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

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