Monday, August 25, 2014

Making a Difference

bula mama!!

well first things healthy and there's nothing to worry about :)

this week we had zone conference and we talked about the returning members again. we got a whole lot of work to do that's for sure!! we started visiting some less actives on a regular basis and they're starting to come around very very very slowly. but at least they're moving somewhere. we got one less active family to come to church on sunday. actually the kids usually come but this sunday the whole family did!! except the dad. but we're going to get him to come soon!!

anyway...after zone conference i had my interview with pres. layton and he told me that elder nawahine had told him that i played a big part in helping him get on a mission. i was like "what!? really!?" i dont say this to brag, but i say this to tell everyone that each of us can make a difference in someone's life. just by being someone's friend and being a good example to them or just helping them live the gospel of jesus christ, you can help them make big decisions in life, like missions or what college, etc. there's so many things you can influence people to do by your example.

we have a baptism this saturday for that samoan boy we've been teaching. he has grown so much!!!!!! my gosh!!! he's a totally different person since the day i met him. he has turned his whole life around and putting his complete trust in the Lord. when he came out of his baptism interview he was asking us about serving a mission!! he then found out he would serve for two years and kind of freaked out hahaha but we'll see. he'd make an amazing missionary!!

sorry this week is so short, i dont have a lot of time. au lomani kemudou!! be a good example!! live life with no regrets!! 

loloma levu,
sista chong

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bula Vinaka!

bula mama!!

well it sounds like you guys had a lot of fun in maui this last week. how's tutu doing out there? she looks good in the pictures. im surprised that papa and grandma went with you. fun!! 

speaking of the kids...i got their pictures and letters today and i loved them. im going to try and write them back this week. how's school going for them? i can't believe summer is over. i feel like it just started, but time is going by way too fast.

well the work here in samabula is going pretty good. we're focusing a lot on less actives now because of the whole change, and we're excited about it. there's a family that the ward gave us to work on and so we're trying to visit them and get them to the temple before it closes in october. we're also visiting another family that hasn't come to church since they were like little kids, and so now we're starting to visit a sister and brother and they're already 24 years old. they have a want to come to church but i think right now they're just scared to because they haven't been there in a long time and they don't have their parents going with them anymore. so we're going really slow with them and hopefully we'll get them back to church soon. 

remember our investigator i was telling you about from samoa?? well he's getting baptized on the 30th of this month hopefully. he is doing really good. he's been through a lot throughout his life and has done lots of things but he is willing to change and be a new person. we taught him the word of wisdom this last week and he told us that he's never going to do any of those things again starting that day. he came to church on sunday and said that he has stayed away from all of that stuff since our lesson. we're so excited for him and his baptism because he's changing as a person and doing everything he can to follow the Savior.

on wednesday we went to a funeral for one of the elder's recent converts. it was a nice funeral. elder johanson gave the closing remarks and gave the best words of comfort for the friends and family that was there. it was held at the chapel and then we all headed up to the cemetery for the burial. when we got up there it started to rain like crazy and here in fiji they still dig the hole and bury the person themselves. so at this certain cemetery, the inmates from the prison do that, kinda weird but yeah. it was a nice funeral. sad but we know she's in a better place now. 

on thursday night we were able to go to the temple to see the johnsons, some recent converts in our ward, go through for the first time. it was such a special night. they were endowed and then sealed for time and all eternity. although they already had a family and were married for a long time, they had that special glow to them. it was such an amazing experience to see recent converts go through the temple. although i didnt teach them the lessons or baptize them, to see how far they've come since ive been here was a blessing. to see people change their lives and become members of the Lord's church and make that first covenant of baptism with their Father in Heaven and then to not give up and make it to the temple is the best thing a missionary can see and experience. that's why im on my seal families for time and all eternity.

okay funny story for this week....last night sis. matheson and i were lying in bed talking when we heard some weird noises like something was rustling through the trash. so we freaked out because we thought it sounded like a mouse and plus we sleep on the ground!! so we get up and sis. matheson asked me if i could see anything and i was like, "aunty! i can't see a thing i dont have my glasses on!!" hahaha so i found my glasses, put um on, and grabbed a book to protect myself. so we creeped around and turned on the light and searched everywhere to make sure there was nothing. and so we left the light on and sat and waited for the sound to come back so we could catch the mouse. well we waited and heard the sound and saw that it was just the curtains blowing past a paper taped on the wall. oile!! we were laughing so hard because we were literally freaking and praying it wasn't a rat. thank goodness it wasn't!!

au lomani kemudou sara valevu!! loloma yani tu ga!!


sista chong

We got soaked at the funeral.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Work is Progressing in Samabula

bula mama!!

we were at our bishop's house for dinner on friday and the wife told me about the two hurricane warnings. i couldn't focus on anything else the rest of dinner and she finally said, "maybe i shouldn't have told you anything." but a lot of the people from the ward have been asking me if my family is okay and im so happy to hear that you're all safe. i definitely prayed very very very very hard since the minute i heard until now. im so relieved now that i know you're all safe.

this week in samabula was a pretty good one. our investigators, though few, are progressing a lot!! they're starting to come to church and to get closer to baptism. it has taken some of them a long time and it's such a blessing for me to see them starting to make the necessary steps needed to prepare for baptism. we have a baptism scheduled for the 23rd of august and she is awesome!! she already has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. from the moment she first opened it she has felt the power and influence of the Book of Mormon in her life. she feels the Spirit every time she reads and when she bares her testimony of it, it strengthens my own testimony.

we have another investigator who we just started teaching. our first lesson with him was at elder johansen's (area of the seventy's) house and it was such a powerful lesson. all day sis. matheson and i were thinking about what we were going to teach him and we were freaking out because it was going to be at a General Authority's house. but once we got there and started the lesson we asked the investigator what he expected from our lessons. he told us that he already knew that Heavenly Father was there for him but what he wanted was to feel the Spirit. to learn how to recognize the Spirit in his life. what an answer!! so we got the impression that we needed to have a testimony meeting with the johansen family and us. we each shared our testimony and almost every single one of us shared about prayer. and the power of prayer. as we were sharing you could just feel the Spirit in that room. there was no way you could deny it. when we were all finished he shared how he felt and told us that he had felt the Spirit that night. when we met with him again we asked him how he felt after our last lesson. he said that the next day at school he was so happy. he said he hadn't felt that way in a long time. and so i told him that that was the purpose of the Gospel. to bring people happiness!! that's why im here on my mission, to bring people happiness that can only from this Gospel of Jesus Christ. in our next lesson we let us know of his willingness to change and to align his life with Christ. he already has that desire and now it's time that act in faith.

on saturday we were able to go to the temple with one of our recent converts to do baptisms for the dead for the first time. it was such an amazing experience!!! she was so nervous to go and was very hesitant, but after it was all done she said that she was so happy and that she enjoyed it. we told her that she made so many people happy as she was baptized for them. they were waiting in the Spirit World waiting for someone to be baptized for them and she did it and made freed them and helped them on their pathway to the Celestial Kingdom. she smiled when she realized how important the temple is. when we teach about the temple it's hard for people to picture or imagine what we do in there and why. it's not until they do it them self that they come to truly appreciate the temple.

also the church is changing a few things in missionary work. our purpose as missionaries was to help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. our main focus was getting people to that first ordinance, baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. but now we are looking past that....we're looking to the temple. we'll be seeing our recent converts a lot longer and a lot more than we have in the past, helping them stay active and prepare for the temple. another huge thing that's happening is that we as missionaries are responsible for bringing back less actives. before we would visit them but the ward would also visit and whatever. but now if we bring back a less active to church (following certain requirements) it has the same amount of importance as if we baptized a new convert into the church. there are so many people getting baptized all over the world but dont stay active. and that's why the church has made less actives a huge part of missionary work now. it's genius!!! so me and sis. matheson have decided that we're going to really focus on getting people back to church and helping them get reconverted to the Gospel. im excited!!

well i think that's all for this week. me and sis. matheson are having a party here in samabula. i love being her companion and i love serving with her as sister training leaders. i dont think there's one hour that goes by that we dont laugh together at something. missionary work is fun!!! au lomani kemudou!! loloma yani!!

sista chong

Monday, August 4, 2014

Driving in Fiji with a New Companion!

bula mama!!

well this week i literally felt like i was running around like a chicken with his head cut off!! it was crazy because we had a new intake, an outtake, transfers, and all of the above. also i got my drivers liscense on thursday and so im a legal driver here in fiji!!! i can drive on the left side of the road!!! woooohooo :) and the cooler thing about it....i got it on my year mark. so my liscense is valid until my two year mark...if i had one. lol. 

but this week i have definitely started to see the blessings of our hard work. at church yesterday we had 2 of our investigators come to church for the first time. one of them we've been teaching for a long time and she finally came. and the other will be baptized on the 23rd of august hopefully, so she really enjoyed it. it felt like the testimonies that were shared that in sacrament were directly to them. it's amazing how everyone listens to the same Spirit. we also had a member bring a friend to church and we're going to start teaching him on tuesday. 

the new area seventy, Elder Johansen is here and him and the family is in our ward. the family came to church for the first time yesterday. they're from new zealand but the wife is half samoan and said that if we needed any help with translations or anything we could call her and take her with us. so as soon as she said that i turned to sis. matheson and was like "we gotta find us some samoan investigators wherever they are in fiji." and after sacrament we went and shook hands with the member that brought his friend to church and he introduced his friend to us and said he was from samoa and was schooling at FNU. oh my gosh!!! prayer answered!!! and so on tuesday we'll be going to the johansen's house for dinner and our first lesson with him. we're way excited!!

 also, sis. matheson is like way bomb in fijian and i consider her as the answer to my prayers about learning the language. for so long ive been saying i want to learn it better or whatever but just didnt know where to start or how to do it. well, Heavenly Father heard my millions of prayers and sent sis. matheson to me :) ive learned so much from her already!! but probably the thing i learned the most was just go get um!! no shame. just speak fijian whenever you can no matter who it's with. just speak ga!! so im way excited for our companionship. we've had so many good times together already and have not stopped laughing. im excited for the months that lay ahead for us :)

au lomani kemudou sara valevu!! loloma yani!!

sis chong

Suva North Zone Conference