Thursday, October 18, 2012

Korea, Kiribati, Tonga, CAMBODIA

Hey Family!

Well what a week. There is never an uneventful week on missions. haha. Matthew's dad texted us an hour before the baptism and said that he wasn't going to get baptized today. Oh my goodness, I was laughing so hard because that WOULD happen. So we went right over and rang the doorbell like 12 times and then he finally came out. His dad got called into work last minute and didn't want to miss the baptism!

Anyways, that kind of broke Sister 'Ate and me. We just cried and our district leader came and talked to Matthew's dad. but he didn't budge. It was a good lesson to learn though. I am learning to just keep the faith! Faith is not to only believe in things that you can't see, but to still believe that you will have success and happiness when nothing works out. No matter how many times things don't go your way. lol. I really am learning just to take the good with the bad and grin and bear it. I love the lessons we learn on missions!

Ate was so funny this week. We got some helium balloons and she had never sucked them before. This balloon was like the size of my torso haha and she did the whole thing and was just laughing and singing. Then, she laid down and was like oh no, my head really hurts haha. I will miss her. She got moved to the Tongan ward and probably will be there until the end of her mission.

Sister Saum is from Cambodia. She has a really cool story and has had a rough go. It will be a good transfer though. I am excited to work with her!! And learn about her and her culture.

I really love this ward. I just want to help the bishop and the ward progress as much as possible. They are all so wonderful and I want to give back to them. This is the true church!! I love it. Yes, life get's hard but if we dwell on that, it will only get it down. The only thing to do is to rely on the atonement, smile, and just keep going. That's the only way!! I'm so happy. So happy. Life is a wonderful thing :)

I love you all so much. Have a happy week :)

Love, Sister Mara

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

God is a God of Miracles!!!

Oh family! How humbled I am to be a servant of the of the Lord. I glory in it. This week was miraculous. We began the week at 67 baptisms and needed 100 to reach our goal, that the Lord commanded us to get. I can’t quote the scrip verbatim but The Lord said whether it is by my mouth or by the mouth of my servants, it is the same. It is true. Our President is a servant and instrument for the lord and he knew that we had to get 100 baptisms this month. Never before , in the history of the Washington Seattle Mission, have 100 souls been baptized in a single month. This week, we came together as a mission and prayed, we sacrificed everything and were exactly obedient and the Lord blessed us with 101 souls who were brought into the waters of baptism!!

It was such a trying and testing week for Sister Ate and myself. Our investigators weren't keeping commitments or they were ignoring us. Rude. Haha. But our zone leaders were so faithful and kept us going! Last night we attended a baptism at 5pm. We had only 99 baptisms as a mission. Our zone leader came up to us and said “Sisters! Let’s go find the one!” So we all went to this woman’s house and asked if her daughter could be baptized in an hour. AND SHE WAS. She had been to church 3 times, no commandment issues, etc etc. It was a HUGE MIRACLE. I am so grateful I was able to be a part of it. It’s funny, this week I wanted to just sleep or give up on our investigators. I was getting frustrated with them for not doing what they were supposed to be doing, but I was humbled and reminded that Love is the motive and power. These are children of God and I must love them and help them keep their commitments. We all have to help those around us! They don’t know what to do with the agency they have been given, so we need to show them through the gospel!

Oh my, I love this gospel. I KNOW that this is God’s true church. It is not a belief anymore. I am not walking by Faith. It is knowledge. There is no denying this. We have to help God’s children.

We were teaching the plan of salvation to our micronesian investigator and she almost started crying. She humbled me so much! She was worried that she couldn’t live with her Heavenly Father or go to Heaven because she was having a hard time forgiving someone. Oh my goodness. Why aren’t Americans more humble like that? Hahaha.

Elder Sum- go get em’. The field is white and ready to harvest! Keep the faith! The God of Israel leads this camp! You never cease to amaze me!

Always and forever,

Sister Mara!

Sister Ate burning some clothes to celebrate 100 baptisms in the Mission!! (Yes, I'm aware the "100" is backwards haha)

Miracle baptism! Lateisha with our zone leaders!

Small and Simple Things

Mayong Butong Pamilya!!! That could be lyrics to a rap. Seriously. Haha. So I drove by a Philipino restaurant this week called “manila pride” and I really wanted to try some. But I didn’t. Good Story huh?

I was thinking this morning about how much I Love being so close to the spirit and how I didn’t want to miss that when I got home. So I don’t want to watch bad movies haha. Then I thought about your example of keeping anything that wasn’t virtuous, lovely, or of good report, out of the home.

I am in love with the gospel and am so grateful to be a member of this church. This week was so eye-opening and a little faith-testing. Debbie is doing great. She has been clean for 8 days now and today she started her very first day of work in her whole life. We called her before she went and she was nervous but excited. I’m so proud of her for the changes she is making! It is going to be a long road but at least she has started it. It’s the small and simple things that matter most. She came to church yesterday and participated in all of the classes. God loves her and so do we! There is so much to learn from these people we are working with! She talked all about how she used to babysit and how much she loves kids. Her insights were inspiring actually. Haha I love her. I hope you can all meet her one day!

We tracted into a family that just moved here from Louisiana. Hallelujer! Looking for a church to go to :) Selma is the mom, kenyarie is 16, antwan is 6, and ladarius is 8. I love them! We found them tracting and they all came to church yesterday! We haven’t found their concern yet and I kind of feel like we are just reciting lessons. I want her to open up to us so we can show her how this beautiful message can apply to her life and help her!

Oh my heck. Why aren’t we Tongan?? Fo rills? Haha. Sis. Ate taught me how to say “I’m starving do you have any food” in tongan. So one day we were STARVING. So I went up to a tongan and said it haha. And he handed us 20 dollars each! Then another day I was just showing a tongan what I knew what to say and they took us out to lunch right then to this really nice restaurant! Haha. They are so giving! You have to be careful what you say to them!

Oh! So this week we met a former investigator this week named Matthew. He is 11. And I adore him with my entire heart. Serious. He is all over the place and it’s hard to feel the spirit when we teach but something got to him because he came to church for his first time in 1 year! We sat by each other during sacrament meeting and I just love him! He is qualified to get baptized, so we are going to try and get him baptized this weekend, if it’s the Lord’s will and timing. PRAY PRAY PRAY for him! I love this little kid.

I wish my thoughts and ideas flowed together while I was writing emails, but this little time I am given gives me a heart attack haha. I could tell in Sumner’s email that his was kind of the same. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Haha. So many experiences in one week, it feels like a month! Gosh. We met with a woman last night who had been married in the temple and had 5 children, all members of the church. Due to some bad choices, her and her husband got divorced and their lives have just gone downhill. Her daughter is prego. Out of wedlock and only 18. The mom was just crying to us. My heart went out to her. I just kept thinking, “ This is why we have commandments. If we just listened, we could be so much happier” Gosh. I’m so grateful for my life and this gospel . Serious. Today I was reading in Alma and he is addressing his sons, Shiblon and Coriantun ( I think) and it really is the small and simple things that matter most. I can’t say it enough. If we just “look and live” we will be alright. Our Heavenly Father’s plan for us is so much greater than we can fathom. All we have to do is hold on a little longer and do our best. Now she can fully experience the Atonement. I hope she does.

The gospel is true. Keep the commandments and trust the Lord with all your hearts and ask Him what His will is for you… then act in all diligence to do so!! I love you!!!

Love, Sister Mara.