Love = time

9:18:00 PM

This week has been a week of miracles. But I guess there's a miracle in every day if you look closely. :)

There were a few times where it was so easy for us to just go to another area or go for lunch, but we decided to visit that one extra person, or stay a little longer at an appointment. And that was when we were able to have the Spirit confirm to us that's where we're needed. Yesterday after church, I wanted to go home and eat because I was hungry and we didn't have much time before our next appointment, but we did have Sister O'Connor planned after church. Sister Blackner said we had time so we went and visited her, and turns out she's in hospice and was desperately wanting someone from the church to visit. We were able to contact the ZLs and they gave her a priesthood blessing. Her only child, her daughter is taking care of her (she has liver cancer), and the whole situation just humbled me. First because I learned that there's a reason we've planned for the people we visit, and Heavenly Father needed us to be there; this mission sure isn't about what I want to do with my time, it's about what Heavenly Father needs us to do with His time. And second because I could relate so much to her daughter, because I'm an only child and that could easily be me one day in the future. I told her that I know a little bit of how she feels (she wasn't a member of our church) and that she's doing a great job of being the rock for her mom. It was such a great testimony builder for me because the Spirit directs our work, and Satan so easily tempts us to not go the extra mile. I'm so glad Sister Blackner could remind me of that and we could be companions that strengthen each other, rather than give into the small temptations. When we go the extra mile to visit someone, it can make all the difference. I know that the priesthood power which the men hold in our church is from God and it gives people strength to endure through times of trial. I'm grateful that the elders live worthy of that priesthood authority to give blessings for the sick and afflicted.

Sometimes it's so easy for me to think that because I'm a missionary, I have to share something spiritual like a scripture or teach a lesson about the gospel in order to fulfill my purpose, but I'm learning that loving the people here with the love Jesus Christ has for each of us is essential too. That the most important thing we can do here is to help others feel His love, and then they can feel the Spirit too if we do share a spiritual thought. Because everything relates back to Heavenly Father's love for all of His children. I get paranoid sometimes when we're running behind schedule or we stay at an appointment far too long in my opinion(more than an hour), but I've learned that when we show how much we care for the people we visit, it's so much easier to have them feel the Spirit when we do share something. And that we are here not just to preach the gospel, but to be brothers and sisters. Sister Thompson had to surrender one of her dogs to the Humane Society, Bella, because Bella was biting on the baby dog Alice, and wouldn't let go. In the process of tearing Bella off, Bella bit Sister Thompson too. Since it wasn't the first time this happened and Bella just was getting violent randomly (they say it's because of anxiety), Sister Thompson had to surrender her. And her neighbors helped out so she wouldn't have to watch them take Bella. At first I was thinking, "maybe we should leave...not sure if we're supposed to be here watching this," but we stayed to talk to Sister Thompson in another room and distracted her from the situation. I can't imagine how hard it must've been for her to let go of Bella, who she's taken care of since she was a baby (now she's 8 years old). I know that even when we're not specifically sharing the gospel, but when we live it and comfort those in need of comfort, we are still fulfilling our purpose. I feel so privileged to know that Heavenly Father trusts us to be that rock of support for His children, to uplift them spiritually and in other ways.
Usually at church on Sunday, we don't have any investigators coming because we're still so new to the area, we don't have a solid committed investigator. But we got a referral this week from the Zone Leaders and his name is Bryan. His brother is a member and lives in California, and suggested to Bryan to learn more about our church. We invited him to come, but he actually showed up early half an hour! (here in Hawaii, that is so rare, everything is "Hawaii time" aka.on time or late) We were also able to pick up Sister Thompson (who's less-active), and see two other less active families we've been visiting! We were so happy, because they've made the decision to get ready and come to church. It's hard sometimes to make church a priority, but we know it's because this commandment helps us be strengthened spiritually and we can partake of the sacrament to remember Christ's sacrifice and renew our baptism covenants. 

For Gospel Principles class, we learned about the Fall of Adam and Eve. In many other Christian religions, they believe that the Fall was NOT a necessary step in God's plan. We believe that once they partook of the fruit from the tree of knowledge/good/evil, they were given agency and knowledge. And Satan wanted everyone to follow his plan, which was to force us to follow him, rather than giving us a choice. And once the Fall did occur, Adam and Eve were able to multiply and experience joy and pain. The Fall is a blessing, not a curse. Because of agency, we gain experience to learn from it, and feel opposition in all things so we know what happiness is. Sister Blackner and I also taught the Sunbeams, or 4-5 year old kids about the Holy Spirit and it was so much fun haha. I don't know if I'm very good at getting their attention, thank goodness Sister Blackner is good with kids. 

Another fun thing this week: Travis, our potential investigator, invited us to a gospel music concert on Friday evening and we went and listened to a bunch of high school teens sing gospel music with piano as accompaniment. Definitely different, but it was pretty great music. Travis helped put the performance together, and it was good experience to see how other churches sing haha. 

And we went out running twice this week! We're trying to be better at exercise, but running is not my forte. 

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 2:24-25
"But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."

The Adams took us out to a Chinese restaurant...I realized why I didn't recognize so many Chinese names was because they were Cantonese pronunciation, not Mandarin! Oh how I miss Chinese vegetables...

Kalua pig and cabbage: Kalua pig is prepared in an underground oven called an "imu", covered in foil and banana leaves, and hot rocks (fire in it), and it cooks overnight!

Brother Kapele(now really old) used to play for the Eagles (football team)!

Ocean pictures from last hike

Ripples in the ocean. Love it.

Sister Wu

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