's almost over! It's such a great life.

I don't have much to report this week because I was sick for all of it. Not fun. But I'm feeling great now! I didn't think it could be anything bad, but as day seven and eight came, they took me to the doctor in Kahuku to find out what I had. Apparently, I had a few sinus infections, and my ears were infected. So they gave me wonderful antibiotics, nasal sprays, and other medications to keep me alive and going. And now I'm better and ready to go. You know sometimes when you're a missionary, the little thought comes in to your mind that maybe just one day would be nice to just sleep. Or just an hour! You're always pretty exhausted and so the thought seems a little great. But I surely learned this week, that you are the HAPPIEST, when you can just be out and working your tail off. It's so worth being on the verge of passing out when you get home at 9 pm. There is nothing I'd rather be doing.

So I shook hands with an apostle of the Lord the other day. Can I just say wow! It was such an awesome experience being with Elder Holland. I'm not meaning the word 'awesome' as when we use it for anything cool or sweet, but I'm meaning 'awesome' the same way the atonement is described in our hymns and by our prophets. It was such a sacred experience; I can hardly type without crying. I totally want to be an even better missionary now and I want to be converted myself even more to my Heavenly Father. Why are these men so amazing? Yes, they have done incredible things are they truly are just unbelievably righteous people. But that's not the reason why. These men are awesome because of the person they are representing. It's our Savior Jesus Christ. They are literally STANDING in His place. Think about this for a second. If the Savior were to come up to you and say, "Hunter, I need you to please pray sincerely each day." or "Jessica, I need you to please study the scriptures". What would you do? Would you do it? I can't help but to think I would straightway stand up and jump at the chance! I know you would too! So after knowing that our prophets and apostles literally stand in our Savior's place, how will you react to their counsel this General Conference? Think about that this week, as we are privileged to prepare for the words of our apostles or words of our Heavenly Father-they are the same :) Who's excited for General Conference by the way?? I can't imagine how fun it will be to chill in your jamies and eat Mom's world famous cinnamon rolls for those two days. But remember, that as you're cozy and eating heaven, that this is your chance to draw from the powers of heaven. You can know exactly what Heavenly Father needs you to personally do in order to know Him better, and to one day live with Him again because you will be like Him. Isn't that cool? Ah! I'm so excited and even more so talking about it! Be sure to tell me all about your experiences and 'aha!' moments on Monday deal? This is truly a time to celebrate :)

I love you across the universe and back my loves!

much aloha,
Sister Annen

Monday, September 9, 2013

No Rain on Our Parade

Aloha Ohana!

Wow what a week. What a transfer! This week was the Polynesian Cultural Center's 50th Anniversary and I wish I could explain what it meant to be a part of it! Because us sisters get to give the tram tours at the PCC, we were invited to be in the PCC's 50th Parade. A Parade! And oh boy was it ever amazing! We wore our blue tram muu muus and stood on the tram waving to the people of Laie. Who gets to say that they were in a parade as a missionary?? All 30 of us sisters belted "Called to Serve" and "Army of Helaman" over and over and we could really feel the excitement in the air about missionary work. We got to throw candy, hold the hands of the children on the curb, sing, and represent the Lord Jesus Christ all in ONE parade! There were so many times where I tried to hold back the tears, as little girls would run along side us and shout,"I want to be a sister missionary like you someday!" or "When I grow up, I want to be just like you!" Ah, I'm crying just thinking back on it. Who knew a being a part of a parade could be such a spiritual experience :)

On September 21, our mission will be honored to have Elder Holland speak at our Mission Conference! Have you heard of him before? Oh man, I don't know if I can wait that long. The VC and the trams from PCC will all be closed that day so that all of us sisters can attend. It's going to be so special. I can't wait to tell you about it!
We have been and are so blessed here. Laie is such a special and inspired place. I can't say enough how blessed I am to serve on temple grounds almost my entire mission. I can honestly say it's my home away from home. But we can all say that ya? The temple is literally our home while we are away from home. Yes, I can be referring to our home here on earth, but I really mean that the temple is our home while we are away from our home with Heavenly Father. It always amazes me how much He truly loves us! He provides His House here on earth for us to help us feel closer to the home we used to reside. Life is oh so good.

Thank you for being the people you are. I love you so much. Thanks for being patient with me! I'll try to write more.

much ALOHA!

Sister Annen

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Transfers this week! Dun dun dun :) haha so we found out transfer news this morning. Sister Knudsen and I knew we wouldn't be together since she's done training now (I can't believe that my daughter is growing up so fast!) and so we were trying to guess what would happen to the both of us! Here's what's going down. So, Sister Knudsen will be training a new sister! Whoo! And not only will she be training, but she is training out full-field! So exciting! She's leaving Laie and going to Honolulu. It TOTALLY caught us off guard since she just came out and normally you don't go outbound til later in your mission. And because I haven't even been outbound yet! But hey, we're happy to do whatever the Lord wants.
As for me...I'm staying in Laie for another transfer! Yeah! It'll be my seventh transfer here in my beautiful little Laie. Half of my mission so far! Holy smokes. And it looks like I'll be here for my eighth and ninth transfer as well because I have been called as the Sister Trainer for the 30 sisters here at the Visitors' Center! I'm so excited! President Warner called me last night and asked if I would accept the call, and even though I was taken back and I didn't think I heard him right, I must have stammered out a 'yes' because it was announced in our VC training this morning. :) I'm totally trusting Heavenly Father on this one.

I have a quick story I wanted to share! So when I first came out, Sister Johnston and I tried and tried to get a hold of and teach this cute Japanese girl named Julia. Time after time, we couldn't contact her. And when we did get a chance to teach her, she didn't seem like she cared during the lessons. At times, we wanted to just give up; but we knew Heavenly Father didn't want us to drop her. We were supposed to keep teaching her. We were both transferred out of the area and come to find out, Julia moved back home. Now fast forward to yesterday. Yesterday at church, Julia's fellow shipper Nathan came up to me and said, "Guess what Sister Annen?? Julia got baptized!" Yep! She had moved home and after that knew she needed to be baptized. Wow, Heavenly Father knows what He's doing. It's all in His timing isn't it? Even if we don't see the fruit of our efforts right away, it's still worth every minute to work hard and be obedient to our Father in Heaven who needs us. I love Him so much!

I have so much more to tell you, but of course time is up already!

Keep smiling and loving and know that I'm loving you right this second!

Lots of love! Aloha! xoxo

sister annen

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Proud to be a child of God...and an American!

Happy 4th of July a few days ago! How was it?? Did you have a blast and eat hot dogs and do the lip sync (I'm actually really curious if you did that this year so let me know ;)) ha and watch the best fireworks with the fam? I hope so! The 4th of July was terrific here! It was interesting though just because Hawaii is funny when it comes to the 4th of July. Yes, it's one of the 50 states, but sometimes you forget that since it's so different. A lot of people over here actually don't know it's a state! ha I didn't know that was a thing, but hey it's cool.

So, yes the polys celebrated it since it's another excuse to party and get together with family, but it isn't as big over here as on the mainland. It was a blast though! All of the missionaries finished proselyting at five, and then we all got together and had a bbq. We felt very American, it was awesome.

We got our dear new mission president, President Warner this week! May I just say how much I love him! Really I do. He's from SLC just like Elder Annen's mission president is! (maybe they're pals who knows) He's this small little man who's so sweet and so smart. Very different from President Dalton- not in sweetness or smartness! But in stature haha. President Dalton was a tall big guy and I could always tell where he was even in a large group of elders. But with President Warner, he looks just like another Elder and it's hard to find him sometimes. He is so cute. I don't know how he would feel about me describing him that way, but it's definitely a good thing :) He and Sister Warner, are ready to work and love us all you can just tell. It's obvious that they are called of God to serve here. I'm so grateful to have the second half my mission to serve with the dear Warners.

What else let's see...I feel like there's so much since I haven't emailed in years I'm so sorry! I guess Elder Annen was MIA for a while there too so I'll apologize for the both of us. Anyway! Transfers are coming up next week! What's going to happen :) Who knows. Sister Knudsen and I are on our twelfth week together- she has grown up so fast! and I can't believe it! She's not a baby anymore, but she'll always be my daughter :) We have had some incredible times together that's all I can say. Some super funny and embarrassing times and some of the most spiritual, powerful times I've ever experienced. She is an amazing missionary. I felt like she trained me for sure! I'm going to miss her. Good thing about being a VC sister, is that even if you're not companions anymore, you'll see them everyday and sometimes even live with them again! So that's always a relief when change becomes hard sometimes.

What's going to happen to me next transfer?? Man who knows. Well of course I know who does ultimately! haha but let's just go with the expression for now. I could go to another island and be a full-field missionary for three months, or I could stay here a little longer, I don't know! We find out next P-day so I'll keep you in the loop on that.

Life has been really great and really hard these last few weeks. Our investigator Josh is having a really hard time coming to church. We had set a baptismal date, but because he has only come once, we keep having to move his date forward. The lessons will go really well when we can catch him, and his friend Tau whom he lives with (who's a member) is on board and great at bearing testimony. But because neither of them have a phone and their life motto is "hakuna matata", it's hard to catch and teach him. They are in an amazing reggae band called "The L81Z" (the late ones) and that takes them to Honolulu often. Anyway, they're amazing people, and we just love them.

Some days I would be confused thinking maybe we weren't obedient enough or thinking we were doing something wrong. I would say that I had faith in the Lord, but I didn't trust in His timing! That is totally part of having faith in Heavenly Father. Is having faith in His timing. It just comes down to listening to the spirit to discern what our friends need so that we can know how to best help them. In Josh's case, to come to church. We fasted just yesterday and hope to catch them this week. I'll tell you how it all goes next week too.

I'm so happy that the spirit is the one that teaches! You know what I mean? If it were just Sister Knudsen and I, our area would be bleh. The work wouldn't and couldn't move forward. Thank goodness Heavenly Father is in charge of His work. I know I say that in almost every email! But it's because it's so true and I've really gained a testimony of it.

Think of something that you're struggling with and think about how you can better trust in the Lord's timing. I promise that as you trust in the Lord's timing, you'll find that it's the BEST timing. More so than we can ever see on our own. Allow the Lord to lead you. Because He will.

I LOVE YOU oh so much ohana!

love always,
Sister Annen

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Never Ending Upward Spiral

Much Aloooooha!! Gee whiz it's been way too long, I'm sorry about that! I promise I'm totally alive and well out here in beautiful Laie. How are you all?? Enjoying your summer break so far? There's no way it's summer over there already! How did that happen? The school year just started! Don't have too much fun swimming, getting tan, sleeping in, going to EFY, and eating ice cream all day everyday :D 

I'm doing outstanding over here! Another transfer has gone and we're already in week two of my sixth transfer. My dear Sister Knudsen and I are staying together one more transfer! Cheehoo! We're keeping our same wards, same pad, and same VC shifts pretty much so we're excited. We are so blessed to stay in our same wards because normally sisters here don't stay longer than a transfer in a ward!
All last transfer, we tried to get a hold of this girl named Amy, but we could never get a lesson with her. She was either busy, sick, or out of town. After trying and trying, we finally had a lesson with her yesterday! It went so well and we already love her so much. She is Korean actually which is awesome! I kept thinking about Elder Annen as we talked with her. She has been through a rough life and wants help. She told us that she doesn't think she can do it anymore; but she said she believes Sister Knudsen and I have power to help her. It was so sweet. All three of us were crying as the lesson was being taught. She is already gaining a testimony that through Christ's Atonement, she can be healed and given an enabling power to overcome her trials. The gospel is for EVERYONE.

I have one cool VC experience to share before I go! So Sundays at the VC are awesome. They're packed with people all day long. Members, non-members, you name it! Most of them are members enjoying their sabbath with the family and it's so fun. We love taking them on tours to give them a converting experience even as members. It gives them the opportunity to be more converted themselves and to give them missionary opportunities. One of our favorite things to show them is the video "God's Plan for His Family". Have you seen it before?? Ah heavens, it's my favorite movie in the whole world. Even though I've seen it hundreds of times, I bawl every time I watch it! It is truly inspired. Just last Sunday, Sister Knudsen and I took many wonderful members on tours and also showed them the video. The spirit was felt so strongly and I could feel my testimony building as we gave the tours. Now before each tour, we invite them to pray to know of someone who is ready and prepared to receive the gospel as they are here. We promise them that as they go on the tour and feel the spirit here, Heavenly Father will bring someone to their mind. And wow, Heavenly Father kept His promise. By the end of our shift (3 hrs), we had received 32 member referrals! Thirty-two! It was incredible and such an eye-opener to me on what Heavenly Father can really really do if we only have faith.
Think about how your faith in Jesus Christ has blessed you in your life. And think about what you can do this week to have an even greater increased faith in Him. I know that as you do, Heavenly Father will show you what your faith is capable of. He'll show you what He can and will do if we only have a little faith in Him. That evidence will increase your faith little by little as you act on those small evidences. It's a never-ending upward spiral. I love Heavenly Father so much! I love Him because I know Him. 
I know that He loves you. Let Him help you.
Know that I love you 75 miles per hour and miss you so much!
Sister Annen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Words of Mother"

Sister Annen has had such a busy transfer that it's been hard for her to write much for the blog.....

AND now, I, Sister Annen's mother, speak somewhat concerning that which Sister Annen has written; for after I had searched among the records, I found these quotations which contained this small account of the dealings of the Lord with Sister Annen ..... I have made an abridgment from her last letter down to her next letter which will hopefully come soon.....

"How was your Memorial Day? What did you guys do?  Here in Laie it's been super busy and crowded with people since everyone has today off.  This winter is the PCC's 50th anniversary and we invited the first presidency to it! Ah! I'm so excited!  That week is going to be fantastic!  It's going to be HUGE! Another opportunity to bring people into the kingdom of God you know what I'm saying?"

"Yesterday, we walked in to sacrament meeting when bishop came up to us and asked if we could speak for 15 minutes IN 15 minutes since the stake presidency couldn't make it ... haha oh the life of a missionary. I was super nervous ... but it all worked out and the spirit just told me what to say.  I love him too :)"

"Just last week our zone got to go to Pearl Harbor for a service project!  We cleaned the Missouri and it was awesome! We washed the windows because they're filming another movie on it.  Afterward, they took us on a tour and fed us ice cream for cleaning for them!  It was so nice!  While we were cleaning, regular tourists were looking around the ship on tours and would ask us if this cleaning thing was a project for troubled teens -- little do they know :D.  Haha we told them who we were and hopefully because of that, a few seeds were planted!  It was so cool! They thought they were coming to see the Missouri ... heh heh little did they know they would be hit with the spirit! Oh yeah...."

"Sister Knudsen and I committed our investigator Josh to baptism yesterday! Whoo! We're just on cloud 100 at the moment.  Not that that's any different from how we usually feel, but we feel pretty awesome and grateful.  The last few weeks had been frustrating because no one had been home, and our last investigator Daniel didn't see a need to be baptized!  We had such a great lesson with the spirit totally teaching!  But nothing... We were really disappointed because we didn't know what to do.  So we fasted!  It was the only thing we knew that we could do and then ... batta bing batta boom, Josh is going to be baptized! Whoo! Heavenly Father is so good."

Monday, May 13, 2013

He's in Charge

What's happening everybody?? Happy May! Guess what day it is in six days! MOMMY'S Day! Aahhh! I can hardly stand it! Good thing I'm sitting ;D heh heh WOW Sister Annen has no sense of humor at all :D 
This transfer has been terrific and so fun as tough as it's been! Whitewashing an area is a little less than a walk in the park if you know what I mean. But it has been so incredible and I love our wards! Two of our wards are Young Single Adult wards and our other ward is a married student ward. They are the best. Sometimes, I'll be sitting in Sacrament meeting totally thinking I'm just back in my singles ward from back home and then when I go say hi to my friends, I'll remember I'm serving in the ward as a missionary when the first thing my friends do when they see me is throw out their right hand :D haha so funny. Btw! Whitewashing is when you and your companion serve in an area where neither of you have served in before. So it's close to starting over and getting to know everyone and contacting investigators and teaching them in preparation for baptism all before six weeks are over since that's when one or both of you could be transferred to another area. I'm making this sound really hard...and it is! But thing is, it works and is possible because the Lord is in charge of this work. If He wasn't in charge, this wouldn't be possible, it just wouldn't. I'm so grateful that He is! I've really come to learn this transfer that He's in charge and He WILL provide a way to move it along no matter how hard it may look ahead. He knows what He's doing I tell ya :) I love Him.
This is super short I apologize, but hey, I'll make it up next Sunday by calling you!! Cheehoo!  Less than a week. We got this. I love you all and hope you know how proud I am of you and how proud Heavenly Father is of you. 
Aloha Ohana!
Sister Annen

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Due Tomorrow!

Helloha Ohana!

Happy Tuesday! How the heavens are you all? Did you have a super week? I sure hope so! Boy, do I have a week to tell you about :D
So today is the last day of transfers, which means, tomorrow is the first day of another transfer, which means, I'm not an online missionary anymore, which means, I'll be out in an actual area, which means, I'll have a new companion starting tomorrow, which means,.... I'm training a new missionary! Ahhhhh! I'm having a baby! (that's totally mish slang btw! I'm not literally pregnant for those of you unfamiliar with missionary language. There totally is one) I received the training packet in the mail Friday, and on Sunday night I had the training conference call with all the trainers and President. Her name is Sister Knudsen :) She is from Arizona, and she is 19! She'll be one of the first 19-year-olds in our mission! I can't wait to meet her tomorrow. I'll have to let you know all about my first week next Monday. I already love her.

Heavenly Father and Pres trusts me to do this huh? They trust me to train a new missionary huh? Since the call, I'll be praying and ask Heavenly Father, "You trust me huh?" And immediately the feeling of "Yes, I trust you" comes to me. So I'll ask, "'ll help me right?" :D ha and I know He's probably just chuckling and thinking, "Of course I'll help you! Who do you think I am?" :) I know He will help me. It's the only way that I can do it is through Him! So even though I'm nervous and I feel inadequate, I know Heavenly Father will help me.
Here's also something that blows my mind. I'm at my six month mark now! How in heavens did that come up so fast?? I remember being a greenie just yesterday! I'm still a greenie! I'll always feel like a greenie up to my last day!
I wanted to share a cute little experience I had at the VC a few days ago! So this big wonderful Hindu family came in the other day with all of their beautiful children. The kids were wandering around, having fun watching the kid kiosks about Jesus and Heavenly Father and where we go after we die, stuff like that. I went up to them and showed them the clip on the kiosk called, "What Happens when we Die?" After we watched it, I was talking to them about Heaven and what happens to us after our life here. One of the older kids said to me, "Oh I know! After this life, we will become either a tree, a leaf, a bug, or something like that!" And then his little baby sister replied, "Ya if you dress up." :D ha it was so cute and so funny and so true! I tried to hold in my laughter because she said it so matter of fact! This experience was so cute and so interesting to me and helped me to learn more about how pure and innocent children are. The older sibling had been taught, while the younger sibling had just recollected. Children are so close to the veil no matter how they are brought up! This helped me to understand more about what Christ meant when He said, "...whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God..." We need to keep our selves unspotted so that we too, can be pure and receptive to the Holy Ghost-a being, who, as a member of the Godhead, can and will open the channels of Heaven if we only let Him. Did you know He is capable of such a thing? I didn't really understand that until now! Allow Him to be capable of doing that to you. I challenge you to do what is necessary for that to happen. It is the ONLY way we can enter into Heavenly Father's presence. I want to find myself there. I want you to find yourself there. You can do it. He knows you can do it.
I better go back and move in to my new pad now (it's the same pad I lived in when I first got here!) and decorate my dear companion's planner. Make this your best week yet! Know that you are a tool in the Lord's hand wherever you go. No need to wear a badge to be an instrument :) I love you all! 
much aloha,
Sister Annen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Own Scripture

Happy Tuesday and Aloha family of mine!

How was General Conference for everyone?? Super great ya? How was it being all cozy all day, eating yummy food? Ah I just loved it. It was honestly more exciting than Christmas over here! All of us missionaries got to wake up at bright and early at five-Hawaii being four hours behind Salt Lake, and got to go to the Visitor's Center and watch the apostles on the big screen baby! So awesome! We were cuddled up in our blankies and pros clothes and just enjoyed listening to what Heavenly Father wanted all of us to learn. I had so many favorites it's not even funny. Of course I loved Elder Holland's talk. I really needed to hear what he said. I felt like every word was for me. I also loved Elder Falabella's where he said, "Shake hands with EVERYONE!" haha so funny and so cute. And President Monson's was incredible too! All about obedience! mmm.. so good. It totally pumped me up to be a better missionary and to be more exactly obedient. Not only here on my mission, but also when I'm off my mission. I know that I needed every single one of those talks at General Conference. Before my mission I would have argued with myself because how can EVERY talk be for me? I realized this conference that it is through the words of the apostles and prophets that I can receive my own revelation. No matter what the talk is about, I can know what Heavenly Father wants me to start doing or stop doing in order be a better person and be more of a disciple of Jesus Christ. So many promptings came to me as I watched and listened that I didn't even expect! And it didn't really have to do with the talk necessarily; But because the talks come by revelation, each of us can receive our OWN revelation just by listening and pondering with open hearts. Have you thought of that before? I sure hadn't! I didn't realize just how personal and powerful General Conference could be until this last weekend. It is a powerful blessing from our Heavenly Father. If you didn't feel like Heavenly Father taught you personally as you watched General Conference, I challenge you to watch it again. Watch it with the questions you have had these last six months. If it's important to you, then it's important to Him. You are entitled to receive your own personal revelation. He will tell you exactly what to do because He wants you to return to Him. He'll give you your own scripture. I know that's true. 

I wish I had more time to talk about everything! But I had to talk about General Conference! Know that I love you all oodles and oodles. I'll talk more about my week next week! 

lots and lots and LOTS of love,
Sister Annen

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Living in the Shadow of the Temple

Aloha everyone!

How. Are. YOU?? I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last sent an email for everyone! There’s no excuse for it really. My email time was cut a little short last week because we hiked this sweet mountain called “Crouching Lion”. It was as cool as the name sounds :D It’s a hike where you have to use both arms and legs and don’t have arms or legs by the end. So choice! I’m definitely taking you here when we come to visit.
So this email is story time for you all! So sit back, relax, grab a fluffernutter, and listen to what I had the opportunity of listening to/experiencing this week.

There was a man who came through the temple gates the other day and immediately after taking a step in, he stopped. He took a step back, being sure he was outside the temple gates. He paused, and then took a step back in, back onto the temple grounds. He did this over and over again; Taking a step in, and then out. In, out. After a few minutes, we asked this man what he was doing. His response gave me goose bumps. He said, “Whenever I take a step inside these gates, I feel something. When I step outside, I don’t feel anything.” This man knew there was something special about the temple. It was such a wonderful reminder to me.

We got to watch a fireside by Michael Ballum who is serving a mission with his wife and son here in Laie. It was only one of the most amazing firesides I’ve ever seen! He talked about temples and the history of them, and his experiences with them and it was just jaw dropping. I had no idea there was so much temple history and so many incredible stories behind them! And I wish I had all the time in the world to tell you every single story! Once I’m home, I’ll tell you all of them. But for now, I want to tell you a story-true story, about the Laie temple. 

During the world war, a bomber plane was sent to destroy this big white rectangular building in Hawaii. They didn’t know what it was, but they figured it was an equipment storage unit. They couldn’t risk keeping this beautiful building intact and so the day came to bomb it. The pilot flew over the building, ready to drop the first bomb, but the bomb wouldn’t release. He turned his plane around and dropped the bomb again. No luck. He tried one more time, surely he could do it this time…nothing. “Why won’t they drop?” The man wondered. “What am I doing wrong?” He decided to drop one of them into the ocean, just to see if there was something wrong with the plane. The second he flew over the ocean and released the bomb, it fell and dropped perfectly. No problem. This building was more than just a building.

Years later, a missionary was teaching a lesson to a man about the importance of temples and brought up this story. As this elder told the man this story, tears flowed down this man’s face. This man later told the elder that He himself had been the very pilot who had tried to bomb the Laie temple. It was him, whose plane could not drop one single bomb on the Laie Hawaii Temple. Because of this experience, he knew there was something special about this building, he later became baptized, and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

How incredible is that?? And that’s just ONE of the miracles he told us! Ah, I love temples so much. They are literally the Houses of God. A heaven on Earth. Inside the temple is the only place in the world where the adversary CANNOT dwell. And think about this, there are about 140 of those spots in the earth today! And growing! Tell me THAT’S not evidence that Heavenly Father loves us! =D The Lord’s work is progressing. And WE get to witness it! How lucky we are. 

I’m so grateful to serve in the Visitor’s Center of one of God’s temples. I literally live in the shadow of the temple. I’m so blessed. I hope we can all live our lives in the shadow of the temple. Perhaps not literally. But I hope we do everything we can so that we can go often. It is there where Heavenly Father can bless us! It is there that He can clothe us with power, so that we may and will endure the trials of this life. It’s a promise He has given us. Let Him fulfill that promise. I remember Mom telling me that we don’t go to the temple to get away from real life, but to experience real life. I’ve come to know that’s true. I know we all can come to know that’s true too.

I love you all! Have a wonderful Easter! Oh! I just forgot that I won’t talk to you 'til after Easter! Goodness me, well, have the best Easter ever family! Remember why we celebrate it as you eat eggfulls of yummy candy. Heavenly Father loves you!

Give 'em Heaven!

Love always,
Sister Annen

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Dear Family,

I just had to get that out! I couldn't hold it in one more second. What's up my honey bunches?? How was your first week of March? Wow it's MARCH. Wow! This month has already been choice for me and for all of us actually. I can't wait to tell you about it!

SO, we just had a revolution at the Visitor's Center! Yep. Something that has never happened before. You ready for this? Are you on the edge of your chair? On March 1, 2013, our tours began counting as LESSONS! Chihu! Oh my lanta I wish I could describe to you what a BIG deal this is. If a tour comes in and self refers, WE become their missionaries! WE do! In the past, they would self refer, we did a little dance, and then we'd never really hear from them again (except on lucky occasions) But now, we get to be with them every step of the way to baptism! :D We will teach them by phone or email until they are successfully transferred to the local missionaries, and then after that, we become sort of their fellowshipper I guess you could say! We get to check up on them and share little messages and just be there for them. Can you see how inspired this is?? Wow, the Lord is just hastening His work. I see it everyday.

Which speaking of! We have our first 19-year-old Sister here! Ah! So cool. We were all so excited to see what a 19-yr-old sister looks like! When she first walked in, we all just stood there frozen and stared :) Welcome to Hawaii right? :) ha let me tell you, they look great! Just fantastic really :D I can just tell that the Lord has been preparing them because they are just as prepared as the older missionaries if not, MORE! We're all excited for next transfer (which is in less than a week already by the way!) because this is the transfer where they all start coming in!

We had a fireside on Sunday, where our Mission President spoke to all of us and our investigators and all of Laie practically. It was so so good! Guess who was also asked to speak at the fireside a couple hours before the fireside? This one. Yep :) And I wish I had more time to go in to detail! But know that I survived, and I totally learned that Heavenly Father totally has your back and will never let us down. It's just how He is; I love Him.

I went on exchange with Sister Christiansen the other day got to serve with her in her area! The whole day was awesome. The last family we visited was the Mapuhi family. They are a less active family. Sister Mapuhi answered the door and poor thing, she looked exhausted. She has been going through every trial you can think of, and I honestly can't imagine going through these kind of things. We talked with her for a very long time and didn't even know what to say. To not go into detail, let me put it this way. The commandments God has given us, Is. For. A. Reason. He wasn't just grumpy one day and decided to give His children a list of things they couldn't do. He gives us commandments because He knows who we are and who we can become. If we don't understand that yet, we need to see ourselves through His eyes to see what he is trying to make of us. The gospel of Jesus Christ will help us no matter what were going through. So even though we didn't know the little logistical things that would help her, we knew that the gospel would help her perfectly. This experience really helped me to realize what a reality the gospel is. And what a reality it SHOULD be in our lives.

Well, have a happy week my dearsies! I love you loads! Don't ever ever forget that okay? Keep smiling and know you have a number one fan here in Hawaii, and up in Heaven :)


Sister Annen

ps Look up the 2012 youth theme song/video! It's filmed right here in Laie where I'm serving! You can actually see my pad in one of the shots!
pps do any of you have some super yummy recipes you could send me? Being online, we make dinner each and every night, and I kind of need some ideas. (Mom: I know what you're going through :D You're a champ for doing this EVERY night!)

Hows it and Aloha Everybody?!

Hows it and Aloha Everybody?!

Well! Another week. I feel like I'm always saying, "It's P-day again??" ha it's crazy how time flies here. The days are busy and long, but the weeks just zip by. 
And what about the 58 new missions huh? Pretty sweet ya?? I'm am so excited. My mission president was asked if he wanted the Hawaii mission to be split, but he decided not to since it's kind of hard with all the different islands and such. But Elder Annen's mission is being split oh my! Wow, that will be quite the change. It's no understatement that the Lord is hastening His work. He knows what He's doing, that's what I've come to find out.

So, I'm online now! Okay, obviously right now I'm online as I'm emailing, but what I mean is that I'm an online sister now! Let you tell you's spectacular! Absolutely terrific. And let me tell you why. I get to do the chats from like I told you, and while I'm waiting, I teach lessons through email to our investigators and if I have spare time, I surf and I feel like I know those websites like the back of my nametag. I know every person on "I'm on Mormon" and love love LOVE mormon messages! Ah! Who knew they were so sick! Seriously, if you haven't seen one, take the challenge from a sister missionary to watch one after you're done reading this. Or watch one right now! For missionaries, mormon messages are like watching the newest grammy award-winning film! (grammy is for films right?) Shoots, I can't remember. Anyway, the newest mormon message I love is called "Mountains to Climb"! Have you seen it? Oh my... it's only amazing! Please watch it and tell me what you think. Keep some tissues handy. It's necessary :D
What's really cool, is that Sister M and I will pray with people on chat...didn't think that was possible huh? I didn't before I got online either! Here's how it works: after teaching them a doctrine and inviting them to do something, we will ask to pray with them. We kneel by our computers and invite the person on the other end to kneel if they would like. One of us says the prayer and the other types. I was really hesitant at first because really, how effective can a prayer be if it's only being typed? The answer is, extremely. As Sister M gave the prayer and I typed it, goosebumps shot down my arms and I could literally feel the spirit surrounding the us. I don't know how to describe it other than that. It was so strong in fact, that I could barely type! My heart just pumps out of my chest every time. From these experiences of teaching and praying online, I have learned that the spirit always speaks when truth is revealed. That sounds so simple and so obvious! But really think about that. No matter no what language you're speaking, no matter if it is spoken or written, the spirit teaches. It's evidence that the spirit is what does the converting. Not us. Thank goodness. 

I can't believe all of my friends are coming home from their missions already! I totally remember going to their farewells and seeing their great examples. Well I love you all! Never forget, but more importantly, never forget that your Heavenly Father loves you. Keep smiling! Aloha!

love always,
Sister Annen

Thursday, February 21, 2013

World is Our Oyster

Aloha and Talofa!
This is after only 5 minutes of rain!
When it rains, it pours.....I always say! ha  :)

I say Talofa because Sister Mckeever and I got to go to the Samoan ward last Sunday and it was legit! Ah I love Polynesians! Most of it was in Samoan and even though I hardly understood what was being said, I understood that the spirit is universal. The spirit speaks when truth is spoken no matter if you can understand or not. I felt it so strongly as I sang the hymns in Samoan and listened to testimonies being born in Samoan. What a blessing.

We gave the tram tours on Thursday and Saturday, which now that I think about it, I can't remember if I've ever really talked how that all goes down! So first off, we get to wear another sick-looking muumuu with our brown Hawaiian slippers. I'm too lucky I tell ya. And then the tram takes us to the Polynesian Cultural Center where we invite everyone there to take the tram tour to the Temple Visitor's Center. Now it's so awesome because I meet people from literally ALL over the world. A huge chunk of them are Asians. Some of them have never seen a white girl or blonde hair before so they'll come up to me and just stare with their cute little eyes. It's adorable. And then they'll want a picture because they've never seen anything like it before! (As sisters, we are in so many random tourist pictures from all over the world. Most missionaries have doors slammed in their face...we have our pictures taken.)

There was a cute little old man who saw me and then went up to one of the Japanese sisters and said something to her in Japanese. She then turned to me and said, "He wants me to tell you, that you are one beautiful woman!" I looked at the cute old man and he just blushed and ran away. ha so cute. My mission's not even fair. 

Ah I have so much more to say and I have to go already, what happened?? Well, I'll type way faster next week and tell you more. For now, you guys have have HAVE to see the mormon message "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father"! It's incredible and can say things way better than I can. But watch it and report back on what you think. I know it's true.

Well I love you bunches my favorite family in the whole wide world! Know that you have a number one fan all away across the ocean!

Love and much aloha,
Sister Annen

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It Bites Sometimes

Hey howdy heloha everyone!

Howz it?? Did you all have a super fantastic week? Sounds like it was kind of a crazy one with Jess's lil' accident. Which hey Jess, can you give you me a big thumbs up? ;D ha I'm just kidding. I hope you feel better soon sis! I'm sending get better kisses right now. And how is good ol Utah? Has it warmed up yet? I saw a picture and about died! It looks like the ice age over there holy smokes.

So I don't have ton's of time to write today, but I have to tell you about this week :D
First off, transfers are over! Wow I can't believe another transfer is pow! Done! Guess what that means? I'm done training and out of my diapers baby! Whoo! I'm all grown up now. It went by so fast! Sister Johnston was the best trainer in the world and I'm gonna miss her. To be honest, it's kind of been rough for us knowing we won't be together anymore. It's been so awesome with her! Quite the adventure :D We got the new transfer news (which is a big BIG deal for missionaries for those who don't know!) Sister J is going out full pros to Honolulu! Whoo! She's excited. And my fate is...... duh dun duh! Online Sister! Chihu!! So instead of having an area and serving in a ward, I'll be online doing the chats and calls for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Boom baby! So if you just happen to call our number, I may be on the other line! We could catch up! ha ha no don't do that :D Oh! And my new companion is...
Sister Mckeever! My MTC companion! Reunited again. It'll be be awesome. Apparently she is a bomb cook and flexes in the kitchen! Which is so lifesaving on my part because being an online sister, we don't have a ward to feed us. And I don't cook squat! Ramen and fluffernutters is as fancy as I get. So she's going to help me in that department. Maybe I'll lose a pound or two! haha that'll be the day. Anyway, all the news has been really exciting! Bittersweet definitely, but good. I know it was inspired for many many reasons :D

Now, get ready for what else happened this week. You won't believe this :D We got attacked by a dog this week!! ha yep! You heard right! On Thursday, we were walking to someone's house when a dog came out of no where. And not just any dog... a PIT BULL. Just our luck right? So we see the dog (and he doesn't look angry!) but he comes up to us, sniffs, and then takes a huge bite out of Sister Johnston! We realize this is no cute puppy with floppy ears so we turn around and head the other way, but then he starts charging us! He goes for me this time, but misses my leg and only gets my dress. By this time we're sprinting, and the pit bull keeps charging and bites Sister Johnston again! Oh my goodness, poor thing. A few words were coming out of our mouths that missionaries probably shouldn't say, or anyone for that matter. But besides the point! I have never ran off of so much adrenaline in my life. We ran to visitor's center without shoes (they must've fallen off at one point, but we didn't even notice) and fell on the grass because poor Sister Johnston's legs were so chewed up. I only got a scrape and wished I could've taken a bite for her! We got the car, and raced to the ER. Luckily, she didn't need stitches and luckily, there are no rabies on the island which is what we were really worried about. Blessings! She's healing really quickly so we're grateful. Lesson learned: Don't pet, touch, look at, or walk by a pit bull in Hawaii! Ah! Hopefully, I get over this soon, but I'm terrified of dogs! Sister J and I have always been dog lovers, but for the time being, we can't even look at a cute fluffy one without wondering if it's going to eat us :D It's always the missionary joke to be attacked by a dog, but what do you know, it actually happens! It's all good though because at this point, we just laugh at whatever happens to us. Who knows what will happen today! Bring it on :D 

So that was our week this week! Day one, Sister J and I start our transfer out with a big bang (no pun intended) and end it with a big bite (no pun intended again). I have learned being out here that everything happens for a reason. Everything. I can't think of ONE time where I haven't learned something from an experience. You learn from your experience and you learn to trust and rely on the Lord more than anything. What a blessing from our Heavenly Father don't you think? He gives us experiences or trials only so that if we only rely on Him, He will bless us! Have confidence. Have confidence not in yourself, but in your Savior. He'll never let you down I promise you that. 

I love you oh so much! Make this the best week yet and keep smiling! It catches on :D

Love always and much aloha,
Sister Annen

Our hammock...
just chillin' with my trainer in our backyard.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ding Dong Ditching... Missionary Style!


How's it fam?? Did you have a super duper week?! I sure hope so! I hear it's like below zero degrees over there! Holy Smokes dude. I hope you're not freezing too much! Just drink lots of hot chocolate. And don't worry! It's freezing over here too! I'm not going to say just how cold because I know you don't want to hear it :D 

Would you believe me if I told you this was my backyard??
Believe it! :) Gorgeous, huh??
I can't remember if I told you about the Marshallese people Sister J and I visit or not. Man they are awesome! They're from the Marshall Islands and all live in one house. They're on scholarship from their government back home and go to BYU here. We've been meeting with this sweet lady named Joana and this solid guy named Cooper. We went over to see Joana the other day and we asked how she's been doing. She told us that they get their money from their government back home, but they never send the money on time. So these poor things have no money for food and are so hungry! Can you imagine having to worry about that? I can't even fathom having to think about whether I'll have food the next day. As she was explaining the situation, Sister J and I knew exactly what to do. Over the past week, we were somehow blessed with way more food from the members in our ward than usual. We had so much left over food it wasn't even funny! Before, we had no idea what to do with it, but after our visit with Joana, we totally did. We hurried home and scavenged all the food we could find. Even our pad mates chipped in, it was awesome! Since we've also been in Honolulu so much with all of our doctor's appointments and such we ran into some very generous members down there. They gave each of us 20 dollars for food. People are too kind! Even though it was nice to have, we knew the Marshallese needed it more. We stuffed the money into the food bags and doorbell ditched the bags of food on their porch. We hurried as fast as sister missionaries can and hid behind some palm trees to see their reaction. Let me just say, that that was the best door bell ditch I've ever ditched before! ha I was smiling from ear to ear really, I couldn't have been happier. The Marshallese were so grateful. Even though they couldn't see us, they knew we must've been hiding somewhere because they yelled out, "Thank you so much! God bless you!" Tears filled my eyes. As Sister J and I were walking home, I remember having President Hinkley's words go through my head from his talk, "Lessons I learned as a Boy" when he says, "Now don't you just have a good feeling?" 

The next day, we had a lesson with Joana and she committed to be baptized! February 2 baby! Chihu! (In case you were wondering what chihu means, it's the Tongan word for 'heck ya!') Anyway, she is golden and ready. The only thing she needs to do is have the courage to ask her husband back in the Marshall Islands. We're praying hard that he's okay with it. 

Just a couple days ago, we were out proselyting and no one was home! Not one. We were trying to think if there was anything we could have done to make Heavenly Father upset with us, like forgetting to end our companionship study with a prayer or forgetting to write down a back up plan for one of our appointments. Anything! Maybe He was trying to teach us a lesson, we didn't know. So we knocked on Hei's door. Now, we have been trying to contact Hei ever since I've been here. And so far we've had no luck. Zip zero. But we knocked and guess who answered! Hei! (you say his name like 'hey' btw. ha kind of funny when you say "hey Hei!") Anyway, Hei answered and this is exactly to the T what he said, "Hi guys! I'm actually reading the Book of Mormon right now and I have a few questions. Would you mind helping me out?" No joke. Sister Johnston and I looked at each other, smiled, gave a resounding 'yes!'  and totally knew that was an answer to our silly worry prayer seconds before! It's okay when things don't work out exactly the way you plan because Heavenly Father ALWAYS has a plan! And it's even better than the one we have! I totally learned that this week. Everything will work out the way it's supposed to. 

Even with all the medical stuff going on, I can feel the love of my Father in Heaven so much. He is always aware. He is aware of each of you. More that we know. But we can come to know if we just give heed! 
I love you all! May the spirit be with you!

Love and much aloha,

Sister A