Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Onward Christian Soldiers


Ok I had so much to tell all of youzz ( look at sumner's influence creepin up in my writing) but now i sit here and i have NOTHING to say! haha. Seriously though. I hate that!! 

I had the best birthday WEEK ever. I think I'm the most spoiled girl in the world. I realized that I don't like receiving gifts for myself. I just don't like thinking about myself!  It made me so happy and I felt so loved but then i was uncomfortable because my focus is on others, not me right now. Ya feel?? haha. But, I felt so loved and so grateful. 

So i gained such the testimony of not having clutter in the home. I have so much stuff and papers and it was stressing me out! so I organized it and i can just think clearly now. ' i can see clearly now..." haha. But for reals. 

Well, "S" did not get baptized. It felt like a child that chose the wrong path after trying to teach them to do everything right. I feel like we did absolutely everything we could. We didn’t leave anything behind and put it all on the table and left it completely up to her.

Steve is doing awesome. The ward has just welcomed him like one of their own and totally wrapped their arms around him. He plays ball with the men every Tuesday night and we meet with  him before. The fellowship is great!

We have been meeting a lot of families lately! It makes me really excited… and they are all from different countries, which makes me even more excited haha. They are so humble!

I  love sister aitiria. I am learning a lot from her! I feel  like we have been a little stressed and on-edge since a couple of weeks ago, and we haven’t been laughing as much. But I am learning to take the good with the bad and keep on laughing and smiling. Glory in tribulations, right? 

We were studying this morning and talking about angels round about us. D&C 109:22. I think often times we are so aware of the adversary and opposition that faces us, but we need to be just as aware of the angels and hosts that are surrounding us and building us up! We are NOT alone! I love this work and this gospel. It's true. Nothing else matters. Nothing. 

Love, Sister mara

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I like life, and life likes me!

Oh My goodness my family!

If all I got on my birthday were sweet words from each of you, I would be set. This has been the most amazing/best birthday. I love you all so dearly and love being a missionary. Heavenly Father is so aware of us.

Family, I had the best experience in the temple this morning. First off, I felt like Heavenly Father was saying " happy birthday my daughter, I love you". I got to have my pday today and go to the temple with my zone. AND email you all today. What a beautiful blessing. I am surrounded by people that I love and who love me. ( i say that in the most humble way :) I was in the dressing room and Carla, from the Federal Way Ward I loved so much, came up to me and was like "happy birthday!" haha. She came to the temple at my scheduled time just for my birthday. My heart was full! Then we walked into the chapel to wait to go upstairs and there was a row full of tongan women. Oh my heck! Allah Hallah!  Then we walk into the room for the endownment and it was packed. EVERY single older missionary couple and my mission president and his wife were in the session with us! AND a woman from a ward that I served in was the worker. We just kept smiling at each other the whole time. Carla sat next to me and held my hand during the session (she is 72 yrs old and Indonesian and like my best friend). My heart was so full of gratitude.

Then we finished the session and went to the Croom and it was full of missionaries, tongans, and older missionary couples and my mission president. It felt like Heaven. That is exactly how I imagine heaven to look and feel like. We were all so happy to see each other and everyone was hugging (except elders and sisters) and talking with each other. We didn't know the tongan sisters but we went up and just hugged them and told them we were from the islands... well sister aitiria was. But they still accepted me and hugged me haha. Oh my goodness. It was blissful and the best present I could have asked for. Then I came out and Tom Barrett, an old friend from college was there with his wifey! Crazy Cray.

This week was maybe the hardest week on my mission. I never knew someone who was trying to follow their Heavenly Father as closely as they could, could experience so much opposition and despair. Despair seems a bit dramatic but Family, this was the hardest week I have ever experienced. For a number of different reasons. I will tell you about it after the mission. my testimony of the Savior has been strengthened yet again.

Stormie made me a birthday cake last night and they sang and i blew out birthday candles :) Haha. She was supposed to get baptized saturday and didn't :( So hard. My heart broke.  But we set another day for baptism for this friday. Please pray for her. I put her name on the temple prayer roll today).

There is so much to tell! I want to be able to write you each individually. I'm so sorry. I am eternally grateful for each of you. Alia sent me the COOLEST journal. It was perfect timing because I literally have 3 pages left in my old journal. Thank you!

I'm so happy that you have had time to spend with Sister Morgan. She is so special to me. Keep having fun :)
Oh! we had interviews with president and I told him that sister aitiria and I laugh a lot, maybe too much and he just looked at me and said " That's what she needs. Keep laughing" oh my music to my ears. We laugh so so so much together. She is my brown sister. I love her with my entire heart. I love that I can laugh together and work together so well.

Ok, I love you all. This gospel of Jesus Christ is true. There is nothing greater or sweeter. I want you all to know that this sacrifice for the service of others is the best thing I've ever done in my life! That is where TRUE happiness comes from.

I love you!!!

Love, Sister mara

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Can you feel the Lerv?

Hi family!

First off- we are really close with this indonesian woman, named Carla. But Sister Aitiria can't say her name so she calls her "Carler" I laugh so hard every time ( like i am right now). She doesn't know why i'm laughing, but i just imagine Madea erytime. Oh my goodness. I love it!

So I was reading through all the old emails/letters from family and friends this week. You guys inspire me and keep me going! Without your emails and letters, I don't know what I would do. So I have written down my favorite lines from your emails/letters in my journal. I thought you might be interested to know how they have helped me! Here they are:

Elder Ma'afe : " I wanna be the missionary that's known for smiling too much and loving everybody"

Alia : " I hope you get fat like me when you are pregnant so we can commiserate together" AHAHAHAHAHAHHHH!

Cami : " Expect Miracles"

Ma : " Mara, these little moments just feed my mother heart"

Papi: " we use our agency to serve and lift others. We act." " Be the pivot point for your area, your companion and everyone you will meet tomorrow"

Mckay: " Everyone I met on my mission changed my life. The people who slammed doors in my face taught me patience... etc"

Brad: " Just keep going, just keep performing, just keep trying"

Haha! I love our family and friends! Seriously. Sumner just teaches me to have fun, Alia gives me comic relief, cami has taught me to have faith, mom makes me excited to be a mom!, dad encourages me to help and serve others everyday and change their lives, mckay taught me to have a new perspective ( which helped me a lot this week), and brad taught me to be diligent.

Everyone else taught me so many more things ( is that correct english??) but those are the ones i read last night.

Are we not so blessed?! We are SO blessed.  I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and how much the gospel has blessed our lives. I love this gospel.

Felicia is getting baptized this weekend!!! Oh my gosh. SOOO EXCITED! I can't believe it :) I get to speak at her baptism. We had a lot of lessons this week, but I want so badly to see people baptized. I fasted for boldness and courage. I know that Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I feel such a renewed strength today.

I wish that at the beginning of my mission, i knew everything then that I know now. I feel like i would have been such a better instrument in the lord's vineyard. I'm not perfect by any means, but I just I am ready to work now! I know what I need to do and am going to do it!

Love you guys. I am eternally grateful for you! Pray for you always!!!

Love, Me.