Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 2014 - 'Talk With Everyone'

7 July 2014
Transfer 3 Week 2... 30th June - 7th July

Heyyyyyyyyyyy :)

So last week I was studying the Christlike attribute of 'Diligence'.  I took it to prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help me become a more diligent missionary. The next day I woke up sick. Proper sick. Mostly a cough, sore throat, headache, sore muscles with a little bit of vomiting.  But as crazy as it sounds, every missionary knows - the work still goes on. This is where learning about diligence came in to practice. I had been studying about how no matter what the situation - you continue to work and you work hard and you don't stop. So that's what I did this week.  I feel like I went into 'survival' mode and tried my absolute hardest to keep working on. When it got to a point where I felt like I couldn't do the work and all I wanted was my bed, I knelt in prayer and pleaded with Heavenly Father to give me the strength to carry out His work. That night was still rough, but the next day I woke up and was basically healed over night.  I still have a light cough but everything else is just dandy.  Oh the power of prayer!!!!!!!

Me with a hedghog... I always see flat ones run over, but this is the first time I've seen one that's alive... they're so weird.., back legs bigger then their front. Way cute 
This week we were focusing on finding new investigators as most of the people we have been teaching are from previous missionaries efforts. We have a thing in this mission called TWE which stands for 'Talk With Everyone'.  So when you're walking to appointments or service projects - talk with everyone you meet on the way. We made this a goal for the week and a few times had to run across roads to catch people ;) But we were able to find 6 new investigators who we are teaching this coming week. 

The 3 kiddies didnt get baptised on Saturday as we felt they weren't ready. They have had a rough upbringing and they enjoy church and activites etc but we realised that until they feel the Spirit and Heavenly Fathers love in their home, that they wont progress past this point. So we have spoken with the mum and we are going to do a service project this week to clean up the home, put pictures of Christ on the walls, take some family photos and hang them up, and they are going to do nightly family prayers and scripture study. We have rescheduled their baptism date for the 19th and have prayed and feel good about it :)

Another miracle occured yesterday also. It was Fast Sunday (the first Sunday of every month the whole congregation fasts together and the church sacrament meeting is left open for people to come and share their thoughts and testimonies of Jesus Christ).  My companion and I fasted that our investigators would come to church... we had 7 people come!!! The testimonies that were said were so powerful and the spirit was felt strongly by all. Best Sunday ever :)

What can I say, this work is amazing! I am loving being an instrument in the Lords hands :)

Sister Heal

PS. CONGRATS TO SIS BRAMFORD!!!!!!!!!!!! Another one out in the field, loving it :)

14 July 2014
Transfer 3 week 3


The week 3 hump!!! So apparently (as I found out this week) that week 3 is the hardest in every transfer.  It's at the point where youve been with the same person for 3 weeks so your over the 'honeymoon' stage and you get more real, and you loose motivation, etc etc etc.  So I have heard rumours about week 3.  The Sister Training Leaders said all hell breaks loose in week 3 and things go wrong with all the companionships. Upon hearing about this I REFUSED, simply refused to have week 3 moments.  We turned the dreadded week 3 into the best week ever :)

Why was it so good you ask? All right here we go...

NEW MISSION PRESIDENT: President Lekias has gone home and President Balli is in. We had the opportunity to meet him for interviews on Tuesday.  Can I just say, I have never felt such love and warmth from a total stranger in my whole entire life? He has about 230 missionaries to look after.  He walked in the room and my District (6 of us) stood up as we were sitting at the table. He walks over and as he shakes our hands looks into our eyes tells us how happy he is to meet us, asks us where we are from and our name etc. So much love and so much warmth. Then we had a 15 minute interview and can I just say... he is so inspired :) Talking about it with my companion after and what was said in the interviews - he just knows us both so perfectly. He asked very inspired questions and was able to see straight through any walls and get to the core. So much love and warmth. very humble and inspired. We are both waayyyy excited :)

INVESTIGATORS: We are teaching so many people at the moment!!! As a missionary you usually spend your time between visiting members of the congregation, members who are struggling or no longer come to church, people you are teaching who are investigating, and finding new people. This week has been FULL with teaching investigators. Their are so many people prepared to receive the gospel at this time. The 3 kiddies are progressing towards baptism and we are helping the mum come back to church and be strong also. One of them had their birthday and she gave us invitations so we popped in and gave her a cake :) we had 5 people come to church on Sunday and each of them loved it. There's a new guy we're teaching and lets just call him Bai... he is 17 and friends with a guy who comes to church and he reminds me entirely of myself 5 years ago. Same questions, same concerns etc etc. He has been to church the past few weeks and wants to know everything about the gospel. He is set to be baptised on the 26th but we don't want to rush him so we will see how that goes. We are so busy teaching that on Tuesday and Wednesday we were literally running from appointment to appointment. 

my companion with some random
metal man :) 
COMPANION: Words can't explain how lucky I am with my companion! She is seriously the nicest person in the world and way way fun. We work hard and enjoy it at the same time. Always laughing and always learning.

Annnnnnnnd thats the end of my week. So here's some random things:

- I eat weird food on a daily basis. My district leader got fed dog last night and I must say, I havent eaten that nor do I want to. But I've got eating raw fish down pat. It's soooooooo gross. But wharves

- Also cake. I have eaten SO MUCH CAKE this week. People just love to fatten missionaries up!!

- I don't think I have had a day in the last 3 weeks where I have stayed dry. My feet are constantly wet and it's so gross but also hilarious. Sometimes you get so wet that you dont even care you're wet anymore :) And people feel sorry for you so they let you in and give you a nice coco Samoa!

- I pretty much step in dog poo every day. I dont know why, honestly. My companion doesn't - just me!!! It's so sad! 

- So we ding dong dashed the other night. One of our part members families the mum had a birthday. So we got a card and flowers and knocked on the door and RAN. haha it was so exciting. Felt like i was 12 again!

- The senior couple in our ward are Sister Daynes home teachers from back home and they took us to a way nice restaurant for dinner. I forgot what it's like to feel fancy!!!

- We had dinner at the Brown's and decided to take family photos... they're our samoan family :)

- This is pretty much the coolest thing in the world (serving a mission) get onnit everyone!!

Love Sister Heal :) 

21 July 2014
Transfer 3 Week 4

So, before I get down to business, let me tell you about the raddest P-Day I had last week.  So on P-Days you do your emails and shopping and clean the flat etc... Usually we are finished at about 3pm and we have 'free time' until 6pm.  As a missionary you are limited as to what you can do and normally we just go play sports on an oval or at the chapel with the other 4 Elders in our District. 

This week just gone though, we went on an adventure! There's some people in our ward who are a similar age and they took us to this WAY NICE place in the Elders area. So it's in the middle of nowhere, you drive through rolling hills to get there and then there is just sand and sand and sand and you come to a MASSIVE drop and there's a creek at the bottom. We bought boogy boards and went "sand duning".


Soon much fun!!! Then we had a little bit of time (hardly any) so we booked it to a nearby beach, ran across the hard sand and went to some caves. My camera died so I don't have photos of these caves but I'm getting them from the Elders next week so will attatch them later.

Moral of the story we were running around in bare feet and exploring and having so much fun :) and today we are going to some other caves and next week on a hike. Happy p-days!!!
Ok down to business with investigators..

Bai.... Well he said he wanted to wait a bit longer to be baptised (which is understandable) so we have just been seeing him every second day teaching him lessons.  We then had a lesson with him where we bore our testimonies of baptism and how it's the start not the end.  A lot of people have the mindset "I'm going to do this, this and this and then I'll get baptised and then I'm done". But truthfully.. baptism is the first step into the rest of your life and eternity.  On Saturday night we felt inspired to go to the Prasad's home (the people he's friends with and half lives there) and we sat down and started talking etc... then he turns and says "I feel ready to be baptised... this Saturday.. a week from now!" We asked him why he wanted to and he shared his testimony of the restored gospel. It was such a beautiful night :) So we spent Sunday rushing around at church trying to get it organised!!!!

The Kids... so the 3 kids we are still teaching have progressed a lot this week. They all went to their assigned classes and were willing to go to activities. They say they can't wait to be baptised! They are also being baptised this Saturday. So we have 4 baptisms on the one day - It will be a busy day for us missionaries!!!

They are the main 2 who we focus on right now, seeing them everyday. There's a lot of others we are helping with the first step and that is faith. Faith leads to wanting to change (repentance) which leads to baptism. There's a moment in investigators lives when it all clicks for them.  Everything we have been teaching and what they have been feeling all starts to make sense and they change so much in a short space of time.  The biggest moment is when they understand that they are a child of God. Someone can be told that a million times.. but once they feel it and understand it - everything changes :) Understanding your divine identity changes attitude and behavior :)

Change, change, change. So much changing! All for the better of course :)

So we have this less active member we visit and his wife and kids aren't religous but are 'testing the waters' as they call it. They're a beautiful Maori family.  We visit with them weekly and they are helping us to understand the culture. Teaching us how to speak the language and do our own pepiha (don't know how to spell it) where you say your river and mountain.  It doesnt matter if you're not from NZ you can just do it from anywhere... so mine is "Mulgrave river" and "Walsh's pyramid" in Cairns.... that's where half my childhood was :)  Anyway, we also learnt some songs and I can now introduce myself as a Sister missionary. I LOVE learning the language and embracing the culture :)

We had a 'come and see' fireside last night for missionaries to bring their investigators... Just a casual 600 people turned up. Last month it hit 1000! Honestly, its crazy how big they are here. I was able to see Sister Bonilla and hear about how my old area was going - everything is well :)

Oh! so yesterday I went for lunch at a members house... they had BOILED PIGS HEAD (nose and eye sockets and everything) and put it on the table and cut it in half. I thought I was going to vomit. But I held it together and filled my plate and then gave the food away to one of the daughters when they weren't looking :) I almost ate pigs liver thinking it was potato and they all laughed at me :) Fun times!!!

Ummmmmmmmm that's it for me this week!
As always I am just loving life. Transfers is next week and I really dont want anything to change, life is pretty much perfect right now!!!!

Love Sister Heal xx

28 July 2014
Transfer 3 Week 5


Ok, so all week we were rushing around mad organising everything for the baptisms... we had to call like 30 people to fufill assignments and get everything ready. Up until Friday night we were still making calls and double checking everything... Busiest week I've ever had!!!!

Saturday morning the 3 kids got baptised at 11am. A lot of the ward came to support and it was such a beautiful service. The spirit was strong and people were in tears. Sister Daynes and I stood near the font so when the kids came out we could get them organisd to go and get changed etc... they came out (after being baptised) with the BIGGEST smiles I have EVER seen. Honestly it's like it was their Christmas and birthday all in one. It was such a sweet moment. A very proud missionary moment! Not proud of our skills or anything like that, but proud of them for making that covenant with Heavenly Father. So. Much. Joy!

So we cleaned up from that, re-vacuumed the chapel and cleaned out the font etc etc......

Saturday afternoon Bailey got baptised at 2pm. It was one of my highlights so far. All his family came to support him and a lot of people from the ward came as well. The Spirit was felt even stronger and all he could say was how happy he felt. It was such a beautiful baptismal service. I had the sweet experience of seeing him hug his grandpa and they both broke down in tears.

His family all explained how they have seen the biggest change in him over the last month. It honestly filled my soul with exceedingly great joy ;)

So then Sunday comes.... On Sunday is when a new convert goes up the front and receives the 'gift of the holy ghost' by the 'laying on of hands' by someone holding the priesthood. One by one they went up and were given this special gift. The blessings given were beautifully spoken and after they sat down each one stood in the congregation and was sustained as a member of the ward. Each one couldn't hide their happiness with grins from ear to ear.

Then after church Bailey received the priesthood!!!!

And tonight..... We are witnessing one of our investigators babies being blessed and also a less actives.

We also have a lady called Meto set for baptism this Saturday. She is in her 70s and is Samoan. She moved in with her brother who is a strong member in our church. She said she has been to other churches for 50 years but she has never felt the Spirit like she does at ours. We asked her to bear her testimony and she cried and just said she knows it true, she can feel it. So she is going to be baptised this Saturday coming at 4pm.

So many ordinances performed this weekend. I can honestly say that collectively, the best 3 days of my life. The joy you feel seeing someone making covenants is like nothing else. Words can not describe it.

Sorry about the poor quality of some of the photos :) One is us with the kids... the mum and older brother were baptised about 2 years ago.

The other is us with Bailey in his suit and then in his whites ready to be baptised by his best friend.. sweet moment :)

Sister Heal

PS. So this week I sneezed so hard that I tore my intercostal muscle off my rib bone.. or something like that, Pretty much I sneezed and yelped (like a dog) in pain. Every breath, cough or laugh was soooooooo painful and everytime I sneezed I almost cried. Went to the docs and he gave me some antiinflamitory stuff and was like "go home and sleep" but we all know that missionaries don't do that, so I went back out to work :) My poor companion, she is sooo hilarious and I kept getting angry at her for making me laugh cos it hurt too much. Moral of the story... sneezing is dangerous!!!!