Monday, August 11, 2014

Papamoa is so great!

Hello Familia,
 sister Vea is really teaching me a lot about smiling more and not being so serious. i take missionary work very seriously but maybe i could smile more. So i strived to do so this week! i made it a few days of smiling a lot and it was so natural and i felt SO happy! i couldn't believe it. i was happy before but when i smiled all day i felt so happy all the time! It was so cool! Sister Vea is always smiling and her laugh is SO loud and so high pitched, i'll have to send you a video of it. It's crack up:) The best part of being happier and smiling more is that our investigators even noticed and said something about it.
> I sure love my new area. Papamoa is so great! it took me a while to love it but i definitely love it now!
> Tata (tat) is doing so well and progressing so well. He's come to church two weeks in a row and he even fasted this sunday. He's really struggling with his family that are currently in fiji. They are not pleased with the way that he is living his life and d even that he is learning from missionaries. He wants to make them proud. However, he told them that he would do what he feels is right. He is really liking this path and is really good at recognizing the spirit and loves the feeling. He is amazing and i smile so much when i hear that he is progressing so well. Please pray for him, his family issues and that the members his age will feel inclined to fellowship him more! That is so needed, we want him to feel like he fits in.
> Hayley:) she is so cool! last night i gave her my ear warmer head band! she kept complimenting it every time we came over so i thought she would just like it if i gave it to her. she couldn't stop smiling:) she was so happy. We haven't met her partner yet... he's being an egg. He's not being very nice to her and she said it's a healthy relationship.. competitive. little does she know what is out there and God's plan. i just want her to be so happy and we have the antidote.  We asked her last night if she feels that she is on the right path and she said yes:) she doesn't feel that anything is wrong. so that is so good! yay!!!
> sister Vea and i sing together! it's the best thing ever! it's been a dream of mine to have a companion who could sing and sing well enough that we could sing together and harmonize and perform for people. And this transfer is the only one that i've been able to do that. We walk all over our huge area singing songs and we got one down so good! maybe the prestons will send you the clip when we performed it for them. its starting to sound good after so much practice. Singing has really strengthened our relationship. The best part is that she never really sang before because so much the other missionaries and her family would tell her that she was awful but she's really doing great. She says that me wanting her to sing with me and encouraging has really boosted her confidence and i can see how happy it makes her. It's so amazing:) i am so proud of her!
> Sister Preston is amazing. For my birthday i didn't want to tell anyone that it was my birthday becausei wanted it to be a good day not a day all about me. However, sister Vea texted and reminded everyone so that they didn't forget and it ended up being a really great day and a special one. Sister Preston had us over for lunch and she bought all this nice food and it was soo good. she bought sushi and cresants and a cupcake for me! I love her. She really made that day so special. There were so many people that wished me a happy birthday. I am very grateful. i really feel like they are my family away from home. i love them as you can see they are great! She is like my mom away from home. She really misses utah and her family there but they moved there to do the Lord's work. She comes to lessons with us all the time and we appreaciate it so much . our investigators always start to progress when members come and teach with us and share personal experiences etc. It's amazing and she is so good at it. She understand the world because she has been through more than we 20 year olds have. I encourage you to make time for going with them .serve our brothers and sisters:)
> i love you all! thanks for everything. i got your card on my birthday and it was so special thanks! i miss you and love you.
> time is short and i will be home but dont think about it ok:) ha
> love sister BIrd

After 6 months in the lovely land of Tuakau i've now been transferred

Hello Family,
I have so much to tell you~! After 6 months in the lovely land of Tuakau i've now been transferred to the lovely land of Papamoa, in tauranga. It is totally opposite of what i have just experienced in tuakau. First off it's HUGE, it's very rich, and the people are hard! ha It's so a big difference and definitely something to get used to. However, i LOVE it here! It is so beautiful. The first day i got here we went running on the beach! so cool! however, it's SO cold! 
Let me tell you a little bit about my companion. Sister Vea, is her name and she is from tonga. Sister Vea and i were in the same intake, which means that we came out at the same time, except i didn't know her too well because she was at the NZ MTC. Also, in my last area i served over her as a STL, so i've known her.  sister Vea is the best! she is so cute, and she is a hard working missionary. We get a long just great! 
So something really cool, when i was at the VC there was a family i told you about that would come in every thursday and go to the temple. Well now i am in their ward!!! they are called the prestons. They are so excited for me to be in their ward and i am so excited to be with them. MOm, you gotta skype her too!!!:)

I want to share something with you that i've been experiencing over the past few weeks. I went through a period of time where i started to doubt. things that the people would say when we were on the streets started to make me doubt the things i've always believed and held dear. When i bore my testimony i couldn't say that i knew that Joseph Smith really saw God, i couldn't saw that he was a true prophet, i loved the book of mormon but i didn't know if it was true. This went on for a while, however i didn't give up and abandon right away, i searched for ways to build it back up again. The day before i came to tauranga, we had some mean as lessons and in each of them we showed the restoration video. Both times i watched it i felt the spirit so strong, it was unexplainable and i knew that it was true! i knew that joseph smith is a prophet of God, i know that he is a true prophet and that the book of mormon is true and i can't deny the way that i felt that day. If you are going through something similar to my experience, i bid you to do all you can to build your testimony. never give up! Heavenly Father loves you and so do i! 
have a great day and remember the church is true!
I love you all and hope you have a great week! 
Aunt becky shared a really cool experience with me, we should try it!
'We had a cool experience in our ward this last month.  We have not had a convert baptism for a long time in our ward, so the ward mission leader told us about  a 40 day fast program they did on his mission.  Our ward mission leader sent around a calendar for 40 days and had a family in the ward sign up on each day.  Each family was to fast for 24 hours until the next family or person started their fast and this went on for 40 days.  The fast was supposed to be dedicated to missionary experiences.  Our family picked a day, and even Bailey fasted for 20 of the 24 hours.  The miracle was that just one month later the missionaries were given a referral in our ward for a lady and her two kids, and she was just baptized.  At her baptism, our ward broke the record for attendees at the baptisms in Pocatello. There was literally no place left to sit when it started.  So many ward members had been involved in the fasting process, we all wanted to come and show her our support.  It was such a special experience.'
I love you all and have a good week
Sister Bird


I've learned a lot of things.

Hello Whanau (family in  maori)!!!
it's been a great week and I've learned a lot of things...
lets see, I want to share with  you some of the fun things that I remembered happened this week...
We had ward conference and for ward conference here they always have a ward activity the night before. It was a blast and us as missionaries played a part in it. We met up at Tuakau college(highschool) and we all played sports for a good while and then we started dinner and then had a variety show(talent show). they asked the missionaries to do a part in it and so we tried brain storming for like two weeks and last Monday we came up with an idea, however, we put it together right before the performance. We did the skit where you look like a little person. We did the life preparing for a mission, the elders putting on a tie, sisters combing our hair and brushing teeth, and then we sang "I hope they call me on a mission". then we "grew up" and sang "Nephi's courage" and did some service and were missionaries! It was so much fun! what a fun night it was. We had all sorts of cultural dances, guitar, funny skits' etc. I am so grateful that I was still in this area to experience it with them:)
Monday night we had dinner at the kiribus house, the bereti family, and then FHE. Eating with them was so cool because they eat in a cultural way. We all sat on the floor and then they passed the plates around in a circle until everyone had one. the dad then made us to silly things like, plug our nose, open our eye with our fingers, touch our ears! ha then we ate. It was a fun experience.
There is an old lady that we teach, who has unfortunately told us that she wants to stick with her own relgion.. her name is Helen. But anyway, she is teaching us how to crochet! it's so cool. we were making those slipper socks and if I get transferred she's going to finish them and send them to me. She is the cutest sweetest lady:) I love learning new talents and abilities.
We rode our bikes a lot this week and boy did I love it. Usually we just take the car, but I was sick of that and wanted to get out and experience "real missionary life". ha the bike made me smile so much:D  We had some beautiful days and some not so beautiful days. You gotta imagine, the wind blowing your skirt up with trying to ride in the rain. It's a fun experience. I prefer wearing long skirts on the bike so that I don't get frustrated trying to keep it down! ha
WE had an ant outbreak in our apartment, so some members gave us this ant killer. It is this honey looking stuff and you put it in a 'cage' thing. It was COVERED with ants. gross... fun experience though! ha
I've been saying good-bye to a lot of people because i'm assuming my time is up here. I really have loved it here, and the good thing is that we've been able to get into some homes that have been turning us away, such as john and kiha. I am so glad that they still love me! ha I was able to get a picture with them and she asked for a prayer before we left:) she told me that I've changed their life so much.. if they only knew how much better it could be.. ha
Jordon is doing so much better lately. As part of the ward conference we had a rescue night and a lot of the ward went out and did visits with many of the less actives and investigators. some of the males visited Jordon and it helped him so much. He lost the spark for a while but when they read to him Moroni 10:32 he said that it hit him. It reads " come unto Christ and be perfected in him... and in nowise deny the power of God". he said that he felt he had been denying God all this time... and now he doesn't want to do it to him anymore. It was neat to see him excited to come to church. When we went over and he told us this I almost cried that he was coming back and strong:) he even fed us and was please that he could  say "he fed the missionaries" ha . Noodles... gotta love it! I am grateful for anything.
this morning before emails we went on a hike as a district and it was so fun. it really wasn't a hike or at least it didn't feel like it, we were strolling through steep hills that looked like paddocks (fields) with sheep in them. not really a trail, which made it feel like it wasn't a hike, but the climb was. so much fun. It was so foggy that we couldn't see anything, however, I prayed that Heavenly Father would lift the fog. As we kept going and even got to the top the fog still wasn't lifted. I said " I guess I lack faith". we then turned and saw for like 1 minute that the fog had been a bit cleared and we could see a little bit of the distance. We then started to head back and slowly the fog lifted. We were able to see so much that we couldn't see  before. The Lord truly had answered my prayer, I just needed to be patient and trust him. I suppose we could relate this to all of our lives. We all go through trial and hardship. Maybe it's with testimony, maybe family etc (the fog) we pray for it to be lifted and we feel that when we get to the top or handled all we can handle that the Lord still hasn't answered our prayers. some of us may give up at this point, some may have already given up. But if we hold on a little longer I can promise that the fog will lift and you will see the blessings in front of you. John 14:18 "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you"
Our investigator Cheryl is doing well. She has a few hold backs with feeling loyalty to family but she does know that it's all true. I have really come to love her. finding Cheryl was really a blessing. She always says that everything happens for a reason, that she feels she's known us or met us before. she is so prepared and I know that her family on the other side that she feels loyalty toward is also ready to receive their ordinances.
I love you all! Please pray for Cheryl, the stenklev-gussey family, semau family, and our ward.
love you
sister Bird
1. We made it to the top! can you see the fog!


I had a good week this week

I had a good week this week. I went on exchanges twice, which was great fun and overwhelming to do two in a week. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a Sister Training Leader and get to work with the sisters closely. I've really grown to love them:)
Eriks family has gone down a bit. We haven't been able to catch up with them at all since we asked them to talk as a family about baptism, but brother stanford has been over a few times and has formed a good friendship with Neils so that's good. We found through him that Neils doesn't believe that Joseph Smith had the experience that he did. It's quite sad really. I just want to get over there and help them... :(

Even though he has said that, i want to bear my testimony that i know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. I can't deny the way i feel each time i hear that story,i feel ecstatic. An electric pulse running through my body, a peace, a comfort. something that i can't really describe. None of those descriptions truly match how i feel. but i know it's true. And because i know it, i have so much more. the way that i truly came to know it though is through the Book of Mormon. wow, what a book. That book truly can and will change lives. it does change lives. It has changed mine. I never knew how blessed i was to have such a book. A book that contains God's plan of salvation, and the fulness of the gospel if Jesus Christ. And i know, as Joseph Smith said, that a man would getting nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book. i truly believe that with all my heart. You can't just read it, you must live it and that is what brings true happiness and is what forms that closeness with God. I love my Heavenly Father and i know he lives. I have loved every minute of my mission. Recently i've learned why people say that missions are challenging. Not sure why it took me so long but i have learned to rely on Christ to get through and he really does strengthen and deliver us.
Well transfers are coming up in a week and i half.. wow. i can't believe it. I have loved Tuakau but i think today i've decided that i will be happy if i stay or go. However, i do want to say that it's become my home. i love the people, the ward members, our investigators. There is so much potential and i can't wait for it to continue to flourish.  We had interviews with president the other week and i told him to let me stay another transfer and he said " i can't keep you there forever." He also told me that he'll be putting me back in the VC unless i really don't want to. Not really sure about that one yet, i have mixed feelings about going back in. I love full time proselyting.
Something that i've learned in the scriptures recently and from modern day apostles is the firm testimony that they have in Christ and in the gospel. Wow! Like Elder Holland said in the last general conference that he knew of a surety, more sure than he knew the people were before him that the priesthood and saving orindances are found in this church. so powerful. Elder Packer said that, from the prophet Joseph Smith "his words are my words", for we saw him. Their testimonies and faith in Christ are unshakable. It's truly amazing and i hope to get to that point. But one thing  i know for sure is that Jesus is the Christ. The only begotten of the father. The son of God. our savior and redeemer. i have felt his redeeming love, i have felt forgiveness and repentance through him. That is how i know. Also the Book of Mormon has solidified my testimony in him. I love him, even though i can't see him, but i feel him.
I have really grown to love the Stanford family. i will miss them dearly, but one thing i know for sure is that they are who i will be visiting for sure when i come back. I will also stay with them!!! ha They are role models, i hope to be member missionaries like them when i go back home.
Well, i wish i could think of more to say. I woke up happy today, just dancing on my way out of bed! my companion laughed at me!
Well have a great week, can't wait to hear from you!
sister Bird