Monday, July 10, 2017

Never Can I Repay Thee, Lord!

Ke aloha nui iā ʻoukou e kuʻʻohana i aloha nui ʻia! 
What a week it has been!!! Another fast one, that's for sure. Bare with me as I try & explain the feelings of my heart. It's just so much & I hope I can share everything with y'all in this email. We had an amazing lesson with our new investigator Mary. From the very beginning of the lesson, the Spirit was so strong. She kept saying over & over again about how she feels this excitement & happiness that she can't even describe. As we were helping her understanding the restoration of the gospel, she just had this big smile on her face & she was just filled with the Spirit of the Lord. It was so awesome. She even ended up committing herself to baptism. We don't have a specific date yet but we plan on setting a date with her on Tuesday😊 
Fun 4th of July pics

This week was filled with bittersweet feelings. You'll read that a lot in this email. Let me remind y'all that the Lord truly does know us by name & he knows what we need individually. One of the tender mercies this week was getting our truck fixed within an hour. We were told we would have to drive a few hours & that it would take about 2-3 hours. We pulled up to Nissan & right off the bat we were greeted with, "Sisters, what can we do for you?" The guy who helped us out ended up being a member & we finished it up a lot earlier than expected. Tender mercy! That was fun! Sunday, I had the opportunity to bare my testimony & thank the Decatur Ward for their love. Another tender mercy was being able to see a sweet family from my first area (Azle), who ended up coming to our ward cause their building was flooded. That was a tender mercy to see them one last time before I head home. 

The Cannons! Ward Mission Leader and Relief Society Presient. Brother Cannonʻs grandfather was George Q. Cannon who helped Jonathan Napela translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian.

Audie! We love him!

Larry & Rita

The Von Fechner family!

      Huuuuutttaaaaa!!!! Ohh did I tell y'all that it's transfer week & guess where I'll be transferred too??? Wailuku, Maui!!!!! MAUI NŌ KA 'OI 😁Ua holo wale ka manawa. Eia no au, ke kākau nei i kuʻu leka hope loa ma kēia hana kūpianaha, ʻo ia nō, ka hana mikioneli. Has it really come to that time? Is this really my final email home? Dang man, the past 19 months have been nothing but AMAZING!!!!! This journey has been one that was not easy. I've felt broken, lost, confused, hurt, sad, depressed, angry & I've wanted to give up & throw in the towel so many times, but because of my Savior, Jesus Christ, & through the love & support from each of y'all, my family, my friends, my companions, my Leaders, my mission Presidents & my Heavenly Father, I figured out how to rely more fully on the atonement of my older brother. I've been able to draw closer to him as I've fell to my knees, pleaded with them, prayed to him & as I've sought his council & guidance in all things. I have had beautiful, spiritual confirmations that God knows me. He knows me by name, Jesus Christ is my Savior & the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church once again established upon this earth. I have gained a stronger witness that Jesus Christ does know what we each go through. No matter how far we think we have drifted from him, he is there lifting us up, carrying us, loving us & cheering us on every step of the way. I know this to be true because I have felt carried & lifted & loved especially in moments of despair. Jesus Christ is the prince of peace. He is the one that will calm our troubled seas & he stands at the head of the church. No amount of "Thank yous" can or will ever express my gratitude for him & his beautiful sacrifice that he made on my behalf.

Howʻs this street sign?

      To my Texas ʻohana, I want to thank all of y'all guys for loving me, caring for me, watching over me, allowing me in your homes & in to your lives. THANK YOU!!! You each have touched my life in some way. To my Maui 'ohana, Ke aloha NUI iā ʻoukou no ke kākoʻʻana iaʻu. MAHALO NUI for supporting me, loving me, praying for me, sending me packages, sending me letters, emailing me & most importantly, THANK YOU FOR CHEERING ME ON over the past 19 months. The decision that I made to leave my family for 18 months & all that I ever knew, to go out & spread the gospel to an unfamiliar place was a hard decision, but definitely so worth it. My mission has been so sacred. I've been beat but I've also never been any happier. This was the best decision I could've made. I have learned things here that will carry with me throughout the rest of my life & eternity. The best 18 months for the rest of my life! If you are reading this & if you are thinking about a mission, the best advice that I can give you is GO!!! I did not want to go cause I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't realize how rewarding & fun it would be. "If he have desires to serve God, he are called to the work." (D&C 4:3). "There's no growth in the comfort zone & no comfort in the growth zone."  I stand as a witness that the work of the Lord is going forth. "The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallow hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble & calumny may defame. But the truth of God will go forth, boldly, nobly and independent. Till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country & sounds in every ear. Till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say, the work is done!" The blessing that I've received when I first arrived here in Texas has been fulfilled, "You will cry more tears going home then you did coming here." It's a bittersweet feeling for sure. In Hawaiian we say, "A hui hou!" Which simply means, "until we meet again!" A hui hou e Texas!!! Aloha mai e kō Maui!!!! See y'all in just 3 short days 😁 the excitement & anticipation is real. I LOVE Y'ALL GUYS OH SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!! 😘 Until we meet again....
LAST district photos!

LAST Zone picture!

 My taʻahine talavou Sister Taehia


With love, 
Sister Kawa'a

Monday, July 3, 2017

It All Starts With You!

Aloha my sweet family!!!

Where has this week gone??? 🤔 My week has been just amazing. There are miracles happening all around. I am constantly reminded that the Lords timing is perfect time. Patience truly is a virtue. Good news, we have a few new referrals that we plan on seeing this up coming week & we also have a new investigator that came to church yesterday with her husband who's a member. She really wants to learn more about the gospel & is pretty much golden. She told us how she used to be really rude to the missionaries in the past. We asked her if it was Elders (boy missionaries) or Sisters (girl missionaries) & she said both. Thank goodness she changed & loves us. The ward just opened their arms & embraced them. Very proud of the member fellowship that they received. Keep them in y'all's prayers! Here are some fun things & great miracles from the week that we had. We go to see one of our investigators who is CRAZY!!!! His name is Chuck & he's such a hoot. He originally met with some Elders in the past & would go to church with them on a regular. The Sisters found him one day &  have been teaching him ever since. All I ask is that y'all keep him in y'all's prayers. He has a hard time keeping commitments, but his desire is there. We see it every time the spirit touches him & when we testify. Please send an extra prayer his way!
Me and the comp!

The famous knife in Bowie!

Another wonderful soul that we get to love & help is Grace. She's the best. So sweet & very close to the Lord. It was cool! So I had the opportunity to spend part of my day with our mission President's wife. She came to Decatur so she could spend some time with me before I went home. How cute! Anyways, we got to see Grace & she had a hang up about Jospeh Smith & his role in being the one to restore the gospel back to this earth. Sister Whitney bore a powerful testimony of the life that our prophet lived. How he had only but a 3rd grade education, but through the power of the Lord, was blessed with the ability to translate ancient literature to English. The Spirit was so strong & Grace knew exactly what she needed to do. She told us that she's been slacking at reading from the Book of Mormon but that if she wants an answer that she needs to read the Book & pray about it. I just loving seeing the ball drop for people & for that light to come on when they feel the Spirit & when they know what to do without even having to be told. She's putting it to the test. We know she will receive an answer & we're excited to follow up with her on that this coming week.  

Sister Whitney (Mission Presidentʻs wife) in the middle.

The Sister Training Leaders (STLs).

Sis. Baine and Micaela. We spend Pdays with the Baines!

Beautiful Micaela!

Fun stories:
  1. We were having dinner at one of our members home who just recently moved into the ward & the ward they came from had boy missionaries (Elders). During our dinner conversation, the husband jumps up & says, "do you wanna see my guns?" & both Sister Casper & I are like, "YES!" He brings out about 8 including 4 from his pocket, he unloaded them all & tells us that we can take pictures with them as long as we face them away from everyone. His wife then said, "thats a first from the sisters. Usually just the Elders want to see his guns."

  1. Our awesome Bishop asked us to try & see someone who just recently moved in to the ward. We put the address into our GPS & off we went. We ended up in the middle of no where, behind a hotel. As we were pulling up we see a high chain linked fence with the circle barb wire on the top. I straight look at my comp & say, "watch this be a correctional facility." & sure enough, as we pulled up we see a sign that said, "welcome to the MTC Bridge Correctional Center." Good one! Looks like we wont be seeing Donte anytime soon. 

Talking to the "neighbors"! LOL!

Well family & friends, as my final full week in the mission field approaches, I am filled with mixed emotions. I was sweetly reminded that all is & that everything will be okay. It's truly just bitter sweet. One thing that I've just absolutely loved is being able to see the Savior not just change the lives of those around me, but most importantly, seeing my life change as I've been on my mission. I was reminded of something that I've been really pondering lately a simply line, "It's my mission too." The choices that I make & the risks that I take not just affect me, but also affect those round me. It all starts with me. The Lord said, "be ye perfect even as i am." He never said be perfect today or tomorrow or next week or month form now, he simply expects us to try. We are surrounded by people everyday. They see us & they notice the things we do. If we're trying & always putting our best foot forward, they will see that they too can make it. Remember that its your mission too. Your mission should be to be more like Christ, to follow his example & to fulfill our Heavenly Father's plan by doing the things necessary to be able to return to live with Him again some day. I love this gospel so much & I absolutely love my mission. It has truly been the best thing to prepare me for the rest of my life. I'm anxious to reunite with you all in just 10 precious days 🤗 Until then, I will be sprinting through to that finish line. Go out & change lives one person at a time. I LOVE EACH OF Y'ALL OH SO VERY MUCH!! Have a great week!! Until next week 😘 Kia kaha! 

Hurrah for Israel!
When "Moana" is playing so the kids wonʻt cry and YOU canʻt watch!
Mama V, Pops and Jacob came to Decatur and took us to dinner!

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a 🤙🏽

Monday, June 26, 2017

Have I Done Any Good In the World?

Top of the Mornin to yah!!!!
      This week was a week full of service. It went by so quick! We spent most of the week helping people pack up & move. Good news, we got to finally see one of our investigators, who I've never met since I've been here. Her name is Grace & she's currently trying to study the Book of Mormon & the Bible side by side. Oh & she also loves family history. I mentioned her in my email last week. She basically said, "once I know the Book of Mormon is true, I'll come to yalls church." She's so cute & her desire to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is there. She's so great! Please pray for her as she takes up Moronis challenge, by asking God if what she's reading is true. I know that she will get an answer & that she will know & feel of its power & truth. 
My buddy, little James.

Shout out to the Lambs for hooking us up!
      Fun Story: We had a bible referral that we contacted this week, his name is Curtis & he wanted to meet us at a restaurant called Braums. Well, we go over there & wait for him & mind you, we don't even know what this guy looks like at all. I see this guy walk in & stare hard core at me but he just keeps walking, so I don't think much of it. Sister Casper & I were sitting there for a good 15 or 20 minutes at this point, & I start calling out for Curtis to every guy that I see that walks in. I even started singing his name at one point & my companion was dying from laughing so hard. I even turned to her & said, "watch him be sitting right behind us!" Well, we end up texting Curtis to see where he at & he sends us a text back that says, "I'm sitting behind you." I straight turn around & we all started laughing so hard. He goes, "I knew it was y'all this whole time. I just didn't wanna say anything." Thanks Uncle! Talk about awkward 🤦🏽‍♀️

We made a rap for RS and this was our "stage name"! LOL!
      Another story for y'all: We were helping one of our members move last minute, & we realized that we had no rope or anything to tie down some things in the back of our truck. We thought it would be fine but then we got a little worried. I ended up jumping in the back seat & tried to use my arm to hold it all up. Let's just say, I felt like my arm was gonna fall off every time that wind picked up & blew against it. We pull up to Walmart & decided to buy some rope when this random man comes up & asks if we needed help & some rope. Uncle goes & ties down the stuff & ended up telling us where we could get good role for cheap. Moral of the story is it okay to ASK FOR HELP & take the help when offered. We ended up using that rope the rest of the week. As we were thanking this man, he ended up telling us that this was the only good deed that he could do that didn't become a fail. He's been trying to seek opportunity to do random acts of service & we finally gave him one. He thanked us for giving him an opportunity to serve. Blessing in disguise 🙏

Did I tell you we LOVE to take pictures?

      This week has come & gone. I'm continuing to see the gospel bless my life & the lives of those around me. I was blessed with the opportunity to give a training at district meeting & we talked about the importance of talking with everyone & teaching when we find & finding when we teach. There are opportunities all around us where we can stand as a witness of Christ & be that good example for those around us. In Preach My Gospel (a book to help missionaries work), it says, "As those you teach experience the blessings of the gospel, their desire to share it will increase." I have seen this happen over & over again as I've been able to help my brothers & sisters learn more about the gospel. I've also seen this in my own life as well. I've seen how as I've studied my scriptures more earnestly, as I've prayed more fervently, as I've feasted upon the words of Christ, my testimony has been strengthened & my personal desire to share the gospel has increased dramatically. I've seen where I was 18 months ago & I see where I'm at today & it's amazing to recognize the eternal perspective more fully. I know that this is only possible through my loving Father in Heaven & my Savior, Jesus Christ. We all can have a desire to share the gospel with those around us. It can be in small ways. You never know unless you try. Here's a challenge for y'all, dive into the scriptures & then pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone in someway & ask Heavenly Father to guide you to that someone. I promise you that you'll come to appreciate the gospel & the blessings that come from being obedient & heeding the promptings of the Spirit. It will be amazing. I love y'all oh so very much!!!!! Thanks for the love & support!!!! See y'all in 17 days 🤗😘

Hurrah for Israel!!! 

Trying to do a selfie Sunday but squirrel scared me!

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a