Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Happy Memorial Day! Remember Him who is the greatest of all!

I have recently completed one year in the mission field and I am just as lost as when I started. Haha but seriously, Gods mysteries are still mysteries to me. I don't how He works the miracles He does or why, I just often find myself full of gratitude and feelings of indebtness. I have told you guys that this transfer has probably been one of the hardest. My area has been difficult and I have often spent my days and nights with headaches and tears for the people we were and weren't teaching. My companion and I have been praying fervently and each week we have sought ways to change. But it appeared as if nothing was working. I felt lost and tired and discouraged. I prayed for understanding and I realized I had not been filling in my daily gratitude journal. I started to fill it in again last week and felt a little bit better. Little by little my attitude was changing and I felt more calm.
This past week, God has seen fit to bless us and these people in this area. We found 7 new investigadores, all of whom have baptismal dates. I think I wish to recount just one of them . Thursday night we were looking for new investigators and we were being accompanied by one of our Young Women. We were walking and this giant dog comes up and is about to jump on us. My companion and the girl got really frightened, but the owner called his dog and he left us alone. The owner sat at his door, without a shirt (as normal) with a tired look on his face. I felt the need to contact him. My companion at first was frightened and looked at me with a "What in the world are you doing?!" face. But we gave him a pass along card and he asked us if we could visit him. We set the appointment for Friday at 630. Friday we went to his home and only found his wife, this time we were being accompanied with the Bishop Nizama. She was kind and invited us in saying Jon wasn't there but that would return soon. Within 10 minutes he was there and he began to tell us his whole life. It's a long story but lets say he started strong drugs like marijuana when he was 13 and at 16 he was a dad. He got married but is no longer with his first wife. He has a girlfriend, but they are not married because he has no money and no job. The story is longer and Ill tell you it doesnt get any better. BUT, get this, he does. 
Jon continued ot tell us that he wanted to change that he needed God, because he saw that he couldn't do it alone. We testified ot him of the Atoning power and of the covenant of baptism. Moments after finihsing he asked, how quickly can I be baptized? 
I felt so happy haha I looked at my companion and just smiled. God had been preparing the way, and he saw fit that all of us, my companoin and I and Jon, were ready. We explained more, with the guided help of the Bishop and he then asked, where is your temple? we invited him to church and Sunday he came with us. (: 
We left the lesson jumping up and down and then praying to thank God for His tender mercies. Oh how much I lack in faith. I do understand Mom, it always comes down to faith. 
We called President to share with him our good news and he shared with us even more good news, that we would be staying together one more transfer. Haha we then screamed and danced some more. 
Life, nor the mission is easy, and it appears to be getting harder. But I testify ot you what we testified ot Jon. Through Christ, ALL things are possible. He has overcome the world and when we are closer to him we find that things will always work out. 
I still don't understand how or when or why. All I know is that its true. And I know it because I've lived it. Time and time again, I see the Lords miracles. 
Needless to say, I am happy and calm and filled with immense gratitude. I see my faults and I need a lot of help, but luckily I know my Savior and he helps me where I fail. 

Love you all, Hermana Tanuvasa

Starting from the left, Gustavo, our new investigator, PF, Aimee, my companion  and Gia ( the most adorbale 4 year old girl ever!), me, Javier, our less active and Michael, his half brother, less active we are also teaching. I love this family <3

Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Eternal Strength

So this week has been a fight. When I got here about 6 weeks ago I was thrilled and ready to take on the challenge of this area.... 6 weeks have gone by and we are seeing very little progress. However, I must be grateful. God has blessed me with an amazing companion who is diligent and full of love. God has given us a gigantic area with potential and new people to meet every day. God has given us incredible members who are willing to help us in any way and who truly are moving closer to Christ. God has given us the strength to keep walking and knocking and teaching everyday. God has provided us with people to teach, as small as our teaching pool may be. God has loved us enough to provide the santifiying power of the Atonement to work within us to make us better and to change us. I am learning to be patient. I am learning to love hard work. I am learning that God is there in every step and that I have no need to give up or give out.

Guys, every time one of our converts, less actives, members or investigators doesnt come to church, or suffers a lot during the week, its because they have not prayed nor read their scriptures. God is there to communicate with us, and the scriptures are placed before us filled with his counsel and guidance. I know that God lives and loves us. I know that Christ is His Son and that He was sent to save all mankind, according to our obedience. I lack a lot and I fail every day. But my God strengthens me and helps me continue on.

When the going gets rough, when time seems too filled with all the things we have to do, when stress seems to kill, when all seems lost, pray, open your scriptures and I promise an immense peace will come. This is the true church. Here is the restored gospel that weakens the feeble knees and lifts the hanging heads. Christ is our Savior. I love Him. I praise Him and I testify of Him.

May God bless you all and protect you.
Love, Hermana Tanuvasa

Zone Conference and Stress !

EVERYONE, Thanks so much for taking the time to write me. Truly it makes me so happy and helps me keep going(:
So this week was good, sometimes a little frustrating when our investigators cancel appointments, or we walk to the opposite end of our area and the people we want ot teach aren't there, or all the other possible stressful things that happen in a mission happen. 
But I don't want to focus on the hardships. However, I do want to speak to you guys about the good and the bad. So to sum it up well, today I saw the movie "Inside Out"  with our district and I realized that I was like Happy. We have been having difficulties, but I have been trying to convince myself that I am fine, I am not stressed, I am not tired, and I am not struggling. However, Friday we had a Multi- Zone conference with President and Hermana Rasmussen. And we had special visits from Brother and Sister Raesaid, who talked about stress. 
It's hard to describe, but this is how it is. Life is hard and we, haha we are humans that can't possibly accomplish everything we have to. Something always falls  out of place when we try to just hold everything together by ourselves, but that's exactly the point. We can't do it alone. Thats what Happy learn in the movie. She alone cant make Riley happy. She needs Sadness as well. In this life we need opposition, so that we can recognize the blessings. But then how to we overcome the difficult moments? How do we not stay locked in the valley of sorrow?
Doctrine and Covenants 123:17 says, "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." 
Guys God is there. He exists and He will uphold us as we do all that we can, and then put all of our trust in Him. He will provide the way, in His time and in His way. 
In the mission field, I am coming to better understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ, as I find myself on my knees in prayer and in the letters of the Book of Mormon. This is the true church of God and I know it because the Spirit has testified to be it is true. Every time  I bring my needs to the Lord and I put it to the test by reading the scriptures, he answers. 
He will always support us and guide us. He loves us infinitely. I hope each one of you can always feel this love. 
Love you guys, 
Hermana Tanuvasa 

This picture is of me and Mickey because you and I are going to see Mickey when I get home! Happy Birthday and I hope you have fun with all your friends and our family.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Miracles on Mothers day

"This week has been a week of miracles!!! And it finished with a bang!
So to start off my companion and I were trying to think of ways that we could help the ward feel our love and the love of our Heavenly Father and what we planned was Heart Attacking. Dont know if you have ever heard of that but its basically putting a bunch of hearts from paper all over someones door or house and leaving them a little something to tell them that you love them. Well, Wednesday we started with a group that we felt most needed it with less actives families, pfs and other struggling members. We also left each of them a note with a pass- along card and written along side it saying "Pasa el Amor. Comparte a Cristo" (Share the love, Share Jesus Christ) Well while we were literally booking it, to hide and have time to do everone in the morning, WE FOUND A ROOM!!! We've been looking for three weeks now and right when we needed it, the room came literally straight from heaven. We moved in on Friday and we are very happy with our room. 
But not only that. We have a less active, Ivan, who is a returned missionary and has 3 young kids and a wife. He came home first and when he saw the hearts and the note he called his wife crying, saying that this had literally come from God in exactly the right time he needed it. Wow! That alone to hear was super rewarding! 
The consejo de lideres (Leaders Counsel) was also awesome and a huge answer to many prayers. Saturday as well in our Reunion de Zona (Zone Meeting) we had some really cool spiritual moments and the spirit spoke frequently. My favorite part was a video the elders showed of a coach and a football kid. He said many times "No te rindes" (Don't Quit) and it reminded me of my dad. 
Then when we skyped my dad, so in touch with the spirit, said the same, " Finish Strong" a phrase he has carried from the track, to the field, and now to the mission field. 
Sunday was our bang day when ALL of our recent converts, who havent been attending church came. And early!! Alex was FINALLY confirmed. Javier, our less active we are teaching, showed up early, by himself, in a tie and was able to bless the sacrament. And this other less active, Ivan came with his entire family. 
What a blessing and miracles I saw. I cried because God sanctified our work and blessed them so that they all could be able to participate of the blessings of the sacrament. "

I love you guys soo much and it made me so happy to see you. Ask Dad about the letter I wrote to him for more info on the blessing you guys are. Dont forget I love you, but that more importantly God loves you. <3<3<3<3

Monday, May 2, 2016

Revelation by the Holy Ghost

Hermana Nicho
 (Kayla's new companion)

Family and other people still interested in my life after one year ahahhaha

So this week has been a little rough. We had very little luck on finding investigators and converts, the ones Im most worried about. However, we have found less-actives to teach. And less-actives that are very ready to be active! Haha. The members however are helping us more as we made a calender with them as to who can accompany us and when... The only problem is actually finding the people to be able to teach them. But little by little and step by step the area is changing. Hna. Nicho is such a wonderful girl and we are enjoying our time together thoroughly!

One of the things that occurred to me came while I was fasting. I had been fasting for several reasons, some for our area (how to find and keep investigators, and how to help our recent converts be more converted), some for my companion and some personal, including knowing where to go for college (yes Mom I have been pondering all week seeking revelation). 
While we were in Relief Society on Sunday I started to get a little bored but the Spirit whispered that I needed to wake up, (cuz how am I going to be able to tell my investigators they have to come and pay attention if I dont even do it!) so i tried to follow the lesson and search deeper. My search led me to Jacob 5. The day before we had met a new investigator named Lizardo who in his free time grows flowers and other plants. But he doesn't just grow them, he experiments and one of the plants he showed us, he was grafting. It was so interesting to actually see after reading and studying about it. 

Thus when I began reading Jacob 5, the Spirit helped me recognize my answer. The Lord of the Vineyard wanted his tree to bring forth good fruits. So what he did is graft them into a good tree, also putting good branches into a bad tree.  If we want our investigators, converts, less-actives or members to bring forth good fruits, we have to graft them into the tree of the gospel. Its for that reason that we ask them to read and pray and come to church and to the activities and listen to the missionaries and be friends with the members... etc. Because grafting is not placing the branches close together or planting them side by side, its literally taking one tree and putting it in another! Its a full immersion into the good. Its taking the bad and making it good. So this functions for investigators, likewise converts and less actives.. and even for members! If we want to bring forth good fruits, we need to be grafted into good places, with good people, good information and good spirit. 

So for my decision for school, Im going to stay at Byu Idaho for at least one more semester. I think there I will be able to graft myself into a good lifestyle that balances work, studies, social life, and all the good gospel princples and works that I have learned here. It might stink a little being a little cut off from society but I felt an immense peace when my mind thought of going back there on Sunday. 

I testify that the Spirit is so real and can help us in EVERYTHING. God hears and answers our prayers in a very literal way. But we need to be listening. We need to go to the places where the Spirit will be and we need to tune in to the Spirit. Thats the only way it works. But it does work. So I challenge you to try it. Any question, doubt, discomfort that you have, ask God, and then be willing and ready to listen.

I love you all TONNNS!!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3
Hermana Tanuvasa