Tuesday, December 27, 2016

6 Months to Sexy!

Mele kalikimaka a me hau'oli makahiki hou!!!!!
To explain my heading, a funny missionary lingo thing is called "6 months to sexy" which basically means, the missionary has 6 months to get fit & prepare for the next ordinance 😂 🏋🏽🏃🏽‍♀️
The Gallini ʻohana
Boy oh boy! Where has this week gone? We've been busy trying to get adjusted (still) & meeting lots & lots of awesome children of God. I love being able to cover 2 wards. It's so fun. The work here is going & it's going fast. This week was full of reminders, as every week seems to be haha. On Tuesday, we went & did service at a place called "living word". It was so awesome. We put together lots of food baskets, warm clothes & Christmas presents. At the very beginning, everyone comes in & gets a number, then they wait & talk & sing & have a little sermon from the pastor of this little church. I had the priveledge of meeting this sweet old lady name Debbie. We got to talking & had an awesome coversations about life as a missionary & the reason we celebrate Chritsmas. She just couldn't believe how strong we were for taking a little portion of our time & life, to fully serve the Lord. As she was leaving, she flagged  me down & we hugged each other. Then she said, "make sure you come back now & see us okay? It was a pleasure to meet you." When she said that, my heart was filled with so much gratitude & love. Her simple words touched me & I know the Spirit touched her somehow. Wednesday, we met a sweet family & made a super cool connection with their daughter & the father of the home who are both less active. Like Ammon, we built on common grounds. It was super sweet. 
My fabulous trio!
On Thursday, we had our Christmas Devotional. We watched two wonderful & pretty powerful movies.  One of them was about how serving others really does impact & make a difference in both the life of the one giving the service & the one receiving the service. It was so good!!! We also played some fun Christmas games & got to hear departing testimonies from such wonderful Elders & Sisters. Then we each got a special gift from the Office "staff" & from President & Sister Whitney. I just love Christmas & the spirit that comes with it. On Friday, we went on exchnages with one of our ward mission leaders & we got to see so may people. We got to meet some of his family & totally found a connection with his daughter in law. Long story short, we found out that I totally know the missionary that baptized her. It was a super awesome connection to make cuz after the visit, our ward mission leader said, "sister, you have a connection with her, she loves you. Now get her to church!" Another reminder that this is where the Lord needs me to be. Saturday. 
Nancy was baptized by the Elder I know - Elder Lilo!
My Matasoni (Sis. Matson) will be home in 5 weeks!
Christmas Eve, we were fed so well. We had breakfast, lunch & dinner appointments that day. It was so fun! Thanks to having a high metabolism, I don't have to worry about getting fat 😂 We are so loved & cared for here in Mansfield. I couldn't be anymore grateful. We got to meet with our investigator named Alex who has a baptism date for January 14th. We're so excited for him & he's stoked too. He's progressing & keeping commitments but please keep him in your prayers. 
Christmas gifts from home!!!
Care packages!!!
Christmas day was a sweet day. We sang Christmas hymns, listened to the sweet voices of the primary & ward choir & we heard wonderful talks about the Savior & of his birth. The rest of the day went by fast. Anxiously waiting & anticipating the time for us to call home. My goodness!!! One minute I was saying hi & the next minute I was saying bye. 
Facetime with the ʻOhana on Maui!
Our Christmas tree and "Bobby" the investigator. LOL!
This week I am reminded of how much we are loved, supported & needed here.  On Sunday, one of the members came up to us & said, "sisters, I have to tell y'all this. When y'all left after dinner, my son (who's like 14) turned to me & said, man I love sister missionaries" 😂 we just cracked up. Then we realized that we really are making a difference here. Its been about 2 weeks & with the help form on high, we are touching lives in small ways. I have been really working on putting on my eternal eyes & seeing things the way Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ see things. I continue to be reminded that the work here that I am doing is sacred work. It's not about me, its about him! Family & friends, I want each of you to know that you each touch my life. Every single one of you who read my emails, who send me letters, care packages, who pray for me, love me, support me, or just think about me, you, yes you, hold a special place in my heart. THANK Y'ALL SO MUCH!!! You will never know how grateful I am for loving me & encouraging me. As you all know, the life of a missionary is hard but it is worth it. Time & time again when things get hard, the words of one of my favorite primary hymns comes to my mind which says, "have faith, have hope, live like his son, help others on their way. What does he ask? Live like his son." I testify that God & Jesus Christ love us so much. As this new year comes around, let's set goals make plans to become better then we were yesterday. Try a little harder & be a little bolder. Love y'all!!! Have a fabulous week you beautiful people. Until next week...

Hurrah Israel!

With Love,
Sister Kawa'a 💙

Monday, December 19, 2016

365 Days on the Lordʻs Errand!

Iʻll never forget you, Sis. Willey! I love you forever!
Aloha my sweet family! 😍
First things first, IT IS FREEZING!!!!! No bueno 🙅🏽 This week has been crazy busy & I love it!!!!! Last week consisted of goodbyes & hellos. We had a bittersweet pday last week. I was mostly bummed cuz lots of my fellow "friends" were going home. Man, goodbyes are getting harder & harder for me but aye, someone wise once told me that change is good. It's hard sometimes but, it's good. Tuesday, Sister Wiley & I went & did service with the zone leaders at the food pantry. It was so fun until we were leaving & I explained to them that it was my last day there. Man, I really don't like goodbyes. It's awesome though now cuz the workers there, will continue to have a really good relationship with the Elders & Sisters that will do service there 🤗 For lunch, we went to Outback with the Zone Leaders for Elder Taylor's "last supper" haha. After that, we had a really good visit with a less active. She opened up & told us more about her & the hard life that she had. We reassured her that Heavenly Father loves her so much & wants her to be happy. Sister Willey & I both know that it's hard to come back but, it's so worth it. 
Lunch at Outback with Elder Taylor
We took the rest of the night & said goodbye to some of the many dear people, who have touched my life & loved me. No words can express my gratitude for the support that I continue to receive on my mission ❤️️ 
The Blackburns (Watauga Ward)
The Saʻafiʻs (Watauga Ward)

The Hemphils (Watauga Ward)
Mom, Pop and brother Jacob! My mission parents in Watauga Ward - The Villarreals!
My Samoan Sunga, Donna! (Watauga Ward)
The Whittaker family! (Watauga Ward)
Wednesday, was transfers. Filled with SO many mixed emotions. Torn apart cuz I was being transferred but, excited at the same time to be in a new area with not just 1 companion, but 2 companies 🤔 My 2 beautiful companions are Sisters Eddington & Chisholm. The best trio ever so far!!!!! We spent most of the day trying to get settled in & trying to figure everything out since we are "white washing" 2 wards. We went to the church after dinner & got to meet some of the awesome youth & participate in their fun white elephant activity. Love the youth!!! 
My new comps - Sis. Chisholm and Sis. Eddington! The BEST trio EVER!
Having fun already!
Thursday, we had our weekly planning & we also had to take Sister Chisholm to get a root canal. Friday, we spent most of the day on exchanges with one of our ward missions Leaders, Brother Hoelze. We went out & he helped us try to meet people that the previous missionaries were working with. It was great. Busy, busy, busy for sure. That day was super cool cuz we had 2 less active sisters, welcome us in with open arms & tell us that they were so happy to have sister missionaries in the ward cuz sister missionaries taught them. Talked about being placed at a specific time for a specific reason. God is so wonderful. 
Generations Picture! My "mom" Sis. Matson (comp #1), my "daughter" Sis. Slade (comp #2) and my "daughter" Sis. Willey (comp #4)
Saturday we celebrated my 1 year mark 🎉 a day late, cuz we were way too busy on Friday to do it. We went to Olive Garden & as we were going to pay for our meal, the waitress told us that our meal was already paid for & that the people who took care of it wanted to remain anonymous. We found out later that it was a family that Sister Chisholm knew in her previous area. Totally made our day!!!! Miracle! 😊 Sunday was our first Sunday. Now that we cover 2 wards, we have church like ALL day. I kind of like it haha. So, the wards here in Mansfield have a tradition where they come together as a ward & buy Christmas presents for the missionaries. Oh my goodness, talk about feeling loved!!!! We are so loved here in both of our wards. We received SO many things like lotions, fuzzy socks, scarfs, makeup, toilet paper & lots & lots of food. Again, no words can express the gratitude that I feel so far. I will be honest, I was freaking out when I found out that I would be transferred. I really just had to put my faith in God & allow him to help me trust that he knows what he's doing. So far, as I have done this, he has reassured me that Mansfield is where I need to be right now & that Watauga will also have a special place in my heart just like Azle. 
Sister Francom (Mansfield 2nd Ward) welcomed us with new Lula Roe dresses!
I want y'all to know that I love my Heavenly Father so much. I have found that I continue to humble myself & truly let him take over, that he really does take care of EVERYTHING. If we put our trust in him, he can & he will make everything work out. Not on our time, but on his time. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ cuz he has made it possible for me to overcome any challenge or hard time that I have or ever will be faced with. Everything's a lot more easy when we humbly submit to the will of the Father & follow the perfect example of his Son. Know I feel y'alls love & thank y'all so much for the support. Let us be more willing to do what Heavenly Father requires of us to do. Love y'all!!!!! Until next week.....have a blessed week. God love you!!!!!!

Hurrah for Israel!!

With Love,
Sister Kawa'a 💙

Monday, December 12, 2016

Heading to Mansfield, Texas!

Sis. Villarreal (Mama V) is the BEST! She took us to Teddy's Bigger Bugers
Hey y'all! I kahi wahi aʻʻana au 😊
This week was a busy one. Visited lots of people & got to help people understand more about prayer & why it's so needed in our lives today. This week has been really focused on my purpose here & the relationships that we make with those around us. For those of you who speak Hawaiian, yes, I am being transferred. A bittersweet feeling for sure. Once again I feel torn but happy & excited all at the same time. The past 6 months that I've spent here in Watauga have been nothing but teaching moments & learning experiences. I've come to love SO many people here. THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TOUCHED MY LIFE. I am forever grateful for friends who turn into family. It's not the end. It's only the beginning 💙 One thing that I've learned & continue to learn here is love. I have come to understand the true meaning of Christ like love. It's not about being praised, worshipped or even recognized, but it's about touching lives. My heart continues to change as I've allowed Heavenly Father to help me to become an instrument in his glorious work. I've been struggling with trying to remember my purpose here & as I've turned to him in prayer, he has truly softened my hard head & continues to lovingly encourage & help me. 
The Chessman 'Ohana
I've noticed my prayers have been changed. In my studies recently, something really stood out to me & in an ensign article that I was reading, it said, "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings." I've been really pondering about this for this, this past week & it's so true. When we pray, we are showing Heavenly Father that we are willing to do whatever he wants us to do. It can be difficult but with God all things are possible. Time & time again on my mission, I have felt him answering my prayers as I've turned to his & allowed him to help me. I testify that prayer works & that the good Lord is there waiting to hear from you so he can help you. He wants to help. He loves you!!! 
Dorothy's Doggie just loves me!
I don't think I've prayed so much in my life till I've been on my mission, especially with transfers happening. My new area is a place called Mansfield & I'll be in a trio & I'll be white washing an area & I'll be covering 2 wards. White washing is when a set of missionaries gets taken out & a new set gets put in so, none of us will know anyone in the ward. It should be interesting trying to get to know not just one ward but 2 wards. We definitely will be busy, that's for sure. Im excited but kind of nervous at the same time haha. Just trusting that the good Lord know that he knows what he's doing 😊 well that's it for this week fam. Sorry, not so much about the work here. I'm exited for Watauga because good things are happening. I'm leaving this area better then when I first came. Just going up from here! Love y'all so much!!! Have a blessed week!!! Until next week.....

Hurrah for Israel! 

With Love,

Sister Kawa'a 💙
Forever my Matson! Sis. Matson was my first companion and trainer!

Monday, December 5, 2016

In Case You Forgot, God Loves You!

Sup fam!!!

      Well, another week has flown on by. Next week is transfers already. Shesh, I feel like I just started training Sister Willey & now it's almost over. It's been going by way too fast. Time needs to slow down a little. This week has been really focused on recognizing the love that our Heavenly Father & Savior, Jesus Christ have for us. This might be a long email so bare with me.....I know y'all won't read it anyways but to those who actually do read it, THANK YOU!!!! 🤗 Last week for pday, Sister Willey & I hung out with Sister Rose. She taught us how to make cute little nativity scenes made out of clay. It was so fun! After dinner that night, we went by to see the Sa'afi famili. Man, Heavenly Fathers timing is so perfect. So Sister Sa'afi was home alone & almost didn't answer the door cuz she was scared but, we're so glad that she did. We initially went over to reschedule dinner with them & use their restroom but we ended up talking to her for a bit. I had been struggling with some personal things & just being stubborn & too hard on myself & for some odd reason, everything just came crashing down that night. I opened up to her about some things & come to find out, she needed to hear exactly what I shared with her. She gave me a much needed "motherly" talk & explained that everything I said totally described her. We talked about how grateful we were for the love of our Savior who went through it all so that he could know how to get us through it. I am so grateful for her cuz in that moment of despair, she helped me recognize the love that my Savior has for me. 

      Tuesday, we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders & again, Gods timing is so perfect. During our companionship study, Sister Hilton & I were talking & I explained to her some of the things that I was going through & she ended feeling the same way & didn't even know it or recognize it until I said something. Talk about being put in the right place at the right time. If we hadn't done exchanges, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to help her in her moment of despair. 
With Sister Hilton on exchanges!

Wednesday, was district meeting & we had a very powerful testimony meeting on the Atonement. It was definitely a testimony builder for me to hear such humble testimonies from the Elders & Sisters serving in our district. I learned that the atonement needs to be taken from our heads & actually put into our hearts in order for it to work. It's a willingness that starts with a desire. A desire to change from who we were, to who we can become. We must first understand it ourselves, so that we can then go out & help others understand it as well. Once we understand it, we will be able to find joy in our trials & we can be grateful for what our trials teach us. In Isaiah 49:15 the Lord says, "I will not forget thee." He cannot & will not forget us so we shouldn't forget him. Spend time with him & he will spend time with you. If we do this & if we let him, the Lord will mold us into something far more greater. We need to get out of the way & allow him to help us. We do this by losing ourself in his work. Serving others.

      Since last week Thursday was the worldwide day of service, we as a district, decided to secretly rake up the leaves at our Bishops house. Not knowing that one of the suggestions for the #LightTheWorld was to secretly serve someone in your ward. It couldn't have been more perfect. We went out of our way to help out a man who is always taking care of others & who basically has no time to take care of himself. You never really know the impact you have on someone & the thankfulness that they have from a simple act of kindness & service. We had dinner with them the next night & he got emotional as he explaining to us how grateful he was for that random act of service. They had no idea who did it until he looked at us & said, "was that you guys?" & we just couldn't lie to him, so we just shook our heads & said yes. Man, the Spirit was so strong & you could just tell that his family was more the grateful. It felt so good to lose yourself in the service of others. It's something we do everyday but at that very moment it impacted me so much. 
SERVICE for the Bishop!

     Saturday evening, we went by to see Ms. Dorathy again. Talk about Gods timing. Right before we left, she got emotional & said, "you girls have no idea how much this means to me. You coming to see me & talking with me has helped me so much. Never give up! When you go out & knock on doors, don't give up. You just never know who might be on the other side of the door. Keep knocking & keep going." Sister Willey & I were bawling when she said that. The Spirit touched her heart & is changing her as she continues to open up & let the Lord help her. Another powerful moment of the love that our Heavenly Father & Savior, Jesus Christ has for each of us. Later that night, we had such a beautiful time at our ward Christmas party. Yes, Sister Willey & I dressed up 💁 it was such a wonderful night centered on Christ & family. 
Ward Christmas Party
Yesterday was fast & testimony meeting & it seemed like the theme was the love that our Heavenly Father & Savior, Jesus Christ have for us. Each testimony touched my life & helped me to feel of their love. Sister Willey & I taught gospel principles & the lesson was on The fall of Adam & Eve. Man, a perfect remind that God loves his children so much. In relief society, we had a lesson on miracles & sweet Sister Hailey gave such a beautiful lesson. There wasn't a dry eye in the room for sure. Too top it off, my heart started pounding really fast & the Spirit kept telling me, "share your story." At first I thought it was just me thinking so, I tired to brush it off but, as I did that, I started to get more anxious. Finally Sister Hailey asked, "would anyone like to share a miracle that has touched their own life?" I thought so myself & said, "fine." I shared my story about being a miracle & having to live with a bullet in my head (if you didn't know that, surprise. Ask me about it & I'll be more then happy to give you the details). But anyways, as I shared my story, I was able to recognize the love that my Savior & Heavenly Father have for me. I think it's easy for me to forget my story sometimes cuz of the normal life that I live but, when I have opportunities to share it with those around me, I remember my purpose here & why the Lord spared my life at such a young age. On my desk I have 2 quotes that I read & look at everyday. One of um says, "God gave you this life because he knew you could handle it." & the other one says, "You can do the impossible, because you have been through the unimaginable." This life is not meant to be easy. Never forget who it is that made it possible for us to return to live with Heavenly Father. That is Jesus Christ. Let's not just make him the reason for this season, but let's make it the reason to live. Because of him, we can have joy. Let's continue to build our faith so that we can be like Paul & say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I love y'all so much!!!! Thanks for all the love & support. Know that I feel your prayers each & every single day. Have a great week!!! Until next week ʻohana 😘
Hurrah for Israel!
Brother and Sister Bobo!
With Love,
Sister Kawa'a 💙💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜