Monday, August 29, 2016

Draw Near Unto Me and I Will Draw Near Unto You

Hey y'all!!!!

How's everyone doin? Hope y'all had a good first week back to school & what not. Send me an email & let me know how y'all are doing 😊 don't worry, I got time! I can read my emails, throughout the week, just can't response till Monday comes around but I WILL RESPOND! Anyways, this week was a good week. Went by quick. Nothing too crazy happened. Last week Monday was the usual fun Pday stuff. Tuesday we went to the food pantry with the Zone Leaders again. 
We worked hard! I definitely enjoyed it. Wednesday we had district meeting. It was super fun. We did a "get to know you" game since we have a new set of missionaries in our district. We also had a training on consecration & how we can have more effective nightly planning. It was good! After that, we tried to go & visit a whole bunch of people & no one was home. It ended up happening again Thursday, after we did our weekly planning. We went out & tried about 20 different people & literally, no one was home. It was disappointing for sure but hey, the main thing is we tried! Like Elder Uchtdorf said, "the Lord gives us credit for trying!" I just love that. Friday we went to the food pantry again & it was awesome. We got to have yet again another little lesson with one of the workers there. He was amazed at the strength we had, as young adults, to leave all we've ever known & go out to a whole different place. It may sound crazy at times when you really think about it, but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. It's hard work but it's definitely worth it.
Saturday was a good day. We went & contacted a referral that we got. His name is Devonte & I think he's about 17 years old. Long story short, he had been staying with his mum for summer break & he somehow got involved with our church. His grandma has custody of him so now that school is back in session, he's back living with her & he is determined to attend church next week. It was a super sweet visit. We're even hoping that his grandma will want to learn more with him. Please pray for both him & his family. Sunday was a super awesome Sunday!!! 
Earlier that morning, while Sister Brohamer & I were saying our companionship prayer, she specifically asked God to bless those who haven't been to church in a while, to have a desire to come & when we got to church, it was amazing. So many people who we've visited in the past couple weeks were in church. The greatest part was seeing our sweet Twendele family walk in. It was such a surprise 😁 Made me even more nervous cuz I had to give a talk but it went wonderful. It truly was a great Sunday. Something cool happened, so, before relief society started, Sister Brohamer & I walked down the hall way to get wifi to download the relief society manual in French for Sister Twendele to follow along. Well, as relief society started, we realized that we downloaded everything, except the lesson which was based off of President Uchtdorf's talk that he gave at general conference. Well, Sister Brohamer just so happened to have general conference downloaded in French. It was literally a miracle. It was super awesome to recognize the Lord prepared us to help Sister Twendele learn about the gospel. It was super cool.
My collection of pics that remind me of home and my ʻohana!
The Lord sure works in mysterious ways. He is there to help each of his children. Some of us may feel unworthy of his love & I encourage you that if you feel this way, remember, it is not from our Heavenly Father. Like President Uchtdorf said, "reach out & call upon our Savior, Jesus Christ & he will place you on his shoulders & carry you home." I have felt him do that with me through my life. He extends his loving hand to each of us. I want y'all to know how important this gospel is to me. It is the very core of who I am & who I want to become. I love each of you so so so much!!! Thank you for all the prayers that are said on my behalf & on behalf of missionaries around the world. I know that they can feel your love & support just like how I feel it each & everyday. Especially when things get hard. Have a fabulous week folks!!!!! Ofa lahi atu!!!! Aloha au iā ʻoukou pakahi a pau. I lā maikaʻi! Ke Akua pū! Until next week!!!!!  Hurrah for Israel!!!

Sister Kamalani Kawa'a 😘

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hana Mikioneli! Missionary Work!

Aloha y'all!!! 🌺🌵
What's up beautiful people???? How's everyone doin? shout out to my cousin Lamakū!!!! HAPPY HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY!!!! I miss you. Hope you being good ah & loving Utah. I know you probably wen go ride dirt bike up da mountain with da boyz in da kuahiwis. Yessah!!!! I know was probably action. (Yes I can still speak pidgin. No worry I never forget 😉) I hope you had fun at your grad party too. I hope you guys shipping the left over food to Texas haha. Anyways my week went really slow. We still made it as great as we could though. Monday was our first Pday as a new zone. It was pretty chill. We did the usual, sports at the stake center. It's always fun!  
Tuesday we had our first zone conference with President & Sister Whitney. It was so great. We received trainings from the zone leaders, the Spanish sister training leaders & from President Whitney. Oh & guess who won cleanest car award again?? Yup, Sister Brohamer & I did 🚙 ohh yeah!!!! Haha. Proud moment 😎
Zone Conference
Wednesday we went to the food pantry to do some service with the zone leaders. Then we went out & tried contacting. It was a little difficult due to ugly weather. We were able to visit with Brittany. We expressed to her how much we've missed her at church & she told us that her job now has her working every weekend for this next month. It was disappointing for sure. Please pray for her that she'll be able to have Sundays off somehow. We had dinner with the Chauhaun family. Sister Chauhaun is less active & is working on coming back. It was such a great opportunity for us to fellowship with her & her family, especially since her husband is a nonmember. We're going to try & see if he would be interested in learning more. They're such an awesome family.
The Chauhaun kids!
Thursday was our weekly planning day which usually takes up a whole lot of time. The weather got even more terrible too. After planning, we went & visited a sweet Sister name Sister York. It was such a great visit. She is a convert & she told us her conversion story. She's been less active for a while due to health but now as she comes back, she's working on being able to go the temple. It's so great to see that excitement in her eyes as we talked about the temple. It's all about having that desire to change & become better. More converted to the Lord & to the gospel of Jesus Christ. After dinner, we went & visited Christy Blackburn & her family. It was such a good visit. We got to talk to her husband & he shared a little bit about how he was raised growing up in a baptist home. It was interesting to hear his story & to see how his faith has blessed him in so many different ways.
Ugly weather in Watauga
Friday we went & did service again at the food pantry. Even got
to have another mini lesson with one of the volunteers there. He was amazed at the sacrifices that we make as missionaries. We talked about how if we study the "word" or the scriptures, then we will be ready to face the challenges of the world today. It was a super good topic. After lunch, we went & met with Lynn. It was good! We talked more about baptism & then we jumped to a whole different topic about our behavior & the things we do. He then asked about the second coming & we ran out of time, so we told him that we would study it & come back ready to talk about it next time.

Saturday we took some time in the morning so Sister Brohamer could prepare her talk. Then we went out & did some finding. The rain was a little crazy. After dinner, we went & had our last lesson with the Twendele family. The African Elders brought a family that was perfect for them. The Bridges. Sister Bridges is from Tahiti & can speak French so it was such a good lesson. It was sad though cuz we explained that we won't be coming over anymore & Sister Twendele got really sad & said, "you can't leave me!" It was hard to give them up but we know it's for the best. We'll still be there from time to time to encourage them & help them along their journey.
Sister Bridges from Tahiti!
Sunday was great! None of our investigators came to church but, we did give a less active lady a ride to church. That was good. & Sister Brohamer gave an awesome talk about baptism. After dinner, we met with a less active family who's super cute. We talked with them & shared one of the children's bible videos that they loved. It was awesome! We tried meeting with Christy Martinez but no one was home.

Well, this week felt longer then usual. The work here lately has been a little bit more challenging. I was reading in preach my gospel to try & find some guidance & it said, "nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach." That is so very true! Lately we've hadn't found anyone who's super excited or who's even interested in learning more about the gospel. It's been challenging but we aren't giving up. Every morning as part of our companionship study, we recite some important things pertaining to our purpose as missionaries. One of them really stood out to me this week. It says, "Our missionaries are going forth...the Standard of Truth has been erected, no unhallowed 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 clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear. Till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." As I mention in almost all my emails, this work is such sacred work. To think that I was chosen & found worthy to carry out such a work is an honor & a privilege. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.Most of the time, I think us missionaries take for granted, the time that we have here on our missions. It's easy to get down on ourselves when that appointment gets canceled or when that golden investigator moves away, but we need to remember the bigger picture. We are planting seeds everywhere we go! We may never understand the reason why, but we can trust that the Lord knows what he's doing & he knows what his children need. I appreciate & I'm eternally grateful for those 2 sweet sister missionaries who knocked on my parents door almost 23 years ago. I know that the Lord knows & loves each of us. Let's continue to put him first in all things. I love & miss you ALL so very much. Thanks for the support & the prayers. Nā ke Akua e mālama a kiaʻi iā ʻoukou pakahi a pau. Ke Akua pū! Until next week!!! Hurrah for Israel!!!

Sister Kamalani Kawa'a 😘

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8 Months on a Mish!

Aloha mai e kuʻu ʻohana i aloha nui ʻia!!!!
What's up my weekly subscribers 😊 first off, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes!!!!! I'm so grateful for each & everyone of you who took time to write me & send your love. It was such a great birthday week for sure full of tender mercies & little miracles. It was a busy week. Last week Monday, we had zone Pday before transfers. It was fun but sad at the same time cuz so many changes were happening to our zone. Change is good though!!! 

My Polynesian Peeps!
Tuesday we went & did service at the food pantry. Always super fun. We even got to talk to another guy that works there about our missions & our religion. He ended up asking how him & his wife could sign up to be missionaries. It was cute! We're gonna try & see if he wants to maybe learn more about the gospel. I don't even know his name (I know terrible), but we'll figure it out! After service, we went tracting to seek out old potential investigators & also less actives. It was super hot but nonetheless, it was fun. Got to meet a nice family who gave us water & also invited us to come back. It was great! Wednesday was transfers. We went & did service with sweet Sister Greco. We helped her set up her class room & she also ended up treating us to lunch. Score! We even had an awesome lesson about how we should never give up on anyone if they fall away from the church & the gospel. We should love them & continue to pray & fast for them & believe me, Heavenly Father will answer those prayers. He always does! Not on our time, but on his time.
Can you believe it? Me and a Lemur? LOL!
Later that night, we had dinner at  La Casa Villarreal. Shout out to them for going out of their way to make my birthday a special one. It was a total surprise. I honestly wasn't looking forward to it since I'm away from the ones I love the most but they truly made it one to remember. Mahalo nui!!!! ❤️ 

Thursday we went & helped set up for this activity called Granny's Attic. It's where a whole bunch of people from the stake come together & donate clothes & all kinds of stuff that they no longer need. Then people can come & take them all for free. Like a mini garage sale but for free. It was fun! Then we did weekly planning. Then we went & did service for Paulette. It was fun too!! We got to talk about church & we also gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon & invited her to read it. Then we set up an appointment to come back the next day & teach her more. It was awesome!! After dinner, we went & taught the activity day girls about missionary work & what we do as missionaries. We also got to teach them a game we learned on the mish which was chair soccer. We thought we would go easy on them but these little girls don't mess around. It was so much fun!!!! They're crazy & I love it. Friday we had our first Zone Council for this transfer. Lots of changes happened to our zone. Change is good! After zone council, we went to go visit a possible potential but she had to reschedule. We ended up having dinner with Paulette & Becky. They made seafood!!!!! Crab legs, shrimp & corn 😍 I was a happy camper for sure. It was such an awesome visit with them. We talked more about the Book of Mormon & Paulette even said, "y'all just might convert me!" We replied with, "hey we'll take you up on that offer." Please pray for her that she'll have a desire to learn more about the gospel.
Saturday we helped out at Granny's Attic. That's was fun. We even got to meet some people who aren't members that came & we got to talk to them about what we do as missionaries & stuff. After lunch, we went & tried more former potentials & less actives. Then we went & helped Christy Blackburn make get well cards for her friend's baby. Sister Cotton came on exchanges with us & they seemed to have hit it off. It was a great visit! After dinner, we met with the Twendele family & the Fort Worth elders who over see the French & Swahili speaking people, came along with us. We taught them the plan of salvation & it was so awesome!!! They kept saying, "We know the book is true. We know this is true." We were gonna set a baptism date with them but totally ran out of time. Please pray for them that they will be able to commit to a date to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ & be baptized & that they will be able to make it to church. Sunday was another good Sunday. We had meeting after meeting which was good too. Then we had dinner with the Merriefields 💞 after that, we went to our first mission president fireside with President & Sister Whitney. It was definitely the highlight of the week. Not only was I able to feel the Spirit so strong but I was also able to recognize the fruits of my labors. I got to see people who are so dear to my heart. Got to see my sweet Ashlee & Ally (my converts & sisters). Got to also see sweet Sister Sanborn whom I missed so much. It was so wonderful to see familiar faces & feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for each of his children.
The beautiful Sister Sanborn!
Reunited with my MTC Comp (Sister Black) and my "daughter" (Sister Slade).
The beautiful Ashlee, my sister in Christ!
Being a missionary has truly blessed me in so many different ways. I can't believe that it will already be 8 months on the Lords Errands. Every day, here in Texas has been so sacred. Even when it's not as successful as I may want it to be, I know that I am right where I need to be. I can't express how happy I am to be able to have this privilege to share the joys & happiness that the gospel brings. Don't get me wrong, I still fall short & I am far from perfect but I've learned to take everyday, be grateful & strive to be better. I've often found myself repeating the scripture found in Joshua 1:9, "Be strong & of a good courage." Yes it gets hard but the secret is to never give up. Never forget that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. I know that Jesus Christ lives & that he is the head of this church. I know that Thomas S. Monson is truly a man called of God & that through him, we can be guided safely home to live with our father in heaven. This work is sacred work & it can be done without a badge. I challenge y'all to take the opportunity to pray & find ways to share the gospel with those around you. It will not only bless your life, but it will bless the lives of those around you as well. Mahalo nui for all the love & support that I feel each day from all of y'all. Thanks for all the updates too haha. I hope y'all have a fabulous week filled with opportunities to be more like Christ. Until next week!!!! Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Kamalani Kawa'a 😘

Monday, August 8, 2016

Are You Grateful for Your Trials?

Hola! Aloha! Malo e lelei! Talofa! Sup brah! Okay anyways, now
that I've got y'all's attention, how art thou? First things first, transfers are coming up Wednesday (which is also my birthday just in case any of y'all forgot), & looks like I'll be staying here in Watauga for another transfer. Yay! Let's just pray that I don't have to drive haha. So here's how week 34 went. 
Made some pancakes (Hawaiian Macadamia Pancakes sent from home)
My batch of chocolate chip cookies!
Monday we had Pday with everyone. Did the normal. Clean up & shopping. Apparently everyone decided to all go the same Walmart. Missionaries were all over the place. We had fun playing chair soccer & stuff at the stake center. Then we had dinner with the Hill family & ended up staying way later then we needed to but nonetheless, it was still a wonderful visit. 
Elders think they're funny blocking us in!
Tuesday our appointment canceled 👎🏽 so we went to the food pantry. Then we went out & tried contacting more people. Then after dinner, we went out on exchanges with sweet Sister Villarreal & tried to visit a few more people. We ended up getting dropped by one of our investigators Raul 😒 he said he needed time away from the church cuz he's going through a lot. It was sad & I was pretty bummed but we will continue to encourage him & be there for him when he needs us.
Our awesome Hurst Zone!
Wednesday we had district meeting. I was asked to give a training on "how we help our investigators to repent." I thought it went good. We also talked about how sometimes us as missionaries are way too hard on ourselves & so we need to repent, humble ourselves & work on one thing at a time instead of everything all at once. The spirit was super strong & I received lots of revelation for sure. It was great! 

Crazy missionaries!

Then we went to Braums for lunch. The Elders thought it would be funny to make us get lost......punks! But eh, God loves all his children right?! Haha. Gotta love um I guess. We then went out & tried contacting a few people. Got to visit some less active people which was awesome! We had dinner with the bishop & his family & it was sweet. Thursday we did weekly planning at the stake center. Hermana Spackman hung out with us for a few hours while her companion was at the new trainer meeting. After weekly planning, we went out & tracked. Weren't very successful though. We were able to visit some less actives that are no longer associated with the church. That was interesting. Friday we went to the food pantry. I love doing service! Got to have a little lesson with one of the guys that volunteer there. He was saying how he likes small churches cuz you can feel the spirit. It was a good conversation for sure. After that, we got to visit a sweet less active lady, name Sister Howard & her non member husband Lee. She told us her conversion story. She also talked about how her & her daughter were having a conversation about how we as children of God, came to this earth to find those who we made promises with in the pre-mortal life. Made me think of a story called, "I found my friend." (I'll attach a picture of it so y'all can read it.) I shared with her that story & it just touched her. It's so true. We are sent here to this earth to find our friends & bring them back to our Savior & our Heavenly Father. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it! It was a great lesson. 
Read the Story Click Here!

Saturday we went to the animal shelter & helped them out for a little bit. I ain't a big fan of animals (mostly cats) but eh, you gotta do what you gotta do. Nonetheless, we had fun! 🐶🐱 after service, we went & visited with Paulette before dinner (the lady with the lemurs that we did service for). Got to talk with her & share a little bit about what we do as missionaries. Hopefully we get to teach her more so, please pray for her! We also got to meet with the sweet Twendele family!!! Love them so much. Sad though cuz we have to refer them over to the African Elders who work with the people that come from Africa who speak French & Swahili. It's sad to hand them off but we know that it will be the best thing for them. They were so appreciative & kept thanking us for coming over & sharing the gospel with them. Please pray for them as well 🙏🏽Sunday was good!!! Can't believe it was fast Sunday already. After church we tried contacting a few people but I guess no one was home. After dinner with the Furgos, we got to visit with the Martinez family. They're doing great. Please pray for them that maybe, we will be able to start actually teaching them.

Officially part of the Villarreal Family!
Well, I ain't gonna lie.....this week has been hard. Got dropped, got rejected & also had to give up a sweet family. In the Book of Mormon we read, "there must be opposition in all things." If we don't go through the hard times, then how are we supposed to appreciate & recognize the good? I've come to a point in my life where I can finally say, "thank you Heavenly Father, for the trials. I have learned to be grateful for the hard times cuz they're learning opportunities for us to grow & truly become something far more greater then what we can ever imagine. I have been pondering opposition & trials lately & have come to understand that even Christ himself, was faced with opposition & trials. Rejected before he was even born with having to be laid in a manger cuz there was no room for him in the inn. He knows exactly what we need & when we need it. He says, "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand & on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, & mine angels round about you, to bear you up. I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you." Jesus Christ is there waiting with open arms to help us over come opposition & trials in our lives. He has taught me to stay positive & always look at the bigger picture. I am grateful for the hard times. It strengthens my faith & makes me work even that much harder. I love y'all very very very much!!! Thank you for the prayers that you say on my behalf. I feel them everyday!!!! Y'all have a fabulous week family!!!!! Until next week!!!!

Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Kamalani Kawa'a 😘

P.S. HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY to my Brother Kamalei!!!! I love you so much. We'll be the same age for 2 more days!!! Haha. How does it feel to be 20? 😎🤔 hope you had a good day Bubs!!!!! Miss you!!!! Also, HAPPY (early) 2nd BIRTHDAY to my pē, my baby, my niece Ceralena!!!! A.K.A. "Honey Girl" 👶🏽🌺 I already know that the fam is spoiling you rotten. Aunty misses you heaps! Sending you lots of loves, hugs & kisses. Aloha au iā ʻoe!!!! 😘🎉🎊🎈🎁

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Lord Always Prepares a Way!

What's good in the neighborhood??? 🤔

Hey hey!!! How are y'all? What's new? I hope y'all are having a great Monday 😊 this week was different. I feel like we didn't really do much but somehow the week went by really quick. Weird! Well, last week Monday was a normal Pday. Did the usual. Nothing too exciting. We had dinner with Sister Sa'afi at Chipotle. Love that lady!!! Tuesdaywe went & did service at the food pantry with the zone leaders. It was fun! We ended up getting a lot done. We had a really good lesson later that night with Brother Glenn & his mum who's a 92 year old nonmember. We talked about the October 2008 General Conference talk called, "finding joy in the journey." By President Monson. It was awesome! We're trying to work on getting him back to church. Kind of difficult with having to care for him mum but we know that the Lord will provide a way. 
Pday with my amazing companion, Sister Brohammer!
Wednesday we had a really short district meeting cuz the district leaders had an appointment. Nonetheless, we received a good training on having more member present lessons & on always having the Spirit of the Lord with us. It was great!  After lunch, we went & visited Brittanie. We took Sister Blenkenfeld with us & it was perfect. We taught her her last new member lesson & it was such a good lesson. After dinner, we had another great lesson. We went on exchanges with Sister Villareal & went & visited a less active guy name Jason Smith. It was such a good lesson. We talked about the blessings of the temple which was perfect cuz he hadn't been to the temple in years. We're gonna start working with him to get him there soon 😊

Baby Ellie! I just love her!
Thursday, weekly planning always takes up all the time but eh, it's super useful. After doing that, we tried to visit some people but the rain totally came out of no where. That was fun & most of them weren't home anyway. We will get um next time👌🏽After dinner, our appointment ended up cancelling on us 👎🏽but it's okay. We ended up trying to contact more people but it just wasn't going right. Just one of those days. Friday we showed up with the district leaders & zone leaders to do service at the food pantry but, there were too many people so, we ended up going to the animal shelter instead. It was fun! Got a lot done & everyone was so appreciative. After lunch, we went & tried contacting a few people again. We got to meet a new family that just moved in to our ward & they're so cute! We had a good lesson with them & shared with them the video, "because of him." It went super good. 
Then just before dinner, we decided to try & set up a return appointment with a new referral that we got who's name is Richard Twendele. He wasn't home so we left our info with his kids. Then after dinner with the Roy family, we got like 3 missed calls from him. We finally called him back & when we told him that we were the missionaries, the next thing he said was, "yes! I need to see you!" It was the cutest thing. We were able to set an appointment with him for the next day & he was very happy & sounded very grateful. Definitely was the highlight of my night.
Thank you for the care packages!
Saturday we went to the animal shelter again. Then we had lunch & a lesson with Lynn & brother Fergo. We couldn't really "teach" him anything but we did have some good discussions. Then we went out & tried to contact a few people but we weren't too successful. Then we had a BBQ for dinner at the Merriefield home & the Cotton family came. It was great. We got to even answer some of Todd's questions that he had since he's not a member & as we were leaving he said, "see y'all at church!" It was great!!! Then we went over & met with Richard Twendele & his beautiful family. Such a humble & sweet family. The first words out of his mouth were, "how do I become member of your church?" We were shocked for sure. They're from Africa & they speak French so it's kind of hard to teach them but they speak pretty good English & understand more then they can speak. It was super cool to see how the spirit touched them as we taught them that night. It was amazing! Please pray for him & his family. He works on the weekends & won't be able to attend church so please pray that he'll be able to attend church asap 👌🏽oh & another cool thing, when we got home to our apartment, we were looking through our book of Mormons that we have & just so happened to find a French Book of Mormon. Talk about a miracle! Excited to give it to them the next time we meet!
Sunday was another good Sunday. Todd came to church 😁 it was great! Now we just need to get our other investigators to start coming too lol. Sister Brohamer & I taught sharing time for primary. It was fun! Love those little munchkins. After dinner, we went & visited Christy Martinez again. It was a little awkward cuz we couldn't really "teach" but she still enjoyed having us over to visit. The work is going good here in Watauga. Slow but good! It is just amazing to see how the Lord prepares the way for us to accomplish all that he asks of us. Just like as it says in 1 Nephi 3:7. He prepared the way for us to be able to get in contact with the Twendele family & he also provided a ways for them to be able to read the Book of Mormon in a language that is familiar to them. It's amazing how much the Lord loves each & every one of us. I know that he truly only wants the best for his children. Just like what any good parent would want for their children. It's amazing to see so many miracles here, whether it be a big one or a really small tender mercy. I am thankful for the experiences that I have each day while on this sacred journey. Time here is going quick for me. The secret to life is to enjoy the little things. I love y'all so very much & I am so blessed to be able to share my experiences with y'all & vice versa. I hope you all have a blessed we week!!! I love you guys 💞
Sister Kamalani Kawa'a😘