For posterity, you know, . . . and for your literary enjoyment. :)
Sunday, November 27, 2016
How Did We Get So Blessed?
Kia Ora Whanau,
The new Hamilton Temple President came to Welcome Bay ward yesterday and spoke. He said that there seems to be a plumbing problem in the temple. Water seems to be leaking out of everyone's eyes all the time. Well that's how I feel. I think my plumbing problem is just going to get worse in the near future. We had such a crazy, busy week, but what's new there? It was a wonderful one as well!
Monday we went to McClaren Falls (another waterfall that I've been to before). It's beautiful and we had all the sisters. We were walking down the path through the forest and there are all these massive vines hanging everywhere, like Tarzan vines, you know? Crazy Sister Lewis was swinging on one and it looked fun so I decided to try it. I grabbed it, ran and jumped over the little edge of the pathway. Well, either I didn't run fast enough, I didn't hold on tight enough, or I was too heavy . . .or a combination of those things, but I realized I couldn't hold on. But I was in the air at this moment and I realized I didn't know how far down it was to the bottom. so I held on for dear life and I slid to the bottom (which turned out to be only a few feet down). But in the process I got these huge, terrible blisters on my fingers that hurt so bad. So pretty much, I'm a really silly goose. Luckily that night we had dinner with the Hights and Sister Hight gave me this gel, ice pack that helped. The Tusegas were also there and we met the Hight's new boarder. He's a returned missionary from Peru who has come to New Zealand for a year to learn English. So that was a really fun night. We also visited the Phillips and helped them set up their Christmas tree. (Oh and I have to correct myself. Pulu tasi is actually spelled puletasi. I just had to clarify that for the world.
Tuesday and Wednesday we had exchanges. I'm trying to finish all my exchanges before I go so we have to do two a week, which is pretty crazy. First I went to Otumoetai with Sister Marsh. We went to a Relief Society activity in Otumoetai and I got to make a braided flax, Maori bracelet. That was so fun. Then we were making these island flower headbands, but mine was really uneven and the lady in charge of those was laughing at me. She took it and was going to show me how to do it better, but she ended up just making the entire thing which I was really happy about. So now I have this beautiful flower headband that is perfectly even!
The next exchange I had Sister Fina'i with me in our area. Holy cow! I love her so, so much. We could just talk and talk about the gospel and everything forever. I hope she comes to Provo. She's Samoan from Brisbane. We had some good lessons, especially with our golden family! We had MCM in both wards on Thursday and got to sing for the Elderly in Greerton and Te Puke. Except in Greerton we mostly helped make Christmas ornaments. There were four missionaries and they put us each at a different table with a different craft to make ornaments. My table was making these jandal (flip flop) ornaments. I had these three adorable old ladies cutting them out and I was gluing (and recutting them straighter). We sang while we worked. We have the best time doing that. We sing these Maori songs and I'm getting better at them. I will sing them all to you when I get home. Also, Thursday, Sister Welker and I went to this fancy restaurant for Thanksgiving Dinner, paid for by Sister Welker's wonderful grandma. Isn't that so nice? So I had this chicken salad and half a fancy piece of cheesecake. We had so much fun!
Friday was appointments all day and really good. Stacey is doing really well and just wants to keep learning. She didn't come to church though so that was sad. That night was going to be our grand movie night. Sister Welker and I had this great idea last week to have a movie night with our investigators. We invited EVERYONE but no one came except the Elders' one less active and our ward mission leader, and heaps of food that we had made. So we left them to it and went and preached the gospel instead.
Saturday was a funeral of a dear man in the Mount Ward, Brother Abrams, that passed away. They asked me to play the piano for it, so even though we'd already said we'd help with games at the Welcome Bay Ward Camp, we had to go because I'm the only one who can play the piano. But when we got there, a relative from out of town was already playing the organ. So we went to the camp after all. It was SO much fun! We were in charge of games for an hour. We had a balloon game for the kids that the three quieter, calmer companions (Sister Welker, Elder Fellingham, and Sister Reynolds) were in charge of and we played water balloon volleyball with towels with the adults. The three louder, a little more obnoxious companions were in charge of that one (Me, Elder Tahiata, and Sister Lewis). We have the coolest ward in the whole world. We had so much fun and I just feel like I belong! Members keep telling me that I'm part of the furniture and just need to move my records there. I also just really, really love all the missionaries I'm around right now. I am so blessed.
Sunday, our golden family came to the Welcome Bay Ward which is exciting! That's were they are supposed to go. On Friday we had a testimony meeting with them and they all bore their testimonies (we taught them how) and the Spirit was so, so strong! I'm so excited for them. They met all the ward leaders and we are having a combined ward BBQ right after the baptism on Saturday. We are so blessed. After church Elder Tahiata and I practiced our newest song we are singing together, "Mary Did You Know?". It's for prelude in both wards next week and for the special, musical Relief Society meeting. Harmonizing is my favorite thing in the whole world. After that we visited Marie and Neil (and met his son, Andrew). Neil is in 2 Nephi and really likes it. We had another amazing lesson. He is so intellectual and really wants to learn how to follow the Spirit. We have so much fun there. He is really an honest seeker of truth.
This morning we stopped by Sister Rudo's because she said she had something for me. Guess what it was?? A gift card to this fancy, greenstone store. I couldn't believe it. I felt bad that she'd done that but she is pretty much the nicest person in the whole world.
I am so thankful for all my blessing, especially my Savior Jesus Christ. I've been thinking a lot about Him lately and His love and how He knows what's best for us so perfectly. I'm thankful for my personal relationship with him. I've been reading about his visit to the Americas and I just love it. How did we get so blessed?