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. 

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