Saturday, November 30, 2013

I've been out for 4 months already!

Kia Ora! I so love love love my mission! i love teaching people, i love sharing my testimony with them. It all makes me so happy!!! People don't always accept it and that's hard because you know how much it's going to bless their life but you need to trust that they are in God's hands and he'll take care of them. He has a plan for them. We had a missionary fireside last night (which Casey spoke at- and did amazing). We had been inviting heaps of people and did our last check around before it started. Almost everyone, less actives and nonmembers came. It was so amazing. I know that so many were touched. Our relief society were supposed to invite a less active or a non member to come with them. One of our favorite members, who lives just down the road from us (Michelle Horsecroft) and she always feeds us. She takes good care of us. Anyway she brought her neighbor she's been getting to know and as she walked in the chapel and the relief society was singing prelude and she started crying and said that she could feel the spirit of the Lord there. It was so neat!!:) Also Chael texted us yesterday morning and said that he wasn't going to come to church anymore, he wasn't going to meet with us. His intention of coming to church wasn't to find God but to make good wholesome friends. We left it at that and visited him after church. We decided he can't tell us off over text... ha So when we visited him we found that he was having struggles with family and friends criticizing him for coming to the Mormon church, and that he just wanted the friends. We assured him that it would be ok and that he had already made some good friends in our ward. Come to church to see them etc. We re invited him to the fireside last night and told him Paul and Matt would be there and he would be able to chill with them. he agreed to it and honestly it worked out so well. Those men in our ward took him under their wings are i think it's going to work out. It'll take time before he joins the church but he has a good foot in:) The cool thing is that we were running out of time to make it to all these houses on time but i felt prompted that we needed to stop at chaels house. So we did and it turned out so well. I love heavenly father:) He helps things work out so well. Ps Sister Prince and i are staying together for transfers and in the same area. i think we will be together the next transfer too because it's in the middle of the Christmas lights tours at the vc. so hopefully we will:) Elder Mclachlan asked president if he could try the best not to switch out the sisters during that time since it was so busy with the lights and tours etc for Christmas. so we have high hopes that I'll stay one transfer longer!!! so excited:) I am so happy! i honestly am loving my mission right now:) things are going well, not perfect but we must have faith that they will turn out for our good! How did the challenge go of following the prompting of the spirit? i love you heaps and hope all is well! i can't believe Christmas is a month away today and also i've been out for 4 months exactly yesterday!! crazy! love you Sister Bird

Holy Cow! These weeks just keep flying by

Holy Cow! These weeks just keep flying by so fast, it's already half way through November!!!!! Family, my week was so great! I honestly do love my mission, i love talking to people and sharing my testimony of this restored truth! Ok actually looking back my week wasn't so great, it ended great though!! It seems as though we have a theme for each week of what people bring up... i don't remember the other weeks because they weren't so bad but this week was... drum roll please!!! Your church isn't true, Joseph Smith was a liar, you can't even prove the book of Mormon to be true with historical facts.. etc. It was honestly so awful and really discouraging. Taking your testimony smashing it to pieces and then telling you to do research on your own church. How it's false. It hurts a lot, especially because i know it's true and i am sad that they are not opening up their eyes to see the truth. They won't give it a chance at all. I pray that someday their eyes will be opened. So other than that discouraging word that we got at least once a day, this week was great! Casey finally got baptized and it was one of the best days of my life! It just went so well. The room was packed with family, friends, and ward members, missionaries and their investigators. I was astonished at how many people showed up. Casey actually hurt her arm boxing a few days before and her arm was in a sling. She pulled some muscle in her back that connects to her arm and her shoulder. It was really sore and caused her a lot of pain. The funny part of when it happened was that she thought she was going to die because it hurt so bad and the first thing she thought was no I can't die!!! I have to get baptized on Saturday! This is something that she really wanted, she knew it was important and nothing was going to stop her. She told us some of her friends were throwing her a party and wanted her to come drink at it but she thought real hard and decided not to because what would make her most happy in the end. Satan was trying to hard to keep her from being baptized. During the baptism, i spoke on baptism and Sister Prince spoke on the Holy Ghost. Then Casey was baptized by her uncle who is a convert. The one who she had problems with in the other ward at first but now she's all good. he was the one who said weird things in Sunday school. Then she prayed about it and God answered her so directly and actually through him and everything turned out and she ended up asking him to baptize her. It was great. Then after the baptism and while she was getting dressed we had everyone write her a little note, that was special. Then she bore her testimony. Wow. She truly is amazing. She started out saying how she was preparing for this moment and the moment she would bear her testimony and she said that she looked on google and on youtube for "the best testimonies" because she wanted to have the beyonce of testimonies. But she said that she could never remember what to say. She told her sister and she said 'maybe its because your not supposed to remember, those aren't your testimonies". Casey proceeded to look up more you tube videos and write down what she wanted to say but she always seemed to misplace her paper. Even that morning she misplaced her testimony. She had her sister rip it out of her journal and bring it. When she was bearing her testimony she expressed that she was so grateful for the blessings she had been receiving all this time. She was receiving so many that she was feeling guilty. But she really wanted to get baptized because she knew she would receive even more blessings. She said when she came up out of the water, Heavenly Father opened her eyes and she realized that all of her blessings were sitting right there and watching her. He blessed her with the best dad, the best mom, the best brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles and the best missionaries(this is where i cried ha lol) She's had these blessings all along but now she could see them and she was so grateful for what each had done for her in her life. Then sister prince and i sang a nice arrangement of "i know that my redeemer lives" it is case's favorite song and mine too:) The spirit there was so strong and i know so many people were touched. Even her mom who we were originally supposed to find and contact that day who actually pretended to be interested, she was touched and it might go somewhere. God opened the doors for great things to happen. She then came up to the VC that night and visited us. She brought us gifts. She made these bouquets of flax flowers she weaved about a year ago, she gave us a picture of us from that day and also she gave us her favorite scarves. I started crying, almost uncontrollably(really embarrassing) but i honestly was so grateful for those gifts and i love Casey so much. Honestly words cannot describe how grateful i am to have her in my life. These gifts are so precious to me. I'm not so much of a crier but this is one of the only times on my mission when I've cried. i was truly touched. I also cried a little the next day when she received the Holy Ghost and became a member of the church. I am so proud of her and joy just fills my heart to know that she has my favorite gift for herself. The gift of the holy ghost. That gift brings me true happiness. I know when i have it i am doing what's right and making my Heavenly Father proud. :) Such a great day! i honestly couldn't be happier!:) Goal for this week: Study or share your testimony on something that will help you testimony grow in an area where it is week. Love and miss you heaps! sister Bird I know this is true!

So I am now officially starting to love my mission-Nov 11

How are things going over in America? So i am now officially starting to love my mission. Honestly it depends on the day but the past fews days, I've loved being out and talking with people. I've loved the lessons that we've had. Our investigators are really growing and it's so cool to see the fruit of our labors. We met a few new people who are really interested. One is Chael (like kale from the words Michael.. idk) anyway he is awesome. He is 31 and recently just kicked his addictions of drugs and alcohal. He said he finally feels free. He's lonely tho because all of his "friends" he had before aren't his true friends and so he's basically starting a new life. I can't even imagine what that would be like. Living life just to get to your next fix so that you feel good again and then thinking the friends you have really care about you. Letting that all go and coming to find out how awesome life really is with out it and not have any friends... hard. He's great tho, he believes in God indirectly but is so willing to find him for himself and not through others. We had an awesome lesson with him last night, the spirit was so strong and the members that we brought to the lesson were perfect! (if you ever have a chance to go with the missionaries to teach, do it. it is so helpful and worth it. ask the missionaries for the opp to they know your willing to help) Sister Prince told me of an awesome quote that she heard it's "I am merely a spectator. I make the action that God leads me to do and then i watch the Lord work miracles" i love that! That's exactly what i want to be. Sometimes i forget to be humble and give the credit to the Lord, i just think how awesome it was and how strong the spirit was, but really he is converting, not me! i am merely a spectator..:) Casey is doing great! She is getting baptized on Saturday and it's so cool! I'm so excited and so is she! She went to church at her other ward and she loved it this time! We made up a word for awesomer than awesome and it's mantis. I forgot how she made it up.. i think it came from saying "man" like man thats awesome, but just turned into mantis. So she said that her day was manits, which is a good sign! She is really amazing and i learn so much from her. She is so nice to everyone, reaches out to all in her presence that she can. I just want to be like her. She belives in treating everyone, no matter what or who, like they are important to her. It's amazing. This week was so awesome:) The ward is really starting to work with us, help us find people to teach and teaching and fellow shipping with us! it's so amazing. Truly the work accelerates when this happens:) So transfers are next week... i think I'll be taken out of the vc and moved somewhere else. Maybe I'll open up a new area. who knows. I want to stay here because i love these people and the new people we've begun to teach but the Lord knows I'll take any responsibility he gives me, and gladly. I know that this work is true, i love seeing the gospel change lives and touch hearts, it's so mantis!;) I love it, i love it, i love it! thank you mum for helping me decide to go on a mission.Thank you for helping me realized that this would be greater than the humanitarian work i wanted to do. It truly is better times infinity. Hope you have a great week! Love you and miss you heaps:) Sister Bird

Nov 4th

Kia Ora! Wow this week has been full of ups and downs, but that is ok. I sure do see the hand of the Lord in my every day life. So many things happened this week that caused me to be discouraged. I prayed for things to happen and felt that they didn't. But the Lord answered my prayers in a round about way. He ALWAYS answers prayers, just not always in the ways we expect. And i have truly been shown that this week. I do every week but i always forget, i'm pretty sure that is why we have repetitive lessons at church, because we simply forget. We can always use a reminder. So this week we actually set casey for baptism. She had so many barriers and we just listened to her, understood her and shared our personal experiences of doing hard things. Such as choosing to come on a mission. We knew it would be hard and we didn't know that future and the things that we would encounter but we also trusted in God and that it was the right thing then everything would be ok. She really felt our stories, and they touched her heart. Her baptism is in two weeks and she is going to be a member of Jesus Christ's church!!!! so awesome! The scary things is though that we had her go to her new ward yesterday and she had a bad experience. Apparently her uncle is in that ward(she didn't know he was a member) and he taught the sunday school lesson, he said a lot of crazy, outrageous things and it took her back. It was stuff like black people sinning the most and that's why they are cursed with dark skin, and kapahaka is of the devil. It was crazy. We didn't know what happened and she was like i think i need a break for a while... We were so freaked out. Sister Prince cried but i am heartless and didn't. I held myself together because i felt that everything would be ok. We got it figured out. It was cool too because God always answers prayers. I prayed that he would answer casey's prayer in the way she needed it and he did. She was at the lake and her sister(step sister a member) called her and said is everything ok? I felt i needed to call you. She clarified with Casey that just because someone in the church says something stupid it doesn't mean that the whole church is wrong. Pull your head in and remember what you've felt. Casey called and told us what happened and then we met with her that night and talked it out and read Alma 14 which is about alma and amulek going though awful things, being smitten and having to watch women and children burn in the fire. She really connected with it and said, it they can suffer and go through persecution, then so can i. I can handle this. The crazy part of it was that she didn't read the scriptures that morning. When we let our guard down, satan will attack us even harder. She thought since she was going to church she would be ok, but he hit her the hardest that day. Always read your scriptures! They will save you! Sorry for the long story, there was so many more discouraging things that happened this week but it all ended well. I decided that if i am discouraged i must keep working and teaching because that i was brings me the most happiness. If i stop and pout, what good will that do? Nothing, i'm just letting satan win. But i was called to new zealand for a reason and to fulfill a purpose and that purpose is to teach people the gospel and i will do that! :) I love you all so much! Hope all is well, i sure do miss ya! ps we went to bridal viel falls again, i went with sister prince and casey and a lot of people it was great. Casey even brought her nm sister. It was such a fun time and so beautiful! We stopped a couple times on the way back up because there were 261 stairs and it was hard. So casey took the advice of Elder Mclachlan and said "make something of this" and so we would relate it to gospel topic or principle. Casey came up with the best one when we were all done. We were eating lunch and she made something out of the picnic table. It was all carved into and weathered. And she said "this table was me before i met you and had the gospel in my life. I had plenty of scrapes and i was weathered. But as i read the scriptures, pray, go to church , get taught the lesson then it's like sand paper scrubbing off all the bad things of my past and shaping me into who i need to be." It was so choice to hear that coming from her. The gospel has truly touched her life and changed it for the better. Pauline finally came into the VC to see me. It was such a joyous day. I love her so much. I started crying as we hugged. She's like a tender mother, even though she doesn't know all thats going on it was like hugging my mum and what i needed. She pulled out a little bag and gave me her own green stone necklace. It is so beautiful and means so much to me. I was shocked and touched. It was neat that she did that because just last week i gave casey my own ctr ring and i cried when i gave it away. I honestly loved that ring, i wanted it for so long and even though i bought it myself, it meant so much to me because i worked for it. I gave it to her to help her to remember to choose the right and to always wear her armor. It is a precious gift because it came from my heart and i feel the same about the necklace she gave me and the one Pauline gave me. I am truly honored to know them. I feel so privileged to be a servant in the hand of God. To share his gospel. No, i am most definitely not his perfect servant but i do try to do my best each day. :) I love my Heavenly Father and i know that he loves me, i know he is aware of me and each of his children and it's truly humbling when we see his hand in our lives. I love you all:) Sister Bird Casey calls me "Auntie Tui"