Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

 My lovely companion and me drinking the rain.
 It's raining!

Talofa Aiga

Wow. God really is a God of miracles. It's amazing to me how much he loves us. This week was so incredible. Full of so many miracles. 

First I'll tell you about Meli. She's someone that we met a little while ago. She told us that she was not interested in learning more about the gospel but that we could come back and share scriptures with her if we wanted to. Anyway, it'd been a while since we had stopped by so we decided to go over there on Saturday. She was so nice to us and so happy to see us. It was kind of strange. We don't usually get that reaction. We just visited with her for awhile and then all of a sudden she asked us if she could come to church tomorrow. She hadn't been to church in awhile and felt like she needed to go. This made us so happy. We really struggle with church attendance. We can have amazing lessons with people and feel the Spirit so strongly but they just don't come to church. Especially the last few weeks we haven't really had anyone there. So this was a huge miracle. We haven't even taught any lessons to her  but she came. She's really sweet and has a seven year old daughter, Beviana. I think Beviana really liked Primary and made some good friends, so I'm really happy about that. If Beviana talks to her mom about it I think that'll really be a driving force in helping Meli want to come back. She understands Samoan for the most part but she prefers English. She was pretty bored during the fifthSunday that was combined but we went to the English Sunday School with her and she participated and seemed to like it. We're going over to visit her later this week. It was just such a huge miracle that she came. She is definitely being prepared for the gospel. 

Another amazing miracle happened with Esekia. He's 23, moved here from Samoa last year. A really hard worker. He was a referral given to us by the Spanish elders. We've had a two minute Book of Mormon lesson with him but then every other time we've tried to come visit him he's been gone. We went to see him yesterday and he was asking about our services and where our church was. We told him and Sister Smalley invited him to come and see it sometime. Before we know it he's back inside changing his clothes because he wants to do the church tour right then and there. We were shocked. Again, that's not something that happens very often... or ever really. Such a miracle. So he follows us over to the church. We had Paul (he's getting ready to leave on his mission to Mexico in November) come and meet us and had one of the most amazing, spiritual experiences I've had so far on my mission. Esekia is so great! As we were taking him around he was just kind of in quiet awe of everything. We were talking in the Relief Society room about the Savior and the Atonement. Esekia said he just felt this burning in him that made him want to cry. We explained that that was the Holy Ghost. The rest of the church tour was just amazing. Esekia would just sit in each room for a couple of minutes and be silent..just taking it all in--feeling the Spirit. When we got to the chapel he thought it was so beautiful. Being on the church tour with him just made me realize how much I take everything for granted. We're so lucky to have the gospel in our lives. He said that he wants to come to church on Sunday. He works two jobs and his hours sometimes change. But he said that he's going to pray and ask God to be able to come to church on Sunday. It was so awesome! In the chapel Paul had just played a hymn and then Esekia had prayed and then was just sitting there thinking. My heart started beating so fast and felt like it was going to burst. In just a small way I felt the love that God has for Esekia. It was so, so neat. I cannot even fully describe it. I've felt God's love for other people too, but this was the strongest I've ever felt it. I really feel like it was a gift from God--just letting me feel a portion of the love that He has for Esekia. And really for all of us. I'm basically crying as I write this email right now. But God loves us so much. There is no doubt in my mind about it. We are all His children and He wants us to be happy. It is through the gospel and living righteously that we experience true joy. Ah, I just love this gospel so much! 
The Relief Society broadcast was incredible. So good. Plus I got to see Natasha's face right at the very end! That made me so happy! It made me really excited for General Conference as well. When President Monson got up at the very end to speak my heart was just so full. I felt like crying when I saw his face. I love him so much. It was just one of those incredible moments when the Spirit speaks to you and you know without a doubt that he is a prophet of God. That this gospel is true. President Monson speaks with God and receives revelation for us today. My testimony has just grown so much this last week. Like I said, so many miracles! 
Us and the elders are hosting a fireside next month. I'm super excited about it. We're going with a Book of Mormon Heroes theme. We're finishing up planning for it later tonight, but it's going to be so good. I can't wait to tell you all about it! 

Sister Smalley is amazing. I really love her so much. She gets so excited whenever she sees a squirrel. It's so funny. But this week has been really good together. We've been growing together and strengthening our friendship, thus becoming more unified. I know there's a reason Heavenly Father put her as my companion and I'm grateful to be with her.
We had Fui out with us this last week for the day and it was so much fun. We had a really good lesson with Cassandra about the Book of Mormon. She had some concerns about it because she only believes in the Bible. We addressed some of her concerns but the amazing thing was that what really helped her to have peace about it and be willing to pray about the Book of Mormon was when we read from it with her. We read 3 Nephi 11 and 12 and the transformation that occurred was incredible. It just strengthened my testimony in the power of the Book of Mormon. It really is the word of God and we just have to trust in its converting power. We left her with a huge grin and excited for us to come back again. She wasn't able to come to church though because of her son's football game. Football is a huge deal over here. Especially to Samoans. So hopefully she'll be able to come soon. 

The weather has been just lovely. I got to pull out my rain jacket AND my rain boots this last week. Everyone loves my rain boots. It's funny. I just think the rain is fun, though. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. Some people even roll their eyes at me. haha. But they're not changing my mind. I'm sure sometimes I'll wish it wasn't raining, but right now I LOVE it.

So, funny story. Last week someone took us to a buffet for fafaga. They paid for us and then left. So it was really awkward..just us and the elders. We sat at different tables that were next to each other. ha. So it was already kind of a weird experience. Well I was up just trying to get some corn when this guy walks up to me and says something that I didn't hear. Then all of a sudden he's turning around and lifting his shirt off. That's right...taking his shirt off. He was trying to show me some tattoo on his back but I still couldn't really hear him. Plus I was kind of freaking out! It looked like a Mayan calendar. Of course that would happen to me. Right in the middle of a buffet I would get some crazy guy taking off his shirt in front of me. I looked over at Sister Smalley and the elders. I think Sister Smalley was more freaked out than I was. Elder Kenape was shocked. And Elder Raspberry was just laughing. I guess the guy walked past the elders table and said "It was a picture of Abraham, I thought she'd like it" or something like that. Anyway, so awkward, huh? 

Well I've got to go. I love you all lots! Hope you have a lovely week. Always read your scriptures. Have fun watching General Conference. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! I can hardly wait

The church is true.
Sister Veronica White

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Not very many pictures this week. Sorry. Although I'm probably doing you a favor by not making you look at my face. haha. 

Here is Sister McBride and me from exchanges. Funnest exchanges ever. 

Talofa Aiga! 

This week was lovely. In so many ways. Oh my. Just so, so many miracles. Where to even begin?

One of our investigators Cassandra is on date for baptism on October 12. She didn't come to church yesterday so it'll have to be moved back. But we did see her yesterday. We went over to her sister's apartment and she was there. We also had a lesson with her sister. It was good. Things are starting to pick up in the area. It's been pretty slow for a while but lots happened this week. We taught Cassandra last Wednesday and had a really good lesson with her. She felt the Spirit really strongly and is so prepared for the blessings of the gospel. Heavenly Father has been preparing her and I'm so excited to see her this week! 

Also, we had a lesson with Talauu. She's a really sweet girl. In her twenties. We've met her before but never really been able to have a real lesson with her. Last night we taught the Restoration and she was so ready for it. The Lord really does prepare individuals. She said she felt the Spirit and that she wants to learn for herself if this is true. She said it makes sense for there to be prophets and when we talked about Joseph Smith she felt like she already knew it. It was a really neat experience. She wants to be baptized. She's on date for October 19. Keep her in your prayers though. She's already received slight family opposition. We had given her a Book of Mormon about a month earlier and she had said she wanted to read it. Yesterday though she told us that she hadn't read it yet because her parents told her not to. Her parents said she should only read from the Bible. Last night she said she's going to read the Book of Mormon. But just pray for her and that her family's hearts will be softened and won't hold her back. 

Wanna hear something so cool?! So I think I've told you a little bit about Juliann. She's the one who is going off to college so we didn't have very much time to teach her. Well it was really hard to get a hold of her so we only ever had that first lesson. But this last week we finally got in contact with her. She left for college on Friday but she said she's been reading the Book of Mormon and that she really likes it. She told us that she's happier when she reads from the Book of Mormon. She wants missionaries to teach her when she gets there. And guess what? She was talking to her roommate on facebook. They didn't know each other before or anything but as they were talking, Juliann found out that she's a Mormon. How perfect is that? So cool. She's so ready for the gospel .The Lord's hand is in all of this. I'm so excited for her. She's a really sweet girl. 

This week we went on exchanges. Sister McBride is now a Sister Training Leader so I got to go on exchanges with her. So we were here in Samoa for a day and back together. Oh my goodness. It was so fun. I just absolutely love that girl. She's amazing. I feel so blessed that I got to serve with her. Sister Smalley is doing wonderful as well. She's great and works so hard. We're seeing a lot of miracles together. 

We experienced real Seattle weather this week! It was so lovely. Cold and rainy and I loved every minute of it. Everybody else hates it. I got to pull out my rain jacket. Yesterday it was raining really hard. We were walking from our apartment over to our Ward Mission Leaders because he lives really close by. So we were wearing our jackets with our hoods on and it was freezing cold. Sister Smalley was hating it. But I loved it. I felt like a true Seattle missionary. I just had this ridiculous grin on my face that I couldn't wipe away. haha. I'm such a freak, but the cold and wet weather made me so happy. 

Well, this week was incredible! Sorry for the long email. Hope it makes sense. Love you all so much! Keep doing what you know is right. The Lord is waiting to pour out blessing upon us we just have to obey His commandments and be worthy of them. 

Love you! Choose the right.
Sister Veronica White

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Talofa Family! 

How is everyone? It looks like the book launch went really well. Thanks for sending the pictures. I wish I could have been there. It's ok though. I'm supposed to be here. I guess you'll just have to write more books Mom so I can be there for them.
Things are great here, as always. Training is good. Still not exactly sure why the Lord trusts me to do it. There are many times that I feel completely inadequate. But I'm just trying to trust in the Lord and do my very best. And then good things will happen, ioe? Sister Smalley is great! She's really sweet and really wants to get to work. It's been great working with her and she has lots of good suggestions about how to make the work progress. Her accent is still hard to understand sometimes but I'm getting a lot better. It doesn't completely sound Australian to me though. To me it almost sounds British. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a BBC production. It makes me laugh. And she just reminds me of someone who would be in a BBC production. I love it. She says funny things like Boot for the trunk of the car, rubbish bin for the trashcan, powerpoint for the plug in the wall, and pacer for a pencil. But I'm learning. I know we're going to see many miracles while serving together. She has a really strong testimony and is just amazing. 

So the last few weeks I've been asked by multiple people if I'm completely white or American. They all think I'm half something. I have no idea why. I feel like I look pretty white. Karen thought I wasn't completely white because of my thick hair. haha. But anyway, I just thought it was funny. In the last two weeks I've been asked by at least four different people if I'm half something. 

Also I was showing some people a family photo and they all are really confused at why my hair isn't curly. They're all amazed by Mom's and Savannah's curly hair.
We were given another wedding cake yesterday. This time we had to sit at the head table with the bride and groom. How awkward is that. Missionaries are just a really big deal to Samoans I guess. Someone had just taken us out to breakfast though and so I had had three huge pancakes and then we went to the wedding and I was expected to eat all this food. Luckily I could hide most of it in a to go box though. I'm amazed at the elders. They eat so much. I can't even believe it sometimes. 

We had two of our investigators drop us this week. Pretty much they're just not willing to act on their faith even though they believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. They want to stay at their churches. It's really sad. But everyone has their agency. All we can do is give as many people as possible the opportunity to hear the gospel. We got in contact with Samson this week finally though and we're going over there tomorrow so hopefully that will be good.
We had a really good church tour with Kenny. He's the one who believes we're a false religion. He strongly believes in the Trinity and has doubts about the blacks not receiving the priesthood at first, etc. But we had a good church tour with him. The Spirit was really strong and he was really impressed by all the members that were there and how nice they were. We told him that he needs to ask with a sincere heart so he can know. It ultimately all comes down to him. But he said he can't pray with earnestness until he gets some of his questions answered. Just pray for him. I hope he can exercise his faith and not focus on his doubts. 
Overall it was just a good week. Just getting used to being a trainer and having Sister Smalley here. Things are great. 

Love you all. I'm praying for you everyday. Thanks for being the best family ever. Choose the right.
Sister Veronica White

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Crazy Busy Week

Right by my desk. I have photos of all of you so I can see your beautiful faces everyday.
 The planner I made for Sister McBride. I just think it's so cute. It's like the most creative I've ever been. 

 Our District from last transfer.

 Sister McBride's last day in Samoa. Sad Day. She will be missed. I love her!
 Just many different poses.

 Sister Ete was just in Samoa and she brought us both back a lavalava! How cool is that?! I'm so Samoan.

My new trainee. She's great.

Talofa family!

This week was crazy busy! I can't even believe it. Where to even begin? Well let me start with the beginning of the week. Some amazing miracles happened. We have two new investigators. One is named Juliann. She's 17 and getting ready to head to college at the end of this month. She doesn't have much time before she leaves but we're hoping we can teach her the lessons and then she can meet with missionaries when she leaves. She's a really sweet girl and so smart. Has such a desire to learn.

We also met Cassandra. She has seven kids. Just moved here from Alaska. Her husband is still back in Alaska. They're having some marital problems. She's really nice. She said she would read and pray about the Book of Mormon and we're meeting with her again tonight. She has a real desire to learn more about the gospel and see if it's the right thing for her to do. We also had a good lesson with Thao. We watched the hour long movie about Joseph Smith and his life. Wow. All I can say is that I KNOW that he was a prophet. He restored this gospel to the earth and I'm so grateful for the sacrifices that he and his family and so many early Saints made for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We went on temporary exchanges on Friday. Sister McBride was invited to a training meeting thing and so I was with two other sisters in Samoa. That was what kind of told me I knew that we were being separated. I'm really sad we aren't companions anymore. But Heavenly Father proved to me on Friday that I know how to be a missionary. Through his help I can work with these people and I can be a good missionary. I don't know. I'm not trying to sound boastful because it's only through Heavenly Father's help that I can do this. But I know he was teaching me a lesson on Friday.
So now on to transfers and all that fun stuff. Sister McBride got transferred into the Tongan ward. We were both really shocked about that. She's a sister training leader and she and her other sister training leader are training a new missionary. So they're in a trio. 

Also, here's the craziest thing of all. I'm training. What. The. Heck. I've only been out two transfers. I know there are other sisters that have trained and have only been out two transfers. Sister McBride was one of them. But this time there were only eight sisters that came out from the MTC. That's way fewer than came out with me. For some reason out of the almost 50 (I think?) sisters that are in this mission the Lord thinks I should be one of the trainers. I was the only sister there that's training that's been here for only two transfers. Everyone else was a lot more experienced. It's just crazy to me. Obviously the Lord thinks I can handle more than I thought I could. 

My new companion seems really great though. I'll send a picture if I have time. She's really sweet. She's from Australia and has the sweetest little accent ever. It's kinda hard to understand but I'll get used to it. She has a real desire to go out and serve. I can already tell I'm going to learn so much from her. She's twenty-six so she's a little older than most of the sisters. It's a little strange being the "trainer" or the "senior companion" when I'm so much younger than her.
But it's all good. We're going to work hard and see many miracles! And SMILE and BE HAPPY!!!!! That's what we do as missionaries. I'm pretty much smiling all the time because I'm just so happy and I'm so grateful to be serving a mission. I love it so much. I'm so grateful the age was lowered so I can serve at this time. 

Oh, and hilarious story! One night last week we had a fafaga appointment. We were already there and then the elders showed up looking really sick. They were on their fourth meal. I can't even imagine eating three Samoan sized meals and then getting to fafaga and being expected to eat more. Poor elders. They just looked so sick. At one point I look up to see Elder Raspberry sliding his lasagna on his plate into the paper towel next to him. Then he folded it up and guess what?! He hid the lasagna in his socks! I was laughing so hard!!! I can't believe he didn't get caught. And apparently the lasagna didn't seep through the paper towel either. Anyway, I never thought I'd witness someone hide lasagna in their socks. But I guess it can be done. He was desperate. Four meals! And Samoan meals! I've never been so sorry for someone in my life. And that is why we gain tons of weight in this ward. EVeryone wants to feed us and they expect us to eat crazy sized portions.
Well I have to go. This week has been incredible! Lots and lots of miracles. This is the Lord's work, no doubt about it. Pray for my investigators, por favor. And for So crazy. I'm still kind of in shock. Love you all! Choose the right! 
Sister Veronica White

Monday, September 2, 2013

Last Week Before Transfers

 Pictures of our temple trip.

Talofa Family!

How is everyone? How was Hawaii Mom and Dad? I'm sure you had lots of fun. I expect a good letter or email telling me all the fun things you did. How is everyone else? Getting back into the rhythm of school?

Things are absolutely wonderful here! This coming week is the last week of the second transfer. Can you believe it?! I've already been out for almost two transfers. Time is flying by. I feel like we just started this transfer. Anyway, I'm really hoping to stay in this area with Sister McBride for another transfer. But we'll see what happens. Whatever happens will be okay. The Lord knows what He's doing and we just have to trust in Him. 

I went on exchanges this week with Sister Ika. She's Tongan and from Provo. She serves in the Tongan ward here. It's a lot smaller than the Samoan ward. For some reason there's a lot more Tongans than Samoans in this area. It was fun to go on exchanges though. She's really sweet and I learned lots from her. She's been out for a little over a year. 

We met a woman named Jen this week. She lives in front of the Tupa family who are members of our ward. She's met with missionaries before. She's really, really nice. She didn't really seem to be that interested but she invited us back. She has two adorable little girls. We're meeting with her tomorrow and I'm really excited. 

We had a time that we were supposed to meet with Mile's parents about permission for her to be baptized but her dad wasn't there. She's still really nervous about what her parents will say but we just have to keep having faith and trust in God. She's so sweet and really loves the gospel. We're meeting with her tonight. Keep her and her parents in your prayers, faamolemole (please). 

An amazing MIRACLE happened this week! Siona has a date set for marriage and now has a date for baptism too!!!! Do you remember Siona? He was supposed to be baptized just after I got here but he had to be married first. His wife/girlfriend thing though is pretty opposed to the church and wouldn't pick a date. Anyway, there's just been lots of drama and stuff. But they're getting married October 18! It's still pretty far out there but it looks like it's a solid date. And then he'll be baptized October 26! We are so excited for him. He's really great. He has such a desire to do what's right and he has a strong testimony. He loves the church and wants to set the example for his family. He's just a really good person. We had a lesson on fasting this week and fasted with him Friday. He just chuckled when we told him we were going to talk about fasting. He's a Samoan--so he LOVES his food. He thought fasting was really hard but he's grateful he did it and he said he had a good experience. He wants new doors to be opened up so that his wife's heart will be softened and he can share the gospel with her. 
Other than that there's not much to share. This week has been on the slower side. But still many, many miracles. The Lord is so aware of all of His children and He loves us all so much. Never forget that. Be sure and read your scriptures. They are amazing. They really are the word of God and we gain so much insight and our testimonies are strengthened when we read them. I hope you are all doing well. I miss you and love you and pray for you everyday. 
Things are just lovely here. I'm working hard and seeing many miracles. I can't believe how tired I am. Not gonna lie, some mornings it's a real struggle to stay awake. But everything is great! Just eating lots of Samoan food. Oh, it was so exciting though! Yesterday I got sent home from fafaga with a big bowl of watermelon. I must've looked really excited about the watermelon. Manu (our ward mission leader) said he's never seen me eat like that and he thought I was going to eat the whole bowl. haha. I was just excited to eat something that wasn't meat and rice. 

Well, I love you all. Make good decisions. Be happy.  Choose the right. 
Sister Veronica White