Monday, February 27, 2012

Mama Mia!

Ok, I’m for sure having an identity crisis. I don’t know whether I am Asian, Indian, or Polynesian anymore. Oh my goodness. There are so many Asians here. I love em’. They make me smile. Except for the mean ones. Not so much.

This week was a grand one! It flew by, but then again it feels like I haven’t written in like a month! Ok, FIRST OFF. I saw my good friend Taylor Short at Outback Steakhouse! Ahhh! Made my day! It was so fun to see him. He is such a good, fun, supportive friend. It was so good to see him. Tender mercy ;) I loved seeing him.

Have I told you about Joe? He is getting baptized March 10th haha he is alll over it too. Yesterday he came up to us and was like, “Ok girls, March 10th at 10am.” Then he called us later and asked if we had scheduled the building yet. haha dang! He was a smoker for 40 years and he finally quit. A different member of the ward has been fasting for him everyday and he notices the difference! What a beautiful thing.

Jessica, my investigator who I love more than anything, is the cutest. She is supposed to be baptized this coming Saturday but her husband said she can’t go to church :( They got into a fight about it and so we have to back off. Gosh, I love her! She really has such a sincere desire to feel God in her life and be close to Him. I love her. Pray for her!

Tiff-tiff got baptized this week :) :) She wrote me a loong letter. Sister Clement and Banks are great for her! Its fantastic. I’m so so happy. I didn’t get to go to the baptism :( Oh, it broke my heart, but what matters most is that she made that promise with God. Her life will never be the same again. I’m so proud of her. We will be lifelong friends. Gosh! I love her.

Ok, this week I decided I’m going to be a missionary that Pres. can count on. I’m just going to completely forget about me and do whatever I am asked and help the sisters who need the most help. Yep. Sis. Hirano is funny stuff. We laughed so so much this week.

I always do this thing to her while we are standing on the doorstep: I will knock on the door and then be like "Oh my gosh look at that huge spider!" Then she looks away and then I pretend to fall asleep standing up. Its dumb, but SOOO FUNNY. So last night we met with this 68 year old woman named Joan (investigator= awesome) and we were talking to her, we turned away for less than 10 seconds to talk to her granddaughter, China, and when we turned back around she was SLEEPING. Like legitimately sleeping. hahahahaha we were laughing so hard.

Then we went to dinner with a family and the dad is a heart surgeon and everyone is a genius in the family. The little 7 year old boy said that he wanted to serve a mission in japan and I was like oh! Sis. Hirano is from Japan. (She is half japanese, half white and straight from Utah and speaks NO Japanese) then the whole family starts speaking Japanese to her and she is just smiling and nodding, having no idea what they are saying. hahah. It was hilarious.

The stake president keeps saying that he wants to make this my legacy area… which means I will be here for a year. Oh boy. haha. I’m ready for it! Whatever the Lord asks, I will do it.

Bueno, I hope you all are doing well!

Love you all the most!

Sister Mara

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KNEE-HOW. That's how you say hi in mandarin.

I learned one thing this week: I can do hard things. Yep. haha. D&C 12:8 is my mission scripture. It is what I strive for as a missionary.
Tabby's baptism was beautiful. They called me when I was leaving the house and the AP's told me I couldn't go. Oh my word, my heart sank. But I figured there was someone we needed to meet that morning. But then they called back 5 minutes later and President gave them the go ahead! We were 15 minutes late and almost missed the baptism but we got there right in time. I cried so hard! I was so happy for this little girl. I just held her and was crying and then she started crying haha. I love her. I asked her if she wanted a picture with Sister Banks and her new companion and she just wanted pictures with me :) BUT GET THIS! Tiffany was there and she told me she wants to get baptized this Thursday! In two days!!!!!!!!
I do love this work so much. I have learned so many lessons this week and I know that my life is perfect right now :)  I have learned humility and to love God's children and to work work work! We are happiest when we are focused on others! I love it :)
We went to a new member fireside at the mission  home and the spirit was so strong. Oh my goodness. We just sat there for 2 hours listening to recent convert's testimonies. It was beautiful and my heart was so happy for them! Gosh, I want to help as many people be baptized as I can. It really is the key to the gate of happiness and eternal life!  I love my mission president so much. We have interviews this week.
I'm embarrassed at how sad I was about leaving Federal Way. I still miss it but God's children need to be saved everywhere! That's all that matters. Christ didn't give up, so I won't give up. I love helping people, wherever it is. I'm so grateful for this mission.
Can I just say, I love hearing investigator's pray?! It is my favorite thing to hear ever. I love hearing them pray to their Heavenly Father and cultivate a relationship with Him, like they never have before. Oh, it's beautiful!
My zone calls me and my companion the "miracle sisters" haha. It's funny. We are just working so hard and try to be as unified as we can and the Lord makes up the rest. One of our investigators, Joe, quit smoking for the first time in 36 years!! Each day a member from the ward is fasting for him these next couple of weeks and he should be able to be baptized in 2 weeks!!! Yayayaya!
My companion is a WONDERFUL missionary. So cute. She loves the people so so much and really cares about their well-being. She has such a big heart. I'm trying to be her best friend and a comfort to her. I asked her if she loved my personality... and she didn't answer hahah. Oh well, I do!
Heavenly Father is my best friend! Oh I love reading the Book of Mormon and learning about His Son and teachings! I know He hears our prayers and all He wants for us is to be the happiest. They see our potential and we are given experiences to become exactly who they want us to be! It's such a beautifully perfect thing.
This morning we went and visited this woman named Karchee. My hands were cold from being outside and she shakes my hand and then pulls away really quick and all exasperated. Then she runs to her kitchen and gets us some water. She gets Sister Hirano some cold, normal water. Then she brings me hot water... with nothing in it. Just hot water. hahah so funny.
K familia. I love you. I for rills do. I'm praying for you lots!! Keep doing yo thang, be happy ;) life is more fun when you are anyways.
Love, Sister Mara.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Here comes the sun, little darlin!

Well Helllllo Family!

What a week! It felt like the fastest, yet longest week of my ENTIRE LIFE. haha! Crazy! Thank you for your letter and the skirts and shirts!!!! ahhh! I’m so excited! It has been like 60 degrees and sunny all week and I just wanted colorful things to wear! Sara Bear did a great job picking out the skirt! I haven’t tried it on but Its so dang cute!!!
Man! Being on a mission is like living life in fast forward! Holy smokes. I am learning to rely more and more on my Heavenly Father and attach my heart to Him! I’m learning to deal with changes pretty well hahaha... I got transferred again! I love the people I meet and the eternal friends that I am making. Oh happy day. Life is so good! It really is! So I took Sister Feller’s place and am with her old companion. She said they don’t laugh much, but they get a lot of work done. Imma about to show this lil trick that you can do both at the same time! haha, jk jk. I’m really super humble I swear. …

I learned so much last transfer! I learned that every emotion and reaction to that emotion is a choice! I learned to let go of things and just keep going. I’m not perfect at it, but it has made all of the difference! Some things got under my skin this last transfer and it made SUCH the difference to just let it go and move forward! Holy smokes. It makes life so much better!

I learned to really live in the moment. I was eating lunch on Sunday and was thinking how great it would to be at home with the family but then I knew that I would look back on that moment and wish that I could relive it again. So I lived in the moment right then! and I’m so so happy that I did! haha. Just live in the moment and love it. This moment is the best moment of your lives! right now. or now. or now.

Also, people LOVED Sister Banks. They would always tell her how awesome she was. I agreed! haha. Naturally my mind started thinking “Well why don’t they think that about me?” uhhh, immature I know! haha! How embarrassing. But then I realized (as Heavenly Father would want us to) that I am so happy that she is there and can help them! I’m so happy they she is who they needed and that they could have that bond with her! I loved that and it made me so happy!

Gosh. Imma miss Sister Banks!

I’m back in the mountains. I have decided my heart likes to be near the ocean. Yep. But I love the people here and I love Sister Hirano. I love that she is so hard working and obedient. I love all the memories we are going to make and people we will teach! This is going to be an amazing transfer! I feel it in my bones…

Well, I love you guys! I love your letters!

Be happy! Smile! Laugh! Be good! Love the Lord! Love all of His children!

ofa atu, Sister Mara.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today is like... finish that sentence!

Well hello family!

So, Pday is like Christmas morning for me EVERY week! haha , but seriously. I always wake up at like 5:30 and can’t fall back asleep because I’m so excited to write you guys and read your emails. This morning I woke up from a dream that I had… it was about Sumner’s mission call. He got called to Tonga, then I just laid in bed thinking about it because it was such the perfect call for him! Study time before emailing is TORTURE… I just can’t stop thinking about emails haha. But I’m supposed to have an eye single… I DO have one eye single to the Glory of God, and another eye single… nevermind. Haha.

Alright so I learned some HUGE lessons this week. Faith and Patience. Seriously, best lesson I have ever learned. I just got an email about how everytime you pray, pray with faith believing He will answer them. It’s true! Heavenly Father is going to answer any prayer that we ask in faith. He has power to do all things and WILL do all things that are righteous desires. Oh, I love it. Along with that- we cannot do anything on our own. I think I say that every week, but we just have to work our hardest and then put our faith in Him and He will make up the rest. Oh, I love it.

Patience: Sometimes it seems like life is hard or something may never work out BUT it always does. Seriously. Like this week, I was a little downhearted because three people canceled on us… in a row! But I knew that everything would work out eventually and IT DID! Holy smokes. His hand is in everything! We had three investigators come to church. Tabby, Tiffany, and Daniel. It was ward conference and the theme was "prayer". SO PERFECT! The spirit was so strong. Tabby is a 9 year old girl who’s grandparents are completely inactive and parents aren’t members. We went over on the Sunday morning to make sure Tabby was getting ready because we had a ride for her, but then she started throwing a fit. Finally grandma said “will you go if I go?” HALLELUJER! the little girl did! So grandma went in sweats to church because she doesn’t own a dress. Everyone was so welcoming and they stayed for 3 hours. Oh, I loved it. It made me so absolutely thrilled!! And Tabby is getting baptized in 3 weeks. We asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said sure! then she yelled to her brother and said “Brandon! Want to be hypnotized with me?” hahahah… we had to explain it better to her :) but it’s all good now.

Tiffany kind of pulled away from us this week and was acting all sketch. It really worried me and I let it affect me, so I got kinda insecure around her. Charity is the key. Seriously. If we have charity for people, we won’t ever worry about ourselves- just them and their salvation! And we love them so sincerely that we would do anything for them! So Tiffany came to church for all three hours!! Everyone was so kind! Gosh, it just makes me happy!

I feel like my testimony grew so much this week. Baptism is the key to salvation and it is available to everyone who will call upon the Lord! (Helaman 3:27) It does change lives and make people happier! More happy than they can imagine.

OKAY so last night was BOMB. seriously, I had such a good time. We had a tongan bbq at Darci’s house and Tiffany came. There were Tongans, Thai, white, and wanna-be poly’s there (me). haha It was so good. It was pouring down rain- rain doesn’t stop anyone up in here. They were grilling with their umbrellas haha. So funny. It was the BEST FOOD I have ever tried.. Besides mom’s of course :) So we all just sat around chatting and talking. One of the guy’s wives just came over from Thailand a year ago and doesn’t know anyone. I was talking to her about everything, she was a convert – such a cool story. Anyways, apparently asians love “Lady Gaga” haha. The love her music. But later after dinner, we shared a message with Tiffany. the spirit was sooo strong. Leka, the guy from Tonga, bore his testimony. Gosh! They have SUCH strong spirits. I love listening to them. Everyone there was so real and down to earth. I love real people and I love what that gospel can do for our lives.

Black guys= most flattering haha. They make us feel so good about ourselves. We were tracting and this guy yells at us and asked what we were doing. I told him that we were missionaries. He got this HUGE smile on his face and said “I’m coming to your church!” hahah.

There is this one guy that holds a sign on the corner for this pawn shop. Everytime we pass him we honk and wave and they he yells “ HEY! IL OVE YOU!” well yesterday I saw him walking and I told Sister Banks to honk at him so she did. Well we were stopped at a stop light and he yells “I love you!” then runs in the middle of the street… so I rolled down my window and was like oh hi! (wasn’t thinking) he said “I’m Charlie, I want to learn about Jesus, do you have a card?” haha so cool! I love love love street contacting. We drove past this other guy like 6 times in one day so I took that as a sign that we needed to talk to him. So we pulled over and I jumped out and I ran up to him and introduced myself. We got his phone number and he wants to learn more!!

So I know how to say “I love you” in Swahili, Thai, Tongan, Samoan, and Marshallese. haha This place is a melting pot! I love love love it. We find out this Saturday if we are getting transferred. I can’t believe how fast the time goes by. I love my mission!

k, I gotta go. I love you guys and am more grateful for you than you will ever know. You are my best friends. I thank Heavenly Father for you all every night. Don’t ever change and stay close to our Heavenly Father!!! Love you with every part of me!!!

Love, Sister Mara.

ps. we get to play soccer today!!!!! cheeeee!