Monday, May 29, 2017

Last 6 Week in Decatur!


Aloha kakahiaka e kuʻʻohana!!!!! 🙂

      Hey y'all hey!!!!! How y'all doing on this fine Monday morning? Dang, my last transfer here starts this week. Ahhhhh!!!! Crazy how time just goes on by. I'm totally stoked to see what the good Lord has in store for me as I continue to do my best to serve him. Dang man so, transfer calls came in this morning & I'll be spending my last 6 weeks up north in Decatur. I'm excited! Week 74 here in Temple has been solid. Ima share with y'all all the wonderful times where we've made a difference in someone's life & vise versa. This week I've been really trying to focus on recognizing the good, so bare with me as I share with y'all all the good that has happened. Last week Monday, we had a good pday with the rest of the missionaries. Played some good volleyball & scatter ball. Thank goodness no one got a bloody nose this time haha. Body was hurting bad the next few days though haha. Good times!! After dinner, we got to visit a sweet less active sister who's daughter, expressed a want of coming back to church. It was a nice visit. We talked about the importance of church with them & they expressed a want of come back. It's hard to come back after being a way for so long, but isn't God just amazing. He gives us multiple chances to change our ways & come back to him. Such a wonderful blessing given to us by him. Tuesday, we had our district meeting. It was so powerful. Something that really hit home for me was when we talked about recognizing the good the we do everyday as missionaries. We were asked the question, "how much good to do you think you do in your area?" That really hit home for me because, I've been really trying to focus on it this week. It's easy & it's natural for us (me) to focus on the negative, but when we take a step back, we realize that we do so much more good then we often think. "Most often, the things that we can not count, are the things to count."  It was a perfect reminder for me that we are doing a lot better then we think we're doing. Reminded me of a quote that I just love, can't remember where I heard it but it says, "When you are on the Lords errand, you can not fail." I am grateful for that promised blessing. 

Sister Madore is "dying" this week (going home). 

      We got to teach Don & Rachel. We taught them about the Ten Commandments, tithing & fasting. Please pray for Don!!! He ended up getting really sick when we went to teach him on Saturday 🙁 Keep Rachel in y'all's prayers too!! Can y'all believe that she's already in Helaman & she's only started reading the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago?! Man, she's so awesome!! We just need to help her understand & recognize the importance of attending church. Please pray for us as we try & do the best we can to help her. We got to also see Jomeo & Josephine on Tuesday & Friday. We read the Book of Mormon with them & that was cool. They love it & you can just see the light in their eyes as they feast upon the words of Christ. It's so fun to watch them grow in the gospel. Pray that they'll come to church please!!! Jomeo wants to make it more of a priority so please keep them in y'all's prayers. Wednesday, we spent most the day finding. Got to see a few less actives & a new move in. Cool story, so we went to put gas at a 7/11 near or church, & as we were in the store waiting to get a receipt, the owner of the store greeted us & told us to follow him. Then he said, "in appreciation for what you do, please make a slurpy (as he grabs the biggest one) no charge! I really appreciate what you do!" That melted my heart. People do recognize us & we do make a difference in their lives. That was awesome & so sweet. We ended up dropping one of our newer investigators because he really just wasn't ready to listen & just wanted to bash at us. That was sad, but before we left, he prayed for us & thanked the Lord & us for coming & spreading the word. We sure made a difference in his life. We may not be ale to force him to believe us & to listen to us, but you could tell that he definitely felt something. The Lord will know when he's ready. 
My Filipino family made me rice and lil smokies! Salamat!
      Thursday, we spent most of the day doing our weekly planning (which takes forever haha). It's good fun though when you got a solid teaching pool. We had such a blast at dinner. Never a dull moment with Sister Hammel. I'll tell y'all how we made a difference in her life, Sister Johnson & I are one of a kind & we had her laughing so hard. Funny story, I was explaining to her how my family wants to come to Texas to visit & see my mission & her response was, "why would they wanna come here? There's nothing here! I'm a Maui wanna be!" Okay it was a lot funnier when it happened cause her face was so funny 😂 Let's just say everyone in the restaurant thought there was something wrong with us since we laughed so much. Good times!!! Friday we did service at Feed My Sheep. It's always so fun!!! We definitely made a difference in a lot of people's lives that morning. We got to see one of my favorite less active Uncles after we did service. Same Uncle that I talked about last week that was drunk haha. He wasn't drunk this time & we had a good lesson about changing our lives for the better. At one point, he got teary eyed & he shared a story of a famous Sargent who changed his life & turned it over to the Lord. It was so touching! Before we left, he asked me something about what I did for work & I told him about how my brothers & I have a band & we sing & stuff. He asked me what kind of songs we sing & I said all kinds. Next thing I know, he & I started singing the old school song "oh Donna". Oh man! He's my favorite. I love that Uncle so much. Oh & cool story, he told us at church yesterday, that right after he told us the story about that Sargent, he turned on his tv & a movie about this Sargent was playing. Not a coincidence!! Super cool. 

Finding activity using sidewalk chalk.

     Saturday, we did a finding activity with our district. We went chalking at a park again & this time we actually got to talk to people cause the park was full of people. It was so fun!!!! One of the Sisters brought an investigator with them & he ended up buying us ice cream from the ice cream trunk. Mahalo Terry!!! 🍦 We spent the rest of the day getting meds for Don since he's sick & finding more people. We had dinner with the Wiedmeire family who's got little boys who love to play turf gun wars with us. We played & I ended up getting shot in my lip & that sucker started bleeding. The mom felt so bad & I couldn't stop laughing. That little kid has suck good aim haha. Sunday was a good Sunday it was such a good day. We had an awesome time at church. None of investigators came though...that was a bummer. After church, we went & visited with a less active man who's super awesome!!! We got to meet his cute little puppy that his dog just gave birth too. Ohh man!!! So adorable. We also got to meet his daughter & her other half for the first time. That was sweet. Cool story, they showed us their rats & mice that they have. That was cool. Then they said they had a snake & of course I said, "wait what? I wanna see this snake." The two of them looked at each other & said, "she's cool. We like her." Haha. I guess we made a good impression on them. That was fun! After dinner, a big storm came & as we pulled in to the church to do numbers. We found the rest of our district outside playing football in the rain. Yes we joined them & we had a blast!!! It was so fun!!! Never forget the good that you do every day. It may not be big things. It can be little things. We all do so much good in the world & we often never realize it. This week, I want y'all to take the time to recognize those moments where you've made a difference in someone else's life. Write it down & never forget the good that you do everyday! Look around! As you do so, you're appreciation & love for the Savior will grow. You're gonna want to serve more & you're life will be filled with love & joy. Let's strive to be more positive! 
Playing in the rain!

Ke aloha nui iā ʻoukou pakahi a pau e kuʻʻohana!!! Mahalo nui for the love, prayers & support. Love to Temple & all the friends that have turned into family. Thanks for loving us!!! Each of y'all help me to be motivated to do the things that I do here. Please know that I love each of y'all so much!!!! You are all in my prayers always. Talk to y'all soon!!! Until next week peeps. Ofa lahi atu!!!! Alofa atu!!! 

Hurrah for Israel! 

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a 🤙🏽

Monday, May 22, 2017

What ʻs YOUR talents?

What's up home skillets 🤗

      Shout out to all y'all who read my emails & email me back. Y'all are amazing for remembering me haha. This week was fast! Flew on by real quick. Lots of good & funny things happened. We had a nerf gun war for pday. That was fun! My poor companion got a bloody nose from playing chair soccer 🙈 ouch! We spent the rest of the evening trying to find some awesome peeps. We got to introduce ourselves to such a sweet less activity Sisters. Story behind her is no one has been able to get in to her home & we got welcomed in on the first try. It definitely was Spirit directed & even clicked with her daughter who's not a member. It was such a sweet visit & we're excited to start working with her. Tuesday, we got to see Mr. Don. We taught him & his daughter Rachel a review lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, as missionaries & as members of Christ church, we are told to "feast upon the words of Christ" & to "open our mouths" & in return, we are promised to have "all things come to our remembrance." Both Don & Rachel have been really trying to both listen & read the Book or Mormon & they had a question about a story of one of the families. It was amazing because, as I do my daily feasting (studying), the story was brought to my remembrance & I was able to help them understand what they were reading. It was super cool. If had the opportunity to have lots of experiences like these & it just goes to show that the Lord is so amazing. He will not leave us & he will help us as we help him fulfill his marvelous plan. 

      Wednesday, we started some weekly planning & then had an awesome lesson with Jomeo & Josephine, & our ward mission leader came with us. The lesson was all about obedience, keeping the sabbath day holy, church, praying & reading the scriptures. It was awesome because, both Jomeo & Josephine are strong believers that Sunday is the Lords day. Josephine told us about when they were living in Jamaica, she had a little business store & every Sunday they would close the store & go to church. She did that because when she was growing up, every store in Jamaica was closed on Sundays. What a great example of honoring the Lord & worshiping him on his holy day. Thursday, was our District Meeting. Just love my Sisters & Elders!!! 😊 We got to finally meet with a new investigator name Steve. He's the best!!! Our relief society President came with us & we were able to teach him about the restoration of our church. Boy oh boy! He told us about the trials that he is going through, with being a single parent to a 4 year old, & he just really wants to know that he isn't alone. As we bore testimony & testified of the truth that was manifested to us, the Spirit was so strong & you could just feel that this man is truly searching. His face lit up as we could feel the love that Christ has for him. It was awesome!!! 

      Friday, we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. That was good! We got to visit a less active brother. Probably one of my favorites cause he's such a hoot, or in other words, he's crazy in a funny way (if that makes any sense) haha. Anyways, as we pulled up to see him, unko was smoking & when he sees us he comes out & he comes out & couldn't even walk straight. So what do we do? We reviewed the word of wisdom with him & told him to give us his pack of cigarettes & beer, but unko done drinked it up & smoked it up.....aiyaaa! It's okay though because, we had such a spiritual lesson (believe it or not) & during the lesson, he turned to us & genuinely asked us to help him quite smoking & drinking. We bore testimony & told him that we would do everything that we can to help. We told him that we are here to help him & you could just tell that he really appreciated it & the love of the Lord filled his heart instantly. He even came to church yesterday & found a ride all by himself. Look at him growing making changes! 👍🏽 His desire is there & the Lord will bless him for putting in the work & effort. Later that night, we got to finally visit with another one of our investigators, the Johnson family. Man, I LOVE MY POPOLO PEOPLE!!!! 😄 we got welcomed in & that was the first time that we got the mom to open up & talk to us. My first time ever meeting with them & it was so great. They too are searching & have a desire to be like Christ. It's awesome to be able to assist them as they draw closer to Christ. After the lesson, I was told that missionaries can never get her to talk, but I am grateful that we were able to hit it off real quick & that I could use my talents of making friends quickly. Funny story, one of her little daughters looks at me & says, "wait, you not black?" Then turns to her mom & says, "mama she ain't black but she act black." 😂 We all started cracking up. Then one of the other daughters walked up to her sister & straight up pulled her weave out of her hair. I lost it!!! 😂 Mind you, she's been praying & asking God to grow her hair. Oh my gosh!!! I love them SO much!!!! 

      Saturday, we got to have a fun time meeting with one of Sister Johnson's former investigators from one of her last areas, who drove the 3 hour drive to take us out to breakfast. Isn't that so awesome!!!! She definitely made an impact on them if they drove 3 hours just to see her. It was such a beautiful morning!! We had heaps of fun with them. We spent the afternoon doing a finding activity with our district. We went chalking at a park & got to talk to a man who really needed to hear the word of God. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Ask me about the guy & I'll be more then happy to tell you the story 😊. Talk about getting black while my poor companion got so burnt haha. Sunday was a good Sunday, we had an awesome time at church (as we usually do) & we got to spend some time with a sweet less active Sister. Funny story, it started pouring rain, with lots of lighting & thunder & we were talking with her on her big porch. At one point, the thunder got so loud that it scared the crap out of me & I jumped. My companion & the less active sister busted out laughing. Hey, anything to get a smile I guess. Then as I was grabbing a Book of Mormon from the car to give to her, I also whacked my head on her big plant that was hanging from her porch. Epps!! It was a nice evening of laughter & as we left she thanked us for the laughs & for coming to see her. I love that lady! 

      I love being a missionary! This week has been a week of seeing the good. Remembering that everyone is different & everyone is unique & special in their own little ways. If God made us all the same then life would be boring & plain. I love being able to connect & relate to people. Some people are good at drawing & some are good at stick figures. Some are good at singing & some are good at humming. We are different but together, we can become something great. I want to invite y'all to pray & ask Heavenly Father to help y'all recognize that hidden talents that y'all have. Everyone is gifted with some kind of talent, what's yours? Let's recognize the talents that we are blessed with & use it for the benefits of others. It will not only bless your life, but it will also bless someone else's life. You could be the answer to someone else's prayer without even knowing it. Find your talents & use it!!!! Like the parable of the talents, let's strengthen our talents so the Lord can multiply them & give us more beautiful talents. Y'all are amazing & I'm blessed to have so much love & support while on my mission. Remember that I love each of y'all SO much, but more importantly, Jesus Christ loves you more. Let's be more optimistic & more positive. The world needs that light! Reach out & reach up! Have a blessed week my loves! Until next week ❤

Hurrah for Israel! 

With love, 
Sister Kawa'a 🤙🏽

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hauʻoli Lā Makuahine!

Aloha kakahiaka e kuʻʻohana. Ke aloha nui iā ʻoukou pakahi āpau. Pehea mai nei ʻoukou? How are y'all? Special thanks to those who took the time to answer the question from my email last week. I enjoyed reading all the responses. I hope everyone is having a beautiful day so far. Week 73 was an awesome one. We've been doing lots of finding so we can continue to grow our teaching pool. So just a little update on Don. He is doing so good. We went to see him twice this week & the first time we saw him, we asked how he's been doing with trying to live the Word of Wisdom. Uncle started looking at us & then he looked at his daughter in law & said, "oops." Then he told us that he's been smoking again, cuz he gets bored & lonely. So what does Sister Kawa'a do? I made him give me his pack of cigarettes. He was shocked, but willingly gave them to me & we helped him to come up with a plan to keep him busy throughout the week. He really wants to keep the commandments but he says that's it's hard. Yes it's hard! But it's worth it. He's growing in the gospel very slowly. After teaching him about the Law of Chastity, we asked him if he would live it & he said yes. Then we asked him why he would live it & his answer was simple. He said, "I'll live it cause I want to go to Heaven." That was a reassurance that he knows that keeping the Lords commandments will allow him to one day return to live with God again. He's getting it & the Spirit is helping him continue to recognize truths. His scheduled baptism date is July 1st so please keep him in y'all's prayers. 
Took away Donʻs cigarettes! 

      This past week, we got to have a mission conference with Elder Lawrence of the seventy. He & his wife came & talked to us missionaries about our special calling to help gather in Israel. It was such an awesome mission conference. I'll share some of the things that stood out to me. We first talked about Jesus Christ & his mission here on Earth. He was specifically called by his Father, to teach the Israelites. He was serious about his calling & he knew his purpose. In the Book of Mormon, Nephi's favorite word to use for the Savior, was Holy one of Israel. He was a literal descendant of Israel which made his mission even that much more special. When Sister Lawrence was explaining Christ's mission, she likened it to us & our own mission. As missionaries, we have each been called of God to a specific place, because of our special & unique Spirits. We've each been called to help him gather Israel. How great is our calling? I know that we each have divine calls in helping the Lord gather Israel. We each play a special role in his marvelous plan. My eternal perspective on this has helped me to continue to remember that each person we meet, each person we teach is a literal son or daughter of God. As I've come to understand this, my capacity to love has grown. It's unbelievable. I think that's one of the most important things that I've learned on my mission. I've never thought I could feel so much love for someone who I don't even know, or never met before. It's just reassurance that Gods plan is real & that we are literally his children. 
Beautiful Sister Pasikala!

Our 6 hour car ride!

Good night Elder Saluone!

      We had a beautiful Mother's Day yesterday. Church was wonderful & we had a luncheon for the Relief Society sisters & all the mothers in the ward. The Spirit was present & the love in the room was so beautiful. Everyone got to fellowship with each other & hear wonderful talks about how we as mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces & sisters have such a sacred & import role here on Earth. Choosing to love someone is an act of faith. Being a mother can be both so heartbreaking & also so very rewarding. One speaker talked about mothers from the scriptures & their wonderful examples. What really touched me was the example & experience of Mary the mother of Jesus. The faith that she had when the angel Gabriel appeared to her & told her that she would conceive & bare a son who would save the world. She was faced with trial & opposition, but she endured it because she knew the greater plan. She knew what she was called to do. Her divine call was sacred & so powerful. Think of Emma Smith. She was the wife of a prophet & she too was forced to leave all that she knew to be that comfort & support that her husband needed. We each have special & divine calls as children of God. The greatest example is my own mother & all the women in my life. Thanks mom for loving me unconditionally & for supporting me in EVERYTHING. Your love is so inspirational & your sacrifice has blessed my life in so many ways. I hope to one day follow your example & love my kids the way that you love me & my brothers & even your hanai children & of course little Ceralena. Ke aloha nui iā ʻoe e kuʻu makuahine!!!! ❤

Face time with the family!
Some of my favorite pics with my mommy!

      We'll gang, it's been another great week here in Temple. The gospel is so amazing & my mission just keeps getting better & better. The Lord is so wonderful & I am so blessed & grateful to have this precious time to prepare for the rest of my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I know y'all are just counting down the days 🤗 haha. I love y'all so very much!!! I, on the other hand, am continuing to be in the "now". My focus is Temple & I'm excited to finish my mission out in such a unique area. I want you all to know that Christ has changed my life in so many different ways. He has reminded me that he knows me better then I know myself. My faith has grown so much & I can stand with Nephi & say that I know in whom I trust. I have full confidence & faith in Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ. They love me & I know that they love each of you!!!! They know you by name & they know what you are capable of. Don't give up y'all! The gospel is good news. Let's continue to share that good news with everyone around us. Keep shining your light cause people do see it & they do recognize it. Sorry if my email seems a little scatter brain. I just have so much to say & not a lot of time haha. I love each of y'all so much!!!! Thanks for loving me & supporting me on my mission. You each have been a huge blessing in my life & have touched my life one way or another. Go forth with faith & trust & know that God is there!!! Eia koʻu leo pule haʻahaʻa. E holomua kākou a paio mau no ka pono. Nā ke Akua e pāhola mai i kona aloha a me kona mau pōmaikaʻi ma luna o mākou. I lā maikaʻi!!! Until next week y'all 😘

Hurrah for Israel! 
With love, 
Sister Kawa'a

The Elders bringing my bike home!