Monday, January 25, 2016

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me!

Aloha mai e kuʻu ʻohana :) well, this is now my 3rd week here in Azle. Weather is very bipolar. One day it's beautiful and sunny and the next day it's rainy & ugly. Still cold though. I'm loving the people here. The Azle ward is such an awesome ward. Very big & crazy (like my home Ward) & the youth are incredible. They're always so eager to do missionary work. They're always finding ways to share the gospel & bring people to come to know of the truth. This week was a good week! Didn't start off so great but as I look back, we did a lot more then we thought we did. 
We had been having a hard time finding people to talk to. We would plan to go and visit all these people then most of them were either not home or it wasn't the right address. We started to feel a little discouraged (or at least I was). Quick experience, we decided to visit this less active couple (the Smith family) & before we got out of the car we decided to say a prayer to Heavenly Father to help us find people who were prepared & ready for us. We literally didn't know where to go or what to do. As we finished the prayer, we looked outside & the old man had just pulled up in the driveway. We were able to share a message with him & his wife on how important it is for us to find ways to feel the Spirit. They were so grateful & Sister Matson & I were able to use our talents & sing them a hymn. Brother Smith loves music & he and his wife were so thankful for us coming over. He said that the message we shared was just what they needed.

We also met with Betty Riley again. Long story short, her little dog Sassy (who's like her baby) ran away the other day & she was so sad cuz it had been the longest that Sassy has ever been gone. But we prayed for her & guess what? Sassy returned to her safe & sound :) We were able to read with her the introduction to the Book of Mormon and help her understand its importance in our lives. She also prayed with us to ask God if what we taught was true. We also had an awesome lesson with our investigator Summer. We taught her the Restoration of the gospel & Joseph Smith's first vision. The Spirit was so strong & I can just see the light of Christ in her. She has been worried about getting the approval from her parents to become baptized but through her faith, her mom has given her permission & her dad had told her that she can do whatever she wants. She's so happy & we just love her SO much. We also had a good lesson with the Hurst family. A less active family that we've been working with. They have a daughter named Ekko & we talked about the Temple & she committed to getting her temple recommend to do baptisms for the dead with her mom before she heads off to college. She is SO excited & just loves the gospel & going to church. Another family that I just absolutely adore & love :)

This week has been full of little blessings and miracles. Full of eye opening moments. We watched a special world wide missionary broadcast where we were able to be taught by apostles & leaders of the church. It was SO awesome. We learned how to really listen & follow the prompting of the Spirit (which I had been praying for). I have a strong testimony that Heavenly Father notices our efforts, even the little ones. As we give it our very best & try every day to be a little bit better, he will be there to help us every step of the way & bless us in all that we do. He truly will NEVER leave you. 
Sister Kawa'a meets up with Elder Sanders Leon at the Fort Worth Texas Worldwide Missionary broadcast.

Last night, we met with the Brewer family & we talked about putting on the armor of God. The importance of how we as members need to continue to do the little things so that we are able to withstand the evil day (Ephesians 6:13). I shared that as we do this we will recognize Gods hand in our lives. We will know that only through him are we able to stand strong & choose the right. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ lives. I know that they love us & know us by name. I also know that they know the desires of our hearts. I'm so grateful to know this so early on my mission. I've only been out for a short amount of time but I see his hand in my life & I recognize all his little tender mercies & blessings.
Another miracle happened. Long story short, my whole life, I thought that my brothers would set that example for me to serve a mission. As I got older, & as I thought about a mission more & more, I felt like I needed to just build up the courage & go. That it was my time to go & serve the Lord & hopefully set that example for my brothers. Well, last week, I got the BEST NEWS EVER!!! My brother (Bubba) has been meeting with bishop who helped him start his mission papers :) He said that it's because of me & the example that I set for him. I honestly know that it wasn't me. It was our Heavenly Father & I can only thank him for instilling that desire in the both of us to go & serve him. If I never had the Spirit, give me the courage to go on a mission, I would have never seen the miracles & blessings that I see everyday. I know I say this a lot but I strongly believe & I testify that as we put him first & continue to put our trust in him, he will bless us for our faithfulness & obedience to his teachings. My sweet family & friends, let us put the Lord first in ALL things! Aloha au iā ʻoukou pākahi a pau. Nā ke Akua e mālama a hoʻopōmaikaʻi iā mākou. I love you all family! Cherish yesterday, dream tomorrow &  live today! He is on our side. Aloha :) 

Love always,
Sister Kawa'a 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week Two in Azle, Texas!

Aloha e ku'u 'ohana! 

Well, it's now been 2 weeks since I've been out here in Azle and on Saturday, I made exactly a month since I reported to the MTC. Time is just going by. This week was a weird one. I'm getting comfortable (which is a good thing I think). The Young Women call me "Tita Kawa'a" too cute. We met with a new investigator, her name is Summer. Such a cute young woman. She's so alert and just loves learning about the gospel. I got to commit her to baptism. Yay! I was so nervous but the spirit was so strong. The only thing she was worried about was drowning but, she agreed to be baptized on Feb 27th!  So excited and proud of her! We also met with a recent convert Ally and her mum came and sat in on her lesson. Her mum is not a member so it was awesome to have her there and she came to church yesterday.

Sister Matson and I did some service with a less active member (Sister Bartlet) who is such an amazing woman. Also an awesome missionary opportunity to help her slowly get back to church. I know her testimony is still there so that's a good thing. This week was kind of

rough. We set plans but they all didn't turn out the way we thought and the weather out here is so bipolar. One day it's a beautiful sunny day and the next day it's a cold overcast day. Weird! Anyways, we had to learn that even though things don't always turn out the way we want them too, Heavenly Father will be with us and bless us as long as we give it our all and try our very best.

My highlight is always meeting new people. Wether it be nonmembers,members or even less actives. This week I've been praying for patience and to be more confident and bold. The other day I was able to take the lead in a lesson and also give a Book of Mormon and pray with an investigators wife. It was so awesome. Heavenly Father is so great and truly does help you if you desire to have him do so. I'm learning early in my mission to always look for the positive even when things don't always turn out the way you hoped they would.

Yesterday, I gave my first talk here in Azle. I said, "my brothers and sisters, Aloha!" And it was so cute cuz the congregation replied back with, "Aloha!" Just loved it Apparently someone found out that I sing so they're expecting to hear me sing sometime for sacrament meeting. Nervous!!!! Anyways, I just LOVE this ward and the people here. It feels so much like home. I remember someone telling me that as you serve, you will find family away from family. It really is true. I have family away from family that I just adore. I just love this gospel SO much and I'm blessed to be a full time servant of the Lord. Heavenly Father is amazing and he will never leave us! Continue to do the little things and the Lord will help us and bless us along the way. Praying for you all each and everyday! Aloha nui au iā ʻoukou e ka ʻohana! Love you all family!

"For him I'll walk where I've never walked before"

Me Ke Aloha,

Sister Kawaʻa

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week One in Texas! On the Lord's Errand!

Aloha y'all! Well, I am no longer in the MTC. Although I miss it (shock) I'm glad to see and meet new faces. I finally made it to Fort Worth, Texas Everything's so big and wide. You either got a nice over the top house or a trailer home. Everyone that I've met so far is so loving and kind. Everyone here has at least one dog and either horses, chickens, cows or goats in there front yard. Oh and everyone has a farm too. It's so different! No mountains. Just big open space.

Meeting President and Sister Ames was so fun. They're so cute and so loving. The spirit that they have is so powerful. My companions' name is Sister Matson. She's from Utah. She's so awesome! I'm her 5th companion & so far she's only had Polynesian companies. I told her, well, I've only had white companions so hey lol. Too funny! My first area is a place called Azle. I'm blessed to have a car cuz a lot of these places are so far from each other. My bike & I would not be friends if I had to use it lol.

Sister Kawa'a and Sister Matson
My first few days here in Texas were great. Adjusting this time around was a lot easier for me. Last week, we got to meet an older lady (81 years old) named Betty. We got to do some service for her. We got to teach her about Joseph Smith and we also got her to commit to baptism so excited for her and her decision. She also came to church with us yesterday. Such a cute old lady!

This past Sunday was so special. We got to have a special mission conference where all the elders and sisters from the whole Fort Worth, Texas mission were able to gather together and meet Elder D. Todd Christofferson. We got to take a group picture with him and his wife and he also shook each missionaries hand as we walked in the chapel. Such a humble man called of God, to help us share the gospel in these later days. Just amazing!

My first Sunday I didn't have to do the annual testimony that every new missionary does only cuz I was asked to give a talk next week instead. Totally looking forward to it.  The talks that were givenwere so inspiring. A young man who just returned from his mission (who I later found out was the bishop's son) gave an awesome talk about his experience with serving a mission. He talked about how he was very homesick but also how he was able to overcome it with the help of his family and the Savior. Totally felt like that talk was meant for me.  Everything he said was so true.

I'm am already starting to recognize so many little tender mercies that the Lord is giving and it's only been a week. I'm learning how to give my all to my Heavenly Father and to truly rely on my Savior for help. He is definitely showing me that everything is okay and that I am here in Texas for a reason. Heavenly Father is placing specific people in my life to help me grow on this journey. It is only through our Savior that we are able to get through anything! Always remember that you are never alone! Our Heavenly Father wants us to turn to him in times of need and in times of joy.

I know that as we continue to do the little things, we will always have his spirit to be with us. By working through your trials and not just going through the motions, you'll be able to find joy. Do your best to work hard. The harder we work as missionaries, the more joy we will feel and have. I know this to be true cuz I am already witnessing it for myself. It doesn't mean it won't be hard anymore, but always find good in a hard thing (if that makes any sense). Anyways, I love you all and mahalo for the constant prayers! Know that I pray for you all and that I appreciate all of your prayers! "Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not cure"


Sister Kawaʻa

Friday, January 8, 2016

Weatherford, Texas! Her first assigned area!

Today we received an email from President and Sister Ames of the Texas Fort Worth Mission!  Here is what they wrote:

Dear Family,
Sister Ames and I want you to know that your missionary has arrived safely in Texas.  We look forward to serving together in accomplishing the Lordʻs work.  We hope you enjoy the attached picture of your missionary as well as knowing that the missionaries are in good hands here as they are in the Lordʻs service.
Your missionaryʻs assignment will be in Weatherford, Texas. She will be serving with Sister Matson. 
If you will go the the Facebook Account The Texas Fort Worth Mission-President and Sister Ames you will find pictures of the missionaries as they arrived in Texas this week.  Your missionary will email you on Monday which is their preparation day.  They are always happy to hear from you as well.
Sincerely,President & Sister Ames
Of course I immediately started looking up information about Weatherford!  Typical stalker missionary mom!  Yesterday I was especially missing her and worried about how she was adjusting, so receiving this email was so comforting.  It is amazing how the Lord knows just what we need and at the exact time.  We are so excited to hear from her on Monday and hear all about her new chapter of her mission.

Isnʻt she lovely?  I feel like her beauty, both physical and spiritual, just radiates the Saviorʻs love.  
"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, yea are called to the work."  (D&C 4:3)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Yeehaw! She's arrived in Texas!

Aloha and Howdy y'all!

I know I just updated the Blog yesterday, but I couldn't resist sharing with you Sister Kawa'a's travel to and arrival in the BIG ISLAND of Fort Worth Texas!  This morning I got up at 4:45 am.  Automatically wide awake.  And if you know me, that is not a typical morning wake up time.  I was so anxious to get that phone call from Sister Kawa'a and didn't want to miss it.  A few minutes after 5 am the phone rang and it was her!  We were able to talk for almost an hour!!!  It was the best 58 minutes.  We were able to catch up, talk for real kine and share our experiences.  I took the phone around the house so she was able to talk to each of her brothers and Tutu and Papa.  She told me how hard her first two days were and how much stronger she is now.  She shared so many wonderful experiences and said how excited she was to be heading to Texas.  I could just hear how much her faith in the Savior has been magnified and how her testimony has grown!

In the afternoon the Fort Worth Mission called.  Sister Wehrthsland who works in the mission office started off with, "Let me first tell you that we met your daughter, Sister Kawa'a, and she is absolutely adorable!  We love her!"  I started to cry with joy!  She also told us the good news that they had a bike for her at the mission office with a lock and helmet and we would not need to worry about getting her a bike on our own!  I was so relieved and chuckled inside thinking of "Tita" Kamalani riding a bike!  LOL!  Sister Wehrthsland also told us that the Mission President would be sending us pictures soon.  A few minutes after we hung up, these pictures came through on the Texas Forth Worth Mission Facebook page.

President & Sister Ames are in the middle.  The two elders and two other sister missionaries all traveled with Kamalani to Fort Worth from the MTC in Provo.  Sister Black (next to Kamalani) is her companion from the MTC.

Our beautiful missionary - Sister Kawa'a
President Ames explained that this was one group and that another group of missionaries will arrive tomorrow (Wed 1/6) from the Mexico MTC.  Oh how I wish it was Hermana Aiwohi! :)  I thought it was wonderful that the Mission President and his wife met them at the airport.  They were then taken to a luncheon and orientation/training.

My heart was so completely full today!  I am so grateful for calling cards and technology that allow us to connect with our missionaries far and abroad.  More than anything, I am grateful for this beautiful daughter of God who could have chosen to do anything with her life, yet chose to leave her family and her home to spend 18 months serving the Lord, serving others,  and sharing her love of this Gospel!  She is my inspiration!  Go forth, Sister Kawa'a, and "let your light so shine that all men may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven!"

Monday, January 4, 2016

PDay #3: Last Day at the MTC!

Today is Sister Kawaʻa's last day at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah!  Tomorrow morning (Tuesday 1/5/16) she will be flying to Fort Worth Texas.  Here are parts of an email we received from her today.

My last full day at the MTC!  Dang, it's been real!  I learned a lot.  Most importantly I learned to rely on my Savior and help others come unto Christ.  It's been a struggle, but I know that everything happens for a reason.  Heavenly Father only puts us through hard times so that we can learn and grow.  Like that saying, "There is no comfort in the growth zone, and there is no growth in the comfort zone."  It's bitter sweet to say goodbye to all the friends that I've made here, teachers that have taught me and even branch leaders who have helped me.  Already seeing family away from family.  I've very excited an a little nervous to be heading to Texas in the morning.  This morning I got to go the temple!  It was so awesome to feel the spirit and pray for strength as I continue my mission.  When I get out to the field, I'll get better at the "group email" thing.  I have a strong testimony of the power of prayer.  The Lord will never leave you, especially while you are on his errand.  My faith in Jesus Christ continues to grow each and every single day.  I love meeting new people and having them feel the way that I do.  I can't wait to meet the people of Texas who the Lord himself has prepared just for me.  Thank you, thank you for all the pics!  Keep them coming!  I got a care package from (Elder) Toki the other day filled with all kinds of junks and a little journal he wrote in.  I'm just grateful that he even though of me.  I also got a care package with cookies from (Elder) Medeiros' family.  So grateful for them as well.  Oh, and let Tutu and Papa know I got their box (:  Tell them I said THANK YOU so much!!!

Anyways, know that I pray for you guys everyday!  I miss you guys always.  Pray for me and the others who will be traveling to Texas tomorrow.  Pray that ll will work out as well because I'm small kine nervous.  You know me!  I'll be calling tomorrow as well.  I think before I board so around 9 in the morning Utah time.  Please answer!  haha.  Thank you for everything mum!  Give my love to the boys and kiss baby for me!  She is getting so big:( Glad she enjoyed nursery :) I love you all for forever & can't wait to hear from you.  I'll send pics next time cuz this is a ghetto computer and da ting no like work for me!  wehhhhh.  Anyways, continue to pray and seek the Lord in all things!  Keep looking at the moon and know that we're all under the same one, no matter how far apart we may be! Know that this is but a short time.  We will be together for eternity!  Soon I'll be reunited with you all :)


Sister Kawa'a 

P.S. -  E ho'omau i ka hana a holomua i na la a pau.  Na Ke Akua e malama a kia'i ia 'oukou ma ke alahele kupono e hele aku ai!  Aloha au ia 'oukou no na kau a kau :)