It's starting to feel like home

7:20:00 PM

This week was transfers! Good news is both Sister Blackner and I are staying companions and in the Kaneohe 4th Ward! :) I'm not surprised but it's still good haha. And we had our first meeting with our new ward mission leader, Brother Long. He has a lot of great ideas for the ward to make sure they're doing member missionary work and "finding the one" through good fellowshipping. We love him and we're excited to work together.

Today also marks exactly 6 months since I've been on my mission. I can't even believe how quickly time has flown and how much I've learned. I'm trying to make every day count so I don't regret anything. Now that we've been in this ward for a month and a half, we definitely feel like we're part of this big family. Don't get me wrong, there's that feeling in every place we serve, but in Laie there was no time to get to know the members as much as here in full-field. There are the moments that I'm treasuring, like something a kid says to us sadly "are you leaving?", or learning from the strong examples of members and non-members alike. A sister that's in a leadership position in the ward shared with us how difficult it is sometimes for her to see her own kids fall away from the teachings of the gospel. She's got a husband who's so active in church, sometimes moreso than the active priesthood holders, that just isn't ready to join the church (after 20+ years of marriage), a son who's incarcerated because of addition, and a brother that pretty much caused chaos in the family and cut ties with them. She has just gone through all sorts of challenges and faced them with such strength. There were many times when she could have just stopped believing in God or walked away from the church, but she continued pressing forward. She continues to amaze us by magnifying her calling, taking care of her family, and us too. Sister Blackner said it so perfectly yesterday when we were talking with her, "If we didn't have any success while we're here, at least I know that we were meant to meet you and learn from your example."

These women are so so strong. They bear their burdens and trial with a lighter weight because of the enabling strength of the Atonement. We aren't meant to face these trials alone! We were teaching others the difference between being given something compared to receiving something. When we are given something, we don't make any effort to take it with gratitude, but when we receive, we appreciate the gift. That's how the Atonement works too, it's the most wonderful gift that our Heavenly Father has given us other than the fullness of the restored gospel. But in order to receive this gift and the enabling strength it can provide us, we have to exercise our faith by following his commandments and reaching out to Him in prayer.

Last week Friday, Sister Blackner suggested we park our car and walk up the long street to our next appointment. Somehow, we ended up talking to everyone we planned for that day and also got a red mark on our necks/shoulders from the hot sun haha. We're trying to do more walking so we can talk to more people on the streets (since we drive from one place to the next). Our investigator Bryan's mother passed away this week so we taught him the plan of salvation/happiness at Sister and Brother Kofford's home. He usually fidgets when we're there, but he didn't this time! So he's more comfortable with us, and he has such a sincere desire to come closer to God. We extended the invitation to be baptized and he readily accepted. Being a missionary is the best because we can see how much the plan of happiness meant to him; that it gives all of us a way to live with our families and with our Heavenly Father again. He had tears in his eyes and so did we haha. We also taught a less-active family's daughter the same lesson but with picture aids and little clear rocks so it'll be fun for her. It's such a blessing when kids actually listen and pay attention to us, and understand what we're teaching. Thank goodness for the Spirit's guidance haha. We jumped on their trampoline for a minute or two after.

The best things we learn on our mission is clearly what we want our future to have and what we do NOT want in our future. I think I will be forever grateful. Now that it's March, I can't wait for the next General Conference in April! And the General Women's Broadcast before that :)

Scripture of the week: Mosiah 4:27
"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength; And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Yummy lunch with Sister Kobayakawa. Homemade sushi on left with crab meat.

The cutest family. The Cambras.

One with Sister Blackner :)

I didn't get as red as her haha

Get to know everyone activity at Young Women's, I had to describe the left picture with just shapes and Sister Blackner drew the right haha.

Sister Wu

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