Monday, January 23, 2012

Talofa Aiga!

That means Hello Family. I'm pretty much Samoan now. Like, I'm funny and easy going, and all I need is a tan... I already dyed my hair black. Not really though...
Ok, I LOVED THIS WEEK! Sorry i didn't feel much like writing last week, but this will make up for it :) 
Oh my goodness. I feel as though I am never sufficiently humble! I feel like a new person since last week. I love this work, my Mission President and I love my Heavenly Father. I love my companion and my area and I love how much this gospel can change people's lives. I glory in tribulation.
I have been truly humbled this week. I know that the Lord is aware of everyone and is shaping them into exactly who He wants us to become! This week's scripture is D&C 58:3-4 "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings." So true! I let my faith and hope waiver last week.The Lord blesses us if we are diligent and give our heart, might ,mind, and strength. Miracles happen.
SOOO the power went out and we had a big ice storm! Cars were taken away so we had to walk everywhere... haha Sister Banks and I don't even live in our area! We live like 3 miles outside our area so we had to walk in the snow and ice for an hour before we got to anyone we needed to visit. So cray cray. Such an adventure though. we took lots of videos!
I will start with Tuesday before the storm hit. We went tracting in some very ghetto apartments. OH em gee. I LOVED IT hahah. Half the people spoke spanish so I was just talking to everyone in spanish. I love hispanics. Basically I love anyone who isn't white. Sister Banks was acting so funny and sketch. One guy walked by us with a HUGE tub of homemade cookies. We saw him later in the parking lot and I said "Donde esta los galletos?" haha so he let me pick some out of his car and we chatted for a bit in spanish.  Then I ate the cookie and got sick.. learned my lesson haha. but I loved it! Later that day we went tracting and found a guy named Daniel... The Lord will find those who are ready. Seriously, everything just works out the way it is supposed to. I love it. We had planned to go tracting in this one neighborhood. Neither of us wanted to tract so we tried a bunch of different people and no one was home. Finally we gave in and went tracting and found Daniel! We had a lesson with him and went back a couple of days ago and had another lesson. We put him on date to be baptized for February 18th. So EXCITING!
So Wednesday is when our cars were taken away from us... we had walked into our area and I was wearing rubber boots that I found in the house. Umm rubber boots= no insulation. We had a couple of lessons and began our hour long trek home. NO bueno. It felt like there were bricks of ice in my shoes. Like my knees and legs were hurting because my feet were so frozen and I almost threw up. I prayed that anyone/someone would stop and offer us a ride. I knew Heavenly Father would answer it. 2 minutes later someone stopped and was like "Oh hi sisters! I'm lost... do you need a ride anywhere?" haha. Oh my gosh. That is the kind of faith that we need to act and pray with everyday! Heavenly Father will answer any blessing if we act and ask in faith!
I love this adventure and the exciting new experiences I get to have everyday. I love the different people that i get to meet. No other time in my life will be like this! It is such a superb time. Just delightful, ya know? :)
Haha ok, So thursday night, we are tracting around 5pm. EVERYONE is still without power. There are no cars on the streets and everything was black. It was pretty eerie. Sister Banks was convinced that zombies were going to come out of nowhere. She said "This is the part in 'I Am Legend' where he goes inside and locks the doors" hahah she was so scared. But we found one guy outside smoking a cigarette. We talked to him and I felt like we should share a message so we did and he said " i'm glad you came by, I have been looking for missionaries! Take my number" Miracle!!
Family, the Lord watches out for us! Members were to the rescue the whole week. We had people giving us rides everywhere and taking us out to dinner every night. They were so worried about us. I felt so so blessed. We were visiting one family and I asked the Dad if they had any neighbors who would be interested in hearing our message. He said "Our neighbors next to us are kind of weird. They do really weird things." So I was like, okaaay, what do you mean? and he said "They like eat organic food and stuff" hahahah! I DIE. so funny. He was being dead serious too!
So Friday... still no cars. Ice melting, falling from the power lines. Trees falling over. Downpour. Our district leader wanted to have a district meeting. The closest building was 2 miles away from all of us. Well, my boots were wet from the night before so I grabbed another pair. Turns out they had no traction. We Sister Banks and I are walking along the road: very windy, no sidewalks, etc. So we are walking and we hear this big snap above our heads and we know a bunch of ice is about to crash. So Sister Banks dashes infront of this TRUCK to the other side. I tried following her but in the middle of the road, my shoes lost traction and I ate it. In front of like 5 cars. I was so embarrassed. but not hurt :) We made it to district meeting and had it in the dark. We could see our breath in the building haha. We all walked to lunch afterwards before we had a district blitz in our area. It was so fun. I love my elders. I never knew there were so many friends I could have in my life. I love these people so much!
Oh, someone asked if I was pregnant this week.... haha. My layers were hefty. Seriously, this wet cold is soo cold! Oh Friday night we went and visited Tiffany- she lives across town so we couldn't walk to her. But her power was still out and her room was the warmest place. So we all sat in her bed, under her covers and taught her the Plan of Salvation by flashlight. Weirdest experience. haha. She came to church on sunday!!! yeah!!!!!! I was so nervous for her. She called us "her missionaries" I have never been called anyone's missionary before, I loved it!!
 I will try to write a letter. Thank you for the pictures ma! I love love love getting them. I love our family so much and pray to thank Heavenly Father everyday.
Oh! one last thing. this morning I was studying the stripling warriors story Alma 56:47-48. I love it so much. I cannot wait until I have my own little children and get to teach them these things. President Larkin said if we are lacking faith or testimony, to rely on our mothers testimonies. I love that! I can't wait til my kids can rely on mine! Oh I love this gospel and work!
I love you all!!!! Be good. Be happy. Love Everyone.
Sister Mara. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ello Poppet

Oh my goodness family! Hi!
I don't really feel like emailing today. Is that bad? haha. I just don't feel like it! But this week was super interesting. Also, Alia sent me the family picture with the big pic of my face haha I LOVE it. Thanks for including me guys :) Makes me feel pretty warm right around my sternum area. You guys are just such a handsome group. FABULOUS.
Haha, guys I have way too much fun. This week was a little discouraging just because it was VERY SLOW and everyone that we were teaching disappeared. But then I read alma 26:27. The Lord really looks out for me. I am so grateful for prayer and the priesthood. So every Saturday night and Sunday morning we do a round up. Well this one kid never comes to church and never responds to our text so I just start texting him really random things to get him to respond. This week's text was " Meng, you have to come to church! Lasandra needs you there!" Lasandra doesn't exist... but he didn't know that :)
Oh, I was hugging this little boy goodbye and he picked me up. He is 9 years old and picked me up and wouldn't put me down and I was really embarrassed. I emailed Sumner about someone hitting on me. Axe him about it. haha I really don't feel like emailing.
The relief society asked me to lead the music... OKAY never led music in my LIFE. So I get up there and don't know what I'm doing and like 3 sisters are waving their hands showing me how to lead... why couldn't one of them just lead? huh? haha my armpits were sweating and I probably got a zit from that.
Speaking of zits. I had like three little dots on my head and this makeup woman was like "here, take this acne medication" so I put it on my face and my face was BURNING. I had to run it under cold water and it still burned.
Last night was really really cool. Tiffany kind of pulled away from us because of her husband and she is just secluding herself. So she hasn't been wanting us to visit. Sister Banks wanted to visit her last night and I didn't want to because I was scared that she would get mad. But when we showed up she said "Sisters, I was expecting you. I was going to take a shower and go to bed early but I knew you would come because I needed you" SO COOL. Oh I love her.
FATIH. the answer is faith. Ether 12:2- he couldn't restrain himself from teaching. I can't wait to be that way.
 I love you guys. I will write better next week haha. sorry.
Love, Sister Mara.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Hiya there pals!
Haha. This area is great. Tiffany, bless her heart! Her faith and hope is so amazing to me. I love her. We took her to a member's house this week for dinner with a bunch of women from the ward. Sister Banks shared a message about the Atonement and then the women bore their testimonies. We left after about an hour but Tiffany stayed and was one of the last ones. We met with her two more times this week. She is recognizing the Lord's hand in her life. She just got promoted and will be able to go to church on sundays now! Oh happy day! We taught her the restoration and about baptism. We told her that she already had a testimony and she paused and said " Crap! I do have a testimony!" hahaha.  I love that she is reading and recognizing that her happiness is coming from the way she is living. I'm happier than I could have imagined.
We met two new investigators this week: Eli and Carla. Sister Banks tracted into Carla a bit ago and we finally were able to contact her again. We are meeting with her tonight. She has a strong spirit. We are praying for her. Eli, has a tender heart and is looking for friends and a place to belong. We think we will turn him over to the Single's ward missionaries. That will be the best for him.
I got down on myself this week. I feel like we were working so hard and nothing was happenin and everyone else was doing so great. But then I read in Alma in the Book of Mormon. Ammon was having SO MUCH success with Lamoni and the Lamanites. Amulek was being rebuked and cast into prison, but his heart was so happy for Ammon. Comparing is of the devil. Dumb devil. haha. I know that I'm giving this my heart, might, mind and strength and that's all the Lord requries, right? haha.
So we met with a woman from Hawaii- she is Tongan. Her name is Silvia Vaapuu. Hahaha she was so funny. I was laughing cause I was thinking of Sumner. She said that all the brown people stay inside cause they don't want to get burned but all the white boys are out on the beaches everyday. She said she calls em "beach bums" she is thug. haha. Love her. We offered her some soup that a member gave us. It was like a whole quart--- she took it all. Bless her lil heart. haha.
Don't get mad... but yes. My beautiful boots were stolen! hahah! ah! Man. I didn't want to tell you. But then some member, who I have never met bought me new boots from Nordstrom! sheesh. Heavenly Father is watching out for me. I seriously felt so so blessed. My goodness I couldn't believe it.  I'm so oblivious to the area that we live in but apparently it's for real ghetto haha.
This is the Lord's work. I love this gospel so much and it has changed my life forever. Stay strong family. Thank you for all of your emails and examples. Pray for Tiffany and her husband! and Doreen and Carla. I LOVE YOU!
Oh, I went running along the marina this morning- so gorgeous. I am so so blessed to serve in such a beautiful area for such prepared people. I love my mission! I love Sister Banks :) We laugh so so much. She says she hasn't laughed this much in a long time... that made me feel really good. We were sharing a message with a member family about setting dates to find investigators and I bore my testimony and shared a story. The dad looked at me and said "How long have you been out?" and then he said, "You're a good missionary." The Lord has blessed me with abilities and gifts and I'm trying my best to apply them to the missionary work. Don't thing I'm bragging- cause I'm not. It's just made me feel good that he said that. Heavenly Father is helping me in my weaknesses! "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold my joy is full, yea my heart is brim with joy and I will rejoice in my God. Yea I know that I am nothing as to my strength I am weak but I will boast of my God for in His strength I can do all things."
 I love you!!
- Love Sister, Me.

Monday, January 2, 2012


 Haha! This is TOTALLY WICKED!
Oh my heck. Seriously, I met like 2 white people this week. I am learning so much! So I get all nervous and tongue tied when I'm talking to Polynesians. But I learned a valuable lesson- not to esteem one flesh above another. haha. I love them and see them as children of God and I just "beee myself" and it is so much better! I was giving pass-along cards to some Samoans and I was like "H-h-h-here is a s-sp-spssp- ecial card for you" no kidding. Stuttering. It was so funny.
I feel so blessed to be here! Honestly, I don't know what I did right, but I'm trying my best to stay humble and rely on the Lord and let Him know how grateful I am.
Oh ps... happy 2012 by the way!!!!! Ahhhh! It's gonna be such a great year!!!
The people here are humble... and stubborn. I don't know how you can be both, but they have managed to do so, but I love them for both of those qualities! I seriously love them all so much and wish I could just give them my testimony to have because I know this will bless them more than they can imagine. Oh I love this gospel and this work. I just want it all to click in their heads and for them to gain a personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. He loves us all so much, we just need to turn to Him.
So this week. my shoes got jacked. hahah I'm not even kidding. I took my shoes off to go into this Samoan's home and left them on the porch.. WITH EVERYONE ELSE'S. I came back out and mine were the only ones gone. Guess that's what you get for having the cutest shoes :) haha I laughed so hard. Polynesians have the biggest hearts- they gave me a pair of shoes right then and there. they are so giving.... and taking ;) whoever it was hahah. Oh man, funny. Sister Banks and I went and did stop bys for the next couple of days ... but I have come to terms with the fact that I will never see them again. haha. I hope they needed them!
I got kissed by a woman... without any teeth. It was disgusting. She lost her dentures so we were lookin everywhere for them- how do you lose your teeth? Well she wanted a hug goodbye so i bent down and gave her one of those awkward sitting/standing hugs and then she straight um kissed me with her gums! Oh my nasty.
Sister Banks and I were driving and this woman was yelling to everyone in their cars "Get out of town. We are being quarantined. They are starting to gas everyone on the busses!" hahahah! We followed her for like 15 minutes so we could listen to her. I think she watched "I Am Legend" one too many times.
I love teaching with Sister Banks. It just flows with us. I love love love it. She is so down to earth and chill. She is such a hardworking missionary and obedient. I am her first white companion.
I'm gaining such a testimony of working and how being tired is a choice. This New Year's Eve we went to every house that we had planned for and NO ONE was home. We kept trying all of the names we had written down, but got no one. Our very last door was a girl named Tiffany. She was someone that Sister Banks had visited a long time ago and she didn't let them in. She is amazing. She knows and wants to be baptized and is having such a lonely/difficult time with her husband. She just wants to get life in order before she is baptized. But... the Lord will help her to see otherwise. We are having dinner at a member's home with her this week!
Jerry, a former investigator came to church! He stayed for sunday school. He is looking for a church and hopefully we can teach him with the spirit and he will recognize that.
The assistants are in our ward with us... that's intimidating. Especially when they tell the Bishop that they have 7 new investigators and we only have 3... haha. Oh well. We are doing our best and I don't regret a thing!
Oh, something i learned from a member this week, she said : "I don't get why people have dreams/wants and never get them. everything we want to attain is up to us and how hard we are willing to work for it. i don't have one regret in my life. if something didn't work out, I don't regret it because I gave it my best." I love that! We can have anything and everything we desire! It's up to us! Just remember that this year 2012 ;)
So I sent some pictures! One is from transfer day with all the sisters. Another is us on New Year's Eve- with the family that we live with- they bought us sparkling cider ;) Another is the view from our backyard... its Gorgeous. Then I can't remember the other's that we sent. haha. I love you guys so so much! write me soon! ps- I have THE bEST bed in the WORLD. I sleep like a princess every night and I can do 6 pull-ups now... throughout the day. Not all at the same time ;)
oute alofa ia oe- Sister Mahaffey