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

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