Sunday, July 19, 2015

February 2015 - Service and a funeral

2 February 2015
Transfer 8 Wk 1

Really really interesting week this week!!! 

So recently a 20yo kid on Balmoral (the ghetto of the ghetto) got killed by his father. We heard so many stories and rumours about what really happened, then on Tuesday we were at an investigators house and she was like "you know it was Phil dont you, that killed his son?"  Phil was one of our investigators, so that was gutting. He LOVED his family so much and would always talk about the better life he wants for them. He was known in the neighbourhood for mowing everyones lawns! He had a colourful past but was changing his life around. So that is super sad. The REAL story is.. his son was extremely drunk and going crazy and they got into a fight and he stabbed him out of self defense to protect the family. The drug and alcohol violence here in New Zealand but especially up north is rediculous. The longer I'm on my mission the more my eyes are opened to the struggles of the world!!

Speaking of struggles. I spent all of Wednesday in the house as my companion was super, super sick and she slept for like 16 hours. She had a few medical tests done etc, but it's all getting worked through now. But the 'boss' that she is, we still went to 2 teaching appointments. One of them was a less active family with 4 YSA that we are working with, and they all came to church yesterday for the first time in AGES! So that was a happy moment. 

Masks worn while doing service to aid in the smell.
They were not effective however..
I have also been really sick. And on Sunday I was fasting and took some cough medicine (took double the amount because I felt double sick, but apparently your not supposed to do that! haha whoops). So we get to church and I start feeling really, really, sick and dizzy and numb. About 20 minutes in, I had to walk out and go to the bathroom... for some unknown reason my companion didn't notice for ages and 15 min later came looking for me and found me passed out/suspended over the toilet in the bathroom. I was unresponsive for a bit apparently and was so out of it. Between church and home is a massive blur but one of the less actives who came to church (as we were leaving half way through sacrament) came out and begged me to be with her whilst she gets up to bear her testimony. So I had to do a stumbled walk of shame down the aisle, sit at the front, and then walk out. I honestly don't remember half of it. So that was awkward. We stayed in most of that day as well :)

Sister Collins

We also did some service for an old lady and cleaned the chicken coop.. and by chicken coop i mean Taj Mahal, this thing is the size of our loungeroom kitchen and bedroom!!! Was great fun, scraping poo off the floor and packing bags and bags of old wood shavings and putting the new stuff down! Hard labour!! But great times :)

Sister Heal
Working hard or hardly working??

9 February 2015
Transfer 8 wk 2

Sooooooooo another wonderful week in the wonderful Whangarei!!!! This week was such a blur though, I barely even remember what happened!! We were so busy!!! No crack up stories so I will just tell yall about someone we are teaching at the moment :)
A few highlights.... we have an investigator who KNOCKED ON THE ELDERS DOOR!!! (The Elders live in our area). So that doesn't happen often, usually we knock on theirs, I have never heard a story of someone knocking on ours asking to be taught!! We met with him and his wife (they're also married - biggest miracle as a lot of NZ doesn't believe in being married!). They are such a beautiful, wonderful couple. The story of how they met is CRACK UP. One of her friends was like "hey message this guy, I hate him and be mean to him" - but after 2 days she gave up, and then apologies, they ended up talking, met up 3 months later and now they have a 2yo daughter and have been married for 5 years. And apparently he doesnt even know who the girl was that tried to get her to be mean. So this random as chick basically set them up accidently. Not sure if that made any sense, but hey the story made it into 'thats life' magazine. They are so beautiful and prepared for the gospel :)

Something I have learn't this week is that when you want to work on something in your life... for example 'patience'... He doesnt just bless you with patience but he will put a few tests in your path to let you learn patience. He knows us SO well. It's super fun.  

Well no photos this week. Super sad, but it has honestly been such a great week!! I love every opportunity I have to talk about my Saviour Jesus Christ :)

Transfers are this week, I love this area and my companion so much. Almost the same as when I was in Henderson. And we all know I only lasted 6 weeks there before Heavenly Father decided life was too perfect and he tore me away! I'm super scared this will happen again. Sometimes I really, really, hate transfers. We have a few members and less actives that have admitted they have prayed that we both stay. I feel wrong praying for it myself, so I just pray that their prayers will come true! 

Sister Heal

16 February 2015
Transfer ? Wk 

The view from Lilly's house overlooking Whangarei
First things first.. I'M STAYING IN WHANGAREI!! AND SO IS SISTER DIXON!!! SO many prayers got answered!
This week, we went to pick up Aunty Molly (this old lady who has heaps of cancer, but is a maori who loves missionary work, so comes out with us) but because there were 3 missionaries and her, she says "who wants go to a Tangihanga?' which is a maori funeral. I was super keen to go and get cultural so we went on splits for the day. All right, so I have drawn a picture with paint so everyone can see and understand...

The 'Red line' was my route at the funeral
So we go from the car to this 'hut thing' near the Marae, where a lady with leaves sings a song and calls us in. We go in and the family greet us. The dead man was lying in an open coffin and on either side were about 10 mattresses where the family sleep. They stay there for 3 days and the body is never left alone.  Above his coffin was photos of family that have already passed. He was a temple saint and has his sweetheart waiting for him. You then go and kiss the body on the head and say anything that you want to say. You then say hello to the rest of the family, each person indvidually and send your condolesces. Then you sit down and a man got up and spoke in Maori (I couldn't understand a word) about the man's life and the things he did. They then invite the male head of the group to stand up and say a few things. Then the female who ushered us in got up and sung a song. Then it's custom to sing the family a song. So they beckoned me to come up, I was nervous as heck and didn't know what was going on as everyone was talking in Maori and then the guy was like "sing the family a song". Awkward moment. Anyone who knows me knows how off tune, tone deaf I am. I don't think I have ever prayed so hard in my heart! I was freaking out... but I played it cool and sung the first default thing that came to mind… "I am a child of God" lol, fortunately most were members so after singing the first line on my own everyone joined in and ended up in tears. Then the ceremony is finished and we headed into the food hall for Kai (food!). They do this for 2 days straight, saying the same thing and singing the same song with each group that comes through. And you can't go in until the previous group is finished. There were only 3 of us in our group. It is a very very personal thing and is more about the celebration of life, rather than sadness over death. It was the most cultural experience I have had so far and I absolutely loved it :) 

In a 'Trio'
So, Sister Taylor's companion went home and we were in a trio for 3 days which was super fun. We had to go and pick up her new companion (Sister Dohnt from SA, Gladstone I think, 3 hours out of Adelaide). So we went to transfer meeting on Thursday.  We got a free trip to go see all our fave missionaries and hang out for half the day and receive some excellent training from President.

On our way to 'Transfers'

Meeting up with former companions: My trainer, Sister Bonilla

Sister Kofford 

Sister Brown from Sidknee!

We are going to Auckland tomorrow to see Elder Nielson, then next week to see DAVID A. BEDNAR (AUCKLAND MISSION AND HAMILTON MISSION ARE JOINING UP!!!!) and then Sisters Training the week after that. It seriously takes 3 days to recover from trips to Auckland as it's such a long drive and you're up at 3 in the morning. All goods though, life of a missionary!!

L-R: Sisters Taylor, Marlow, Van Zyl, Allred, Heal, Brown and McNaught

My 3 companions: Bonilla, Ezekiela and Dixon (no Daynes or Faiva!)

Also… we had 4 investigators at church on Sunday and a few less actives which was such an incredible feeling. I love seeing people progress and come back to the Saviour. He is so important. I just started reading 'The Infinite Atonement' again and it's filling my life with love. 

Sister Heal

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