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....

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