Monday, June 30, 2014

"let the future be as bright as your faith"

Hello Family,
I've had a hard week. It's been a hard week for many reasons but what it all came down to was that i was thinking more about myself than others. I was being selfish and not charitable.
We had a lot of good things happen and i want to focus on that rather than on the bad... ha ha
I will share with you what has made me sad recently. There came a time when i felt that i was on top of the world. Things were going great in our area, we were teaching heaps of families who were all progressing nicely, coming to church, working together. But then satan came into the picture, some started to doubt, some weren't sure in the first place, some gave up because its too hard. I was getting depressed and sad about all the bad things happening that i had a hard time wanting to do the work. This is because i lost my focus as a servant of the Lord. I thought about myself, i wanted people to pitty me and encourage me to keep going, but they did not. I decided i better try and fix it on my own, get out of the hole i felt i was in. So yesterday i was reading about charity. 1 corinthians 13:1-8 focus on vs 5.. this scripture was like a spiritual slap to the face. I was not possessed of charity at all. I was being opposite of all of what vs 5 said.. " [charity]...doth not behave itself unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.." i thought to myself, wow what a selfish girl i am. ha But i am so glad that i read it because it has straightened me right out! ha i am feeling so much happier and am able to face our challenges with a more positive attitude and a brighter hope. "let the future be as bright as your faith" really is a true statement. If we are not bright or our faith is dimm, then neither is our future.
The good things that happened is that i was able to help Jordon with what i studied. He's been struggling lately as well and really has been just putting along and going through the motions. But i am so grateful that i went through something similar so that i could help him get out of his hole too. It'll be a work in progress but i do believe that we go through some experiences to help others get through theirs as well.
Some of the good things that happened this week is that our Investigator richard has experienced a true change of heart. He wants this change in his life, he's ready to stop being naughty and to stop all sorts of drugs etc. It was truly amazing. I am so grateful for people like him who decide to change because they realize that they aren't happy and they know that there has got to be something better out there... and there is. The gospel!
Another great thing that happened this week is that we were finally able to do tradeoffs with the ward. What this is, is that my companion and i split up and go with a women from our ward to visit our investigators and less actives. This is such a great tool, i greatly encourage you to make the time to do it. The lord will bless you. This provides a great opportunity for the ward member to fellowship the LA and investigator and increases the chance of them coming to church. It's awesome. :)
We are working with the great kiribus family. They are members of the church but have gone less active, they recently converted a few years ago. But i have grown to love them so much over these past (almost) 6 months. wow, they are such a great family. There little is the one who was baptized a few weeks ago. But the mom is coming back strong and being a great example for her family. Last night when we went over, we had them start to teach us kiribus and we learned a song in kiribus. I"ll send you the video of them singing it a few weeks ago. But it was cool to see how much more they opened up to us when we took the time to get to know them and understand their culture a bit more. :) We played this funny game where you stand in a circle and sing and clap your hand(and they sing something in kribus) and then you stop and say "what is your name" and point at one. Then that person has to go in the middle and say "my name is... chicken (or some animal) and then act it out all funny and make the noise of that animal. It is so funny!:) i was a snake! the dad does the best monkey! you have got to see it. i'll try to send the one that they did without us because unfortunately we didn't record the one we did last night. You would love their family. I was actually thinking last night what it would be for my family to be here with this family. ha
The mission really is great! I love my companion, she is so funny! ha
I can't believe my birthday is coming up and i'll be 21!! what? the age 21 here is a big deal... they celebrate it huge. It's the key to your life and they give you a key. some of them are quite cool. I would be so honored to receive on here. If i get transferred i decided i probably won't tell anyone that it's my birthday but if i stay i presume i'll have a little party! who know's.... it'll probably be the other way around!
well i love you all. a year sure has gone by fast,.
love sister BIrd

p.s. we went golfing last monday with the Daji's. They are members of our ward. It was quite cool. ha i didn't do so bad. i was so close to getting a par.. but then it turned into 5 more putts... ha 

Happy Fathers Day!

First and foremost i want to say Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful and my amazing grandpa's. Thank you so much for being the wonderful support and influence you've always been in my life. I am so blessed and grateful to have you apart of my life. Thank you for all that you've done.
Next, i want to say that the words in this email cannot even describe or explain properly the amazing miracles and experiences that we've encountered this

week. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us to much to be able to teach the people that we are teaching but also that he has blessed us to be able to find them, those that are prepared to hear and accept the gospel.
We have met so many wonderful people these past few weeks and now they are progressing in the gospel and it's beautiful. One of whom i want to speak is a girl named Hoki Becker who lives in Mere Mere. Mere Mere is a small town about 15 minutes out of Tuakau and honestly i hate it out there. Everyone is on drugs, it's a small town where no one anything to do, especially the kids, and so they just are mischief and get up to no good. It's a dirty town or village you would call it, it only has maybe 7 small streets. Anyway, it was sister Samataua and i that started working out there and it's taken a while for it to start picking up, especially since we only go out once a week. Well last week sister Ahokava and i followed up with some of those people and actually fully shared with them what we do and asked if we could come teach them about why there are so many churches. They agreed and we set an appointment for saturday, a week from then. When Saturday came i wondered on how serious they were and if they would stick to their appointment. We went over and they were home. He,Rob,  invited us in but invited himself out of the lesson, and Hoki was in the living room. Hoki has never been to church before in her life but believes in God because of the experiences of others. As we taught her, specifically about prophets, she was on the edge of her chair. She found every word we said so amazing and interesting. She wanted to know more. The spirit filled the room, one because she was so involved and two because we were listening to the spirit in what to say to her. We invited her to be baptized and she agreed and asked us what were some of the things she needed to do to be baptized... "come to church?" she said. She's onto it. It was such a neat experience. she didn't end up making it to church this Sunday because she didn't finish with something that she had on in time but we'll get her there next week. Mere Mere if finally picking up and it's so exciting. We also found a LA 19 year old out there, who has a perfect understanding of the gospel and why it's important and he feels inclined to come back. I love how the Lord places people in our pathway so that we can help them. It was a miracle that day.
The next person i want to talk about it a man named Shannon King. We met Shannon last Saturday as well before we headed off to Mere Mere. He seemed interested in what we had to say but wasn't to keen on giving us his address. So we got his number and scheduled and appointment. We called him saturday to confirm and he seemed a bit anxious and didn't talk to us much there. However, we finally ended up meeting with him on Sunday and we had to meet outside the Primary(elementary school) and we taught him there outside on the bench. He shared with us how he was nervous that we would judge him and that we would be scared because he's had many bad nick names. He shared with us how he has been in and out of jail for years and finally he read the bible and it changed him. He's read it through 3 times now. It's truly amazing. He understood completely the concept of prophets and them having an authority, it was just so neat to see how the Lord prepared him to understand that so that he could accept the Gospel. He said that as we taught him he felt so good inside but was bothered that he couldn't show it rejoicing on the outside. We saw him many times, smile at the things we were teaching him. The spirit moved him to say that he would come to church next week, so hopefully he follows through with it like he did with the lesson. It's been great!
Lastly, i want to talk about a lady named Barbara Turnbull. This is Roberts mom, the man who was healed by the priesthood. He told us this time that we wasn't ready to learn, which was disappointing but it was okay. We had an amazing lesson with Barbara. I have grown to love this old lady so much, it truly reminds me of the nursing home because we take care of her. Not physically but we are now doing her house work and we offered to do lawn care. It's beautiful how appreciative she is. :) She is so sweet. I'll try and get a picture soon! ha she cried as she told us that since we have been coming her spirituality is going back to what it used to in the past. A hole in her heart is now being filled with light. We also invited her to be baptized, she knows it's true she said, and she's going to give it deep consideration. She knows that she needs to do something about how she feels inside. It is so amazing to have these kind of experiences everyday. If only all of you could serve a mission, you would know why missionaries say that they love their mission, it's because of this, because of these precious moments.
We had two baptisms this week. They are both ward baptisms because they are 8 and their parents are members but less active.
Heremia is the son of Fitz and ruby. Ruby is an investigator and fitz is a less active. It was good to see him baptized, i think it really is helping his parents to come closer to the steps they  need to take.
sikale is also 8 and he is kiribus. I absolutely love him. I've known their family since i got to this area and they are really so dear to my heart. When i saw him go down into the water peace just filled my soul because the little boy i loved was coming unto christ and even if he didn't remember much of the things we taught him he did understand and know that what he was doing was right. The family is slowly coming back to church, it's been more of the mom bringing the younger kids but now hopefully even the dad and the older kids will come. I am so proud of them:) I'm getting pretty good at organizing good and spiritual baptisms. ha Sister Samataua taught me well, let's hope i can continue with this and get better and now worse.
This week i learned how to be humble. Hopefully that stays. I have realized how much the Lord is blessing me and helping me to have these wonderful experiences and i am so grateful for that:) I just hope i can be all that he needs me to be. I love Him with all my heart.
Love you all
Challenge this week: study the doctrine of the Sabbath day and see what you can do to keep it more holy. it will change your life! honestly. PMG says "When a nation, community,  [or an individual] grows careless in their sabbath day activities, their religious life decays and all other aspects of life are negatively affected." "our Sabbath-day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God" Let us be more careful in the activities we choose to involve ourselves in on Sunday. I can promise you that if you brings your lives in closer harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ, you will see more peace in your life. We all need the peace that comes from the Savior and i have grown in testimony that a big part of that comes from keeping the sabbath day holy. Even if this means no more TV on Sunday, do it. It will bless and impact your life more than you know.
love you
sister Bird

                             Sikale's baptism                   Heremia's baptism      

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I know that the Lord loves his children. He loves us:)

Yesterday we went to the Marae(this is where the moari's go to have their funerals and wait for the spirit of the deceased to leave). It was a great experience. Our mission president wanted us to learn more about the culture of our people so that we could connect with them better. We learned how significant "mountains" are not only to the Lord but to the people as well. All cultures all over the world have a sacred mountain, even us and our temples have been even built on the mountains. It was really neat to learn all that we did about the background and culture of our people here.
So we have some great news about Roxanne and her family. They are doing great, so great that they are probably worn out of church activities. They been going since Thursday seeing us and having activities everyday! ha crazy! We had lessons with them on thursday, stopped by on friday, had sinner and a lesson with them on saturday, went to church and had an evening fireside with them on sunday, and had a big family home evening at the stanfords on monday or yesterday. They are really progressing and loving everything that they are involved and everything that they are learning. My love for them is certainly growing. As i watched them participate at the family home evening last night i just smiled because i love them:)
Jordon spoke at the fireside. It was good to hear him share his testimony and experience of meeting us. He did a great job:) He has been struggling a bit lately. HIs mom and step dad have been fighting and he doesn't like to be at home. He's felt a bit lonely at church and church activities...he doesn't have a true friend. He has lots of friends but not someone who will listen to him, understand him and help him like he needs. He says we are his closest friends... NO!!!  He needs a lasting friend is the ward and i am worried for him when we leave. 
Transfers are next week, i sure do hope i stay. i wouldn't mind being in tuakau for 6 months all together. It would be nice. i would even be ok to stay with sister samataua. i love her. 

I know that the Lord loves his children. He loves us:)
I read D&C 138 this morning. It was a mean chapter, it talks about what happens in the spirit world and how the spirits in prison get taught:) so cool!
How has your study of preach my gospel been going? Lately i've learned so much from preach my gospel i love it. If you wanna know how to work with the missionaries then please read ch 13 and help them. We need your help, we honestly can't do it without the support of the members. Go out to lessons with them, go on tradeoffs to visit people. fellowship the new faces at church and help them feel comfortable and have true friends. This is the work of salvation:) let's do it together. I promise you that if you do it, the Lord will help you do it and bless you for it:) It's a great work and brings much happiness. I am so grateful for all the help that the Stanfords give us. They really are helping us almost everyday and providing opportunities for our investigators to be fellow-shipped and having activities to come to. What a great blessing they are. 
I love this work and i am excited to push myself even further this week to be an even more effective missionary for the Lord and his work. He needs it and i need it. 
I know that gospel is true. Yesterday at FHE we watched an old film called "mans search for happiness". It was really cheesy but i felt the spirit testify to me so strongly that it is true. We really did live with God before as spirits, he loves us so much and he created this world just for us. Even though it seems hard and treacherous now, he has a great plan in store for us to be happy now and in eternity. i am so grateful for this knowledge. I love my savior Jesus Christ, for without him we would be nothing and have nothing. He is everything.:)
I love you. Have a great week
Sister BIrd

Let us not just learn[the scriptures] but do them!

I love my companion sister samataua and i am so glad that she was able to meet you and you her and that we were able to share a message with you:) It wasn't the best we've ever worked together but i hope you were able to feel he power of the Holy Ghost in our companionship and as we shared that message with you.
we had stake conference yesterday as well. a special broadcast to all of the new zealanders. Our special speakers were elder Oaks, Bishop Causse, Sister wixom of the primary (i think) and President Monson. How cool is that! ha It was really great. They spoke of so many good things that were just right for the new zealanders to hear. It was a lot to do with proper family home. Husband and a wife. Not partners! ha Everyone here just has partners...they live together and never get married. There were so many good things said but one of the things that stood out to me was from President Monson. I feel that this is the thing that i always learn from him but never master. He told a story of when he was a bishop and on his way somewhere he felt prompted to take a different route rather than his usual. As he did he passed by the house of an inactive members and felt prompted to stop and visit. HE OBEYED THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT AND STOPPED! Because of that one act he was able to bring them back into full activity. sometimes we are also prompted to do things that we dont' understand why, and because we don't understand we often don't follow it. But i urge you to be like president monson and follow those promptings because only good will come from doing so and you never know who you might save.
This week was a good one, we went and visited Loesja again this weekend and now we are feeling a bit uneasy about her and hoping that we can trust her. Earlier that day she went down to the sita family and asked for more food and nappies (diapers) for her baby. I hope that she doesn't take advantage of them. i feel bad we pulled them into the situation. They told her she needed to come to church for them to continue to help her. she agreed, so we'll see how that goes. We actually found out that she is a member and was baptized when she was 18 or so. but she didn't tell us that when she first saw us.. we are not sure what to believe right now. still love her and her kids tho. We went around and knocked some doors and they said that she begs almost every day.... not sure what she is doing with the money that she does have... may the Lord bless her.
This week we set the kids that came to church last week for baptism. This is Roxanne and her family. Roxanne wants to be baptized too but she is still living with her partner. not really sure about their relationship, because they don't love or trust one another. but the kids Asheigh, esvarano and cody-rae are all getting baptized on the 21 June. it's exciting! :) We probably won't be here but it's all good. I am excited for them. 
Jordon is doing good but he could use some prayers. 
There is this inactive that we found a couple of weeks ago. His name is pita and the day we met him was the day he moved into his wives sisters back house (while his wife is in rehab). It was a miracle that we found him. As we worked with him he expressed his sincere desire to raise his little boys up in the gospel and his desire to quick smoking and drinking. we were able to help him get a start on that and then he fasted and prayed for help. He was drug free for 2 weeks and then things started to happen between him and his wife and he got angry and went back to it all. He told us that he was lying to us and we were wasting our time. It was sad. he didn't change his mind. Please pray for him. He'snot in the right mindset. I hope he's alright. It's crazy how we can be doing so well and then satan steps in extra hard and things go down hill fast. If this has happened to you, please come back . Know that God knows that we have weaknesses, we will all fall short at some point but the Savior is always the only way to come back. come to the savior and be healed. 
I know God lives, i know he loves me. I know he hears me and he answers when i pray. I know his son, is my redeemer and that he died for me that i might live eternally one day. (song of testimony). I know that these things are true.Mosiah 4:10 "and if ye believe all these things, see that you do them".  We learn things each and every day, from the scriptures, from church. Let us not just learn them but do them:) 
Love you all
Sister Bird