Meeting Elder Holland!

4:52:00 PM

Kaneohe is really pretty; it's super green, lush, and a lot of mountains haha. Our transfer day on Wednesday was super tiring and we were living with the Sister Training Leaders, Sister Carlsen and Sister Biggs for the last few days in their small home. Our new home is actually the upstairs of a sweet old woman and the elders have actually been renovating it for the last few months as service for her, and she really wanted LDS people to rent it out to because their last tenants didn't take care of it well. The mission office fortunately was looking for a new place for Sister Blackner and I and things worked out perfectly. When Grandma Martinsen, who was helping our landlord, told us how it all happened, she said we were the answers to Aunty Diana's prayers. Heavenly Father is always aware of His children's needs and He always answers our prayers (not guaranteed always what we want though, but what we need).
Changing new companions is always a little nerve-racking in the beginning because we have to get to know each other, but I already love Sister Blackner. She's been out for 6 months, and was serving in Eva all of that time, and now we're both new to Kaneohe. It's a little stressful driving around the area, but thankfully she has a GPS we use haha. The members we've met so far have all been so sweet and are so missionary-focused. We have several people we are planning to visit and invited a few less-active members to Stake Conference yesterday since Elder Holland, an apostle, was presiding and speaking.
All the missionaries on Oahu had a special meeting with him on Saturday and I learned how personable, loving, and hilarious he is. He shook all of our hands and we introduced ourselves and where we're from!!! We were also instructed from Elder Holstrom (Area Seventy) and Elder Auna (forgot his position). It's so amazing to hear from an apostle of the Lord right in front of us, and Elder Holland expressed just how sad it is for him to see returned missionaries that don't keep their covenants to the Lord and go inactive. We often think of how a mission is just one part of our lives, but it really lays the foundation of how we continue to live the gospel in our lives. So I will always be a returned missionary.
A few points that Elder Holland expressed that really stood out to me (from the missionary meeting and stake conference):
  • we can return, but we can't go back (referring to our lives before we began the mission, we need to move on and continue to grow)
  • we don't have any right to go home and betray and image and standard of this church (keep your covenants)
  • mercy is God's second name, God's mercy endureth forever, all He does is look for ways to bless us if we choose to follow Him
  • "Sometimes you get what you want, and sometimes you don't get what you want, but it will always be what is right"
We had the opportunity to hear from him again on Sunday for Stake Conference. I kid you not when I say although the meeting began at 10 am, members have arrived at 6 am just to get the front row seats. Seeing the apostle speak live doesn't happen often besides watching General Conference...
Elder Holland expressed his love for all of us and shared with us that apostles, prophet, and other general authorities are not exempt from the trials and challenges of life we face. His dear wife was near death a few months ago, but is okay now. It's easy to think other people's lives are easier and without challenges, but we all have them. But this gospel helps us overcome all that we face. I know that the prophet and all the general authorities are called of God to lead us in this day. Elder Holland ended his address with an apostolic blessing upon all of us, even extending it to those we love. I'm pretty sure this is a weekend I'll never forget!  
I'm super excited to work in this area because it's also the first time Kaneohe 4th ward is having their own missionaries (usually they share with another ward), AND sister missionaries rather than elders. It's kind of funny how excited they are but pretty sweet too. We're pretty excited to move into our new home today, and not live out of our suitcases haha. I know the gospel is true and I love being a missionary here. :)
Scripture of the week:
"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have."
Sunrise on our drive to the mission home for transfers!

Sister Blackner and I :)


Just planned matching with my previous companion Sister Yeung :) Right before the meeting with Elder Holland and other missionaries

I told Sister Blackner Kaneohe is like a green Utah with more trees haha.
Sister Wu

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