All week long, I note what I want to write home about, and the minute I sit down at the computer, it disappears completely! The curse of a busy missionary, I suppose. These past 2 weeks have been long, and I’ve learned a lot from what we have seen and been able to do. More than ever, I am thankful that the Lord – via President Hall – assigns us mission companions, because it really does come down to taking care of each other, loving and supporting each other, and working in unity.
We’ve had a lot of bonding experiences these past two weeks, and I’m thankful for the promptings of the Spirit and for the blessings of being a missionary. And the Priesthood! I am so thankful for our elders (Hudson and Smith), our district leader, and our zone leaders. They are fantastic missionaries, and we’ve become good friends this transfer.
We had interviews with President this week, and training from our zone leaders and sister training leaders. It is always what I need – an energy boost, and a few hours that helps me to refocus on my purpose as a missionary, as a trainer, and as a member of the Church. I am so glad that President has such an awesome sense of humor. There are a ton of polynesian/white companionships right now in the mission, and one of them got called a coconut. Sister Finau and I realized it describes us perfectly – brown/sunburned on the outside, and white on the inside. Yes, she is still constantly amused by my pink skin. Ya live and ya live. Our companionship is at the top of the ranking for most comments about the oddity of it – yes, we know that she’s Polynesian and I’m incredibly pale, yes, we know that she’s graceful and I’m clutzy, yes, we know it’s hilarious… We never stop laughing in our companionship. Especially, when someone asks if she’s African during sacrament meeting. And when we think of President singing, “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts…” about the 8 coconut companionships in the mission right now.
This weekend we got to attend the broadcast of the Women’s Conference at the Santa Clarita stake center, which was a huge blessing. I always love conference, and am so thankful that we get three weekends of conferences! Women’s conference on Saturday, General Conference next weekend, then we have a mission conference the weekend after that. More important than learning from those who are speaking is honestly learning from the Spirit. If you get a chance, watch President Eyring’s address from this past Saturday. It was fantastic. When you watch Elder Holland’s address, think of me, because I’ll probably be a wreck and bawling all over the place.
We’ve been able to do a lot of service this week. Once a week we go with the elders to a sister in the ward’s ranch to help her out for a few hours. We always have a lot of fun, and it’s a good way to relieve stress. And I get to play with horses! Sister Finau is like a little kid, so willing to do anything from mucking paddocks to grooming the horses. I taught her and Elder Hudson how to curry the horses so they could lose their winter coats before they all die of heatstroke. Sister McCloskey is hilarious, and I love serving her. She makes me laugh, and it’s an awesome opportunity to get to know our elders. Last week, Elder Hudson dared Elder Smith to eat a worm, and then a beetle, all for a double-double meal from In-n-Out. Gross! The male species is strange, even when they are missionaries.
We taught Primary this Sunday, which was an adventure, especially since two out of the four of us don’t remember Primary at all (read: Elder Hudson and I). We did sharing time for both junior and senior primary, and talked about service and about following the example of Jesus Christ as he gives service. The kids were so good, and I was really impressed with them all. We promised them stickers if they told us next Sunday what service they did over the week. Yeah, we need to go find some stickers today.
We are gearing up for the luau on Friday, and praying it will be a success. We are so excited! We are hoping it will be a good experience for the ward that will increase unity and help them to feel more at ease with us missionaries. Sister Finau got permission from President to perform, as well as to teach a few Island dances, which she is super stoked about. We will definitely take tons of photos – I mean, how often will you see yours truly wearing a lava-lava? Or at least, photographic evidence of it, anyway. :)
It’s been such a blessing to see how things have changed in Solemint since we’ve gotten here. We are still working on our goal of contacting all the members in our area (why are they never home?!), and it’s been such an awesome experience. I am so thankful to be a missionary, and to have been able to be transferred up to Santa Clarita, even if at first I didn’t really want to be transferred at all. I am so blessed!
Lots of love,