Monday, April 24, 2017

Embracing Change

Texas cornfields!

Last Pday pics with Sister Eddington and the gang in Mansfield!

Aloha kakahiaka e kō Maui! 

      Happy Monday y'all. Thanks for sending me emails & updates of how everyone's doing. Y'all are the best! I love getting little emails, even if their short. It makes me feel loved so keep them coming haha. 😄So, my first week here in the Temple, Texas has been unique. That's for sure.Monday night was a bitter sweet night, said my "goodbyes" & my "see you laters" to my Mansfield fam & headed to Temple the next day with excitement & a little worry, I'm not gonna lie, I'm still trying to remember that change is good & I'm still trying to adjust to new things. The unknown can be scary sometimes, but it can also be absolutely rewarding. Tuesday was a long day. We got to transfers around 9:15am & had to wait their till about 12:30pm to head down to Temple which takes about 2 hours. I guess you can say I had my first road trip 😆 (it probably wasn't even a road trip but hey, it was fun). Anyways, I was just happy to be with someone I knew, I found out that one of my old comps, Sister Brohamer, was going down to Temple with me. What a relief! The car ride was fun. We stopped to eat at Braums 😍 & then we talked, slept & talked more. I got to experience Buc-ee's for the first time. That was a trip. It's got like 18 gas pumps & like a little grocery store thing in it. It was pretty cool if you ask me. We finally made it down to Temple at about 3:30ish. We had no time to unpack cuz next thing I knew, we were headed to the church to give some investigators a chapel tour. That was so fun. 
Sister Brohamer and I

The two hour car ride down South!

Cowgirls in Temple, Texas!
     Okay so cool story about these investigators, Josephine is the mom & Jomeo is the son & their from Jamaica. So one day, the Sisters we're trying to visit a less active member when a car stopped in the middle of the road & Jomeo asked them if they were Jehovah's Witnesses & if they could tell him where their church was. The Sisters then explained that they're missionaries & that they could tell him where a different church was located, so he gave them his info & they ended up teaching both him & his mom twice the follow week. They're golden & LOVE learning the gospel. The only hard thing is they work about an hour away on Saturday & Sundays. Good news is their trying to find a job closer so they can come to church with us. We're excited to start working closely with them. 👍 We also have an investigator name Don that we went & visited with after dinner. He & his daughter-in-law, Rachel, are taking the discussions. Don has a current baptism date set for July 3rd. Please pray for him!!!! We helped him understand the word of wisdom a little bit more & thankfully, we had a recent convert & a member come with us & boy, it was powerful. They both shared heir own personally experiences & testimony of how they've overcome the Word of Wisdom with the help of the Lord & the gospel. It was awesome. When we went back to see Don again on Saturday, he said that he quite smoking. Miracle!!!! He's so happy & when he came to church yesterday, he told some of our members & they were so happy for him. We know he's on the right track now & that's only because he understands & is willing to change. So awesome!!! 
Meeting our investigator, Olivia!
Wednesday, we found 2 new investigators. Another guy from Jamaica that's really interested & has read the Book of Mormon & a little 8 years old girl who's family is from Asia. We also got to talk to the young women about missionary life & it was really fun. Thursday, we had our weekly planning. Friday, we did more finding & area Book cleaning. Saturday, we made our way down to a place called Holland & Roger. It's about a 35 minute drive & it's kind of in the middle of nowhere. Super country. We had a lesson with another one of our investigators with a baptism date forJune 3rd. Her pname is Payton & she's 12 years old. She's super excited for her baptism & we're excited to be helping her get there. We got to go & visit another potential investigator. His name is Dustin & he's really interested. The first time the Sisters met with him, he ended up reading the entire first chapter of the Book of Mormon with them. He's golden & we're excited to find people that are willing to listen. We ended the night on a fun note. We had a ward activity where we had homemade everything including homemade fireworks. We missed the fireworks though cuz of curfew, but we had lots of fun meeting people. Sunday was a good Sunday. Not having 2 wards to cover is kind of weird haha. I loved having 6 hours of church 😄 Anyways, my first Sunday was great. Everyone was excited to see Princess Moana, I mean Sister Kawa'a 😂 After church, we did more visits & finding. Week 70 in the field went by pretty quick. It was nice! 
The BOMB food!
My beautiful new companion, Sister Johnson!

      I just wanna give a shout out to my Brudders & my hālau ʻohana for a job well done & Merrie Monarch this past weekend. Congrats of winning 3rd place overall. Iāpana, here we come 😄 I'm so proud of y'all. All the hard work paid off. Love y'all so much!!!! Well family & friends, this week has been a week of change. New area, new comp, new investigators & new members. With all this change that's happen, I will mention one thing that never changes & that is the gospel. Aren't we grateful that knowledge?! Sometimes we may never truly understand why things happen, but I've learned that when our faith starts to be tested, that's when need to rely on the Lord even more. It's sometimes hard to trust in the unknown or in the "uncomfortable", but as we rely on the one who knows the plan, he his comfort us, he will help us, he will guide us & he will lead us to familiar, safe & comfortable things. Family & friends, don't give up!!! As Elder Holland has said, "Heaven is cheering us on." Whenever I get down in the dumps, (cuz we do as humans), I remember & feel each of you & your prayers on my behalf. Thank you for thinking about me, praying for me & cheering me on. It gives me so much hope & faith to endure & continue on here in Texas. I love y'all so much & I miss y'all heaps. Let us all remember to stay close to the Lord so that he can bless us & mold us into something marvelous. Nā ke Akua e ʻalakaʻi a mālama iā kākou āpau. E paio mau no ka pono. Ke aloha hui iā ʻoukou pakahi! 😘 until next week!!! 
Saying goodbye to the Tanners!

Saying goodbye to the Waldmans!

This family loves Hawaiʻi and Loves SPAM!
Saying goodbye to my investigator, Kenny!

Hurrah for Israel! 

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a

Monday, April 17, 2017

I Stand All Amazed at the Last 16 Months!

Alohaaaaaaaaaa 🍍
      Howdy y'all! How y'all doing on this fine Monday mornin? I hope that everyone had a beautiful Easter cuz I know that I sure did. I'll explain more in a sec. First, can y'all believe that I've been out for 16 months now 😱 Holy smokes!!! Time sure flies on by, when your having fun. The past 16 months have been nothing but a roller coaster. You've got the highs & you've got the lows but hey, all I can say is everything sure is worth it in the end. Bitter sweet moments. So, this week was a fast & busy one. We got lots of people to teach & find, find & teach. Ima just give y'all the run down & update y'all on all the beautiful souls that we're working with. Our newest investigators who are 9, little Chase & little Brandon. (I'm horrible & I think I may have forgotten his name but we'll call him Brandon). Anyways, both of their stories are kind of similar. Both come from pretty active families & both have expressed a desire to be baptized. A decision made all on their own. Our appointment with Brandon got rescheduled for this upcoming week, but we did get to meet with Chase. He's an awesome kiddo & I'm just in awe of his little desire to want to follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. His little example has touched my heart & I'm so grateful for him. Super excited & looking forward to continuing to work with both kiddos. The Tyler girls are doing well. We got to teach them & with the help of one of our ward missionaries, we were able to help them to stay focused & understand what we were teaching. One of them had lots of wonderful questions & you can just see the fire in her eyes when she understands the basics. It's definitely a faith builder for me. 
The famous Mama Francom pose!

The boys with Alex!

      We got to teach our sweet Sanchez family & they came to church again & stayed for class 😁 They're doing so great. Maria (the mom), had lots of great questions for us & thank goodness our member fellowship speaks Spanish. It was really good. Also Jose (the father), said that we're definitely steering the pot for them. Things that they are learning are finally sinking in for them & to see them slowly grow is powerful. I just continue to be in awe of them. We're still planning on setting a date with them, all on the Lords time though. We taught good ol Alex. He's definitely feeling the Spirit. We had an awesome lesson with him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was super pumped & at the end of the lesson, we asked him if he would follow the example of our Savior & be baptized & he with a big huge smile on his face, he happily & eagerly said yes. 😀 Such a happy moment for sure. He was surrounded by young men who love him & support him in his journey back to our Heavenly Father. We got to see Kenny! He didn't get baptized on Saturday but he isn't giving up & we aren't giving up on him. Good news, he still wants to be baptized & he is thinking of a new date so that's wonderful. We know that the Lord is definitely preparing him. 
Matching Lula Roe fun!

      Well, it's transfers again! Oh & I've got some news, Sister Eddington will be staying here in Mansfield & I will be transferred down south to Temple, Texas. I will be honest, I am both torn & excited all at once. In the words of one of our recent converts, "It's a sad but happy day. Temple will be getting a great Sister missionary & we will be losing one." It makes no sense but I need to remember that this is the Lords work & not mine. I am reminded that there is no comfort in the growth zone & no growth in the comfort zone & let me just say, I am very uncomfortable. Change is good. It's a time for us to grow & truly become who our Father intends us to become. There is so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the precious 4 months that I was able to be here in Mansfield. I've truly met strangers who've become family. I'm still not good at this whole "goodbye" thing, so I'll say A Hui Hou instead, which means "until we meet again." This past week was truly a time of reflection as I took time to ponder the Saviors final days here in mortality. I truly do stand all amazed at the love that he has offered me. I can't help but be eternally grateful for his sacrifice. In Alma 7:11-12, we read that he took upon himself all of the pains & sins of the world so that he would know "according to the flesh, how to succor his people." I am amazed at the strength, faith & obedience that he had. There's nothing that I can do to repay him. All I can do is follow him, trust him, believe in him & allow him to help me through every step of this life. It's never easy to accept our Fathers will, but Christ reminds us that it is possible. After all, he was always about his fathers business. 

We made Palms for Palm Sunday!

      Well, this email is a short one. I'm kind of still in a shock mode but I know that everything happens for a reason. I'm reminded of one of the most powerful priesthood blessings, that I've received here in Texas. "You will cry more tears going home, then you did coming here." In the moment, I kind of chuckled & thought to myself, "yeah right", but that blessing becomes more real to me as I leave each sacred area that I've been assigned to labor in. The goodbyes get even harder & harder. To my Mansfield family, I love all of y'all SO much!!!!! It's a sad goodbye but I know I'll be back one way or another. I'm looking forward to hopefully getting back in the country. I'm assuming it's country in Temple.....we'll find out 🤠 Time to buckle up & enjoy these last 12 weeks here in Texas. Ima leave y'all with this quote that I've been pondering lately. "When you're involved in the work of the Lord, the power behind you is always greater than the obstacles before you." -Elder Dallon H. Oaks. We may never know the why to a situation, but let's not forget who's work this truly is. This is our Lords work & only he knows what's best for his children. Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me! Well family & friends, I hope y'all have a good week. Remember that the Lord loves you & that I love you ❤ E holomua a paio mau no ka pono. Until next week family!!!! 

 Hurrah for Israel! 
Francom kiddos and Brandon!

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Never Underestimate the Lordʻs Love for You! 💙

Ke Aloha nui iā 'oukou pākahi a pau!!!
What's up y'all? How's everyone's week been? I hope everyone is alive & well. I know y'all are busy but shoot a girl an email sometime 😏 haha. I really do wanna hear from each of you lovely people. Before I start to worry y'all with the picture you'll see, I guess I should probably explain 🙈 Well, this week has been tough health wise. As most of you know, I've had stomach issues my entire life. The last 2 weeks have gotten really bad. None of the over the counter meds were working & my pain level was high. Well, our lovely mission nurse told us to go to an urgent care & as we were making our way over, she called back & said, "you know what? They're going to send you to the ER so, just go directly to the ER instead." Well, as obedient missionaries as we are, or strive to be, Sister Eddington & I made our way over to the ER. We informed both of our bishops & ward mission leaders. Long story short, all of the test that they ran came out great. I am perfectly healthy & they just couldn't seem to find out what is causing the pain. We ended up being there from about 1pm till about 8:30pm. At this point, I was so frustrated, tired & to be honest, all I really wanted was my mom & my dad, but that's not allowed on the mission. I said a silent prayer & not long after, one of our sweet Relief Society Presidents came walking in to the room. The first thing she says is, "why didn't you guys call me?" & we responded with, "we didn't wanna worry you?" Fact of the matter is, she stepped in to be the "mom" that I needed at that moment. We also received lots of love & support & a little worry, from our loving bishops & Ward mission leaders who stepped in to be the "fathers" that I needed. Never ever underestimate the Lords love for you. I have a personal witness that he is very much aware of each of his children. Don't ever doubt that! I'll come back to this at the end of my email. 
"Smile", she said
Cool lesson we did at the park!

I also have a testimony, that God knows the needs of those we teach as missionaries. I can testify to that by the many difference experiences that I've had, where the Spirit has directed me to help my lost brother or sister come back to him. Here's a great example for you. We got to meet with the sweet Sanchez family this past week. As my companion & I were preparing to teach them, I had a thought come into my head that the lesson we needed to teach had to be about faith. The reading assignment we left with them was Jacob chapter 1. At first I thought to myself, "how are we going to tie faith into this chapter?" Nevertheless, we did as we were told & prepared to teach them about faith. After we opened the lesson with a prayer, Jose (the father), explained to us that he had gone on to & downloaded the Book of Mormon app. Then he thought, "well, I have it downloaded, I should do the reading assignment." Mind you, this guy doesn't read. He never liked reading & so, he never was going to do it on his own. Guess what? He ended up reading the scriptures 😃 such a huge miracle in itself. He also said that he's been listening to the "Christian" radio in the mornings, side note, he thinks it could be an lds station, anyways, while he was listing to the radio that morning, the radio guy was talking about faith. Particularly, the faith that Abraham had when he was commanded by God, to sacrifice his only son, whom he longed to have for such a long time. Jose went on to explain that having that faith in God is so important. He said that if we act on the faith or desire that we have, God will help us. Just like how he saved Issac from death & knew that Abraham was willing to do whatever the Lord commanded. It was such a powerful, Spirit driven lesson. Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ really does know the desires of our hearts. They know what we need & they also know how we can help those around up. If we are willing & if we ask, they will lead us & guides to those that we can help. Isn't that so awesome or what? 😊 miracles are happening all around.
The Sweet Sanchez Familia!
Hector and I
A special visit from the Ahaus - they were on Maui and met up with my Mommy!
Another tender mercy, was the fact that we finally got a text back from both Rocky's mom & also the Tyler girls parents. We finally were able to get in contact with them at set up appointments for this coming week. That was a blessing. Guess what? We also have 2 new investigators. Both come from part member families. Not only do I have a testimony of the fact that God knows & loves his children, but I also can testify that everything happens on his time & in his own unique way. One example comes from the Blaine family. They have been really sick lately, the flu has been going around their home & it seemed impossible to set up a good time & day for us to come over. We finally got to see Sister Blaine, (the mother), at church yesterday & so we asked her if she still would like us to teach her 9 year old son. She then said, "oh yes. Recently, he's been telling me, 'mom, I need to do my baptism, but not on my birthday'. He's been talking a lot about his baptism lately & so y'all need to come over." The faith & desire that this little boy has strengthened my testimony. Perfect example that God knows & loves his children & his timing is perfect timing. Reminds me of a quote from President Eyring, (one of the brethren from our church), which says, "although his time is not always our time, we can be sure that Lord keeps his promises." Also reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures found in the Book of Mormon, in 1 Nephi chapter 3 verse 7, when Nephi testifies that he knows that, "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." Aren't we grateful for that promised blessing. The Lord will always provide a way for his work to be fulfilled. We may not know & we probably can't tell how or when he'll have us do something, but the question is, will we be ready? Will we be ready to do whatever he commands whenever he commands it? Definitely something I consider worth pondering 🤔 
We love our youth!

This week has yet again been a week full of miracles & bumpy rides. I need to share this cool analogy that my mom shared with me, this is a good one, especially for all y'all hula people. Like the scriptures say, this life is a time to prepare to meet God. We also know that their must be opposition in all things. Some may question this & say, "well why do I have to struggle?" Or "why do bad things happen to good people?" Well, I'll tell y'all something, I'm not perfect & I too have asked myself these exact questions. My mom helped me understand this by telling me this, "Opposition, challenges and difficulties help us rebuild our lives and become even better." (You think I would know that by now. Nope, still learning lol) anyways, she goes on to say, "Makes me think of 'ili'ili." For you none hula people, 'ili'ili are little rocks that the hula dancer use as an instrument to dance with. She continues by saying, "They (the 'ili'ili) start off as just regular pōhaku (rock), but as the waves hit and beat upon them they begin to change. With each wave the 'ili'ili becomes smoother, shinier and more and more beautiful. Until eventually, one day, the 'ōlapa (hula dancer) comes and is attracted by its Beauty, she picks it up and names it and makes it her hula instrument. The 'ili'ili comes alive and has a purpose. The beautiful Kani (sound) that makes the hula (dance) so attractive could only come because of the waves that reshaped and refined it. And such it is with life and with each of us. Let your trials reshape and refine you." Don't I have an awesome mom or what? 🤗 talk about inspired. This is so true! As we let our trials reshape & refine us, we will grow to have an even deeper conviction of the love that our Heavenly Father & Savior, Jesus Christ has for each of us. Like I said, never underestimate the Lords love for you. I testify that he does care & because he cares, you also matter. Yes, YOU matter to him! He has his arms stretched out & he's ready to help us. We just need to ask for it. "Ask & ye shall receive, knock & it shall be open unto you." I love you each of y'all so much!!!!! I invite each of us to take time this week, to remember the final moments of our Saviors life here on earth. Be grateful for the free gift & sacrifice that enables & allows ALL to return & live with him again. Ponder it, read it, study it. "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the “great … importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth” (2 Nephi 2:8)." Have a great week fam 😘 Until next week! 
My Aunty Evette and cousin Layson were baptized back home!

Hurrah for Israel! 

P.S. Go & watch the new Easter initiative found on It's super awesome!!!! #PrinceOfPeace 🙏🏽

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a 🤙🏽