Thursday, January 1, 2015

December 2014 - The Gift!

1 December 2014
Transfer 6, week 5

So my week.... excellent!!! Can I just say.. HE is the gift!!

Sooooooooo Monday was a complete success. Zoo was the best and so was zone pday!

So here is a fun missionary story. I woke up Saturday morning at 12am (after a massive 1.5 hours sleep) and was projectile vomiting. Then I crawled back into bed and waddaya know, an hour later im crawling back to the bathroom. Spent most of the night on the bathroom floor. Continued vomiting (and when I ran out of things in my stomach, I was basically choking) every hour or so up until 11:30am. The Zone Leaders visited (Elder Park and Elder Tibbits) and gave me a priesthood blessing.  So after the blessing.. I didn't vomit once. Miracle or? Can I just say that the church is true and so is the priesthood! Whether you agree or not, it doesn't change absolute truth.  God is real, so is his son, and his power IS on earth. 

Love my companion!!!!!!!
So we went out proselyting after that. Although I didn't vomit I was tired and in a lot of pain so we came home at 8:30 (rebels! just kidding we had permission). We did planning and I passed out on the bed until 6am. I am the luckiest missionary in the world - who gets to get 9 hours sleep on their mission??? I slept like a rock and woke up feeling 99%. Miracle! My companion was the best and cleaned the house and my desk and set up the room and just ran around for me. LOVE HER!

Yesterday at church was excellent. Invitation Sunday so people brought friends and family. It was focused on Christ and was so uplifting. Then we had a fireside and the Mission President came. It was combined with Titirangi ward. 7pm start and at 7:02 there were 13 people in the chapel. Awkward. But we started anyway because every soul is worth it! Usual Islander time everyone came at 7:20/7:20ish and it ended up being a very successful night! We had a few less actives and 3 investigators. Plus all the members raved about my companion and I, making us look good for President, haha.

So, transfers is this week. We predict one of us will be going!!!! Who knows, scary times. Maybe I'll be the first sister missionary to go to Cook Islands....!!!!!! haha, I wish. A sister can only dream right? (although, last night I had a nightmare where I got sent back to the North Shore.. ermm...)

Until we meet again.
Sister Heal.

This is cool!!! Sister Boadens mum Nicole made one for me!! It's an App!!

8 December 2014
Transfer 6, week 6

Well... IM STAYING IN WATERVIEW... with... SISTER FAIVAKIMOANA!! Nothing changed!!! Our whole district is exactly the same. Shock of our life! By the end of this transfer, I would of been here for 6 months... 4.5 of those with the same companion. Luckily Sister Faiva is a legend so it's all OK :)

Blacktags! with the Tongan Sisters.
So, Tuesday we walk out of our flat to go for our morning exercise and there's these 2 random tongan girls in a random car and they're like "get in" and were like "ummm..." then we realise they're missionaries! So we jump in the car and they explain that we are going to pick up Sister Utokolo as Sister Niu is finishing her mission. TRIO TIME!! So we were in a trio for 3 days. We got to spend some time in the Tongan program.  I must admit, at the start I could only speak 5 words, but now I can testify that I know the Book of Mormon is true AND I can pray. The things you learn on a mission.... so that's excellent.  It was incredibly fun having her around. Lots of laughs and happy times. So we halved the days - some in her area and some in ours. Plus we had a car! Moving up in the world.... and then Thursday came and it was transfer day so life went back to normal. Sad. BUT we are super excited for the next 6 weeks..
Waterfall in Waterview!
So far we have 4 appointments on Christmas day... breakfast., brunch.. lunch.. and dinner.. So excited! 2 of our investigators invited us over to come and share a message as well, which is excellent :)

SAS District
So as missionaries we give out a million Books of Mormon (Book of Mormons? lol) and we are always encouraging our members to do the same. We also ask them to write their testimonies and highlight a few key scriptures that are personally meaningful to them. I remember before I was baptised, one of my Canadian friends, Quinton Ullrich did this for me. I was touched but I didn't give it much more thought... but hey a few months later I picked it up again when I learnt from the missionaries and got baptised!!!! 
So this week I get a call from the Zone Leaders saying they have a Book of Mormon for me. Random. But they came and gave it to me. It was Sister Daynes' personal copy along with 2 letters (she knows me so well!). One of the letters contained her testimony of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon. As I read it I felt the Spirit and was reduced to tears (I'm a sook these days!).  I then spent an hour over dinner flicking through and looking at random marked scriptures, notes on the sides etc. A few things I learnt.... you can tell a lot about a person from their scriptures about what is personally meaningful to them. You look closer at scriptures you never have before which take on a whole new meaning. No matter if your not religious or if you're a missionary, you can still be given a Book of Mormon as a present!! Nothing is more special then a written testimony. No one is more important than our Savior, Jesus Christ.

My challenge to all of you is to do the same. You can use a fresh copy or your own. But write your testimony in the cover and give it to someone.  Pray before you give it and Heavenly Father will tell you who needs it :)
New Jumpers!

15 December 2014

Transfer 7 week 1

Transfer 7?? WHAT THE!!!
SO we have had the randomest pday so far involving broken computers, master keys, getting lost and then being found!!! So now we are at the wonderful library where internet is free but photos can't be uploaded!

Another wonderful week in the Waterview zone. The highlights would be...

The day we popped in on a member at 11am and she decided to take us for lunch and then decided she wants to be a missionary for the day. So she came to all our lessons (which were back to back) and because she had a car we saw extras and basically had 7 propper lessons in 5 hours!!!
The hot chocolate stand! We wanted to get out in the community more and show the "he is the gift" Mormon message to people. So on Thursday I had this brilliant idea to do a 'free hot chocolate' stand (let's be real, it came from God not me because when do my ideas ever work out!). So after a million phone calls we organised for some youth and YSA to meet us at Avondale town center, set up a stand and give out free hot chocolates. The idea behind it was so that when people come up to us, whilst we are making it, we show them the Christmas mormon message. We had about 8 people (youth and YSA) come down to help us out, bringing all the supplies like electrical cords and gazebo etc etc. It only cost us $20 to get the milo sugar and milk and it was a huge success!!! The youth were excellent, walking around in pairs referring people to the stand and giving out pass along cards. We gave out a million pamphlets as well and had some wonderful conversations. Then all had a massive feed after. Happy days :) Gotta love creative finding!!
TEMPLE IS THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Couldn't possible be more excited right now if I tried!!!!!

 I have seen the Book of Mormon change lives. It has changed mine. I have a deeper understanding of who Jesus Christ is and my role in life. It brings me comfort and answers all my questions. It is the key to everything and makes me happier than anything. 

Love Sister Heal
Ofa Atu xx

22 December 2014
                                               Me and sister Faiva at Hamilton Temple
So who knows what happened last Monday or Tuesday, not even relevant because on Wednesday we went to the temple.  It was incredible!!! Except for the 3am wake up, but well worth it. I got to see 2 of my old companions (sad, Sister Daynes was missing otherwise they would all be there!).
Whole Zone!
We got to spend a lot of time just sitting in the temple. It was a very beautiful and sweet experience. One I will cherish for the rest of my life. The temple truly is the house of the Lord on earth. No matter who you are, mormon or not, aim to go to the temple one day J I have had the happiest moments of my life within those sacred walls!!!
MY OLD COMPANIONS! Bonilla, Ezekiela and Faivakimoana

So as we know there is opposition in ALL things. The opposite to this wonderful temple experience was that I got very very sick from it. Couldn't get out of bed or move my head type of sick. Had a shocking fever for 2 days. I wanted to be a soldier and tried to work but I got worse so gave up and just basically collapsed on the floor. Couldn't eat for 2 days (hopefully lost some weight!) even sleep didn’t seem to help. Got a priesthood blessing and suddenly I was on the mend? I honestly think i came on my mission to gain a testimony of priesthood blessings! Anyway... The doctors prescribed me some antibiotics. My body had an infection and it just reacted badly. My companion was excellent, cleaned the house and did everything for me!!! She is the best!!! 
Thursday I managed to leave the house for an hour and go carolling. I know, I know your all thinking “but you don’t sing!” but we went with 10 people so it was allllllllll good no one could hear me! We visited some of our investigators and less active members and they all loved it. Had a card for each of them and some choccies!!!
The Christus in the Visitors Centre
Also had a fireside last night for missionaries and their investigators. Elder Pearson from the seventy spoke and it just blew me away. He spoke a lot about the Christmas story but also the Book Of Mormon one. Something I have never considered before is.... Imagine Heavenly Father saying goodbye to his son Jesus Christ. Imagine their last moments together. What would he have said to him? Or would no words of been spoken at all? The more I think about it the more it stirs my heart. I wonder what moments we had with Heavenly Father before we came down to earth and gained our bodies... That’s one for you all to think about over the Christmas season J
I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Christmas. I truly do love you all!!
Sister Heal
PS. Thanks to everyone who has sent me Christmas packages and cards etc so far!!!!! I haven’t opened much yet (as waiting for the day) so next email will be informative but thanks heaps, I'm grateful!

29 December 2014
So I know I said last week was the best week... BUT THIS WEEK tops it!!!
Lets start the story with Wednesday.. it was the night before Christmas and the day Sister Daynes was coming!  I was basically counting down the hours.  She came during lunch, I felt like Ammon in the 27th chapter of the Book of Mormon when he saw his brethren. 

My trainer, Sister Daynes
"(17)Now the joy of Ammon (Sister Heal) was so great that even he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength and he fell again to the earth. (19) Now the joy of Alma (Daynes) in meeting his brethren (Sis Heal) was truly great". 

SO in a Book of Mormon way... it was a happy moment!!! We chatted and ate some banana pancakes and then set off for the day. Because there were 3 of us, we couldn't ride bikes, so we walked, haven't done that in a while! We taught and testified and taught and testified and has an excellent Christmas Eve. The spirit was strong and my joy was full. I trully have felt the spirit of Christmas touch my life these past few weeks. I have a deeper understanding and love for Christ's birth and ministry.
So that night we went to bed at the scheduled 10:30 but obviously I couldn't help myself and we chatted til some ridiculous hour of the morning. Well worth it though. I feel like every missionary should have the opportunity to be with a previous companion for a day! It was honestly a mission changing experience and I now have a greater understanding of how I have changed and improved as a missionary and as a person. Eventually fell asleep and..

CHRISTMAS DAY!! Woke up at 6am despite having the option to sleep in. Sadly the first thing we did after we prayed was presents!! I don't think I have ever had so many presents on Christmas since I was a kid. 

Thankyou SO MUCH to everyone who sent me something! Special shoutout to all of you (Relief Society, Boaden's, Linton's, Dad, Mary, Grandad, Nan, Finau's, Blakely's, Bennallack's and the random lady from Panmure stake!). It was all very much appreciated. Especially all the cards, anyone who knows me knows how much I love Christmas cards! haha.

SO after presents we got picked up and went to breakfast at the Halavakas and a massive feast of a breakfast. After, each of us missionaries in Avondale Ward were asked to stand up in a row. Sister Halavaka gave us each a name. She explained how she used to give names to missionaries in the past but stopped 20 years ago as they never clicked with them. After being less active for a bit the family is strong now at church and we are the first group of missionaries to receive names. Mine is "snow flake" not just because I'm rediculously white amongst all the islanders but also to represent the "son and father". I have my eye and heart single to His glory. I can't remember my companions.. but the Elders both got TM. One is Tumalalao (stand strong) and the other is Teachme. Anyway it was a sweet experience!!

Huia Point
Then we went to Huia point with one of the YSA. We wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and just be with nature for a little bit. So we took some photos, had a bit of a laugh and then headed back.

Next was a lunch party at the Lopatis. Every meat you could possibly want mixed with the hilariousness of the kids and lovely chats with the family. Then we headed home for an hour nap and to let the food process :) After we were off to Bishop's. Another feed for diner equipped with Pavlova (created by aussies of course).

Sister Daynes was due to be picked up so we headed home to wait. In the end we sat on the steps outside the flat for an hour and a half. It is a sweet experience being with a missionary before they head home and hearing their final words of wisdom. Sister Daynes is the best missionary I have met and probably one of the wisest people I know. I felt like I should have had a pen and paper and taken notes!
Merry Christmas!!
She got picked up, I cried so much that as we were walking that later a random car pulled over and asked if I was OK.. awkward. Went to 2 more homes and that was our night over.

LOVED speaking with family and hearing how everyone is. Sorry I couldn't be with you all, but I will be next year :)

Christmas as a missionary has been the best. Much more opportunity to talk about Christ and bring His spirit into others lives. I have reflected a lot over the past few days and the joy I have felt has been incredible. One thing I know above everything else is Heavenly Father knows us so perfectly. He knew exactly what I needed at this point in my mission and I received it. He knows our hearts, he knows our attempts and our struggles. He loves us and helps us every single day. He sends people into our lives to strengthen us and remind us and bring us closer to him.

I will be eternally grateful for my mission experiences so far. The companions, the members, even the random crazies you meet on the street.

My heart is brim with joy!!!!!!

Sister Heal

PS. I got so sunburnt, it's a little rediculous....

November 2014 - Willing servants

3 November 2014
Transfer 6 Week 1

Uhhhhhh Transfer 6? What the!!! End of this transfer will be my 9 month mark. I have definitely had a mid life crisis realising how short I have left. But it's all okay, because mid life crisis has brought increasing motivation/obedience which increases miracles/blessings/happiness.

 Elder Gulliver, who I was in the MTC with, dropped us off
some chocolate this morning... best DL ever!!!!

So increased miracles/blessings/happiness is a bajillion (ok like 3) have agreed to baptism, and are genuinely excited, and came to church... but do not a specific date for baptism. So we are working on that! They have some pretty big concerns to get through... marriage... disowned by family.. etc. BUT, we know through Christ all things are possible! We spoke with our rad Zone Leaders and they are coming to all our lessons for the week to try help us. As much as I hate admitting it, we need help, because we have the best ZL and they can solve the world... and we are going to save souls in November :)

The asian lady at the butter chicken shop (lol yep) gave
us some candy for halloween...
Church yesterday was interesting. Out of the many many testimonies given, only 1 mentioned Jesus Christ. It reminds me of the quote by some apostle.. it's not a thankamony, or a travelamony, or a cryamony.. its a testimony, where you testify of the spiritual truths you know to be true. I think I butchered that quote, but still. 

Decided to be matching today............ unity or?
Thanks to mah sister Sister Kuhn for the clothes :)
But since nothing else happened this week to write about I would just like to share with all you my testimony of Jesus Christ. No matter who you are or if you are religious or not, it doesn't even matter.. because Jesus Christ is your Saviour too. We are all at different levels in our relationship with Christ. I know that he is my brother, my Saviour and redeemer. We often talk about Him in some past tense (oh 2000yrs ago..) But that's not the case, He is present. Jesus Christ is a very real and living person. Right now everything you go through every small trial, hard day, challenge in life, heartache, feeling of inadequacy.. He has been through it all. Not just for you, but he goes through it WITH you.  Through Him you can become better than you ever dreamed possible. So open your heart a little wider, let Him in, and just see what will happen. If you allow it to the Atonement will carry you, and lift you high.

Sister Heal xxxxxxxx

10 November 2014
Transfer 6, week 2

Hecccttiiccc week this week!!! Honestly, such a good week :) One of the best on my mission!!!

Monday... So We had the genius idea to be real 'Sister Missionaries' and bake cookies for all our investigators and less actives. $30 and 3 hours later we have a wasted pday (missed out on lazer tag), broken oven and hardened cookie mix. Because of the egg, we HAD to cook it by Wednesday night.. so on Wednesday we had 3 members on the same street, so we went to one during dinner, then house/oven hopped (because of time limits at members houses we only got 2 bakes in at each house... had to remain obedient!) and then we made hand written cards and put it all together. TASK ACCOMPLISHED

Tuesday... we had tradeoffs with Sis Brown and Sis Van Zyl.  I was blessed to go to the promised land again (southside) and was with Sis Brown.  She has been my Sister Trainer Leader (STL) since my first area, so she has sort of been in it for my whole ride. We had really good chats about progression and my time so far as a missionary and what I believe to be my next step. It was perfect and exactly what I needed!!! Trade off was great, a few awkward moments.... we were teaching this tongan man and his wife comes out "no no no, he doesnt know what your saying or want to be baptised etc etc etc" (she is a less active member) and then it got real awkward real quick. Then he yells back "no you shoosh, I do want to listen bla bla bla". Anyway, domestics right there, and then he turns around and says he was baptised when he was 8, uhhh. Moral of the story is it was an excellent day and sister Brown is literally Jeffrey R Holland.

Wednesday... So in NZ there's a thing called "guyfawkes" and it's where for 3 days you can buy fireworks
and then every one lets loose on wednesday. It was nuuuttsss. We were at Bishops house playing with his daughter during lunch, but missionaries can't touch fireworks, so we had sparklers... but we watched her play around and it was pretty rad, then she chucked some at us, crackup! That night was the most annoying night of my mission, sounded like you were in a war. Fireworks going off everywhere!! It was cool but it has carried on the last few nights and the novelty has worn off. I feel sorry for hospital staff.. :)

Thursday.... one of our investigators is set for baptism on the 22nd and should be getting married on the 21st.. ITS A DREAM COME TRUE! Wedding and baptism!!! It was on my mission bucket list. But no celebrating until it actually happens sooo ill get back to you in 3 weeks on that one!!

Saturday.... so our lovely family that we met with the bajillion twins who we did service for a while ago... we did it again! This time, Bishops family came and also a couple of YSA. It was excellent. Had a team of 8 of us who mowed, whippersnipped, organised, built a chicken coop etc. The ward was excellent with fellowshipping and we are now TEACHING the family. Sooooooo excited. I honestly have so much love for them! The kids are the cutest!
Oldest boy is 5, then 3 sets of twins (4, 3 and 1yr)

Then we did our neighbours lawn as a surprise act of service, we had borrowed a lawnmower so figured, why not, the grass was knee high and it was fun engraving our name..

Then we had stake confrence. All about missionary work. How great is it being a missionary when they talk about missionary work? Talks were inspired and hilarious! The Mission Pres and his beautiful wife came and we had a good chat with them. I seriously want to loose my temple recommend just so I can have an interview with him - he is going to be an apostle one day!!!

Sunday.. stake confrence again was amazing. Then we went on splits with 2 sisters from our ward and covered a lot of ground. A less active who hasn't been keen on us coming opened up and said they decided they want to get married and come to church and for her daughter to be baptised. Miracle!

And that's the week. So much more happened but no time to write. In the words of Ammon.. MY HEART IS BRIM WITH JOY

Love you all!!
Sister Heal

ps. the reason why I'm wearing black in all the photos is my companion had a close relative pass away. Tongan culture is you wear black for a year.. but as she is a missionary she decided to do it for a week and I joined in for support. There has been a lot of deaths in this past month, I am grateful for the testimony and knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation.  Christ broke the bands of death, so that death has no sting. 

17 November 2014
Transfer 6, week 3

Elders tried to fix my bike buuuuut made it worse haha
Despite it apparently being summer, it has poured and poured and poured this week. But we made the best of it and visited a lot of less actives. People took pity on us and invited us into their homes!! Honestly I am convinced there is a positive to everything!!! We have had 2 less actives come back to church recently and 3 part member families where the member spouse is taking the lead and coming back to church and trying to bring their family along!  Miracles all around in the great NZAM!

So heaps of awesome stuff happened this week, general missionary and all. But today there are 3 things I would like to talk about...........  The Book of Mormon, Pride and the Atonement.

Morning exercise. I rode home without shoes as
 they were so wet and heavy haha. Classy missionary!
This morning I finished reading the Book of Mormon again and as I do every time I finish it, I kneel down and ask if it's true. Every single time I receive that confirmation that the Book of Mormon is from God. Every single time!!!!! It is something that not only brings us closer to Him and his son Jesus Christ but it also brings a happiness like nothing else. 

So pride is the ultimate killer in so many things and I just feel like the world should read this talk and I can promise that you will grow somewhat from it!! (Thanks to Sis Kuhn for sending it to me.)

The Atonement.. there is this awesome japanese art where they take broken pottery and fix it with gold. So the broken plates/vases etc become more valuable than they originally were, despite being broken and repaired. This is like the Atonement. We make mistakes, we get cracks and chips and sometimes our life smashes into pieces. But if we allow Jesus Christ's atonement to repair us then we are worth more at the end of it.

Love Sister Heal

Got home drenched at 9pm to this sticky note on the door and chocolate on the floor.. that's Elders!!!

PS. In regards to the million people who have asked. Yes I have gotten fat but it's ok as I bought a new blender today and am doing nothing but drinking veggies for the rest of my life :) Thanks for pointing it out!!!!

PPS. .

We were so wet that during the dinner hour we decided to have some fun at the park near us. Well worth it. Closest thing youll get to swimming on the mish! Don't worry, there were no people watching and I wore my helmet for safety ;) I made my comp go first, just in case haha!!

24 November 2014
 Transfer 6, Week 4

THANKYOU SOOOOOOO MUCH SISTER BOADEN AND CHRISTIAN FOR THE PACKAGES!! Honestly I am SO blessed. I will send a pic next week of them and explanation. But they were so thoughtful and apprecited!!!

Not much time to write today folks! We are... GOING TO THE ZOO WITH OUR STL and having A ZONE PDAY (Which have been banned for the last year) So we are emailing for the shortest time possible so we can hit both up. We had a study with Sister Brown and Van Zyl this morning and they got permission for all of us to go to the zoo together, how cute. Plus our Zone Leader sprung a surprise zone pday so we have that at 2:30. Busy, busy pday for us! No time to shop... but hey, who needs food!!!

This week was an EXCELLENT week. Can I just say, Heavenly Father is blessing us abundantly? It was one of those weeks where things go according to plan. Yep - according to plan. What the, missionary work never does that! Appointments didn't fall through, we hit all our goals for finding and teaching, and we recognize that NONE of it was because of us. It's all because of Heavenly Father! This is his work not ours. There is nothing we did differently this week compared to every other week... other than telling Heavenly Father we are his willing servants and will go wherever he wants us to. We have had a massive mission wide focus on planning and really planning by the spirit. Even if things aren't convenient, do it anyway if the spirit directs. So we have been back and forth from one side of our area to the other and we are exhausted from so much bike riding, but it is sooooo worth it.
This week coming is full on... a ward missionary activity on Saturday in a park and HEAPS of people are bringing friends! Our members are the best. Then Sunday morning we have our special sacrament meeting and Sunday night we are having a ward fireside. Our Mission President is coming to speak! We are so blessed to have him come. So this will be a very missionary minded week.

Also, I got given some horse to eat last night, erm. Not too sure how I feel about that!!! Tongans ;)
Sorry for lack of photos, we are at a dodgy convenience store and I think it will tear our camera and USB to shreds, until next week. Also sorry for lack of stories, too many things to do and not just sit and think!

Sister Heal

Zone Pday pics:

Aussies at the zoo!
Sisters, united we stand!

Fun on the swing bridge

Our cool/lame ZL and Elder Faamau